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It is time to recalibrate our policy towards India, writes Pakistani analyst, says Pakistan has been reduced to a footnote in Indian script

Shahzad Chaudhry, a political, security and defence analyst, said that Modi may be a despised name in Pakistan, but he has done something to brand India which none before him was able to manage

Startled over India’s growing stature on the global platform, the Pakistani daily, The Express Tribune, for the first time ever praised India which is relevant to the world, not only in its size and girth but by its footprint across the world.

Shahzad Chaudhry, a political, security and defence analyst, writing an opinion piece in The Express Tribune said, “If I were Henry Kissinger, I would write a treatise ‘On India’. Such has been the monumental change in India’s fortunes as a State and a player principally in Asia and broadly on the global stage.” Notably, India last year took over the UK to become the fifth largest economy in the world and is aiming to be the third largest economy in the world by 2037, while Pakistan’s economy is running on financial assistance from the global community.

The international community’s generous response by pledging more than USD 8 billion comes as a great relief for cash-strapped Pakistan which is fighting to rebuild in a climate-resilient manner after the devastating floods that killed 1,739 people and affected 33 million people last year.

Moreover, Chaudhry praised India for holding foreign exchange reserves of over USD 600 billion, fourth in the world, while Pakistan currently holds only USD 4.5 billion only.

Pakistan is in the midst of the most serious crisis it has faced since 1971. The political economy has been ripped to shreds through self-inflicted wounds, its international stature is down.

Comparing India with China, the second-largest economy of the world after the US, he said, “Its growth rate in GDP matches the best-performing economies over the last three decades after China.”

“India jumped to 100 billion USD reserves in 2004 from the measly 9.2 she had in 1992. Under Manmohan Singh, India increased its reserves to 252 billion USD in 2014. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi these have galloped to over 600 billion and the GDP is sized over three trillion USD. This is monumental progress which makes India a preferred destination for all investors,” added Chaudhry.

Meanwhile, foreign investors avoid bringing money into Pakistan due to various factors such as political instability, discontinuity of macroeconomic policy, terrorism, corruption and energy shortages.

In the past two decades, Pakistan has tried implementing several FDI-friendly measures. Wide-ranging structural reforms were attempted by the country to attract multinationals which could become the enablers of economic growth and job creation in the country.

However, effective implementation of such measures remained slow due to ground-level problems in the country including red-tapism, bureaucratic lethargy, rampant corruption, misguided ideology and extremism, Islam Khabar reported.

Heaping accolades for “coherent and functional polity” which Pakistan is devoid of since its formation, he said, ” India stands amongst the top producers in agri-products and in the IT industry. Their yields per acre in agriculture match the best in the world. And despite being a country of over 1.4 billion people, it remains a relatively steady, coherent and functional polity. Their system of governance has withstood the test of time and proved its resilience around fundamentals essential to a resolute democracy.”

Rubbing salt into Pakistan, he also talked about its allies, Saudi Arabia, he said, “Saudi Arabia, Pakistan’s fraternal brother, announced an investment of over 72 billion USD in India even as we beg her to invest the 7 billion promised for Pakistan.”

He said that Pakistan was politically outmaneuvered by India on Kashmir by rescinding Article 370 of its Constitution which gave a special if not disputed status to the region.

Incidentally, India’s global footprint is remarkable. It is invited to the G7 and is a member of the G20. It is leading a movement of the global South to represent what is critical to equitable progress in times of climate change, pandemics, and technology intrusion. It has a blueprint for establishing its own domain on the foreign policy front and sticks to it assiduously.

“Russia is under American sanctions, and none can trade freely with Russia except India which buys Russian oil on preferred terms and then re-exports it to help an old patron earn dollars the indirect way. Two opposing military superpowers of the world claim India to be its ally. If this isn’t a diplomatic coup, what is?” said Chaudhry.

He further advised Pakistan to “recalibrate its policy on India” by “breaking away from convention” to “turn geo-economics into a strategy” or else Pakistan “may be reduced to the footnote of history.”

(This news report is published from a syndicated feed. Except for the headline, the content has not been written or edited by OpIndia staff)

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