LAHORE  - Pakistan desires strong economic and friendly ties with the countries of the region. India and Pakistan should resolve their mutual issues through meaningful dialogues, as the two countries have fought three wars which have given them nothing but poverty and devastation. India and Pakistan will now have to move forward in economic field. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is serious in promotion of cordial relations with India and other neighboring countries.

These views were expressed by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif while talking to Canadian High Commissioner in Pakistan Greg Gioikas and Canadian Ambassador to Afghanistan Deborah Lyons who met him, here on Tuesday. At another international textile event, the CM has already called for enhancing volume of trade with neighbouring countries including India with a view to facilitate general public, saying that both countries should ease trade of food items particularly. He called for 24-our trade between India and Pakistan through Wagha border, which is presently halted at 3pm, affecting the two sides businesses intensely.

The chief minister urged the federal authorities to look into the undue delay being caused in customs clearance for the goods meant for Pakistan-India trade. He lamented that hundreds of trucks kept on waiting for hours for customs clearance at Wagha border resulting in wastage of time and setback to trade activities. He said the trade ministry should pay attention to this issue and expedite the process.

During the meeting Canadian High Commissioner, Shahbaz said that Pakistan has always played a positive role for promotion of peace in the region. He said that economic relations between India and Pakistan can be strengthened through promotion of mutual trade and for this purpose the process of custom clearance at Wahga border should continue round the clock as it will benefit both the countries. He said that India should come forward for meaningful dialogue with Pakistan for resolving issues like Kashmir, water, Siachen and Sir Creek. He said that war is no solution but rather aggravates the problems. He said that India and Pakistan should promote bilateral relations for utilizing their resources on the progress and welfare of their peoples. Shahbaz Sharif said that present leadership of Pakistan is sincere in promotion of ties with India but Indian leadership should also respond positively to initiatives of Pakistan for maintaining peace in the region. He said that he is going to visit India within a few days where he will hold meetings with Indian leadership. He said that Pakistan wants peace in Afghanistan as it is essential for improvement of the regional situation and promotion of economic activities. The Chief Minister also stressed the need for further increasing the volume of trade between Pakistan and Canada.

Federal Minister Khurram Dastagir, on this occasion, said that PM Nawaz Sharif wants to promote close friendly relations with India and other countries.  Canadian High Commissioner in Pakistan Greg Gioikas said that Canada attaches great importance to its relations with Pakistan and wants to further promote trade and economic ties. Canadian Ambassador to Afghanistan Deborah Lyons said that Pakistan is an important country of the region and Canada wants its economic stability.