Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience


Sky Wars: Pakistan, India and China

Published May 24, 2011 02:08pm


Your Name:

Recipient Email:

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani (2nd R) and China's Premier Wen Jiabao (2nd L) attend a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, May 18, 2011. Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's visit to China from Tuesday allows Islamabad to show it has another major power to turn to just as relations with the United States have faced intense strain after the killing of Osama bin Laden. – Reuters Photo

Pakistan has been promised an urgent delivery of a fresh batch of 50 advanced multi-role JF-17 Thunder fighter jets by China during the visit last week of Prime Minister Yousuf Gilani to Beijing.

India has officially protested saying this will affect the strategic defense balance in the region. So what's the fuss all about; why does Pakistan need these planes and why is India alarmed? Contrary to perceptions, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's China visit and the Thunder deal is not an exclusive response to the Osama operation by the US, which has been hailed by New Delhi much to Islamabad's chagrin.

Pakistan has for years been trying to replace its ageing F-16s fleet of 40 fighter jets that it secured in the 1980s from the US, about a dozen of which are out of service. The urge to augment its air muscle by Pakistan is also a response to India's ambitious plan to purchase a staggering 1,500 combat planes over a 10-year period that began in 2005. As part of this plan, India this month moved closer to clinch the biggest fighter aircraft deal of the world in 20 years which will cost over $10bn and secure India about 125 fourth generation multi-role combat jets. Half of these will reportedly be based in India’s western sector (read Pakistan-specific). These will be European jets, not American F-16s, which were surprisingly rejected from the tripartite race involving American F-16, French Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon.

India, of course, has the burgeoning economy and the cash needed to buy what it wants. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India in 2010 replaced China as the world's top weapons importer, as it aims to modernise its armed forces and project power through the region. India received 9 per cent of the volume of international transfers of 'major conventional weapons' from 2006 to 2010, topping China, South Korea and Pakistan. India spent over $41bn on defense in 2010, which was 2.7 per cent of its GDP. India was the ninth highest military spender of the world in 2010. China was the second highest, spending $117bn – 2.1 per cent of its GDP. Pakistan spent an estimated $5.7bn – 2.9 per cent of its GDP.

Like India, China too has the thriving economy and spare cash to build its military might and undertake regular upgrades to calibrate its needs with capacity but the Pakistani economy has been tanking for a while now and there's barely enough  money to fight an in-country insurgency by a tenacious umbrella group of terror outfits. But the instinctive reflex to keep a minimum air deterrence vis-à-vis India means Pakistan 'has to' restore the edge in the sky being eaten away by its ageing strike squadrons. Pakistan has a deal to get about a dozen F-16s from the US but these are too expensive and too few for Pakistan's comfort. Hence the Thunder option. While an F-16 will set back Pakistan by a cool $125m, the J-15 will cost 'only' $25m. That means $1.25bn for a batch of 50. The same number of F-16s would have cost $6.26bn.

While that's the budget side of things, the raison d ’etre of the mania to secure their respective skies lies in primal strategic calculations. All three – China, India and Pakistan – are nuclear powers. That in its self may not be super extraordinary but what is not normal is that the tense relationships between two sets of them and an unusually good relationship between one set. China and India are rival economic, military and political powers. Their nuclear doctrines calibrate worse case scenarios based on their respective offensive capabilities and build response capacities, part of which is mounting minimum air surveillance and air strike capacities. Pakistan and India are hardly the best of friends, having fought three formal and one informal war. The fourth – Kargil – was fought within a year of ending their nuclear ambiguity and testing nuclear in 1998. Four-fifths of Pakistan's armed forces and nearly all of their offensive artillery postures are eastward toward India. A third of India's formidable military assets – roughly five times Pakistan's – are Pakistan-ready.

The odd relationship out among the combination within this nuclear troika is Pakistan and China. Odd not because it is unexpected but because it is inevitable. India has fought wars with both China and Pakistan while Beijing and Islamabad have never. The maxim of 'my enemy's enemy is my friend' makes sense to cultivate by these two. However, because of the policies and goals and economic and military capacities, this is not an equal relationship. China gets the satisfaction of strategic policy encirclement of India by being Pakistan's 'all-weather friend'. All Pakistan gets is a guarantee of no veto against it in the United Nations. China doesn't do grants, aid and budgetary support – the three perennial shopping items in Pakistan's basket. The best it does is investment and that's purely profit-centric, Beijing managing to recoup any money it 'gives away' in this shape to Pakistan. The 50 Thunder jets is the perfect ingredient of this unequal but functional relationship:  Pakistan restores some of its India-centric edge in the sky while China actually gets money from Pakistan to install strategic air restraints over India towards the side of India where Beijing is not itself present! Hence the Indian concern at the Thunder deal between Islamabad and Beijing.

But the problem, from a citizen's perspective in Pakistan, is that despite their one war, China and India are also major trade partners while Pakistan is a small fry when it comes to being a commerce pair. According to the Confederation of Indian Industry, while international trade has been growing at around 15 per cent on an average, India-China trade has increased by more than 50 per cent annually in the last five years. In 2008, China became India's largest trading partner and the bilateral annual trade between the two countries touched $52bn. India has emerged as the 7th largest export market of China and 10th largest trade partner. The bilateral trade between the two most populous countries is set to cross $100bn per annum by end of 2012. Since it is projected that, by 2050, India and China will be the two leading economies in the world, it is inevitable that bilateral trade between the two countries will be among the most important economic relationships in the world. And all this between two traditional rivals! Why should China want to disturb this trade balance in its favor for Pakistan’s obscure advantage when Beijing can get Indian money to beef up its military edge against New Delhi!

The Sino-Pak annual trade by comparison is puny despite some strides in recent years. It has increased from $1.9bn in 2002 to $6.9bn in 2011. The two have vowed to ramp this up to $15bn by 2014. China, which has surpassed the EU as Pakistan's second-largest trading partner, exported goods worth $5.5bn to Pakistan in 2010 and imported $1.3bn worth of products. This means Pakistan is a net exporter of money to China! And yet Pakistan crows about a relationship that is 'deeper than the oceans and higher than the mountains'. The reality is that Pakistan sells itself cheap for this grossly unequal relationship for merely a veto shield at the UN.

The real story is not that China is providing Pakistan a clutch of fighter planes or that India has problems with China squeezing it a bit in the western sector – after all India's own fighter jet acquisition spree more than neutralises any strategic edge Beijing or Islamabad can sculpt from this deal. The story is in what has been left unsaid: why can't Pakistan invest $1.25bn to be paid for the planes in its tanking economy to revive it and with the profits generated buy whatever planes it wants? After all Pakistan can't afford to go to war with India anytime soon as it only has six days of oil reserves and can't push the fight more than six days and neither does China want Delhi and Islamabad to actually fight a war. So while Pakistan has an as-yet unnecessary edge in the sky what about the situation on the ground? Where will the money come from to cut the burgeoning poverty, unemployment and illiteracy?

Adnan Rehmat is a journalist, analyst and media development specialist. He heads Intermedia, a Pakistani media support NGO.


Your Name:

Recipient Email:

Comments (133) Closed

BRR May 24, 2011 08:35pm
Very informative indeed - good article. Places things in a different perspective. Logic would dictate that Pakistan take a different course.
Pragun Sood May 24, 2011 08:48pm
Nice to see an article that is objective and doesn't bash India. Being an Indian I'm almost used to articles from the Pakistan press that take pride in India bashing at every possible opportunity. Good to see that there still are journalists who can report objectively. Congrats!
jay May 24, 2011 10:07pm
nice article,
Indus Darya May 24, 2011 10:11pm
The Pakistani establishment led by its military should not have delusions of grandeur and sign a no war pact with India. The country has become an international pariah and a complete farce as its nurturing of terroists has come home to roost.
Kaushik May 24, 2011 10:26pm
Dear Adnan, an intelligent article showcasing the true picture of today's political scenario between Pak-India-China. While we talk of strategic edge over each other, the fact is that none of us can afford to go to a war against each other. Instead, both India and Pakistan need to focus on issues like literacy, unemployment/poverty and growing terror which haunts a common man day and night be it in India or Pakistan.
Sandip May 24, 2011 10:50pm
Nice article but who will buy it. For some reason people around world (not only our subcontinent) are obsessed with latest war machines. Not sure why? May be because we are still animals and that basic instinct to fight each other for resource has not gone away though we understand all the concepts and impact of what we are doing. But we still take same decisions over and over again. I have been to China and though it is 2nd largest economy in world but for everyone to reach the living standards of US and Canada, its economy must be 4 times the size of US. Same thing with India also. Which is not happening anytime in my life. So well here we go.
Vineet May 24, 2011 11:16pm
Adnan, well said. if only the Pak civil and military establishment understand this! I am sorry to say but Pak has been and continued to live in denial and their perennial 'India phobia'. This will not lead them anywhere. The sooner the pak public realises and takes concrete action against such 'stragies', the better for the common man.
danofindia May 24, 2011 11:22pm
Extremely well written and thought provoking article. The recent Attack on Pak naval base also prooves that What Pak needs is not Thunders or P3C orions but the WIll to DEstroy the terroristes the TTP , Al qayeda, LeT, JuD etc etc. hope the leaders understand this Reality of life.
Amit May 25, 2011 02:40am
Excellent analysis adnan
VINAY SINGH May 25, 2011 03:01am
Excellent article! learned a lot from it
ppk May 25, 2011 03:31am
very well balanced article and genuine questions raised....India and China are not emerging economies but reemerging economies and are smart enough to understand that in spite of rivalry they continue to grow economically....Pakistan has a great trade potential to export to India and take advantage of their growing economy....Nice work !
David May 25, 2011 03:31am
Very good article.
Harry Khan May 25, 2011 03:37am
We have accumulated so much filth around us that no one would want their hands to get dirty in it. It’s true that we should not be worried about India or Afghanistan and divert our defence budget towards education, health and other social development sectors. True defence can be achieved through development not weapons.
Sid May 25, 2011 03:44am
Excellent article! As an Indian living in Europe, i can say that we Asians still havent learnt our lesson. While Europe fought 2 big wars what it has come to now is they have settled most of their differences and moved on. The trouble with us is we still havent moved on. And we keep living in the past wasting our resources over stupid fights. In India Pak (atleast now) there is an error of judgement on part of Pakistan to match India. This will erode all competitive edge it can have otherwise due to wasted resources. Same goes for India vis-a-vis China. But the difference is Pakistan is not learning any lessons. It still cannot reconcile itself as an independent country free from clutches of other powers. India has probably learnt some lessons by keeping trade and negotiation doors still open with China as well as Pak. China is just being opportunist. Pakistan is just offering something valuable on a plate, loosing respect by surrendering its sovereignty to another country which is milking its resources. Pak should learn that you can never win respect by fear. Fear and respect are different. Respect can only be won by deeds. I hope some day Pak becomes a respected country for all its good people who at the moment don't seem to have any voice. - Experience is the teacher of fools.
The Right Left May 25, 2011 04:01am
Are you expecting the military to give up its desire for weapons systems for the benefit of future generations of Pakistan? Not going to happen until the people demand and ask for it. Pakistan spends $7 on the military for every $1 for education. That says it all. Education will destroy the feudal system, reduce the number of people needed to fight wars and the mullahs will be deprived of the poor following their version of Islam and the world. Education is not a desirable option for the current system.
Dr. Sudhir Srivastav May 25, 2011 04:06am
This is one of the best editorials I have read by anyone in Dawn. Very blanced and forth right. India and Pakistan should try to become friend rather than an adversary.
Haider May 25, 2011 05:16am
very well written article....its high time Pakistan start priortizing their needs and defence and jets...should be secondry
jaihind May 25, 2011 07:31am
extremely well thought and to the point article i am an non resident Indian and agree to a large extent with the conclusion of the article. India is a peaceful country and has never attacked it's neighbors, wars has been fought to defend itself and i dont see anything wrong with that. Pakistan can learn a lot from it's relatively prosperous neighbors and focus on economy, health-care, education, infrastructure, creating jobs, agriculture etc etc. . goal of economic prosperity is eventually to buy more jets is not very noble though and i think this type of thinking is responsible for keeping pakistan from making progress. Food and oil prices alone are rising so much that they can break the back of any weak economy forget about fighting wars and learn to feed yourself without begging from USA or China
hmmm May 25, 2011 08:05am
Now that's what I call a real dose of reality. I like the article because it's not only truth and logical it is simple enough for a child to understand too. The ground realities are clear now we South East Asian will have to decide do we want to live in dire poverty and be called the most dangerous place of the world or start changing things around us?
vijay May 25, 2011 08:21am
Adnan, Great article, we indian also want a prosperous, peaceful Pakistan.Treat india your big brother rather than the enemy,Before partition, we were together.Why can't we get the oil from the Arab through pipe lines, should not every person in the south asia has a right to live a better life? We dont have to waste our money on war, it should be for education and imroving the life of the people.
kailash May 25, 2011 08:28am
Good one. Time to be real for every country. Don't be fooled by false pride which doesn't exist
INDIAN May 25, 2011 08:29am
i just loved this article you veiw is very much neutral true china is our enemy but trade wise it is the best also most of indian are visiting china most of companies are setting up offices people to people contact is very good also for both economic might is more imp
Gireesh May 25, 2011 08:36am
Very realistic article. Indian media has lot to learn from pakistani media
Gopal Iyengar May 25, 2011 08:43am
Very nice article, economic power will be the key in coming years and not guns and tanks.
Great Fact May 25, 2011 08:49am
Don't compare or compete with India & china. Look at their GDP they are gonna be next generation super power replacing US. 40% of NASA(USA) scientist are from India. Highly qualified indians working in US certain to return due to shrinking economy of US & growing economy of India. Even Obama said to compete with Bombay & Shanghai student is too clever to compete. Conclusion : Intellectuallity & money is the priority to win war
alex john, India May 25, 2011 09:19am
Nice article. Thanks.
Kamal(New Delhi) May 25, 2011 09:41am
Very good article. I hope more people from both sides of our borders learn and take a rational approach rather than an emotional one. That's the only way both countries can prosper which is any way in the best interest of people of both countries who are fighting poverty and illiteracy. Feel really sad to see both India and Pakistan spending filthy amounts of money in useless defense deals instead of utilizing that money in the upliftment of the people of their countries.
Karan May 25, 2011 09:51am
Well said. It doesn't make any sense to go out on a war. The traditional rivals (Pakistan & India) remained engaged in beefing up their securities since 1947, and the economic development was cornered. During this period, the Europe realized the blunder they made by fighting in the 2 world war. they maintained their minimum deterrence but also emphasized on the strong economic development and better ties. the result is Europe is almost half a century ahead of us.
pankaj May 25, 2011 09:52am
Excellent.Deserves attention by Pakistanese.Ground reality should be the focus.I believe the people should unite on non-religious and non-zeonistic grounds to really understand the core issues.No enemy is more dangeraous than the one who sleeps with you.
Srihari Prasad May 25, 2011 10:04am
Very objective article. The lesson for all here is to pump in money that you can spare or want to spare towards development of your economy and people rather than preparing for a war that is best avoidable. Most of the problems will be resolved once nations focus on bettering the lot of their people. All the 3 nations in general, and Pakistan in specific should be looking at providing modern education to their people - it is the best shot their leaders can have towards building a prosperous nation
Anil Kumar May 25, 2011 11:10am
very balanced and factual analysis.
Srikanth May 25, 2011 11:22am
A Superb article which is highly logical rather than displaying cosmetic patriotism and gives a different perspective to the deal between Pak and China. Of course if some Pakistanis believe China will eventually support them in an emergency, they will surely be in for a surprise. But will the chinese planes actually fly.?? or will they be like the low quality stuff that China merrily pushes out to most parts of the globe.?
Shrirang May 25, 2011 11:34am
superb article!!! infact unless & untill some terror attack affects india,indo-pak war is not possible, so why shelter terrorist, & wait for enevitable war, so kick terrorism out & let PAKistan prosper. matter like J&K will be solved only through dialogue & not by terror, So its mutually benefitial for both countries by not investing heavily on defence. Long live India, Long live Pakistan
Muhammad Shoaib May 25, 2011 11:47am
Superb article providing in-depth analysis of inter-realtionship between the trio
Jayaprakash May 25, 2011 11:52am
I have not seen any of my pak friends responding to this article. Hope they also agree with the author. Most of the comments are very encouraging & positive
Suresh Parasher May 25, 2011 11:53am
Excellent Article. More intiative to awaken people of all three countries to live like Big, Medium & younger brothers.
Best Wishes from Ind May 25, 2011 12:02pm
Great Read!! Very factual.
Ashwath (Mumbai) May 25, 2011 12:10pm
A fantastic article. My thoughts are both China and India are engaged in arms race; both trying to outdo each other and achieve deterrence. Pak has been caught in the cross-fire as neither it has regional or economic stability to go on a war with India nor does it enjoys unequivocal support from the International community (read US). Where Indo-US relationship are at a all time high; Chinese have pressed the panic button and ramping up against India through its proxy Pak. Now this makes India go arms shopping which benifits the western world. Inshort, the regional instability in Indian subcontinent has been a boom for the western countries as it is filling it coffers. Now when are we gonna understand that we need to buy bread and butter instead of F-16s, Typhoons and Thunders.
Dr V. C. Bhutani May 25, 2011 12:13pm
Dear Mr Adnan Rehmat, It seems to me that there is an inherent futility and unreality in the foreign policy formulations of India and Pakistan towards each other, which must naturally include a close look at the relations of the two with a host of other world powers. I am not much impressed by the rather romantic view like advantages to both if they had better relations: nations do not formulate their policies with an eye on advantages of better relations. They set themselves certain objectives, to which they then give the appellation national interests and proceed to pursue those interests as they best can. Arguments like advantages of this or that policy necessarily relapse into considerations like national identity and historical experience of nations. I am encouraged by your closing lines where you ask pithily: “Where will the money come from to cut the burgeoning poverty, unemployment and illiteracy?” I must confess that the situation is largely the same in both the countries, where large amounts of money continue to be devoted to rather unproductive sectors like defence and security. I have not seen much effort anywhere to channel expenditure in either country into more useful areas that you mention. It appears to me that to be useful a study like this shall be of use in direct proportion to the extent to which it comprehends questions of national interests and policy formulation that underlie the decisions and postures of governments. I hope you may on a future occasion give some thought to this aspect. Regards. Dr V. C. Bhutani.
Saif May 25, 2011 12:20pm
Astonishingly happy to see so many friends from India keenly following what the media in Pakistan has to say and expecting the media in India, especially the news channels, to reciprocate the positivity.
dk May 25, 2011 12:21pm
Surprising not a single Pakistani has responded here!!! Anyway, this article provides what was missing in the Pakistani newspapers all these years, i.e. cold, hard, crisp and ruthless analysis of the position of each of the 3 countries. Indian and China ever going to war again is unthinkable to me. There is too much at stake for both countries, more so for China as it procures major quantities of raw material from India to get its economy firing. As far as India and Pakistan are concerned, I hope saner heads and voices prevail on both the sides of the border.
Raja May 25, 2011 12:23pm
India has not done well economically but in litracy also, litracy level has jumped to 75%(2011 census)
PRINCE May 25, 2011 12:28pm
Nice article , thinks pakis need to do 1. Cleanse your system of insane mullas like hafiz sayeed, dawood, islamists isi, 2. Good Pakis should go after bad pakis 3. train your guns against the above, not against us, israel or india 4. improve trade with democratic india and not with china a dictator state 5. remove madrasas, and pump secularism and freedom 6. thank gandhi for getting your freedom 7. dress,drink and enjoy like jinnah 8. preserve and protect minorities thanks pakis
Imran May 25, 2011 12:42pm
Nice article! Excellent
sudheer May 25, 2011 12:47pm
Excellent article. I have seen the growth happening in India for the last 10 years. Personally I have visited many countries including HK and macau in China. Amazed by their growth also. I could not afford intl travel 5 years back but the economy has improved my lifestyle drastically. Time to focus on growth, healthcare and stop internal wars. Just to think of it, if India and Pak just solve Siachen issue, I know we can make a billion $ in tourism from Siachen.
Shreeram May 25, 2011 01:38pm
Good article ! Even in india people are worried about importing arms as it come by hampering domestic research. We are paying very high as far as weapons are concern. I think if China & india wants to be emerge and sustain as World Powers there is hardly any option than co-ordination.....we have to put ice on our heads and should control our loose tongues
Nagaraj, India May 25, 2011 01:58pm
A very good article with in depth analysis. Forming China-India-Pakistan association and prosper together is the best solution.
P.Murti May 25, 2011 02:00pm
Really good article. I was just thinking if there is no black blood in between India-Pakistan, then how much money we could have saved and used for the wellbeing of the common man instead of purchasing war machines. I think because of the huge money no western countries are interested to solve Indo-Pak problem. Those who are selling and those buying both are getting benefits from these war deal, but the common people of the both countries are suffering!
Kd May 25, 2011 02:04pm
Made in China Fighter how they will perform. Curious
Abdul Razak May 25, 2011 02:26pm
More Indian comments than Pakistani one,which means Dawn probably has more Indian readers than Pakistani ones. May be it is time to move to new Delhi from Karachi-Dawn editors!
BHARAT May 25, 2011 02:31pm
Let the other pakistani journalists and editors like the news paper DAILY MAIL and THE NATION to read this article....and may get some wisdom from it as they have been vomitting venom towards india, their full time business.
RAHUL May 25, 2011 02:40pm
Wow!! very nice and unbiased true article. We Indian never want to invest huge money in defense. We all three should start in believing each other in every aspect and rigorous investment in trade then you will see we will be super power of the world...that's my Challenge.
Babar May 25, 2011 02:51pm
When I am hungry, give me a fighter jet to eat.
Pratap Shreyas May 25, 2011 02:57pm
What is the most fascinating part of this article is its impartiality. There are only a few webcontents over the net which do offend none of these three contries - India, China and Pakistan in their joint mention. Cogratulations to the learned author.
Ris May 25, 2011 03:03pm
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. - Dwight D. Eisenhower
SS May 25, 2011 03:10pm
Pakistan and India are part of same civilization, same way as China and Taiwan..China-India rivalry is clash of two civilizations but its sad to see Pakistan on other side.
Prashant Melbourne May 25, 2011 03:33pm
Needless to say, fantastic article Adnan. We have always believed that upliftment of the people in their respective countries is the one and only way for prosperity.Instead of war mongering focus should be on economic liberalisation.Pakistan Govt. should think about how to improve the prosperity of their people.It will solve many of their problems. At the moment they are struggling to govern Pakistan. How can they govern an additional piece of land which they will never get? It would be good to see more Pak citizens comment on articles of such nature instead of the majority of the Indian lot at present.
Suresh K. (Australia May 25, 2011 03:40pm
Article very objectively written. Winner really is China - its raking in money from both India & Pakistan.
Citoyen May 25, 2011 03:44pm
Brilliant article. I'm a non resident Indian and can say that the articles in Dawn are the best I've read. Even the BBC cannot match the impartiality and excellence in analysis that Dawn has. Keep it up and Salaam.
Shaleen (India) May 25, 2011 04:05pm
I am elated to hear such views emanating from Pakistan .... the Indian media should also learn a lesson or two in objectivity and refrain from mindless jingoism. Wonderful article .... worth reading.
Munshi Mullick May 25, 2011 04:11pm
The article needs appreciation it deserves. Many many thanks for such realistic approach.
Naveen May 25, 2011 04:21pm
Very balanced article. Its nice to know there are people in pakistan (adnan) who can maintain their sanity and objectivity even when there is mayhem and chaos all around. Surprisingly, most of the positive comments here are from indian side of border. Should we then conclude that almost all pakistanis are now firmly in grip of paranoia against india and can't appreciate the voice of reason anymore.
shah May 25, 2011 04:24pm
China will never support Pakistan in case of any War with India which is rarely possible due to Nuclear power. no question india has huge edge over pakistn in term of all militory power and support around the world too as many countries has their wasted investment in india unlike pakistan. both side leader must calm and sit together and do the work for the welfare of their citizen
Iftekhar May 25, 2011 04:28pm
Only the relationships, among people or nations, that are based on justice & equality thrive. The patron-client, or big bro-little bro models of friendship are illusive. There's no real friendship there...
murari jha May 25, 2011 04:41pm
We Indians welcome The Dawn to open their office in Delhi :)
Rajiv, New Delhi May 25, 2011 04:43pm
Your article hit the nail! I was just thinking a hypothetical scenario where India, Pakistan and China had normal relations, what a region this would be, rivaling any place in the world, thereby benefiting all the three economies especially Pakistan!!! But ego and attitude are human nature (read curse) which is why the world is topsy turvy!
Adnan Rehmat May 25, 2011 04:46pm
Dear Mr Bhutani, Thank you (and all others in the comments thread here) for your feedback on my analysis, which attempted to deconstruct the curious nature of inter-relationships among Pakistan, India and China. I agree with you that countries don’t usually put “good relationship” as a goal unto itself. Good relationship is feasible when it is a means to a goal (such as military, economic or political dominance/ pre-emption of war / creation of wealth, etc) rather than an end. However, to be able to arrive at the decision to use ‘good relationship’ as a tool, a country will have to quantify the costs of both confrontation and conciliation. Only when the cost of the former is greater that the latter will become on option. Now I’m no military strategist or a defense specialist by qualification or profession, or even an academic with an abiding interest in the subject, but I do have the clarity that not only conciliation is cheaper, it is a force multiplier in terms of goodwill and flexibility – which creates space for creation of wealth and development and allows one the pursuit of happiness of the many. My personal opinion is that for Pakistan making peace with India not only delivers it from a self-fulfilling prophecy of doom but more importantly helps cut the cost of development and prosperity, which in turn deters from paranoia as a policy. This has benefits for India. But because Pakistan borrows the ‘worst’ of both India (throwing its weight around) and China (dictatorship), it’s clearly ending up on the losing side. I hope to be able to dilate on this in some detail later this week in a separate article. As Pablo Casals said, the love of one’s country is a splendid thing but why should love stop at the border? I think the border should only be administrative, not ideological or martial. Best, Adnan
Raj May 25, 2011 04:50pm
Let's try to appricate the good once .Its not about more Indian readers its about the depth and the truth what the author has wrote, nice to read the such an article.
Sam May 25, 2011 04:54pm
Its because Dawn has good quality, its articles are mostly unbiased and provide good analysis of major issues, political problems etc. The Hindu in India and Dawn in Pakistan are the best newspapers to read any analysis, story or view on world politics or national issues.
SLDUA (Delhi) May 25, 2011 04:57pm
FIRST OF ALL, I CONGRATULATE AND THANK MR.ADNAN REHMAT FOR UNBIASED ANALYSIS. The other thing is that Pakistan has not gained any thing except a bad name since 1947 by following the policies it has adapted. PAKISTAN BY KEEPING THE MINIMUM MILITARY DETERRENT AND BY MAINTAINING ITS SELF RESPECT EXPRESSED AS 'GHAIRAT', can opt for peaceful oc-existance with India. Pakistan will loose nothing but the benefits are immense by way of saved money, saved lives and progress & upliftment of millions of poor people of this subcontinent and consequent happiness.
amoghavarsha.ii May 25, 2011 05:10pm
Very good article. Just to put some more points. Many Indians do not see china as enemy because of its oppourtunity. Many see china as better oppourtunity to do business with than US/EU. Take example of telecom giants Hueiew(name spelled will be wrong). Many are finding it better to use due to value for money. This makes people(govt) to think before being agressive with each other. Also India has cautiously maintained a Minimum deterrent force against china. This helps in two ways - 1. lower burden on economy. 2. lowers anxiety on the other(china) This cannot be said same with pakistan planners.
faisal May 25, 2011 05:33pm
good analysis of whole situation and the reality check was indeed a good dose of thought to all pakistanis who without giving any rational thought to the consequences of our hostile relationship with india, opt for offensive attitude..
Global Citizen May 25, 2011 05:56pm
Well said Mr. Adnan Rehmat! This article should be published in all newspapers of Pakistan, India and China. Shame on leaders of all 3 countries. These billions of dollars should be spent on removing poverty, building roads, for development that not only Pakistan needs, but both China and India need as well. Above all in these deals for sure leaders of all 3 countries are keeping a percentage of billions for their Swiss bank accounts which belong to the people. Special thanks for reminind your countrymen that China is NOT an all weather friend, for them Pakistanis are just suckers, as if everyone else!
Bhanu May 25, 2011 06:14pm
Based on above mentioned statistics, Pakistan has spent the highest 2.9% of their GDP on arm purchase.The day when Pakistan gets out from the clutches of ISI / Military control / Anti-India plans, both India and Pakistan will not need this gigantic budgets and start thinking about progress..
Harpreet Kahlon May 25, 2011 06:48pm
Amazing article by educated sesational journalist .. we need same positive feed back from Indian side too coming years we pple of both nation would need food to eat not jets and bullets
Shahid May 25, 2011 06:50pm
Welldone Adnan for an amazingly in depth article, the best thing anyone can do for Pakistan is to educate its people which will ultimately eradicate poverty and will bring peace and prosperity for everyone.
maverick May 25, 2011 07:24pm
Well written article. I hope the people of Pakistan read it and give away the posturing. The whole of South Asia is cooperating economically and Paksitanis should now accept that India has gone to far ahead (unlike the 70's , when Pakistan was better off) and can now ist in their interest to forsake posturing. Even Bangladesh has higher growth and an improving economy and have moved away from anti -india rehtoric, same with Sri Lanka
Brijesh May 25, 2011 08:26pm
For China, Pakistan is a cheap investment. Pakistan buys aircraft that the Chinese dont want. Chinese get Pakistani port on the free. What does Pakistan get - ZERO. Make peace with India. The fruits are bountiful then.
Anil May 25, 2011 09:08pm
Well i must accept, an amazing article by far. Also i Would like to add, the biggest loss is falling upon Pakistan, and biggest gainer is China. I believe that Pakistan should do more trade and commerce which builds more trust. Indian companies like infosys are setting offices China(investing about 125Million$). Arm deals are big waste of resources for both India and Pakistan. Afterall we have same origin. We should target to be soft power. Regards
arun kumar sood May 25, 2011 10:08pm
very very real analysis, we citizens of all three countries, should read this beautiful article
Dilip May 25, 2011 10:32pm
....excellent reply my friend. I couldn't agree more with you. These so called leaders never has to face what the common man on ground has to deal every day . Billions for what?, to destroy the nations and we are suppose call them leaders?
maan_27 May 25, 2011 11:22pm
In my opiion this article is an anti-China attempt. The author is trying cloud judgement based on economical ties. While its a pure fact that Pak-Sino relationship is solely based to counter india...then why the need to improve economic ties more than strategic ties? Not that i am against it. However Pakistans shattered economy is the result of incompetent politics & corrupt governments.....Not because we dont invest in it. The solution lies at a radical change in the economic policy making think that that works in the favour of Pakistan rather than against it. And lastly strategic security is of utmost concern to Pakistan. Maintaining balance over the east arch-rival surpasses the need to improve the economy in such a scenario.
Vikas May 25, 2011 11:52pm
I am an Indian, my grandparents migrated from Pakistan along with millions of other hindus and muslims during partition, I am here not to comment against Pakistan just because I am an Indian and Hindu, I feel sad when I see people from both countries commenting against each other as it doesnt help anybody, I also feel sad when there are terror strikes in Pakistan or in India. Nobody can deny the fact that some injustice was done to Muslims when Pakistan was created, and same is true for sikhs as well but the difference is we are still fighting on those grounds, and it looks Pakistan's leadership has not, spending billion of dollars for buying weapons whether it is India or Pakistan is madness. Terror strikes, Kashmir issue why? Can we not just move on and give better life to our citizens, doesnt matter what side of border do they live..., I many times want to visit pakistan to see where my grand parents used to live but am afraid of going there...
new yorker May 26, 2011 12:00am
Does Dawn have any pakistani readers?
Jeetender May 26, 2011 12:11am
Great article, people should understand now that prosperity lies in peace not in war. If there is war between India, Pakistan and China...not only these countries suffer but the world economy will go down and the impact can be seen in many countries of the world. I could easily say that there are more than 1 billion people between these countries who are living with below $1 income.
Naveed May 26, 2011 01:07am
Very well written. This shows the immense thinking process our leaders go through before sighning economic deals. The most hilarous thing during our PMs visit to China was his invitation to China to run Gawader. You will never see any country in the world throwing away its resources.
Sridhar May 26, 2011 01:11am
China, Pakistan and India are nuclear countries, That's deterrence is enough for everyone.
Ranjeet Rain May 26, 2011 01:25am
Pakistan's line of "all weather friendship" with China is the best thing Pakistani leader can think of. It gives them an alternate to USA, deterrence against India and an ally when everyone is turning its back on China. However, China's line of "all weather friendship" with Pakistan is pure commerce. From Pakistan-China relationship, Pakistan has got nothing but honey coated words. It gifted land to China, money to China and is a customer worth billion of US dollar in exports every year. Who doesn't want such a loyal customer? What has Pakistan ever got from China, except some honey coated words? India's raised eyebrows are understandable. But it hardly makes a difference. This deal is not going to turn the military equation upside down in her western sector. But for Pakistan it is a height of lack of sense of priorities. India cut down her defense budget and paid full attention to economic growth. It even took a nasty blow in her chin (26/11) gracefully. What did that change in India? Nothing! India got those attackers punished indirectly, without moving a muscle. Western forces are doing better in Pakistan than Indian Army could have done. And it don't cost India a penny. All because of priorities. Pakistani leaders need to identify their priorities.
Ganapathi Subbaian May 26, 2011 01:57am
Very Thoughtfull Article. Unless otherwise we get rid of old and greedy politicians and younger generation make inroads in governance, India and Pakistan has a very bleak future. This rivalry helps the superpowers to get benefitted rather than help ourselves in anyway. I feel atleast India and China are better off than Pakistan.
Ravi May 26, 2011 02:17am
The people need to realise that what matters most is not India or Pakistan but south asia alone. For the other world, we are just some people who fight each other and need a white man referee. As a young Indian I feel bad when US strikes in Pak and we spent billions on buying planes. Nations like US uses India Pak to fight and create jobs for them. We need to come together and realise that the greatest enemy is no Terrorism et al but POVERTY, ILLITERACY AND DEVELOPMENT. :( Go South Asia..
Amused May 26, 2011 04:19am
It is nice to read comments from Indian friends on Dawn, expressing their desire for peace in South Asia while cautioning against deepeing of military ties with China. Unfortunately, that desire for peace and brotherhood is not the impression their fellow Indians give on their OWN newspapers. The comments--filled as they are so often with anti-Pakistan and anti-"Paki" vitriol--of even English speaking Indians one reads on most Indian newspaper websites are disheartening to say the least.
naveed May 26, 2011 05:12am
very much true!!
From NC May 26, 2011 05:22am
Does anyone read dawn in Pakistan or Pakistani outside Pakistan reads dawn ? All comments are from india.
Lakshmi May 26, 2011 05:34am
Well analysed article. I think its high time India and Pakistan realize this. America does not want any other country in this world to be a super power. A nice example for that is Obama's speech in Britain today. If we realize that, India and Pakistan can be great super powers in the next 50 years
Madan Mohan Nayak May 26, 2011 06:43am
Mr. Musharaff saheb ex army chief cum ex president should comment on this article.
Muhammad Hanif May 26, 2011 07:41am
Pakistani Leaders are flying to Russia and then China, given the oppertunity they might fly to India as well. Question, why? To understand this we need to analyze the real situation. U.S. is desperate to win the war in Afganistan, for this they are using all the available means possible. Now to eliminate any support from Pakistan's border they are using drones, which are increasing hate against U.S. among people in the region. In turn ever growing number of people seems to be joining fight against U.S. and Pakistani state itself. This is no less than dracolla like situation for Pakistan. Right now Pakistan is in a really bad situation and desperate to get rid of from this situation. Question, How? As far as I understand if U.S. leave Pakistan alone, Pakistan can get rid of this bad situation. Yes, Pakistan might still need aid and support BUT that should not be coupled with direct millitary action by U.S. forces in Pakistan by any means.
Chanakya May 26, 2011 07:45am
Why there are no or a few comments from Pakistani readers. Or they don't read one of the nicest paper
shafiq May 26, 2011 10:10am
good man postive thinking...realy like that
zahid Qureshi May 26, 2011 10:18am
Pakistan should take care of its people's basic needs First.
Sourabh May 26, 2011 01:29pm
very good article, i think i started liking 'The DAWN'. b'cause of its unbiased nature.
Enter your name... May 26, 2011 01:47pm
it is a fantastic article happy that a pakistani has wrote it.there is nothing gain from this fights particularly there are millions of people in both this country live in hunger.good article our indian media shuld also learn from this,and dont know why there are so less pakistani comments on this article is truth biting..
Ali Khan May 26, 2011 02:04pm
It is quiet obvious that the younger generation of Pakistanis and Indians just want to get on with their lives and contribute to the economy of their countries. I wish our politicins were honest, and we could divert majority of our budget and resources towards health and education. Through this, we can eliminate terrorism and poverty! Good article. and it is heartening to see some positive replies from our Indian neighbors. The Indian media should learn a think or two from Dawn News.
Ali Khan May 26, 2011 02:04pm
It is quiet obvious that the younger generation of Pakistanis and Indians just want to get on with their lives and contribute to the economy of their countries. I wish our politicins were honest, and we could divert majority of our budget and resources towards health and education. Through this, we can eliminate terrorism and poverty! Good article. and it is heartening to see some positive replies from our Indian neighbors. The Indian media should learn a thing or two from Dawn News.
Anuj May 26, 2011 02:24pm
i read this article with great zeal. Well done Mr. Adnan. want to listen from you more this kind of articles.
VALALE SUBBANNA May 26, 2011 02:35pm
excellent article.when ordinary pakistanis starts thinking in the way the article does india,i hope may disappear from the list of their enemies.
nabeel May 26, 2011 02:36pm
a very enriching article for us Pakistanis. its time we wake up. Focus on education and making the civilians life better. China is benefiting the most through its intelligent policies. WAKE UP PLZZ
pankaj May 26, 2011 02:39pm
Pakistan has to learn from China and India. Friendship is always among "EQUALS" in Global Politics. China & India are prospering as major economies of the World, and this has not happened in a Day., it took years for India & China to reach at this stage, just imagine when will Pakistan reach or even move in that direction. Pakistan is ruled by so called Military and it thinks always militarily, and not politically. By putting hard earned money of their people in buying expensive aircraft, instead Pakistan should think of its revival of economy. In short, Pakistan can never compete with India or China in muscle power or with its economy as INDIA & CHINA are way ahead of Pakistan. India & China can never be enemies as both want to progress. Pakistan has not learned the lesson yet since it's partition days, China is only taking advantage of Pakistan. This era of Global politics has nothing so called "All weather Friendship" China thinks Pakistan as Liability as tell me one thing which they get back from Pakistan. Today there is terrorism in all part of world in all major economic countries but not in CHINA....any answer why????
Nabankur May 26, 2011 02:45pm
Fantastic article, should be translated in all regional languages of Pakistan. I was once viewing a show in one famous American news channel , few yrs back ,it was on Indo-Pak relationship,naturally two important political personnel from both countries were present.After intial sweet exchanges between the two politician , we suddenly observed some hot uncomformtable exchanges between the two.I observed with incredible irritation & a lot of shame , the programme host/ comperer didnot even try to stop the heated exchange between the two politicians, instead, enjoyed this entire spat with a wry smile on the face. As long India , Pakistan fights with each other,insanity,terrorism,poverty,illiteracy,corruption will win,people from around the world will make fun of us.
Abbas May 26, 2011 02:57pm
India fails to mention that it is spending billions to co-develop a fifth generation stealth multi role aircraft with the Russian Sukhoi company. The aircraft is called the T-50 and will have capabilities similar to the F-22 raptor.
M. Malhan Khan May 26, 2011 03:51pm
An awesome article, really an eye-opener, when we taka an analysis without any biasedness then we will reach at the same conclusion, I m a Pakistani but my grand parents migrated. The reality is Pakistan is incomplete without India and India is incomplete without us. we r 2 bodies having 1 soul. It is better 2 realize it as soon as better.
Thir Singh (Australi May 26, 2011 04:36pm
i am a south African of Indian descent(now living in Australia). I take much interest in the happenings on the subcontinent. One of the finest articles i ve read... politicians should pay heed to the words of this wise journalist
Citoyen May 26, 2011 04:39pm
Agree completely. I had the good fortune to meet and be-friend many Pakistanis when I was in Dubai and I was stunned at how alike we are even after 50 yrs of partition. And I agree with Afridi, that Pakistanis are an amazingly hospitable people. I have experienced that first hand. Its a tragedy that we fight among ourselves while our neighbours and the US take full advantage of us. Abe Lincoln famously said "a house divided against itself cannot stand". We are that house. I wince at how the US bullies its way around Pakistan and yes even India. It hurts. The humiliation of Pakistan is my humiliation too. Our leaders are always going to keep us apart and its up to us the educated elite to build bridges in spite of them. Let us do it. Together , we can shake this world. Meanwhile , congrats for having such a great Paper.Dawn is a lesson to the Media everywhere.
Anis Sayani May 26, 2011 04:54pm
I am thinking, what India and Pakistan have achieved in 52 years by being befooled by western powers selling their weapons to them and keeping them divided using divide and rule policy to squeeze out all the wealth from India and Pakistan and virtually ruling them.
ritesh May 26, 2011 05:16pm
a must to read article for every pakistani!can anyone identify a Indian or Pakistani from outer look? the ans is - no!!!! so why this animosity? china is milking Pakistan for its own profit,anyone can guess the people of Pakistan should understand this fact & try to pressurise their corrupt establishment to think in right direction. becoz time has come for both of the country to live in peace & prosper,so that no one can take unnecessarily advantages....
shreyas May 26, 2011 05:28pm
One of the best article i read on Dawn. Writer cleared all the points between These three countries. He is right that Every one needs good life more than war, But one thing is for a good life everyone is in race to become more powerful than other, its only countries or continentals a single person also...war stars from race.. . race for good life..and two good business men never be friends....
pranav_iit May 26, 2011 05:53pm
Nice article. For stability of any country power is required, but it should go in proper hands. A stable, educated, civilized pakistan is always good for India as well as Pakistan itself. Pakistan full of inferiority complex will always be bad for both of countries. If the power goes to suffering pakistani it will be bad for both. Right now it should focus economic stability rather than India centric thinking. The same is with India because how so ever India is developing it needs much more development still, we are far behind with west.
Sunit May 26, 2011 06:12pm
Good analytical article,its not that it has written by pakistani for India but about how a positive view can change the thinking of hatred comments are posted here and all are writing positive...that is enough indication for all of us to wake up and stop biting each other...there is no way one can grow with war...its only economy,health and education can lead us to where we all want to reach...come on pakistan brother lets unit and show world we are together then see how world look at us.....weldone dawn
Muhammad Hanif May 26, 2011 06:52pm
I wish, we Pakistan and India can sit together. Solve outstanding issues primarily created by British when they were leaving such as Kashmir. Which is eating up large amounts of our budgets due to unnecessary spending on large forces and then turn to future issues right now such as Increasing number of dams being made to reserve the water of Pakistan within Indian territory. We should sit together now, talk and resolve them now before its too late...
asanna May 26, 2011 08:12pm
Today one of the edits in an Indian vernacular newspaper quoted Pakistani Railway Minister Ghulam Ahmed Billour as saying, "We are fighting and our people are starving." And I thought the stark truth was neatly put. And now this writing provides a clear and in-depth analysis and practical view of the present scenario. Yes, very objective and informative. Truly appreciate your writing, Adnan.
vishal May 26, 2011 08:24pm
excellent article in the best interest of pakistani people. for chinese everything is use nd throw just like chinese goods. they r using pakistan to counter india but india is wisely developing itself with a rapid pace, that is exactly what pakistan also needs. Leave China nd make friendship with india bcoz india can help pakistan to come out from all of its problems bcoz sentiments are attached between two countries. china could not nd will not do anything for pakistan than merely using it as previously done by U.S
raanja May 26, 2011 10:26pm
I totally understand what you saying and agree with you... The reason being the nonsensical reporting methods of TOI, total garbage. They sensationalise rather than analyse reports and some idiots from both countries get instigated and write anti india/pak comments. Its my 1st time reading ‘Dawn’ and i like it.
VALALE SUBBANNA May 27, 2011 11:56am
The need of the hour for PAK is a non partisan, non religious movement to educate the people. The importance of democratic rule and the clear and present danger of encouraging terrorism.
Ranjeet Rain May 27, 2011 12:45pm
Please keep in mind that India shares her land border with 7 states. One of them is Pakistan. That alone is enough justification. You can ignore the fact that India also has a huge maritime border.
Munir Varraich May 27, 2011 01:15pm
Is this article trying to convey to the reader that Pakistan China friendship had been a waste of time and threat from the eastern border a phantom? OR is the writer trying to create doubts in the minds about the capability of Pakistani military and civil leadership and the people in the aftermath of the recent events in Pakistan? Such articles never appeared when Pakistan was close to the US and UK. There too there was an unequal trade partnership. However, because that relationship also included AID and many were being benefitted, opposition to that relationship was contained. And now with Pakistan moving away from the western camp for their military purchases, why this hue and cry from certain quarters. It is good decision by Pakistan policy makers to balance out their foreign policy and trade policy, and not keep all the eggs in just one basket. MAV Sweden
Rahul B May 27, 2011 01:52pm
Subcontinental May 27, 2011 06:31pm
A great article for which must thank Dawn. While reading the piece I had one expectation: an estimate of the level to which trade can grow between India and Pakistan if we start a friendly neighbourhood, the areas where we can work together and what we can achieve! Undeniably it will be the envy of the world --- who wants that if we ourselves do not? Once again, thanks Dawn, for raising the voice of sanity.
Roy May 27, 2011 07:36pm
This is a very good post by Dawn, cheers. The only way i see for Pakistan to rise out of it's current condition is to run, run madly after development and not run madly after militarization. Cheers Roy
Raj May 28, 2011 04:17pm
this is one of the best article i have read so far from the dawn news. what a postive thought! , i would strongly suggest that everyone should read this article, and also appriciat the wrtier Adan, exceelent analsis and view, well i must tell since 1949, both india and pak, were same, today look, india is emerging and probably takeover superpower in 2050, and look at pakistan; dear pakis , please awake and look at past ,start re-thinking about india, plan for future of pak, by investing in education, health program, these are the key .... ..
Usman Aftab May 28, 2011 05:07pm
Excellent article but the irony is that nothing seems to change even when the facts are put so objectively over and over again! Why is the pakistani ruling class so blinkered to the truth?
Pranay May 28, 2011 10:35pm
EXCELLENT article, highly objective and precise(kind of WSj quality :)). I hope this enmity and blind arms race ends sometime soon by both the sides. Both Pakistan and India need economic stability and development of people's status rather than weapons sold by US or CHINA.
Ismat Jabeen May 29, 2011 02:40am
This really is an impressive analysis of the situation. An eye-opener for many. I am very happy to have read this. Thank you Adnan Rehmat.
Muhammad Shakeel Kha May 29, 2011 06:45pm
Both countries have to spend those billions of dollars on healthcare research and facilities, educational institutions, agricultural research & development, power generation, Water management and Industrial development. It might create millions of jobs for the masses in both countries. People of both countries deserve Peace and Prosperity.
abhi Jul 01, 2012 09:03am
i dont know d real motive behind adnan's article but he is obviously right in one thing that instead of fighting and spending hundred thousands of money on arms purchase it can be used to remove poverty . all the money being spend by them on outstanding each other the real benefittors are mean AMERICA WHICH CAN TAKE ANYONE'S SIDE TO PROTECT ITS INTERST AND CUNNING CHINA both india and pakistan must trust each other in order to live peacefully but a great amount of work is needed to be done by pakistan in increasing trust given its record of engaging war first