Pakistan defers decision on resuming trade with India

by Anadolu Agency


Pakistan on Thursday deferred its decision to allow imports of cotton and sugar from India until New Delhi reviews its 2019 move to revoke the disputed Kashmir region’s special status, the foreign minister said.

The decision was taken in a meeting of the Federal Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“The Cabinet resolved that this decision should be put off as it needs further deliberation,” Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in a video statement. “It was a consensus opinion that normalizing relations with India is not possible until it reviews the Aug. 5, 2019, unilateral decision on Kashmir.”

Pakistan’s Economic Coordination Committee, the country’s top economic decision-making body, on Wednesday gave the go-ahead for the imports, lifting nearly two years of trade suspension.

It came amid an apparent ease in tension between the two neighbors. In February, the militaries of both countries announced to honor the 2003 cease-fire agreement along a disputed border in Kashmir.

India and Pakistan control parts of the Himalayan region, but both claim it in full. Since they were partitioned in 1947, they have fought three wars, two of them over Kashmir.

On Aug. 5, 2019 the Indian government revoked Article 370 and other related provisions from its Constitution, scrapping the country’s only Muslim-majority state with its autonomy. It was also split into two federally administered territories.

Simultaneously, it locked the region down, detained thousands of people, imposed movement restrictions and enforced a communications blackout.

Islamabad, as a result, suspended trade ties and downgraded diplomatic relations with New Delhi.

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