FO: Immediate imports from India not under consideration

Afghan Minister Pakistan

The Foreign Office on Thursday clarified that Pakistan has no proposals under consideration currently to allow import of vegetables from India.

“We are in touch with countries in the broader region to facilitate the earliest import of vegetables in the country,” FO spokesman Asim Iftikhar Ahmad said in a weekly press briefing.

The spokesman’s comments come days after Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said that the government could “consider importing vegetables and other edible items from India” to facilitate people after floods destroyed crops across the country.

The finance minister said the prices of vegetables had risen considerably due to shortages and that he had discussed the issue with the commerce and finance secretaries. He added that they would take a plan to the prime minister in a day or two.

“We will open duty-free import, make it easier and I also want to say that we will consider importing through the land border with India because these prices [of vegetables] are not sustainable,” he had said.

Pakistan formally downgraded its trade relations with India in August 2019 to the level of Israel with which Islamabad has no trade ties at all. The decision had come as a reaction to India’s decision to revoke Article 370 of its constitution that granted occupied Kashmir a special status.

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