Whenever we look at the world map we observe that there is a broad and extensive piece of land between Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal in the continent of Asia which is largely extended to the northern side but as we start moving south, this piece of land narrows till it ends in the Indian Ocean. If there would have not been political boundaries of different colours, then the three countries of this region would have been looking like a great single country. Perhaps this is the reason geographers have named this region as subcontinent and common people recognise this region by the names of three countries – India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Generally, this piece of land has uniformity in its topography and climate, so it is classified as one geographical region. Accordingly, different problems and issues of this whole region can be solved only by taking the whole region into consideration. One part of this region is largely dependent on the other for different needs of its population and no part of this region can progress or develop separately without mutual cooperation. This whole region was politically known as India once but with the passage of time it divided into three separate countries, due to many socio-cultural, political and religious reasons.
There are healthy and hardworking people in one part of this subcontinent known as Pakistan. It has enough but limited resources of natural gas and large fields for grain production. Second part of this subcontinent, India, is famous for its large geographical extent, production of different mineral resources and its associated industries, and its diverse and colourful culture. Third part which is Bangladesh has one of the world’s best irrigation systems which has resulted in enormous production of jute, which has given this part the name of ‘Golden Country’ in the world.
Though politically these three parts of the subcontinent are separate, but cumulatively this region is bestowed with enormous natural resources and the region has capabilities for producing different raw materials for the whole world. But the artificial political boundaries and their rivalry has restricted the production capabilities of this region and stalled its development. When the whole world is becoming a single entity in the form of global village in the present era of science and technology, this part of the world is still a picture of rivalry where these countries have restricted and banned inter trade, inter transport, and have become vehement political rivals of each other. Their relations are worsening with every passing day.
These countries have already wasted their seventy-five years of independence in mutual rivalry which has crippled their economic growth due to wastage and mismanagement of their natural resources, but the political leaders of these countries are still playing the game of dirty politics for their personal interests and pay no heed to the welfare of the common masses. The world’s geopolitical scenario has changed swiftly in this long span of time. The rivals of yesterday have become the friends of today.
Different colonial states have achieved freedom from the clutches of colonialism and dictatorship and have become democratic countries. Eastern and Western Germany have forgotten their rivalry and became one nation by burying the wall of Berlin under the ground, which was once symbol of division in Europe. Other countries of Europe have also come close by understanding the power of mutual cooperation. Two great wars of twentieth century were fought in Europe and its worst effects were experienced in the countries of Asia and Africa. But the scenario has changed in European countries and now there is peaceful environment in Europe with no prospect of wars, but Asia and Africa are still lagging behind and have become battlefields where human bloodshed and violence has become a routine.
The subcontinent consisting of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh is a part of Asia where many frontier wars have already been fought, resulting in great human and economic losses. Two among these three countries – India and Pakistan – have already achieved nuclear power and have mighty army and ammunition strength. A future war between these countries will be immense human destruction and devastation in the region. The western nations have kept these countries engaged in warfare for a long time for their self-interest and for the sales of their arms and ammunition market. It is high time that the leadership of these countries should solve their political disputes in a friendly manner by creating an atmosphere for peaceful talks. Though the political boundaries in the fragmented subcontinent cannot be erased, so that the three countries may once again become one, but the three nations should live in harmony and mutual cooperation with each other for the economic and social welfare of common people.
—The writer is an official member of JKIFTS Columnists Council. [email protected]