Open Indo-Pak border at Hussainiwala for trade: Badal

India and Pakistan must look at opening the trade route through Hussainiwala border to herald a new era of economic development in the region and promote people-to-people contact in the sub continent, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said on Saturday.

Opening of this border was the need of the hour as it would promote trade activities between both the countries, which would be pivotal in the development of both the Pakistan Punjab and Indian Punjab, he added. He was addressing a galaxy of industrialists and delegates from India and Pakistan during an interactive session on Punjab-Punjab Cooperation organised by the Confederation of India Industry (CII) at Ludhiana. Pakistan Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, brother of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, was also present on the occasion.

He said that the issue has already been taken up with the Union Government and added that he was hopeful of a positive outcome on the issue. Badal, according to an official release, said the time has come when both these countries should, as a part of their confidence building measures, remove these physical barriers thereby allowing the free flow of trade and commercial activity.

He said that he was quite hopeful of a positive result if Shahbaz Sharif takes up this issue vigorously with Nawaz Sharif. “Then, this distant dream of both the Punjabs could soon turn into reality,” he said. Badal said if this border was opened the borders districts of both the countries would emerge as business hubs, thereby opening new vistas of economic activity. Besides, employment potential would also be generated.

He said that with the opening of Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Wagah border, the trade activity has started, “but it would get the much needed fillip only if the Hussainiwala border is also opened”. 

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