Amritar, Apr 17 UNI | 3 months ago

Former Punjab Chief Minister and Congress candidate from Amritsar Capt Amarinder Singh has said that confidence building measures were needed with Pakistan for the success of Amritsar as an important trade centre, not only for trade with that country, but with the entire Central and West Asia.

He also called for a comprehensive national drug policy to fight the scourge of drugs, that is eating into the vitals of the young generation in Punjab.

Addressing a function organised by the Rotary Club Amritsar here last evening, Capt Singh pointed out, Amritsar had been a flourishing trade centre prior to the partition.

It was essential to have friendly relations between Pakistan and India, as only then, trade routes can open, he added.

Capt Singh said, if that happens, trade routes will open right up to the Central and West Asia, and not be confined to Pakistan alone.

The former Chief Minister cautioned that both the countries need to be careful as past experience has shown that whenever there was any attempt at confidence building measures, some serious act of terror took place and the entire process got derailed.

"While we need to tackle such incidents with an iron fist, at the same time we must not let peace between the two countries become a casualty and whenever that happens, we, the people of Punjab and particularly those living in border areas like Amritsar, get the worst affected," he pointed out.

While hoping that Congress-led UPA government will come to power at the Centre, he cautioned against the jingoistic rhetoric from BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, saying his approach was not at all towards peace as it looked like war mongering. "And that would be the worst thing to happen for the people of Amritsar as any possibility of the trade route opening up will be finished," he warned.

(Posted on 17-04-2014)