India-Pakistan Ties: If Goods Don’t Cross Borders, Soldiers Will

By Afaq Hussain and Riya Sinha

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent meeting with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the Paris summit followed by Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Pakistan has raised hopes about the possibility of resumption of the bilateral composite dialogue. The move signals a long-awaited thaw in bilateral relationship.

International commerce is the single most effective area that can successfully alter the bilateral foreign policy of India and Pakistan and enable them to move beyond their strained political linkages. Both conventional wisdom and empirical evidence propose that increasing levels of cross-border economic flows, defined either in terms of trade or capital movements decreases the probability of conflict.

Deliberating the very notions of peace through trade or trade through peace, can be quite intriguing. Reducing conflict helps create a globally conducive atmosphere for facilitating trade and other ties between countries; at the same time, increasing trade promotes peace through communication and transnational ties, which improves mutual understanding among societies and raises the potential for cooperation. The growing internationalisation of commerce and firms makes war less likely by increasing the costs of severing economic links.

Read more » The Quint
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