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Gilani says 'best friend' China's advised Pak to augment trade ties with India

Lahore, Mon, 09 Apr 2012 ANI

Lahore, Apr 9(ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that their 'best friend' China has advised his country to augment trade ties with India.

"Our best friend China, whose own trade volume with India has touched $70 billion mark, has advised us to promote trade relations with India," The Nation quoted him, as saying.

He described Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's recent visit to India as "very successful and important" and added that opening of trade with India will promote stability in the region.

Gilani said that trade relations will be expanded to include Afghanistan and Iran as well by giving transit facility to India and added that China will also become an active trade partner with these countries.

He said enhanced trade among the regional countries would help promote stability and bring about peace in the region through amicable resolution of contentious issues.

"Progress on balance of trade with India, Pak-Afghan Transit Trade and energy projects with Iran will help the country achieve the cherished goal of stability in the region" he added.

He said all political parties, including the PML-N were in favour of establishing sound relations with India.

On being asked if Pakistan's military establishment was also on board over this fresh thaw of ice between both states, he dodged the question by saying "they should be supportive of the government initiatives in this regard". (ANI)

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