Pakistan’s return on Thursday came a day after the ECC, under newly appointed Finance Minister Hammad Azhar, recommended importing cotton and sugar from India, lifting a nearly two-year ban on its import from the neighboring country.
Prime Minister Imran Khan decided that Pakistan could not move forward with any trade with India in the current circumstances after holding consultations with key members of his Cabinet on importing cotton and sugar from the neighboring country, a media report said on Saturday.
Pakistan’s turn Thursday came a day after the ECC, under newly appointed Finance Minister Hammad Azhar, recommended importing cotton and sugar from India, lifting a nearly two-year ban on its import from the neighboring country amid tensions over the Kashmir affair.
Worldview with Suhasini Haidar India-Pakistan to resume trade?
The Prime Minister after consultations on Friday instructed the Ministry of Trade and his economic team to take immediate steps to facilitate the relevant sectors, value added, clothing and sugar, finding free alternative sources of import of necessary goods, dawn the newspaper quoted sources as saying.
Various proposals have been submitted to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) which considers these suggestions from an economic and trade point of view. Following the review by KED, its decisions are submitted to the Cabinet for ratification and final approval, the report said.
In the current case, a proposal was submitted to the ECC to allow the import of cotton, cotton yarn and sugar from India taking into account domestic requirements, he said.
Regarding the ECC decision to allow the import of sugar, cotton and cotton yarn from India, Khan held consultations with key members of his cabinet on Friday and decided that Pakistan could not move forward with any trade with India in the current circumstances. , he said.
The ECC had decided for commercial reasons to recommend these imports for cabinet review.
While the decision was not on the official agenda of the Cabinet meeting, the issue was raised by Cabinet members and the Prime Minister instructed that the EC decision be postponed and reviewed immediately, the report said.
The cabinet headed by Prime Minister Khan on Thursday rejected the proposal of the high-power committee to import cotton from India, with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi claiming there can be no normalization of ties until New Delhi changes its decision in 2019 to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Duty on Pakistan
India has said it wants normal neighborly relations with Pakistan in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence. India has said the burden is on Pakistan to create an environment free of terror and hostility.
India has also told Pakistan that talks and terror cannot go together and has urged Islamabad to take visible steps against terrorist groups responsible for launching various attacks on India.
The ECC decision had raised hopes for a partial revival of Pakistan-India bilateral trade relations, which were suspended following New Delhi’s August 5, 2019 decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
In May 2020, Pakistan lifted the ban on imports of medicines and essential medicines raw material from India amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
India’s move to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019 angered Pakistan, which cut diplomatic ties and expelled the Indian High Commissioner to Islamabad. Pakistan also cut all air and land connections with India and suspended trade and rail services.
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