What will happen if Pakistan cuts all trade and diplomatic ties with France?

The suspension of trade or diplomatic relations with France would not negatively impact the Pakistani economy.

Calls to boycott French goods have been growing in Pakistan, and other Muslim countries, after the French President Emmanuel Macron criticized Islamists and vowed not to “give up cartoons” depicting the Holy Prophet Mohammed (P.B.U.H).

Following this, the Pakistani parliament urged the federal government to call back the Pakistani ambassador from France.

Impact on Trade

Speaking to The Independent Urdu, a Karachi-based businessman and head of the Intellectuals Forum, Mian Zahid Hussain, said, “Such demands are limited to the general level. Governments cannot make such decisions.”

Hussain added that the suspension of trade or diplomatic relations with France would not negatively impact the Pakistani economy.

French exports to Pakistan

Pakistan imports medicines, cosmetics, machinery, nuclear reactors, dairy products, aircraft and their parts, chemicals, electronics, and steel from France. The Pakistani products exported to France are rice, cereals, and garments.

The Pakistan correspondent of the Financial Times in London, Farhan Bukhari, told The Independent Urdu that Pakistan does not import things that can be called essential items, so a boycott would not make much difference.

Diplomatic Relations

There is currently no permanent Pakistani ambassador to France, and an acting ambassador runs the Pakistani embassy.

A Former Pakistani Foreign Ministry representative in Islamabad, Ayesha Farooqi, is due to take charge as Pakistan’s ambassador to Paris in January 2021.

The Former diplomat, Syed Hassan Javed, told The Independent Urdu that it is very rare for a country to recall its ambassador from another country.

“But there are cases in the diplomatic history where countries have recalled their ambassadors.”

He clarified that the embassy doesn’t need to be closed in case of the ambassador’s return and, if the embassy has not been closed, it would not have a significant impact on the relations between the two countries.

Syed Hassan Javed thinks that Pakistan could recall its ambassador from France considering the public demand, but if the embassy remained open, trade and diplomatic relations would not be affected.

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