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Pakistan govt to seriously contemplate the resumption of bilateral trade with India, says FM Ishaq Dar
Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Pakistan govt to seriously contemplate the resumption of bilateral trade with India, says FM Ishaq Dar

| @indiablooms | 24 Mar 2024, 04:54 pm

New Delhi: Pakistan's Foreign Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar has revealed Pakistan’s intention to carefully contemplate the resumption of trade relations with India, which have been inactive since August 2019, media reports said.

Dar was speaking at a press briefing in London on Saturday after attending the Nuclear Energy Summit in Brussels, reported Geo News.

The remarks indicate a possible change in diplomatic approach towards India, said the report.

The suspension of trade relations with India has badly impacted Pakistan’s business community, which has been struggling amid the poor financial condition of the country.

Dar said Pakistan’s cash-strapped business community is eager to begin trade with India which has been on pause for a long time.

Pakistan will consider restoring trade ties with India, he said.

We will seriously look into matters of trade with India, Dar was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune newspaper.

The development comes under the shadow of Pakistan’s persistent assertions that India reverses its "unilateral" actions in Kashmir as a prerequisite for initiating bilateral dialogues.

It downgraded diplomatic relations with New Delhi after the Indian government abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, which revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and divided the state into two Union Territories.

Islamabad has stated that this decision halted the possibility of conducting discussions between the two nations and has consistently maintained that it is India's responsibility to initiate steps to improve relations.

India has rejected Pakistan's attempts to set prerequisites for bilateral dialogues and clarified that the whole of the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are integral and inseparable parts of the country.

New Delhi has made it clear that the constitutional actions taken by the Indian government to promote socio-economic development and effective governance in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir are internal matters of India.

India has consistently stated its desire for normal and friendly relations with Pakistan while emphasising that the responsibility lies with Islamabad to create an atmosphere free from terrorism and hostility for such engagement to occur. Despite tense relations, India and Pakistan decided to renew the 2003 ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control (LoC) in February 2021.

After Shehbaz Sharif took oath as the prime minister of Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated him in a post on X, prompting hopes for improvement in the bilateral ties.

Sharif responded to Modi’s congratulatory message only days later with an equally curt post, thanking Modi for his greetings.

The coalition government led by Sharif assumed power after the February 8 elections, but amidst an economic downturn that requires emergency measures.

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