NEW DELHI: After five eventful years, Islamabad has named Qamar Zaman as a trade minister in the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.
The decision of appointing trade ministers to fifteen countries was taken in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. However, Pakistan is yet to appoint a High Commissioner for India.
The bilateral relations between the two countries were in shambles following India’s revocation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019. Then Imran Khan-led PTI government expelled the Indian High Commission from Islamabad and brought back the Pak envoy to India.
Earlier in February 2019, India revoked the most-favoured-nation (MFN) status to Pakistan. Before relations turned frosty in 2019, the two states counted USD 2.6 billion in bilateral trade. Almost half of the trade commenced through the Attari-Wagah border.
A large section of the business communities from both sides are suffering from the chilling relations between the two neighbours. It is learnt that PM Sharif, who himself runs a steel conglomerate, is keen to improve ties with India. Mian Mohammad Mansha, the chairman of Pakistan based multinational conglomerate, and some other prominent business leaders have also underscored the need of improving business ties with India.