The euphoria of anticipated peace between India and Pakistan lay in the dumps less than 24 hours after the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) headed by Pakistan’s new finance minister HammadAzhar in a meeting on Wednesday 31 March cleared import of sugar and cotton from India after a gap of two years.
The Pakistan Federal government in a cabinet meeting, headed by Prime Minister Imran Khan overruled the decision of ECCin less than a day and scuttled all hopes of a way forward in bilateral relations between two neighbours. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi after the cabinet meeting said that there was unanimity in the cabinet that normalising relations with India would not be possible until India reviews its decisions taken on 5 August 2019relating to Jammu and Kashmir.
Opening up of trade between the two beleaguered nations, that has remained suspended for close to two years, was touted as the first step towards a thaw in relations between the two countries after Pakistan’s Prime Minister and Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa during the recent concluded Islamabad Security Dialogue had redefined Pakistani Security from a new perspective, laying emphasis on ‘geo-economics’.
Both had brought out the importance of improving relations with all its neighbours, enhancing trade and connectivity, striving for internal and external peace and bringing about sustainable development and resolving outstanding issues relating to water and climate change.