This refers to the editorial “Our cotton, their onions” (Jan. 13). Trade has always flourished on a reciprocal basis and has been need-based. While cotton-for-onions may create a win-win situation for India and Pakistan, whether a spurt in trade will thaw our troubled relations remains to be seen. Wherever relations have been held hostage to intractable legacies of history, hostility has largely remained impervious to trade volumes.
Onion imports from Pakistan have hit a roadblock. India has tried every avenue to work out peaceful relations with Pakistan but it does not seem to be paying off.
This time, it may be about cotton and onions. But more mutual trade, even when there is no shortage of goods, should be encouraged to ensure better bilateral relations.
Despite being close geographically, India and Pakistan remain politically far apart. The only reason we are not helping each other is our mutual animosity.
Onions may be hogging the headlines but the staggering price rise has affected the prices of all other vegetables, meat, eggs and edible oil. The weather might have caused it but the government has also been short-sighted in its response. Imports may give us some relief but they are not a solution. With a booming economy and more purchasing power we will, hereafter, only see a widening gap between demand and supply. We must look for ways to boost agricultural yield per acre. Farming has to become a priority sector.