Is trade between Pakistan and India going to resume?

The federal cabinet on Tuesday approved the deployment of trade officers in 15 countries, including India.
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s federal cabinet has decided to appoint a trade minister despite the suspension of trade with India.
Apart from India, approval has been given to deploy trade officers in Afghanistan, Turkey, France, USA, Germany, Bangladesh, Iran and China.

It should be noted that Pakistan had announced the suspension of trade in August 2019 after India passed legislation to end the special status of Kashmir.
Following this decision, in April 2021, the Economic Co-ordination Committee sent a summary of the import of cotton and sugar from India to the Federal Cabinet, which was rejected by the Cabinet of former Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The then Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced not to resume trade with India until Kashmir’s special status was restored.
In addition, Pakistan’s federal cabinet had once given permission to import life-saving drugs from India.
After the approval of Shahbaz Sharif’s cabinet to appoint a trade officer in India, the question is being raised once again whether trade between Pakistan and India is going to be restored.
Indian media has also reported that Pakistan has softened its stance on trade with India.

Position of the Ministry of Commerce
Officials of the Ministry of Commerce told Urdu News in this regard that “no change has been made in the policy of doing business with India at present. The appointment of a trade officer in India is a normal procedure.”

According to officials, the current deployment should not be seen in the context of resumption of trade between India and Pakistan. This deployment has nothing to do with trade resumption.
Officials said a unilateral decision to resume trade with India could not be taken. Trade resumption will be decided after consultation with all stakeholders. So far no progress has been made.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Commerce has also issued an explanatory statement in this regard. According to the statement, the federal cabinet has approved the appointment of a trade officer in New Delhi as per the summary sent to the previous government.

“The post of Minister of Investment and Trade in New Delhi has been in place for two decades and its appointment has nothing to do with resumption of trade with India,” the statement said.
In a statement, the Commerce Ministry said, “The Ministry of Commerce oversees trade missions in 46 countries, including India, and the previous government sent a summary of current deployments in 15 countries to the Prime Minister’s Office on April 1.”

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