New Delhi, May 13 (IANS) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is one of the most “straight forward and outspoken” person, who can help in improving the relations between India and Pakistan, says Pakistan-India Business Council (PIBC) Chairman Noor Muhammad Kasuri, who worked closely with former prime minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto.
“I feel that the atmosphere has changed for the better in both the countries towards each other, and I think it will continue. Politically speaking. Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi is a very straight forward and outspoken leader, and I feel in the presence of such a strong-willed person, India and Pakistan relation has got a new breakthrough,” Kasuri told a small group of reporters in response to a question by IANS.
“I think in the last few years, things have changed for the better between both the countries. Perception and mindset of people have changed. Coming from Pakistan, we feel that why should we spend more money on importing things from other countries when we have India as a neighbour. It will be much easy to import from them,” he said.
Kasuri is confident that the trade dialogue between both nations will increase in years to come and shared that he has sent proposal to Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj for the same.
“The trade dialogue between both the countries has increased. In fact, just today we sent a proposal to Sushma Swaraj for better trade relations. Now we won’t let this stop. I am expecting that the trade relation of India from Pakistan to touch $30 billion in the next five to six years.”
He feels that small efforts will go a long way in building a bond.
“He called the Pakistan premier for his oath-taking ceremony and he also attended his birthday in Pakistan. These things show that India and Pakistan relation has got a new high. I feel that in the next five years, things between both the countries will change for the better,” he added.
Kasuri was in the capital to grace the launch of Lifestyle Asia 2016 edition. The exhibition, which began on Friday, focuses on Pakistani and Indian craft, with over 60 stalls displaying designer and brand creations from both countries. Crockery, footwear, formal wear, bridal wear, artificial jewellery and Pakistani suits — there’s something for all.
“Our purpose is to make the relation between India and Pakistan smooth and the reason behind this exhibition is the same. This is about people-to-people contact,” he said.
(Nivedita can be contacted at [email protected])