Published On : Wed, Dec 9th, 2015

India can take up trade with Pak and Afghan, says Sushma Swaraj

Sushma Swaraj

Islamabad/ Nagpur: Minister of Foreign Affairs Sushma Swaraj said on Wednesday that India is “willing to join hands with Pakistan and Afghanistan for trade and commerce,” reported sources.
“It’s time we display maturity and self-confidence to do business with each other and strengthen regional trade and co-operation. The entire world is rooting and waiting for a change. Let’s not disappoint them,” Sushma Swaraj while addressing the “Heart of Asia” summit in Islamabad.

She added that on “our part, India is prepared to move our cooperation at a pace which Pakistan is comfortable with. But today let us at least resolve to help Afghanistan — in the best traditions of good neighbourliness”.
“India is ready to receive Afghanistan trucks at Attari border,” she said.

“India’s vision of ‘Heart of Asia’ is one of interlinked trade, transit, energy and communication routes, with Afghanistan as an important hub,” Sushma Swaraj added.

“India is working with Afghanistan and Iran to develop trilateral transit through development of the Chahbahar Port,” she said.

Earlier, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani jointly inaugurated the “Heart of Asia” conference attended by foreign ministers of several countries, including external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.

Sharif, in his inaugural address, said, “Afghanistan is the heart of Asia and if there is trouble in the heart, the entire region will be turbulent.”

He said peace was vital for development and extended full support for the elected government of Afghanistan, saying it was the “only representative of the Afghan people”.

Sharif also called for collective approach to combat the menace of extremism and terrorism.

“Working for the achievement of a peaceful neighbourhood is a cardinal principal of Pakistan’s foreign policy. We firmly believe that peace is vital for development, and development is vital for durable peace.” he said.