In U-Turn, Pak Govt Defers Plan to Import Indian Cotton, Sugar

The decision to reject the proposal was reportedly taken in Islamabad, at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Imran Khan.

Updated
World
2 min read
File photo of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan used for representational purposes.
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In a swift turnaround, Pakistan’s government on Thursday, 1 April, deferred an Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) suggestion to import cotton yarn and sugar from India, according to PTI.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Thursday said that the decision to import cotton and sugar from India has been deferred and normalisation of ties is impossible until decisions taken on 5 August 2019 (a reference to the abrogation of article 370) are reconsidered by India.

In 2019, after Jammu and Kashmir was made into a Union Territory, Islamabad had suspended trade and diplomatic ties with India.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed also told reporters that the decision had been "deferred" until India restored Kashmir's special status.

Geo TV reported that the Federal Cabinet meeting on Thursday, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan rejected the ECC suggestion to import cotton yarn and sugar from India.

The decision to reject the proposal was reportedly taken in Islamabad, at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, hours after the Minister for Human Rights, Shireen Mazari, said that the cabinet would review the ECC's decisions related to trade with India.

Taking to Twitter, the human rights minister highlighted that all of ECC’s decisions have to go through the Cabinet to be “approved by the government”.

“Today in the Cabinet there will be a discussion on ECC decisions, including trade with India, and then a government decision will be taken! The media should be aware of this at least,” the minister added in her tweet.

Shireen Mazari’s tweet.
Shireen Mazari’s tweet.
Photo: Twitter

Yesterday, according to Geo TV, Federal Finance Minister Hammad Azhar had announced the government's intention to import Indian sugar and cotton and Pakistan’s Economic Coordination Council, a prime decision-making body, had ‘allowed’ the import of Indian cotton, yarn, and sugar.

The decision was being viewed as an important milestone in the decades-long relationship between the two neighbouring countries.

Addressing a press conference, the Pakistani finance minister talked about the soaring prices of sugar in Pakistan, Geo TV reported.

(With inputs from PTI and Geo TV.)

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