ISLAMABAD: Today Saarc Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice President  Iftikhar Ali Malik urged both the neighbouring nuclear  countries ( Pakistan and India ) to resolve outstanding economic and security disputes fully exploiting the economic potential of the eight-member South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) for better future and durable peace  in the region.

Talking to a high level delegation of Pakistan Furniture Council headed by its Chief Executive Mian Kashif Ashfaq who is also life member of the SAARC Chamber, Pakistan Chamber Iftikhar Ali Malik said SAARC had the potential to become one of the major global centres of economic power. "For this to happen, South Asia needs peace, South Asia needs stability, South Asia needs cooperation," he added.

Showing his sheer despondency over recent cancellation of Saarc conference after refusal of India to participate, Iftikhar Ali Malik said war is no solution to disputes and both the countries should resolve issues through dialogue by defusing the escalation. He said India escalated tension to conceal its brutality in occupied Kashmir and blamed Pakistan of Uri attack without any investigation. He said both the states should resolve issues through diplomatic channels. 

He said Pakistan had offered to hold dialogue with India for the resolution of the Kashmir issue but the offer was rejected and that Pakistan always remained committed to peace and regional cooperation.

He said they would continue to work to that end in the larger interest of the people of this region. However, he reiterated that to achieve "durable peace" in South Asia, settlement of the Kashmir dispute was imperative.

He said both the countries should dispose of war rhetoric and focus on development and prosperity of the people of the region. “Unstable South Asia is not only a serious threat to local population but it also poses security threat to international community,” he pointed out.

Life member Saarc chamber of commerce and Industry Mian Kashif Ashfaq , said it is wrong perception deliberated propagated by Indian establishment that Pakistan is a serious threat to the stability of the region but the fact is that India is perceived as security threat by other regional countries and with the result there are more conflicts and less cooperation which has made South Asia a volatile region. He urged the Indian government to play its positive role to strengthen any regional initiative for the better future of South Asia.

He said there are unsettled issues between India and Bangladesh, India and Nepal, India and China and India and Pakistan so every country should focus on resolving their issues for durable peace in the region.  There is unresolved problem in Kashmir between India and Pakistan which resulted in numerous wars. The unresolved conflicts between South Asian countries have far more regional implications which have taken away peace and harmony in the region. He said all the regional countries should develop consensus and then provide a platform for dressing security issues on serious and exigent basis,” he added.