India may open more land routes for trade with Pakistan

Attari transit route (Credit:

LAHORE, May 8: India is willing to look at more land border transit points with Pakistan and opening new border crossings at places like Munnabao in Rajasthan is a possibility , Sharat Sabharwal, India’s high commissioner to Pakistan said on Monday. He was addressing the inaugural session of the 2nd Aman Ki Asha Indo-Pak Economic Conference . At present, Attari-Wagah is the only land route for trade between the two nations.

Later this month, Indian and Pakistani home secretaries are expected to sign off on an agreement that will liberalize the business visa regime. In the works are multiple entry visas, abolishing police checkposts and multi-city visas.

These measures are expected to give a fillip to Indo-Pak trade which today is languishing at sub $3-billion . Sabharwal said the Indian commerce ministry believes that trade between the two can touch $12billion in the next five years. He reiterated commerce minister Anand Sharma’s promise that for every one step Pakistan takes, India will take two. “We will like to carry the process of trade liberalization forward in a manner to create a win-win situation for both sides.” The Indian high commissioner appreciated Islamabad’s decision to accord the most favoured nation (MFN) status to India and to move from a positive list of imports from India to a negative list.

Delivering the keynote address, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said core issues should be settled through dialogue and called for enhanced people-to-people contact. Gilani said his government was committed to normalization of ties. “Non-state actors from both sides of the border are determined to harm relations. We need to be vigilant . He said that in sectors like information technology, education, health engineering, there is huge scope for cooperation. He commended the Times of India and the Jang group of Pakistan for launching the Aman ki Asha initiative when tensions were running high between the two nations.

Hoping that the India-Pakistan economic conference will boost the peace process, he said poverty, disease and ignorance should not become the fate of the region. “Our people have suffered because of the policies of the past. They deserve better. No more time should be wasted .” He described industry captains at the conference as the “best ambassadors of peace” for both countries . “The world is marching on and it is time for us to shed the baggage of the past and grab the opportunity at hand and act with urgency to build relations of mutual trust.”

Speakers at the conference highlighted the fact that improved economic relations between the two nations will lead to peace and prosperity . Some delegates were worried that offering MFN status to India might result in highly skewed trade relations with the balance tilting in favour of India. Their concerns were addressed by Pakistani business leaders such as Mian Muhammed Mansha, chairman, MCB Bank, and Bashir Ali Muhammed, chairman, Gul Ahmed.

They were unequivocal in saying that greater trade will benefit the Pakistani people and industry would gain from greater competition in the longer run. Mansha said he was keen on starting a bank in India.

Adi Godrej, CII president and head of the Godrej Group said the two largest economies of south Asia should work together to ensure that bilateral trade touches $10billion in the near term. Textiles, agriculture, engineering, IT, education and healthcare are sectors which can see immediate traction, he said. “Removal of tariff barriers should set in motion processes for the removal of asymmetries in trade.”

Group managing director of Jang Group Shahrukh Hasan said the Aman ki Asha initiative has helped change perceptions in both countries. “Peace which has been tantalizingly elusive is inevitable,” he said. He and almost all speakers said a liberalized visa regime is a must for any forward momentum in relations. “MFN and FDI are of no use without people being able to travel across the border,” he said.

Rahul Kansal, executive president , Times Group, said history has shown that when foes develop deep economic stakes in each other, war becomes a non-option . “We are at a historic moment; it will be pity if we can’t seize the opportunity.”

Aman ki Asha is an initiative of the Times of India and the Jang Group of Pakistan and the Lahore trade meet is co-sponsored by CII and Pakistan Business Council.

Pakistan business hits at Barriers to Indian trade

LAHORE: Cosmetics are smuggled by donkey through Afghanistan, chemicals and medicines track through Dubai. But only a fraction of legal trade travels directly from India to Pakistan.

A baffling array of legal and practical barriers to exports between the neighbours has spurned unofficial trade worth up to $10 billion, dwarfing official exchanges of $2.7 billion.

But a recent rapprochement that looks to normalise trading relations between India and Pakistan could end a decades-old system that stifles business and saps profits through networks of middlemen, money changers and smugglers.

A booklet of 1,945 items lists trade allowed to run from India to Pakistan – but only 108 can be trafficked directly by road through the border post at Wagah, near the eastern border city of Lahore.

At old markets in Lahore, traders peddle whitening creams and hair dyes that have journeyed from India to Karachi by sea bound for Afghanistan, before being reloaded and smuggled along the Taliban-hit Hindu Kush to re-enter Pakistan.

Along the way a simple anti-wrinkle cream rises from 75 rupees (85 cents) to 160 rupees ($1.82), while black hair dye doubles from five to 10 rupees.

Tonnes of industrial chemicals and drugs travel into Dubai, where their port of origin is relabelled to hide their Indian provenance before being sent on to Pakistan. The process entails a mark-up of 15-20 percent, say importers.

But 15 years after India granted Pakistan “Most Favoured Nation” status in line with World Trade Organisation rules, Pakistan this month finally agreed to return suit, paving the way for a radical reorganisation of bilateral trade.

Pakistan has pledged to open its market to over 7,000 products from India over the next three months and says India should have MFN status by the end of 2012, a step to removing discriminatory higher pricing and duty tariffs.

The list of nearly 2,000 items allowed for trade is to be replaced by a list of disallowed items, and a second trading post has been opened at Wagah.

Observers say the rapprochement signals a seismic shift from Pakistan’s traditional and strategic antipathy to India, and a deeper economic engagement between the countries that is crucial for lasting peace in the region.

“People who are pro-trade have prevailed. For the first time our strategists are viewing economic security as a significant element of national security,” said Abid Hussein, who teaches trade policy at Lahore University of Management Science.

The IMF, which failed to agree a loan package for Pakistan this year amid stalemate on economic reforms, says that GDP growth for the current fiscal year is unlikely to top 3.5 per cent, compared with more than double that for regional superpower India.

But the Pakistan Business Council estimates that enhanced bilateral trade could bump its growth rate by 1-2 per cent. Experts predict $1.5-2 billion could be saved by routing imports directly into India and its 1.2 billion consumers.

Barriers remain, however. Businessmen want to see more land access open up along the 1,800-mile (2,880-kilometre) border, along with more options for air.

On the Indian side of Wagah, only two trucks can be loaded and unloaded at a time, hampering a burgeoning export trade in gypsum and dried dates.

Official figures show that while 4,000 metric tonnes of goods can come into Pakistan on up to 200 trucks per day, only 500 tonnes can leave in 70 trucks.

Overall land trade last year totalled 21 billion rupees in exports compared to 1.33 billion rupees in imports.

For businessmen, their biggest problem is not being able to travel freely.

“I want to export this item to India but I cannot go and cannot market my product. Visa is the main hurdle,” said Aftab Ahmed Vohna, who sits on the Pakistan-India standing committee for the Lahore Chamber of Commerce.

But powerful lobbies remain unconvinced that the hostilities that have led to three wars since independence can melt away.

Hundreds of activists in Pakistani-administered Kashmir on Friday demonstrated against improving trade, and leaders in industries likely to lose out to open competition with India are loudly demanding an opt-out.

They point to India’s protectionist policies in sectors such as agriculture, where exporters pay a 37 per cent tariff instead of the standard 13 per cent.

They fear that Pakistan will be flooded with cheaper Indian goods, strangling domestic business, although Vohna points out that free trade with India’s big rival and Pakistan’s close ally China has failed to do so.

“The main difference between India and China is confidence,” said Vohna.

“Every person argues with me that Indian goods will close our factories. I tell them if Chinese cheap goods cannot close our factories, India’s will not.”

Pak Businessmen Welcome Trade Concessions for India

Karachi and Mumbai Ports

The recent trip made by a large 80 plus delegation of Pakistani businessmen and government officials led by Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Faheem to India, the Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar’s visit to New Delhi to hold wide-ranging talks with her Indian counterpart, the upcoming second round of negotiations between the two Commerce Secretaries, and the unequivocal announcement by the Foreign Minister on the floor of the National Assembly, all combined to bring up for intense debate the  issue of granting of Most Favored Nation status to India.

It should be noted that India unilaterally granted MFN to Pakistan over 15 years ago.

Pak Business Delegation in Mumbai

What is this sacrosanct clause that is really not being accepted nor understood by hawks and naysayers in Pakistan. The Most Favored Nation Clause stipulates that “with respect to custom duties and charges of any kind imposed on, or in connection with, importation or exportation, or imposed on the international transfer of payments for import or exports, and with respect to the method of levying such duties and charges, and with respect to all rules and formalities in connection with the importation and exportation, any advantage, favor, privilege or immunity granted by any contracting party to any product originating in, or destined for, any other country shall be accorded immediately and conditionally to the like product originating in, or destined for, the territories for all contracting parties.”


Indo-Pak business council's meeting

It may sound mumbo-jumbo or confusing to read this but all it says is equal treatment for all countries.

I was a member of the Pakistan delegation to India, and at the meeting with CEOs in Mumbai, I posed a direct question to them. I asked them what do the Indian CEOs want from Pakistan and one gentleman straightaway remarked “MFN”! The Pakistani delegation did not respond to this immediately but during the tea break, I nonchalantly mentioned to Ms Meera Sanyal, Country Head of Royal Bank of Scotland and the leader of the Indian side, that Pakistan has already accorded MFN to Indians decades ago.

I stated that over $ 2.50 to $ 3.00 billion worth of Indian goods make their way into Pakistan through undocumented sources.

It is safe to assume that there is a distinctive bias against Pakistani products in Indian officialdom. Moreover, the advantage of economies of scale that Indian manufacturers have due to a burgeoning and vibrant middle class assures them of a strong market and enables them to produce more at a comfortable price.

Indo-Pak moot in progress

Of course, whenever Pakistani businessmen or even government officials attempt to promote trade concessions to India, the vocal anti-business elements loudly proclaim that it would seriously affect Pakistan’s avowed position on Kashmir and that all this talk about cordial and bilateral relations between the two SAARC nations is directly aimed at diluting the intensity of the Kashmir cause.

The anti-MFN lobby counter with the argument that since India has formidable engineering, computers, petrochemicals, and heavy metal industries, etc, it would be difficult for the Pakistani enterprises to compete on an equal footing.

The concept of two religions also is a motivating force for the anti-MFN lobby. They also refer to the concentrated campaign on Kashmir by the government, not only within the country but also among the Islamic nations. They state that on the one hand, the government is highlighting the Kashmir cause and on the other hand, there are no qualms about granting preferential trade privileges. They do not appreciate the idea of a negative trade balance as they feel that the Indian importers will not reciprocate in the same spirit.

Meeting of Business heads in Mumbai

One must then also acknowledge that even though Pakistan does not recognize Taiwan, yet there is a beeline of Pakistani traders conducting business with Taiwanese businessmen. This is one solid case of doing business with those whom Pakistan’s “all-weather” friend does not recognize or accept. Here, trade took precedence over political compulsions. Then why not unshackle the Indo-Pak trade regime?

Pakistan must at all costs talk about regional peace, regional trade, and regional interaction. The country must take the lead to bring about an enabling environment to achieve these objectives. All efforts must be made to increase economic activities because deliverance only lies through massive industrialization and commercial activities.

The policy to club all polemical issues between Pakistan and India and demanding their resolution first has not worked but, in the process, has resulted in sacrificing profitable economic contacts and damaging the one chance to stimulate economic activity in the present recessionary scene.

Pakistani and Indian leadership must stop this ego-trip and blatant propaganda. The leaders must put the welfare of people paramount. Efforts such as Amn ki Asha are commendable initiatives. The political hierarchy must work for the prosperity of the region. Only through trade and industry could this roadmap be achieved. The destiny of millions depends on how the national leaders in India and Pakistan weave their decisions and actions.

The writer is the former president of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry


What Does it Mean to Grant ‘Most Favored Nation’ Status to India?

Nov 1, 2011: The Pakistani cabinet decided to ‘grant’ Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India. MFN is the most misunderstood concept in trade legislation.

All it means is that a World Trade Organisation (WTO) member will treat every other member equally in terms of tariff and other trade conditions. In fact, the Charter of the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), WTO’s predecessor, envisaged trade relations between the newly independent ‘dominions’ of India and Pakistan as a customs union — a more intimate, duty-free trade arrangement.

However, history conspired to create a very different trade relationship between Pakistan and India. First, their currencies were de-linked and then progressive barriers — tariff and non-tariff — erected to restrain bilateral trade. After the 1965 war, trade was banned altogether by both sides. Such restriction is also legally sanctioned by the Gatt/WTO charter, in its ‘national interest’ clause.

The road since 1965 has been long and hard. It was only in the 1980s that Pakistan and India took baby steps to open up trade, item by item, with lists numbering less than 50 items. It was only a decade ago, when India gained confidence in its ability to compete against Pakistani goods, that it offered MFN status to Pakistan.

Pakistan did not reciprocate, for economic and political reasons. On the one hand, there were (and still are) fears that cheaper Indian manufactures — textiles, engineering goods — would put Pakistani producers out of business. More importantly, Pakistani leaders did not want to be seen normalising trade while the Indian army was engaged in brutal repression in Kashmir. Trade normalisation was explicitly linked to progress on Kashmir and other outstanding issues.

Clearly, this linkage has now been jettisoned. On Kashmir, peace and security, Siachen and Sir Creek any change in India’s position has been for the worse. Of course, it is no secret that the western powers have strongly pressed Pakistan to normalise trade with India, arguing that this will contribute to improving political relations — the reverse of Pakistan’s long-standing position.

India’s only ‘gesture’ was to drop its mean-minded veto in the WTO against the trade preferences the EU agreed to offer Pakistan to help it recover from last year’s devastating floods.

How will the reciprocal acceptance of MFN impact on bilateral trade?

Trade between Pakistan and India remains minuscule. Last year, India exported $1.5bn to Pakistan, while Pakistan’s exported $275m to India. Informal (illegal) and indirect trade is estimated to be another $3bn-$4bn. Total trade is thus around $6bn-$7bn. This is much lower than India’s $60bn two-way trade with China, but roughly the same as Pakistan’s $7bn trade with China.

It is not at all certain that two-way trade will expand significantly with reciprocal MFN treatment. Apart from the restrictions, what has constrained trade between Pakistan and India is the similarity of the two economies, which are, therefore, competitive rather than complementary. Of course, in recent years, the Indian economy has become more diversified and globally competitive. India, therefore, will have greater possibilities to enlarge exports to Pakistan than the other way around.

At present, sadly, Pakistan is unlikely to gain very much from trade liberalisation with India, or any other developing country. Simply put, Pakistan does not produce very much that it can sell abroad. It does not enjoy a price advantage in more than a handful of products. Trade is only 10 per cent of its GDP. Its volume is one-tenth that of Mexico and Brazil, countries of comparable size.

Pakistani manufacturers of textiles, pharmaceuticals and automotive parts are reportedly concerned that cheaper Indian goods — some benefiting from subsidies — could damage their industries significantly. Admittedly, the weaknesses in each of these sectors are the consequence mostly of Pakistani mistakes. Value-addition in textiles has been deliberately retarded by decades of easy earnings from yarn and fabric ‘quotas’ in the US and EU markets. In pharmaceuticals, Pakistan — unlike India — has been held back by multinationals from producing its own generic drugs. In the automotive sector, Pakistan gave in too early to demands under WTO agreements to remove infant-industry support.

Apart from this, there is genuine concern among Pakistani traders about Indian non-tariff barriers (NTBs). India is also one of the most prolific users of the WTO’s anti-subsidies and anti-dumping mechanisms designed to block or hold back artificially cheap imports. At the same time, many Indian products benefit from government subsidies, such as free electricity. Pakistan does not have in place the bureaucratic machinery to implement the trade ‘defence’ measures allowed under WTO rules. Nor does the Pakistani exchequer have the financial capacity to support production subsidies and other official mechanisms for export expansion.

Pakistan’s aim should be to negotiate special arrangements — as it has done with China — to take into account India’s advantages, especially in certain industrial and other manufactured goods sectors, and thus level the playing field.

In the short term, Pakistan’s advantage over India will be in certain food and agriculture sectors. Over the years, Pakistan’s wheat, rice and other agricultural commodities — whose prices were at times artificially restricted at home — have been smuggled to India (and Afghanistan), depriving benefits to both the Pakistani farmer and consumer. It is rumoured that some of the high-grade Basmati rice sold by Indian companies abroad originates in Pakistani Punjab. The ‘regularisation’ of agricultural trade should seek to prevent such abuses, including measures to prevent and punish ‘cross-border’ smuggling.

Another issue which Pakistani policymakers will need to consider is how to respond to Indian investment in Pakistan. Like others, Indians can invest in Pakistan’s publicly listed companies (and vice versa). Pakistan-India joint ventures could be mutually beneficial in some sectors. But some investment can be sensitive. To avoid strategic mistakes and future disputes, Pakistan will need to evolve guidelines that prescribe conditions for Indian investment and determine where it would not be acceptable for strategic reasons.

The writer is a former Pakistan ambassador to the UN.


Revealing a Gap Between the Leaders and the People

WESTFIELD, Mass. – A group of women from India and Pakistan who came here for a peace conference in April returned home to find their countries on the brink of a nuclear catastrophe. One of the delegates wrote back to me about the “horrific atmosphere of war,” which can be averted, she said, only through “sheer good luck.”

Luck, of course, plays a magnified role in the lives of many on the subcontinent who cannot rely on receiving the staples that most Westerners take for granted. But sheer chance is not what anybody wants to think is the only thing between rice-for-lunch-as-usual and a nuclear conflagration that U.S. experts estimate could kill as many as 12 million people.

Yet that is what the escalating political rhetoric has made women like these believe — that the tensions, the saber-rattling, the missile tests and the brutal deaths on either side of the Line of Control in predominantly Muslim Kashmir have less to do with the hopes of the ordinary people than with the self-serving and mercurial goals of their leaders. With a leader like President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who came to power in 1999 in a military coup, Pakistanis fear all the more that their country’s response will be a military one. How ironic it was, one Indian delegate pointed out during the conference, that with flights and overland travel between their countries cut off, these women had to travel to the United States — more than 7,000 miles away from home — in order to meet face to face with their counterparts.

The delegates had gathered at the conference, titled “Women of Pakistan and India: Rights, Ecology, Economy and Nuclear Disarmament,” at Westfield State College just as the war clouds were forming over the subcontinent. Tensions had been building since January, when India accused Pakistan of supporting the Kashmiri militants’ attacks on its parliament in Dehli on Dec. 13 — and retaliated by massing its troops on the border. The potential for a nuclear exchange has since been triggered by the Islamic militants’ attack on an army camp in mid-May. The raid killed more than 30 soldiers and family members. That’s when Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee rallied troops for an all-out war. In a show of defiance, Pakistan tested three missiles last week (all of them named after Muslim conquerors of India) that are capable of launching a nuclear attack on the Indians. The United States is taking all of this seriously, urging Americans to get out of India and withdrawing all but essential embassy personnel.

For the 10 women from India and Pakistan, coming to Westfield was an occasion to analyze how governments on each side had hijacked discourse to portray the other as the “enemy.” Growing up in Pakistan, I was a witness to the constant hammering by state-controlled television about “Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir.” In fact, the phrase masla-i-Kashmir (“the problem of Kashmir”) has for me become a metaphor for any problem that can never be solved.

I heard those thoughts echoed in the views of the Indian women at the conference. Journalist Kalpana Sharma blamed her nation’s worsening relations with Muslims, and by association with Pakistan, on the rise of the Hindu fundamentalists in India — the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its coalition partner, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). India, Sharma said, had buckled under fundamentalist pressure and escalated its military budget after the disastrous conflict near the Kargil area of Kashmir that nearly led to war in 1999. And the costs for ordinary people are clear. India has cut back on the social sector, she said, and instituted higher taxes on its people.

For Anis Haroon, director of a women’s non-governmental organization in Karachi, the U.S. support for Musharraf after Sept. 11 “had carved out a permanent role for the army in Pakistan.” This, she said, had come with costs, strengthening the military crackdown on demonstrations by political parties, civil liberties groups and women protesting against discriminatory laws. In early May, for example, Pakistani authorities arrested women gathering to oppose the Hudood Ordinances, which demonstrators say end up punishing female victims of rape.

Civil liberties have taken a beating inside India as well, agreed the Indian women. Ruchira Gupta, a member of a women’s group in Bombay, pointed to the Indian parliament’s passage of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) on March 26 as an example. POTA was advocated by BJP Home Minister L.K. Advani to counter what he called “the terrorism” launched by Pakistan. But Gupta argued that the act would cramp the press, militarize the society and lead to injustices for Muslim minorities.

Both governments, these women believed, were responsible for recent atrocities. The Indians blamed the massacre of Muslims in Gujarat in February following an attack on Hindus in a train on the “frenzy whipped up by the BJP” which forms the central government in Gujarat. The Hindu delegates said that organizations they belonged to had visited the area to distribute food and clothing to Muslim victims. Correspondingly, Pakistani delegates said that the Gujarat violence had not resulted in reprisals against Hindus in Pakistan — showing that such violence is not supported by ordinary people.

Indeed, my experience shows that all too often it is the self-serving leaderships in the two countries that thwart the people’s desire for peace. I saw this firsthand in 1995. As a journalist, I was invited to join the official Pakistan delegation to the Fourth World Women Conference in Beijing. The country was then ruled by Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was keen to portray a liberal image at the conference. But we were instructed by a male leader of our group to counter the Indian delegates each time the subject of Kashmir came up. I watched as the leaders of both the Indian and Pakistani delegations engaged in allegations and counter-allegations over Kashmir. Slowly the hall began emptying as U.N. delegates walked out of a meeting that was supposed to unite the women of the world.

The discussions at Westfield did not fracture along these lines because the women were not here to promulgate their governments’ policies. Instead, they discussed how Sept. 11 has caused India and Pakistan to vie for U.S. attention over Kashmir. Even as India conducts its propaganda war against militants, it stopped Kashmiri women from attending our conference. The pressure was coming from the Hindu right wing, who, as Indian delegate Urvashi Batalia noted, had been cashing in on the “demonizing of Muslims.”

U.S. dependence on Pakistan in its fight against terrorism appears to have given legitimacy to the military government, argued Zubeida Mustafa, a senior editor from Pakistan’s daily Dawn newspaper. In Pakistan’s April referendum, journalists observed few voters at the polling booths. A colleague wrotethat a polling officer he visited had recorded only 125 votes by closing time. The officer told him rather casually that he forged the remaining votes after deadline because the local police directed him to show a voter turnout of nearly 900 and to ensure a “yes” vote of around 98 percent, giving Musharraf five more years in office.

With only the facade of being elected, Pakistan’s military government has not had to answer to its people about the failure to improve law and order. Earlier this year, targeted killings of Shia doctors by Sunni extremist groups forced physicians to flee the country. However, no action was taken until last month, when a suicide bomber killed 14 people in Karachi, including 11 French men working on a submarine project. Under severe international pressure, the Musharraf government cracked down on the Sunni militant groupLashkar-i-Jhangvi — which has been linked to the killings of Shia doctors. Later, three members of this same group were accused in the brutal murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl.

In December, when I last visited Pakistan, I was curious to see how the Musharraf government would rein in Kashmiri militants. The Islamic militants who were brought into the region by the United States during the Cold War had turned to jihad in Kashmir after the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989. Since then about two dozen militant Islamic groups fighting for Kashmir under the United Jihad Council have established headquarters in Pakistan.

It’s not as if Kashmiris welcome such support. One Kashmiri from Srinagar, Farooq Lone, who now lives in Islamabad, told me that Kashmiris are “fed up” with Pakistan-based militants who attack Indian forces and leave the Kashmiris to face the vengeance of the repressive Indian troops. More than 35,000 people have been killed in Kashmir since the militants entered the fray 13 years ago. Lone’s family supports the All Parties Hurriyet Conference, whose moderate Kashmiri separatist leader, Abdul Ghani Lone, was recently assassinated. Although India has never allowed a plebiscite in which the Kashmiris could decide their own fate, the Indian government had been wooing moderates such as Lone for elections planned in Kashmir in September. His murder deals a further blow to any peace prospects. And it is a further example of the voice of the people being stifled.

The issue of Kashmir — left dangling by the British in 1947 when they divided India and then departed without forcing a plebiscite — has come to haunt the United States almost 55 years later. It is an issue that is not going be resolved by luck or through a U.S. admonition to Pakistan to stop abetting militants. Instead, the United States will have to throw its weight behind the United Nations to enable the people of Kashmir to decide their own fate. That appears to be the only choice if the world is to be successful in fighting the roots of terrorism.

Source: Washington Post