By Colonel Awadhesh Kumar, Special Forces
Last week, a suicide attack by the Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad killed 44 Indian paramilitary troopers in the Pulwama district.
As a result, Indian tolerance has finally evaporated resulting in India initiating a series of measures to isolate Pakistan diplomatically, Socialy and economically.
The last option will be to punish Pakistan militarily starting with the liberation of illegally held parts of J&K from Pakistan, then helping Baluchistan to win its independence and finally if required totally removing the British drawn Radcliffe Line.
India has already withdrawn the most favored nation status given to Pakistan and it has been reported that Pakistan too is considering a ban on the imports of some Indian products, as a protest against.
This will be most welcomed by India. As a next step, India may chose a few multinational companies who also operate in Pakistan and give them a choice to either operate in Pakistan or India.
The trade war will itself deal such a body blow to the Pakistan economy that even its friend China will not be able to provide much help. In fact this may lead to crisis in CPEC project itself.
Such suicide attacks by a Pakistan-based terrorist outfit cannot be tolerated any more and is now a very cogent reason for New Delhi to punish not only the Government of Pakistan but also the ordinary Pakistani people for backing such a government.
Waging an economic war makes sense especially coupled with the war on terror financing route to the terrorist and separatist outfits operating inside J& K itself. This will totally dry up the resources available with the terrorists.
Also a possible decision by Pakistan to escalate tensions by carrying out countermeasures against India will be most welcomed because it will lead to further devastation of the terror network.
The Pakistan economy will soon start feeling the pain of a trade war if it further escalates the economic tensions. Pakistan mainly imports cotton, chemicals and iron from India – materials that are vital for its industry – while India imports fruit, cement and leather from Pakistan which can just be discarded.
The Indian Navy is fully capable of mounting tension astride Pakistani territorial Waters so as to raise the insurance cost of all international shipping visiting Pakistani ports. This in itself have a solid effect on Pakistani economy.
However in case the Government in Pakistan is sensible, then as a first step it must ban all the terrorist outfits, then arrest the terrorist leadership. As a next step it must hand over all the wanted terrorists to India, so that they are punished as per law.
Only after taking the above steps, both the Countries will be in a position to resume economic activities with full cooperation.
With a strategic location along a key international trade route, India and Pakistan have some inherent advantages. Pakistan can take full advantage of India, an emerging economic giant to make itself a regional logistics hub.
But if the two countries remain isolated from each other then Pakistan will face an economic doom, which will also affect China in the long run. The heavy investment made by China in CPEC and Gwadar Port will dry up and be of no use economically.
Current economic tension with India should be able to drive some sense into Pakistan. It should nit hand over its economic progress to the terrorist outfits.
Terrorists would be pleased to see that a trade war adds to the instability factors inside Pakistan leading to a breakup from within. Should Islamabad fall into the trap of terrorists? The answer is no.