Islamabad [Pakistan], April 1 (ANI): Pakistan's federal cabinet on Thursday back-tracked the Economic Coordination Committee's (ECC) decision to allow the import of sugar, cotton and cotton yarn from India through land and sea routes.
The decision that was taken by Pakistan's economic body to allow the import of cotton and yarn from India was viewed as a major development that is likely to increase peace overtures between New Delhi and Islamabad.
According to Geo News,the decision to turn down the proposal was taken in a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad, hours after Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said the cabinet will review the ECC's decisions related to trade with India.
Taking to Twitter, the minister had said it is only after the cabinet's approval that the decision will be considered "approved by the government".
"Just for the record -- All ECC decisions have to be approved by cabinet and only then they can be seen as 'approved by govt'! So today in the cabinet there will be a discussion on ECC decisions including trade with India and then the government decision will be taken! The media should be aware of this at least!" Mazari wrote in a tweet.
Yesterday, Federal Finance Minister Hammad Azhar had announced the government's intention to import sugar and cotton from India.
Geo News reported that the minister had spoken about the high prices of sugar in Pakistan, noting that the government had allowed sugar to be imported from other countries, but the price of the commodity in the supplier countries had risen considerably.
"However, in our neighbouring country India, the price of sugar is quite cheap," he said. "Hence, we have decided to resume sugar trade with India".
He said the measure would help bring down sugar prices in Pakistan and provide relief to the poor.
Azhar had said the demand for cotton in Pakistan was also increasing and the country needed the product in a large amount. He said Pakistan had not produced quality cotton last year hence it had given the green signal for the product to be imported from other countries around the globe.
Pakistan's Economic Coordination Council is a top decision-making body in the country.
This decision came after a meeting was called by the Pakistan Ministry of Commerce on Wednesday. This decision to allow imports from India could be a step towards reviving suspended trade between the two countries.
Recently, the Armies of India and Pakistan reinforced the ceasefire followed by talks on the Indus water treaty in New Delhi.
Letters were also exchanged between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan. First, PM Modi wrote a letter greeting Khan on Pakistan's National Day, now he responded with proposed result-oriented talks.
However, during the 'Heart of Asia' conference, where External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi were present, they did not hold any bilateral meet. (ANI)