Pakistan minister says ‘seriously’ considering to restore trade ties with India

The trade ties remain suspended since August 2019

Pakistan India trade ties Pakistan Foreign Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar

Gesturing a potential shift in diplomatic stance, Foreign Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar said that Pakistan will seriously consider restoring trade ties with India.

While speaking at a press conference in London, Dar highlighted the eagerness of Pakistan's business community to resume trade activities with India, reported Geo News. 

"Pakistani businessmen want trade with India to resume...We will seriously look into matters of trade with India,” Dar was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune newspaper.

After the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, Pakistan downgraded its diplomatic ties with New Delhi. Since August 2019, the trade tied with neighbouring nations remains suspended.

The chances of trade with India remain elusive due to a lack of consensus among the stakeholders regarding the restoration of trade relations between the two neighbours, The Express Tribune newspaper reported, quoting sources familiar with the development.

Reportedly, there was no concrete proposal on the table at this stage regarding the resumption of trade ties between Pakistan and India.

Meanwhile, it seems there are differences of opinion regarding the move among the stakeholders with some favouring the current status quo. However, others take a pragmatic and realistic view considering Pakistan’s debt profile. It is believed that resuming trade ties with India could help Pakistan mitigate its economic woes. 

Also, a study conducted by an international financial institution spoke of the great trade potential between Pakistan and India. The study shows that the true trade potential between Pakistan and India could be over $25 billion.

With elections in India, a clear picture regarding the move would emerge only once a new government is in place in New Delhi in June. 

Despite tensions, the two countries agreed to renew the 2003 ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control (LoC) in February 2021.

Also lately Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Shehbaz Sharif on becoming the head of Pakistan's government, prompting hopes for a diplomatic thaw.

Sharif responded days later with an equally curt post, thanking Modi for his felicitations.

The Sharif-led coalition government came to power after the February 8 elections but it began its tenure with a dwindling economy which needs immediate improvement. 

(With PTI inputs) 


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