As Pakistan Lifts Ban on Sugar, Cotton Imports From India, Qureshi Notes ‘Positive’ Sign

As Pakistan lifted its ban on import of cotton and sugar from India, the country’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that it was a positive sign that his Indian counterpart had not raised a finger at Pakistan in an international forum.

Pakistan Cabinet’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Wednesday permitted the import of sugar and cotton from India, which will partially rollback the suspension of trade ties by Pakistan government following India’s move to change Kashmir’s constitutional status in August 2019.

While trade ties may be slowly reviving, Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers did not hold any meetings or short ‘pull asides’ at the ‘Heart of Asia’ ministerial conference in Tajikistan, where both were in attendance.

On Tuesday night, Qureshi told Pakistani media said that the revival of the LoC ceasefire agreement, the Indian prime minister’s letter on Pakistan Day and the fact that Indian external affairs minister S. Jaishankar did not criticise Pakistan at the ‘Heart of Asia’ Conference, as he had on previous occasions, were “positive and productive developments”.

At the last ministerial conference in December 2019, Qureshi had left the hall when Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh had started his speech.

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