Home Pakistan India Pakistan lets private sector import white sugar, cotton from India: Sources – Times of India

Pakistan lets private sector import white sugar, cotton from India: Sources – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Pakistan on Wednesday allowed the country’s private sector to import white sugar from India, signalling the revival of suspended trade tied between the two neighbours.
The news came amidst a series of diplomatic overtures to thaw ties between the two nations. The latest decision came a day after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote to his counterpart Narendra Modi underlining the primacy of the Kashmir issue for Pakistan and calling for the creation of an enabling environment for “result-oriented dialogue” with India.
On Wednesday, a top Pakistani economic body allowed the private sector to import 0.5 million tonnes of white sugar from India, Reuters reported quoting sources.
Pakistani buyers have already started making inquiries about buying Indian sugar and cotton, which is being offered at lower prices than supplies from other countries, five dealers told sources quoted by Reuters.
India is the world’s biggest producer of cotton and the second biggest sugar producer. Exports to its neighbour will reduce surpluses that are weighing on its local markets, while helping Pakistan to lower soaring sugar prices ahead of Ramadan.
Diplomatic sources also confirmed that a Pakistan Cabinet committee was likely to take up a proposal for reopening trade with India by allowing cotton imports from India.
Pakistan had shut all trade with India after the government revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019. If approved, the reopening of trade will be an important step forward, after the ceasefire breakthrough last month, in efforts to impart at least a semblance of normalcy to ties.
The ties between the two countries started thawing last month when both declared a ceasefire along the Line of Control and other sectors.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had written a letter to PM Khan extending greetings to the people of the country on the occasion of Pakistan Day.
Soon after the declaration of ceasefire, PM Khan, during his two-day visit to Sri Lanka, advocated dialogue as the way forward for the two nations.
“I didn’t succeed, but I am optimistic that eventually, common sense will prevail. The only way the subcontinent can tackle poverty is by improving trade relations. Let us live like civilised neighbours, just as the Europeans live,” he said while addressing the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Conference in Colombo
“Germany and France have fought multiple times, but today it is unthinkable for them to have a conflict because they are so interlinked due to trade. Similarly, my dream for the subcontinent is that we resolve our differences,” he said, adding that the Kashmir issue was the only reason for conflict in the region.
A day later on March 18, Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa said stable ties between Pakistan and India were the key to unlocking the full potential of south and central Asia and stressed that it was time for the countries to “bury the past and move forward”.
“Stable Indo-Pak relations are the key to unlocking the potential of south and central Asia by ensuring connectivity between east and west Asia. But this potential has always remained hostage to the disputes and issues between the two nuclear neighbours,” Gen Bajwa said at the National Security Dialogue in Islamabad.
(With inputs from agencies)

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