Archive for January, 2013

Pakistani-Indo relations to flourish in future trade?

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Pakistan has recently opened up trade with India with whom they have had much conflict with over the Kashmir territory since the two states were created in 1947. Even though Pakistan hasn’t granted India Most-Favored-Nation status Pakistani exports to India have increased tremendously in the last year. According to the “commercial intelligence and statistics of the ministry of commerce & industry” Pakistani exports to India grew 66% from April till December 2012. Exports reached over $460 million, compared with $277 million during the same period 2011.

If this trade relationship continues to flourish and expand then we can assume that military tensions will subdue. History has shown us that two countries involved in trade are less willing to go to war as they have much at stake. War is generally less beneficial than the continued trade and economical benefits of trade for both nations. Both nations in 2012 also signed agreements agreeing to “customs cooperation, mutual recognition of standards and redressal of trade grievances”. If this bilateral trade continues we can expect to see less tension over the Kashmir territorial dispute and perhaps even a better friendship develop between these two states.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/Pakistan-exports-to-India-show-66-growth/articleshow/18264920.cms

India Should Take Lead When it Comes to Making Peace With its Neighbors

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Recently Pervez Musharraf (former Pakistan president) spoke of the changes that should be made in order to improve relations between India and Pakistan. He offered a few suggestions that would encourage and even speed up the socio-economic development of both states, only if both countries were to develop stronger ties. First, he suggested that resolving land disputes in Sir Creek and the Siachen glacier could pave the way for a solution to the Kashmir problem. He emphasizes that India has a bigger role to play in improving their relationship with not only Pakistan, but it’s surrounding neighbors.  He states that India should take the first step to resolving the issues that both countries face. As he puts it, India is the bigger country and it is imperative that it takes charge of creating peace among its surrounding countries. India should not have to be the “adult” only because it is the bigger country. Yes, India and Pakistan should attempt to fix these issues, but as we have seen if both countries do not work equally together they will be unable to come to a solution. In 2004 when president Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee sought to fix disputes through the peace process both countries failed at coming up with solutions to these land issues, and thus these issues are still an ongoing dispute between both countries. It is imperative that both countries come to a practical solution that will help rid of these ongoing disputes. It is not as Musharraf suggests India’s role to take lead because they are the bigger country, this is an issue that should be addressed equally by both parties.

A Stein

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/pervez-musharraf-india-should-take-lead-peace-two-neighbours/1/229803.html

 

Members of the Indian diaspora “reclaiming” land in India should be considered a threat to Indian economic strength

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

In the years after decolonization in India many Indians emigrated from their homeland to countries abroad seeking a better life and decades later many of these emigrants are making claims to lands owned by their family in the past in Indian courts creating an issue that threatens the security of India. It is unknown whether the members of the Indian diaspora who claim to be landowners would actually return to India should they win their cases or whether they would simply sell the land off and continue living abroad. While India in theory should support the land ownership of land as private property by foreign nationals, in practice India should pressure the courts to rule against the diaspora unless said diaspora Indians intend to return to India. This is because the profits from selling the land, should diaspora members win their cases, will be taxed largely by the foreign nations in which they live and spent largely in those nations, causing wealth to exit India. Naturally this is a problem for a developing nation. Indian citizens on the other hand would likely spend most of their money within India. Secondly there is the threat that large tracts of Indian land could become owned by foreign nationals. The obvious threat here is that through those foreign nationals a form of neo-colonialism could be practiced against India, undermining India’s independence.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21171262

President to open The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

On Thursday President Pranab Mukherjee will instate The Hindu Center for Politics and Public Policy in Chennai. The Center was created and funded by The Hindu, which has had a major role in establishing India’s democratic life. According to the article the center’s objective is to “rebuild public faith in India’s democratic process, establish stronger and credible roots for parliamentary democracy, pluralism and economic betterment”.

The Hindu Center for Politics and Public Policy will also encourage research and create discussion on critical political and public policy issues that India faces. The center will also award Fellowship to scholars to conduct research and provide information on potential issues India might face, and provide possible solutions. The Hindu Center for Politics and Public Policy will help India improve its domestic policy, and in the long run improve its foreign policy.

The center will bring the people closer to the government, give them more say and a better chance to address issues that affect them the most. The center will also keep India’s population and other countries informed on domestic challenges India faces and how these challenges will affect both domestic and foreign policy.

 

Here is a link to the article

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/president-to-open-the-hindu-centre-for-politics-and-public-policy/article4358252.ece

US-India: A Potential Defense Partnership?

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

According to the bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, President Obama has declared that an Indian partnership with the United States could be one of the most defining relationships of the twenty-first century. The US-Indian relationship would be vital to the future of United States diplomacy in South and Central Asia.  In earlier years President Clinton and Bush were all noted to have visited India in order to discuss terms of a future bilateral agreement. Today, President Obama embraces this potential future as well which only highlights the significance of a harmonious US-India relationship. It is important to understand here, according to the US State Department that the US and India share common interests in the free flow of global trade, especially in regards to the trading within the Indian Ocean. This prospect of building up a more advantageous agreement between India and the US could  bring both states much prosperity.

The State Department highlights the fact that in the past decade the US has supported India as a critical player in maintaining regional stability throughout the Middle East. India offers many potential benefits to the US and its strategic interests within that region. It is vital that the US strengthen its security ties with India in terms of counter-terrorism efforts and even support the growing defense sector within India. India offers the US a strategic advantage in an area where this leverage will be vital in the future. In terms of potential gains; India’s developing arms sector offers the US an incredible market for defense sales and defense technology advancements . The US must recognize the potential of a US-India defense partnership because the future is bright.

This post was written by Kelsey Arthur

Moving US-India relations forward – more economic exchanges?

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

In a recent policy brief, Karl Inderfurth, former US Ambassador and current India Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, makes four suggestions for taking US-India relations forward. He suggests that during its second term, the Obama administration should work toward establishing a “new framework” for US-India economic cooperation. He further suggests that the US should launch a US-India job creation and skill building partnership. The administration should also focus on signing an MOU on defense co-production and co-development. Finally, he suggests that the US involve India in talks on Afghanistan. While each of these suggestions may be music to some ears, a lot of this is likely to ring alarm bells among various lobbies in the US. What do you think?

Foreign Policy and Diplomacy are necessary for India to advance

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Just last Wednesday (January 23), Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated that Foreign Policy and diplomacy are key factors for the progress of India. If India wants to increase its involvement in the global community and have successful and lasting foreign relations, it needs to formulate its own foreign policy.

Since India’s independence in 1947, it has been a growing nation. The nation is considered the fourth largest global economy and has seen growth in its technical sector and medical terrorism. However, most of the country still lives in poverty, with unclean water, malnutrition and lack of proper sanitation. In order for India to develop and prosper it needs to deepen its relationships with other countries and allow others to contribute to its development.

There are many ways to increase foreign involvement and diplomacy in India. Manmohan suggests that Indian Diplomats must “fostering a climate for peace, stability and security as well as for the development of India’s economy.” He continues by saying that trade and invests have become a key part of their diplomacy [this needs to continue]. Moreover, India should focus on South, Central, East and South East Asia in developing its diplomacy. These areas will become “important to India’s future security and prosperity and thus require increased and intensive engagement.”

Manmohan ends by saying that diplomats need to be constantly improving and renewing their “craft of diplomacy… to deal with a complex and fast-changing world.”

I agree with the Prime Minister and believe that India needs to make a conscience effort to develop a solid foreign policy, because if it does not, it may never become as successful as it can be.

To read the original article click here.