As India-Pak relations ease, limited trade may resume

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After hostile face off since the Pulwama attacks, the easing of relations between India and Pakistan could set the ball rolling on the trade front. Sources familiar with the development said that initial talks have begun.

While Pakistani textile exporters have already urged Islamabad to allow import of cotton from India, sources said that other key raw materials such as chemicals and plastic could also be shipped to the south Asian country.Indications are that Pakistan may even start imports of cement and steel, sources said. Since the Pulwama attack, relations between the two countries nosedived and all trade activities had come to a halt.

“The Pakistan economy has been severely impacted due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the country’s debt level has surged. It only makes sense for Pakistan to start imports from India as it gives a huge freight advantage,” an analyst said.

In a major shift of policies, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa said that New Delhi and Islamabad must “bury the past and move forward”.

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