Security networks’ distrust of increased business dealings is counter-productive, warns Pakistani PM’s brother
The powerful brother of Pakistan‘s prime minister has warned the military establishments of both India and Pakistan not to block efforts to sweep aside trade barriers between the two distrustful neighbours.
On Indian affairs Shahbaz Sharif, the chief minister of Punjab, is widely seen as the de facto Pakistani foreign minister, conducting diplomatic missions to Delhi on behalf of his brother Nawaz Sharif, the prime minister.
But speaking to the Guardian he warned that distrustful “security agencies” in both Pakistan and India were one of the two main “blockages” holding back plans to liberalise trade, which the Sharifs believe will provide a desperately needed boost to Pakistan’s moribund economy.
“Security agencies on both sides need to really understand that in today’s world, a security-led vision is obviously driven by economic security,” he said. “Unless you have economic security then you can’t have general security.”
While the Sharif brothers, in common with most mainstream politicians in Pakistan, are impatient for a rapprochement with India, the military is far more wary.