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Mutual trade in South Asia

Mutual trade in South Asia

Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have been a route of transit trade between Kabul and New Delhi for centuries and trade could not be stopped even during the British Raj. However, after the establishment of Pakistan and India as independent states in 1947, trade between New Delhi and Afghanistan continued but saw a sharp decline.The reason was the hostile attitude of India and Afghanistan toward Pakistan. It is equally unfortunate that Afghanistan is the only country in the world which voted against the establishment of Pakistan in the United Nations.

The world is now changing and there is a great potential of trade between Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.The three important countries have lot of things to offer as the three share common history and geographical location.

Pakistan is an agriculturaleconomy with a strong industrial base and both Pakistan and India can start mutual trade for the benefits of the two peoples.However, revolutionary steps are required by the leadership of the two countries. On another note, Pakistan and Afghanistan not only share common geography and history, but also common language, culture and religion. It is up to the leadership of both countries to forget the bitter past and start afresh. There are tremendous opportunities in Pakistan and Afghanistan where both the countries can help each other. A new leadership is in place in Afghanistan and Pakistan too has a new elected government. It is now up to the both the countries to establish a close cooperation. A major problems, which has spoiled peace in the two countries is terrorism which must be ended that will only be possible when terrorists and their mentors are crushed.

Still the three countries trade various items across the borders, but traders have to pass official rigmarole at border posts to enter the other territory. There is a need to establish a visa free regime where the people of three countries could come and go without any hurdle and by showing only a biometric national identity card or just a pass.

It is also a responsibility of the international community, especially the United States being the only super power, United Kingdom as a traditional partner and Japan and China as economic and regional powers to play their role in bringing all the three in this region on one page for the sake of peace and security and a safer world.

A division of the sub-continent on the administrative point of view should be acceptedas a reality and when economy is concerned, all the three nations should act in unison.