IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has called the Indian economy a “bright spot” on the global economic landscape. The IMF has raised its growth forecast for the current fiscal to 7.2 per cent and the outlook for the future is generally optimistic. Since Modi came to power last May, inflation has fallen to around five percent while GDP growth for the current financial year is at 7.4 percent. Asia’s third largest economy is now outpacing China. That is right, it is growing faster than China. But we shouldn’t be alarmed at Indian success; this was expected. Chinese growth has plateaued, and it is now growing at a more constant rate. But we are talking about the rates of growth. China is still a bigger economy with a bigger GDP. The Indian growth spurt will continue and will soon plateau too. India doesn’t have the manpower and the discipline to outgrow China. Still, we have a titan sitting on our eastern border that we cannot compete with economically, at all.

What does it mean for Pakistan? It means that except for our foot in Kashmir, we are not a threat to India. We are merely a thorn in their side. They are in competition with China, economically and militarily. This does not mean that they want to, or ever will, go to war with China. But it means that they are readying themselves to be able to deal with small problems like Pakistan. This is a grand change in the way that politics will play out in the region, and Pakistan is not a big player, even though the narrative of the Pakistan state would like to portray other wise. From the issue of Kashmir, to the problems of the Indus waters, we are on a weak footing. According to India, it does not owe us any water, nor will it back off from interfering in Kashmir. It does not need to.

India is trying to narrow the military gap with China, which has been building up its fleet of ships and submarines making forays in the Indian Ocean. It has raised its defence spending in 2015 by 12 percent. India’s sphere of influence is growing south, with Modi making pledges during a visit to Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles after decades of neglect. All these countries will soon be caught in a “China or India?” dilemma. Pakistan has hitched its wagon to China, and must make sure this relationship is strengthened as much as possible. The country has to stay relevant in the new security climate, and one way is to improve its economic standing drastically. At the end of the day, it will be guns and nukes that will kill us. Only the economy can help us survive.