Despite tensions over India’s Kashmir move, Pakistan on Tuesday lifted the ban on the import of life-saving drugs from New Delhi following an acute shortage of essential medicines including those used in the treatment of cancer and heart diseases.
According to reports, the export of medicines to India was also allowed. The permissions were granted by the Pakistan Ministry of Commerce on Monday, which also issued a statutory regulatory order in this regard.
According to news agency PTI, till July 2019, Pakistan had ordered medicines worth Rs 1.36 billion from Indian pharmaceutical companies.
Pakistan has upped the ante against India ever since Parliament withdrew special category status to Jammu and Kashmir by revoking Article 370 of its Constitution.
After India revoked Article 370 of its Constitution which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, Pakistan decided to downgrade diplomatic relations with India over the Kashmir move. It expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria and suspended trade with India.
The decision was taken at a meeting of National Security Committee (NSC) – the second within a week – presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan to review the situation following the Indian government’s move on Kashmir.
As per the Pakistan National Security Council decision, the government had decided to downgrade diplomatic relations with India, suspend bilateral trade with New Delhi, review bilateral arrangements, take up Kashmir matter with the UN and observe August 14 in solidarity with brave Kashmiris.
In a series of retaliatory measures, Islamabad suspended the Samjhauta Express and Thar Express services operating between Pakistan and India.
It also stopped the Lahore-Delhi ‘Dosti’ bus service.
India has slammed Pakistan for the unilateral decisions taken in respect to the bilateral relations and urged the neighbouring nation to “review the steps taken so that normal channels for diplomatic communications are preserved”.