Pak allows trade of life-saving drugs with India

Islamabad: Pakistan on Tuesday lifted the ban on the import of life-saving drugs from India following an acute shortage of essential medicines in the country, including those used in the treatment of cancer and heart diseases.

The country had suspended its bilateral trade with India last month in the aftermath of the Indian government’s decision to abrogate Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

The permission to import medicines was granted by the Pakistan Ministry of Commerce on Monday, which also issued a Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) in this regard to amend the Export-Import Order, 2016. The ban on import of raw materials from India used for the manufacturing of these medicines has also been lifted, reported Gulf News.

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India has a large, internationally-recognised industry of raw materials for medicines, owing to which a big chunk of raw materials used in the medicines produced in Pakistan used to be imported from the neighbouring country.

The decision has been hailed by doctors, pharmacists and medical petitioners in the country. The trade ban had particularly hit the country’s pharmaceutical market that imported as much as USD 36 million worth of anti-rabies and antivenin vaccines from India over a period of 16 months.

The decision to suspend bilateral trade with India was in line with Islamabad’s other moves to remonstrate, such as suspending two trains and a bus service between the two neighbouring countries, as well as downgrading diplomatic relations.

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