The government’s rejection of a proposal to import cotton from India has disappointed Pakistan’s textile industry. Jawed Bilwani, Chairman, Pakistan Apparel Forum has termed the move disappointing and said cotton and cotton yarn import, as recommended by Commerce Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood, is the need of the hour.
Czmpared to 2014-15, Pakistan faces a 50 per cent drop in cotton production this year. Sea freights have also increased 700 per cent due to the pandemic, delaying goods shipment to 105 days instead of 25, says Bilwani. He recommended a ban on cotton and yarn exports for six months in case the government does not want to allow imports from India.
In May 2020, Pakistan lifted the ban on import of medicines and raw material of essential drugs from India amid COVID-19. India-Pakistan trade ties nose-dived after a terror attack on the Pathankot Air Force base in 2016 by terror groups based in Pakistan. Ties strained further after India's war planes pounded terrorist training camp inside Pakistan in response to the Pulwama terror attack. India's move to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019 strained India-Pakistan ties further leading to the expulsion of Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad. Pakistan also snapped all air and land links with India and suspended trade and railway services.