Congress candidate Amarinder Singh today said there was need for confidence building measures with Pakistan for Amritsar to become a trade hub and it will open India's trade route not only to the neighbouring country but Central and West Asia.
"Prior to partition, Amritsar was a flourishing trade centre. It was essential that there was friendly relations between Pakistan and India as only then trade routes could be opened," he said while addressing a function here.
He said, if it happens, the trade routes would open right up to the Central and West Asia and not be confined to Pakistan alone.
The former Punjab chief minister cautioned that both the countries need to be careful as past experience has shown that whenever there was any attempts at CBMs, some terror acts took place and the entire process got derailed.
"While we need to tackle such incidents with an iron hand, at the same time we must not let peace between the two countries become casualty and whenever that happens we, the people of Punjab and particularly those living in border areas like Amritsar get the worst affected," he pointed out.
While hoping that Congress-led UPA government will come to power at the Centre, he cautioned against the jingoistic rhetoric from BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi saying, his approach was not at all towards peace and looked like war mongering.
"And that would be the worst thing to happen for the people of Amritsar as any possibility of the trade route opening up will be hit,' he warned.
Singh also called for a comprehensive National Drug Policy to fight drug menace, which has badly hit the youth of Punjab.
He said, three prime factors were responsible for this.
One, smuggling of drugs, like opium from Afghanistan through Pakistan; second, flow of drugs from states like Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan where certain narcotic drugs can be traded after government licence and, third and dangerous one was the synthetic drugs being manufactured in Punjab with the alleged "patronage of the ruling family".