AMONG wide-scale destruction of vital food crops due to flooding, new proposals to reopen trade with our eastern neighbor, which, due to its geographical position proximity and agricultural similarities, can provide the fastest means of overcoming the impending demand- lack of supply in various kitchen goods. Question of can it happen, it’s hard one because talking of any connections with India – be they purely economic in nature — invites reflex reaction and a little of politicking by any faction seeking to quickly earn political capital. In purely logistical terms, this makes sense. for Pakistan in first touch his neighbors for their immediate needs before contacting global markets. Both cost of shipment and time spent for goods to reach local markets will be much lower in In this case food is imported from India and not from anywhere else. Faced with a situation where every penny spent on imports should be spent conservatively, our politicians will not find options that more cost-effective in in this respect. End users will also benefit from the reduction cost and faster availability of items of daily use. The resumption of imports also provide a plan for wider resumption of regular trade between Pakistan and India in in future.
However, it is necessary that the political leadership of Pakistan, as well as the state arrive to the same conclusion regarding trade with India. Any decision taken should not become a victim of strife and politicking at the expense of of one who formally gives call continue. Since the majority of political parties already part of in coalition government they can find it easier to arrive by consensus on cause. However, PTI should also see reason and consider more national interest over time of unprecedented disaster, instead of seeing this as an opportunity to settle old scores. party seriously considered the possibility of trade renewal shortly before his overthrow and even formally announced restoration of trade ties in April last year before you roll it up back. Although both PML-N and PPS loudly resisted the restoration. of trade back then PTI would have served the nation well by avoiding retribution now. If he considered and understood the plus points of trade with India – before moves to assume that it took place – it should not prevent people benefit from it.
Published in Dawn, September 2, 2022