There was a time when Pakistan and India were considered equal arch-rivals, but the scenario does not seem to be the same now. Unfortunately, the gap, with regard to development and international scope, is getting wider day by day. Both got freed concurrently on 14 August, 1947 from the English Kingdom that ruled from 1858 to 1947 ‘almost for one century. Setting aside the political background of both of them, it is evident that India kept on developing itself. Its rulers’ policies were more centered towards trade and development. Though corruption and poverty are still rampant in India, its national leadership projected the state position correctly on the international fora. This helped the government in fetching international investment.
Pakistan’s GDP is around 4.5 percent while India’s GDP is around 7.2 percent. Being many times bigger geographically and having more than a billion people cannot be declared factors for development. They can also become liability. For instance, Pakistan’s population is about 200 million and more than this number ‘even at this time’ is living below the poverty line in India. Moreover, if these are to be considered yardstick of development than the economy of England, in spite of being smaller in area and population, is bigger than both Pakistan and India.
India has not gone too far. We can still catch it in the above mentioned sectors, and Pakistan can keep pace with India if government gets serious and puts efforts in restoring Pakistan’s productive image on the international level. This will only happen if it invests on common man. There is a need of positive and constructive competition between both countries just like it is apparent in European nations; this is the only key to equality between states in international relations.
JUNAID ALI MALIK,
Lahore, March 22.