India and Pakistan: moving out of intensive care

July 28, 2011

The joint statement released after the meeting of the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan was so predictably cautious that inevitably attention focused on Pakistan’s glamorous new  foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, and  her designer accessories (a Hermes Birkin handbag, we were told.) Much of the debate was about whether it was sexist to comment on her appearance/question her competence; whether she had performed well in her television interviews (CNN-IBN is here); and whether it was appropriate for a minister to be so expensively attired. (See Dawn’s slideshow for some snarky captions.)

But that debate was also irrelevant. Nobody ever expected policy on India and Pakistan to be set by the foreign ministers. In Pakistan, it is heavily influenced by the army; in India, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is driving it.   The two ministers were simply expected to deliver that policy with tact and conviction.

The heavy lifting in rebuilding India-Pakistan ties, soured by the November 2008 attacks on Mumbai,  had in any case already been carried out by their top diplomats, foreign secretaries Nirupama Rao and Salman Bashir.  Their aim, according to an ANI profile of Rao, was to take the India-Pakistan relationship off life-support and bring it into the incubator stage.

So how far did the joint statement - so detailed that it had to have been the product of weeks of work by diplomats behind the scenes — achieve that aim?

The main caveat is that nobody is entirely clear where the Pakistan army stands on the peace process. But equally, since only the military and its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency have the power to deliver on security measures, the likelihood is that it was consulted well in advance.

Among the pointers and questions on where talks go from here, based on the joint statement, are:

- As expected, there was no reference to Afghanistan, since this has never been included within the formal peace process between India and Pakistan. Yet with many suggesting both countries have an interest in discussing stability in Afghanistan it remains unclear how they will find a mechanism to incorporate this into their peace talks.

- The statement acknowledged the desire of people of both countries for peace and development, a reflection of a major focus by both governments on building their economies. Despite distrust on both sides,  a Pew Global Attitudes survey released in June showed support in both countries for improved relations and stronger trade ties.

-  The two countries “agreed on the need to strengthen cooperation on counter-terrorism including among relevant departments as well as agencies to bring those responsible for terror crimes to justice.”  As discussed here, that would probably require greater military-to-military cooperation - a tricky issue for India given the asymmetry in the roles played by the armies in both countries. Two former heads of the intelligence agencies of India and Pakistan – both services are profoundly distrustful of the other – called recently for improved intelligence sharing.

- The ministers agreed to convene expert-level meetings on both conventional and nuclear confidence building measures in Islamabad in September 2011.  The idea of introducing nuclear and conventional CBMs first came up at a meeting last month in Islambad between the two foreign secretaries. It would probably require some military-to-military contacts.  Experts on the Track Two circuit say they have already identified some nuclear CBMs, including the withdrawal of some short-range missiles.

- On Kashmir, the ministers agreed to more talks ”with a view to finding a peaceful solution by narrowing divergences and building convergences.”  The only deal which has come near to winning backing from both India and Pakistan was a draft roadmap agreed in 2007 which would have made the borders dividing the region irrelevant while also accepting there could be no exchange of territory.   According to former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf, who was involved in negotiating the roadmap,  that draft agreement was still some way off from being finalised.

- Both sides agreed to improve trade and travel across the Line of Control, the ceasefire line dividing Kashmir.  According to Greater Kashmir, the response in Kashmir was fairly positive but with many outstanding questions on the details.  India has in the past been worried that Pakistan might use easier access to push militants into Kashmir.  For now, though, there is little sign of militants crossing over, as an insurgency which erupted in 1989  is replaced by other forms of protest. Many in Pakistan fear that India will offer just enough concessions to allow it to retain the status quo and keep control of Kashmir

- The ministers agreed to work towards increased trade and reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers; to improve people-to-people contact and the availability of visas; and to continue discussions on other issues, including on a resolution of the Siachen conflict. These are all likely to be discussed in talks between top bureaucrats and diplomats of both countries in the coming months, while the foreign ministers are due to meet again in the first half of 2012.

- The two ministers ”reaffirmed their commitment to the Indus Waters Treaty”, (see the full pdf document here), signed by India and Pakistan in 1960 to regulate the use of their shared rivers. As the lower riparian, Pakistan has been particularly suspicious of India’s river management – it fears dams being built on the Indian side will deprive it of water or make it vulnerable to deliberate flooding in the event of war. But it would also lose most from any abrogation of the treaty.  Environmental scientists say climate change and higher demands on water resources from rising populations and energy needs mean both countries need to collaborate more to head off the risk of a war over water.  By reaffirming commitment to the treaty, the ministers set a baseline for discussions on how to move forward.

- And finally, foreign minister Khar called on Prime Minister Singh to invite him to visit Pakistan. That has been pending for a while — Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Reza Gilani issued the same invitation when he visited India for the World Cup India-Pakistan cricket semi-final in March. And back in 2007 there was much talk about a possible visit to Pakistan by the Indian prime minister.  If he were to go, he would need to announce an agreement on something significant — for example, an accord on Siachen – to justify the summitry.  It’s early days for that, but not to be ruled out.

Comments

The one thing that can be safely said is that this was a huge improvement from the last meeting between the two FMs. Many feel that the last time Qureshi was goaded by the army to beligerence, one could hope to believe that this time the message from the army brass was for pushing a friendlier line. How long that will last is what needs to be watched carefully.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

khar is a good minister n one who may reach the top in pakistan in future, while presently seen as lightweight she is an undoubted asset to pakistan as fm.
if pakistan civvi govt is sincere than it needs to watch its back; the next derailment maynt by terrorists but by a coup in pak followed by another kargil type aggression.

Posted by buntyj | Report as abusive
 

I’d like to see new faces in politics. They always bring a breath of fresh air. They may be inexperienced, but they are not corrupt yet. They have a chance not to get corrupted. Old logs are well marinated in the swamp of corruption. And they become experts at dancing around and doing nothing productive. Newer generation needs to get injected periodically into the political scene. In that regard I welcome Ms Rabbani Khar. It is not just the looks. Charisma matters in politics. Charismatic people have more sway and influence, whether they are intelligent or not. I welcome the efforts taken by both sides. If we could improve the relations and develop trust, I will not even be writing anything here. I seriously believe that the Indian PM should send a military delegation to Pakistan to meet its counterparts, not so much to challenge each other, but to provide a truthful perception about India, its needs and diffuse the paranoia that has blinded the Pakistani military establishment. I think Pak military is controlled by Chinese interests and therefore any development and improvement might be thwarted by the Chinese indirectly through Pakistani military. This is where the focus has to be. Trade relations and inter-dependence are a must for trust building.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan’s new WMD
http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011  /07/27/pakistan_s_glamorous_new_foreign _minister_wows_india

Dara
I think Qureshi was simply a passionate guy, so we can’t blame him. Thou I am worried now Ms. Khar should not organize a fashion show, the las thing we need, at the foreign office. LOL

KPSingh:
I think your suggestion is good, an interaction between the military of the two countries is a great idea. That could certainly help improve relations.

Personally, I think Siachin problem must be out of the way now, it is useless. And if LoC could be made irrelevant, I think Kashmir gets sorted out too. Leaves nothing to fight for after that. And I am sure that is the majority view in Pakistan too.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

India and Pakistan’s surprisingly successful negotiations

http://afpak.foreignpolicy.com/posts/201 1/07/28/india_and_pakistans_surprisingly _successful_negotiations

“The relationship between India and Pakistan currently rests at a delicate equilibrium. Outside the mainstream political space, the forces bent on acting as spoilers remain active. In the past, prominent terrorist attacks have often coincided with moves to improve India-Pakistan relations.”

so terrorists are a common enemy and if both nations can find common cause in fighting them, convergence of interest would demand to work together in each other’s mutual interest. It is this mutual interest in various domains that will define the Indo-Pak relationship in future, both countries are important enough not to ignore each other.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Umair said:

> Personally, I think Siachin problem must be out of the way now, it is useless. And if LoC could be made irrelevant, I think Kashmir gets sorted out too. Leaves nothing to fight for after that. And I am sure that is the majority view in Pakistan too.

I think we can all agree on that!

One thing I would like to add here is my opinion that Ms Rabbani Khar should have met with Omar Abdullah in addition to meeting with Kashmiri separatists. Nothing wrong in her meeting with separatists, and it shows that India is democratic enough to allow that (The Indian FM would not have been allowed to meet with Baluch separatists!). But she should have recognised the elected government as well. After all, Omar Abdullah has been democratically elected, which is a reflection of the will of the people in Indian Kashmir. He has as much legitimacy as the “prime minister” of AJK. Pakistan should not act as if only separation from India is the will of Kashmiris. That is wishful thinking and not reflective of reality. Reality is much more nuanced.

> so terrorists are a common enemy and if both nations can find common cause in fighting them, convergence of interest would demand to work together in each other’s mutual interest. It is this mutual interest in various domains that will define the Indo-Pak relationship in future, both countries are important enough not to ignore each other.

The worry is not so much the terrorists themselves but the fact that they have handlers in the official establishment (dare I say the army and ISI?) If both countries were proper democracies with their armies firmly in the barracks and suffered occasional terrorist attacks, it wouldn’t pose any problem at all for the relationship. When there is covert official sponsorship of terror, it means one of the parties is not sincere about peace.

I cautiously welcome the positive “atmospherics” this time around and hope it will lead to something substantive as well.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

A good interview with Hina Rabbani Khar on NDTV:
http://bit.ly/qCnB2B

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

And while the peace talks were going on, it was business-as-usual for the Pakistani army:

http://bit.ly/pbm2pr

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

Nice to see that the temperatures have cooled between the countries. I must admit what most of us might have been thinking but not admitting that the Foreign Minister Heena Rabbani Khar is hot. In any case what changes things on the ground is, when people of Pakistan get tired of this fanatic claptrap by the mullahs which could give some space for secular politicians to voice more urgent concerns, which in turn will make average Pakistani realize whats their place (or our South Asia’s) in the fast changing world.

After the Raymond Davis arrest, Osama’s assassination by America, Pakistani Journalist’s murder,Fai’s arrest, Aid cut off by US might have triggered this sudden change. Indian governments own fumblings on the domestic front would have triggered this overdrive and pushed both countries toward each other. But it will probably end up in reaching some agreement at least on Rann of kutch and trade if not complex problems like Siachan or Kashmir.

Some Indian liberal suggested that kashmir insurgency is int auto-pilot mode. Hard to think on that while Pakistani army logistically supports them by tactical shelling inside India LOC to enable infiltration.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive
 

Sorry to spoil your love fest here. But these types of meetings are ok, but Pakistan is continuing is nefarious activities including hosting jihadi terrorist camps, printing Indian currency , hosting, protecting crimInals like Dawood Ibrahim and so on.

Besides internal anarchy inside Karachi and elsewhere inside Pakistan will continue to explode in the comIng months with acceleration of the disintegration process. This meeting gives an illusion of old days and stability for Pakistan. Big picture remains the same.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive
 

http://tinyurl.com/3sfaztu

India’s Pakistan policy is hopelessly idealistic

Yogesh Vajpeyi Last Updated : 29 Jul 2011 10:50:05 AM IST

Despite shallow declarations of entering a “new era”, there is nothing in the joint communiqué issued after talks between the two foreign ministers that India had managed to extract any tangible concession from Pakistan in its war against terror.

For India’s Pakistan policy continues to be held hostage to the present Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s fixated obsession for “peace with Pakistan at any cost”. In strategic and political realistic terminology it amounts to “Pakistan appeasement”.

In view of the prevailing dynamics in Pakistan, India’s policy toward it has to be based on Pakistan Army’s attitudinal reflexes, compulsive neurotic hostility to India and its relentless pursuit of the asymmetrical warfare of proxy war, terrorism attacks and fomenting insurgencies within India.

India needs to re-calibrate its present Pakistan policies and base them on a format of political and strategic realism, rather than political idealism. Pursuit of an elusive peace may win Manmohan plaudits from his international patrons, but it will leave India in the lurch.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan’s sincerity can be guaged if they can handover atleast Indian criminals who they are harbouring like Dawood. India can reciprocate by offering a billion dollar Aid to pakistan. Although this should not become a precendent (moral hazard which I talked about earlier). Its good way to start. Sending a cute foreign minister is sexy but we can only be seduced by thorough and definitive actions which break from the past. As I said, we should not be in hurry. Pakistan should atleast explain why is it keeping a drug lord and mafia leader like Dawood in a military contonement area who is most wanted in Pakistan and who is an Indian national.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive
 

area who is most wanted in INDIA and who is an Indian national.Sorry for the mixup.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive
 

The reason why many Pakistanis support their military is not because they see it as the only honorable institution. It is one factor. There is another important factor which is their paranoia, contempt and dislike of India. Since their military’s perspective of India aligns with their general perspective, their military is able to survive against the odds by manipulating this inherent revulsion in its people towards India. It has become worse with time and the military through its manipulation of media and other means, had strengthened this anti-Indian view. History has been rewritten. Lies have been repeated a thousand times and now its people put their entire faith in the military. All truth about the mis-deeds of their military have been buried deep below the anti-Indian paranoia. Pakistanis have been made to compare themselves with Indians in all aspects and this has led to a complex that is going to be very difficult to erase. Indians for their part have not done well either. Their reaction to Pakistani paranoia and actions have made things worse. Proper exposure to the other side will allow people to think for themselves. More Indians and Pakistanis should visit each other’s country and see for themselves. Unfortunately with David Headley is abuse of tourist privilege has led to a complete shut down of issuing visas even to people who left Pakistan and have become citizens of other countries. Unless people see things for themselves, they are simply going to believe what they are told. Indians say things are not so bad in India and Pakistanis say the same about the country. But there is this insurmountable wall that seems to have grown taller and wider over the years that makes things hard to try an open reconciliation between the people of the two countries. This forum itself is an example if it. Unless people get to know each other, countries will not be able to build bridges of friendship. Ministers and officials alone are not adequate to bring people closer. We are all of the same origin in South Asia. Our cultures are very similar. Yet we have been divided by outside powers and manipulated using internal power brokers who want all the control. It is time to get out of external influence and try something on our own efforts.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

KP Singh said:

> Indians for their part have not done well either. Their reaction to Pakistani paranoia and actions have made things worse.

The reaction of Indians is not to Pakistani paranoia but to Mumbai 2008, pure and simple. Most Indians wouldn’t care about Pakistan one way or the other. Mumbai 2008 “woke a sleeping tiger”. The Pakistanis will have to work pretty hard to make amends, because the elephant has a long memory.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

I think what KPSingh has stated above makes quite a lot of sense, no one here would know the character of Pakistani military well than me. It is definitely an professional and capable institution. There is no shame in admitting that in the past a few military generals abused power, took over the government and imposed martial law etc. However the rank and file is very loyal to Pakistan. Having stated that, the current leadership with COAS and DG ISI are also forward looking and good.

Pakistan needs a changed policy towards India, probably 60+ years of enmity has yieled nothing. I say bury Kashmir, make LoC irrelevant, sort it out and move on. Much is to be gained by peaceful relations. As stated before, Pakistan needs to make its own analysis regarding India and would need to take a position whether we need hostile, neutral or friendly relations with India? That is only way forward. Building bridges and uniting people helps.

netizen:
“Besides internal anarchy inside Karachi and elsewhere inside Pakistan will continue to explode in the comIng months with acceleration of the disintegration process. This meeting gives an illusion of old days and stability for Pakistan.”

-I think time and again this argument has been made and its a fact while showing persistently failing symptoms Pakistan has a tendency to come back from brink everytime. It shows the remarkable resilience and inherent strength of Pakistan that despite enduring so much turmoil, the country still manages to navigate its way out of every crisis.

Ganesh:
“The Pakistanis will have to work pretty hard to make amends”
-Just remember the 1971 war and invasion of East Pakistan, lets not forget the bitter past, both sides needs to make amends, some of the wounds this side of the border are still unhealed, but i think time is best healer. Today, for Pakistan it is probably time to move on, but both sides will have to keep in view the sensitivities of each other.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

Given your unique position to understand the mindset of the Pakistani military, would you say there has been a change in thinking among military circles about the futility of hostility with India? After all, it does not matter one bit what Zardari, Gilani or Rabbani Khar think. The only thing that matters is what Kayani and the corps commanders think. If that thinking has changed to be less hostile, then it is a good sign. Otherwise, as netizen says, we can all enjoy our lovefest, but it ultimately means nothing.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

Ganesh:
From the corps commanders conferences repeatedly, the message is Pakistan’s economy is a priority, real strength is economic strength. After nuclear and missile capability, now focus has shifted to eliminate and confront the internal threat. Also, Pakistan is seeking to reduce dependence on US, does not mean break up of relations, though it has pushed Pakistan into seeking even closer ties to China. That again does not mean hostile relations with India automatically, and bear in mind Kashmir is peaceful since 2004. Pakistan military will genuinely seek improved ties with India, that is my understanding. Why? because it is a dynamic institution, where doctrines, strategic thinking, geo-political situation evolves with time. Lets not forget an ISI assessment in recent time that internal millitant threat has surpassed the one posed by India.
KPSingh has a godd suggestion, both ISI and RAW must try to have a working relationship going, and then go for intelligence sharing. Similarly, the two militaries should start engagement. It is doable, it is possible, it is desireable, and soon it will become inevitable. After that cooperation in other fields will follow, a confrontation with India is not in Pakistan’s interest, it is rather unsustainable. And this is well understood, if India continues engagements, and some disputes like Siachin, Run Kutch, water etc get out of the way. Who knows? maybe we see a different and new kind of Indo-Pak relationship, one that mutually benefits each nation. In the end, one has to move on. Take the example of Japanese, they can get hit by a devastating tsunami, and days later get back to their feet defiant in the face of odds.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

KPSingh

I must say, thank you very much for your last post. I agree word for word, it is probably the best i have read of your comments so far I have been on this blog for 3 years. And that is where we need to read “Flight of the Falcon” by Air commodore Sajjad Haider who saved Lahore in 1965 war by bombing advancing Indian Army formations entering it. This hero of 65/71 wars has written his autobiography and if anyone gets a chance to read, it is a must. Surely, when the Indian side reaches out to Pakistan, things will change. Lets just hope for the best for eveyone. I think India must help Pakistan military to change its strategic calculus. We need an Indian Army delegation visit the defence university in Islamabad and vice versa.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

As a part of any diplomatic delegation, the groups should include staff from the foreign office, business people and military personnel. The goal should be to go and build bridges and not argue on anything. Solution will come as progress is made. A lot of patience is required. We have waited for sixty odd years. A few more years of concerted effort will bear fruit. If another Mumbai style attack is stage, my personal wish to be open minded and have both Indian and Pakistani joint efforts in crushing militant groups, whether they are of Indian or Pakistani origin. Militants and their supporters in the establishments will try to thwart any progress. It is important to discourage such people with fully warped minds. They cannot be changed. The best course would be to deny them chances to foment trouble and if possible eliminate them. And this effort has to come on its own. I’d like to see trouble makers in Mumbai like the Shiv Sena put behind bars permanently. And I’d like to see groups like LeT etc completely eliminated. This way the people of the two countries will begin to breath easy. We as people know that wars lead to no end. We are all emotional and get carried away by patriotic feelings. But remember that just 6 decades ago we were not divided. We share the same land. We need to look ahead so that our future generations do not end up like us and those before us.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan should be careful not to alienate the only friend it has: http://bit.ly/oCHgVn

From a militant’s point of view, an oppressor of Muslims is an oppressor of Muslims, whether it’s India in Kashmir or China in Xinjiang (East Turkestan). What happened in Kashgar is only logical and to be expected. But how will the ISI explain away the contradiction in state policy and rein in their proxies? One oppressor of Muslims is an enemy and must be bled to death, the other is an all-weather friend who must be supported. Good luck sermonising that message.

And when China loses its patience, Pakistan will see what a dove India has been in the face of repeated provocation.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

Here is a chance for Pakistan to come clean. For its own sake, it must take a deep breath and start cleansing out the militant groups ruthlessly. This includes even the ones who act as proxies for the army in neighboring countries. This method has been tried over two decades and has not made a dent. And it has drained Pakistan from within. This is like breeding a poisonous hydra-headed snake to get at someone. The snake will consume Pakistan. Now the all weather friend China is pointing at the terror groups inside Pakistan. As I see it, the system is losing control over these elements. This is an extremely dangerous development and it will not only hurt Pakistan dearly, but also the whole region. It is time terrorism as an instrument of state policy is given up and a new beginning launched. Time is running out.

Posted by KPSingh | Report as abusive
 

I’m starting to believe that the Pakistani army is incapable of dealing with all the terror elements in their country, even if it wants to. They are having a tough time dealing with just the TTP, can you imagine if they have to deal with all of them (TTP, LeT, JeM, JeV etc etc). The beast is completely out of control now & unfortunately, it will consume Pakistan.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

Umair,
I was pleasantly surprised reading your comments. It is indeed futile to continue warring over disputes without pulling enough courage to solve them. It is easy to raise passions but difficult to subside them once they rise to certain threshold levels, beyond which reconciliation seems impossible.
I could tell you two cases how we were successful with neighbours (who are in no way culturally similiar, Bangladesh is similiar but nevertheless unique in itself)

Firstly we realized that, as a powerful neighbour, China weilds enormous influence in its neighbourhood and so India rather than taking a confrontationist attitude, tried to build trade ties inspite of mutual suspicions, its proxy support to pakistan and even inspite of trade heavily in favour of china. Over the years Trade had bloomed to some 70 billion dollars and we were able to pursuade chinese in making their foreign policy look more neutral and balanced regarding India and Pakistan which was completely biased towards pakistan only a decade ago.

Secondly, the case of Bangladesh was even more stark. The millions of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants who infiltrated india is a major national crisis and is almost on the verge of changing the sensitive demographic dynamics of North East. Our relations with BNP (Bangladesh Nationalist Party) were even worse and Khalida Zia seemed to be irreconcilable for Indians. But thankfully when Hasina came to power. Indian foreign policy went into overdrive and pushed a billion dollar credit line to bangladesh which in turn reciprocated by handing over Arabinda Rajkhowa ULFA chairma an insurgent group leader and more arrests were to come.
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ar ticle2319267.ece
In anycase, the relations now seemed to be on a good momentum (and bipartisan in nature) and we seek to resolve the 6.5 mile boundary dispute (this boundary width is neither here nor there. Thousands of Houses can be found on the supposed International boundary!)

Rather than trying to resolve the disputes, we should try to build trust between countries and while India can allow Pakistan’s irrigation experts to India and aliievate any mistrust regarding India damning the waters. Pakistan should atleast handover Indian terrorists (Dawoon Ibrahim) who are cause of mayhem in India. This one step if pakistan takes, will create enoromous trust between nations just as bangladesh had done. we learnt our lessons regarding Bangladesh and China. will you give us the oppurtunity to learn lessons regarding Pakistan by being part of it. what do you say?

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive
 

Women are better diplomats than men. Where there is serious crisis, put women in charge. The better looking they are, the better it gets. Let us men stand aside and let women resolve the issues we have created.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

It’s a good start. But I can’t see much concrete action coming any time soon. The PA will always need India as a threat to justify its own existence.

Sure they make some noise now about the economy being the most important challenge. But what happens once the economy stabilizes? Will they be on the India-bashing bandwagon again?

I sincerely wish, every Indian and Pakistani would visit the border areas of EU member states in Europe. There are absolutely no border control. You wouldn’t even know that you’ve crossed over except for a sign that now says you’re in another country (and that too usually a very small road sign). This is significantly more advanced than even the “world’s longest undefended border” (between Canada the USA).

I visited a cousin in Salzburg in Austria. She has colleagues who commute in from Germany. It being mere minutes down the road. They have work lunches in Germany.

Ideally, India and Pakistan could accomplish such a future. The Kashmir dispute would then be irrelevant because in reality the only real impact on Kashmiris in their lives would be which passport they carried and where their federal tax dollars went.

But such peace in South Asia would be an existential threat to the Pakistan Army. How could they justify such a massive standing force and such a huge nuclear arsenal, if India and Pakistan were truly that integrated? With them having such a stake against peace, the million dollar question, is if they really want peace. Or do they just want a pause now that the economy is struggling?

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive
 

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