LAHORE

Federal commerce minister Engineer Khurram Dastgir on Wednesday ruled out trade talks between Pakistan and India until improvement in diplomatic ties with the neighboring country.

Talking to journalists after addressing a seminar on energy crisis at Wapda House, the minister said that talks between the two countries on bilateral trade had been suspended since 2014 and no options for restoration in talks were so far under-consideration by Pakistani side.

However, he said various issues including Pak-India trade will be discussed during prime minister’s advisor Sartaj Aziz’s visit to India on August 23.

To a question, Dastgir termed the political differences on the Kalabagh Dam as actually because of non-clarity in technical points of the dam. He stressed for the need to ensure clarity in all technical points related to KBD before making decision to start its construction.

“Crystal clear technical aspects will definitely help ascertain whether dam is dangerous for any city or not and will it affect the water system/distribution among the provinces.” He added the KBD was solution to energy and water shortage and hoped the politicians would finally resolve the differences on it once all ambiguities and differences in technical points were removed.

Earlier, addressing the seminar organized by IEEEP, he said: “With sincere and continuous efforts of the present government, the power generation was no more an issue, however, the focus was on cost-effective generation to ensure provision of inexpensive electricity to consumers of all categories.

Khurram Dastgir said: "The nations, which entrusted responsibility of any project to experts/relevant individuals- be it engineers, doctors etc, developed themselves at a faster pace." The minister encouraged engineers to design at their own projects of Pakistan's development and prosperity of its people, assuring his full support to them in this regard.