KARACHI: India has allowed Pakistani industrialists to set up industries in India, a move that has been welcomed by Pakistan. This initiative will certainly be accompanied by several attractive privileges and benefits for Pakistani industrialists.
I wonder whether Pakistani politicians are too naïve or imprudent to understand the long-term effect of this decision. Pakistani investors have already been shifting their investments out of Pakistan owing to the ever-increasing cost of doing business in Pakistan, terrorism, kidnappings for ransom, electricity shortages, increase in the crime rate and a never-ending list of snags obstructing business and economic activities. A large number of textile units have shifted to Bangladesh and Pakistanis top the list of investors in the UAE after Iranians.
However, allowing Pakistani businessmen to invest in India is calling for a disaster. India will certainly be offering lucrative incentives to Pakistani investors to establish industry in India. Many industrial units in Pakistan will wind up and shift to India, leaving thousands of workers jobless. This will give a further boost to terrorism, extremism and the crime rate. Export related production by Pakistanis in India will boost Indian trade, whereas Pakistan’s trade deficit will increase further. Thus, severe harm will be inflicted on an already limping Pakistani economy.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2012.