Indo-Pak Economic Union - can this be the solution to decades long rift
Who doesn’t know the India-Pak dispute.Both the countries have been at the state of war against each other since 1947(partition of India) & have faced each other 4 times in direct wars.Both spend a significant amount of their resources 💰 on their national armies each year & most of this expenditure is directly inspired by this rivalry among nations.
Reason behind this long running dispute the Valley of Kashmir which is a paradise in Himalayan Foothills & keeps large tourism potential.But as it is completely visible that both of the countries have failed to encash that potential in the respective areas of Kashmir valley ,they possess.Moreover the youth & potential workers of Kashmir are yet to taste the economic growth of the country.Some people in the valley are missguiding the youth for their personal vested interests just to take advantage of the hotchpotch they create.
The mainstream media makes the situation even worse by magnifying even a little act of aggitating youth for feeding their TRP.Well that’s the matter for another day & let’s come to the main issue.As it is clear that this rivalry is eating a significant portion of budget of both countries ,it becomes necessary to find a quick & peaceful solution.For that let’s analyse the matter at a glance first.
The Kashmir dispute is all about the territory of the valley.In 1947 when the British left India they made two dominions i.e. India & Pakistan.The boundaries within the British India were to be demarcated by Redcliff committee & the princely states were given the following three choices:
- To join India
- To join Pakistan
- To remain independent i.e. neither joining India nor Pakistan
The king of the Kashmir went for the 3rd option & didn’t join any of the Dominion.Just after the partition Pakistan decided to invade Kashmir to merge it with Pakistan.The ruler of Kashmir asked India for help & thus signed the cessession agreement with India according to which Kashmir would an integral part of India as a semi autonomous state where all the matters related to foreign affairs, communication & defence were to be under the central government & rest of the matters were given under the ambit of state legislatures of J&K.Somewhere during all this dillema Pakistan succeeded in capturing a portion of J&k that’s now called Pok or Azad Kashmir in different countries.
Pakistan having no legal backing in this matter kept on trying various methods to take rest of the territory in its possession.Be it the four major wars or the cross border terrorism Pakistan has tried every possible method.It seems like it is never going to give up on the Kashmir issue.This rigid behavior of Pakistan has lead to huge losses for both the sides in general & for people of Kashmir in particular. In this era of development it is no more fissible for both the nations to keep on feeding this conflict.
As per this whole analysis we need a non military solution to the conflict as soon as possible.After the second world war the European countries decided to come together as an Union with a single market to avoid any kind of conflict among all the countries.
But how a common market can help reducing armed conflicts?
Its a well known fact that economy is linked with polity.If economies of two countries are interlinked & dependent on each other,they are less likely to go for a war as there are many factors & pressure groups working in this direction.
So Indian & Pakistani leaders may negotiate for a common market regulated by a body having members from both the countries.Starting from free movement of goods & services & then introducing free movement of human resources accross the border.The heart of dispute(Kashmir) may be developed as an administrative city for the purpose of the governance of the Union related matters.It seems impossible but all it needs is a strong political will & a lot of love between the publics of both the countries.