It is time for Pakistan’s military, bureaucratic, political, business, and all others to turn the page on a broken, dysfunctional, and failed status quo and it must acknowledge India’s incredible coming of age as a country, writes Mosharraf Zaidi in The News International. In 1999, when General Musharraf sprung the Kargil misadventure on the Pakistani people, India had a GDP of just over USD 450 billion, but now it is at USD 3.18 trillion, said Zaidi. India’s ability to sit at the global table is in a different league – nay, a different universe – then it was in 1999.
India has put on what I like to call ‘big boy pants,’ said Zaidi. While Pakistan is nearly one-tenth of India’s size in terms of its economy and its GDP is around USD 350 billion only. The delusion of economic parity, if it ever existed, is beginning to corrode, while the economic growth story of India has only just begun, said Zaidi. By 2030, or in less than seven years, Morgan Stanley forecasts India’s overall GDP to grow from its current USD 3.18 trillion to nearly USD 8 trillion.
India currently accounts for 2.2 per cent of global exports. Morgan Stanley expects this to rise to 4.5 per cent of global exports in 2030. The retail market in India is expected to more than double over these next seven years to over USD 1.8 trillion. Perhaps most importantly, per capita GDP is expected to increase from USD 2,278 per year, to USD 5,242 per year. The percentage of Indian households with an annual income above USD 35,000 per year is expected to rocket up from 5.6 per cent to over 25 per cent of all Indian households. That means that one in every four Indian households will be a global middle-class home, reported The News International. Most will have highly literate individuals driving that household income. Most will be consumers of luxury goods.
The Indian celebrity will be the highest paid on the planet because the upper-middle-class Indian will be the single most sought-after consumer on the planet. From being a country full of poor people, India is on its way to becoming a country with a lot of rich people, levelling up their entire economy in 2030. The substantially larger economic entity that India will be in 2030 is fuelled by India’s society, polity and economy today, said Zaidi.
India’s greatness as a nation is being actualized at a time, under its leadership took decisions that are being rewarded with the grandest prizes. Of these rewards, the most powerful is the transformation of India from a poor country full of poor people to a rich country with an ever-increasing number of rich people, reported The News International. And this is what explains – from Abu Dhabi to Tokyo, and from Washington DC to Canberra – the red carpet that is laid out for Prime Minister Narendra Modi almost everywhere he goes. Meanwhile, internal disquiet in Pakistan, including the unsustainable and unconstitutional interference of the military in civilian affairs, the incompetence of its policy elites, and its dysfunctional economic affairs, all merit a serious set of transformational reforms, said Zaidi. Pakistan’s vulnerability to terrorism and the tendency of Pakistanis in high offices towards strategic stupidity (eg, Kargil, the desperation of the Bajwa Doctrine) have weakened Pakistan, but they have not altered the baseline of national security for Pakistan.