‘Seriously’ considering trade ties restoration with India, says Pakistan foreign minister

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NEW DELHI: Pakistan’s foreign minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar expressed a willingness to “seriously” consider the restoration of trade ties with India, which have been on hold since August 2019.
Dar made this statement during a press conference in London following his attendance at the Nuclear Energy Summit in Brussels, as reported by Geo News.
He emphasized the eagerness of Pakistan’s business community to reinitiate trade activities with India. He said, “Pakistani businessmen want trade with India to resume.” Dar highlighted that Pakistan will give due consideration to re-establishing trade relations with India, stating, “We will seriously look into matters of trade with India,” as per the Express Tribune newspaper.
This stance signals a potential shift in Pakistan’s diplomatic approach towards India, which had deteriorated after India’s revocation of Article 370, leading to the downgrading of diplomatic ties by Pakistan.
Islamabad had contended that the unilateral actions in Kashmir hindered the prospect of bilateral talks. Pakistan has consistently maintained that India must reverse its actions in Kashmir as a prerequisite for dialogue, a demand that India has rejected, asserting the integral nature of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh within its territory.
Despite these tensions, both countries agreed to renew the 2003 ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control in February 2021. Recent interactions between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan’s newly appointed leader, Shehbaz Sharif, have hinted at a potential diplomatic thaw. Modi congratulated Sharif on assuming office, to which Sharif responded with thanks, signifying a tentative opening for improved relations.
(With agency inputs)

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