Pakistan makes U-turn; refuses to import Indian cotton, sugarLast updated on Apr 01, 2021, 10:46 pm
Just a day after Pakistan agreed to import cotton and sugar from India, the country on Thursday backtracked on its decision.
Reportedly, Pakistan's Cabinet on Thursday dismissed a proposal of its Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) to import cotton and sugar from India.
On Wednesday, Pakistan had announced that a nearly-two-year-old ban on the import of cotton and sugar from India would be lifted.
Imran Khan's close aide says, 'No trade with India'
Following a Cabinet meeting chaired by Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari tweeted: "Cabinet stated clearly NO trade with India."
Khan said there can be "no normalization of relations with India" until Jammu and Kashmir is granted its special status, Mazari said.
Khan's close aide, Mazari is popular for her hawkish stand on Kashmir.
Statements by Pakistan Ministers on this issue
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Thursday said the decision to import cotton and sugar from India has been deferred.
Qureshi said ties with India are impossible until decisions taken on August 5, 2019—when India had repealed J&K's special status—are reconsidered by India.
Reportedly, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed also said the decision had been "deferred" until India restored Kashmir's special status.
Development comes as Indo-Pak ties were looking up
Pakistan's latest decision comes as there was speculation of the betterment of ties between India and Pakistan.
Earlier this year, militaries of both the countries had released a joint statement pledging to observe the 2003 ceasefire pact along the Line of Control (LoC).
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also written to Khan on Pakistan's National Day on March 23, to which, he replied.
Cross-border trade would have been beneficial
Pakistan's new Finance Minister Hammad Azhar had earlier said that Indian sugar was currently the cheapest in the world and Indian cotton imports would bridge the raw material shortfall for the textile sector.
India is the world's biggest producer of cotton and the second-biggest sugar producer.
Export of these two items would have helped Pakistan lower soaring sugar prices ahead of Ramadan.