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Tyler Cowen

What If India and Pakistan Actually Got Along?

Full reunification is difficult to imagine, but there are many possible arrangements that fall short of that.

Along the India-Pakistan border, August 2021.

Along the India-Pakistan border, August 2021.

Photographer: Feature China/Future Publishing

Every now and then — but not too often — it is worth floating an idea that hardly anyone agrees with, if only to keep the discourse fresh. In that spirit, consider my latest entry to this category: The status quo between India and Pakistan is temporary. The world should start thinking about a future in which the two nations have a fundamentally different relationship.

Full reunification, of course, is difficult to imagine. But there are many possible options that fall short of that: a loose confederation, a NAFTA-like trade structure, a military alliance, even a broader regional reconfiguration under which each nation loses some territory but the remaining parts move closer together.