Friday, February 12, 2010

Indo-Pakistan Cultural Trade: Should be Both Ways!

That cultural exchanges between India and Pakistan are critically important in promoting the dialogue of peace, amity and friendship between the two nations is considered axiomatic. Similarly, the idea that economic relations between the two countries should be strengthened - that promotion of trade, partnerships and joint ventures between entities in the two countries is critical, is also considered axiomatic. Here developments have been somewhat asymmetric between the two countries. For example, while India has extended, 'most favored nation' treatment to Pakistan, that has not been reciprocated. Similarly, while on an official level cultural products from India cannot enter Pakistan, unofficially there is a lot of trade in pirated and smuggled music, films, CDs and the like. The discussion in the NDTV video linked here, centers on these kinds of issues. In addition to a diplomatic and an economic expert, who expound on the challenges and opportunities respectively, we also have the singer Zila Khan as an expert on (and exponent of) music, which makes for a very interesting discussion.

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