Wake up and smell the failure

Published: November 15, 2010
The writer holds a BA in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is a sub-editor at The Express Tribune

The writer holds a BA in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is a sub-editor at The Express Tribune hassan.khan@tribune.com.pk

Be it Barack Obama’s recognition of India being a world power or his graceful better half dancing her way into Indian hearts, it has been a tough week in newsrooms, at least for Pakistan.

The message was clear and it will resonate with Pakistanis for years to come as the US and India draw out plans for an ‘Amer-asian hegemony’.

Talk about a wake-up call for politicians, bureaucrats and all alike. After our own strategic talks with the US, a few weeks ago, ended in the usual pat and push for fighting the war on terror, the symbolism of the visit to India is bigger than the expansive trade deals and kind words of Barack Obama. The US president declared India a world power, and the India-US alliance “one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century”.

On the other hand, Pakistan was snubbed when we were told to do more in the war against militancy during his visit. To make it all the worse, as if Pakistanis weren’t already neglected enough, Obama went further than any US president before by backing India’s pursuit for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. So much for the Kashmir dispute.

It begs the question why Obama didn’t stop by for a day, or even a few hours, to say hello to his allies in Islamabad who have been fighting their war, suffering the casualties, and not to mention recovering from the worst flood the country has ever seen.

The answer is simple. Money is time and time is money, and Pakistan and Pakistanis haven’t understood the value of either yet.

Our very existence has become India-centric; to be more precise we have spent more than half of a century in a military race against India. We discarded the precious gift every newly independent state is given of starting from scratch.

While we have officially become ‘a client state with the Taliban and al Qaeda presence plotting to kill US soldiers and fanning the war in Afghanistan’, India found a much more sustainable form of development and growth by India and for India. They have always been in the race for the long haul and instead of giving power to the military industrial complex or the landowning minority; they borrowed from western thought and civilisations and gave power to the people.

My father’s favourite mantra is that “there are no shortcuts in life”. I can’t help but think how true those words lie in respect to Pakistan. Our sole export seems to have become terror and while we beg for aid to cope with globalisation, the world recession, and not to mention the floods, India unveils deals worth $10 billion designed to create 50,000 American jobs in an ailing economy. That’s right; India is creating jobs in the US.

They sought to be the largest democracy in the world and they achieved it, and we sought to be the most dangerous country of the world and we certainly achieved it.

And Pakistanis ask where do we go from here?

For many in our ruling class, the answer is simple even if they don’t voice their thoughts — take shortcuts and survive another day till we reach a dead end.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (102)

  • Nov 15, 2010 - 1:39AM

    All we want from America is weapons, F-16s to be more precise. Thats it. We dont understand the importance of symbolism and perception, especially when we are getting so worked up over it. Recommend

  • Talha
    Nov 15, 2010 - 1:52AM

    India has suffered decades to finally reach an admirable position while we are busy with ‘Islamic’ projects and ‘Fighting’ a global war with multiple opponents.

    Lets be honest, the establishment has failed miserably and all of what we reap today is our own doing.

    Islamization, militancy, sectarianism and other such dangerous aspects were promoted for some odd reason without any care for future implications.

    It is high time that we correct ourselves and join our emerging asian neighbors by firstly ditching our extremist fervor and following a secular path. Follow the plan Jinnah laid out for us to correct ourselves, then we need to concentrate on education, science and development.

    Forget all this nonsense like declaring groups Non-Muslim, blasphemy laws, supporting militants and the burgeoning intolerance.

    Invite all the Pakistani’s who can make a difference in this nation, caste, creed and religion should not matter. All that should matter is personal characteristics and a real penchant to make this nation work.

    The day Pakistan reverts back to Jinnah’s laid out path for us, I will work for this nation in the many capacities I can and so will my group. Even reverting back to the 1973 constitution in its originality will be acceptable.Recommend

  • piggy
    Nov 15, 2010 - 3:24AM

    Sometimes short-cuts end really well, like this really brilliant one I know of. Having said that, in this context I couldn’t agree with you more. Pakistan has already reached what seems like a dead-end, and the way to progress is to follow India’s example — especially in terms of educationRecommend

  • Farheen
    Nov 15, 2010 - 6:08AM

    Apart from stating the OBVIOUS, i gained nothing from your article other than cyniscism. Its time for constructive crticism, what is India’s development strategy? agreed it never operated as a security state like pakistan did post Zia era, but at the same time its nothing as romantic and che guevarish as ‘power to the people’.

    honestly express tribune your standards are slipping!Recommend

  • Nov 15, 2010 - 6:12AM

    By 2050, India and China will have surpassed the US to become $50 trillion economies. Canada, US, and Mexico would have conjoined to form the North American Union, just like the EU. If Pakistan continues on its current trajectory, one can only pray that Pakistan does not end up as another Sudan. If anything, we should be constructively looking at proactively letting go of that little Kashmir problem, improve attitudes, and plant the seeds of a unified SAARC economy NOW.Recommend

  • M.S.Shaikh
    Nov 15, 2010 - 6:24AM

    Why is it that the writer’s degree is always displayed in the introduction, and it usually is a foreign-return-type? Is it absolutely neccessary?Recommend

  • muhammad adnan
    Nov 15, 2010 - 9:45AM

    tribune should do more articles on the annual brutality taking place in the name of religion when the throats of animals are slit & blood & guts spilled out onto every road in our land of the pure.
    nadya did one article on this site over this issue but the resulting outcry by the fundoo brigade might have silenced the rest of the writers on this platform.
    Why is it that our ppl insist at the barrel of a gun on continuing with a practice that might have been okay fourteen centuries ago but has no place in the civilised world of the 21st .Recommend

  • Raju
    Nov 15, 2010 - 10:12AM

    Just educate your sisters mothers They will change the next generation in no time. Forget every religeon No body can abuse any religeon. Rise of women is rise of society.Recommend

  • Post Human
    Nov 15, 2010 - 10:24AM

    “All we want from America is weapons, F-16s to be more precise.”

    Aren’t F-16s well on their way to obsolescence? Well, i guess ther are better then the JF-17s.Recommend

  • sana
    Nov 15, 2010 - 10:25AM

    The thing is that none of this should come as a surprise. Why India has done well- I mean atleast they’re going somewhere. And where Pakistan is going has also been a long time coming. You meet Indians abroad and you get a sense of some national character-some ambition, some drive and a vision. And this can be felt today in India’s presence as an “emerged” power. I feel Pakistan has always been a country of vested interests from the rulers to the ruled. Every man for himself. Who cares if you’re myopic?Recommend

  • Talha Khan
    Nov 15, 2010 - 10:35AM

    We are losing our base due to scattered vision and the media is taking our lives to a new trend. The innovative generation has changed their ideas and they have set their minds according to the international standard through the eye of the global image.

    The worst come scenario is that we are on the mercy of immature and incompetent leadership that ruined our life and developed their own living.

    May God bless the nation and May God bless the leadership. Recommend

  • Nov 15, 2010 - 11:15AM

    an article that hits the nail on the head.Recommend

  • Nov 15, 2010 - 11:42AM

    sad but true!
    but people in pak can ONLY spend their energy for ‘fundamentalizing’ the whole state at gun point rather than striving for social welfare, economic progress and educational reforms……
    I see no light…I have now become a pessimist.Recommend

  • Zain
    Nov 15, 2010 - 11:42AM

    My sentiments are etched in this article.

    We are too busy blaming others for the problems that we have cause ourselves. India didn’t support militancy or take in Refugees during the soviet invasion, we did and we gave refuge to a people who didn’t like us in the first place and always liked India better. Unfortunately, we think that the US, Israel and India are there to destablise us.

    Reality check, we aren’t that important. We are digging our own grave, and we should stop competing with other countries and do our own thing, we have more natural resources than India. Reko Dik and Saindak and 5 rivers and land and God has given us so much more.

    Learn from your neighbour.

    To go out on a religious limb, Islam also has given alot of rights to the neighbour, I think they extend internationlally as well.Recommend

  • srinivasan
    Nov 15, 2010 - 11:56AM

    Here are some of the policies by India in the fifties/sixties that are paying rich dividends
    1. First and foremost, the Bhoodhan movement by Vinoba Bhave to distribute the land by the landlords to the poor
    2. Secular constitution
    3. Lots of massive industrial projects by the Govt of India to achieve self sufficiency in areas like steel, cement, power, coal etc. Imports were highly restricted . We might have lived with Ambassadors and fiats in the early years of our freedom instead of Corollas and Land cruisers. But pl note that India/Indians owns Jaguar Land Rover brand now
    4. Importance of education by the visionary Nehru who set up the world famous IITs and IIMs in collabration with other countries. These institutions are world famous and the alumni from these rule the corporate world in many countries
    5. The list can go onRecommend

  • Azad
    Nov 15, 2010 - 11:59AM

    US has different relationship with different countries, With Pakistan its alliance is more about military and military strategy and with India it is all about business and economic strategy. Obama called his visit a job creation visit and not defense oriented visit so it did not make sense for him to visit Pakistan or Afghanistan.

    Why is his visit to India a wake up call for Pakistan? Is it a wake up call for Bangladesh, Nepal or Sri Lanka too? We have folks with BA degree in pol-sci and have no clue about the politics in the area. What if Obama visits Pakistan next year without visiting India, would that be a wake up call for India?

    The establishment in Pakistan promotes a policy of competition/confrontation with India in every sphere. This policy serves only the establishment. The narrative the establishment creates is picked up some naive commentators and they try to find some angle to compete with India.
    From a peoples pov, Pakistan and India should not have any competition. We might have differences with India on one or two issues but the differences do not mean that we should compete with India in every walk of life.

    The state of Pakistan would not disappear from the map of the subcontinent if there is no competition with India. Better relations with India don’t mean end of Pakistan. Better relations don’t have to be economic relations either. We may not have economic relations with India we may have a few disputes with them too, but we can still improve relations by just toning down our rhetoric of competition with India. We don’t need that. Neither does India but it is something for the Indians to decide.

    At this time Indian grievance against Pakistan is genuine and Pakistan should accept that. Some Pakistani national attacked an Indian city and we are not moving fast enough to dispel Indian suspicion that some of our agencies were involved in the attack.
    If we would like to if nothing else, pretend like a civilized nation, we need to help India resolve that terrorism issue. It is good for both countries. That will help improve relations with India and it help defeat the notion that we want to compete with India on issues like the visit of Obama.

    Let us not get worked up on empty rhetoric of wake up call or the end of Pakistan because Obama did not visit Pakistan, it is a useless and childish rant.Recommend

  • Prasanth
    Nov 15, 2010 - 12:28PM

    I agree with Azad that we have to come out of the phobia both in India and Pakistan as if we are enemies! We both lived together earlier and we have differences and letting them aside each should work for the progress of its own people and move ahead. And I agree with Raju, if women are made aware of what is needed from their children in Pakistan (development) they will change the country. Women are very powerful if they get into the state’s welfare.Recommend

  • Nov 15, 2010 - 12:55PM

    Couldnt have said it better – Azad.Recommend

  • Cherish Raj
    Nov 15, 2010 - 1:51PM

    I agree with Azad that India and Pakistan should not compete with each other in trivial matters like the visit of a head of state. India also should not complain if the next American president would visit Pakistan and not India. We, as nation states and neighbors should grow up. But it is good to compete in trade, investment and growth because development is not a 100 meters sprint. I feel that India’s competition with China has been beneficial to the country. Though we have performed very badly in poverty reduction when compared to China ( the biggest single reason they are far ahead of us), we are trying hard to bridge the gap. When they are spending close to $500 billion for infrastructure, we are making an attempt to spend $125 billion, when they are selling 900,000 trucks, we are selling 325,000. Gone are the days when they used to grow 5 or 6 per cent more than us Now, we have a realistic chance of matching their economic growth. The rise of China is a huge inspiration for all the developing countries in the world and I do not think India would have turned a new leaf if it had turned away from this healthy competition.Recommend

  • M
    Nov 15, 2010 - 2:40PM

    Brilliant, Brilliant. Waking up, smelling the failure.. but have decided to take no short cuts. Thank you Mr. Khan.Recommend

  • Nov 15, 2010 - 3:41PM

    I really liked the tone of this article in favour of economic growth. The sentiments on both sides of the border ought to lean in favour of the postulate that there are only losers in war, no winners. In India, I can personally vouch that perceived enemity against Pakistan, if any, is only considered an impediment in the larger interest of achieving a welfare state.

    However it is my understanding that a considerable opinion in Pakistan recognises the welfare state as means to overwhelming India. Having said that, India is progressing fast and waiting for no one. Our importance in international politics today is not determined by our strategic value but motivated by a growing market and an economy driven by innovation. In our quest to better our defense, we have never compromised on space research, education, employment and economic growth. The role of defense is only to aid and protect the latter and this has been consistent state policy. But these sensible economic policies stem from our committment to non aggression, avoiding war and the principle “sarve janaha sukhino bhuvantu” (roughly translated, it is a prayer seeking the happiness of one and all).

    Zia Ul Haq’s fundamentalist rhetoric not only distorted the foundations of Islam but also set the path for this India centric attitude. I can however say that the distrust on the Indian side is not direct towards the Pakistani people but the defense establishment within Pakistan and the ISI. We are as much pained by the killings of innocents in Pakistan as we are pained by the loss of civilians on our own side of the border. The ball is in Pakistani defense establishment’s court. If they can take firm action against terrorists such as Hafiz Saeed, show that they really stand for democracy and against extremist views, then we can work together to put South East Asia on the world map.

    In summary, my message to my Pakistani neighbours is simply this, we are out to get the future and we are not out to get Pakistan. Recommend

  • Precious
    Nov 15, 2010 - 3:47PM

    you hit the bull-eye. well-written, concise and you raise multiple points of grave significance. Do we need to worry abt the US-India hegemony in the years to follow? why focus our existentialist crisis solely on India, and why not follow suit. “hissaan” im looking forward to reading more of your intectaully-invigorating pieces.Recommend

  • Devarajan
    Nov 15, 2010 - 4:28PM

    Indian families give tremendous importance to education which they consider as their passport to prosperity. The motivational levels of the educated middles classes are so intense that they become parts of the growth engine of not only India but also those countries to which they have migrated. The purchasing capacity of Indian middle classes in India and their ability to positively contribute to the growth of their adopted homes are two factors which attract world leaders including Obama to India and to Indians. That explains why he has chosen many Indians among his advisers.

    In any case, Obama’s visit was driven more by economic considerations rather than strategic. Recommend

  • Harish
    Nov 15, 2010 - 5:41PM

    well said…

    this is hard reality, but pakistanis has to face it…take out your ego and look it independently…

    follow live and let live….civilizations will flourish….with terrorism it will perish..Recommend

  • SKChadha
    Nov 15, 2010 - 6:04PM

    Friends, nations do not make citizens. It is we who make the nation by our saner voices. In India also we still have problems whether they are social, religious, financial or feudalism. As India is a larger territory, these problems may be more than what Pakistan has. In democracy there is nothing wrongs in speaking your mind if you feel that you can bring some positive change.

    The God has given us a beautiful brain, not to have depressive thoughts, but to have hope, love and caring for humanity and respect for others thoughts. In a competitive world everyone feels pride when he leaves behind others and it is also true to my Pakistani brothers? After all we are product of the same motherland. Treat our differences as sibling jealousy; it will always be there as long as we are not far far apart. Please don’t misinterpret such jealousy, competitiveness, envy, denunciations, distrust, despair etc. as hate, disgust or abhorrence for each other or our religious beliefs.

    All our problems start when our pious religions are dragged in by few vested interests in furtherance of their own political gain, forgetting religions’ beautiful teachings of love and peaceful co-existence. This was also the cause of our partition 63 years back and it also left scars which we still are trying to remove.

    In democracy, the momentum to sane voice automatically comes when masses listen or read them. Diversified views are part of democracy. What you say or we say is not correct. It is the collective wisdom of all speaks world around which makes us realize what is correct. Due to tumultuous past and media not so free, even we failed to hear saner voices across the border. We have to have faith in democracy. Whatever fragility or other weaknesses it may have.

    I quote in verbatim part III of ‘Shimla Agreement’ to progress on the path of peace.

    *“(III) In order progressively to restore and normalize relations between the two countries step by step, it was agreed that;

    (i) Steps shall be taken to resume communications, postal, telegraphic, sea, land including border posts, and air links including overflights;

    (ii) Appropriate steps shall be taken to promote travel facilities for the nationals of the other country;

    (iii) Trade and co-operation in economic and other agreed fields will be resumed as far as possible;

    (iv) Exchange in the fields of science and culture will be promoted.

    In this connection delegations from the two countries will meet from time to time to work out the necessary details.”*

    This is what our democratic representatives ratified 40 years back in our national assemblies and it is true even today. Let us have new begining.Recommend

  • a ercelan
    Nov 15, 2010 - 6:59PM

    ignore history and suffer – young men and women of southasia seem to persistently recant the planning models of early india, and of course of mughal and ancient Hindustan. Why revel in the consumerist basis to today’s southasian economies?Recommend

  • fahad
    Nov 15, 2010 - 7:23PM

    India’s poverty rate according to UNDP is 43%. Compared to India, Pakistan’s poverty rate is 17% in 2008 and has recently risen to 22% after the most devastating floods in its history. These are figures provided by UNDP and world banks.
    India has only achieved its status as the country with the largest slums and home to a larger population of poor people than the entire continent of Africa.
    India’s population is struggling in misery and extreme poverty while its corrupt leaders are busy creating jobs in America which is laughable. A huge proportion of its land mass is over run by Maoist insurgency. Kashmiri separatist and other movements in the North East are festering wounds in its polity.
    India is mired in debt, currently its entire public plus foreign debt is 90% of its GDP which is the highest for any developing country. Even Pakistan has a debt to gdp ratio of under 60%. India’s inflation is highest in the region with food price inflation around 19% which is pushing more people into poverty and misery.
    India is a country that is about to implode, once the hot money in its stock market evaporates. Foreign Direct Investment, unlike portfolio investments is decreasing in India. Just like any other bubble in economic history, India has only a dilapidated infrastructure and a country mired in poverty to show for all the money showered on it. The bubble will burst and so will India. Recommend

  • Salu
    Nov 15, 2010 - 8:51PM

    How you have touched my heart.Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Nov 15, 2010 - 8:56PM

    @fahad aka ostrich,
    Indians may have high level of poverty than us thats true.
    They dilapidated infrastructure u claim is worse than ours is bogus, they have an excellent railway system, delhi metro, mumbai metro and their goverment run bus system isnt bad either. what do we have in terms of cheap public transportations? Bunch of pathans running crappy buses(except for daiwoo but its more for well to do and run by the koreans), Pakistan Railways is the worst.Just because we have some western like motorways…mostly used by upper class does not make our infrastructure superior.
    Most important india is going to spend $120 Billion on defence and more than $300 billion on their infrastructure with teir own $$. While we are begging the world for $5 billion for the damages due to flood!!Recommend

  • karthi
    Nov 15, 2010 - 9:30PM

    India has all the problem that pakistan has …it has insurgents,militancy,corruption,overpopulation,straining environment,limited resourse..but one thing..it does not have a motive to gain a territory..If pakistan does not want kashmir i guess whole problem would have solved 6 decades back.. infact pak would have moved miles ahead because it has all advantages including powerful allies which India does not have…..hope atleast pak realises this now..but it is high time to realise..image of pak in world is worsening day by day..but i hope things would change.. Recommend

  • Ronit
    Nov 15, 2010 - 9:36PM

    @fahad- wow!!….lets wait for 5 years, to see which country stands where?Recommend

  • Sonam Shyam
    Nov 15, 2010 - 9:50PM

    To Mr.Fahad and others like him, I would only say that I am totally dismayed at the constant propaganda, distortion of facts and rhetorical nonsense which is passed off as “Debates” on this forum. Mr. Fahad, your description of India and its problems, in fact, totally matches the description of today’s Pakistan. Surely, educated Pakistanis would understand that world leaders from U.K. U.S.A, France, Russia etc would not be making a bee line to visit India for business when its economic bubble is going to burst according to your thesis. I must say that the thesis regarding the Indian economy, which you have presented, can surely earn you a Nobel prize for “Economics Propaganda”. But the most intriguing aspect and in fact also the most funny is that a bankrupt and begging Pakistan finds it a laughing matter that India is creating jobs for America. Pakistan as a nation cannot stand on its feet and is dependent on aid and alms, is criticizing India’s economic growth as a myth. Its pure jealousy and nothing else. We Indians like Pakistan and China, are a developing nation and poverty and prosperity always co exist in such scenarios. China, with all its stupendous economic progress has rampant poverty and terrible human rights violations but the iron curtain put by the communist party covers up every thing. If ever there is a chance of economic bubble getting busted, its more likely in a closed loop Chinese dictatorship rather than an open Indian democracy. Recommend

  • Rahul
    Nov 15, 2010 - 10:25PM

    @Fahad – read the title of this article and then read your post again. Think about what it says, its not all bad. Despite the issues you raise, i am not sure whether India really does seem to explode at any moment as your post suggests. Have a nice day :)Recommend

  • Nov 15, 2010 - 10:54PM


    Brother would you like to give a timeframe for the implosion. My suggestion would be not to hold your breath.


    Spot on sir. If we look around the world we find that economic and trade blocks are the order of the day, ASEAN and European Union are examples that redily come to mind. If south asia could work out something along the same lines it would br wonderful. But then before that happens, we have to realise that terror is not a legitimate export.Recommend

  • fahad
    Nov 15, 2010 - 11:11PM

    America never thought that its real estate and stock market boom would never end. Alan Greenspan wrote an entire book praising his economic policies.
    I don’t know when India will implode….but an irrational boom is an irrational boom followed by a bust. And by the way, anyone who thinks that India is doing all the spending from its own money is sadly mistaken. India has a huge trade deficit, way more than 100 billion dollars. The combined indian government fiscal deficit is around 12%. I wonder where all that money is coming from then, obviously its all debt!!!. India has one of the highest debt to gdp ratio in the world!!!. India my indian friends is a classical bubble economy. The hot money chasing the property market and the stock market will vanish one day and the irrational exuberance (quoting alan greenspan) will be followed by extreme under confidence and a total collapse. Everyone needs a history lesson. Economic bubbles are never obvious when you are in one but look plainly obvious when they burst. India is an agrarian country, and the agricultural economy of India has grown at a mere 1-2% percent. The 43% poverty is mainly the result of ignoring the largest section of your population.
    I have yet to see one decent figure coming out from india, increasing trade deficits, burgeoning government deficits, increasing debt, increasing poverty, increasing inflation. If anyone can’t see the end of this roller coaster than the animal spirits (quoting: robert shiller) hasn’t caught up with him.
    Anyways, nothing personal, the only thing india has done succesfully is to win over America. So congratulations.Recommend

  • Ronit
    Nov 15, 2010 - 11:18PM


    OK let me just add somethings to have a real picture not the censored one.

    You should also mention that % of Population living below National poverty line in Pakistan is much more than India. Literacy rate of Pakistan is only around 50% wheras that of India atleast exceeds 70%

    India’s population is struggling in misery and extreme poverty while its corrupt leaders are busy creating jobs in America which is laughable. A huge proportion of its land mass is over run by Maoist insurgency. Kashmiri separatist and other movements in the North East are festering wounds in its polity.

    Well in case of corruption i think you know Pakistan’s performance better then me and also poverty. We are not just creating Jobs in west but in India…do u know in next three years we will create maximum number of jobs in the world….Maoist insurgency is in jungles, India has just started infra plans worth $10 billion in so called maoist areas…and plz read the news maoist insurgency is decreasing….kashmir is really not a big issue for us as it is for pakistan…Conditions in Balcohistan are worse than Kashmir, kashmir is as vulnerable to as as Tibet is to China, not more or less…wheras Jammu and Ladakh are prospering. The problem in North East is a dead one….lets not forget Pakistan has regular insurgency in Balochistan, NWFP and FATA, uniform blasts in every city, seperatist aspirations in every region except Punjab.

    India is mired in debt, currently its entire public plus foreign debt is 90% of its GDP which is the highest for any developing country. Even Pakistan has a debt to gdp ratio of under 60%. India’s inflation is highest in the region with food price inflation around 19% which is pushing more people into poverty and misery.

    Now this is the biggest farce…our debt is only 18% of our GDP whereas that of Pakistan is 31%…per capita debt on an Indian is only $187…whereas per capita debt on a Pakistani is $318…even Inflation….India’s inflation rate is not only among the better ones here but also in many developing country….Pakistan has the worse Inflation problem in the region.

    India is a country that is about to implode, once the hot money in its stock market evaporates. Foreign Direct Investment, unlike portfolio investments is decreasing in India. Just like any other bubble in economic history, India has only a dilapidated infrastructure and a country mired in poverty to show for all the money showered on it. The bubble will burst and so will India.

    I dont know what makes u think we will “implode”…as per the failed state index we are better than ur friend China. Indian economy has shown constant growth despite recession coz of domestic consumption, not exports like China…as far as hot money is concerned India can manage capital inflows of up to $70 billion, the foreign investors’ net inflow into Indian equity market from January till October stood only at $28.5 billion, India runs a current account deficit, unlike countries like China or Germany, India has the ability of being more receptive and can absorb more capital flows….I dont even want to comment on ur economic condition…but remember Pakistan today looks exactly like Yugoslavia 20 years ago.Recommend

  • Anoop
    Nov 15, 2010 - 11:21PM

    The reason for India’s rise is its structure which it derives from an ideology of tolerance, equal representation and secularism enshrined in the constitution.

    If Pakistan has to even stand up for itself, it has follow Bangladesh’s example, it has to be more like India. There lies the irony, Pakistan was created to be un-India, and it has done a remarkable job of following that theory.

    For Pakistan to be stable and progressive, it has to adopt the Indian principles enshrined in the constitution. A better example of irony cannot be given.Recommend

  • fahad
    Nov 15, 2010 - 11:25PM

    Pakistan and India is a classical behavioral economics problem. One country is under confident and the other is over confident. It has nothing to do with the inherent underlying realities. Pakistan is fixing its past problems right now where as India is creating future problems for itself. Irrational exuberance all around.
    If Indians still think that they can continue their growth trajectory than they should study Ireland, Iceland or Greece and what happened to them in 2008. We don’t live in a linear world. Booming markets can collapse into dust within days. Over confidence changes into under confidence over night. People buying 20 million rupee homes in mumbai one month could be selling those homes for 5 million the very next mntho. Indian economic policies are going to create catastrophic problems for the country. I shudder at the thought, you guys are on a roller coaster and are not even aware that you are on one.Recommend

  • Humanity
    Nov 15, 2010 - 11:46PM

    I wish well for Pakistan and I am not an Indian. My advise to you to worry about yourself getting imploded next time you go to the masjid or the bazaar ..

    Get your head out of the sand, accept reality, and work towards solving the problems. Nobody will solve your problems for you. The world is fed up of the Pakistani terror and they will do what is necessary to eliminate the cancer.

    Pakistan can either shape up and decide to join the world to share in the progress. Or it can sit on its ass to do nothing except breed human bombs and get obliterated because of its own misdeeds, over bloated pride and ignorance.

    Pakistan has a mountain of issues to overcome. The first step, though, is to acknowledge there is a problem!Recommend

  • Kamran
    Nov 16, 2010 - 12:59AM

    Pakistan will never enjoy the same strategic relationship with the US as India, and the biggest reason is not the economic potential of India as an emerging power or lack thereof of any such potential in Pakistan (although that is certainly part of it), but it’s the same old, most obvious of all and simple reason : Pakistan’s religious identity as an Islamic state. All the other peripheral arguments aside the hard truth is that America for all it’s idealistic rhetoric is now the United corporations of America and not the states and the most influential financial and political lobby in the US is the Jewish lobby, and they will never allow Pakistan to become a close strategic or economic ally of the US. This relationship will always be predicated on the immediate tactical needs of the US. As far as the rest of the rubbish about Pakistan exporting terrorism and pursuing an adversarial / confrontational posture with India, the age old adage applies : you can’t clap with one hand. Having a larger propaganda machinery as the western media and the large Indian media machinery does not give the US or India a higher moral ground, just a louder more persistent blowhorn. Both these countries will be looking inwards at their own political agendas, if they were really as hot and bothered by and about terrorism as they pretend to be. US has long used such self serving diabolical propaganda for politically positioning itself to pursue goals it otherwise couldn’t without risking global opposition and India is trying to be a quick study in that regard. Recommend

  • aceleo
    Nov 16, 2010 - 1:37AM

    @Fahad : boss why r u playing on the back foot, you comment does not actually solves your problem actually show how defensive you are i your outlook, that is what needs to be overcome. Recommend

  • khan abdil
    Nov 16, 2010 - 3:18AM

    If there were an award for issuing most statements by a state head; beyond any doubts our PM Gilani would be the winner. What he says is altogether another story, completely bereft of any reality; he sounds like head of some shining city on the hill that world has never seen before.Recommend

  • fahad
    Nov 16, 2010 - 6:20AM

    @anoop and india’s ideology of tolerance
    Riots killing muslims, christians. Lower caste living in the worst possible condition. India fairs far worse than pakistan on even women rights (check UNDP).
    Mate I was talking about both the external and internal debt. And where did you come up with the poverty figures? UNDP 2008 states that 17% of Pakistan lived on less than $1 compared to India’s 43% living under $1. At least stop lying about figures.
    @India better than China
    Have you ever been to China. Mumbai is a century behind Shanghai.
    Anyways, when you are in a bubble you just don’t realize its going to end and for India which has really nothing to show for its GDP growth except poverty, the bursting of the bubble would spell disaster. Most of my Indian friends keep on citing future plans by the indian government, how ironic. Recommend

  • Nov 16, 2010 - 7:28AM

    but we have mullahs who will take us all to heaven…Recommend

  • Rahul
    Nov 16, 2010 - 9:54AM

    @ Fahad – overconfidence! it seems. what do you expect of us sit with our heads down while the world passes us over. If you have been abroad you would have known how south asians were condescended till 10 years back all over the world. And finally there is a change for the positive and one nation is showing the way for the whole region and all you can do is pull it down just to satisfy your rhetoric. I just hope you are not related to zaradari , and moderator i am sincerely hoping you publish this, its ppl like farhad who need to come to their senses if pakistan has to achieve what india has.Recommend

  • Zain
    Nov 16, 2010 - 12:26PM

    I don’t understand the fight, If the commentator Fahad, is comparing India’s economic bubble to the Dubai fiasco then it has to be understood that the level of foreign investment in Dubai was much higher than it is in India, many economists predicted that China’s economic bubble will burst, accompanied by high interest rates and inflation and what not, yet China is going as strong as ever.

    Being a Pakistani I understand that it is a matter of pride, rather than fact to defend our country and the same goes for India and Indians. We can site poverty figures, and education and economic figures and what not, but I have to commend India on the fact that they stuck with democracy since independence and are now reaping the benefits, of the cleansing process that democracy brings. Pakistan has swayed back and forth between military rule and civilian governments.

    Understandably even Indian democracy is not a 100% representation of what the people want, it is at least 80% there and with in the next 2-3 elections it will be absolutely purely people oriented.

    We did not cherish our own key figures and now we are suffering, India made there nuclear scientist president we put ours in house arrest on American pressure. We made Zardari the president, that is a slap in the face.

    India 10-15 years ago thought to themselves, to hell with Pakistan, we have to do our own thing and they are doing it. They have there issues, but our issues seem much larger because our media is to free, and blows everything out of proportion. As far as someone mentioning Islamic Republic and all goes, I think we need to stop blaming the “Jewish” lobby for our problems, we ran to create the taliban and mujahideen, yes us….they paid us and blindly we trained them and now it has come back to bite us, it is something we deserve. We elected the PPP and PML-N knowing their past records, not the jewish lobby or RAW. We allowed inflation to go up, the price of food is unbarebly high and yet we Pakistani’s are sitting here behind our screens and typing hate against India. Or do we blame RAW for this as well.

    I think India is smarter than that, they know that if Pakistan was to destablise then india would be in trouble with regional instablity.Recommend

  • kittu
    Nov 16, 2010 - 12:34PM

    @Fahad: Riots killing muslims, christians. Lower caste living in the worst possible condition. India fairs far worse than pakistan on even women rights (check UNDP). You should wake up..India is certainly in right direction. Current Indian generation are more tolerant and have their priorities straight. There are several recent incidents that could trigger communal violence, 26/11, attack on parliament, Babri Masjib descision , Bombing in Cochin, pune , Bangalore, Hyderabad. But as I said Indian youth learned to be tolerant. About lower caste, they have ample political representation so its just a matter of time. Mate I was talking about both the external and internal debt. And where did you come up with the poverty figures? UNDP 2008 states that 17% of Pakistan lived on less than $1 compared to India’s 43% living under $1. At least stop lying about figures.
    Atleast India don’t have to beg for aid.

    @India better than China: India is behind China economically. Shangai is advanced than Mumbai. But its just a matter of time. Things change slowly in a democratic nation, But change is permanant in democratic setup. Recommend

  • Zain
    Nov 16, 2010 - 12:36PM

    I have talked about my Pakistani brethern and their one sidedness but to the Indians, your problems aren’t as understated as you think. China has mainly relied on self sustinence for its massive growth where as your country has required far more foreign investment.

    The population crisis will be your demise, creating foreign jobs when roughly 400 million people are going hungry at night, well that does smell some sort of failure.

    Insurgency is not only limited, to the jungles as one author eloquently put it, it is quite in and arounf the states, apart from that seperatist movements are also there in your country. An Indian friend of mine told me, in University that, the only reason India does not give independence to kashmir is because all of your provinces are hoping for it as well, if Kashmir gets it then you have to give to them as well.

    Our insurgency is limited to a handful of people in Balochistan, it will not happen because in every country there have been speratists, even Canada had issues with the state of Quebec.

    Similarly foreign debt is much higher as a %age of GDP. Corruption as well, not as bad as us but quite bad.

    Apart from that a whole host of problems, remember America is gearing you up to combat China and not us, and we all know what happened to the American economy with the recession and everything.

    So, everyone has there problems you have only recently in the last 15 years begun to sort them out, give democracy in Pakistan a chance aswell for the next 4-5 elections, our issues will begin to sort out as well and then we will see you at the summit.Recommend

  • fahad
    Nov 16, 2010 - 12:50PM

    the perceptions haven’t changed. Indians are still being beaten in Australia and I am not accusing anyone of being over confident about everything. Being confident about one’s religion, ethnicity, language culture is a good thing. If you are indian than you should be confident about your self. My analysis is limited to just the “economy of india”. Don’t take this personally. I just think that India is the next big economic disaster waiting to happen. India’s economic growth has created a super class of elite brahmins and roughly most of India (75% survive under $2 according to UNDP) is living in misery and extreme poverty.
    India exports have not registered a significant increase where as its imports are roughly twice the size of its exports. Indian government is the most deficit prone government in Asia. India’s borrowing ability is decreasing and you can check the S&P poor rating which cautiously mentions India’s debt rating as BA2. India’s agriculture as stagnated for the last decade. Food price inflation is the highest in the region. When will the indian government realize that a majority of the people in India wouldn’t be buying the nano (which was a total failure) but would definitely need a lot of food on the table.
    India has a booming stock market and a real estate market. Those two are probably the most liquid and non productive investments. Foreign direct investment has barely registered a growth in India. The entire Indian economic bubble is speculative. India had an opportunity to borrow money and it has squandered that money. India’s poor will now pay the price by suffering monetary inflation.

  • fahad
    Nov 16, 2010 - 12:51PM

    Pakistan has to achieve what India has….like 43% poverty compared to Pakistan’s 17%. Try emulating Pakistan first.Recommend

  • Ronit
    Nov 16, 2010 - 1:29PM

    @fahad….i am talking abt external debt only….plz go and check the facts….and i am talking about “national povert line”.

    Go check the failed state index….We are better and less vulnerable than China…not to mention u urself are among 10 worst

    Bubble????…..lol are u serious?…India’s GDP has grown consistently…with an average of 6% since 1991…Its so stupid, childish and so ignorantly biased on ur part to say that its bubble…its not a bubble. We have brought millions out of Poverty and have created the 2nd largest middle class in the world just in one decade….India has the strongest economical fundamentals among major countries not just for now but for future…china by 2015 will start aging and will be under the burden of Pensions worth trillions of dollars….whereas India will have the largest young population in the world

    Plus India is a democracy….China is not….China is internally so vulnerable that it doesnt allow a film like Avatar release, which apparently showed revolt against authority…India’s FDI has grown to $30 billion….lets not forget we started opening in 1991 whereas china started in 70’s….by every indicator we will overtake china in growth rate by 2013

    And idea of tolerance….that TOI article gives figure of 79% for India and 81% for Pakistan…nothing like “FAR WORSE”…. fair enough…ur two point ahead but it also gives 86% figure for Bangladesh…what abt that?
    and this whole Low class thing….u know it amuses me that caste sytem is more talked about by u ppl than us….We are the only country that has reserved 47% of all the seats in administration and education for any class…and we have the CM of our biggest state from a “caste”….now lets talk about religious tolerance….now come on, we have to learn religious tolerance from a country based on religion?????? Forget non muslims….pakistan has seen the worst Shia sunni riots in the world!!….not to mention the treatment of Hindus, Christians Ahmedis and sikhs….Condition of muslims in India is better than Pakistan….how many riots in India can u count for me….3, 4, 5 ,7….how many….in a country of 1 billion ppl that is nothing….The most popular muslim in the world today is an Indian, Shahrukh Khan….the richest muslim businessman in the world today is an Indian “Azim Hashim Premji”…..we really dont need ur advice on secularism…..even western world consider us more tolerant and secular then themselfRecommend

  • Ronit
    Nov 16, 2010 - 1:31PM

    hahah ur per capita income is not even 1000 dollars and is lowest in SAARC after NepalRecommend

  • Indian
    Nov 16, 2010 - 1:54PM

    with all your calculations, it seems world is overlooking Pak as their fav investment location and mistakenly coming to india. Please do one thing stand at the border of Ind and Pak and keep telling these stories to investers.I am sure you guys will get few pannies for your one time meal. :-)Recommend

  • fahad
    Nov 16, 2010 - 2:34PM

    please state where ever you are getting your cooked up figures from. India and Pakistan have exactly the same GDP per capita incomes. Your previous post was void of any factual evidence, not bothering to even reply.
    you might like to learn from this economist:
    Well firstly a speculative trade in the Indian stock market isn’t really an investment. And when did countries became so dependent on “foreign investment” for prosperity. India is home to more poor people than the entire continent of Africa. You need those meals more than we do.
    Right now India is only in a position to compete with Bangladesh. Both Pakistan and Sri lanka are way ahead in terms of prosperity. Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Nov 16, 2010 - 3:13PM

    The world’s GPS system has gone wrong. They target investment in your house, it invariably reaches mine. Do something. Send an SOS.Recommend

  • kamal
    Nov 16, 2010 - 3:49PM

    Guys..why ur hell bound to make fahad realise the relity..its good for us if keep his head under the sand and do’nt realize anything…and one more thing..let this competition going,this competition itself is destroying Pakistan…Recommend

  • edgarm
    Nov 16, 2010 - 3:59PM

    Just to put figures in perspective-

    GDP – Purchasing Power Parity $ 3.57 trillion
    GDP – Official Exchange Rate $ 1.24 trillion

    GDP growth rate 7.4%

    GDP per capita – Purchasing Power Parity – $ 3,100

    Foreign Exchange Reserves $ 274.7 billion

    GDP – Purchasing Power Parity $ 433.1 billion
    GDP – Official Exchange Rate $ 166.5 billion

    GDP growth rate 4.2 %

    GDP per capita – Purchasing Power Parity – $ 2,500

    Foreign Exchange Reserves $ 13.77 billion

    Source – cia.gov – The world fact bookRecommend

  • aceleo
    Nov 16, 2010 - 5:11PM

    @fahad : I have only one thing to tell you dear, take a chill pill , face the reality. These countries are better off than yours. Whatever facts you put up its not going to negate the fact that Pakistan is in serious quagmire today. Your stating that India has more poverty than pakistan , china more prosperous than india all these statements are not going to help pakistan, india is moving on and we have covered a very large distance we are half way through and we are working on covering the rest half of the journey and i am sure we are on the way when we will be able to address all the issues related to corruption and poverty in the next leg of our journey. Recommend

  • aceleo
    Nov 16, 2010 - 5:14PM


    And Pakistanis ask where do we go from here?

    For many in our ruling class, the answer is simple even if they don’t voice their thoughts — take shortcuts and survive another day till we reach a dead end.Recommend

  • Ronit
    Nov 16, 2010 - 5:25PM

    seriously u have got an interview by jayati ghosh…a hardcore anti capitalist, pro china , pro communist and pro maoist to talk about Indian economy….Its like pope talking about islam. This is pure genius of deception…..pick u p the leftists from India and then gloat over it…Recommend

  • Salman Khan
    Nov 16, 2010 - 5:47PM


    wow!!!! I didnt know that we were so prosperous. maybe you should try telling this to our leaders who are out there begging. Recommend

  • aftab kennethe wilson
    Nov 16, 2010 - 7:31PM

    islaminization is ultimate and only solution to this deteriorating situation in pakistanRecommend

  • pab
    Nov 16, 2010 - 9:10PM

    @ Fahad and all who replied to Fahad

    I ll not go into stats since i don’t know anything abt that but One should not ignore Fahad’s points as weightless, baseless.

    Indians suddenly got their might realised when American OBAMA told them about it, Americans are NO FRIENDS to anybody, they never favored INDIA anytime in history at any point in time, but now since they needed help for their ailing economy they are bending in front of China and praising INDIA to get favors. And consider this OBAMA visit per se it benefitted only AMERICA , just a blabber of support for UNSC seat made india lay for AMERICA.

    INDIA is just a MARKET for whole world, the only asset india has is the burgeoning INDIAN MIDDLE CLASS and hence every country wants to sell their products here.

    I believe Pakistan had better leadership than India, Jinnah was anytime better leader than Nehru and Gandhi. Later leaders in india were worst ,but what made the difference is only the people, INDIA grew despite its leaders and only because of its people. And Pakistan couldn’t resist its leaders coz they always played the religion card and fooled people in the name of religion, Religion in this case proved to be the biggest weakness of pakistan.Recommend

  • Nov 16, 2010 - 10:33PM

    Fahad’s chauvinism isn’t unwarranted as The Express Tribune is equally ignorant.
    Population living below national poverty line (%) (as per UNDP):
    Pakistan: 32.6%
    India: 28.6%
    Instead of a mine is bigger than yours match here, let’s just admit that both countries are extremely poor.Recommend

  • fahad
    Nov 16, 2010 - 11:43PM

    you just shot the messenger
    @everyone else
    Where did I ever say that Pakistan is a prosperous country. Pakistan is only prosperous compared to India which houses more poor people than the entire continent of Africa, which really isn’t an achievement. Entire South Asia is a mess, except probably Sri Lanka. Pakistan’s problem compared to India’s are far fewer. Dissing India in no way implies that I am saying that Pakistan is somehow comparable to Europe or US. Pakistan is simply in the limelight. A taliban attack is CNN headline whereas Maoist or Kashmiri attacks go unnoticed.
    Pakistan is probably the least taxed country in the world. You increase taxation and the begging bowl would vanish, its a governance issue.

  • Anwar Hasan
    Nov 16, 2010 - 11:59PM

    Superb article. 100% accurate. Could not be better. I wonder when is Pakistan going to wake up.Recommend

  • Farhad F
    Nov 17, 2010 - 4:08AM

    Really? “For fighting their war” what planet are you living on buddy? Pakistani’s lost control of the Taliban the same Taliban that America might have sponsored initially, but the same Taliban that saved Pakistan from a Russian invasion in the 70’s and it is Pakistan that FAILED to control their own proxy force. The United States whether you like it or not SAVED Pakistan from Russian invasion through their intervention in Afghanistan, no matter what their own intentions might have been.

    Wake up. This is PAKISTAN’s war and we are bloody lucky the United States is even willing to help fund it.

    India is a global powerhouse and deserved what Obama said. What has Pakistan done for the region instead of create problems in the last 20 years to show for itself?

    Trying to look at things from a more neutral lens will make what I’ve said above FAR clearer. Recommend

  • Hassaan Khan
    Nov 17, 2010 - 5:04AM

    I would like to address a few concerns that in hindsight were overlooked.
    The article was not written to be used by Indians against Pakistanis.I’m sure Indians and Pakistanis can both agree that along with the culture and heritage, we also share commonalties in our trials and tribulations as independent states.

    My main concern while writing the piece was to highlight the different paths India and Pakistan have taken to find sustainable forms of development.

    The arms race, the war on terror and the strategic role Pakistan plays does give us a certain degree of clout in US foreign policy, however the questions I wanted to raise were:

    How long can we sustain growth which is dependent on war and instability?
    And what happens when the music is over?

    Thank you for your feedback. Recommend

  • MilesToGo
    Nov 17, 2010 - 7:01AM

    Pakistan’s unemployment doubled in a span of one year and it is begging for waiver of $50 billion in loans. Wait and watch.

    War on terror is close to end for Americans, but for Pakistani’s it has just begun and will get bigger and more violent once the American’s leave.

    Next 10 years, things will get worse for Pakistan.

    We have to be ready for Pakistani refugees.Recommend

  • fahad
    Nov 17, 2010 - 7:20AM

    @ali sina
    You can check wikipedia for the poverty figures. Percentage living under $1 according to UNDP is 17% for Pak and 43% for IndiaRecommend

  • fahad
    Nov 17, 2010 - 7:21AM

    @ali sina
    and chauvenism is when you praise you country. Praising your country relative to India isn’t chauvenism because india is only used as a yardstick for poverty.Recommend

  • Avanti
    Nov 17, 2010 - 8:17AM

    @Anwar Hasan
    Have you been sleeping? According to Fahad, Pakistan is already up. It is India that needs to wake up.Recommend

  • Sikandar
    Nov 17, 2010 - 8:26AM

    I do not know why here everyone is trying to convince FAHAD. There is no point in playing violin near a donkey.

    FAHAD comes up all sort of detailed farce explanation and I appreciate that but he does not know the reality is. Do not worry let him be happy and wait for India to implode which might take infinite years. Atleast here 95% of the them have realized the importance of this article except for Mr. Fahad and another.

    They are free to air their views.Recommend

  • SKChadha
    Nov 17, 2010 - 10:32AM

    Moderator please reject the first one.
    @ Fahad:

    Jayanti Ghosh and her views are based on socialism. They have sense and her quotes are worth analyzing for India’s success story. Yes, India cannot grow bigger unless it addresses the problem of its poor countryside peasants. Unlike Pakistan, in present India rural growth is not largely linked to land reforms. In resurgent India what I observe is the question of rural and urban income differentials which is widening. The government estimates are pointing for mass migration of rural poor to cities in search of greener postures and better income.

    There are two ways to tackle it. Either check this migration by providing job opportunities at rural level or to permit it and shift to co-operative farming and land consolidations. In a socialistic pattern such moves are induced by the government and in present circumstances the policy is to allow such issues to settle down in their own course. The wastage of manpower in rural India is immense and for that GOI started programs like NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee). It is a debatable question whether such subsidies will help rural people to develop drive to convert them in large rural work force. These socialistic programs have their own limitation and pilferages. To my mind more pragmatic approach is the penetration of infrastructure {roads (gram sarak yojna), communication (connectivity and computerization of land and other records), marketing (opening of Mandis etc.)}, education (e.g. cycles of girls in Bihar, free mid day meals) and healthcare services in rural areas. If that is to be done the subsidy component is likely to shift to capital incentive projects rather than its direct delivery in the shape of NREGA. This has its own political repercussions in short run which central and state governments avoid to secure their vote bank.

    The figures quoted by you projecting the gloom picture are debatable. The question of distribution of subsidy is also debatable but the issues are well taken care in India within the political and social development indices. Fahad, in the end I would like to suggest that time is fast approaching in India where it has to modernize its agriculture operations and convert large rural labour into industrial or service sector labour for faster and better growth.

    The only issue is whether it should be self sustaining under capitalistic model or government induced as under socialistic pattern. Jayanti Ghosh has her own views on this issue. Nothing wrong in that also in Indian democracy my dear brother.Recommend

  • Tippu
    Nov 17, 2010 - 10:33AM


    Excellent point and very well said. You have done your reseach well as opposed to most of the commentators here.

    India has made good progress and is currently a little ahead of pakistan. Not by much though. Just like it is india’s destiny to be top 3 economy in the world, it is also pakistan’s destiny to be in the top 10 ecomonies in the world. The reason is that same as india ie POPULATION.
    pakistan’s economy is already the 25th largest in the world (and thats not even counting the black economy). If we get our policies right, pakistan WILL break into G-20 countries soon. The progress of india and pakistan in intertwined.

    There are things we can learn from India. And things we need to fix ourselves. But have no illusions, pakistan is the 6th largest country on earth and will be a major player. When depends upon the people of pakistan. Pay your damned taxes!!! Ask your parents to pay taxes!!! Force them to do so if you want to see pakistan prosper. It is in your hands.Recommend

  • Rajat
    Nov 17, 2010 - 10:59AM

    Using the Population living under 1.25 and 2 dollar (PPP) a day statistics is misleading. In india 2 USD is around 90 INR. so in a month the poor earns around (90×30) 2700INR/per person. For a family of 4 it (with 3 earning) is 8100INR/month. This is the income of the family.

    Now lets take the expenditure. a family of 4 uses around

    10 kg of rice (Rs 13/kg=130) in pds
    10 kg of wheat (Rs 9/kg=90) in pds
    3 kg sugar (18/kg=54)
    14.2kg cylinder LPG (Rs340/cylinder) “yes, that’s right”
    5 kg of pulses (Rs45/kg=225)
    100 units of electricity (Rs 6.5/unit= 650)
    misc (tea, coffee and others that I’ve missed) (Rs 500)

    which comes to Rs2000 (approx) for basic “roti”
    which leaves around 6000 for entertainment, more foods, kapda and makaan.

    So all of the 85%/60% (whichever) are not “starved”.

    The rural population is vast we are slowly but surely reaching out to them. with this there is added problem of corruption, population and illiteracy, so we will improve to be one of the better countries in the future. We have that hope in us. Recommend

  • Manoj
    Nov 17, 2010 - 12:48PM

    @ALL Indian, who replied Fahad,

    Dear All, why we all want to prove that Fahad is wrong when he says in substance that India is a developing country.
    I am sure we all agree to it. We have miles to go before we can join the group of prosperous nation.
    Few days back Chinese prime minister said in an international conference that even though China is second largest economy of the world, but we still treat ourselves as developing country, because our per capita income, and human developement index is not at par with the developed nation.
    Let us learn from Chinese leadership and people who even after getting a certain degree of prosperity are doing hard work with nation building mission instead of declaring from roof top about their being second largest economy.
    We all know, our economy has many challenges and we can overcome these challeges by creating more wealth.
    As an Indian I am proud that in the last ten years we have grown very fast, and we have huge potential to grow even faster. Let us work in this direction.
    We have about 220 million in middle class population. This 220 million population has surplus money to spend, if we can increase our manufacturing and service delivery capacity to meet the growing need of above class it will create huge emolyement opportunity within the country and add present have-nots class to middles class. This process will create a chain reaction and we will witness very high growth in economy in a short period. This will enable India to occupy it’s rightful palce in world community.
    Hence, Request you all to accept the critisim comming from all quarter, convert it into positive energy, accept the challanges and march towards better tomorrow. No need to engage in verval war. Let us prove by our deeds that we are better.Recommend

  • Anwar
    Nov 17, 2010 - 2:27PM

    Our priorities are wrong. We must first show the military that people are the rulers not them. Secondly we must befriend India instead of China. Its pretty simple China is helping us to protect their resources and their people.The so called all-weather friendship is a myth based on antagonism towards India. We know Indians. We were part of them just 60 years back so we understand them well. By coming closer to India atleast they will not exploit us like US and China are currently doing. All that India wants is a Kashmir as it stands today. Why not just accept that and close the matter so that we can start developing our country?
    When we can’t even control our NW Frontier provinces, why fight and loose ourselves for Kashmir? We have now seen that even UN has deleted Kashmir as an issue. The writing on the wall is very clear. We can’t win. But by continuing to fight with India, we are loosing everything we have.Recommend

  • Haider
    Nov 17, 2010 - 2:32PM

    To all my Indian & Pakistani friends, Its about time that we stop comparing and start working together….Pls stop fighting..Recommend

  • Pardeep Singh
    Nov 17, 2010 - 3:37PM

    @Fahad, fiscal and trade deficit cannot be viewed in isolation. It goes hand-in-hand with investment and growth. When an economy is growing at 8-9% per annum it is bound to blow out deficits. That would only be a negative indicator if growth is on the downward curve. Don’t browbeat people with half-baked knowledge.Recommend

  • pab
    Nov 17, 2010 - 3:51PM

    Something has terribily gone right with INDIA.Recommend

  • Devarajan
    Nov 17, 2010 - 4:20PM

    As an Indian I believe it is foolish to believe that we have surmounted all the hurdles on our growth path. I acknowledge we do have enough problems on all fronts but we have definitely made progress.

    The growth story of the Indian middle classes since the 90’s when the Indian govt embarked on a series of policy initiatives has achieved enough momentum that middles classes can now accelerate on their own, without much support from the govt. This in turn has helped the Indian govt to focus on welfare and developmental projects which would eventually upgrade more poor people to the middle class category.

    I think Pakistan has a lesson here to learn from India as your problems are similar to ours and your path to prosperity can not be very different from ours.

    There is no other alternative before your country other than taking the same path with us for our common future. This would mean that Pakistan has to become more like India on certain spheres ( more democratic and secular with no role for the army in governance) if it wants progress. Please do not heed to the advice of your corrupt army that nurturing extremist groups would give you additional bargaining power. Recommend

  • Amjad Rana
    Nov 17, 2010 - 10:47PM

    Brilliant Article! We are fixated & India centric & in spite of previous blunders have not learned anything from history,Recommend

  • babar
    Nov 18, 2010 - 4:46AM


    Get your facts right. The official number (Pakistan Economic survey) is over 40%. Same survey shows that 38% children are malnourished as are 24% adults. Recommend

  • Swati
    Nov 18, 2010 - 5:26AM

    Wikipedia is not a trustworthy source of information as it can be altered by anybody. According to the WOrld Bank Poverty Index, 17% of the world’spoor are in China, does that mean China is also imploding?
    The figures you gave about 43% Indiand living on less tha a $1 a day are 2005 stats, today that number has come down to 31% and Paki has gone up from 22% to 33% so who is implodinG???Recommend

  • Tippu
    Nov 18, 2010 - 11:51AM

    @all my indian friends

    Shout all you want but indian and pakistan are in the same league when it comes to development. According to the latest Human Development Index, india ranks 119 and pakistan ranks 125. No difference there and nothing to be proud off. There is rampant poverty in both india and pajkistan and to claim that somehow india has eluded poverty is to shut your eyes in the face of reality. You need to wake up and smell the coffee.

    And i would advise you all to visit pakistan. You will notice that the living standards are much better then they are in india. There is less poverty in the street. And the country is cleaner in general. The roads are also much better then what you are used to in india. I say this because i have been to India.

    Does that mean pakistani shoudl be thumping their chests stating “we are better”. No it doesnt. Both countries have a long way to go yet. And your trying to put pakistan down only shows the propoganda you have been subjected too. You do not have open debate in your country like we do in pakistan. Show me one indian paper that has open debate like this one does. If you choose to stay blind to reality, so be it. But the loss is yours.Recommend

  • Nov 18, 2010 - 2:03PM

    I don’t know why everyone is harassing Farhad. His facts are fairly sound, to be honest.

    Speaking as a Mumbaikar, I also agree with him that Indian inflation is completely out of control. Prices have been skyrocketing for the past 2 years – we’re paying up to 5 times for some commodities compared to 2008, and at least double what we used to pay for any and all commodities. And it boils down to agriculture and agricultural output not keeping up with economic growth. While lots more people have lots more money in their hands, the bare fact is that this money just isn’t buying the amount of basic necessities it used to, starting with basic food items. Purchasing power growing at the rate of 8% and agriculture growing @ 1% if that is a recipe for disaster.

    Also, as he says, India indeed has problems like the raging Maoist insurgency as well as the backbreaking poverty in its rural areas to tackle.

    He is also correct that we are behind China. And as someone who has visited Pakistan, I also agree that Pakistan is better off on a per-capita basis – they have a much smaller population to take care of. If India’s GDP is 6 times that of Pakistan, and its population is 10 times that of Pakistan, it translates to a higher per-capita GDP for Pakistan.

    It is however good that liberalization since the 90s has boosted free enterprise and is the direct cause of the economic boom. I disagree with him that there’s an economic bubble. There are definitely bubbles in some areas.

    Farhad however is missing the gist of the article which is the direction in which Pakistan is headed, regardless of India. I’m sure he agrees that his country needs a course correction.Recommend

  • harkol
    Nov 18, 2010 - 4:38PM


    You nailed it! Pakistan should obsess over economic development, reform its governance, education and most importantly military.

    Fussing over Obama, India, Kashmir etc. can wait for another generation (like china waited couple of generations downplaying differences with its neighbors, without giving up the claim on territory).

    When we are all rich, cutting a deal will be a bit more easier, for people will have better things to think about than Ghairat and such other sentiments.

    None of this can ever happen by trying to head-bang with India militarily. It is just as futile as India trying to go head to head with China (or US) militarily.Recommend

  • harkol
    Nov 18, 2010 - 5:34PM


    Both Pakistan and Sri lanka are way ahead in terms of prosperity.

    You may be right about per capita GDP in nominal $, but, the per capita debt is much lesser in India.India has a debt-GDP ratio of about 15%, its Forex Reserves are far above its external debt – a sign of good solvency.

    Pakistan has higher per capita GDP (in $ terms) because it borrows money from every possible destination without worrying how it is going to pay it back! That is why in PPP terms Indian per capita GDP is 50% ahead!!

    Pakistan’s external debt is far higher than its reserves. Its ability to service these debts will largely depend on how fast it can turn its economy around and start exporting something other than terrorists.

    All this is not to say Pakistan can’t make it to top 10 economies . It can only do so, by changing course, focusing on economy instead of Kashmir and India.

    India can continue to grow with the drag of Pakistan at about 8-9% without doing major course correction but that won’t be enough. India will need about 12-13% growth if it needs to increase its human indices.

    That can’t happen unless India changes its governance. Reforms Judiciary, Policing, law making, real-estate, education. In fact, massive investment in education may be single most important thing. None of these are forthcoming as India spends a huge amount on Defence (almost 3% of GDP vs just 2% of GDP by china). If we spend just 1% it can easily go to education, and result in 3-4% GDP gain in just half a dozen years!!


  • Singh
    Nov 19, 2010 - 8:23AM

    Hey just a point. US has 14 trillion debt. Is it make US poor country or powerless?
    Bigger country bigger problem.
    For Fahid. is going around with begging bowl for flood victim or war on terror. Everyday on pak news paper headlines are for help. Please watch watch your tv everyday. Now a days people from pakistan in US introduce themselves as Indian. what a shame.Recommend

  • Cherish Raj
    Nov 19, 2010 - 1:53PM

    We have a lot of poverty like any other developing country including Pakistan. But our population density is also very high, more than twice that of Pakistan or China which means that we have less area of land under agriculture and less natural resources per capita. We do not have millions of hectares of land to be given away to foreign investors for agriculture. In addition to all this, land reforms have fragmented landholdings and thereby productivity is less.On the other hand, Pakistan has all the resources to be an agricultural powerhouse. In spite of all this, inflation is 15% in Pakistan and 8.5% in India, considering that food inflation is the major problem in both the countries. India has a very dynamic corporate sector and Indian companies are busy acquiring companies in the US, Europe, SE Asia and Africa. Indian companies have acquired more than 140 small and medium companies in the US in the last two years and have invested more than $15billion in Africa. Many large industrial firms have been bought out by Indian corporates in Europe in the last few years. India has attained a huge growth momentum and if you have doubts please look up Bloomberg, WSJ, CNN biz etc for daily coverage and update of the Indian economy. Land acquisition is the only hurdle India is facing today in the path towards rapid industrialization. The savings rate of a poor country like India is almost $500 billion which is almost a third of that of the US and so, we do not have to approach IMF or the US for each and everything. Most of your arguments are derived from the rhetoric of unimaginative and outdated leftists whose only idea of development is the rickety and bureaucratic Soviet model. They are ignorant of the capitalist growth story and the entrepreneurship that drives India.Recommend

  • Rajesh
    Nov 19, 2010 - 8:21PM

    ok fahad, accepted we have many problems like poverty/naxal/so..on
    wat abt urs..talk abt ur problems show me where are u good at.this article has been posted for people like you only who dont see ur own problems , not me or u,the whole world got to say we(india) is far better than u.u know so much abt india that even i dont know ,so i bet u dont need anybody to tell u which is goin good now india or pak? u know the ans well better than others only u have to admit it.
    ill tell u the truth
    providing shelter to worlds most dangers terrorists: pakistan
    in a verge of economic collapse:pakistan
    let jem alqaida taliban belongs to :pakistan
    worlds most dangers place to live in:pakistan
    begging money for survival (imf,world bank USA): pakistan

    Just tell me right or wrong
    one word answer pls.
    fahad looking for urs Recommend

  • Nov 19, 2010 - 8:34PM

    Pakistanis have an unchangeable penchant for picking up a demographic in which we are still ahead of India, fussing over it and orchestrating it at every possible forum. Right until the moment India gets ahead of us on that demographic. We will then pick another fact where we are still miraculously ahead of our arch rival and then rest again in our comfort zones.
    This cycle of apathy will continue, either until every single statistic marks us lower than India, or until someone who isn’t as thick-headed as most of us comes into power.

    The second option doesn’t seem very plausible. We shall have to wait then, it seems…Recommend

  • Javed Khattak
    Nov 20, 2010 - 12:19AM

    Is there any solution to this,Recommend

  • Anwar Hasan
    Nov 20, 2010 - 10:58AM

    The solution starts at home. Our home. Check to see what we are doing wrong in our day to day life and try and correct it. We have seen many things wrong from the day we are born, and when someone says it is wrong we get angry at them. Self analysis is the key. Unfortunately we do’nt know how to self analyze. We feel everything I am doing is right. We learn from people around us. We feel if everyone else is doing it it must be right.Recommend

  • Solomon
    Nov 21, 2010 - 10:57PM

    I read a hilarious article on the BBC recently. When the journalist asked a lay Pakistani about the floods, he promptly blamed the ‘Indians’. His justification – the Indians created artificial storm clouds and sent them across the border to cause destruction in Pakistan!


    It seems to me that Pakistan as a state was founded on two core ideologies – Hatred towards India (via Kashmir, or otherwise), and Islamization. I’m sure every non-Pakistani thinks this is what represents ‘Pakistani identity’. I suspect if you take these two away, the state of Pakistan might collapse. No wonder then that the establishment wants to maintain this glue.

    Or maybe I am wrong, since identities can change over time. I do hope Pakistan can define for itself a new identity in this new millennium.Recommend

  • vasan
    Nov 22, 2010 - 9:39AM

    Regarding the reasons for the floods in Pakistan, there was an article by the respected Pervez Hoodbhoy too. Will be an eye on opener for Pakistanis.

  • Rehan
    Nov 22, 2010 - 7:07PM


    Roflmao at the BBC article man! :DRecommend

  • noise
    Nov 29, 2010 - 6:48PM

    Unfortunately my own country, Pakistan, is one of the biggest stumbling blocks which has kept the whole region in Central Asia from progressing. It always sells itself to distant powers to oppose its neighbors, be they India, Afghanistan, Iran or Russia (during the cold war).

    Its always acted like a mercenary state selling its dubious services to the highest bidder. We’re like some goddamn bandit kingdom.Recommend

  • Anwar Hasan
    Nov 29, 2010 - 9:09PM

    India has many faults, but is on the right track. This is the result of 60 consecutive years of democracy.

    Pakistan unfortunately has only 2 consecutive years of democracy. We are 58 years behind India.Recommend

  • maitre
    Dec 8, 2010 - 4:25PM

    The Americans used Pakistan in the war against Russia. They suported the Afghan Jihad when they wanted to square with Russia. After Russia’s defeat, they throwed Pakistan through Presler Amendements. The pakistani Leadership didn’t learn a lesson and always sought the foreign aid which they got through high interest rates from the world donor agencies. They hardly complete a five years plan and had no vision to visualise the burgeoning problems of a developing society. In the end, they saw social fabric stained with multi evils. No body gave the country a sound planning. We are treated as a beggar nation. What can we expect from the others who come here to spy our installations.Our leaders, for some bucks, render them large piece of land to expand their Embassy without knowing or suspecting their evil designs (American Embassy’s Extension in Islamabad). The war in Afghanistan and the war on terror have transformed the country into a socio-economic political turmoil that frustrates everybody, specially our youth. But our leaders paint everything in rosy colours. I personnaly believe that we need to ‘do more’ to our homeland and in our own interests and infuse some nationalism in our mainstream. Our politicians are dumbs, they are unable to deliver any good to the nation because, in time of crisis or calamities, they look towards their masters who are neither their nor our friends at all.Recommend

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