For now, Pakistanis can serve up their curry with Indian ingredients
Rising prices of food and other household commodities has been a problem in Pakistan for some time now. And even military dictatorships cannot afford to disregard this problem. So, based on the recommendations of a task force set up to find out the reasons behind the ‘irrational increase’ in the prices of household ingredients, the Pakistani government has lifted import duties on meat, livestock, onions, garlic and tomatoes. What’s more, for the first time, it has allowed importers to truck the stuff in from India.
That is a very good decision. What is good for ingredients of curry is just as good for the rest of the economy as well: bilateral trade must not be held hostage to Pakistan’s Kashmir dogma. People-to-people contacts, that oft-repeated mantra of Indian foreign policy, is nothing more than a warm fuzzy feeling if it does not imply ringing cash registers on either side of the border.
It would be wishful thinking, but one is tempted to believe that a certain Mr Noor Mohammed of New Delhi, India, is as much responsible for this path-breaking decision on economic policy as as the Pakistani government’s task force.