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Exclusive | 'Sinking' Pak Pondering Paradigm Shift in Ties with India, Wants to Restore Trade: Sources

By: Manoj Gupta

CNN-News18

Last Updated: September 01, 2022, 17:36 IST

New Delhi, India

Battered by devastating floods, Pakistan is forced to strive for restoring trade with India, sources said. Representational pic: News18

Battered by devastating floods, Pakistan is forced to strive for restoring trade with India, sources said. Representational pic: News18

The flood-ravaged nation is desperately looking for relief. Sources also said that a big development on Pakistan-India trade is likely before the SCO heads of state conference on September 15-16 in Uzbekistan as Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif may meet-greet with PM Narendra Modi

The Pakistani establishment is seriously thinking about a “paradigm shift" in its policy towards India, sources have told CNN-News18.

Battered by devastating floods, the country is forced to strive for restoring trade with India, they added.

A top diplomatic source revealed that Pakistan’s military establishment has agreed to this.

The source said that the top military brass is seriously reviewing the country’s economic conditions. The recent natural disasters—torrential rains and super floods—have wreaked havoc in the country, causing damages worth almost $10 billion.

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The country’s struggling economy is not in a position to take the burden of the current super floods, which have washed away almost 90 per cent of the crops and killed one million livestock.

Pakistan’s finance minister Miftah Ismail is also keen to restore trade with India as soon as possible for relief to the flood-hit nation.

The source also revealed Ismail has prepared a presentation on the economy and its revival, which he has shared with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

The finance minister contacted General Bajwa and briefed him on the overall economic situation after the floods and the upcoming Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on-site visit.

On Monday, Ismail during an informal conversation with the media said that he will trade with India after seeing the conditions of his farmers. “A food crisis is ahead of us due to the flood-affected areas, especially the rain-affected areas of Sindh,” he said.

During the Islamabad Security Dialogue held in March 2021, General Bajwa said that Pakistan has to concentrate on geo-economics rather than the geo-strategic.

The source also said that a big development on Pakistan-India trade is likely to happen before the SCO heads of state conference on September 15-16 in Uzbekistan, as Pakistan’s new prime minister Shehbaz Sharif may meet-greet with Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.

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first published:September 01, 2022, 17:10 IST
last updated:September 01, 2022, 17:36 IST