Article 370 Fall Out – Pakistan Suspends Bilateral Trade With India

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After the Government of India (GoI) revoked Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, the Pakistan Government decided to suspend bilateral trade with India.

The Pakistan Government, on the 7th of August, conducted a session of the National Security Committee (NSC,) where they reviewed the situation after the massive step of the GoI.

Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, chaired the NSC meeting with top officials of the Pakistan Government.

Pervez Khattak, the Defence Minister of Pakistan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the Foreign Minister, General Zubair Hayat, the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa, Naval Chief Admiral Zafar Mehmood Abbasi, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan and other top officials attended the meeting.

During the meeting, Imran Khan termed the action of the Indian Government “illegal and unilateral.”

The Pakistan Government, on the 7th of August, expelled Ajay Bisaria, the Indian High Commissioner.  Pakistan also suspended bilateral trade with India and decided to downgrade diplomatic relations with the Country.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, “Our ambassadors will no longer be in New Delhi and their counterparts here will also be sent back (sic.)”

The Pakistan Government issued a statement, which read, “The Prime Minister directed that all diplomatic channels be activated to expose brutal Indian racist regime, design and human rights violations”

 The statement further read, “Independence Day this August 14 to be observed in solidarity with brave Kashmiris and their just struggle for their right of self-determination. August 15 will be observed as Black Day.”

Until now, India and Pakistan conducted bilateral trade of several products.  The products imported from Pakistan to India were cement, fertilisers, fruits, chemicals, leather and allied products.

On the other hand, India exported chemicals, cotton, plastic and dyes.

The GoI said India will not be affected much after the suspension of bilateral trade.  It said there are South Asian and Middle Eastern markets from where India can get the products which used to be exported from Pakistan earlier.  The GoI added India can also trade with Dubai.

However, Pakistan would suffer as India is one of the major suppliers of multiple products to the Country.

Mohit Singla, the Chairman of the Trade Promotion Council of India, said, “This is (a) unilateral move and a unilateral loss.”

Ajay Sahai, the Director-General of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations, said, “The suspension of trade relations will hit Pakistan more as our exports to them have a very limited profile because they did not give us MFN (Most Favoured Nation) status and violated global trade rules.”

According to sources, in the fiscal year 2019, the total exports to Pakistan were valued at 2.06 billion dollars, whereas the imports were worth 495 million dollars.

The suspension came after India announced the revocation of Article 370, thereby taking away the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir.

India also passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019.  According to this Bill, Jammu and Kashmir will be bifurcated into two union territories (UTs,) Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Stay tuned for further updates.


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