FICCI suggestions on Pakistan ‘irresponsible’: Kashmir business lobby

Srinagar/New Delhi Nov 16 ( India’s top industry lobby recommending hard military and economic counter-actions against Pakistan has drawn flak from a business body in Jammu and Kashmir which says its recommendations are “irresponsible and immature”.

The Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK), the state’s premier business body said the “Task Force report on National Security and Terrorism” brought out by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) last week was aimed at creating “hostility and will spell disaster of an unimaginable magnitude between India and Pakistan”.

The FICCI report details how Pakistan’s policies on terrorism and its military establishment infused with “jehadist” mindset would continue to threaten India’s surging economy and security in the coming years.

It recommends hard options to make “sponsorship of terrorism prohibitive for our neighbours”. For starters, the report suggests to “inflict economic pain” on Pakistan and conduct surgical strikes, targetting terror camps in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

“The FICCI should have devoted time in identifying and formulating policies for the economic prosperity of the country. It has unfortunately indulged in political gimmicks and that too with a gruesome mindset against the neighbouring country,” FCIK president Shakeel Qalandar told IANS in Srinagar.

In its report released last week, FICCI said: “Hard military and economic counter-actions should be the answer to Pakistan’s cross-border terror” while regretting that New Delhi’s response so far had been only “reactive and defensive”.

Qalandar said when the world economies were trying to build peace by creating business stakes, the FICCI is ironically advocating strategies that in turn would lead to war between the two countries.

“It is unfortunate that when the entire world is engaged in lobbying for resumption of talks between India and Pakistan through confidence building measures, including free travel and trade initiatives, FICCI is putting forward irresponsible and immature statements,” he said.

He said India had five times more a favourable balance in the bilateral trade with Pakistan and cessation of imports from Pakistan as suggested by the FICCI reflects the naivety of the business lobby’s task force.

He said that efforts needed to be made for equitable economic development through mutual help and support bringing all countries in the region closer and united to fight against any menace including terrorism.