ISLAMABAD: Following the projected visit to Bangladesh by Prime Minister Z.A. Bhutto almost simultaneously with the exchange of diplomatic missions, Pakistan hopes ... to take the load off the hard-pressed Bengali brethren by exporting once popular and now direly needed goods such as textiles, clothes, cotton yarn, Basmati rice and drugs and medicines.

This breakthrough, based on broad considerations of Islamic fraternity and human fellowship, according to knowledgeable circles here, will be welcome to the Government and businessmen of Bangladesh, now said to be eagerly awaiting the resumption of trade with Pakistan. It is also expected to reduce the ... mounting gap in the trade balance of Bangladesh with India which Indian circles may not like. Exactly what mutually accepted arrangements may emerge in the import-export field is yet to be seen, but Government thinking here is clear on one point: Whatever Bangladesh wants in order to prop up its sagging economy and to mitigate its people’s hardships, Pakistan, even though itself in a tight balance of payments position, will ... give the best it can, as Mr Bhutto had assured. —

Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2024

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