Indo-Pak Relations: New Engagement and Challenges

Indo-Pak Relations: New Engagement and Challenges

Question: Recently, the meeting between the Indian PM and his Pakistani counterpart in Ufa, Russia on the sidelines of the SCO summit has jumpstarted a fresh season of engagement between the two nations. Elaborate.

- Following a meeting between Indian PM Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, a new round of engagement has begun as envisioned in the joint statement of the foreign secretaries of these two nations

- The following are the highlights of the meeting as per the Joint Statement:

- A meeting in New Delhi will be held between the two NSAs to discuss issues linked with terrorism

- Moreover, early meetings of the Directors General of the BSF and Pakistan Rangers followed by a meeting of the DGMO/Directors General Military Operations has been proposed

- A decision has also been taken to release fishermen held in each other’s custody along with their boats within a fortnight

- Another key feature of the joint statement is the facilitation of a mechanism for helping in the growth of religious tourism

- Both sides also agreed to discuss ways in which the Mumbai base trial could progress along with additional information such as providing voice samples

- PM Modi will also travel to Pakistan to attend the SAARC summit in Islamabad in 2016


- Violence across the LoC as well as terror attacks or outbreak of war of words are constant reminders that relations between the two nations are precarious

- Meeting between military commanders and army to army meetings have taken place in the past and not yielded results; efforts will have to be made to take a new direction for the talks to fructify into something actionable

- Another problem is that the navies of both nations detain any fishermen who stray over sea boundaries quicker than they can be released; as a result, in any given point in time, each country holds 300 to 400 fishermen

- Mechanism of religious tourism seeks to bypass the visa problems arising for Guru Purab celebrations at Nankana Sahib and the Hinglai Mata Temples and Pakistani pilgrims for Ajmer Sharif and Nizamuddin Auliya in Delhi

- An additional hurdle is that Lakhvi is out on bail and recently exempted from court appearances

- Another crucial issue is whether India will step up efforts to have Pakistan named by UN as an offender apart from factors such as the 1267 Taliban Sanctions committee and the Financial Action Task Force

- Ufa engagement provides the strengths of the bilateral ties between the two have been highlighted but weaknesses have been ignored; it is a mistake for the government to say non inclusion of J&K in Ufa is a victory because even the 2009 Sharm el Sheikh document made no reference to the dispute in Kashmir

Facts and Stats

- There is a 70 year old dispute between India and Pakistan for J&K

- Indo-Pak bilateral trade has fallen in recent years; are of India’s trade with Pakistan as against its total trade fell by 0.34% during 2010-2012 as against 0.48% during FY 2007-2009

- Share of India’s export to Pakistan in India’s total exports has been declined to

- 0.73% during 2010-2012 period from 1.01% during 2007-2009 period.

- Share of India’s imports from Pakistan in India’s total imports has been declined to 0.09% during

- 2010-2012 period from 0.14% during 2007-2009 period.

- India’s foreign trade expanded from US$312149.28 million in 2006-2007 to US$793804.80

- Million during 2011-2012 with a CAGR of around 17%, but trade with Pakistan fell from US$1673.71 million in 2006-2007 to US$1956.57 million in 2011-2012 with a CAGR of around 3% only.
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