Islamabad, Feb 6 (IANS) Pakistan is hopeful there will be a better environment to pursue peace talks with India after the ongoing state assembly elections in five states there are over, a Minister has said.
Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal, in an interview with the Voice of America, said that by March the state elections would be over in India and there would be a better environment to pursue peace talks.
“In our elections India is not an issue, nobody speaks about India, nobody does any India-bashing, but somehow we feel that the electoral dynamics in India are still quite sensitive to Pakistan-bashing. So whenever you have an electoral process in India, the government takes a certain hawkish position towards Pakistan,” Iqbal said.
In reply to a question, Iqbal said: “I think we should be mature enough to think beyond that; India and Pakistan have to live together, we cannot change our geography, and we must think in terms of peace.”
Terming India’s reaction to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project “knee-jerk”, the Minister said New Delhi needed to look at CPEC as an opportunity to enhance regional cooperation.
“If you are doing trade through CPEC you can reach out to any destination in China from this area. So we are very hopeful and we continue to work to normalise our relations with India,” Iqbal said.