‘Contradiction between comments by minister, spokesperson’: MEA on Pakistan looking to resume trade with India

New Delhi [India], April 4 (ANI): Reacting to the comments made by Pakistan’s Foreign Minister on resuming trade with India, the Ministry of External Affairs said that there lies a contradiction between his comments and that of the Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesperson.

Addressing a weekly media briefing, MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said, “We have seen some reports regarding the Pak Foreign Minister’s comments, but thereafter I would like you to refer to the comments made by the spokesperson of Pakistan Foreign Ministry. Please have a look at those comments, you will see there is a contradiction between the two. That is where it is.”

Earlier, Pak Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar said that the relevant stakeholders would “seriously examine” the trade situation with India as he highlighted the concerns of the business community, Dawn reported.
“Pakistani businessmen want trade with India to resume,” he added.

Islamabad downgraded its diplomatic ties with New Delhi after India abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, a decision that revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the State into two Union Territories.

However, Dar’s comments were followed by a rather contradictory one by Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, who said that Islamabad has no plan to resume trade relations with India which has been “non-existent”.

“Pakistan-India trade relations have been non-existent since 2019,” Baloch said at a press briefing in March. “There is no change in Pakistan’s position on it.”
Ishaq Dar was sworn in as Pakistan’s Foreign Minister of the newly elected government in Islamabad last month.

Dar served as the Finance Minister of Pakistan during the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) regime that came to power after Imran Khan’s ouster in 2022.

The Pakistan elections were held on February 8. While the independent candidates backed by Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) won a maximum of 92 seats; Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) won 73 seats and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) won 54 seats.

However, the polls were deemed controversial with PTI and several other parties alleging internet shutdowns, riggings and a lack of a ‘level-playing field’.
PPP and PML-N reached an agreement after days of deliberation to finally strike a deal for forming the government in Pakistan.