The dynamics of India-Pakistan trade

Sajad Padder

Indian sub continent was an integrated economy prior to partition. Even after partition, 1948-49 Pakistan’s exports to India accounted to 56% of its old exports, 32% of Pakistan imports came from India. But 1965 war changed the situation. In 1989, Pakistan agreed to import 322 Indian items. In 1995, India gave Pakistan the status of  Most Favoured Nation (MFN.). The estimated Indo-Pak trade potential has been put at US $ 10 billion. Another study put it at 10.9 to 19.8 billion. The restrictive trade environment between India and Pakistan has led to a large informal trade flows between the two. Nevertheless, the regional trade integration in South Asia depends on the health of India-Pakistan relations.

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PEACE IN OUR TIME?

Saad Hafiz

It is probably naïve to expect peace between India and Pakistan anytime soon. Their inability to resolve disputes is the cause, though the two go on trading allegations in UN. There is definitely trust deficit between the two countries. Simla Agreement should have served as peace maker. India had chosen road of peace and reconciliation. The Agreement could have served as a blue print for final peace agreement between the two countries. But it is Pakistan’s Generals who decide the terms or timing of peace. Since Mr. Modi has stopped treating Pakistan with kid gloves, Pakistan says India does not want peace. Pakistan continues to support cross-border terrorism. In these circumstances, Pakistan does not have the leverage to bring India to negotiating table.

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Who are the stakeholders?

National Conference’s demand for autonomy, PDP’s self-rule, separatists’ ‘azadi’ and advice of talking to Pakistan – all these are not worth acceptance. This is New Delhi’s new stance, writes daily Nida-i-Mashriq. The paper further writes that if, none of these groups are stake holders, then who is? National Conference had endorsed accession and worked to promote its stand, whereas Congress saw to it that internal autonomy was eroded, and Mufti Sayeed created a crack in NC’s strong wall, but put every point of view on stake. If these are unreliable now, who is to be trusted now? If it is the so called “third front”, the people thereof have a very small stature and can not win people’s good will. Historical facts can not be erased and all the agreements between two countries can’t be termed obsolete. Pakistan is a party. The people of Kashmir suffer because of Indo-Pak conflict.

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KASHMIR NEEDS SKILL BASED HUMAN RESOURCES

Peer G N Suhail

Kashmir is blessed with natural resources, especially water. But it can not rely only on that, and neglect other sectors. We need human resource development when means of production are not resource intensive but knowledge intensive, writes G. N. Suhail in an analytical article. Every year thousands of students graduate, but are not table to find jobs, because of non-availability of jobs and also due to lack of skills that job market demands. Education system needs restructuring and transformation. Those pursuing education for jobs can opt for professional and market oriented programmes. The state has started a skill development mission, but it is in infancy stage. Collaboration and coordination among stake holders have to be strengthened to have effective outcome of the skill training.

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J&K Constitution  not a mistake

Daily Nida-i-Mashriq reflecting J&K opinion writes that national leaders of stature have played a role in shaping the relationship between J&K and the Indian Union in making the separate Constitution for the state. Calling it a mistake is deliberate attempt to mislead people. Historical documents reveal that granting of special status, giving constitutional guarantees, and making a separate Constitution for the state, were acts that had the consent of leaders and people of country. But surprisingly, Dr. Karan Singh, who has been closely associated with all these happenings, has adopted silence.

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Religious sites that unite

Tasneem Kabir 

 The state has been a host with open arms, for the development of multiple faiths and religious persuasions. As such we have a plethora of religious sites and shrines. Nund Rishi, patron saint of Kashmir was Muslim mystic revered by Muslims and Hindus of region alike.  Lal Ded, who fed him as an  infant, when he was three days old, was known as Lalashuri and Lal Arifa and revered by Hindus as well as Muslims. Amarnath temple, one of the holiest shrines in Hinduism, is a cave at an attitude of 3000 m, as it is the site where god Shiva – explained the secrets of life and eternity to his consort Parvati. The Holy Family Church – is a Roman Catholic Church, and has a history of over a hundred and thirty two years. Now shift to Ladakh. Hemis monastery in Leh, is a haven for young Buddhists who stay and train to become accomplished monks. The Hemis festival is dedicated to Lord Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) representative of reincarnation of Buddha.

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Think Local, Act Global

 Siddiq Wahid

The world realized that noise for uniformity in the interests of corporate wealth and political power was not same as unity in diversity. The rationality of inherited community values and wisdom and space for individual choice are important. The intertwining of economics and politics has made conflicted disputes in different parts of the world more complicated and disheartening. In case of Kashmir, it has become clear that, resolution of dispute will need forward thinking, rooted in historical experience and paradigm shift in policy. We must learn to draw the line, within ourselves between state power and free individual. In concrete  terms, it means living an ethical life. It means to be civil in public, to say no to stealing electricity, no to paying bribes, to grow what we eat, to cultivate relationship between ourselves, individually and collectively.

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‘DRUG ABUSE RAVAGING KASHMIR’S YOUNGER GENERATION’

 Zehru Nissa

 During past three years, 10,000 patients have sought help from Government Medical College Srinagar, for getting rid of drug addiction. According to Zehru Nissa, there is a constant rise in patients with psychiatric issues, resulting from substance abuse. In Kashmir, cannabis tops the list of substance abuse, followed by opium and related products. The reality is that there is absence of planned and concrete measures to plug supply of drugs, to create sensitisation and awareness among masses and to set right manpower shortage.

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KHAN AND KASHMIR

Javaid Iqbal Bhat

Imran Khan has shown grit and determination and his charisma has remained undiminished. The problem is what can his policy be. In an analysis J. I. Bhat writes that he has been against militarization of civilian areas-in Kashmir and FATA. He has been advocating of talks over Afghanistan. He has been in favour of Musharraf formula because the mainstay of that formula is delimilitarization. If he is able to make progress on a solution, it will be his great achievement. But critics say that he will not go beyond military brief.

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MAKING PEACE WITH NAYA PAKISTAN

M. K. Narayanan

To be optimistic about future of democracy in Pakistan and alongside improvement in India-Pakistan relations is welcome. But, it needs to be laced with a tinge of realism, writes M. K. Narayanan. According to him, India has had false starts in the past, and hence India needs to assess the situation in Pakistan in greater depth and not jump to conclusion. New Prime Minister Imran Khan has been content with reiterating hackneyed themes viz desire to initiate talks resolve differences, improve trade relations, resolve Kashmir conflict. Many of the ministers on his cabinet are holders from previous administration, and that does not hold much hope for an improvement in India-Pakistan relations. The circumstances under which Mr. Khan succeeded in these elections would suggest that ‘deep state’ in Pakistan played not so insignificant role in his victory. Under the circumstances Mr. Khan seems to have less room to maneuver. India will need to create a framework that leads to realistic outcomes, given that it genuinely believes in peace with Pakistan. Perhaps it would be advisable for Indian state to step back and provide greater scope for people’s initiatives. The  message is for people’s groups in India to engage and engage with whomsoever it is possible in Pakistan with a view to creating a suitable climate for peace and better relations.

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