Friday, December 9, 2022
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PM Modi condoles Pakistan flood deaths as Islamabad looks to ease trade imports with India

Modi's statement came on the same day that Pakistan’s finance minister said the country’s govt is considering duty-free import of vegetables and other edible items from India.

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday expressed condolences to the families of victims who lost their lives due to unprecedented flash floods in Pakistan, which have killed over 1,100 people.

In his first statement on the situation, PM Modi said he was “saddened to see the devastation” and hoped for “early restoration of normalcy” in the country.

“Saddened to see the devastation caused by the floods in Pakistan. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, the injured and all those affected by this natural calamity and hope for an early restoration of normalcy,” the prime minister said in a tweet.

Modi’s remarks came on the same day that Pakistan’s Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said that the Shehbaz Sharif-government is considering allowing the duty-free import of vegetables and other edible items from India through the Wagah border in order to control the rising inflation.

“We will open duty-free import, make it easier and I also want to say that we will consider importing through the land border with India because these prices [of vegetables] are not sustainable,” Ismail said during a press conference, adding that he would present the plan to the prime minister in a day or two.

This comes three years after Pakistan downgraded trade ties with India over the scrapping of Article 370.

Pakistan has been hit by one of the worst floods in its history, with the nation witnessing the highest rainfall in the last thirty years. According to the latest data, the floods have led to the deaths of 1,136 people.

The country continues to face a severe shortage of vegetables after the calamity destroyed crops on millions of acres in parts of Balochistan, Sindh and south Punjab. The floods have also displaced 33 million people in Pakistan.

The cash-strapped Pakistani government has appealed to the international community for aid in order to deal with the crisis. So far, countries like Canada, France, Qatar, the UAE, Turkey and Azerbaijan have pledged humanitarian support in response to Islamabad’s call.

On Sunday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that his country was providing support to Pakistan through UNCERF to provide food, clean water and other essential services as quickly as possible.

Also read: Shehbaz Sharif just realised there’s a bigger problem than Imran Khan—Pakistan’s epic floods


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