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If Karachi and Mumbai could trade, why not Amritsar and Lahore, says a congress minister

If there could be a flourishing trade between Mumbai and Karachi through both the port cities though they are 1200 Kilometers apart, there is no rationale in blocking trade between Amritsar and Lahore Punjab state minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said at the concluding day of the Annual Punjab International Trade Fair PITEX 2017 at Amritsar on December eleven

Expressing disappointment over the current scenario of trade relations between subcontinent's two oldest cities which are at stone's throw distance from each other Mr Sidhu said he had raised the issue while he was a member of parliament several times. There is resistance in opening up of the land border across Attari he said.

The Punjab government’s request that Pakistan traders be allowed to participate in the fair was turned down by the Centre. It was the 12th edition of the fair and this was the second year in a row that Pakistan traders were not allowed.

Without making any specific mention about the absence of Pakistani traders in PITEX, Sidhu said, “Mumbai and Karachi are separated by 1,200 km but trade doesn’t stop for a minute between both cities. On the other hand, if you throw a stone from Amritsar, it will reach Lahore. Such is the proximity of both cites. But our trade is all closed. This is deliberate mechanism that we need to fight against.”

He added, “I have raised the issue of trade corridor in Parliament four times. If we don’t make any concentrated efforts, we will keep on suffering.”

Jammu and Kashmir state was adjudged the best state during valedictory ceremony of Punjab International Trade Expo PITEX 2017 . The award, said a spokesman, was given in recognition of the policies adopted by the state in general and the directorate of handicrafts in particular for the benefit of the artisan community.

The presentation and discipline maintained by J&K stalls during the exhibition was also appreciated. The award was received by Zahoor Ahmad, an official with the handicrafts department.


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