↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Thursday, December 20, 2007

South Asia: united we stand -By Navaid Husain

Tell me if our choice, or lack of choice on January 8, 2007 will lead to which path?

In Pakistan, we are involved with our age-old political issues such as who should run the country, the people or the army, or a mix of the two which we currently have. We have had this contest since 1958. One of which broke the country in two! We fought two wars with India and nearly had another pitched battle with India in 2002. In July 1977, the army staged a coup d'etat and two years later with a rigged judiciary and the support of the fundamentalist parties hanged the elected and charismatic prime minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. In the west and in international institutions, Pakistan is considered a failed state.

On the other hand, look at India's democracy where a minority community (Sikh) is the prime minister, a woman as president, a Muslim as vice-president, a Dalit as chief justice and a foreigner settled in India as the head of a democratic political party, the Indian National Congress. India's super rich are now part of the Fortune Five Hundred. Over 150 research and development centres have been relocated in India due to the low cost of carrying out research. In economic terms, just in 43 years India will surpass United States of America.

Recently, the Tata group gave $7.5 billion to NGOs while keeping the amount in fixed accounts from which it can pledge for widening its base. A while back, another Indian group bought out a scotch distillery in Scotland called Whyte & McKay. It represents 3.5 per cent of Scotland's distillery capacity. The richest person in the UK is Lakshmi Mittal and he is of Indian descent. Kingfisher, which is a brewery, has also set up an airline with 80 new planes under its name.

India manufactures mobile phones, radios, televisions, computer chips, motorcycles, scooters, cars, trucks and helicopters. There are numerous call centres in India and it has a $50 billion and ever-increasing software industry, and this is estimated to double in the next few years. A subway train to be built in Mumbai measuring 11 km is going to cost $500/million; could Pakistan ever conceive of this expenditure?

[to read the rest click on the heading]


Post a Comment

<< Home