Will India-Pakistan trade resume anytime soon?

Will India-Pakistan trade resume anytime soon?

Two Indian High Commission staff in Pak go missing.

MAHUA VENKATESH New Delhi, April 19: Amid rising chorus within Pakistan's business community that trade between New Delhi and Islamabad should resume at the earliest, the Narendra Modi government has adopted a wait and watch policy for now. Sources said that trade between the two countries may not resume immediately. "The new government has just come to power in Pakistan, there have been some positive moves but decisions on resumption of trade cannot be taken immediately. New Delhi will wait and watch," an insider told India Narrative. Sources added that the final decision will be driven by Pakistan's all powerful Army. Earlier, Pakistan's Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa also said that outstanding issues and disputes between the two countries should be resolved through dialogue. "Pakistan continues to believe in using dialogue and diplomacy to resolve all outstanding issues including the Kashmir dispute and is ready to move forward on this front if India agrees to do so," Bajwa said. Trade between the two countries has been suspended since 2019. According to a World Bank study undertaken in 2018, trade between India and Pakistan could go as high as $37 billion if the situation normalises. "The two countries will have to resolve most of the outstanding issues including that of terrorism before trade is resumed," Sharad Kumar Saraf, former president, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) said. A section of policymakers in the cash-starved Pakistan is of the opinion that politics and economics should not be interlinked. "Pakistan's diplomatic relationships should be based on shared interests with each country. There are several examples of countries whose economic links remain intact despite political or border conflicts," citing examples of zooming trade between India-China and China-US, Karachi-based the News said in a recent report. Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi underlining the need for "meaningful" engagements between the two countries. Amid the rapidly deteriorating economic situation in Pakistan, business tycoon Mian Muhammad Mansha has been making a strong pitch for resuming trade with India. Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan's adviser on commerce and investment Abdul Razak Dawood too batted for resumption of trade between New Delhi and Islamabad. Dawood said that trade with India was the need of the hour and that it would be beneficial to both countries. (The content is being carried under an arrangement with indianarrative.com) --indianarrative

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