When the British colonial rulers partitioned India before granting independence to the jewel in the crown, the two newly created countries began on a fresh note. Some said that Pakistan had been granted an unfairly favourable deal in terms of fertile land and infrastructure set up by the Border Commission headed by Sir Cyril Radcliffe. While that argument is done and dusted, where the two nations headed to from there does hold importance now.
Pakistan began with better indicators of social growth and prosperity, as compared to India.
Its children had a better expectancy of survival at birth and lower infant mortality rate. Pakistan, till 1971 had a mortality rate per 1000 live births, and ran neck-and-neck with India (135/1000) till the slide began. Now Pakistan’s infant mortality rate is sadder and higher at 61 to India’s 31.
The life expectancy of an average Pakistani was pegged higher than an average Indian. An Indian hoped to live an average age of 41 in 1947, a Pakistani could look at an average of 46. Now that same figure stands at 69 and 66 respectively in India’s figure.
India had a lower GDP than Pakistan in 1947. In 1960 too, Pakistan’s GDP was nearly 6 per cent against India’s 3.6 per cent. In a reversal of growth fortunes, Pakistan’s FY 19 figures plummeted to 3.3 per cent while India’s are pegged at 6.6 per cent.
The Indian and Pakistani Rupee began at par with the dollar in 1947. Today the Pakistani Rupee is 160 to a dollar and India is 71.
Pakistan and India have been struggling to maintain forest cover, as are other nations across the world. But India seems to have now gained a huge headstart on increasing its forest cover while Pakistan is worried about its dwindling green assets. From almost 3.2 per cent of its area under forest cover in 1960, Pakistan has been steadily losing its green cover and now only 1.8% of its land area is forested. The billion-tree planting drive that it undertook recently, also demands intensive sustenance which is suspect at the moment. On the contrary, India’s forest cover, from 21.05% in 1960 has gone up to nearly 24%.
What has undone the Pakistan story?
Basically, the Islamic nation has been done in by its Kashmir obsession and its hefty spendings on military matters. While still holding a major part of what was once the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir that had legally acceded to India in 1947, Pakistan is choking the fortunes of the Kashmiris and that of the Pakistani generations by focussing (initially covertly and now overtly) on its pipedream “Kashmir Banega Pakistan”.
Subsidies are supposed to be sops that help the uplift of those trapped in the lower rungs of the poverty scale. While only 9 per cent of India’s total Budget is earmarked for subsidies, Pakistan trusts 4 per cent allocation for the subsidy to do the job. Now let us look at the defence budget allocation of both these nuclear-armed countries. India’s defence budget accounted for 8 per cent of the GDP, but keeping the India bogie alive, Pakistan earmarks 17 per cent for defence spendings.
The terror-related activities and the various organisations that they like to call ‘good terrorists, bad terrorists’ have not done any good for their reputation. The FATF has already sounded off Pakistan on showing improvement on cutting out all terror-funding activities or face international blacklisting soon.
While India prides itself in its space research initiatives through the Indian Space Research Organisation, the IT sector jobs and education centres, the industrial power-houses and Bollywood as well as robust regional cinema… our western neighbour has no educational institution or industrial brand that is known across the world.
Indian diaspora across the world graces positions of power in MNCs and IT majors. Pakistan is struggling to make the Gulf nations accept its doctors and the validity of their MBBS and MS/MD degrees.
Not a matter for India to rejoice, we need a prosperous Pakistan ::
A healthy neighbourhood also means a healthy India. India has always rooted for a prosperous Pakistan. Pakistani citizens would often travel to India for jobs, Bollywood contracts, even medical aid and treatment. But when the Pakistani army kept snatching the power reins in Islamabad, its motto of bleeding India with a 1000 cuts did not augur well with the synergy of cultural exchange.
Sadly, Pakistani schools and influencers indoctrinate children that India is an enemy nation. So, wish as we may, to see Pakistan rise from this abysmal state of affairs, the writing on the wall is not very encouraging.