After India’s recent move on the state of Jammu & Kashmir abrogating Article 370 and bifurcating the state into two Union Territories, Pakistan went erratic and took some unwarranted decisions. In what can only be described as desperate attempts to garner attention, Pakistan downgraded its diplomatic ties with India and also suspended bilateral trade. Not only this, Pakistan went to the extent of stopping rail and bus services between the two countries. It even banned Indian films and advertisements featuring Indian artists. With Pakistan failing to internationalise the issue despite its relentless efforts, it turned even more hostile and its top ministers went on to make irresponsible nuclear threats.
From the above events, it seemed as if Pakistani military leadership felt restless after India’s move on Kashmir and that it had dictated the country’s political leadership to downgrade ties with India. The bilateral relations between the two countries had seemingly reached the point of no return until the dire state of Pakistan’s drug industry came into the picture. Merely a month after, it took erratic decisions concerning its bilateral relations with India, Pakistan’s drug industry has started feeling the heat. As a result of the deep crisis that Pakistan’s drug industry is in, it has allowed bilateral trade in life-saving medicines with India. As per Geo TV, a leading Pakistani media outlet, Pakistan’s Ministry of Commerce has issued a statutory regulatory order allowing export and import of life-saving medicines with India.
Pakistan suspended bilateral trade with India intending to harm India. However, it soon realised that this was a counter-productive step. Pakistan’s drug industry is in bad shape. After Pakistan suspended bilateral trade with India, traders in the country were forced to stop importing medicines from India. Pakistani hospitals soon started facing a severe shortage of life-saving medicines and ultimately the Pakistani patients had to suffer.
As per PTI, Pakistan had ordered medicines worth Rs 1.36 billion from Indian pharmaceutical companies till July 2019. In the last months, Pakistan has imported over USD 36 million worth of anti-rabies and anti-venom vaccines from India. This shows how heavily Pakistan’s drug industry is dependant on India. The Pakistani government no doubt took the measure to suspend bilateral trade with India out of sheer desperation and did not consider the poor state of its drug industry before taking the extreme step. Now faced with an alarming situation, Pakistan felt compelled to take an about-turn which would once again leave the country feeling red-faced and embarrassed.