Trade with India, for a better Pakistan

Published: February 25, 2012
Email

The economic future of 180 million Pakistanis is not worth sacrificing for the sake of the political aspirations of a fraction of the 12 million Kashmiris. PHOTO: REUTERS

If the choice facing Pakistan is abandoning its claims on the Indian side of Kashmir in exchange for free trade with India, then I see it as an automatic choice: the economic future of 180 million citizens of Pakistan is not worth sacrificing for the sake of some vague political aspirations of a fraction of the 12 million or so who live on the Indian side of Kashmir.

The hyper-nationalists that populate a surprisingly large segment of Pakistani cyberspace will no doubt argue that this is “selling Kashmir down the river”. Has anyone ever thought of the fairness of it all? Surely, Kashmiris on the Indian side of the Line of Control do not have the right to use all of Pakistan as a bargaining chip for whatever political grievances they may have with the government in New Delhi (no doubt many of them legitimate). And Pakistanis are being downright asinine for going along for the ride.

On the other hand, there is the potential for trade with India, which The Economist reports can grow to as much as $30 billion a year from the paltry $2.7 billion a year currently. To put that number in context, that number is equal to about half of Pakistan’s bilateral trade with the entire world combined.

That $30 billion means jobs for millions of Pakistanis, a steady income streaming into hundreds of thousands of households and financial security for those families. That is millions of children going to school because their father and mother do not have to force them to work instead. That is a generation of Pakistanis growing up not fearing the world as being one gigantic conspiratorial mob out to get them but rather an opportunity waiting to be seized.

There is one seemingly legitimate argument that the nationalists make that I would like to refute and that is about the rivers. Pakistan does indeed get much of its river water from the Indian side of Kashmir. Yet one should also point out that the Indus Water Treaty has lasted for well over 50 years without any signs of breaking down. Indeed, during the first decade of the treaty, when India was meant to make compensation payments to Pakistan, New Delhi made payments less than a month after the end of the 1965 war.

That to me does not look like an enemy hell-bent on our destruction. We do not need to be paranoid about India. On the Kashmir front, we should let things slide.

Read more by Farooq here.

farooq.tirmizi

Farooq Tirmizi

The author is an investment analyst. He tweets as @FarooqTirmizi (twitter.com/FarooqTirmizi)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Mustafa Moiz

    Absolutely not. Out of the question. If India wants trade with Pakistan, it can be them who drops the Kashmir issue. We will not give up one of our most important issues.Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    Why should we trust an enemy who has already broken our country just 24 years after independence and continues to support terrorist groups operating in our country?Recommend

  • Senthilman

    @author of this blog

    Wait till you hear, “you are Indian”, “you are traitor”. No Pakistani will support you because Kashmir is not just a cause for them but its a matter of pride. If you are in Pakistan now is the time to start packing your bags otherwise you will become one of the missing persons who nobody is responsible for.

    Pakistan has made it choice when Z.Bhutto famously said “we will eat grass….” I don’t think its changing anytime soon. The wise choice any Pakistani can make is get out of their country and forget their identity.

    As a Indian I have given-up hope. No Pakistani ever wants peace with India and will be happy see Indian’s die only because majority of us belong to a different religion.Recommend

  • Sinclair

    Dude! All that Indians ever ask of you is to be reasonable. You (Pakistan) swing from one extreme to the next in almost everything you do! If you think you have a principled stand on Kashmir, how can you abandon it? Just dont back it up with militancy. If democracy (in J&K) was given a fair chance, I think Kashmir would have become a non-issue long before today. But anyway, just try to be reasonable. And please get rid of all this jihad talk on your side. That is all we ask.Recommend

  • Sachin Arora

    @ Author,
    Nice Blog Sir.
    Additional, both side should relax the Visa restrictions. I would love to visit tourist places across the border.

    Regards,
    Sachin Arora
    Punjab India.Recommend

  • AR

    I agree..i would rather prefer solving the Balochistan problem!Recommend

  • Allah Ditta

    Kashmir issue will never be resolved to the satisfaction of Pakistan. Believe it or not, Terrorism, Kashmir issues add to India’s GDP. Huge armies have been created; new paramilitary forces are being raised. Billion and Billion of $$$ are being spent on weapons in India. As I write, (today’s news), India has $300 billion in foreign reserves. All those weapon manufacturing countries look at those $$$. Kashmir will not be solved. In India around 6000 people die every year on rail road crossing alone. Around 1500 people die by falling from crowded trains in Mumbai every year. But, for around 150 deaths in Kashmir, India is doing all that spending. Interested lobbies want to keep Kashmir Issue alive. Trading with India is not a bad idea, knowing that whole world wants access to Indian Markets. And, may I add, India does not have any manufactured product which is already not being marketed in Pakistan and is cheaper to Chinese made product. I doubt that India will actually open whole-heartedly trade with Pakistan even when MFN status is granted. It seems just a hype from India to engage Paksitan.Recommend

  • Allah Ditta

    Kashmir issue will never be resolved to the satisfaction of Pakistan. Believe it or not, Terrorism, Kashmir issues add to India’s GDP. Huge armies have been created; new paramilitary forces are being raised. Billion and Billion of $$$ are being spent on weapons in India. As I write, (today’s news), India has $300 billion in foreign reserves. All those weapon manufacturing countries look at those $$$. Kashmir will not be solved. In India around 6000 people die every year on rail road crossing alone. Around 1500 people die by falling from crowded trains in Mumbai every year. But, for around 150 deaths in Kashmir, India is doing all that spending. Interested lobbies want to keep Kashmir Issue alive. Trading with India is not a bad idea, knowing that whole world wants access to Indian Markets. And, may I add, India does not have any manufactured product which is already not being marketed in Pakistan and is cheaper to Chinese made product. I doubt that India will actually open whole heartedly trade with Pakistan even when MFN status is granted. It seems just a hype from India to engage Paksitan.Recommend

  • Fahad Raza

    Its fine to trade with India that will bring prices down of the commodities. On Kashmir i think we should try to bring India to senses to abide by UN-Resolutions on Kashmir. That can be done if we try the Non hostile policies from our side and effort be made by Indians side as well to bundle up the RSS and Shiv sena and other Hindu Terrorist cells.Recommend

  • Balochi liberal

    Completely agree with your assessment. Pakistani politician should try to save whatever they have.Recommend

  • shaheen1shaheen2

    it is because of liberl facists like you that the kashmir stuggle is not succeeding.we have betrayed our muslim brethen in kashmir and afghanistan and allah(swt) is making us pay consequence.is unity of ummah more impotent or amreeki dollar?Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @shaheen1shaheen2:
    Can you show me any example of the unity of the Ummah? The writer is correct in his statement that Pakistan is actually supporting only a fraction of the 12 mn residents of Kashmir – and even their preferred solution is not union with Pakistan. Frankly, although infinitely preferable, I don’t think Pakistan needs to give up its support for Kashmiri citizen rights – and should not be expected. What would make sense is to stop the jihadi stuff and get on with the business of improving the lot of your citizens, while we do the same on our side (including in Kashmir). Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    @shaheen1shaheen2:

    Dont forget that Uighur Muslims in China you have betrayed for the money and weapons the Chinese give. I never see any Pakistanis shout against the Chinese for their brutality in Xinjiang. Why is that!Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    Never mind that Pakistan has not gained an inch in Kashmir in the last 65 years(This was when India was its weakest, unlike today); Never mind Pakistan has lost so many resources by competing with such a giant; Never mind that the World doesn’t believe the Pakistani lies on Kashmir; Never mind that India is NEVER going to give up a piece of land to anyone, much less on the basis of Religion, but Pakistan will not give up its demand for Kashmir.

    What stupidity! Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    @Fahad Raza:

    You do know that the same UN asks Pakistan to withdraw its troops and hand over control to India, before holding a plebiscite, dont you?

    So, would you still like to implement those “UN Resolutions”? Haha.Recommend

  • shaheen1shaheen2

    @Anoop:
    dont worry,in future inshallah we will establish khilafat and ghazwa e hind has been foretold by shah naimatullah wali.kashmir struggle will continue and mujahideen will prevail over non believers.pakistan will one day lead the muslim ummah,we only need to get rid of this corrupt army and government who are fighting against our own brothers.talibani nizam will prevail in few years.Recommend

  • Zain S

    Lets not bring Kashmir into it and look at it from simply a trade perspective. India has already given Pakistan the MFN status. Whats the result? Imports are higher than exports. Balance of trade will always be india’s favor, meaning the net outflow of money (which is already the case). Additionally local manufacturing will be affected tremendously as we will start importing goods as opposed to producing them due to india’s economies of scale. And sure we could export to the indian market, however in my interactions with indians in india and here, they have been pretty clear on the fact that india is biased against buying pakistani goods. they are a far more nationalistic nation then we are when i comes to this. Thus in the long run pakistan will be even less self reliant than we are right now. Its true by now we should have made our manufacturig strong enough to deal with these issues, but the government has consistently failed to support the local industry. Trade with india is not a panacea that the economist will have you believe, it is known to be a pro globalist publication. As for jobs, manufacturing creates more jobs than trading, therefore the net effect on jobs will be negative in the long run as well.Recommend

  • sarita talwai

    All the author is asking is to give peace a chance.If there are sufficient people benefitting from trade with India on both sides of the border they can put adequate pressure on the respective governments to take a fresh look at the Kashmir issue.Also the Kashmiris on both sides of the border should reap a portion of the profits of this billion dollar market.

    I would ask all the passionate sabre-rattlers to give peace a chance…please.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    @shaheen1shaheen2:

    So, will that Khilafat include the areas taken over by the Chinese in XInjiang or for the lure of money that will be forgotten and forgiven?

    Will that also include the areas of J&K ceded to China by Pakistan?Recommend

  • http://www.causes.com/causes/653962-stand-up-for-your-baloch-brothers/ Abdur Rahman

    @Senthilman What world do you live in? Are Indians really that unaware of Pakistanis? That Pakistanis wish to see Indians die and that also because they have another religion. Come on! I only hear the Indians claiming that.

    Can i claim the same about you (Your government or your people) because you NEVER gave condolences or showed sympathy with the Pakistanis in any of the bomb blasts that we have had in the recent past…

    Whenever there was a suicide bomb blast in Pakistan instead of a message of sympathy or some condolence your PM was bent upon talking rubbish.Recommend

  • Farhan

    I think the author’s demand for trade is logical. This will help both countries especially the people of both countries who get jobs and cheap and quality goods. Those who oppose trade with India tell me one thing: what have we given to the poor of both countries in last 65 years by fighting wars? Nothing. half of the population on both sides daily fight for two-times meal a day. Its shameful to say the least.

    Only military men, politicians, civil bureaucracy have benefitted from this hate mongering at the cost of the future generations of two poor countries. I wonder when the educated middle and lower middle class of both countries realise this fact and say enough is enough!Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @Zain S:
    Dude – India has significant non-tariff barriers in place which need to be dismantled for trade to flourish. This will happen over time, and I think the foundation is being laid now. As regards the Pak market being indundated by cheaper Indian goods, then the same concern should hold good for Chinese products as well – and you have already given them the MFN and laid out the red carpet. No, the only logical argument against India-Pak trade is that they are not complementary economies – they produce pretty much the same kind of stuff (although India is moving up the value chain more rapidly). This could be a cause for concern as two-way trade may not always be possible. What Pakistan needs to do is to use its comparative cost efficiencies to develop supplier industries to India’s finished products (including auto parts, cement and fertilizer), while increasing exports of minerals, fruits, tomatoes, onions and other vegetables to an increasingly resource and food hungry India (as you can see – most of these don’t come with made in Pak tags). India may be able to find a market for finished goods (some FMCG, automobiles/ tractors, electricity, refined petroleum products, pharmaceuticals) in Pakistan, and give a fillip to retail (and consequently to real estate and grow secondary employment). In several key areas like chemicals, textiles, cotton, wheat, milk, fish and services, there may not be much scope for trade – and we can focus on other markets. But despite all imbalances, if restrictions are removed, India will emerge as Pakistan’s largest trading partner.Recommend

  • http://yusufzai.blogspot.com/ A R Khan Yusufzai

    More than one-fifth of humanity cannot be in bondage indefinitely because some people would prefer to prolong the agony. One of the most remarkable developments of the 20th century has been the capacity of nations to bolster economic ties even though they remain sharply divided on many vital issues. Recommend

  • ahmed

    Khilafat… haha… Oh My god !!

    @ Anoop :- You can’t convince them. They have been socialized in that way. Recommend

  • Ashish

    Finally a sane,honest and logical presentation from Pakistan. Please think over my following points.
    A. There are so many Muslim countries in problem. Why Pakistan is worried about Kashmir ?
    B. First we must look at our own People , then think of others. C. Why so many muslim countries are fighting with each other ? D. Is Kashmir going to merge with Pakistan ? E. Instead of begging , why not self reliance. F. Will India going to let off its land to others ? G. Where religion is going to take a country (Name one developed country which has come up on the foundation of religion). H. Lots of funds can be diverted for development. I. In this way , when peace will be there , no one needs USA,UK,FRANCE in their country. J. On this blog , whoever is writing has never faced real hardships of life.Recommend

  • http://NYC Thomas

    @Fahad Raza:

    How about Pakistan coming to its sense and obey the articles of the 1947 U.N resolution(which has no cumpulsary articles, anotherwards it cannot be forced) by getting out Kashmir and turning it over to India to prepare for a plebisite.

    Your country has ceded part of Kashmir to China and that has to gotten back ASAP, and all those Sikhs and Hindus who were raped and made muslim has to go back to their original religion and the population ratio whcih existed in Kashmir in 1948 returns, india will come to its sense and have the plebesite. You Pakistanis can harp all you want, untill this happens India keeps in Kashmir.( that would be for a million years.) Keep harping, India doesn’t need your trade. I know Tribune is not going to publish this, but the truth be told.Recommend

  • Zaid Hamid.

    No trade with Hindustan. Once we occupy it, all the wealth and women of India will be ours.Recommend

  • http://indiamike.com Deshpremi

    There is no solution for Kashmir issue. for India’s interest, this will remain as a issue for may be, another 50 years. already, kashmiris are integrated to India. they are confused and organized to riot by political islam radical islamists who wants to believe, kashmir will become part of khilafat which, obviously cannot happen with the mighty Indian military power. Secular and Democratic India is the future and present. there is no place for radicalism and religious bigotry and warcry for the blood of unbeliever. within a decade, Kashmir will develop as world’s best tourist centre. already GoI is investing in infra projects in kashmir valley for better connectivity to capital Delhi. beyond propaganda, Indian Kashmir is where Kashmiri identity is preserved and people are not threatened and dominated unlike what We hear from Pak Kashmir where Mirpuri punjabis,pathans are settled and claimed as “Kashmiris”!(not flaming, this is what I learned).

    Pakistan already trades with China. India has nothing comparable to China to offer except for the quality of Indian products which are not copythefted and cheaply made. but, China provides everytype,every quality products and services Pakistan and other Countries needs including India.
    I am not flamebaiting.But.. really what benefit India or Pakistan can get by mutual trade? nothing! A Pakistani friend said his kids and many folks are obsessed with Indian brands due to non-stop viral advertising. but, blinded by some advertisements is stupid.
    Iran is a country, whose manufacturing sector is vast and mostly in-house R&D. Pakistan can benefit by having more trade business with countries like IRAN,TURKEY who also manufacture good quality products and You can save relying on India.Recommend

  • Maqsood Baloch

    Decalring India has MFN is not the solution of all problems , but it can resolve some of the problems like water shortage , Unemployment , low GDP growth rate. and etc.
    Thus if Pakistan goes for it in practical so it will worth best .. We need to be rational in stead of being emotional . In international relations there is no permanent enemy or friend we need to safeguard our interests.Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Zaid Hamid.:
    I suppose that includes Vidya Balan …………… Ok !! I’m with you on this one.Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    Shadi Talaak ke Baad….. little strangeRecommend

  • sylmarkhan

    @Anoop:

    anoop

    we made border with china also agreed on kashmir resolution. that is between two super powers. unlike india who lost aksi chin. what foolish thing to do. when you don’t belong there. why claim a region you could not take care.

    we made india retreat from skurdu,thrown out mahraja, then made agreement on border.

    What is the use with indians. you pathetic people did not give us majority regions after all. in punjab in kashmir.

    why talk about china. You have lost as well.
    india changed the partion plan just to get our areas proposed for us.

    india and indian are still hungry. even though they have their own two nation theory with freedom and independence.

    ghandhi people want to take freedom independence from us. way to go ghandhi people.Recommend

  • Senthilman

    @Abdur Rahman

    Manmohan Singh is the most Docile pm we had, has there any other person was PM during MUMBAI blast happened the response would have been way different. He condoles bomb blasts its been in news here but probably your media doesn’t give importance to it because we are enemy country. please search in google before claiming something.

    Now a group of 40 organisations is conducting rallies in Pakistan (defence council) main objective is jihad against USA and Hindus in India. You tell me how can we expect to do our business there in Pakistan? Heck would you even buy my company’s product ? so its futile, unrealistic.

    We have very powerful enemy in China but we are way more wary of Pakistan because if one of the religious nutcase from defense council of Pakistan comes to power they will surely send few nuclear bombs this way. They don’t care about you or how yours and your children’s welfare, all they want is to kill Hindus in India.

    You know there is a Chinese army present in the side of Pakistan’s occupied Kashmir, now you tell me is that how a sovereign nation behaves? you Pakistanis Claim you want to make Kashmir free but all you have done is given little bit of Kashmir to Chinese and now in the process of giving the remaining. As I said earlier Pakistan doesn’t care about Kashmiris all they want is to score point against Indians and its a matter of pride.

    Only when you want economic welfare for you and your people, when you value your fellow citizens life and other countries citizens life you will know what I am talking about and then we can do business.Recommend

  • Anwar Hayat

    What is all this nonsense about trade with India? People are always crying about it…from a economic point of view Pakistan has nothing to gain from trading with India. Look at smaller SAARC nations like Nepal and Bangladesh and to a certain extent Sri Lanka who’s local markets have been decimated with the arrival of cheap Indian products. We don’t need any of that here – we don’t gain anything out of it. Yes of course at the moment, the trade is very low, and certain conditions should be made to ease normal trade, but in terms of wanting full fledged trade, no thank you. Pakistan has a large untapped market in a region called CENTRAL ASIA. These newly emerging economies are looking for access to the world – it just so happens that access is through PAKISTAN (namely through Gwadar and Karachi Ports). Countries like Uzbekistan and Tajikistan for years now have been wanting to increase trade with Pakistan. Both Iran and Pakistan agreed to help build the Afghan Railway helping both countries connect them to Central Asia. Pakistan stands to gain MUCH more by trading and developing ties with Central Asia than India. With India where do we go? Nowhere…whereas in Central Asia, with the development in trade and ties, it will open up Pakistani exports towards Eastern Europe and beyond. Remember that Turkey-Iran-Pakistan Freight Train that they wanted to start, it’ll be way more benificial and probably more busy if Pakistan has stronger trade links with Central Asia (including Afghanistan). I’m sorry, but just look at Bangladesh and you’ll understand the whole story – we don’t need that. Central Asia is Pakistan’s future, not India.Recommend

  • NKS

    @Anwar Hayat:
    You are wrong when you say Bangladesh has not gained in trading with India. After India opened up its economy to Bangla exports, trade has just boomed. Last year Bangla exports to India increased substantially. Already due to huge demand, Indian products are reexported to Pakistan from Dubai. Once MFN is granted there will be no need for this and most importantly Pakistanis can buy Indian goods at competitive rates.Recommend

  • Trade

    @Anwar Hayat, I think you don’t fully understand the point of competitive markets, even if they’re complementary, competitive forces corner producers in to gaining efficiency. In any case, we, as consumers, have everything to gain from increased competition. As @NKS has just said, Bangladesh has not, and did not, suffer from increased trade. Although, you are absolutely correct in asserting that Pakistan needs to develop and increase its trade with Central Asia; develop is the key word here, which would imply a medium-long term time frame. The current transportation infrastructure would see trade as being prohibitively costly with Central Asia, we would have relative cost advantages to develop our trade links with India, in the short-medium term, instead.Recommend

  • Swati

    Great Expectations!!
    It is impossible for Pakistanis or majority of them to have any reasonable judgement at all. If they had any sense they would have stopped this jehad and terrorist activities a long time back and looked after their own good in developing friendship with India. But it is not to happen. You people are in the worst financial, social and political situation a country can be when India is one of the biggest economies of the world.
    So dear writer it is in vein that you pursue your countrymen to make sensible decisions. But I acknowledge your courage and Pak Tribune’s free speechRecommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    @sylmarkhan:

    So you are going to ignore Chinese attrocities. And Pakistan is a super power? That’s hilarious!! Recommend

  • Sanjay, Mumbai

    Trading partners India and Pakistan will trade goods and services based on their own national interest. Pakistan need not have to decide on trade based on its stand on some other unrelated disputes. India and China have many such disputes, that doesnt stop China to trade with India. India shelters Tibetan leader- Dalai Lama, that doesnt mean China makes irrational decision of not trading with India. Trade is meant to be done when there is benefit to both sides. Based on the studies made by independent bodies, Indo-Pak trade potential could be in range of 30Billion USD. This is a huge opportunity for Indian cos and also Pakistan. Why let such opportunities slip by..India will have to work harder to build bridges and convince Pakistanis about benefits that would accrue to their economy by trading with India. Indian Business Federations surely must be working towards this. There will always be section of people who would oppose any such development and will try sabotage . Its for saner, wise and rational individuals on both sides to get going, ignoring the critics.Recommend

  • http://Delhi Amit

    No we possibly can’t do that. Betraying kashmiris is like betraying own religion, thats our core issue. Forget Baluchistan. Kashmir is and always will be our core isue. Please dont give all this trade/commerce lecture. Our ghairat is too important to us and we don’t need money when we have ghairat intact. All you liberal fascists just wait and watch our mujahideen brothers will conquer India very soon. InshaAllah!! Recommend

  • ranjit

    Instead of Indo-Pak trade, we should talk about Central Asia-South Asia trade……….trade between Central Asian countries, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India……..now that is the real game changer……..oil and gas flowing towards South Asia, agricultural and industrial products flowing towards central asia…….and Pakistan can be the bridge between Central Asia and South Asia and can literally mint gold from such a trade arrangement………imagine the economic growth from that……..the huge positive impact on people in the entire area…….the direct benefit to muslims and non-muslims……….that is the vision that we need………. Recommend

  • TMohsin

    The only way to solve Kashmir issue is to let its people vote whether they want to be a part of India or Pakistan…and then accept whatever may the results be. No doubt Kashmir was rightfully supposed to be a part of Pakistan at the time of the division and we curse Lord Mountbatten for what he did, but now fighting over this issue till doomsday is not the solution. Let democracy prevail.Recommend

  • Naimat ullah Khan Niazi

    @Anoop:
    World do not believe Pakistanio Lies in Kashmir? World do not actually Believe Hindu Regime’s Lies on Kashmir. Because It’s a majority Muslim State. Hindu Regime tried 25 years to continue this Muslim Genocide and it is still continued. Do not quote how strong you are? No matter How strong but never be stronger than the Soviet Umpire and they are before you today. All people saying here is that No trade without some conditions and Kashmir is one. If do not want to sit and talk then take a hike. World is not short of countries. I do not agree with the author about doing trade with India Only? Why not Iran? Is that not our neighbor? And what about countries with Central Asia and Russia and China? Those markets are big enough. How about Turkey that is a growing economy? Have we exhausted this potential? Pakistan has more benefits doing major trade with them as there are at least no security issues with those countries. India proved not to be a friendly country and only a fool will trust Hindu Regime as friendly or one got to be blind. Cautious approach is needed if Pakistan wants to do any Business with India. There should be no absolute liberty of all goods. Kashmir Issue is going to be solved sooner or later but this current status Quo will not remain for years. There is no doubt about this in mind. However, If India wants trade routes through pakistan then it has to resolve all outstanding issues or else take good through sea and Pakistan should look westwards and northwards toward china for trade. India should be the last on the list.Recommend

  • Zainab Imam

    Thank you for writing this. It is about time we let go of an issue that continues to bleed our already ailing country. Recommend

  • http://India vasan

    Ok my take based on these comments are
    1. Many pakistanis do not want to trade with India
    2. Many Indians want to trade with Pakistanis

    One solution is let the gates to trade be opened. Then let the Pakistanis not buy Indian goods and services. Funnily no Pakistani has ever mentioned that they do not want to sell anything to India. I guess they are sitting on a pile of cash to buy but do not produce any goods to sell.Recommend

  • Osman

    @Mustafa Moiz:

    Are you kidding me?! India was responsible for breaking our country? NOT our own internal politics? How clueless are you man? Read up a little bit on the goings on internally that LED to Bangladesh wanting independence. It was our god damn racism and bigotry and political marginalization of the Bangladeshi people, and the then extremely potent ANP party by the PPP that led to Bangladesh wanting self determination. West Pakistan was responsible for the partition NOT India.

    And let’s not be naive. Both countries support militant groups in each other’s borders.Recommend

  • wasim

    Trade or no trade the both nations should solve Kashmir issue peacefully and stop spending scarce resources on Military expenditure, when both sides have millions living under the poverty line. As regards trade figure of 30 billion and economic future of Pakistanis being tied with trade with India. This is a tall claim and should have been backed with some examples.
    Regional economic integration mostly backfires especially when it is done between unequal partners, a free and liberal trade with India will create havoc in Pakistan you can find plenty of examples in the current trade being done with India. Quite a few Industries in Pakistan got effected.
    Also to soften up Pakistan’s stance Indians will always lure us with the potential scope of the trade but when it comes to actually reciprocating they won’t move an inch.
    At present they want MFN status from Pakistan but are not willing to have a cricket match. Nor they are willing to address Pakistan’s genuine concerns about the Water Issue.Recommend

  • Man

    Kashmir issue is most important and it is way past due. Not resolving it is simply a sign of the weakness of the government. Kashmir resolution is the one and only and the very first step toward confidence building. This is the backbone of confidence building. Recommend

  • Junaid Saleem

    @ranjit: Instead of Indo-Pak trade, we should talk about Central Asia-South Asia trade……….trade between Central Asian countries, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India……

    Oh Really? That would be the game changer? For who? and why would we include India in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia trade? For 1971 Invasion or 1979 Baluchistan Indian State Sponsored Terrorism or Perhaps for Samjhota Express Bombing or for kashmiris Genocide in Occupied Kashmir? For what you should be granted access? For all that bad Mouthing your Hindu Media did agains Pakistan in recent years on behalf of your foreign Masters? No, I do not think that we should do that,. You are absolutely right when you named the Iran Pakistan, Afghanistan But I think you inserted your country’s name wrongly. We will just make one change and that will be that we will replace India with China. Rest will remain the same. Goods and services will still flow both ways and mint gold but you won’t be there,, Hope you liked the plan.Recommend

  • Wonderer

    Looking at the comments one can be sure the writer did not know he will be only making enemies among fellow Pakistanis. As Indira Gandhi once said, “you can not talk sense with a clenched fist”.

    Pakistan should continue on the path it has followed since its birth and it will succeed in getting whatever it wants; Insha-Allah! The operative words are – Insha-Allah.Recommend

  • Raja Islam

    @Mustafa Moiz:
    Wait a minute, I thought that it was Pakistan that broke India in the first place. If you believe that the breaking up of India into two nations was justified, then the same should be true in the case of Pakistan and Bangladesh.Recommend

  • Amjad

    As a native Pakistani, I would prefer trade with Central Asia or the Middle East over India. I know that there are people like you who don’t care about trade with India or Israel but you forget that the majority of Pakistanis still care about Kashmir. Many of us have family or roots in occupied Kashmir. You would prefer to deal with a nation that ignores a UN resolution and cheated along with the British to deny the future of millions to be free? Pakistan is meant to be an independent nation- regardless of whether Pakistan is rich or poor, powerful or a mid sized power, Pakistan has a principled stand on Kashmir and nothing will change that.Recommend

  • Marium

    Hear hear! My sentiments exactly .

    Id rather save Balochistan at this point in time , rather than worrying about Kashmires across the border. I would not be surprised to learn what an average kashmiri thinks about the interference in their affairs from PakistanRecommend

  • Deb;India

    @Zaid Hamid.
    No trade with Hindustan. Once we occupy it, all the wealth and women of India will be ours.
    @Parvez
    @Zaid Hamid I suppose that includes Vidya Balan …………… Ok !! I’m with you on this one.

    You both are naughty, very naughty, but delightfully so. I mean it, seriously.
    Now pleasantries over, let’s come to the business end.
    @Zaid Hamid, you can keep all the wealth.There will be some problem for a while, but we will create it all over again, as we have done time and again and still doing for about 2,500 (2,542 to be precise) years after series of invasions and plunder since 530 B.C.
    Now that the wealth issue is sorted (read surrendered) out, let’s move on to the more (actually the most) important issue i.e. women, the pivotal location of south asian male’s sense of masculinity.
    I perfectly understand my situation; defeated,vanquished,occupied and on my knees,begging for mercy.But then, the right to be magnanimous in victrory rests with the victor i.e. you, and I am sure that following the teachings of the one who is most mercifull, you will forgive me my last and final act of intransigence, my reluctance (too scared to use the word refusal) to part with Deepika Padukone and Katrina Kaif (in that order).Leave these two and take the rest.There will be some problem for a while, but in time we will have our Madhubala and Madhuri Dixit,Suraiya and Saira Bano,Nargis and Nutan…….Vaijayanti Mala and Vidya Balan.
    P.S.
    Let me share a little secret here, if you permit, Sir Zaid Hamid.Vidya Balan was my first choice.But since @Parvez, who has expressed his liking for her first, I think I should simply walk away and leave the rest between Parvez and Vidya, and wish them all the best. Recommend

  • Cynical

    @Deb;India

    I like your spirit.Recommend

  • dr.atifali

    i belong to an area which an indian would say as . Pakistan occupied Kashmir POK and a Pakistani will tag as STILL TO BE DECIDED .. :-) IRONIC …. Good article indeed.. Pakistan must look into this matter that every month there is a Mosque being blasted and People being killed just because they differ in ideology …. and as far as Pro Taliban Friends in the Thread .. :-) u guys are Hopeless !! i couldnt stop laughing over “KHILAFAT AYE GI AUR INDIA KI SARI DAULAT AUR AURTAIN WESAY HI HAMARI HO JAEINGI” i think kisi molvi ne Garam Garam Halwa kha kar Garam Garam khwab dikhaya hai apko .. !! Get a life !!!Recommend