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Provided by the National Museum of Warsaw.

By Saish Bhise

The Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is running around from one country to another asking for support against the integration of Kashmir into India. After the speech of Imran Khan at the UNGA and the recent news of the Balakot Camp being reactivated, it's high time we strike the enemy. India has displayed a bold move by revoking Article 370, I appreciate the NDA government for it, but why does the government still procrastinating to impose strict economic sanctions on Pakistan.

Many will say that the title is much aggressive but we Indians need to be aggressive when dealing with our hostile neighbour Pakistan. As per reports circulated by the Indian media, there were 2,936 ceasefire violations made by Pakistan on the Line of Control. According to data from the South Asian Terrorism Portal, In 2018, 457 Indian soldiers compared to 354 in 2017. Moreover, it is factually correct to say that 457 families were destroyed due to the terror attacks which we all know are directly, indirectly funded by the Pakistani Government.

The whole nation, even school kids know that Pakistan sponsors terrorism. One of the World's Most Wanted Terrorists Osama Bin Laden who coordinated the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center was found at Abbottabad Pakistan. The Pakistani Military Academy in Bilal Town was just around 1,300 meters (0.8 miles) from his compound. Talking about Mazoor Azad, he coordinated the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, his counterpart Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi who is the mastermind behind the Mumbai massacre which killed 174 people and lasted for four days. Both of them reside in Pakistan and are provided with additional security by the Pakistani Government.

What is my motive behind writing this letter, Am I asking for a war with Pakistan, if you are thinking so let me answer you, I am not? We have already fought four wars with them and won each and everyone with a huge margin. I am asking the Modi government Why can't we impose economic sanctions on Pakistan? The current trade between India and Pakistan stands at $2.17 Billion for the financial year 2018-19, which by the way is only 0.83% of India's total exports.

Talking about imports India imported goods from Pakistan of about US $50 Crores, which is only 0.13% of India's total imports during the financial year 2018-19. If we look at the statistics of trade between India and Pakistan, then it is quite clear that both countries do not have heavy business dependence on each other. India trades around 0.5% of its total trade with Pakistan.

The Indian tricolour flag waving in the wind at the Wagah border near Amritsar in Punjab, India.Photo by Naveed Ahmed on Unsplash.

Writing about Economic Sanctions, the first thing that clicks in my mind is the new set of economic sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States. Economic Sanctions have been used as a weapon by the west for a long time since World War 2. Whether it might be imposing sanctions on Russia for annexing a part of Ukrainian territory or imposing a set of high tariffs on China. Why can't the Indian government be bold enough to impose a tough set of economic sanctions on Pakistan? There are numerous reasons why it should be done and how can India benefit from it:-

Goods Factor

According to data from the Ministry of Import and Exports, Pakistan currently exports, cement ($78.3 million), fertilizers ($34.9 million), fruits ($112.8 million per year), chemicals ($60.4 million) and leather and allied products to India. After the Kashmir issue, Pakistan had suspended all trade relations with India, but according to media reports Pakistan recently lifted the ban on the import of medical supplies and life-saving medicines from India. Pakistan has imported over USD 36 million worth of anti-rabies and anti-venom vaccines from India over the last 16 months. As mentioned earlier the current trade between India and Pakistan stands at $2.17 Billion for the financial year 2018-19, which by the way is only 0.83% of India's total exports. Talking about imports India imported goods from Pakistan of about US $50 Crores, which is only 0.13% of India's total imports during the financial year 2018-19. However, a larger look at trade activities between India and Pakistan reveals that imports and export between India and Pakistan have been declining since 2014-15. Speaking statistically the Indian imports will be affected by only 0.13% and exports by 0.83%, which if you ask a layman in economics like me would say is negligible. We have other potential markets like the whole African continent, South America, China to trade with. The current Modi government's foreign policy has significantly put emphasis on improving trade relations with such potential markets.

boy holding stock pot Photo by Muhammad Muzamil on Unsplash

The Deteriorating State of Pakistani Economy

Pakistan's overall budget of Rs 6-lakh crore for the financial year 2018-2019 had a fiscal deficit of Rs 3.5-lakh crore. Despite touching a maximum of 5.8 per cent growth in FY18, Pakistan's GDP for FY19 plummeted to 3.3, well below a target of 6.2% set last year. The inflation rate in Pakistan increased to 9.11 per cent year-on-year in May 2019. In the wake of rising inflation, the Pakistani government has imposed a lot of different types of taxes on Pakistani citizens.

The taxes are imposed based on the IMF's bailout conditions. Adding the woes, Pakistan is also facing possible sanctions from the Financial Action Task Force - a money-laundering monitor based in Paris - for failing to contain terror financing. While there's little to compare when it comes to India and Pakistan - as there's a huge disparity in terms of population and economic parameters -- India is way ahead of its neighbour in terms of GDP per capita, human capital ranking, money market, tax transparency and collection, imports and exports, and trade. Though India's GDP saw a five-year decline at 6.8 per cent for FY19, the size of its economy (about $2,600 billion) is still nine times bigger than Pakistan ($305 billion). In an economic sense, we are far ahead of Pakistan and imposing sanctions on Pakistan will have nearly negligible effects on the Indian economy.

The above two points highlight the fact that the Pakistani Economy will be hit badly if India decides to impose economic sanctions. India has already retaliated with surgical strikes, air strikes but these options have an effect up to a certain limit. As quoted by the Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat, Pakistan has reactivated the Balakot camp and around 500 terrorists are waiting to infiltrate India via Kashmir. It's high time that we use economic sanctions as a weapon against Pakistan. Finally, it all boils down to the courage and willingness of the government to take such a bold step.



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