Tom Friedman has this theory in his book Lexus and Olive Tree that two countries which have McDonalds will not go to war with each other, the idea being that in a globalized economy countries are interdependent and cannot sacrifice prosperity over war. But you try to apply this to Pakistan and you get confused on the direction they want to move.
Yesterday there was news of Pakistan deciding to import sugar from India due to economic pressure. Even as recent as last week, there was a ban on import of sugar from India as it would hurt sugarcane growers and mills. Low rainfall caused the sugar prices to rise and imports from UAE and Thailand were not able to meet the demand. Now it is expected that Pakistan will buy three to four lakh tonnes of sugar from India.
But then all is not so sweet regarding trade between the two countries. In the same breath Pakistan announced that films made or developed in India is in list of banned items even though there is an economic need for importing movies.
According to the Import Policy Order 2005, the banned items include any “cinematograph film wholly or partly exposed or developed in any Pakistani or Indian language, with or without a sound track and depicting Pakistani or Indian way of living either silent or dubbed, or in which leading roles have been played by Pakistani or Indian actors or actresses”.[Pakistan bans import of films made in India]
This means Pakistanis will have to rely on movie pirates to see Meera kissing Ashmit Patel in Nazar. This is so sad since the movie was made by Mahesh Bhatt, a Pakistani lover and Bollywood apologist.
Now both the countries have Prime Ministers who are economists who understand the value of trade. But the wall of hatred erected by Pakistan is so strong that even free market forces are unable to pierce it.
- The list of banned items also include a whole range of military weapons, which means the Pakistani Army can no longer buy machine guns, sub-machine guns and automatic rifles from India to kill Indians.
- Siddharth Varadarajan notes that US bombed Yugoslavia and India and Pakistan went to war over Kargil, even though they all had McDonalds.