ISLAMABAD: Trade ties between Pakistan and India have remained suspended since 2019 due to imposition of heavy duties by New Delhi on imports from Pakis­tan after the Pulwama attack, Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar told the National Assembly in written reply to a question on Saturday.

Mr Dar was referring to a suicide attack on a bus carrying soldiers in Indian-occupied Kashmir on Feb 14, 2019, in which 40 personnel lost their lives.

“India decided to impose 200 per cent duty on imports from Pakistan, suspended the Kashmir bus service and trade across the Line of Control,” he said.

The reply was over a question by Sharmila Faruqui seeking details about challenges being faced by Pakistan in its relations with neighbouring countries.

Mr Dar highlighted the challenges confronting Pakistan in its relations with India, Afghanistan and Iran. “We have consistently advocated constructive engagement and result-oriented dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.

“But India’s intransigence and retrogressive actions have vitiated the atmosphere and impeded the prospects of peace and cooperation,” Mr Dar added.

He said that India continued its efforts to consolidate its occupation of held Kashmir and unleas­hed a wave of oppression on hapless Kashmiris. “India’s belligerence poses a serious challenge to efforts for normalisation of relations.”

The foreign minister said India had engineered acts of subversion in Pakistan and the “onus is now on Delhi to take steps for the creation of an environment that is conducive to peace and dialogue”.

Afghan ties

Regarding Afghanistan, Mr Dar said Pakistan believes that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan is a strategic imperative for Pakistan.

“Pakistan has consistently remained engaged with the interim Afghan government, neighbouring countries and the international community to achieve the objective of peace and stability in Afghan­istan,” the reply said.

But, the foreign minister regretted, “terrorism from Afghanistan has emerged as a major challenge” for Pakistan over the last several years in the shape of attacks by the TTP and its affiliates based in Afghanistan.

“Freedom of movement enjoyed by the TTP there has hampered efforts to improve bilateral relations,” Mr Dar said.

Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2024

Follow Dawn Business on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook for insights on business, finance and tech from Pakistan and across the world.

Opinion

Editorial

China’s concerns
23 Jun, 2024

China’s concerns

Pakistan has no option but to neutralise militant threat to Chinese projects, as well as address its business and political stability concerns.
War drums
23 Jun, 2024

War drums

If it is foolish enough to launch another war in Lebanon, Tel Aviv will be solely responsible for setting the Middle East on fire.
Balochistan budget
23 Jun, 2024

Balochistan budget

BALOCHISTAN’S Rs955.6bn budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 makes many pledges to the poor citizens of Pakistan’s...
Another lynching
Updated 22 Jun, 2024

Another lynching

The chilling alternative to not doing anything — which appears to be the state’s preferred option — is the advent of mob rule.
Tax & representation
22 Jun, 2024

Tax & representation

THE taxation measures outlined in the budget for the incoming fiscal year have triggered a lot of concern among ...
Life of the party?
22 Jun, 2024

Life of the party?

THE launch of Awaam Pakistan, a party led by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and former finance minister...