It has become a norm these days for online Indians to mock Pakistanis, boasting of their so called Indian miracle. For those naïve and innocent Indians stupid enough to believe their own government here are a few facts.
Fact 1: The GDP of India is $1.67 trillion while that of Pakistan is $237 billion. It’s a ratio of 7, about the same as the population ratio between the two countries. According to Purchasing power parity, Pakistan’s per capita income is US$4,450.00, just slightly below India’s US$4,735.00. Not much of a difference India considering the high growth of the last decade you boast about!
Fact 2: Despite the recent instability, poverty in Pakistan has dropped from about 20% of the population in 2005 to about only 3% of the population today according to Center for Global Development (CGD). Has India witnessed such a downward revision in poverty despite the sexy story it boasts to be? I doubt it
Fact 3: A rural Pakistani is much better off than a rural Indian. Pakistan tops South Asia in agriculture value addition. Per capita value added to agriculture in Pakistan is almost twice as much as that in Bangladesh and India. Poverty in rural India is so high that one Indian farmer commits suicide every 30 minutes due to the unbearable poverty. No such case in Pakistan!
Fact 4: Many economists believe that Indian government might be fudging figures to show higher economic growth than China. Indian government figures of 7.5% economic growth in 2013-2014 seem highly doubtful considering that it is difficult for growth to accelerate amidst financial constraints depressing investment in India? Indian companies today are burdened with debt and banks reluctant to lend to them.
Fact 5: No doubt India is cruising ahead of Pakistan with higher economic growth amidst a much less severe population bomb. Nevertheless India’s the it investment destination of the world rhetoric is still a little too far fetched and if Pakistan manages to get its house in order than certainly there is great potential in Pakistan to catch up.
Recently launched operation Zarb-e-Azb and military courts might be Pakistan’s first step towards getting back on its feet.
However the reality is while India has suffered an economic slow-down in recent years, growth in Pakistan’s progress too has dramatically plummeted under the “democratic” leadership since 2008.
To start growing again Pakistan needs to form sound economic policies and end instability in the country otherwise the gloomy prospects hovering over Pakistan will continue to remain a hurdle in the way of Pakistani progress.
Today Pakistan is in the midst of another lost decade like the 1990s, putting it at risk of being the worst economy in South Asian region and hurting its people in myriad ways including low human development rates.
This has to change for the better of Pakistan to keep up with its neighbors. Our so called democratic leaders must remember that most of the reduction in poverty and increase in per capita income figures were achieved due to the high growth in Musharraf era and it is due to their wrong policies that Pakistan has stopped progressing economically.
And with three million new entrants in job market every year, we don’t have much time left.