In a significant development, Karachi Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday cancelled Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan Gautam Bambawale’s event at the last minute, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s veiled yet sharp attack on the neighbouring country. According to reports, Bambawale was to speak at Karachi Chamber of Commerce but the event was cancelled at the last moment. The organisers did not give a reason immediately for the cancellation.
At an interactive session organised by the Karachi Council on Foreign Relations yesterday, Bambawale lashed out at Pakistan asking it to “focus on resolving its problems before looking into the problems of other countries” and described Kashmir issue as India’s internal matter. “There are problems in both India and Pakistan and you [Pakistan] should focus on resolving your problems before looking into the problems of other countries,” he said.
Bambawale, however, pitched for the normalisation of Pakistan-India relations by laying through greater trade and business. The total trade between the two countries was worth just $2.5 billion a year, whereas its potential was of $20bn, he had said.
Karachi Chamber of Commerce’s decison came at a time when there are reports that Narendra Modi is looking forward to visiting Pakistan for SAARC summit even as the government on Tuesday clarified that no decision has been taken so far in the regard.
It was Bambawale who had suggested, “I can’t say about the future but as of today Prime Minister Modi is looking forward to visiting Islamabad for the Saarc summit in November.”
The rising tensions between India and Pakistan, particularly over Jammu and Kashmir became the focal point at G 20 Summit. Now, it will be interesting to see how Indian business fraternity responds to the Pakistani trade body’s decision and how much impact it will have on the bilateral-relationship and dynamics of Indo-Pakistan trade.