The federal cabinet meeting with Prime Minister Gilani in the chair on Wednesday asked the Trade and Development Authority of Pakistan to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Indian Trade Promotion Organisation to settle custom issues to regulate bilateral trade. Reportedly the signing ceremony would take place in India next week, where the Pakistani side will be represented by Commerce Minister Amin Fahim. It is but clear that this step shows that India is succeeding in its ploy of making Pakistan put the Kashmir issue on the backburner. Indeed, Islamabad must strive for the resolution of the core issue of Kashmir first. The government decision to sign this memorandum of understanding would create a backlash inside the country and also it would not be viewed with favour in Kashmir where the people are looking up to their Pakistani brethren to help them secure their right of self-determination. Indeed the question why Islamabad has suddenly felt the need to promote trade ties with India and whether it is changing its traditional stand on Kashmir will be asked. There can be no peace between the two countries until and unless the Kashmir issue is resolved in line with the aspirations of the people through an impartial plebiscite held under the auspices of the UN. It is only erroneous to think that trade alone can lead to friendly bilateral ties.