So after shedding its most competent members, the Prime Minister’s EAC has come up with a truly groundbreaking prop… https://t.co/dE3i7cD3Zx
— Ammar Rashid (@AmmarRashidT) 1536495360000
The tweeter was talking about Khan’s government last week caving in to religious extremists’ demand that Atif Mian, a brilliant economist, be removed from the EAC because he’s a minority Ahmadi.
They were also referring to a report by news agency Reuters that the EAC discussed cutting cheese imports, among others, to reduce the spike in imports that has led to a shortage of dollars in Pakistan‘s economy, putting pressure on the local currency and dwindling foreign currency reserves.
That made absolutely no sense to many Pakistanis.
Pakistan’s trade deficit in the 12 months of Fiscal 2017-18: $37.7 billion Pakistan’s annual imports of cheese are… https://t.co/ioIjf1Nlou
— omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) 1536561306000
The EAC’s rationale was it is considering “out-of-the-box” ideas that would help curb imports. One of those ideas was stopping cheese imports.
“You see how much cheese is coming in this country from abroad. Market is full of imported cheese. Does this country, which doesn’t have dollars, deserve this, that it is importing cheese?” said Ashfaque Hasan Khan, a university professor who’s one of more than a dozen EAC members.
One person believes the university professor has something against cheese.
1) How much cheese is actually imported for a ban to make a difference 2) What does Ashfaque Hasan Khan have agains… https://t.co/DOa8WflREb
— Amber Rahim Shamsi (@AmberRShamsi) 1536517542000
“Brutal”, is how another described the potential cheese imports’ ban.
Naya Pakistan is brutal. About to ban cheese. https://t.co/ivuKSZqCY3
— Khaver Siddiqi (@thekarachikid) 1536555544000
“Naya Pakistan” is of course what new PM Khan promised if voted into power. And banning cheese imports might be one way to make Pakistan “grate” again, joked one person on Twitter.
@ImranKhanPTI Imran Khan will Make Pakistan Grate Again… https://t.co/ixIX3n5MIu
— Liaquat Hussain🌐 (@Liaqyat) 1536564304000
Others were really cheesed off.
Pakistan’s stupid decision makers who pissed off entire Economic Advisory Council are now coming up with game-chang… https://t.co/okS4QuqrXm
— F. Jeffery 👁 (@Natsecjeff) 1536501121000
One person just couldn’t believe – or ‘Brie-lieve’ such an idea could emanate from the EAC.
I can’t brie-lieve it: Pakistan considers banning cheese imports https://t.co/r0o52jPZ1C
— riazat butt (@riazat_butt) 1536556071000
The plan is full of holes, said another person.
There are so many holes in this ban cheese import to save Pakistan logic.
— Sohaib Athar (@ReallyVirtual) 1536547064000
India’s Manish Tewari, a Congress leader, also couldn’t help but comment on this potential cheese import ban by Pakistan.
“If Pakistan army has indeed reached out to India as they claim & NDA/ BJP Govt does not confirm or deny it we can consider reciprocating with Cheese (paneer) across the Wagah,” said Tewari.
The Congress leader was also referring to a report in The New York Times (NYT) from last week, which cited western diplomats and a senior Pakistani official saying that the country’s “powerful military has quietly reached out to its arch-rival India about resuming peace talks, but the response was tepid.” A key objective for Pakistan in reaching out to India is to open barriers to trade between the countries, which would give Pakistan more access to regional markets, said NYT.
Cheaper cheese could definitely be part of that trade agreement, joked Tewari.