Friday, November 04, 2011

India opens up with Pakistan--East and West

The report in the WSJ, from where I got the chart, adds:
There is huge room for growth in trade. In the year ended March 31, India exported $2.33 billion of goods to Pakistan. In the same period, Pakistan sold goods valued at $332.5 million in India, according to Indian government statistics.
By comparison, two-way trade between India and China, New Delhi's largest trading partner, is valued at more than $60 billion annually.

What a different story this would have been had these two countries not been caught up with the Kashmir issue and literally battled over it!

Meanwhile, Bangladesh-- the old East Pakistan--and India are finally getting around to the land and border issues that have confounded mapmakers; the hassle of enclaves:

EVER since Bangladesh achieved its independence in 1971, struggles over territory and terrorism, rather than the exchange of goods and goodwill, have dominated its relations with its mega-neighbour. Forty years on, both countries appear to be nearing an agreement to solve the insoluble—by swapping territory.
The planned exchange of parcels of each other’s territory is concentrated around some 200 enclaves. These are like islands of Indian and Bangladeshi territory surrounded completely by the other country’s land, clustered on either side of Bangladesh’s border with the district of Cooch Behar, in the Indian state of West Bengal. Surreally, these include about two dozen counter-enclaves (enclaves within enclaves), as well as the world’s only counter-counter enclave—a patch of Bangladesh that is surrounded by Indian territory…itself surrounded by Bangladeshi territory.
In a healthy sign:

For the people of the two tiny Bangladesh enclaves, history recently took a new turn. The iron gates of the Indian corridor connecting them with the mainland will now remain open round the clock.
On October 19, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina declared the Tin Bigha Corridor formally open for 24 hours, heralding the end of nearly 64 years of captivity for its inhabitants. The right to unrestricted movement through the corridor was virtually open from September 8 when the two countries signed an agreement during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Bangladesh.
Whatever the reasons, it took nearly four decades to see the full implementation of a historic agreement signed between Indira Gandhi and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1974 — three years after Bangladesh emerged on the world map dividing Pakistan with active Indian assistance.
Now, if only the Kashmir issue can be resolved!

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