Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Daily Times Fires Away

So a couple of days ago, Musharraf, as he is wont to do, says some ridiculous things to the media, such as implying Pakistan and India are equals (sadly, we are not) and that there are no separatist movements in Pakistan (uh, I don't even have a comment for that one). Well today, the Daily Times lets him have it.
There are many ‘third world’ things where Pakistan and India are indeed at par. The red tape, the delay of law, the abysmal state of their courts at the level of the lower judiciary, the persistent poverty of the masses, the almost zero level of infrastructure needed for a good modern economy, etc. But India’s size and India’s problems that once made it vulnerable in comparison with Pakistan are slowly disappearing and President Musharraf should worry about it if he feels adversarial these days to boost his image at home.

India’s growth rate is steadily much higher than the ‘Hindu rate’ it used to have. It is also not dependent on external stimuli like security pacts and jihad against communism from 1950 to 1987 or support to the war against terror after 9/11 to take it out of its troughs. In fact its economy looks like dominating Asia together with China in the decade ahead. Its companies are in the multinational race and are buying up first world companies. Its education has always been better while Pakistan was handing its seats of learning to the clerics and their violent ‘youth wings’. Indian scientists and scholars are spread out in the world proving their excellence while Pakistanis are suffering discriminatory regimes put up by the first world to avoid getting hit by terrorist attack. India’s poverty may be on the decline, but in Pakistan, despite President Musharraf’s success in the economic sector, it may still be on the increase. India is expected to attract foreign investment in the coming months because law and order there is better than the one obtaining in Pakistan. India has developed a large middle class which attracts global funds looking for consumer markets. Unlike Pakistan, which spends 4.5 percent of its GDP on defence (not counting the military’s trespass into jobs that used to belong to the civil servants) while the biggest spender India is still safely below 3 percent, the point over which purchase of weapons may affect the quality of life of a country.

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