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Pakistan downed an Indian jet — but the economy is the real battleground

Securing Pakistan’s economy is the key to securing its borders.
Updated 26 Sep, 2019 03:48pm

The events of the last few weeks have underlined the need for Pakistan to invest in robust defence.

While we can take a lot of pride in our military’s protection of our borders, it would be foolhardy in the extreme for us to allow these events to significantly inform the way forward. We must, instead, take stock of deeper and more powerful dynamics.

For decades, Pakistan significantly outperformed India in many ways. Our economy outdid theirs: in 32 years between 1961 and 1993, Pakistan’s economy grew nearly twice as quickly as India’s.

In military conflicts, while India’s size always led to eventual advantage, Pakistan leveraged a close alliance with the United States to give as good as it got in the 1965 war.

Even in 1971, Chuck Yeager — a top American pilot and the first man to break the sound barrier — was deployed in Pakistan in close support of the Pakistan Air Force. Pakistan even enjoyed supremacy on the cricket field for decades.

Read next: Highlights from the last 10 years of Pakistan's economy

These facts, undeniable and culturally salient, cemented the idea of relative strength in our national psyche. It is equally undeniable, however, that India has reformed and Pakistan stagnated over the last 30 years.

This is well documented, but has not reflected in significantly updated beliefs in Pakistan. Part of the reason might simply be mental inertia; part of the reason might be that economic strength takes time to manifest in diplomatic and military consequences.

India initiated economic reforms in 1992, but it took more than a decade for the US to start investing seriously in its relationship with India, firmed up with the two countries’ civil nuclear deal of 2006. Militarily, change is even slower: relative capabilities are as much a reflection of past economic performances as current ones.

Consider that the MiG-21 shot down in late February was a type that India first acquired in 1964, and that Pakistan took first delivery of the F-16 in early 80s and signed the first Memorandum of Understanding in 1995 leading to JF-17 production two years later.

Our respective resource envelopes in bygone years affected our defence procurements, and thus had a bearing on the events of February.

By the same coin, we must understand that our past growth deficit creates a defence imbalance overhang: over the next decade or two, India will reap the strategic benefits of investing in its economy as its superior military acquisitions come on line.

It is the size of an economy that determines a country's ability to spend on it defence. If Pakistan fails to undertake serious economic reforms, our stagnation will further worsen our military imbalance with India.

Rise and fall

Let us review the scale of Pakistan’s economic decline relative to India.

In 1991, the Pakistani economy was 17 per cent as large as India’s. By 2017, a decade-and-a-half of being outmatched on economic growth has left us less than 12pc their size. This is a 41pc decline in our relative economic strength.


Due to the sheer size of the Indian economy, reforms there have quickly increased their size advantage over Pakistan. In the five-decade period between 1963 and 2002, India generally grew slower than Pakistan, yet there were six instances of India’s annual economic growth exceeding the size of Pakistan’s entire economy.

More worryingly for the strategist, in the 15 years since 2003, India has achieved this feat nine times.

India’s size and robust growth has allowed its military expenditures to increase vastly since the 1990s, while falling slightly as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP).


Living next door to a strong adversary, Pakistan spent decades with the largest proportionate expenditure on defence in South Asia, but decreased defence spending significantly in the 1990s.

A simple, but fatal reaction to increased tensions with India today would be to once again increase the proportion of our government revenues spent on military spending. In fact, some scholars speculate that Indian defence planners may actually be interested in provoking us to do precisely this.

This would be suicidal: a rise in military spending today means less money to educate our children, invest in our infrastructure, support our police and courts and do all the other things that we can do to correct our economic decline.

Even after the decline noted above, Pakistan’s military expenditures as a percentage of GDP remain amongst the highest in the world. There is simply little space to squeeze non-military expenditures.

This presents us with a true dilemma: an increase in military spending today will crowd out economic growth and thus means paying for our near-term security by further reducing our capacity to increase defence spending in the future.

If India continues growing at its 15-year average annual rate of approximately 7.5pc and we stick to our current average growth rate, its economy — and thus its ability to spend on its military — will be more than 20 times our size by 2047.

Where does Pakistan go from here?

Simply to return to our relative strength with respect to India to 1990 levels, we need to grow at an average of 10pc for the next 30 years — achievable, but a feat accomplished only by Ireland, China and Vietnam in the past.

The key out of this mess lies in understanding that this is as much a story of our stagnation as it is of India’s rise. Since the 1980s, every major South Asian economy has improved its citizens’ health, and since 1990 its wealth, faster than Pakistan.

The most optimistic projections suggest that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will add 2.5pc to our growth rates. Useful, but not enough by half.

We will have to do the hard work ourselves: we need to shatter protectionism, slash inefficient public expenditures, invest in quality education and improve the functioning of our legal system.

Related: Pakistan's debt policy has brought us to the brink. Another five years of the same is unsustainable



This requires profound, deep-cutting, unprecedented economic reform. Ironically, we can learn much from considering two determinants of India’s growth.

While it stagnated economically, India invested early and well in elite public universities. This helped set the conditions for its growth post-reforms.

Then, when India’s foreign exchange reserves dipped to covering only three weeks of imports in 1991, Narasimha Rao was willing to absorb the political blowback of Manmohan Singh’s reforms.

As economies grow, so does the value of trade amongst neighbours. Already, World Bank estimates suggest that a failure to trade costs India and Pakistan $35 billion in lost economic value.

As Pakistan grows, the gains from peace will only rise. Who knows, perhaps our economy itself will one day secure our borders within a peaceful and prosperous South Asia.

The article has been updated with additional charts and analysis.


Are you shaping Pakistan's economy? Share your insights with us at prism@dawn.com

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Ali Hasanain is an assistant professor of economics at the Lahore University Management Sciences, and was formerly a Global Leaders Fellow at Oxford and Princeton universities.


The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (131) Closed

Muhammad Masood Hassan
Mar 19, 2019 06:04pm
A great article, showing the real face of our position. Few positive aspects, still a lot of work ahead.
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Bangalore
Mar 19, 2019 06:05pm
Very good articulated Blog, it say every thing itself. Very good Insights. Time to wake up and start doing work rather than doing politics.
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Tahir Badruddin
Mar 19, 2019 06:11pm
A true depiction of affairs between Pakistan and India.
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Sid
Mar 19, 2019 06:39pm
Very sensible article. It's a long game... let's do what's necessary for South Asia
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Srinivasan Kailasam
Mar 19, 2019 06:43pm
In addition to Kartarpur corridor, Pakistan can consider opening the land trade route to Afghanistan. A win win situation for all.
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RK
Mar 19, 2019 06:45pm
very well written. Precise and eye opener
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D patel
Mar 19, 2019 06:50pm
Economic growth is not a race or battle against any country. It is simply a duty of any country/government to make living standards better for its citizens regardless of what others are doing. One country may learn from others, but fight or race against other countries is not part of economy.
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101Times
Mar 19, 2019 06:53pm
This is indeed without minimal doubt a well thought through article. Pakistan has a choice to make, which will shape its own destiny. We NEED to keep the peace and focus on our economy. There is simply no more space to increase budgets to our military while the basic functional requirements of an average Pakistani declines. Please, its time to wake up!
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Saad
Mar 19, 2019 06:54pm
Thanks for putting this so succinctly. Time to stop looking to the past and face the future now. As someone else mentioned here... a long road ahead.
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Strange Indian
Mar 19, 2019 06:55pm
Excellent article. Continued hostility is lose-lose for both sides. Co-operation is win-win. Both sides should come to common agreement on Kashmir and move forward on other fronts.
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Sd
Mar 19, 2019 06:59pm
I thought the great PAF downed 2 Indian jets ?
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dove
Mar 19, 2019 07:14pm
Well.... a good informative article... of the truth and reality... the concerned has to realize this!!!
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Ismail
Mar 19, 2019 07:15pm
Very well written.
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Sha b
Mar 19, 2019 07:21pm
Very good article .sane voice.
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hamza khan
Mar 19, 2019 07:32pm
well done mr hasanain. the current govt has a lot of work to do. pakistans peace initiatives with its neighbors must be lauded. there is clearly a strong realization in military and civilian circles that the current path is unsustainable. we need to compete and prepare our population for the next 50 years.
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Nahar01
Mar 19, 2019 07:34pm
An eye opening article... but who will learn from this??
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Assad
Mar 19, 2019 07:44pm
Great article! We don't want a war, but certainly need to shape up the economy. A war is a ruin for both Pakistan and India. Our situation is like that of the US and Russia. Both have enough power to destroy each other, but economically there is a pretty significant disparity.
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Govardhan Lal Bhatia
Mar 19, 2019 07:54pm
salute to your writers, pakistan has good quality writers, comparable to anyone in the world. Article has very good analysis. Ali hasnain you are a genius
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Canadian
Mar 19, 2019 07:58pm
An eye opener article for the people of Pakistan and media, who portrait an image of "we are the best". If you want yourself to compare with India, you have lot to do.
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Alla Bux
Mar 19, 2019 08:14pm
Great. Now there are signs that India is likely to push its defence spending to 3% of its GDP (or to $80 billion). They expect us to match it (by increasing our own defence spending by 50%). If we fall into that trap it will be USSR vs USA all over again.
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Alla Bux
Mar 19, 2019 08:17pm
The real problem of course is our population growth rate. While India's is at 2.1 and falling ours is over 2.5% and falling at much slower rate. Unless we do something about it (like using madrassas to teach the importance of family planning) we lose. That will be real jihad.
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khalid
Mar 19, 2019 08:17pm
Good analysis but fail to recognize that inia will never be our friend and will never forget to harm us and this is the truth, however, we need to improve and that can only happen when we will get rid of corrupt leadership. We did it in the past and can do it again.
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Nusrat
Mar 19, 2019 08:33pm
Amazing analysis.. This is critical thinking that's sorely required. It's easier to down a plane than to fight a 1 week war.
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Indian-Fact Observer
Mar 19, 2019 08:57pm
It is very clear from this article that defence expenditure is eating Pakistan economy and influencing negatively every growth parameters.
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Lahore Vivek
Mar 19, 2019 08:57pm
Very good article. India is actually provoking Pakistan to spend more on defence rather than public welfare. The rulers should not fall for this which will be a suicidal one
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Baskaran Mahalingam
Mar 19, 2019 09:01pm
Nice article. Good perspective.
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JustSaying
Mar 19, 2019 09:11pm
Everything said and done but we are a Nuclear Power...
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Jawad
Mar 19, 2019 09:11pm
Accurate analysis. Peaceful coexistence is the only solution and option if we want our future generations to prosper and live in peace and tranquility.
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Samofmich
Mar 19, 2019 09:28pm
Excellent article. Eventually It’s all about money. Economic disparity that is currently being created will eventually lead to unsustainable competitive scenario for Pakistan and neither China nor middle eastern countries will be able to filll that gap. The most sensible thing to do will be set anmosities aside and join in economic growth and betterment of people.
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Ali
Mar 19, 2019 09:59pm
Kudos to the author for this insightful policy piece. And kudos to Dawn for its courageous reporting. You can only start fixing a problem by recognizing its root causes, stopping the slide, and then reversing course. Pakistan has seen its dark days, but is turning the corner. With effort and hard work, the country can start prospering again.
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Dev Mehta
Mar 19, 2019 10:03pm
A very balanced and informative article. We should also not ignore the great potential of generous trade growth between the two countries as its benefits would be both financial as well as stronger and better relations. While India can provide many items such as medicines at prices unmatched by any other country, Pakistan can give a run for money in many different fields. Basically, it's this type of thinking focused on welfare of people that would provide an exit from the current conundrum.
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Ali Kazmi
Mar 19, 2019 10:05pm
Not an Indian jet but two Indian jets.
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Last Word
Mar 19, 2019 10:25pm
An eye-opener analysis by the author. Imran Khan urgently needs to reverse the country's decades-old foreign policy with India to save Pakistan from an imminent economic collapse..
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Ash Man
Mar 19, 2019 10:29pm
A big problem explained in very simple words. And the graphs spanning several decades helps understand where the problem is. Hope the decision makers act in public interest.
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Siva D
Mar 19, 2019 10:39pm
Excellent data driven article. One of the reasons the western countries trump others in pretty much every sphere is that they understand the power of data and try to adjust their behaviors based on the existing data and the outcomes they desire. In our part of the world, we treat data with contempt at worst or convenience at best. We use emotions and rhetoric to drive our choices and the results are there to see.
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Asif Allauddin
Mar 19, 2019 10:42pm
Well written, but for your records, we did shoot down two jets and not one. Overall subcontinent do not deserve the war or expenses on military... Education, Health and projects for reserving the natural resources, including Water, should be the top priorities.
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masood
Mar 19, 2019 10:43pm
You have written a great article on real problems of our country. Wish, powers that be can pay heed to it. All the nations who invested in their people reaped a rich harvest, most of our well wishers are showing us the similar paths, someone has to listen.
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Pakistani
Mar 19, 2019 11:05pm
This is one of the best aricles that I have seen in Dawn . No flattering ; Simple facts
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ALTAF H. LOOKMANJEE
Mar 19, 2019 11:08pm
Pakistan needs to tackle with population growth which is one of the highest globally, its doubling every 25 yrs. Also, developing better infrastructure and funding mass education should be its top priority. Having honest, dedicated and stable government will be the key.
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Parvez
Mar 19, 2019 11:38pm
Nicely and correctly pointed out .....speaks volumes of the economic position left for us after ten years of Zardari and Nawaz's stewerdship Nicely and correctly pointed out ..... goes to show the state of the economy left after ten years of Zardari and Nawaz's rule and the disastrous policies of Mr. Dar who is hiding in London as a absconder from the law.....and I am convinced this was deliberate and not by default.
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Echs
Mar 19, 2019 11:47pm
Very good and eye opener article. Pakistan must look after its economy first.
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kk
Mar 20, 2019 12:02am
Very nice article that is based more on fact than rhetoric. Hope leadership on both sides pay attention. Great deal need to be done for the upliftment of the common man of both countries.
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Kroner
Mar 20, 2019 12:21am
Very Well Written and very much the need of the hour. Thank you
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Bupi
Mar 20, 2019 12:33am
Writing on the wall is clear if one doesn't want to see then none can happen.
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whyyouneedit
Mar 20, 2019 12:34am
Very well analysed. This analysis would be enhanced by comparing respective growth in population in both countries. Thanks
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James Carville
Mar 20, 2019 12:37am
The issue is education. Chinese and Turkish companies can not move their factories to Pakistan when our population can not operate those factories. We need to educate our people just as China and Vietnam have. Once the school system is improved and malnutrition is address and resolved then we can get 10% growth rate or even a super hot 20% growth rate. We need overseas Pakistanis to send their dollars to Pakistan to educate the people here. We need them to volunteer to teach in Pakistan and get them to work with Pakistani companies to get them and see what is going on in the marketplace.
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Truth Believer
Mar 20, 2019 01:02am
Great article! Well analyzed, hope Pakistan Govt policy makers will read this.
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pramod amin
Mar 20, 2019 01:06am
what a sensible thinking! i hope we have this type of people on both side.
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khosla
Mar 20, 2019 02:11am
excellent article all policy planners to note. India itself iwill try to keep pace wit china
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Pak_Boy
Mar 20, 2019 03:53am
Very good article...pakistan needs a strong economy to get the respect from the world it is expecting...
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SachBol
Mar 20, 2019 04:03am
Unless we eradicate corruption and propagate merit, nothing will change!
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Pragmatist
Mar 20, 2019 04:49am
Very well researched and written article. Pakistan stopping its fixation on Kashmir will help Pakistan, Kashmir and India in that order. India can be easily Pakistan's biggest trading partner if we somehow focus on growth instead of on killing each other.
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Arun
Mar 20, 2019 06:45am
Pakistan’s population growth rate is double that of India and this results in lower economic growth rate as more money has to be spent on dependants.
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Deepak Mehrotra
Mar 20, 2019 07:21am
Excellent article. Economy and the development are the areas where India and Pakistan should compete, instead of battle field.
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Prashant
Mar 20, 2019 07:26am
Very good article. It is not only for Pakistan for all the countries in subcontinent. Although article focus against India. Both countries should look for bigger picture and compete with west, china in every aspect.
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Prof Dr Zahid Hossain Sharif
Mar 20, 2019 07:27am
A very fact based good article. In 2019 Bangladesh economy will overtake Pakistan economy.
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Shyam
Mar 20, 2019 07:50am
After a long time an article with some objectivity and sense.
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Kishore Deshpande
Mar 20, 2019 08:31am
Kudos for a Brilliantly written article! Very impressive.
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Khurram
Mar 20, 2019 09:05am
Nice Article... needs these sort of articles to abridge the differences.Impressed with the GDP Graph..
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Rahul
Mar 20, 2019 09:42am
This need to be read by your politicians
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F35
Mar 20, 2019 09:53am
A graph is worth a thousand words
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Pk
Mar 20, 2019 09:56am
Salute you sir for writing the facts.
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NowWhat
Mar 20, 2019 10:01am
Before Word War II Japan wanted to dominate all of Asia, militarily and failed. But it rose from the stupor, with the help of its economy and surpassed not only all of Asia, but also the USA & Eurpose, in many ways.
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Abhishek trivedi
Mar 20, 2019 10:01am
Wow! What an article, dawn has one of the best collection of quality writers and that's the reason why it is one of the best newspapers.
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Raj
Mar 20, 2019 10:39am
Excellent article, clear and to the point. Have not read one like this for long time
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F35econmi
Mar 20, 2019 10:41am
Sir, can u pls make the same analysis India vs China? Thanks
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mitra
Mar 20, 2019 11:19am
a good analysis.
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Charanjeev Singh
Mar 20, 2019 11:49am
Very well written Prof. Ali. Depth of your research & ease of reading makes distinct impact on the reader. This article also reflects the intellectual talent we have in the sub continent. Keep up the good work & all the best for your future endeavors.
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Zak
Mar 20, 2019 11:51am
Pakistan just needed a leader who would take right decisions and we got one. Come back in 5 years. Pakistan potential is immense.
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Charanjeev Singh
Mar 20, 2019 11:52am
@Ali, well said
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Srinath
Mar 20, 2019 11:54am
Refreshingly positive. A better economy goes beyond securing your borders. It provides choices to the people and raises the quality of their lives. It's time to get out of the security syndrome.
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huma yousaf
Mar 20, 2019 12:44pm
A really nice article showing that pride lies in economic prosperity.
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Jatin
Mar 20, 2019 01:11pm
Well fact of the matter is that there is no comparison whatsoever between India and Pakistan either on economic or military fronts. India was a sleeping giant that has achieved tremendous success in economy and that is just a 25 year story. Next 25 years will make us a economic behemoth in the leagues of US and China. Pakistan should compare herself to the likes of Bangladesh ( far better economic growth rate) and Sri Lanka..
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Moorthy
Mar 20, 2019 01:17pm
Pakistan should provide liberal visa and freely allow us for touring Pakistan visiting hindu temples, ancient historical sites and enjoying traditional food of various cities.
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Ranajyoti
Mar 20, 2019 01:17pm
@F35econmi, how will that serve you. You r a free man to compare India with USA, who is stopping u.
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JustSaying
Mar 20, 2019 01:43pm
Why not help each other in coming up ??there are good points and bad points, advantages and disadvantages in everybody, we can help you - you can help me.. when not this attitude ???
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GH
Mar 20, 2019 02:09pm
@F35econmi, India not interested for competition with China
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Anon
Mar 20, 2019 02:15pm
@khalid, So true!
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kavita
Mar 20, 2019 02:25pm
It is time for Pakistan to invest in their children instead of sprucing up their defence. A well educated child can grow up to be the greatest asset of a nation as has been proved in India. Today, it is Indian workforce that remains at the helm of the IT revolution world wide and no country can hope to ignore the nation. The women of India are standing shoulder to shoulder with the men today too thereby taking the nation economically forward. It is time that Pakistan understood the truth and backed its women too instead pulling them backward by propagating gender sterotypes that are not valid any longer. No nation can prosper by ignoring half of its population. Imran Khan should do well to make peace with the new Pakistani women.
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asit
Mar 20, 2019 03:07pm
Nice analysis.
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Najam Ul Abideen
Mar 20, 2019 03:31pm
Outstanding. Facts and figures, no stories.
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Preetam
Mar 20, 2019 03:34pm
@Dev Mehta, good
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Preetam
Mar 20, 2019 03:34pm
Good
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Zumbadancer
Mar 20, 2019 05:02pm
But hardliners will always win ...
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Ttk
Mar 20, 2019 05:11pm
@Ali Kazmi, why stop at two make it four..
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Bharat
Mar 20, 2019 05:37pm
@F35econmi, India and china dont fight on daily basis
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Iqbal all
Mar 20, 2019 06:59pm
@Ali Kazmi, one of them was a pakistani jet
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Lynan
Mar 20, 2019 07:50pm
I hope the leaders of Pakistan read this article and create a turning point in its history.
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Hamad Sheikh
Mar 20, 2019 08:00pm
Does that mean that for the past 30 years Pakistani leadership and affluent citizens have outpaced everyone else in the world in offloading funds to offshore accounts?
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Wellwisher
Mar 20, 2019 08:22pm
The first thing is security. Defense spending must be raised.
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Bvs Prasad
Mar 20, 2019 08:40pm
I have come across such an amazing and insightful article after a long time. Kudos. And good luck to all
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Amir shaikh
Mar 20, 2019 08:43pm
Good article
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Amir shaikh
Mar 20, 2019 08:51pm
@Dev Mehta, What are those fields?
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Jercle
Mar 20, 2019 09:12pm
this well written article is an eye opener !!! Bravo professor!
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Shaukat
Mar 21, 2019 12:08am
@Srinivasan Kailasam, provided India give freedom to the 'Kashmiris'
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Uk
Mar 21, 2019 06:39am
@iqbal Ali, well said sir.
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Ramesh Kumar Marya
Mar 21, 2019 08:37am
Very few authors in Pakistan dare to be as candid as this one. Great
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Waqar
Mar 21, 2019 09:01am
Very well researched article.
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AHK
Mar 21, 2019 09:11am
Very well written article. We the people of sub-continent don't want WAR. We should learn from our past and look forward to built our future together. This war hysteria politics will only bring chaos in region, will bring more poverty, more unsuitability and more deaths. Let better sense prevail.
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Girish Kulle
Mar 21, 2019 09:31am
One of the best informative articles i cherished in the recent times.Thank you Dawn
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Kasim
Mar 21, 2019 10:21am
Excellent article , both countries do not waste money of entire nation for an insignificant piece of land. Security should be love your neighbour but do not pull down fense .
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NVV
Mar 21, 2019 11:11am
Hasnain Sahab.. Great Article, but who is listening.. I see similar articles by many great columnists here in Dawn. But no result...
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ifu
Mar 21, 2019 11:41am
best way destroying an enemy is to make him a friend. spend all money on economic developemt ,Real Education and less on defence.
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EMRAN TAREQ
Mar 21, 2019 01:19pm
Four types of education system resulted in social imbalance and internal conflict in Pakistan. Govt should bring national unity by reviving an integrated same education for all pakistanis upto junior school.
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FAS
Mar 21, 2019 01:47pm
@Strange Indian, Bravo!!
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Ayesha
Mar 21, 2019 02:58pm
This is the eye-opening analysis. The government of Pakistan should take action seriously now for economic growth.
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Kalyan
Mar 21, 2019 03:41pm
Once the elections are over and new Government is installed in India, I hope talks will start between the two countries, trade restrictions like withdrawal of Most favoured Nation and increasing Import duties, are hurting India more than the Pakistan. I ferently hope good sense will pregail and normalcy between the two nations will be restored soon
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Magaman
Mar 21, 2019 03:59pm
An article based on facts.
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Navneet Sharma
Mar 21, 2019 04:57pm
No country can prosper without normal peaceful relations with its neighbors. Both countries should realize that. The only way going forward is through increased people to people contact and by encouraging trade
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Jacky4u
Mar 21, 2019 06:39pm
For just 1.65 crores Kashmiris, Pakistanis destroyed one of the strongest and most resourceful and liberal nation in South Asia, and transformed it to the most underperforming nation in the world. Pakistan is making same mistake of former USSR. Military power without strong economy. For India, its additional defence spending is more than enough to provide education, health, and shelter for all. They can bring 22% of its below poverty population out of poverty.
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Tapish
Mar 21, 2019 06:54pm
The author has not considered survival of the country. If the nation doesn't survive how can it achieve economic growth? With issues from all sides it is imperative to keep the forces updated.
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Sat
Mar 21, 2019 07:26pm
Many lessons for Pakistan policy makers, if they want to learn.
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Jatinder
Mar 21, 2019 07:32pm
Very precise and informative and non biased information. Thank you sir.
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RSN
Mar 21, 2019 08:01pm
Very good article... Competing with each other hurts...That serves the interest of none... Also the comment on cricket glory of yester - years not very relevant... The game should be played stress free unlike a war. Our teams should take pride in beating AUS or ENG rather than conceiving a partition time concept that we are enemies... We need to grow beyond the issues...We need to stop using terrorists as strategic assets...These are great countries and the DNA is the same! Wonderful article ... An eye opener
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Raakbas
Mar 21, 2019 09:04pm
@Alla Bux, India's population growth rate is 1.2% and not as mentioned.
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ramesh
Mar 21, 2019 09:25pm
very thoughtful article.
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Ali Kazmi
Mar 21, 2019 09:30pm
@GH, ' India not interested for competition with China' Sour grapes.
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DD
Mar 21, 2019 09:33pm
@D patel, Beautifully put!! Why this comparison with India- economic targets are self defined, this is not a race!
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hedgefunder
Mar 22, 2019 02:44am
Bravo ! one of the best article I have read in many moons, sanity should prevail within paks society to grasp the reality of 21st century. Forget the K word, focus on the issues at grass roots for the mass. It is in the interest of the Elite to keep the mass without it.
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Magaman
Mar 22, 2019 04:32am
Thank you Mr. Jinnah.
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Patriotic Pakistani
Mar 22, 2019 08:47am
Pakistan downed a Pakistani jet — but the economy is the real battleground
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Par Kumari
Mar 22, 2019 09:13am
Excellent!!. We pray that the wishes expressed come to fruition .Let all prosper.
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kakar
Mar 22, 2019 11:04am
a great article. Simple comparisons of economic performances between two south Asian countries yet with profound lessons to learn from. Our govt is bent upon looking for short term fixes for economy. This seems unlikely to work for our battered economy. There has to be deep rooted reforms and as the writer aptly concluded, significant investment in quality education.
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AV
Mar 22, 2019 12:06pm
No. Not just one jet. But two as the claims have been so far...
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Ali
Mar 22, 2019 01:01pm
good article with wrong title
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HP Singh
Mar 22, 2019 02:36pm
Very well articulated . The theme is economy is power. You can provide good education, medical facilities, over all quality of life to your citizen . Lets fight these epidemics on priority.
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well wisher
Mar 22, 2019 03:14pm
very well written . but growth comes when all our scare resources are used efficiently for productivity . rule of law and ease of doing business , availability of water , power are some other requirements . I hope pakistan will start allocating resources wisely.
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M. Saeed
Mar 22, 2019 09:01pm
A mind blogging article. How many of our economists understand this! How can we slash down our military expenditure, does national action plan come into the picture! What is way forward in terms of increasing our national revenue and cutting down our non-productive expenditure apart from our military expenditure. I would like to read any of your articles on this. We need perhaps a kind of economic emergency perhaps.
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AMITAVA TRIPATHI
Apr 25, 2019 05:10pm
This is an excellent , highly informative and thoughtful article. Pakistan's conscious political and strategic decision to project India in an adverserial role and blame its own inability to manage its federal system on Indian machinations ar e largely responsible for the country's economy going steadily downhill.A futile effort to detach J&K from India resulting in a disproportionate defense burden on the country's economy is at the core of Islamabad's sad predicament today. Pakistan has neither the natural nor the human resources to compete with a vastly larger economy and cutting itself off from the synergies it could have developed with a fast growing neighbour has been an utter folly. The CPEC cannot be a success till India joins in . Otherwise it can only push Pakistan into deeper and deeper indebtedness. For China the CPEC is as much strategic as economic. For Pakistan it can only become an albatross of debts round its neck.
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M Dosani
Apr 25, 2019 05:18pm
A very interesting article. I hope the people in power read this carefully. Very impressed with facts & graphs. Well done
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Rao
Apr 26, 2019 08:03pm
One point missing is population control...
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