Ground Report | New Delhi: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that he wants to have a televised debate with his Indian counterpart PM Narendra Modi.
“I would love to have a debate with Narendra Modi on TV,” Khan said in an interview to Russia Today. He said it would be beneficial to billions of people in the subcontinent if the differences could be resolved through debate.
However, India’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. “India became a hostile country, so trade with them was reduced to a minimum,” Khan said, adding that his government’s policy was to have trade relations with all countries.
Khan’s remarks follow similar comments recently by Pakistan’s top commercial official, Razak Dawood, who, according to the media, told reporters that he supports trade ties with India, which will benefit both sides. .
Khan said Pakistan’s regional trade options were already limited, with Iran, its southwestern neighbor, under sanctions from the United States and Afghanistan, to the west, involved in decades of war.
Pakistan shares strong economic ties with its northern neighbor China, which has pledged billions of dollars for infrastructure and other projects under its Belt and Road Initiative.
In March 2021, the Economic Coordination Committee of Pakistan lifted the ban on the import of sugar and cotton from India. However, the decision was immediately withdrawn as it emerged that the major step was taken by the Finance Ministry of Pakistan without involving all stakeholders including the Ministry of External Affairs on board.
India’s move to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in 2019 angered Pakistan, which downgraded diplomatic ties and expelled the Indian High Commissioner to Islamabad. Pakistan also cut off all air and land links with India and suspended trade and railway services.
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