ISSN 2330-717X

When Will It Be Possible For India And Pakistan To Work Together Again? – OpEd

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India and Pakistan benefit from trade, says Abdul Razak Dawood, Pakistan’s Prime Minister’s Adviser on Commerce and Textiles, Industry, Production and Investment. During a media interview for a Pakistan Trade Development Authority event on engineering and health care, Dawood remarked that India is beneficial for business. It was suggested by Mr. Dawood that Pakistan should increase its exports to nations such as Russia and Central Asia, as well as to other countries throughout the world. 

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Though there has been no official meeting, optimists are pleased that the truce has held. According to them, 2020 will be a superior year to have a conversation than the current year, which is 2021. Some believe that Pakistan cannot make significant changes to its policies toward India. Many idealists believe that when India and Pakistan mark 75 years since their independence and subsequent separation, they would strive even harder to maintain peace in the region. A hundred-year war between the two countries of India and Pakistan would be ridiculous. India and Pakistan have to determine “when,” not “if,” according to realists, who think that things change all the time. Changes are occurring in both nations, as well as in their respective regions and throughout the globe, at an unprecedented pace. These are likely to have an impact on the long-frozen ties between India and Pakistan.

Since 2018, Pakistan and the United States have had an extremely strained relationship. There seems to be little knowledge of either the Indian perspective or how the two nations had worked together in recent history. India’s air force operations in Pakistan, Delhi’s actions on Jammu and Kashmir, and the Pulwama terror incident all contributed to a shift in how India and Pakistan operate together in early 2019. For the sake of Kashmir, Pakistan lobbied for India’s change of heart all over the globe. It has been unsuccessful till now. 

It was only recent that India and Pakistan startled the world by announcing that they had decided to retain the 2003 ceasefire in place. The security apparatuses of India and Pakistan collaborated behind the scenes to negotiate an agreement that was signed by the chiefs of both army commands. It is not merely that they consented to put down their weapons. Additionally, they promised that they will address each other’s serious issues and concerns that might threaten the ceasefire.

Pakistan seemed receptive to commerce despite its concerns regarding Jammu and Kashmir. While Prime Minister Imran Khan said that Pakistan cannot engage with India while Kashmir is in anguish, he also claimed that Pakistan intended to acquire sugar and cotton from India in the near future. Islamabad’s professed intentions for repairing ties with Delhi are being maintained. It is unclear if Pakistan and India would be able to reach a fresh agreement on how to interact with one another inside Pakistan.

Pakistan political environment is expected to remain uncertain in the next year because of elections as the incumbent Prime Minister Imran Khan’s political tenure in Pakistan ends in 2023. Sharif is expected to return to Pakistan early next year, making the political battle between Imran Khan and his leadership much more difficult. India’s political system is not only insecure for the foreseeable future, but also the government’s ideological base is staunchly opposed to engaging in any kind of dialogue with Pakistan. If Delhi refuses to communicate with Pakistan, the population of Delhi will not be very enraged. No matter how hopeful, pessimistic, idealistic, or cynical they are, realists may believe that India and Pakistan will be able to get along in 2022. Structures are slowly but gradually affecting both the internal and exterior frames of bilateral ties, as well as the regional power balance. As a consequence, the existing titles for the war between India and Pakistan will gradually lose their significance.

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*The author holds an M.Phil from National Defence University and freelance writer and can be reached at [email protected]

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