Locust-hit Pakistan may make exception to trade freeze with India to import insecticides, says report

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Published: February 17, 2020 2:48:55 PM

Pakistan is facing its worst locust attack in decades, after insects destroyed crops on a large scale in Punjab province, the country's main region for agricultural production.

In a meeting earlier in the month, Prime Minister Imran Khan declared the locust attack a national emergency. (Representative image)In a meeting earlier in the month, Prime Minister Imran Khan declared the locust attack a national emergency. (Representative image)

Reeling under a major locust attack, Pakistan may allow a one-time exemption to import insecticides from India despite the trade ban which was imposed after New Delhi revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in August last, according to a media report on Monday. Importing insecticides from India will be discussed during the Pakistan federal Cabinet’s meeting on Tuesday, the Dawn News reported. Pakistan is facing its worst locust attack in decades, after insects destroyed crops on a large scale in Punjab province, the country’s main region for agricultural production.

In a meeting earlier in the month, Prime Minister Imran Khan declared the locust attack a national emergency.

The meeting, which was attended by federal ministers and senior officials of the four provinces, also approved a National Action Plan that requires a sum of Rs 7.3 billion to overcome the crisis.

Other topics to be discussed by the Cabinet on Tuesday include gas pricing and power bill mandates for getting the International Monetary Fund’s next tranche of funds of USD 450 million, the report said.

The Pakistan government considering the import of insecticides from India comes seven months after Islamabad on August 9 decided to suspend all trade ties with India following New Delhi’s decision to abrogate Article 370 on August 5, revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan also expelled the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

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