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Pak finance minister hopes ties with India will improve after polls

Press Trust of India  |  Islamabad 

Pakistan's Monday expressed hope that ties with will improve after the as he underlined the need to increase regional trade and improve relations with neighbouring

The in his address to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in talked at length about his vision to build trade relations with all neighbouring

He said experts mostly from the western world rightly believe that increase in the regional trade including between and is important. But added that it was not immediately possible due to factor in Indian elections.

"As far as the east (India) is concerned, it seems that (there can be no progress) until elections are over in Half of their election campaigns are based on anti-rhetoric, so right now they are busy with that. Once the elections are over, we hope that their behaviour will be better," he said.

The Indo-Pak ties strained after the terror attacks by Pakistan-based terrorists in 2016 and India's surgical strikes inside Pakistan-occupied The ties further nose-dived in 2017 with no bilateral talks talking place between them.

India has made it clear to Pakistan that talks and terrorism cannot go together.

Umar said that Pakistan was looking to also deepen trade relations with and

Umar said trade ties with were moving upward due to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor but it was not enough as Pakistan needed "to improve relations and boost trade with (in) both the west and east of the region."

The minister said that Pakistan and were working on a strategic economic framework to build long term economic ties. He said Pakistan wanted that should also become part of the framework.

He said Pakistan would facilitate to reach India and and conversely use for trade with

The minister also commented on the Afghan peace process and said that "Pakistan should play whatever role it can" in ensuring peace in the neighbouring country.

The finance minister also said Pakistan was in favour of peace in as it there would be no peace in Pakistan unless there was peace in

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 11 2019. 20:10 IST