Amid food security concerns from catastrophic floods, Pakistan said on Monday it could consider importing vegetables and other edibles from India, according to a media report.
Pakistani Finance Minister Miftah Ismail in an interview with reporters said the country’s government “may consider importing vegetables and other edible items from India” to help the people following the destruction of standing crops in Pakistan due to recent floods, Radio Pakistan reported.
Minister Ismail was addressing local media on a range of issues including the devastating floods, the poor state of Pakistan’s economy and protests by the PTI led by Imran Khan.
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In August 2019, relations between the two countries reached a new low after Pakistan decided to downgrade diplomatic relations with India, recall its high commissioner to New Delhi, expel the Indian envoy to Islamabad and suspend bilateral trade.
On August 4, the Union Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan, said that there had been no progress between India and Pakistan since 2019 regarding the resumption of trade.
Asked if there was any progress regarding the resumption of trade relations with Pakistan, the minister, in a written response to the Rajya Sabha, said: “In August 2019, Pakistan announced the suspension of bilateral trade with India Pakistan partially eased its ban on trade with India in September 2019 by allowing trade in certain pharmaceuticals.There has been no progress in resuming trade with Pakistan since then.
In June, Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari highlighted the country’s interest in trade and engagement with India, saying Pakistan was isolated on the world stage due to past policies.
More than 5.7 million people have been affected in Pakistan as the country faces the worst rain-triggered flooding in its history. Rescue, relief and rehabilitation in the country continues. At least 1,033 people have died and 1,527 have been injured since June 14 due to rains and floods, Geo News reported citing the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
Cumulative data from June 14 across Pakistan showed that 3,451.5 km of road was damaged, 149 bridges collapsed and 170 stores were destroyed.
A total of 949,858 houses were partially or completely destroyed. Of this total, 662,446 houses were partially damaged and 287,412 were completely destroyed. While 719,558 head of cattle were also killed.
The floods affected the lives of millions, after which the Pakistani government declared a “national emergency”.