Pak stops import of Indian agricultural products

Islamabad [Pakistan], Nov. 26 : The import of cotton and other agricultural products including vegetables has been halted by Pakistan's Department of Plant Protection (DPP) through the Wagah border crossing and Karachi port from India.

This comes following the escalating tension between the two sides along the Line of Control. Cotton importers and customs clearing agents alleged that the department without a warning or written order had stopped the import of agriculture commodities from India because of the increase in tensions along the LoC.

Dismissing the claims, Sahabzada Imran Shami, director general of the DPP - a subordinate department of the national food security and research ministry - said, "We have stopped import of tomatoes and other fresh vegetables in order to protect our farmers.

We have enough tomato and other vegetables stocks, which we import from India only in case of shortages in the domestic market." "No.

We have not stopped cotton imports from India. It has just been halted over reports that the Indian exporters are not meeting our bio-security conditions," the Dawn quoted Shami as saying.

He said they are going through these reports, adding they will lift the restriction on cotton imports if their apprehensions are proved wrong.

However, Shami made it clear that only those cotton consignments, which carried phytosanitary certificates and where importers had already secured permits from his department would be allowed to enter Pakistan through surface or sea routes.

A textile factory owner claimed that their cotton consignments are not being allowed but subsidised cheaper Indian yarn is being brought in without any let or hindrance.

Meanwhile, the importers of fresh vegetables have insisted that many of them suffered huge financial losses due to the sudden decision to stop tomato imports from India.

Source: ANI