Pakistan allows trade of life saving drugs with India

Pakistan has allowed import and export of life saving medicines from and to India despite the suspension of bilateral trade and diplomatic ties with New Delhi in retaliation for revocation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir in early August, local media reported on Tuesday.

The Commerce Ministry granted the permission on Monday to import and export medicine to and from India, according to local broadcaster. 

A notification by the ministry amended the country’s import policy order 2016 and added that ban shall not apply to therapeutic products regulated by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan, it said.

On Aug. 7, Pakistan announced to downgrade diplomatic relations and suspend bilateral trade with India after New Delhi’s move to scrap the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on Aug. 5. 

Islamabad also asked India to withdraw its high commissioner and announced that Pakistan would not be sending its high commissioner-designate to India.

On Aug. 10, Pakistan formally suspended all kinds of imports and exports with India. 

Earlier, this ban was only limited to Israel with which Pakistan has no diplomatic relations and trade ties. 

India, in August, removed all special provisions granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of Indian Constitution.

It also divided the erstwhile province into two centrally administered “union territories” and took away powers from the assembly.

Jammu and Kashmir has been facing a communication blackout since Aug. 5 when New Delhi stripped the disputed region of special provisions guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.

India has blocked communication and imposed strict restrictions to thwart any rebellion while political leaders in the region have been detained as the right groups repeatedly called on New Delhi to lift the restrictions and release political detainees.

However, Indian authorities on Monday claimed 90% of the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir was free of daytime restriction.

From 1954 until Aug. 5, 2019, Jammu and Kashmir had special provisions under which it enacted its own laws. The provisions also protected the region’s citizenship law, which barred outsiders from settling in and owning land in the territory.

India and Pakistan both hold Kashmir in parts and claim it in full. China also controls part of the contested region, but it is India and Pakistan who have fought two wars over Kashmir.

The two South Asian nuclear powers have fought two wars over Kashmir in 1947 and 1965.

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