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The difficult path to India-Pakistan peace

  • Published
    6th Sep, 2022

Context:

  • Pakistan which has been in a marred financial crisis is unable to overcome domestic pressure to seek the economic benefit of trading essential commodities with India. It shows how difficult is the path to peace for India and Pakistan.

Present Situation:

  • The serving Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif is supposedly not doing enough to alleviate stresses on Pakistan’s flailing and cash-strapped domestic economy, which is on the verge of defaulting widening current account deficit and high inflation brought by the after-effects of a global coronavirus pandemic, unprecedented floods, and decades of poor planning. More surprising is the fact that its Finance Minister has indicated his openness to import “vegetables and edible items from India”. On the contrary, Mr. Sharif has stressed on government’s commitment to prioritizing a resolution of the Kashmir dispute before normalization of bilateral relations.

Domestic Pressure:

  • Despite the economic benefit of seeking trade in essential commodities with India, Pakistan is unable to overcome the pressures of domestic public opinion in Pakistan. The government has been forced to introduce austerity measures and roll back public subsidies to meet the IMF’s demands to qualify for its financial assistance.
  • A simple application of rational choice theory would suggest that Pakistan's choice is fairly straightforward and it must seek cooperation from the large agricultural producer in the neighborhood, to provide it essential aid in its moment of crisis. Possibly Pakistan could not muster the political will to serve Pakistan’s short-term interests.
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