fbpx
Monday, January 25, 2021

Pakistan revolution can be to India’s gain

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Strong economics can be a boon for neighbours who have had problems festering between them for far too long

The Karachi Stock Exchange Index had an astonishing return in 2016. It is up more than 52 percent over the past year – and the World Bank has forecast a growth rate of 5.2 percent this year. There is no doubt about it: there is an economic revolution taking place in Pakistan. A country ravaged with issues of terrorism and suicide bombers is now making headlines for other reasons.
India Pakistan Relations.Indian Link
Pakistan’s middle class, which dominates over half its total population, has begun to exert pressure on the government to stimulate economic growth.
This, coupled with relatively improved political stability in recent times, has encouraged multinational businesses such as Apple, Samsung, Unilever, Toyota and Coca Cola to invest more to capture the middle class economic strength tipped to reach over $1 trillion by 2030. Multinationals are being increasingly attracted to Pakistan with returns of over 25 percent being expected in this market.
Post BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and MINT (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey), we now have the new acronym VARP (Vietnam, Argentina, Romania and Pakistan). Pakistan is about to join the well-respected “emerging market” index of the MSCI which includes the 24 countries that represent 10 percent of world capitalisation.

India Pakistan Relations.Indian Link
Photo sourced from Walizahid.com

An economically strong Pakistan is well in India’s interest. It is a neighbour which, with a population of approximately 200 million people, is also the sixth most populous country in the world. A nuclear power in itself, a peaceful Pakistan allows for both nations to focus on solving their own problems. Their problems, unsurprisingly, are not dissimilar, these being investments in infrastructure, reliance on agriculture with the interlocking problems of water, weather and drought, increasing education standards, and finding solutions to the energy issues for their rapidly growing populations.
However, the problems in cross-border terrorism have stalled any meaningful discussions between the two countries. While the Pakistani government has denied any links to these attacks, India has repeatedly proven the source of these terrorism attacks to be from Pakistan. These cross-border terror attacks need to stop if economic cooperation is to develop between the two countries.
India Pakistan Relations.Indian Link
To date, all requests and threats from the Indian side have stalled and failed. Also adding to the tensions is the multibillion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, part of China’s “One Belt and One Road” or new Silk Road project – a series of roads, railways, pipelines, hydropower plants and other development projects, being built from the Xinjiang province in China to Gwadar in southwestern Pakistan. Passing through territory in Kashmir, which India claims as its own, this could create further tensions between the two countries.
India Pakistan relations.Indian Link
But now, with the changes emerging within the economically ambitious middle class Pakistanis, this can change. An option for the Indian government could be to work through a strategy to reach out to this middle class. Soft diplomacy can work the charm offensive – whether through sporting interactions or arts and culture, including films – to take advantage of the changing demographics and win the middle class Pakistani population over to allow for more pressure on the political system.
There is a revolution on India’s doorstep, and a fresh approach needs to be taken to perhaps find solutions to problems which have festered for far too long between neighbours.

- Advertisement -
Pawan Luthra
Pawan Luthra
Pawan is the publisher of Indian Link and is one of Indian Link's founders. He writes the Editorial section.

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Podcasts

Ep8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s life

0
To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

0
  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic...

Ep 6: The Indian LGBTQ+ community in 2020

0
  It’s been two years since the world’s largest democracy repealed the draconian Section 377 which used to allow discrimination against homosexual people. Only this...

Latest News

aboriginal flag

Indigenous Australians, living without conciliation

0
  I am a citizen of Australia and yet I am not a citizen of the nation I reside in within Australia. This anomaly affects...

The night we fled our home in Kashmir

0
  “26 January is coming up, memsaab,” the milkman I had known for years said to me. “Maybe you should put up a black flag...
the white tiger netflix

Review: The White Tiger (Netflix)

0
  "Don't believe for a second there's a million-rupee game show you can win to get out of it". That's Balram Halwai in The White...
lilly singh

WATCH: Lilly Singh as Sima Taparia in “Indian Matchbreaking”

0
  Whether we liked it or not, most of us gave into the Sima Taparia craze during lockdown. Within days, we'd all binged on Netflix's...
karl rock

From New Zealand to New Delhi: Meet YouTube’s Karl Rock

0
  When Karl Rock picks up the phone (with a cheerful ‘Namaste!’ no less), his New Zealand accent is apparent. That is, until he bursts...