Reeling under a major locust attack, Pakistan may allow a one-time exemption to import insecticides from India despite the trade ban, as per reports. The country had imposed a trade ban after New Delhi revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in August last year,
A local newspaper in Pakistan reported that the government is mulling to make an exemption to insecticide import as locusts attack becomes a national emergency in the neighbouring country. This comes seven months after Islamabad on August 9 decided to suspended all trade ties with India following New Delhi's decision to abrogate Article 370 on August 5. Pakistan also expelled the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.
Pakistan, which is facing its worst locust attack in decades, has declared a national emergency to tackle the insects destroying crops on a large scale in Punjab province, country's main region for agricultural production. The decision was taken at a meeting convened by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday. The meeting, attended by federal ministers and senior officials of the four provinces, also approved a National Action Plan (NAP) that requires a sum of Rs 7.3 billion to overcome the crisis.
Minister for National Food Security Khusro Bakhtiar informed the National Assembly about the gravity of the situation and the steps so far taken by the federal and provincial governments to deal with the crisis, the Dawn newspaper reported. During the meeting at the Prime Minister's Office, which was also attended by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Hafeez Shaikh among others, a detailed briefing on the overall situation was given to the prime minister.
(with PTI inputs)