India should expand cross-LoC links: Book
New Delhi, Apr 15: India must work to increase bus and train services with Pakistan even if Islamabad is hesitant, a group of scholars have said in a newly released book.
This is one of the many measures New Delhi must embark on if it seeks to expand all-round relations with neighboring countries including China, say the scholars in the book, "India's Foreign Policy: Old Problems, New Challenges".
Published by Macmillan, the book has a collection of papers brought out by the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies to honor its two leading men, PR Chari and Maj Gen Dipankar Banerjee. Scholars D Suba Chandran, N Manoharan, PG Rajamohan, Vibhanshu Shekhar, Jabin T Jacob, Raghav Sharma and Sandeep Bhardwaj say that it's important to scale up India-Pakistan links.
"The bus and train services (with Pakistan) need to be expanded in terms of frequency and the number of people they cater to," they say.
"Even if Pakistan is hesitant, India should take unilateral measures in allowing more Pakistanis to visit New Delhi and beyond. An increased inflow is automatically bound to increase the demand for more services from within Pakistan."
The writers said that the number of truck services between India and Pakistan should also be increased, and New Delhi should not wait for any reciprocity from Islamabad.
"Such an expansion should not be focused only across the well-defined India-Pakistan border but also include the LoC (Line of Control dividing Kashmir)," they said.
"There is increasing demand to open the Jammu-Sialkot and Kargil-Skardu roads, and also open the LoC itself for trade. Given the political and emotional impact that opening the LoC will have for various sections inside Jammu and Kashmir, India should adopt a pro-active policy in improving physical connectivity with the other side. Such a process should also have the long-term objective of reopening the Silk Route, thus connecting Jammu and Kashmir with Tibet, Xinjiang and the rest of Central Asia," it said.
Similarly, the scholars argue, improved road and rail links with Bangladesh were essential for the development of India's huge northeast.
The book says that India's connectivity with its neighboring countries and regions has actually declined since 1947, when the British Raj ended.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 15 Apr 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 15 Apr 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 16 Apr 2011 00:00:00 IST
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