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Pakistan says no change in its trade policy with India, despite appointment of trade officer for New Delhi

In recent months, several prominent people in Pakistan, including officials and businessmen, have been advocating the resumption of trade ties with India which, they said, could greatly help the country’s ailing economy

May 12, 2022
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The Pakistan government has clarified that there are no changes in their existing trade policy with India, putting an end to speculation regarding the resumption of trade ties with New Delhi, a day after the new government appointed trade and investment ministers for their embassies, including one in India.

Trade ties between the two countries remain frozen since August 2019, when Islamabad suspended trade with India among other steps in reaction to New Delhi’s ending the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. However, of late, there have been growing talks inside Pakistan regarding the resumptions of trade tries.

“There is no change in Pakistan’s policy on trade with India,” the Commerce Ministry said in a statement released on Thursday in a clarification that came a day after the government cleared the names for trade and investment officers/ministers.

“The post in New Delhi exists for more than two decades and has no connection with the operationalization of trade with India or otherwise in the current context," the statement added. The ministry manages 57 trade missions in 46 countries which include the post of minister (trade and investment) in New Delhi.

In recent months, several prominent people in Pakistan, including officials and businessmen, have been advocating the resumption of trade ties with India which, they said, could greatly help the country’s ailing economy.

In February this year, a senior official of the ministry called the trade ties with India “extremely beneficial.”

“The trade with India is very beneficial to all, especially Pakistan. And I support it,” Abdul Razak Dawood, who was a special advisor to then-Prime Minister Imran Khan on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production, and Investment, said. [Read More]

“As far as the ministry of commerce is concerned, its position is to do trade with India. And my stance is that we should do trade with India and it should be opened now,” he said. 
Significantly, Pakistan’s National Security Policy, unveiled earlier this year, also suggested the country avoid hostility with India for the next 100 years and decouple trade and business ties with the final settlement of the Kashmir issue. [Read More]

Earlier, a Pakistan billionaire businessman, Mian Muhammad Mansha, also highlighted the urgency to resume trade with India.

“There are no permanent enemies... we need to resolve things with India,” Mansha said, recalling that over 50—60 percent of Pakistan’s total trade was with India before the 1965 war. 

“If the economy does not improve, [Pakistan] may face disastrous consequences. Pakistan should improve trade relations with India and take a regional approach to economic development,” Mansha added.

  (SAM)

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