Friday, January 12, 2007

Pakistan: An Emerging Economic Hub

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s dream of having “breakfast in Amritsar, lunch in Lahore and dinner in Kabul” needs to be looked in a historical perspective. His statement has opened a new debate about the future direction of this region.

India is surrounded by China and Pakistan. In real a sense, India is like an island. The only land link for India is with Burma apart from going through China and Pakistan. Going through Burma or China will not take India to Europe, Middle East, or Central Asia. However, going through Pakistan will allow India to have a workable land link these regions.

Trading through land is the cheapest way to import and export. The only viable land route for India is through Pakistan to trade with Europe, Middle East, or Central Asia. Rapidly growing Indian economy is heavily dependent on Pakistan to import energy and export goods by land. Central Asian countries and West China are also closer to occasion through Pakistan. The new port of Gawadar is one of the best routes to import and export their goods. Pakistan is under constant focus of global powers because of its strategic location.

If India wants to join the wave of development then it have to resolve the outstanding issue of Kashmir according to desires of the people of Kashmir. This will ensure that Mr. Singh will be able to have a peaceful “breakfast in Amritsar”. However, he needs to do a lot to fulfil his desire of “lunch in Lahore and dinner in Kabul”. The first step is to stop the economic, political, and social suppression of Indian Muslims.


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