Pak on Wednesday expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria, minutes after it discontinued trade ties with India
The announcement to expel Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria and downgrade diplomatic ties by suspending bilateral trade was made after an emergency meeting was held between Pak PM Imran Khan and the National Security Committee (NSC).
Pakistan said that step was taken after the Indian government decided to make the “unilateral and illegal” move to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. The NSC will also take up the issue with the UN Security Council. “Our ambassadors will no longer be in New Delhi and their counterparts here will also be sent back,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi promulgated after the NSC meeting.
Earlier, on Tuesday, Pakistan PM Imran Khan had warned of a “conventional war” if India decided to scrap Article 370. Meanwhile, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar has asserted that “India does not comment on the internal affairs of other countries and similarly expects other countries to do likewise.”
Experts have stated that the decision to suspend trade is expected to hurt Pakistan more than India. “India is less dependent on Pakistan… India’s goods exports to Pakistan have limited profile as Pakistan has not given MFN (Most Favoured Nation) status to India and such goods have a ready market in South Asia and the Middle East,” FIEO President, Sharad Kumar Saraf said. “Trade was practically closed for some time. So, there will be no impact especially on agricultural products,” another official said.
India’s exports to Pakistan in the first quarter of FY20 were $452.5 million and imports were $7.13 million. India’s exports and imports were $2.06 billion and $495 million respectively in FY 19. While India exports organic chemicals, cotton, plastics and dyes, import items include fruit and edible nuts, and mineral fuels.