It is to be seen in the latest trade figures released by the Federal Commerce Ministry why India is keen to the point of anxiety to increase its trade with Pakistan. It transpires that Pakistan had, in this financial year, up to March 31, run up a deficit of $950 million, and was heading to a deficit of $1.25 billion for the entire year. In 2009-10, in the comparable period, the deficit stood at $412.9 million, a high-enough figure which has been totally eclipsed by this year’s deficit. India is happy to have a neighbour with which it runs up a trade surplus, but Pakistan must look carefully at the extent to which its hard-earned foreign exchange is merely transferred to India, boosts its trade balance to the point where it begins to indulge its delusions of grandeur, and begins to believe the ‘Shining India’ rhetoric it finds difficult to believe itself, amid the grinding poverty of its masses.
Though Pakistan is open to any trading partner, the trade with India does raise certain concerns. The basic issue is whether Pakistan should engage in any trade with India, especially in agricultural produce, when India is using its illegal occupation of Kashmir to prevent the flow of water to Pakistan, causing it irreparable harm. In fact, when this is considered, the illegal Indian occupation of Kashmir is highlighted, an occupation it is continuing both in violation of the solemn commitments it made to the international community in the shape of the UNSC Resolutions on the subject, and of the inalienable right of the Kashmiri people for self-determination – Nation