Efforts should be made to develop trade relations with India. India will have to give up its policy of hostility toward Pakistan. Food imports from India should be allowed.

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(March 13-2023)

Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said Pakistan should try to develop trade relations with India.

India should also learn that Pakistan’s economic problems will not last forever and it is very difficult to ensure rapid progress by being hostile to its neighbors, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that India has to solve the Kashmir issue according to the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the world’s fifth largest economic power cannot continue to be at war with its neighboring country which is a nuclear power.

India successfully started improving its economy in the early 90s thanks to political stability whereas we are still suffering from political as well as economic instability and our economy is at the mercy of the IMF, he added.

The business leader said that India has a clear possibility of becoming the third largest economic power in the world in the next one or two decades, while Pakistan is also located in the same region and can also develop through better governance.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that there is a need for cheap agricultural imports from India, acquisition of technology, and restoration of economic relations which is in the interest of the people.

He said that we rightly consider India as our enemy while India considers us as a problem. India wants to harm Pakistan at any cost and its focus is also on China.

India should know that just as Pakistan cannot be insulated from insecurity in Afghanistan, similarly India will not be safe from insecurity in Pakistan, so it should avoid terrorism in Pakistan.

Mian Zahid Hussain further said that most of the governments in Pakistan broke their promises to the IMF due to which the attitude of this organization has become tough and despite the fulfillment of all its conditions, the staff-level agreement could not be reached yet.

In this situation, Pakistan should not delay reforms in the energy sector, privatization of failed government institutions, agricultural reforms, import substitution and become self-reliant as soon as possible.

Earlier, borrowing countries used to get loans from the IMF within two months, but now it took Sri Lanka 200 days and Zambia 271 days to get a loan. China has given some help to Pakistan but it is not enough. To get rid of these problems permanently, Pakistan has to put its affairs in order.

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