ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf (PTI) government has taken a U Turn on trade with India less than 24 hours after the newly appointed finance minister, Hammad Azhar had mentioned that Pakistan would import sugar, cotton and wheat from India.
The government dismissed normalising relations with India till New Delhi revokes it’s August 5, 2019, decision regarding the special status of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
This decision to turn down the proposal was taken in a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the decision to import cotton and yarn from Indian came under discussion in the cabinet.
“Following a debate on the matter, the federal cabinet [has] delayed the decision,” he said, adding that until India does not revoke its August 5, 2019 decision, normalisation of relations is out of the question.
The decision to import commodities from India was seen as an important milestone in the slowly warming ties between the two neighbouring countries.
The minister, in his first press conference since being given the finance portfolio, had spoken about the high prices of sugar in Pakistan, noting that the government had allowed sugar to be imported from other countries, but the price of the commodity in the supplier countries had risen considerably.
“However, in our neighbouring country India, the price of sugar is quite cheap,” he said. “Hence, we have decided to resume sugar trade with India”.
Senior journalist Kamran Khan who was considered to be close to PM Khan in the past found it humorous that PM Khan didn’t even that the Ministry of Commerce and ECC has approved the import from India.