Wednesday, August 31, 2022
As the losses caused by the catastrophic floods in Pakistan trigger a food shortage and price hike in the country, the government seems to be seriously mulling over opening bilateral trade of food items with India.
The finance minister said that more than one international agency has sought the government's permission to import food items from India through its land border. He, however, said that the government will make a decision on whether to open Pakistan-India trade after holding consultation with its coalition partners and stakeholders.
"More than one international agency has approached the govt to allow them to bring food items from India through the land border. The govt will take the decision to allow imports or not based on supply shortage position, after consulting its coalition partners and key stakeholders," he tweeted.
Pakistan will relax its trade restrictions three years after Islamabad downgraded trade ties with India over its decision to revoke Article 370 that granted a special status to Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019.
The minister had initially hinted at considering to import vegetables from arch-rival India to mitigate flood fallout. He, however, said that Turkey and Iran could also be other options.
Miftah said the government can consider importing vegetables and other edible items from India for the facilitation of the people in wake of the destruction of standing crops in Pakistan.
Responding to the statement, senior PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said that his party will not let the flood emergency be an opportunity to open trade with India.
Taking to Twitter, Fawad said that the actions of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are not only anti-Muslim but also against humanitarian values.
"Pakistan-India trade cannot take place with these actions in place. [We] strongly oppose such decisions. Loyalty with the blood of Kashmiris is a must," he wrote.