Sunday, March 11, 2012

Don’t be my favourite friend, be my most favoured nation

With time we come to realize that the only reliable pleasures in life are the smaller ones. The big sources of happiness--success, fame, marriage and religion—often fail us. Among the smaller enjoyments are things like friendship and humour. What is true for individuals can also apply to nations. Instead of nationalism and military grandeur, a modest delight in trade is more dependable, and this was underscored by a happy piece of news on February 29th.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told Pakistani reporters, "People have not understood MFN. It means ‘most favoured nation’, not ‘most favourite friend'. Pakistan will now merely treat India as it treats a hundred other countries.” Gilani was defending his cabinet’s historic decision to open up trade with India. Having thrown its doors open to 6850 products, it will remove all restrictions to trade by year end, and pave the way for granting India Most Favoured Nation status. Although there was no risk of India becoming most favourite friend, ‘sabse pasand mulk’ as the Urdu press put it, there were 6850 reasons to be happy in both countries.

This beleaguered civilian government in Pakistan continues to amaze us. Not only is it battling on all fronts--war in Afghanistan, hounded by its Supreme Court, hostility of its own army, grave problems with the United States—it has gone and asserted a fine civilian conception of its national interest. By not insisting on Kashmir as a pre-condition of trade liberalization, it has proved gutsy, reminiscent of Narasimha Rao’s bold liberalization in 1991 when he was pushed against the wall.

It is better not to be euphoric when it comes to Pakistan. Still, the announcement was a healing balm for an India which has suffered unending bad economic news—much of it self-inflicted—over the past twelve months. The strategic significance of this opening is huge—it will energize free trade area in South Asia via SAFTA, which has suffered so far through Pakistan’s intransigence. If the experience of North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA) is any guide, SAFTA could transform millions of lives on the sub-continent.

Presently India-Pakistan trade is a paltry $2.6 billion, less than one per cent of their respective global trade. It should quickly climb to $ 10 billion by 2015, still modest compared to $ 60 billion trade between China and India. To make the deal a success, India will have to buy more from Pakistan; presently the trade is heavily skewed in our favour--Indian exports are $ 2.3 billion to Pakistan’s $ 0.3 billion. India has 80 per cent of South Asia’s GDP, which makes our neighbors suspicious. Dominance brings responsibility and India will have to be more generous— as Germany is in Europe today; large-heartedness should replace our traditional policy of reciprocity if we want a peaceful South Asia.

In this case India has played its cards well. It gave Pakistan MFN status way back in 1996, without insisting on reciprocity. Unilateral liberalisation works because lower trade barriers help one’s own people. Besides, a government’s first duty is to its consumers; afterwards, to its producers. As one of the world’s more productive economies, India like Germany has only to gain from free trade. The major threats to trade liberalization are Pakistani extremists, who are dead set against this deal; the other is bureaucracy and red tape, which could easily stall this reform by keeping a tight lid on visas, for example.

Much credit goes to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has persisted in engaging patiently with Pakistan’s weak civilian government. He took a lot of flak for his moderate stand at Sharm-al-Sheikh. By assuming that Pakistan’s civilian government was as much surprised by 26/11, he reposed faith in Gilani, whom he saw as a moderate, modern Pakistani and strengthened his hand against the army and the extremists. There is a clear lesson here: do not see a nation as a monolith and look for opportunities in unlikely places.

For the moment, India and Pakistan do not have to be favourite friends. They should be content to be good neighbours and trade with mutual respect. They will be rewarded in the end for trade multiplies connections between human beings and brings prosperity, stability, and peace.


Anonymous said...

The filthiest people on earth have started multiplying themselves at a startling pace. The rest of us should move to other planets before it is too late.

These barely-humans wallow in dirt, swallow dirt, eat dirt, piss dirt and incessantly talk on the cell phone. Some Americanized-apes among them keep driving through a cacophony of cows, birds, Mazdas, donkeys, dogs, dog-like humans, sewer-water-rivers, etc. and keep telling each other to 'be proud of being Indian'. The human history has never witnessed such colossal collective filth and such colossal collective ignorance, assembled with such haughty collective arrogance.

Beggars continue begging endlessly on endless streets but the apes roll car windows, pretend India has become another USA, and drive on.

A dumbo who does not even know when not to smile is their 'prime' minister. Another dumbo whose only asset is her female-ness calls herself 'president' . Another comedian incessantly talks of ‘growth rate’ while remaining totally blind to zillions starving in full public view.

India is the biggest hallucinating experience on earth. What you thought existed only in tales about hell is actually real here.

Congratulations folks, you have achieved what even God assigned zero probability to.

SOLUTION: Nuke the entire country thrice over. Then wait a couple of thousand years to allow the stench to evaporate. Then, slowly allow settlers to come back in, but be very careful this around and keep the dwarfs out. Thanks in advance for doing so!

Shanky Jindal said...

It was a good experience to read the articles and contents on this site.

Lighina VB said...

Amazing blog,keep up the good work.

Unknown said...

Some truly good and utilitarian data on this internet internet site , likewise I feel the style and style holds amazing attributes.

good post said...

Nice post, keep posting

truth said...

Great India, Great Indians

hariprasad said...

your posts are so inspiring..!!and it is definitely appreciated job.

Anonymous said...

Awesome posting! Keep posting

Unknown said...

This is really interesting…

How iphone said...

Thanks for sharing above article. The concept you have used is really very clear & contents are too good. Wish you would share your more stuff with us soon.

chennaicakesdelivery said...

Send cakes to chennai, cakes to chennai, cakes to chennai delivery, cakes home delivery to chennai, buy, online, same day, cake delivery to chennai

Flowersbangalore said...

Flowers to Bangalore, send flowers online to Bangalore, buy fresh flowers on Birthday, get delivered Wedding flowers, Anniversary flowers, Condolence flowers, send same day flowers to Bangalore online with us.

Unknown said...

شركة تنظيف فلل بالمدينة
شركة تنظيف فلل بالدمام
شركة نقل اثاث بجدة
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام
شركة نقل اثاث بالمدينة
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض
شركة تنظيف فلل بجده
شركة تنظيف فلل بالخرج
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام
شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام
شركه تنظيف منازل بالرياض
شركه رش مبيدات بالرياض

Unknown said...

شركة مكافحة حشرات بالرياض
شركة تخزين اثاث بالرياض
شركة كشف تسربات بالرياض
شركه تنظيف منازل بالرياض
شركة تنظيف خزانات بالرياض
شركة عزل خزانات بالرياض
شركة تنظيف مجالس بالرياض
شركة تنظيف موكيت بالرياض
شركة تنظيف بيارات بالرياض
شركة تنظيف مسابح بالرياض
شركات تخزين اثاث بالرياض
شركة نقل اثاث في الرياض
شركة رش مبيدات بالرياض
شركة غسيل خزانات بالرياض
شركات عزل اسطح بالرياض

Unknown said...

شركة تنظيف مسابح بالرياض
شركة تنظيف بيوت بالرياض
شركة تنظيف شقق بالرياض
شركة تنظيف مجالس بالرياض
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض
شركة تنظيف موكيت بالرياض
شركة تسليك مجاري بالرياض
تنظيف فلل بالرياض
بالون المعدة
عمليات التخسيس
تدبيس المعدة
عملية منظار المعدة
عملية تحويل المعدة
تكميم المعدة
عملية المرارة بالمنظار

Unknown said...

عملية ربط المعدة
عملية تصغير المعدة
بالون المعدة للتخسيس
جراحات السمنة
عملية تدبيس المعدة بالمنظار
استئصال المرارة بالمنظار
جراحة تكميم المعدة
شركة تنظيف فلل بمكة
شركة تنظيف منازل فى بريدة
شركة تنظيف موكيت بمكة
شركة عزل اسطح بمكة
شركة تنظيف فلل بالأحساء
شركة تنظيف موكيت بالأحساء
شركة عزل اسطح بالأحساء
شركة عزل خزانات بالأحساء

Unknown said...

شركة كشف تسربات بالأحساء
شركة رش مبيدات بالأحساء
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالأحساء
شركة تنظيف فلل بجدة
شركة تنظيف فلل بالدمام
شركة عزل اسطح بجدة
شركة عزل اسطح بالدمام
افضل شركات تنظيف وتخزين بالرياض
اشهر شركات تنظيف وتخزين بالرياض

Unknown said...

Unknown said...

fattoma said...

rehabgad1 said...

Good write-up. I definitely love this site. Keep it up

srjwebsolutions said...

We are leading responsive website designing and development company in Noida.
We are offering mobile friendly responsive website designing, website development, e-commerce website, seo service and sem services in Noida.

Responsive Website Designing Company in Noida
Website Designing Company in Noida
SEO Services in Noida
SMO Services in Noida

Unknown said... is online medical store pharmacy in laxmi nagar Delhi. You can Order prescription/OTC medicines online.
Cash on Delivery available. Free Home Delivery

Online Pharmacy in Delhi
Buy Online medicine in Delhi
Online Pharmacy in laxmi nagar
Buy Online medicine in laxmi nagar
Onine Medical Store in Delhi
Online Medical store in laxmi nagar
Online medicine store in delhi
online medicine store in laxmi nagar
Purchase Medicine Online
Online Pharmacy India
Online Medical Store

Unknown said...

We are uhe solid first platform for modeling newcomers to achieve there new dreams. The first to train and promote out models at our expense to avoid burden on them. Join the most popular agency if you modelling jobs in Delhi for female freshers, models, students, housewives aiming to start there modeling career. We are top modelling agency in Delhi offering modelling jobs in Delhi for upcoming female freshers or experienced models who want to join lingerie modeling agencies.

modeling agencies in Delhi
modeling agencies
modeling jobs
modeling auditions
model coordinators
modeling jobs in Delhi

Unknown said...

We are specialized in Mechanised cleaning of Underground and Overhead Water Tanks of all sizes. Door Step services across Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad.

Water tank cleaning services in Noida
Water tank cleaning services in Ghaziabad
Water tank cleaning services in Delhi

Drain cleaning services in Noida

Drain cleaning services in Ghaziabad
Drain cleaning services in Delhi
Pipeline Cleaning Service in Noida

Pipeline cleaning services in Ghaziabad
Pipeline cleaning services in Delhi

Tank cleaning services in Noida

Tank cleaning services in Ghaziabad
Tank cleaning services in Delhi

rehabgad1 said...

Good write-up. I definitely love this site. Keep it up

Unknown said...

Battery Mantra Buy Car and Inverter battery online in India. BatteryMantra is Noida based India's No. 1 online battery store offering you genuine batteries of all the well-known battery brands at best prices.

Online Inverter Battery Store
Online Car Battery Store
Buy Inverter battery Dealer Noida
Buy battery online Noida
Online Inverter Battery Store
Buy car battery Noida

rehabgad1 said...

Good write-up. I definitely love this site. Keep it up

lamiss ibrahim said...

I definitely love this site.

rehabgad1 said...

Good write-up. I definitely love this site. Keep it up