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Submitted by Anonymous on
Your post is politically naïve and out of touch with the reality. Granting of MFN is a moot point. India – Pakistan issue is purely political and that trade, visa and other business or cultural issues could never have any significant impact on the ground. Every 4-5 years, there are always many feel good stories that many get excited as though India- Pakistan are going to live happily here after. A year before Kargil, Vajpayee opened a bus service and traveled in a bus to Pakistan. Well, Pakistan army was planning very diligently to attack India near Kargil during his visit. You can go back Gujaral, Rajiv Gandhi and so on. Of course, you would say that we are not underestimating the challenges but you are overestimating the opportunities. If Pakistan were to make a mistake in opening its market to India, it would be a disaster to Pakistan’s economy and industry. Why would Pakistan give one more lever by opening their economy to India? Trade will benefit more to India than Pakistan by sheer size of economy. If you recall, Bangladesh did not want TATA to explore gas few years back precisely for this reason. Why open knowing India would swallow their economy in a few years? There will not be a leveling playing field in South Asia. Your examples such as opening check-posts, national banks and cutting negative lists are insignificant and will not make a difference. Should there be a political debacle, as it happens every few years regularly, the order will be restored and things will be back to where they were. Anecdotes from some business people are always nice to quote but it is not the ground reality. Few years back, India banned rice exports during the food crisis. Who suffered the most? It was Bangladesh. The imported rice as the percentage of total production was low but how did the market react? The cost of rice shot up about 5 fold the very next day. Who paid the price? Not the importers but it was the poor. Hopefully, Pakistan does not make this mistake.