Pak-In­dia ten­sion: Cut hands that harm us

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

In­dia has in­ten­si­fied shelling on peo­ple of Pak­istan re­sid­ing in ar­eas that are close to bor­der with In­dia. In re­cent weeks In­dian shelling has killed sev­eral Pak­ista­nis and in­jured many that were shown on the elec­tronic and print media each time the In­dian guns fired bombs on Pak­ista­nis.

De­spite re­peated re­quests of Pak­istan, In­dian gov­ern­ment is show­ing least in­ter­est in end­ing ceasefire vi­o­la­tions on the Work­ing Bound­ary and in Kash­mir. How much non-se­ri­ous In­dia is in pro­mot­ing peace in this re­gion can be imag­ined from the fact that In­dia is not will­ing to dis­cuss Kash­mir is­sue. In­dia pre­ferred to sus­pend pro­posed talks of the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­vis­ers of the two coun­tries that were to be held on Aug 24 and 25, but showed no flex­i­bil­ity in in­clud­ing Kash­mir in agenda of bi­lat­eral talks.

Soon af­ter the sus­pen­sion of talks, In­dian forces have aug­mented shelling in Pak­istani bor­der ar­eas on Work­ing Bound­ary in Sialkot and Lone of Con­trol in Kash­mir, lead­ing to killings of sev­eral peo­ple and in­juries to many oth­ers.

There are re­ports that In­dia has in­ten­si­fied bor­der shelling just to put pres­sure on Pak­istan to give up the China-Pak­istan Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor and the cur­rent visit of the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser of the United States is also be­ing linked to this is­sue.

Im­por­tant to note is that the United States and In­dia have openly op­posed the China-Pak Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor and now they can use any kinds of tac­tics to sabotage this mega pro­ject that can re­shape fu­ture of Pak­istan and ties be­tween the two time-tested friends _ Pak­istan and China.

As In­dian gov­ern­ment is pur­su­ing the agenda of giv­ing a tough time to Pak­istan, our gov­ern­ment should also re­cip­ro­cate in the same man­ner. In the first phase Pak­istan gov­ern­ment should stop trade with In­dia im­me­di­ately that I am sure would en­hance the headache of the Modi Sar­dar. Be­cause in last fi­nan­cial year for the first time Pak­istan's im­ports from In­dia crossed $2 bil­lion.

It is be­lieved that the coun­try is im­port­ing veg­eta­bles and fruit worth 100 bil­lion ru­pees from In­dia. In other words Pak­istan is feed­ing the In­dian farm­ers by im­port­ing a huge quan­tity of veg­eta­bles and fruit. If Pak­istani farm­ers are en­cour­aged to grow more veg­eta­bles and fruit, the gov­ern­ment would not im­prove the in­come of our own farm­ers but would em­power them to meet the do­mes­tic de­mand of veg­eta­bles and fruit.

So in the first phase, Pak­istan gov­ern­ment should set a dead­line to moti- vate to In­dia to end ceasefire vi­o­la­tions and if this does not hap­pen, the gov­ern­ment should im­me­di­ately sus­pend trade. Sus­pen­sion of trade can end a good source of in­come of In­dian farm­ers and traders and they would cer­tainly put pres­sure on their gov­ern­ment to stop cross-bor­der shelling/fir­ing.

In 2002, when In­dia de­ployed its armed forces along bor­der with Pak­istan af­ter the Mum­bai at­tacks, the In­dian farm­ers, traders and busi­ness­men forced their gov­ern­ment to end this hos­tile pol­icy that lasted over six months as the farm­ers and busi­ness com­mu­nity lost bil­lions of dol­lars in just six months stand-off be­tween armed forces of the two coun­tries on the bor­der.

In­di­ans can face any loss, but they are not ac­cus­tomed to los­ing money in busi­ness. Their busi­ness is their life­line and it keeps their pulse and life nor­mal. Our rulers must take ad­van­tage of this weak­ness of In­di­ans. Why are we feed­ing the hands that harm us?

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