Student at Dr B.R. AMBEDKAR COLLEGE OF LAW, ANDHRA UNIVERSITY
India is situated in the Indo-Australian tectonic plate and Pakistan geographically overlaps over both the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates. This evidently concludes that both the two nations have been together geographically from 50 million years. History of any of these nations cannot be narrated without involving the other. Both regions have been under British India for over 200 years.
In 1947 British India was partitioned into two independent self-governing countries of India and Pakistan as per the “3 June Plan” or “Mountbatten Plan”. India further became a secular country and Pakistan remained as an Islamic nation. Over 2.2 million people died and 14 million people have been missing and displaced in the process of partition.
The reunification of India and Pakistan would also include the unification of Bangladesh with India. Bangladesh was separated from Pakistan in 1971 with Indian intervention. Bangladesh is also an Islamic nation. Ever since independence both the nations have been engaged in wars, conflicts and military confrontations across the de facto border in Kashmir, a disputed region claimed by both the nations.
The reunification of these nations can only be done thru procedural unification in the following fields.
- Cultural unification
- Economic unification
- Resolving geographical disputes
- Curbing terrorism
- Humanitarian assistance and co-operation
India and Pakistan are basically divided under the divide and rule policy of the British. They’ve divided these regions communally as a united Indo-Pak seemed to be a bigger threat to hold their supremacy. The founding stone for partition was laid in 1905 with a partition of Bengal. Until then Muslims and Hindus have lived happily and peacefully together in united India. This partition has resulted in chaos and unrest in the people which gave way for the British to control people of this region. India and Pakistan are nations with different cultures, ethnic groups and religions. Division of these nations on religious lines has breed extremism and terrorism.
Youth in Kashmir are being influenced on religious lines and are being used as sources to impinge unrest in India. Though they are different in cultures, the cultures all along the border are the same. Hence these borders are to be culturally united, festivals are to be celebrated together. Leaders of both nations should represent their cultures together in the global arena. India is a secular nation whereas Pakistan is the Islamic Republic of Pakistan which clearly concludes that no religion is encouraged or discouraged in India, but Islam is propagated and professed in Pakistan. Unification of these nations should be culturally made so as to not result in ay chaos or unrest in the people.
It is a unification of economic policies between these nations. To achieve economic unification free trade is an idealistic option. It leads to a decrease in prices for distributors and consumers as there would be a curb in import and export taxes. This increases the level of welfare and economic productivity. Mimicking the phenomenon of continental economic blocks such as ASEAN, European Union, NAFTA etc., India, Pakistan and Bangladesh can also economically unite in order to mark their economic presence in the global arena.
The combined GDP of these nations is 3.15 lakh crores USD as of statistics in 2017 which makes it 4th largest global economic power surpassing developed nations like the UK and France. The primary reason for economic unification is largely political. A common economic policy should be formulated that caters the interests of people from all these nations. The Economic unification of these nations shall be done in the following stages:
a. Preferential trading area
b. Free-trade area
c. Customs union
d. Single market
e. Economic union
f. Economic and monetary union
g. Complete economic integration
Through achieving economic unification, a feeling of equality can be introduced in the hearts of people, therefore, makes them a part in economic development.
Resolving Geographical Disputes:
India and Pakistan have been engaged in military confrontations for so long over the ownership of the Kashmir region. After the declaration of Independence of both these nations, Pakistan has encroached over half of the Kashmir and included it in its territory. 48% of the Jammu and Kashmir territory is only under the sovereign control of India. Several wars and frequent aggressions take place in this region. Aksai Chin is occupied by China and a part of Ladakh is gifted by Pakistan to China. Unification of Pakistan and India would put an end all these issues.
The Indus river system comprising three western rivers namely- the Indus, the Jhelum, the Chenab and three eastern rivers namely- the Sutlej, the Beas and the Ravi flow from the Himalayas to India to Pakistan and finally drains into the Arabian sea. The disputes over the distribution of these waters are resolved by signing the Indus Waters Treaty in 1960 by the then Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and the then President of Pakistan Ayub Khan. According to this treaty, India has control over the three eastern rivers and Pakistan exercises its control over the three western rivers.
River Brahmaputra originates in Manasarovar, flows through China, India and borders India and Bangladesh, flows through Bangladesh and finally drains into the Bay of Bengal. With its regular flooding, it has caused great grievance to both the nations. For the unification of these nations, they’ve to first focus together on fighting floods. There are certain regions in India which belong to Bangladesh and vice versa. All these disputes have to be resolved with immediate effect in order to the unification of these nations
Terrorism for a long time has been a problem for India. It is evident that Pakistan has been supportive of many terrorist organisations that cause unrest in India. India has been trying so long in the United Nations General Assembly to prove that Pakistan has been supportive of these terrorist organisations. It has succeeded in naming many Pakistan based terrorist organisations as international terrorist organisations in the UNGA. Many terrorists who pose a threat to India have been taking asylum in both Bangladesh and Pakistan.
India has been for years requesting these nations to handover these terrorists, but no fruitful response has ever obtained. Pakistan has suffered 23.77 billion USD in 2010-11 due to expenses related to the war on terrorism. India has spent over 2.8 trillion USD to counter terrorism from 2002 to 2017. Putting an end to terrorism would help all these nations concentrate on other economic development programmes and spread peace across these regions.
Humanitarian Assistance and Co-operation:
It is material or logistical assistance provided for humanitarian purposes, it involves disaster management, technological cooperation, sharing of knowledge, health support etc., if the humanitarian sector is to meet the world’s growing needs for intervention, it has to start planning in advance. The World Economic Forum funds for humanitarian assistance. To reach the needs of more people the traditional ways of humanitarian assistance are to be replaced with modern technological ways. As a united nation, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh account for about half of the world’s population and to provide relief to such large number of people proper planning for organising has to be done in prior. Both the Indus waters and Brahmaputra waters flood very frequently and to counter it combined Humanitarian assistance would be more efficient.
Besides all the aforementioned fields for the procedural reunification of India and Pakistan, one has to understand that there has been long-lasting hatred for these nations in hearts of the people from the counter nation. The reunification can only be achieved only if this hatred can be totally removed from the hearts of people. To accomplish this our people should be described the stories of German reunification. It was partitioned as east and west Germany for 45 years and now it has been successfully unified for 25 years. The movement for reunification has to be started within the people of these nations demanding for unification which shall be a peaceful movement. Only then the governments may start negotiations that finally culminate procedural reunification treaty between India and Pakistan.