Peace process with Pak to start soon: Deshpande

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Chennai, Apr 5 (UNI) Noting that India was trying its level best to improue its ties with neighbouring countries, especially Pakistan, eminent Gandhian and social activist Nirmala Deshpande, today said the dialogue process with Pakistan will start soon.

Talking to newspersons here, she said ''India is keen to have better relationship with Pakistan, especially after democracy was restored there...This (peace process) will pave the way for better economic ties between both the countries.'' Pointing out that SAARC was not moving as fast as the European Union (EU), Ms Deshpande informed that the civil society across South Asia was taking the initative to establish South Asian Union (SAU) like EU.

''If SAU is launched with a common currency, there would be free trade, technology exchanges and development in various fields,'' she observed.

Hailing the developments in Nepal especially the proposed elections, the activist said, ''Let's hope that polls take place peacefully for the restoration of democracy.'' The election process itself was a good sign.

''Once democracy is restored in Nepal, India will go ahead and hold talks with the new Government in Nepal for better economic ties,'' she added.

Ms Deshpande said some drastic steps have to be taken to reduce poverty in the country as more than 70 per cent of the people fell under the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category.

UNI SNR GD RR RN1418

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