The ban on trade with India may be lifted soon as the recent correspondence between the premiers of both countries seemed to have thawed the icy bilateral relations.
Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, conveyed his well-wishes in a message to Prime Minister Imran Khan on March 20, 2021, after PM Imran tested positive for COVID-19. In response to this, PM Imran responded by thanking him and all those who sent him good wishes.
Modi also sent a letter to Prime Minister Khan on the Pakistan Resolution Day, saying that India desires cordial relations with “the people of Pakistan.” After the suspension of trade with India in 2019, Pakistan has now imported life-saving drugs from India.
A further indication of improvement between both countries came from a statement by Prime Minister’s Advisor on Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood.
Speaking to a media outlet, he said, “Since the recent thawing began, the Prime Minister is in isolation being COVID positive. I haven’t talked to him as I don’t want to disturb him. I sincerely hope that trade with India will start again. Trade should be separated from politics.”
Last week, Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, while speaking at Islamabad Security Dialogue, said, “It is time to bury the past and move forward.”
Pakistan imposed a ban on trade with India on August 10, 2019, after the escalation of violations on the Line of Control and Working Boundary. New Delhi also withdrew the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status from Pakistan after the Pulwama incident.
However, even before the suspension, the bilateral trade between India and Pakistan had been below $2 billion.
Now, with improvement on the horizon between the two neighbors, Dawood also said that a decision on the import of cotton from India through the land route is expected soon.