Palm oil war: Pak PM to buy more Malaysian palm oil to 'compensate' after row with India
"We noticed that India threatened Malaysia for supporting the Kashmir cause to cut their palm oil import, Pakistan will do its best to compensate for that," said Pakistan PM Imran Khan.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said that he will do his best to buy more Malaysian palm oil to "compensate" it after India restricted the import of the commodity from the country amid a diplomatic row.
The cricketer-turned-politician also thanked Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad for "speaking up" on the Kashmir issue.
"You have spoken for the justice for Kashmiris, for which we are thankful," Khan said during a joint press conference in Kuala Lumpur with Mahathir.
India -- the top buyer of palm oil -- and Malaysia -- its biggest supplier -- are engaged in a spat over Mahathir’s remarks against New Delhi’s recent policies like the CAA and NRC, which he says discriminate against Muslims.
"We noticed that India threatened Malaysia for supporting the Kashmir cause to cut their palm oil import, Pakistan will do its best to compensate for that," Khan was quoted as saying by the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan.
Prime minister of Pakistan @ImranKhanPTI and Prime Minister of Malaysia Tun Dr. Mahathir Bin Mohammad joint press conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia. (04-02-2020) 2/2 #PrimeMinisterImranKhan #Pakistan ???????? #Malaysia pic.twitter.com/Gdx9EUGRkD— PTI (@PTIofficial) February 4, 2020
Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI and Prime Minister of Malaysia Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad witnessing the Signing of Memorandum of Understanding between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Bersatu (The United Indigenous Party of Malaysia) at Seri Perdana, Putrajaya. pic.twitter.com/1UjFqCXAbU— PTI (@PTIofficial) February 4, 2020
Prime Minister Imran Khan has left Kuala Lumpur after successfully concluding Visit to Malaysia.— PTI (@PTIofficial) February 4, 2020
PM Khan was seen off by Foreign Minister of Malaysia Dato Saifuddin & Minister for Defence Malaysia Mohamad Sabu upon departure at Bunga Raya Complex KL International Airport. pic.twitter.com/8xukfhf7tH
India had put restrictions on the refined variety of the commodity in January, seen as a retaliatory move for Mahathir's criticism of New Delhi's actions.
The Malaysian leader had also raised the Kashmir issue in the UN General Assembly session in September.
India has been Malaysia's top palm market for five years.
Indonesia and Malaysia are the two countries which supply palm oil. Malaysia produces 19 million tonnes of palm oil in a year, while Indonesia produces 43 million tonnes, according to trade data.
India buys nearly 15 million tonnes annually. Pakistan bought 1.08 million tonnes of palm oil from Malaysia in 2019, while India bought 4.4 million tonnes, according to the Malaysian Palm Oil Council.
However, the External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi has said that the government's imposition of restrictions on imports of refined palm oil is product-specific and not country-specific.
Responding to India’s restrictions, Mahathir had earlier said: “We are too small to take retaliatory action. We have to find ways and means to overcome that.”
But, Mahathir -- the world's oldest Premier at 94 and one of the Muslim world's biggest voices -- said he would continue to speak out against "wrong things" even if his words cost his country financially.