Bilateral trade suspension to hit Pak, say exporters

CHANDIGARH: Punjab-based exporters on Thursday said Pakistan’s decision to suspend bilateral trade would hit the neighbouring nation itself as it imports commodities like vegetables and spices through the Attari-Wagah route.

Bilateral trade suspension to hit Pak, say exporters

Pakistani trucks lined up at Attari Integrated Check Post in Amritsar district. file photo

editorial@tribune.com

Chandigarh, August 8

Punjab-based exporters on Thursday said Pakistan’s decision to suspend bilateral trade would hit the neighbouring nation itself as it imports commodities like vegetables and spices through the Attari-Wagah route.

Traders in India only import cement, gypsum and rock salt, which is already available here as well, they said, while asserting that India would unlikely to be impacted by the decision.

“India is not going to be impacted with the suspension of bilateral trade. It is Pakistan which is going to be hit,” said Anil Mehra, president, Federation of Karyana and Dry Fruit Commercial Association.

He said it was Pakistan which imported vegetables, spices and other items from India through Attari-Wagah land route.

“They buy vegetables like tomatoes, ginger etc from us whenever they face shortage and rising commodity prices in their country. Now with the decision of suspending trade ties, it will be difficult to meet their demand for vegetables,” he further said.

He, however, said the import of dry dates and other dry fruits from Afghanistan would be impacted.

Traders from Punjab, who supported the decision of the Centre to revoke Article 370, said India had already imposed 200 per cent custom duties on all products imported from Pakistan following Pulwama attack in February this year.

Pakistan on Wednesday downgraded diplomatic relations with India and suspended bilateral trade in the wake of scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

India on Monday abolished Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

India and Pakistan had agreed to start cross border movement of trucks in October 2007, after a gap of 60 years from Attari Check post at Amritsar. — PTI

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