Need of Peace between India and Pakistan – UPSC GS2

How will peace with Pakistan help in transforming South Asia?
  • The India-Pakistan hostility hurts regionalism and South Asian growth.
  • Peace between India and Pakistan will be beneficial for all the nations constituting the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
    • Good economic value can be derived from South Asian economic integration.
    • SAARC has remained a victim of India-Pakistan enmity.
How can India make a difference to the SAARC?
  • India’s total land area is 62%, the population is 75%, and the GDP of South Asia in 2016 was 83%.
  • Pakistan and Bangladesh have a share of only 7.6% and 5.6%, respectively in regional GDP.
  • This indicates that only India can take the lead in changing a grossly under-performing region like South Asia. South Asia has a GDP (PPP) of $12 trillion with a population of a tad over 1.9 billion.
  • On the other hand, the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has a GDP (PPP) of around $9 trillion with much less resources. Member states like Vietnam are growing enormously.
Way forward
  • India needs to think big and act big by determinedly aiming to plan a South Asian economic miracle. China did the same and even rose in 1972.
  • India needs to view peace with Pakistan as essential and urgent and not just a bilateral matter. It is a chance of a lifetime to drastically makeover South Asia for the better.

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