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India proposes to develop 13 integrated check-posts at its borders to facilitate connectivity amongst SAARC countries.

ISLAMABAD, December 08, 2010 (Balochistan Times): India has proposed to develop 13 integrated check-posts at its borders to facilitate connectivity among SAARC countries as well as two regional agreements on Motor Vehicles and Railways for running a demonstration container train from Bangladesh to Pakistan via India, Nepal; and eventually onwards to Afghanistan. The proposals were made by Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Sharat Sabharwal who, spoke at the inaugural session of the seminar on Intra-regional Connectivity in South Asia: Challenges and Prospects organized by the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry earlier Wednesday to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation. The High Commissioner recalled that at the first SAARC Summit in Dhaka in 1985, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had described the establishment of SAARC as an act of faith. Speaking at the 16th SAARC Summit in Thimphu on April 28, 2010, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh said that based on the experience so far, it could be affirmed that this was also an act of great foresight and statesmanship. Mr. Sabharwal said that SAARC had started cooperation in many important areas. He mentioned in particular the SAARC Development Fund, the Food Bank, the South Asian Free Trade Agreement and the South Asian University as a few examples. He also recalled Dr. Manmohan Singhs vision of inclusive growth in South Asia both within the member countries and for the South Asian region as a whole. He said that in Thimphu, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh called for turning South Asia into a region that is better connected, better empowered, better fed and better educated. The High Commissioner recalled that at the 14th SAARC Summit in New Delhi in April, 2007, a decision was taken to convene an Intergovernmental meeting to recommend specific measures to enhance Multimodal connectivity, including air, sea and surface transport, with a view to deepening and consolidating regional integration. He said that when the issue of Indias connectivity westwards through the Pakistani territory comes up, a question is raised by some whether India would be willing to provide similar connectivity to Pakistan through its territory to other SAARC countries. In this context, he mentioned that India has participated actively and with a positive attitude in the deliberations of SAARC member countries to develop intra-regional connectivity, including through the Indian territory. He referred, in particular, to the two regional agreements on Motor Vehicles and Railways proposed by India as well as Indias Concept Paper for running a demonstration container train from Bangladesh to Pakistan via India, Nepal; and eventually onwards to Afghanistan. He expressed the hope that Pakistan would overcome its reservations on the Motor Vehicles Agreement and the container train proposal sooner than later, so that these ideas could move forward. Mr. Sabharwal said that to facilitate connectivity among SAARC countries, India proposes to develop 13 integrated check-posts at its border with different SAARC countries at a cost of 6.35 billion Indian Rupees. Four of these check-posts will be on the Indo-Nepal border, seven at the Indo-Bangladesh border, one at Indo-Bhutan border and one at Attari on the Indo-Pakistan border. Work on the check-post at Attari, which will have the most modern facilities for flow of goods and passenger traffic, commenced in February, 2010 and will be completed next year at a cost of 1.5 billion Indian Rupees.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9BANG
Date:Dec 8, 2010
Words:561
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