Pakistan may lift ban on import of cotton, sugar from India

The frozen relations between India and Pakistan continue to grow warm as Islamabad’s top economic body has allowed the import of yarn and cotton from India, Reuters has reported.

Pakistan’s Economic Coordination Council also allowed import of 0.5 million tonnes of sugar from India, the news agency reported.

The development marks the resumption of trade between two arch-rivals after a gap of over two years and comes amid a series of confidence-building measures between India and Pakistan.

Pakistan had downgraded diplomatic relations and suspended bilateral trade with India in August 2019 after New Delhi revoked autonomy for the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The relations between India and Pakistan had continued to sour since February 2019 bombing in southern Kashmir’s Pulwama district which had led to airstrikes and dogfight.

However, the two nuclear-armed neighbors surprised the world last month with a rare joint commitment to respect a 2003 cease-fire agreement along the Line of Control in Kashmir.

The reiteration to ceasefire was followed by several confidence-building measures which included a rare statement by Pakistan’s Army chief Qamar Bajwa in which he said “it is time to bury the past”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi this month also wished his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan on Pakistan’s National Day, which marked the resumption of communication at the highest level.

In a letter addressed to Pakistan Prime Minister Khan, PM Modi said, “As neighbouring country, India desires cordial relations with the people of Pakistan. For this, an environment of trust, devoid of terror and hostility, is imperative.”

Khan on Tuesday wrote back to Narendra Modi and thanked him for the wishes on Pakistan day and stated that” enabling environment” should be created for “result-oriented dialogue”

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