Amritsar (Punjab), October 12 : Amritsar MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla on Monday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to consider the opening of diplomatic channels for the resumption of trade with Pakistan and allow agricultural products from East Punjab to get market access in Pakistan.
“With the opening of the Kartarpur corridor, the possibility of looking at bilateral relations from a different perspective had emerged. It is worth considering whether Punjab can be made centre to the India-Pakistan relationship fortifying trade route running through Punjab. This would allow agricultural products originating in Indian Punjab to get preferential market access in Pakistan, thus benefiting the farmers of Punjab,” Aujla said in his letter.
He also said that bilateral trade between India and Pakistan is today languishing at around $2.5 billion annually, while the potential, according to the World Bank, is $37 billion.
“In order to give a fresh start to agriculture and economic rejuvenation of the region, I request your good office to consider the opening of diplomatic channels for the resumption of trade and also for a fresh trade policy more acceptable in the post-pandemic world,” he added.
He said a handful of Afghan trucks crossing the border are not enough to keep porters and traders near the check-posts economically engaged. Amritsar’s local economy has suffered a net loss of nearly Rs 30 crore earned every month from this border trade.