On Friday, India declined to comment on Pakistan’s failure on plans to limit imports of sugar and cotton from the country. On Thursday, Pakistan’s Cabinet rejected a high-powered committee proposal to import cotton and sugar from India.
“We have seen reports on this. But it is evident that we are not the right party to whom this question should be directed,” said Arindam Bagchi, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MEA).
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said there was no normalization of relations until New Delhi canceled its decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. This comes days after the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) under newly appointed Finance Minister Hammad Azhar decided to buy two major goods from India, lifting their nearly two-year import ban from neighboring countries.
Bagchi said he had no information whatsoever about whether India planned to return Most Favored Nation (MFN) status to Pakistan. India revoked MFN status to Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attacks in 2019.
U-Turn Pakistan resumes Import of Cotton & Sugar from India
Pakistan has once again taken a detour and this time resumed imports from India. On March 26, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in his capacity as Minister of Trade presented a proposal to continue importing Cotton and Sugar from India at a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee.
But ironically it is the decision made by Imran Khan as Prime Minister of Pakistan. On April 1, Imran Khan’s cabinet took a turnaround and decided against agreeing to its own proposal. Pakistan says it needs reconsideration, while once again raising the issue of Repeal of Articles 370 and 35A in Jammu and Kashmir. Documents exclusively accessed by Republic World also show how Khan succumbed to pressure from the ISI and the Pakistani Army and rejected his own proposals.
The meeting with Jaishankar has not been ‘completed or requested’: Mr. FM Qureshi
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said so far no meeting had been “finalized or requested” with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar on the sidelines of Tuesday’s ‘Heart of Asia’ conference in the capital of Tajikistan, Dushanbe, according to media reports on Monday. . . As per the PTI report, when asked about media speculation that India and Pakistan have been quietly negotiating for a full resumption of diplomatic relations, Qureshi said, “There has been no such decision.” Jaishankar last week also did not provide a specific answer to the question of whether he would meet Qureshi on the sidelines of the conference.
“My scheduling is in progress. So far I don’t think there is any such meeting (scheduled),” he said at the Indian Economic Conclave in New Delhi on March 26.
‘Heart of Asia’
The conference was launched on 2 November 2011 in Turkey and has 15 countries as a part. It is a decade-old regional initiative on security and cooperation for a stable and peaceful Afghanistan. Most of the countries are neighbors to Afghanistan and West Asian nations such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are part of it. India hosted the same meeting in 2016 in Amritsar.
(With PTI Input))
(Image Credit: PTI / AP)