Capitalizing on Obamas first visit to India, an extraordinary arms deal has been finalized between the two countries. Both governments have hailed it as a success of their diplomacy and foreign policy. This deal was cloaked in the ideology of freedom, democracy, mutual trust and cooperation; but at the same time bore the unmistakable signatures of regional hegemony, containment of China and possibly a permanent seat in the UNSC. It also provided a blanket cover to India for the human rights violations in Kashmir and the alleged involvement in fueling the Balochistan insurgency. This deal amounting to US $ 9.53 billions is the largest single military purchase from the US by India surpassing earlier deals worth billions of dollars materializing almost every year. India has accrued similar deals with Russia and France exploiting the presidential visits from these countries one following the other. French President Nicholas Sarkozys visit was focused at accomplishing a contract for 126 fighter jets to Indias air force, and another smaller deal to modernise 51 Mirage 2000 planes. Additionally the deal for at least two nuclear reactors estimated at US $ 9.4 billions has also been inked. More recently, the Russian President was keen to finalize an agreement culminating in the sale of 300 advanced stealth fighter jets which will be jointly developed and manufactured. Pakistan is bound to follow suit for maintaining the balance of power in the region. It may well be concluded that the Indo-US arms deal has drifted the region into the sure predicament of regional arms race for at least the next decade. If this materializes as feared then India will have to bear the onus of depriving the people of both India and Pakistan of possible economic development, and improvement in their living standards. When viewed pragmatically, one cant help but ascertain that India needs to change her approach from achieving hegemony to pursuing prosperity in the region. If the policymakers of India and Pakistan trigger the competition in improving their economies, then they are likely to allocate major resources towards improving the living standards of their peoples. This would translate into diverting resources from equipping of the armed forces to development projects in both countries. Both countries are known to compete vigorously when it comes to surpassing the other, be it as trivial as a cricket match or as serious as development of nuclear weapons. Once initiated, this process will induce political and economic stability in the region which will further attract international investors into this region. Having a tremendous potential as a dynamic and enormous market, the West has eyed the sub-continent for a long time. It was only in the recent past that they became disenchanted owing to the volatile security situation and unusually troublesome state of trust between India and Pakistan. If a peaceful orientation is achieved between the two countries, the mutual relations are likely to be dominated by trade and commerce instead of security concerns. A multitude of confidence building measures have been suggested by peace-lovers on both sides of the border, but the most effective amongst them is that of commerce, whose predominant manifestation may be seen in the form of mutual trade between the two countries. Interestingly, there is a long list of commodities which can be traded between India and Pakistan at rates much cheaper than what they are being traded at now with other countries. But nothing can happen unless and until the core issue of Kashmir is settled in line with the UNSC Resolutions. The ball is in Indias court for initiating and then sustaining a meaningful dialogue with Pakistan, a demand Pakistan has been putting forth for many years. An all-encompassing composite dialogue in which both parties should be ready to discuss all contentious issues will take them out of the quagmire in which they are stuck now. MUHAMMAD ALI