.: News

Date: 15 Mar 2012

Indian high commissioner calls on Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD: Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Sharat Sabharwal called on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan at the PTI office on Wednesday. Former foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri, Dr Shireen Mazari and Ahmad Jawad were also present on the occasion.

The purpose of the visit was regarded as the Indian High Commission wanted to know about Khan's vision for Pakistan in regional prospective. Imran Khan remarked that Kashmir must be recognised as a political issue which must be resolved at the dialogue table.

"We have to sell the idea of dividends of peace and to get out of the past," Imran Khan said. He referred Sabharwal to Dr Mazari's bold idea of civil nuclear cooperation between Pakistan and India which was further explained by the latter.
The high commissioner admitted that Mumbai was a major setback for relations between the two countries. But he said that commercial relations were on track. He said the Indians were also looking at making an easier visa regime.

Sabharwal said trade was now a wide agenda and both sides were trying to address each other's concerns.

He said that non-tariff barriers in India were not Pakistan-specific. He recognised three issues of concern for Pakistan: customs, lab testing, and absence of a mechanism for addressing of grievances. India was addressing these issues as well as discussing the issue of market access. Imran Khan reiterated the need for dialogue on Kashmir and a roadmap which would help disarm the militants and help reduce the Indian military presence in Indian-held Kashmir.

Imran Khan also talked of the need for truth and reconciliation in FATA to win the favour of tribal people. The high commissioner asked for Imran’s view about Pakistan's economy. "We also need good governance for investment and have poverty alleviation," he said, adding that Pakistan was also facing the energy crisis as an emergency. Dr Mazari raised the water issue and the high commissioner said that the Indus Water Treaty did well so far but two issues, centering on some issues of implementation and a matter of trust to implement the treaty. He also claimed that there was gross misinformation.

[Daily Times]

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