Pakistani FM indicated it may import from India: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif effectively ruled out the possibility and attempted to tie the matter to the situation in Jammu and Kashmir the day after Pakistan‘s finance minister suggested Islamabad might consider importing food from India to address shortages brought on by the country’s devastating floods.
The incident also occurred a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed sorrow over the destruction brought on by the floods in Pakistan and sent his sympathies to those impacted by the disaster. Sparking expectations for potential collaboration between the two nations.
When Sharif met the foreign media on the terrible floods that have caused more than 1,000 lives and displaced 33 million people in Islamabad on Tuesday. He bombarded with questions about potential food shipments and the restart of commerce with India.
“Trading with India won’t have presented any issues. But genocide is taking on there, and Kashmiris are being denied their rights. By eliminating Article 370, Kashmir has been forcefully annexed, according to Sharif, alluding to India’s plan in 2019 to abolish Jammu & Kashmir’s unique status and divide the once-state into two union regions.
But I’m willing to have a conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. War is expensive. Sharif remarked that we would have to devote our limited funds to reducing poverty in our nations. But without tackling these problems, we cannot live in peace.
“We shouldn’t be engaging in politics at this time. But it is true that minority rights suppressed in India,” he said.
We favor regional tranquility. We did not choose to be neighbors.
Sharif emphasized that only “reasonable acts” may bring about peace.
Indian authorities did not immediately respond to Sharif’s comments.
In a TV interview on Monday, Pakistan’s finance minister, Miftah Ismail, said that his nation should look into importing vegetables and other food goods from India. To assist its citizens in dealing with the extensive crop loss brought on by flash floods.
“Vegetable imports will need to allow if the supply compromised. Ismail was cited as stating, “If we have to import veggies from India, we will do so.
Pakistan cut down all commerce with India in August 2019 as part of retaliatory steps after New Delhi’s move to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. Additionally, Pakistan downgraded its diplomatic relations with India and removed its representative in Islamabad.
The Most Favoured Nation designation for Pakistan removed by India earlier this year as part of its reaction to the Pulwama suicide assault. Which claimed the lives of 40 Indian soldiers. Jaish-e-Mohammed from Pakistan accused of carrying out the assault (JeM).
The former Imran Khan-led administration launched a small endeavor to resume commerce with India in April 2021. But it quickly abandoned because of resistance from hardliners in the cabinet.
According to those with knowledge of the situation, Pakistan is currently considering importing wheat from Russia. And vegetables and other food goods from Iran and Afghanistan.
Sharif has formed a group under planning minister Ahsan Iqbal to combat acute shortages to investigate potential methods for importing food commodities, particularly vegetables.