Traders’ bodies should work as a cohesive force to pull LoC trade out of shambles
For quite some time now cross - LoC trade is again in focus. After four years since it began, it came on the forefront that the intent behind the initiative was more political in nature than being a move to explore economic prosperity in the two parts of J&K. As on date, we haven’t seen anything but a large scale disappointment between the trading communities on both parts of J&K.
It, of course, looks unusual and difficult to absorb when high trading volume in a business breeds disappointment. Now you must be thinking how it happens? India and Pakistan while exhibiting some kind of positive strategies bridged two parts of J&K as a part of political confidence building measure (CBM) loaded with economic opportunities. This CBM strategy was unveiled with inbuilt mechanism of failure.
Most visible drawback is in the communication links between the two parts of the state. A lot has been debated about lack of telecommunication and banking facilities and restrictions in trading of goods etc. between the two parts. But these bottlenecks still stand.
Beyond the above identified bottlenecks, there’s something more which has failed the LoC trade. I think traders community has failed to capitalize on the opportunity of converting this political measure into an economic opurtunity. The traders’ communities across LoC have failed to convince and pressurize their respective governments in Islamabad and New Delhi to translate LoC trade into a pure economic measure.
Now a question arises – why our traders’ community has failed to convince and pressurize their respective governments? Generally speaking, unity in diversity is a distant dream in this part of globe. Irony is that most of the people want to have prosperity at the cost of others’ discomfort and it is the sincerity factor, which gets marred in-between.
Let me share a unique kind of mentality, best described by the phrase "if I can't have it, neither can you." Precisely, it’s known as crab mentality – an act of short-sighted and non-constructive thinking which ultimately leads to collective demise. The narrative is that the crabs in a pot could easily escape from the pot, but instead, they grab at each other which prevents any from escaping.
It’s a routine to come across such innumerable incidents where members of a group leave no stone unturned to pull down any member who scales ladder of success ahead the others.
Can our traders’ communities in both parts of J&K give a thought to this?
Let them find an answer to this question. They have a huge responsibility. It is not mere trading of goods across the LoC, but a positive step towards the resolution of Kashmir conflict. These business representatives on both the sides of the LoC have to understand that they shall be operating on the basis of a conflict between two nations – India and Pakistan – over Kashmir. The ball is still in their court, as their cementing of relationship, first among themselves and then carrying it forward across the LoC, can change economic fortunes and simultaneously prove a useful step in the conflict resolution process. At least don’t make this intra Kashmir trade hostage to crab mentality. Of course, it needs a telephone connection, banking channel, etc. but all this is possible when the trade- communities shun their differences, cement their cracks and work as a cohesive force.
So it’s up to the traders to bring enterprise into play and become a benevolent pressure group to ensure negotiation of peace, prosperity and profits for the state.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 31 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 31 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 1 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST
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