Trading Up to Better Relations with Pakistan
Perhaps there is a certain alienating effect that comes with six decades of practical isolation. Today, there are a mere four flights per week between the world’s second and sixth most populous nations, and one land crossing in over 3,000 kilometres of contiguous border. There, at Wagah, the daily ritual that accompanies the lowering of the flags is a particularly unique piece of theatre whose enduring popularity owes as much to the mutual curiosity that exists between Indians and Pakistanis as it does to shared suspicion.
The ceremony also offers a clue as to where both countries’ economic priorities should lie, as the mutual fascination we share with our neighbours serves also as a stark reminder of the economic benefits that both countries stand to reap if we were to allow that suspicion to drop.
Today, trade between the two countries is minimal, and what does get traded is conducted via intermediaries in places such as Dubai, adding thousands of miles of detour and exacting a huge toll on
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