by Aayush

Raised from the ashes of partition India and Pakistan both the countries today stand as a nuclear power, with substantial amount of nuclear weapons in their arsenal. When compared in terms of nuclear capacity (Warheads) both the countries does not have a significant difference in capability. 

On the contrary when compared in terms of economic might and financial muscle Pakistan is way behind its neighbour India. Starting from conventional military might to indigenous technologies in defence Pakistan does not stand even near to India.

Here are five basic indicators that explain Pakistan’s failure as a state.

Rank In FDI Index

According to the 2018 A T Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index in which India slipped 3 spots and was ranked at 11th position where as Pakistan was not able to make into the list of 25 countries which indicates weak investor sentiment.

On the other hand India remains the second highest ranked emerging market on the Index. A variety of recent reforms have made its regulatory environment more business friendly, and economic growth is forecast to rebound this year.

Power of Passport

According to Henley Passport Index 2018, Indian passport was ranked 81st where as Japan topped the list. Pakistan was ranked 102nd in the list. The power of passport is analysed on different factors Visa Free or Visa on arrival being the main factors.

Countries like Thailand, Iran, Qatar give Indian passport holders Visa on arrival facility in their countries but the same is denied to Pakistan. India’s growing economic might and proactive foreign policy will help in improving India’s rank in the coming years.

Foreign Currency Reserves

India's total foreign exchange (Forex) reserves stand at US$405.1434 billion with foreign exchange assets (FCA) component at US$380.0499 billion, gold reserves at US$21.1399 billion, SDRs (Special Drawing Rights with the IMF) of US$1.4796 billion. 

When compared Pakistan has a reserves of US $8.3 billion which is less than 3% of the Indian reserves and the Pakistani Forex reserves is deteriorating at an unprecedented pace.

Foreign Trade Relations

Friendship in foreign policy is dictated by the gradient of mutual interest, while India has a booming GDP number the export figures, the current account deficit, bad loans and unemployment number are one of the major concern for the Indian government. To address this issue India has been trying to export both its well-developed services sector and developing manufacturing sector this cannot be done without trusted trade partners and foreign investment. To ensure this a robust but flexible i.e trade friendly foreign policy is being used by the Indian government. 

India is in talks with China to collaborate and jointly explore trade opportunity in the African continent, this was evident from the recently concluded BRICS summit in Johannesburg. 

Start of operations from Chabahar port will give India a complete access to central Asia as India has already paved a safe way by signing Ashgabat agreement. US sanctions on Iran has put the Indian plan in complete jeopardy but negotiations are underway. 

With its Act East Policy while India is trying to connect with East Asia and search for markets and opportunities there, Pakistan only has CPEC as a major project with foreign investment. CPEC whose complete terms and economic feasibility are still unknown. The project is highly protested in Baluchistan as the voice of Baloch people is stifled by the Pakistani military ISI dispensation. Saudi Arabia’s entry into the project adds another angle and more confusion to the whole conundrum.

Economic Crisis In Pakistan

It was well known to the Pakistani policy makers that the Pakistani economy is becoming more fragile by every passing day, falling FDI’s unplanned and unnecessary expenditure on defence has forced Pakistan on its knees again in front of the IMF for a bail out.

Pakistan’s newly elected Prime Minister Imran Khan has recently stated that they may knock the doors of IMF for a bail out. According to a Bloomberg report Pakistan has availed 12 IMF bailouts since late 1980s and recently Pakistan has invited a team of IMF experts to visit the country as it faces a balance of payment crisis.

If Pakistan is bailed out by IMF the economic conditions are not going to improve either, as IMF’s loan would further weaken the investor sentiment and the national and foreign policy of the country would still be in the hands of the military ISI complex bad relations with the Iran and Afghanistan would hamper the opportunity of exports in the local neighbourhood.

With the economic condition worsening Pakistan had a whopping 20% increase in its defence budget this year. It is just a matter of time and geopolitical gains which will decide among all the doors locked by Pakistan which door will open for help.

With poverty, unemployment on the rise the famous statement of Bhutto is proving itself 

"If India builds the bomb, we will eat grass or leaves, even go hungry. But we will get one of our own."

It would not be inappropriate to say that the Pakistani nukes are safeguarding a country externally which is about of implode.

Aayush is a defence enthusiast. Views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of IDN. IDN does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same