Cross-Border Cooperation for Bilateral Trade, Travel, and Tourism: A Challenge for India and Pakistan

Cross-Border Cooperation for Bilateral Trade, Travel, and Tourism: A Challenge for India and Pakistan

Anita Medhekar, Farooq Haq
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2513-5.ch010
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Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) is described as collaboration with neighbouring countries sharing land or sea borders to cooperate to reduce poverty and inequality among people, and improve living standards for sustainable development of the regions. European Union key objective has been CBC model where bordering countries in balanced partnership, have equal say in program decision-making process for sustainable development to meet common goals. The three factors essential for CBC clearly defined goals, promotion of political transparency, and promotion of connectivity and communication are correlated with the four levels of CBC implementation and public-private-partnerships. This chapter examines the challenge and significance of cross border cooperative relationship between India and Pakistan to disarm and have peace, for achieving 17 sustainable development goals in bordering conflict regions between the two countries for socio-economic progress and prosperity of the millions of people living in South Asia.
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Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) is relatively a new phenomenon of the 21st century. It—CBC is described as collaboration with neighbouring countries sharing land, mountains, rivers or sea borders, in order to cooperate to reduce poverty, inequality and improve living standards in the region (Castanho, Loures, Cabezas, & Fernández-Pozo, 2017; DeSousa, 2012; Timothy, 2009). The three main objectives of CBC are: (i) Promoting economic and social development in border areas. (ii) Addressing common challenges (example-public health, education, poverty, environment, safety and security of population). (iii) Putting in place better conditions for movement of persons, goods and capital between countries (European Commission, 2019). Examples of successful development under CBC for bilateral relationship for partnering, cooperation, trade, travel and tourism exist across countries bordering Germany (Krätke, 2002), US-Canadian border (Timothy, 2009), Adriatic (Bufon, 2002), Sweden-Finland (Prokkola, 2008), European Union (EU) countries (DeSousa, 2012) and Portugal-Spain and Norway-Sweden (Medeiros, 2010).

According to De Sousa (2012) who established that, CBC provided a positive initiative for territorial co-operation and institutional innovation, that provides a platform for dialogue on economic development, growth, peace and prosperity between countries. Gordon (2009) emphasized that CBC also supports neighbouring countries against transnational crime, human trafficking and terrorism. Similarly, Heusala and Koistinen (2018) suggested a strategy to counter international crime and improve infrastructure construction and policy planning by adopting CBC approach for improving bilateral relationships. The CBC for bilateral trade can be best applied if the goals of cooperation between members are focused on political commitment, healthcare, transportation, tourism and border conflicts and obstacles facing any two countries (Castanho et al., 2018; Medeiros, 2018). Whereas, Wróblewski and Kasperek (2019), discussed sustainable development of Polish-Czech local cross-border markets for cultural services in cities divided by international borders. Further, sustainability is the foundation, for today’s leading global framework of international cooperation to meet the three pillars of sustainable development such as, economic growth, social equity, and environmental protection 2030 agenda for sustainable development (IISD, 2019; UNSDP, 2019).

Due to rising economic and political crisis in the region, there is an urgent need and call for CBC for bilateral trade and mutual understanding between India and Pakistan and amongst the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) group of eight (G-8) Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives Nepal, Pakistan, and SriLanka, member countries. India and Pakistan share nearly 1.7 billion people with diverse religious spiritual orientations, languages and thousands of year’s old rich cultural heritage. This multi-faith diversity provides a competitive edge to be a world leader in the market of spiritual tourism as a vehicle for global peace and set an example of effective functioning of a common market with a common currency in Asia (Haq & Medhekar, 2015, 2017). Therefore, political will for peace dialogue between India and Pakistan is necessary for CBC to bring about (i) peace and disarmament, (ii) socio-economic transformation, and (iii) economic progress and prosperity between the two nations and for the wider SAARC region to function efficiently and effectively to have a positive impact (Medhekar & Haq, 2019). Political will for bilateral peace dialogue to solve border dispute over Kashmir, will help to achieve not only CBC goals for the two nations, but also the three pillars of sustainable development (i) economic growth, (ii) social equity, and (iii) environmental protection including the United Nations 17-sustainable development goals (17-SDGs), introduced in September 2015, and widely adopted by businesses, educational institutions, governments, and non-government organisations (IISD, 2019; UNSDP, 2019).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Wicked Problems: Wicked problem include social, cultural, economic, environmental, and political problems that is difficult or impossible to solve. These, problem whose solution requires collaboration and cooperation where large number of people to change their mindsets and behavior. Therefore, many standard examples of wicked problems come from the areas of public planning and policy, such as poverty, hunger, climate change, illiteracy, healthcare, waste management, food security, terrorism and human trafficking.

Peace Dividend: A slogan used to express benefits derived from diverting and allocating scarce public resources/money from defence expenditure, to development expenditure, in order to promote peace between nations and reap economic benefit from peace initiatives.

Sustainable Development: The development, that meets the present needs, without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their needs and wants ( IISD, 2019 ). Sustainability is the foundations for international cooperation, to meet the 2030 agenda for SDGs.

Socio-Economic Transformation (SET): A process where the major contribution to income, output, employment and gross domestic product of the economy is generated from sectors – other than agriculture, such as manufacturing, small scale industries, information and communication technology, capital intensive industries and the service sectors.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): These goals relate to transforming our world global 17- SDGs agenda for 2030, was adopted in 2015. All countries developed and developing such as India and Pakistan along with the six south Asian countries must achieve in a global partnership. For example, South Asian countries need to eradication poverty, hunger, universal access, provide clean drinking water and sanitation, green energy, improvement in health, education, reduce inequality, increase economic growth and prosperity, preserve rivers, forests and tackle climate change with cross border partnership.

Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC): A form of international cooperation exercised bilaterally or multilaterally through peace dialogue between countries or regions across shared borders by land or sea and non-shared borders to achieve common goals and objectives and United Nations 17-Sustainable Development Goals for mutual benefit of economic development opportunities.

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