In a recent development, Pakistan has allowed transport of goods from Afghanistan to India via Wagah border, Pakistan. This reaffirms Pakistan’s commitment to a prosperous, independent & peaceful Afghanistan. This matter would surely be appreciated by Afghanistan & the US also in Afghan peace process.

However, the Indian exports to Afghanistan have not been allowed due to India-Pakistan worsening bilateral ties over Kashmir and other issues. If peace had a chance, trade between two countries would flourish. Nonetheless, prosperity at the western border should reaffirm Pakistan’s stance as a friendly neighbour. Risk of smuggling & dumping should be minimised, nonetheless.

Regional connectivity can boost Pakistan’s growth prospects. Accessibility from Gwadar/Kashgar to Central Asian states, such as, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan & Kazakhstan. Pakistan would need to work on transit fees, list of tradable products, facilitating trade & first class rail & road connectivity. Thus, the importance of revamping medieval Railway lines.

Is Belt and Road Initiative answer to regional connectivity?