Despite Nukes, India and Pakistan Agree to Start Trading

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After a 64-year nuclear-arm-wrestling match where waging three wars was the norm, Pakistan and India have finally agreed on one thing: they should start trading. Pakistan announced today that "it has decided to normalize trade relations with its giant rival and neighbor India," according to the AP. Pakistan, as a member of the World Trade Organization, was suppose to be playing nice on trade with fellow WTO member India all along, but "Pakistan declined to reciprocate" India's gesture of normalizing trade in the mid-1990s, The Wall Street Journal reports. Today, Pakistan finally took its rival up on the offer. Though that "high-militarized border" between the two countries (along with the aforementioned nukes) may dampen merchants' enthusiasm to bring their wares to the other's market, The Journal finds the news optimistic for South Asia in general after peace discussions resumed last February:

The move is a rare goodwill gesture by Pakistan to India, with which it has fought three wars since 1947, and may help kick-start peace talks that have made little headway in recent years.

The two countries have been trying to improve relations through the talks, launched in 2004 but suspended after Pakistani militants attacked Mumbai in 2008, killing more than 160 people.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.