Academic journal article South Asian Studies

Indo-Pakistan Trade Relations: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Daily Dawn

Academic journal article South Asian Studies

Indo-Pakistan Trade Relations: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Daily Dawn

Article excerpt


This paper focuses on the role of discourse indicating socio-political and economic situation of bilateral relations between India and Pakistan. It gives an analysis of 37 articles published in Dawn regarding bilateral trade ties between India and Pakistan over the period of 2 years i.e. june2011 to June 2013. This study is an overview of Dawn's perspective regarding the changing ties between two nations on the basis of increasing interaction in business sector. Further, the nature of relationship is explained with help of revealed themes and characterization of the words and grammatical features. The article concludes that shiftin bilateral relations of two countries is visible in context of increasing trade ties on parallel basis.

Key Words Trade relations, Indo-Pak relations, Economic factor, Discourse analysis, Dawn, Bilateral ties.

Background and Literature

Since the inception of India and Pakistan as independent states, a long term confrontation has been witnessed between two nations. War of 1948, 1965, 1971 and Kargil Issue of 1999 are the all results of this armed rivalry. Frequent violation at Line of Control, allegation of spying and ferocity on embassy staffat both sides are the some of the prominent evidences of antipathy between the two nations. Throughout the history, two nations remained in a continuous conflict and have limited bilateral relations (Lyon, 2008).

Similar situation is perceptible in the context of trade relations between India and Pakistan. Both the countries have troubled track record due to political and armed conflicts. As a result of partition between India and Pakistan, the unified economy of sub-continent was divided. When British government devalued its currency in 1949, India also followed the same but Pakistan refused to do this practice resultantly India got annoyed and started curbs on trade with Pakistan. By the end of 1949 and at the beginning of 1950s trade relations were suspended but after one year in 1951 India accepted worth of Pakistan's currency and agreement of trade was revived between two nations (Bhutto 1972).

Due to the war of 1965, trade relations were again suspended between two nations but later in 1966-67 the leaders of both countries by signing the Tashkent pact reopened the avenues of economic relation; though the scope of this bilateral tie was limited at that moment. Another disruption between trade relations was occurred in 1971 and was again normalized after Shimla pact, 1972. Three years later, in January 1975 a full-fledged trade agreement was signed by both nations and railway corridors were also opened. Nuclear testing of both countries in 1998 again interrupted the harmony of relations and trade relations were again suspended in 2002 when India accused Pakistan for attack on Indian parliament on December, 2001. In 2002 India withdrawn its troops and again a door was opened for trade and bilateral relations (Mitra & Pahariya, 2008).

The changing dispositions were found in relations of both countries in first decade of twenty first century but international trade remained insignificant. During year 2004-08 trade dialogue was again taken place and trade was reinstated. These relations were temporarily suspended in 2006 after Mumbai attacks but this time some trade continued despite the conflict (Bhasin, 2012).

Improved trade relations were witnessed in March 2011 after revival of Pakistan India dialogue. One of the reasons could be globalization which promoted regional co-operation on economic grounds in the region. Bilateral trade was initiated by business communities at both sides in spite of the existing conflicts (Askari, 2012).

This change in dimensions of international relations has been studied by different scholars. Booth and Trood (1999) witnessed the significant 'role of economics in constraining military capabilities and therefore strategies' in Asia Pacific region. Gray (1981) studied the prior research and pointed out that the strategic cultures were too insensitive to change. …

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