‘Trade is the only way to progress’


Senate Chairman Nayyar Bokhari has urged the SAARC countries to fully exploit their potentials for rising together as a region that can lead to ultimate peace, progress and prosperity for its people.
He was expressing these views in a meeting with the new ambassador of Nepal to Pakistan Bharat Raj Paudyal who called on him at the Parliament House.
The Senate chairman said Pakistan attaches great value to its relations with Nepal, which are based on mutual respect and trust. The chairman said that there was a dire need to enhance people-to-people contacts between the two nations via exchange of parliamentary, business and other delegations. Such direct interactions can lead to better understanding and networking for mutual benefits, he said.
The Senate chairman said, “Exchange of parliamentary delegations are vital for strengthening our relations as elected representatives of the respective countries can better communicate the will and wishes of their people.”
Bokhari stressed the need for enhancing cooperation in various fields particularly increasing bilateral trade volume and strengthening economic ties. He said the SAARC countries should follow suit like EU and ASEAN model for strong economic and trade relations. He told the ambassador that Pakistan can export rice, wheat, mangoes, citrus fruit and textile products to Nepal.
The Nepalese ambassador said, “I convey warm wishes of our leaders, civil society and business people to their Pakistani counterparts. Since establishment of our diplomatic relations in 1960, Pak-Nepal ties have been moving forward.” Bharat Raj said that potential for cooperation between the two countries is under-utilised and it is high time that it is placed at high priority.”
The ambassador said, “We have bilateral trade agreements and Pakistani businessmen have held single-country exhibition in Kathmandu for three consecutive years and Nepal wants this reciprocity from Pakistan to introduce its products as well.
He told the chairman that Nepal produces good quality tea which can be exported to Pakistan as Pakistanis are high consumers of tea.
Answering a query by the ambassador regarding the upcoming election in Pakistan, the chairman said the existing parliament will complete its tenure by March 2013 and the elections are likely to be held around that time. However, this is the discretion of the prime minister to advise the president for the election date. The chairman said that in democracy it is the domain of the people to exercise their authority to decide who will rule them, adding free, fair and transparent elections is priority of the present government.