Trade associations have called on the government to extend sovereign guarantees to shipping lines so that war risk charges on cargoes to and from Pakistan can be removed.

At a joint news conference, the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association chairman Anjum Salim, and Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association chairman Shahzad Azam Khan said that exporters were paying Rs200 million (US$3.25 million) a month in war risk surcharges and that this was eroding their earnings.

They also said the government needs to intensify efforts to improve Pakistan's reputation in the US and European Union, and emphasise the fact that "we are not in the war zone." Clothing buyers have already cancelled or delayed orders from Pakistan, and if this continues the country could lose 40 per cent of its made-up exports in the next six months. The knock-on effect of this would be a jump in unemployment.

Additional requests were made for the government to strike a deal with the US to mirror the EU's decision to remove tariffs on imports from Pakistan and enhance the textile quota by 15 per cent.