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Home / India / Devastating floods make Pakistan rethink Article 370 freeze

Devastating floods make Pakistan rethink Article 370 freeze

I want to say that we will consider importing through the land border with India because these prices (of vegetables) are not sustainable, says Miftah Ismail
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expresses condolences to the families of the victims, the injured and all those affected by this natural calamity and hope for an early restoration of normalcy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expresses condolences to the families of the victims, the injured and all those affected by this natural calamity and hope for an early restoration of normalcy.
File photo

Anita Joshua   |   New Delhi   |   Published 30.08.22, 02:48 AM

Pakistan on Monday said it could consider trade with India to help deal with potential food shortages as a result of the devastating floods that had destroyed crops across the country.

Islamabad had unilaterally ended trade ties with India in August 2019 in response to Delhi’s decision to dilute Article 370 and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir.

Finance minister Miftah Ismail was quoted by Radio Pakistan as saying: “We will open duty-free import… and I also want to say that we will consider importing through the land border with India because these prices (of vegetables) are not sustainable.”

Hours after Ismail’s remark, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed sadness at the devastation.

Modi tweeted: “Saddened to see the devastation caused by the floods in Pakistan. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, the injured and all those affected by this natural calamity and hope for an early restoration of normalcy.”

The Pakistan finance minister was responding to questions at a media conference in Islamabad. Ismail said he had already discussed this with the finance and commerce secretaries, and would put up a proposal to the Prime Minister soon.

Whether this will materialise or become a victim of politics again remains to be seen.

Although the PML(N) — which is in power at the federal level — has traditionally favoured trade with India, the party had opposed a move to open up trade ties in a limited manner in March 2021 when it was proposed by the economic coordination committee. Imran Khan was the Prime Minister then and the civilian administration had to roll back the decision.

More recently, when foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto had advocated re-engagement with India, his own ministry issued a clarification later stating that there was no change in Pakistan’s policy towards India on which there was a national consensus.



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