Does the salvation of Pakistan’s economy lie in India?

October 8, 2008

President Asif Ali ZardariPakistan’s economy has survived three wars with India and a long history of tension with its much bigger neighbour. But this time its own domestic economic and political problems, combined with tension on the border with Afghanistan, are running smack into a global financial crisis that will make it harder for its traditional allies to bail it out.

So is it time to break the taboos and ask: Does Pakistan’s best hope of economic recovery lie in making peace with India?

President Asif Ali Zardari certainly seemed to think so when he told the Wall Street Journal in an interview last weekend that India was no threat to Pakistan and said that “there is no other economic survival for nations like us. We have to trade with our neighbours first.”

India’s Business Standard says in an editorial that Zardari is right to say India is no threat and that Pakistan needs to focus on reviving its economy. “The question, though, is not what President Zardari thinks about these issues, but whether the larger Pakistani establishment (including, most importantly, the army) shares his perspectives. At the moment, Mr Zardari seems to be running ahead of the pack,” it says.

India too is beginning to worry about the impact on its own economy of the global financial crisis, as these articles in the Hindustan Times and the Economic Times suggest. So it might also welcome the advantages of higher regional trade.

A chance for peace?


Certainly, Mr. Zardari is running ahead of the pack, but the fact is that the foundation stone of Pakistan is laid on just one thing “its rabid hate for India” and if the foudation is challenged, anything is possible.

Posted by Manu | Report as abusive

The question is not whether India is a threat to Pakistan but whether India will stop viewing Pakistan as a threat. The Indian leadership also needs to come a long way to stop destabilizing Pakistan and to engage in with Pakistan as an economic partner.

Posted by Zahid Khan | Report as abusive

Zardari is digging his own grave.
everything he is saying and doing 95% of the Pakistani population is against.
it is only a matter of time before he gets lynched by the public and army.

people call him Gardari meaning traitor, instead of Zardari. Gardari being far far more fitting

Posted by Rabbani | Report as abusive

Pakistani economy is in great danger due to the lack of Foreign Direct Investment, lack of economic activities, lack of exports, rise in oil bills(import), lack of trust from aiding agencies, lack of political will & capabilities and the terrorism.
Zardari is Pro Indian, he doesn’t know what struggle is made in Acheieving Pakistan, rather than his family member (Z.A. Bhutto) seperated the East Province(Bangladesh).

State Bank is planing to take hard steps in couple of weeks to crumb this internal economic crises.

Posted by Talha | Report as abusive

Pakistan is a rabid threat to India. Always has been. Repeated initiation of wars against India by pakistanis testifies to that. The Indian republic has no need for Pakistan’s current “tactical” survival moves (it has survived only by such tactical behavior). Pakistanis first need to learn what constitutes a functioning State – rule of law, institutions that are independent of personalities, development of stable means of conflict resolution, equality of citizens, and so on. Absent such basic foundations, pakistani elite who wish to wiggle out of their current prediciment brought about by long standing delusions of entitlement to regal living are best left to fend for themselves & get some necessary reality checks about their own condition. India should leave them to their own devises. Thanks but no thanks, Mr. Zardari.

Posted by Bakshi | Report as abusive

I think Zardari is pragmatic and reasonable. On the other hand it is sad to see so many of my fellow Pakistanis consumed by anger, hatred, and frustration. With every passing day, Pakistan looks a little bit more like Somalia–wracked by violence and spreading mischief in nearby countries.

Posted by Sad-Pakistani | Report as abusive

Huh…one more comment from a person who is a president of a failed state.
I’d like to give u a suggestion that plz..plz …plz stop comparing pakistan with india,we are way ahead of pakistan and it’s in pakistan’s favour if you have good business ties with us.India is quite a capable country to survive any kind of recession.And one more thing we r not destabilizing your state,it’s not our trait.It is pakistan which is always indulged in such activities,and now it is known to world as well.It’s better to look at your shortcomings b4 put your finger towards us Zahind and rabbani.

Posted by manish sharma | Report as abusive

It takes a man of courage to admit the collective mistakes Pakistan has made.Culturally, India and Pakistan have much more in common than not. We were woven out of the same Yarn. Kudos to Mr.Zardari to admit to the ground realities.Leading a country with so many embedded cross currents, and not try to find a solution out of the crisis is stupid.It is a sound economic policy that will trickle down to the poorest of the poor. Mr. Zardari may have a past, but let the citizens of both countries give the man a chance. He is inheriting a miserable situation and he is perhaps the one man at this time who is looking at posterity and not necessarily his pocket book. Pakistanis cannot continue living on handouts from the USA.

Posted by Nirmal | Report as abusive

Zardari has the final term luckily.95% people are really against him now and rest of 5% are sindhi (uneducated /sick peole who gave him votes) he is the father of the currupt in
the world.He is here and pakistani bank are becoming 0.we knew that. He is the business man not politician. he can sell the country as well who knews .
But thank GOD pakistan is being runned secretly by ISI.If he is been given whole poer he can do any thing.His future is in the clubs of london and dubai.he is just been hired as a managerto run a business not a country just like shoukat aziz(Rank 2 in Curreption) now he in dubai for forever)
But this time people choosed him.MAinly balochis and sindhis (uneducated peole)they will have to pay as rooti price will be double trouble for them.
About power : Pakistan is still a huge power in the world some puts it in 7th worlds best power and some 8th in defence so we dont fear from anybody even america(from afghnaistan) on that case ,definitly they would have limited edge to they are getting 80 percent stuff from and via pakistan to operate in afghnistan.
so we have a strong strong edge in the world .
so be happy.Because we are a nuclear power afterall.
who can dare to attach main pakistan:

Posted by Paki Boys | Report as abusive

Much as it pains me to say this, I have to agree 85% with this article on the economic ties with India issue. We need their business to sustain the domestic economy. So far, the billions from the Bush administration that partially prop up our economy (whose effects were best seen 5 years ago under Musharraf) are dwindling away. What then? We cannot entirely capitulate by throwing in the towel and giving them Kashmir as well but have overall peace to establish significant trade.

The Indian leaders, their intelligence service and army, and overall people need to stop viewing Pak as a threat too and future attempts to destabilize the country should be scrapped – some people think the Islamabad Marriott bombings were really India using a Islamic group subterfuge.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

As for as india is concern:
we met some indians personally in london, melbourene and dubai.we cant see difference even in their languages and i know that reality is this we are from one land.From one chapter of a book.Our politicians made hurdles between us (few in pak but some in india like GUJRAT state).so thast the reason we rae separete.If leader does not incite HINDU_MUSLIM fasadaat for their politics(GUJRAT _ASSAM)plus they all time allegate ISI for everything thats not good(every society has bad elements(we dont say talibans RAW but we kill them coz they are terrorsits just kill them donot allegate each other,then we will be alright but. first we need to root out those bloody problem makers.
As a paki i like indian simple people as we eat same as why do we fight.Please indians dont vote for voilence creaters . spread brotherhood ,love and affection.we do want to meet you but this hurdle s are problems.No problem of hindu-muslim.
Coz we have everything same from dressses to food.
so lets hope to be a good friend

Posted by Paki Boys | Report as abusive

Timing cannot be better, enough is enough; people on both sides have to stop bickering and start working together which is trade and all aspect of science and technology.

Posted by Khalid Khan | Report as abusive

Indians foaming at mouth should take advise… Pak has survived worse and will survive regardless. Just worry about 100s of millions starving Indians… Indian terrorism on our western flank will eventually be defeated and we will come out winners.

Posted by Mo Akhtar | Report as abusive

I have always believed that if India and Pakistan can come to an understanding that all issues should be settled through negotiation/discussion. In the meantime, both countries ought to open their borders for travel freely between the two countries and also trade freely. This will help the people of both countries. Each country should try to ensure that nothing is said or done to hurt the feelings of other nations. Cooperation is the key word.


Any more proof needed that those comments put up by pakistanis here. This is the reality of pakistan. They are living in some sort of an utopia. I think Indian govt should go ahead as it does now, keep away from pakistan as the old saying goes “why should one keep the snake sitting in the fence in one’s underwear?.”

Posted by Manu | Report as abusive

India’s concept of trade is for it to sell maximum goods and services to its neighbors while buying minimum, so regardless of a few gaffes by Mr Zardari, Pakistan’s economic salvation does not lie in India.

Indian’s false superiority complex is also not helpful.


Indians should keep their house in order… A nation where the govt. kills Sikhs, Muslims and Christians is in no position to talk of its neighbors… youtube is loaded with such incidents in India….

Mr. speaker keep your house in order.

enuff said.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

Pakistan’s economy is gonna collapse sooner or later once Obama is in whitehouse.

Posted by Moin Ali | Report as abusive

No one is ready accept themself as human beings every one is trying to become a better and better worst animals,we are humanbeings who are too live peacefully and to kill each other.. Plz dont forget


Hey India didn’t need pakistan to survive in the past..nor will it need in future..Indian govt should definately not open gates to a traitor country like pakistan for a free trade..At the most India can help pakistans mud eating economy by joint projects like iran-pakistan-India pipe line..but allowing pakistanis goods into India is a NO-NO.

Posted by Om | Report as abusive

funny thing is despite the fact INDIA IS A SUPERPOWER or has a growing economy, which only feeds the rich, KASHMIRIS AND ASSAMESE ARE STILL HOLDING UP PAKISTANI FLAG.

Let’s not forget Pakistan is not helping these “freedom fighters” unlike India, which is working in Balochistan rather firmly.



“just because you say it, doesn’t mean you are one.”

Posted by amir | Report as abusive


Do you know what happened to cng buses?
locked up.
Indian cell phones?
not allowed in the country.


Pakistani products are flooding indian markets but not vice-versa.

Posted by amir | Report as abusive

India has and will never perpetrate any kind of terrorism any where in the world. For pakistanis to say that India is destabilizing pakistan is a joke. Pakistan is destabilizing itself.
Which country has lived more under dictatorship – Pakistan.
Which country has instigated more wars – Pakistan.
Which country sold nuclear technology to others – Pakistan.
Which country’s president can put supreme court judges behind bars and play with the law – Pakistan
Which country had banned even civil liberties to media – Pakistan
The fact of the matter is Pakistan itself is divided where no one wants to follow any law and looks at his or her own gain. They do not trust their own leaders nor the system. There is corruption in India as well but it has not restricted the path of development to a certain extent. The youth in Pakistan needs to channel their energy in a better way towards development, towards education, towards businesses, towards new ideas. But the youth in the environment in Pakistan is moving more and more towards violence, hatred, politics and warfare.

Posted by keval shah | Report as abusive

Please have a look at how pakistanis are manipulating US and their own people. ne/07pakistan-t.html?ref=magazine

Posted by keval shah | Report as abusive

The first step to a solution is to first recognize the fact that there is a problem.. The day Indians will realize this basic fact there will be durable peace in the region and terrorism will cease to exist. People in India will stop hoisting Pakistani flags.. India will not have 800 million defcating out in the open nor will it have a billion poor nor it will qualify home to the biggest slums in the world.

India has its own problems that are of biblical proportion and need a miracle to fix them.. It would be advisable for India(ns) to stay in India and only think of India and forget its neighbors be it Pak, BD, SL or China.

Posted by Mo Akhtar | Report as abusive

The indians are thinking about themselves and their neighbours. It is not either or. Thinking about yourself does not mean that you cannot think about others.
We will and we are solving our problems but we can also help to solve our neighbor’s problems, if they only trust us.

Posted by keval shah | Report as abusive

Charity starts at home, Indians should start with India.

Posted by Mo Akhtar | Report as abusive

Pakistan always puts its hand out when economic crisis strike. This is a pattern since 61 years. High living, irresponsible spending, blaming India for all its problems, sponsoring terrorist activities in Kashmir and across India are all a part of a familiar pattern. Even now, it has been an unreliable ally in the war on terror. Americans are now finding out the US$10 bn was used for anything but anti-terror activities by Pakistan. It is time for Pakistan to learn to be a responsible citizen of the world and the best lesson is to let them implode financially. If they are bailed out again and again, their behavior will not change. Pakistan was and continues to be a country sponsoring terrorism across the globe, with India being a special target. It is also time for India to take a firm stand against the Pakistan sponsored infiltrators in Kashmir and hunt them down. Zardari is stating only half-truth by calling Kashmir infiltrators as terrorists. The other half is the aiding & abetting of these infiltrators by his own country. India should take this opportunity of crushing these infiltrators and send them dead or alive back to where they belong-out of Kashmir.

Posted by whocares | Report as abusive

Thanks a Lot Mr. Amir for sharing your thoughts. Let me ask you how educated you are? Or you also studied in one of the Madrassa just like millions of Pakistani.

Do you what’s difference in economies of India and Pakistan, let me tell you Pakistan is 1/9th of Indian economy. 15 year’s back you guys were 1/5th and now 1/9th wonder what happened. You know what’s your country foreign reserve is?. Let me tell you it’s 3 Billion. One Indian company will have this much money in their bank.

Give me a single company or a product or anything which is world known apart of Jehad. Tell me a single institution, any school which is well known in world. I know you guys have great Universities graduating by thousands Bachelors in Jehad, Masters in bomb making and list can go one.

Dude wake up, I am not saying India is world power or Indians are intelligent or better then of Pakistanis in any manner. But I can tell you we are lucky to have social and political structure, education etc the way we have in India. We have some of the world best known companies, best known schools. I know we have millions of poor, uneducated people but things are improving. It will take us time but we will get there.

And last please don’t think India will destroy Pakistan, because the way things are going, you guys will be finished in next 5-10 years. Either your Army/ISI will start behaving sensibly or Pakistan will be divided in to more pieces, Just listen to last US presidential debate, you will know what I am talking about.


Posted by varinder | Report as abusive

Pakistanis really seems to be blind or they do not want to see that their economy is in shambles. Its in India’s interest to have a strong and self-reliant neighbor, but somehow Pakistanis cant understand that. Time and again they have lost to India but they keep on fighting a proxy war which has drained out their currency, food and oil reserves. Its high time that you guys stop this war and start building the “SO” called country which you apparently”LOVE”.

BTW, if you haven’t realized it yet – YOU have LOST your own country trying to defeat INDIA!

Posted by Shiv Mukherjee | Report as abusive

mr mo akhtar toots an all to familiar horn, native to many Pakistanis. It is time for you to realize by acknowledging that in 61 years, Pakistan continues to deteriorate politically and economically. While recognizing Indias problems, Mr. Akhtar we in India are at least addressing them. Rome was not built in a day…Pakistan continues to pursue its own destructive path. Pakistan would be well advised to refrain from its disruptive activities in Kashmir and the bombings sponsored by your failed state. We Indians are getting fed up or this crap going on for 61 years. Remember this is not the same India. Another war provoked by Pakistan will surely be detrimental to both countries but Pakistan will come out at the losing end. So practice what you are trying to preach.. stay out of India’s affairs and fix the festering wound called Pakistan first.

Posted by whocares | Report as abusive

Does the salvation of pakistans economy lie in India ?? NOOO. Pakistan can only export terrorism to other countries, India is not a market to sell your terrorism Mr.Zardari.
its amazing how muslims look towards India when they are left with nothing but mud to eat their land again and again starting from Mohmd Gazni, who came to India several times for looting, then moguls and sufi muslims. But this time history is not going to repeat itself..India is not longer divided among small kings and rulers..nor are we sympathetic to invading muslims as our ancestors.

Posted by Om | Report as abusive

lolz when will pakistan learn to stand up for itself from 1947 they have been asking for help and foreign aid common man even african nations doesnt beg as much as pakistan is doing these days

Regarding the topic pakistan should stop dreaming that india is gonna help them in there bankruptcy matter they should instead head to china or saudi perhaps they might help u guys best of luck cya

Posted by shubh | Report as abusive

These pakis are amazing, their economy is reduced to a joke, their president is going around with a begging bowl, still they are gleeful that there are many more poor people in India and that some relegious fanatic raised a paki flag in Assam, phew!!!! Talk of living in a coccoon.

Posted by Manu | Report as abusive

And Pakis dont buy mobile phones from poor countries like India you know, and India’s trade defecit with pakistan is greater than the US bailout of their banks!!!! what a pity!

Posted by Manu | Report as abusive

All struggle to create pakistan will be fruitless if Pakistan doesn’t survive. So please do no quote that struggle if in near future existance is at stake.

Survival of Pakistan lies in friendship with India and a pillion ride on indian economy. Barring stupid rheoteric of Pakistani vested interest (mullah and Military), Zardari as cunning businessman realizes that weak economic situation has brought pakistan to yet another collapse and without India survival is not easy.

MMS (PM of India ) is a nice gentleman who happens to born in Pakistan and is not a double speaking person. He sincerely wants to improve relationship. So Indian leadership when do not consider Pakistan as enemy why going after rumours that India is involved in western border etc.
Pakistan needs to increase trusting relationship with India and all the issues can be solved and real culprit need to be caught.

Get real and do not go after rumour. Long Live Indo pak friendship.

Mclean , VA, USA

Posted by Gus | Report as abusive

India a third world 3 rate country should look after its poor teaming millions.

Posted by Ken | Report as abusive

Hello Everyone,
Here are few things for both India and Pak . when our people has nothing to eat,wear and to sleep then why do
india and pak are competing to spend money on killing each other like speding on army. Huge money spent on the name of national defence. It is the people needs to think what exaclty we want.i dont think the way of thinking between people will change in both countries.
perhaps it is possible when they go for the last and final war , when there is nothing left.

Posted by vishnu | Report as abusive

One simplething everyone knows that Pakistan is not only Indias problem but the whole world’s problem and India does not have to invade pakistan, it is the USA will finish our job today or tomarrow.

Posted by CJ | Report as abusive

Hi pakis,
One simplething everyone knows that Pakistan is not only Indias problem but the whole world\’s problem and India does not have to invade pakistan, it is the USA will finish our job today or tomarrow. Either way the fate of pakistan is uncertain. If was president bush
i would have wiped out Pakistan way before .

Posted by CJ | Report as abusive

Om –
Seems to me that someone is lacking in respect! Watch what you say here! When you disrespect Muslims in general you are infact disrespecting all the Muslims in India (15% of india?). So behave yourself!

Posted by Ray | Report as abusive

Pakistan does not need external help in destroying itself. Internal politicians and exteremist supported by ISI have been doing an excellent job. This is what happens when religious is mixed with the business. Politicians’ job is to represent people and run the country but mixing it with a religion will destroy it completely sooner or later.

Posted by ma | Report as abusive

Pakistan can forge better relations with Gulf states, Iran and Saudi Arabia. No need to even look eastwards. Indians are a poverty striken nation. Living standrads in Pakistan are much better. Thanks I am Pakistani and not an Indian.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive


Could not stop my smile while reading your post and thinking how far is this person from reality.

Pakistan can forge better relations with Gulf states, Iran and Saudi Arabia. –do you think this has not been tried.
Indians are a poverty striken nation. –Is that true???Living standrads in Pakistan are much better. –Are they really?
Thanks I am Pakistani and not an Indian. –Yes, surely you are.

Posted by ma | Report as abusive

Umair, you hit the nail right on the head…. Thanks.

Posted by K | Report as abusive

India has this false complexity of being the worlds most biggest (and most fake) democracy.

I call it, Indian Idiocracy.

Pakistan has survived three wars against India, it has lost its east wing but the Bengalis are more closer to Pakistan than India. Indian motives have never been a secret to Pakistan. Be it calling for Israeli air power to bomb Pakistan’s Nuclear sites, or using Israeli help to fight a proxy war against Pakistan in Kashmir. We all know how peaceful India is with its constant killing of minorities day in and day out. Who can forget Gujarat? The killing of Sikhs? The Christians? Yep, that’s India.

Posted by zorkor | Report as abusive

Face facts, people.

Pakistan’s in real trouble now. It’s economy is failing, Islamic radicalization of its armed forces is going on full swing and the government does not control huge tracts of its own territory, which Taliban in Pakistan have taken control of and rule. It needs dole from western countries, middle eastern countries and China to survive and worst of all, the military and the political establishment seem to be working at odds with each other.

India, on the otherhand, has communal problems – some are fairly serious – caused by fundamentalist hindus and muslims alike (thank god the christians haven’t joined the crazy people bandwagon.) India also struggles with poverty. But conditions in India are far better. The most important thing being India’s military has always been subordinate to it’s political establishment. India is raising millions out of poverty, doesn’t depend on dole, has burgeoning manufacturing and services sectors, is making huge investments in infrastructure that put anything that Pakistan can do to shame and has stopped thinking of Pakistan as enemy #1. China occupies that pride of place now.

There are some I see that argue here that India should say good riddance to Pakistan. You people are idiots. What do you think would happen if an entire border destablises because Pakistan becomes a failed state? Understand that trouble does not recognize political borders as Pakistan is learning now with Taliban. If Pakistan destablises, so will India’s western borders.

As for the Pakistanis blaming India for everything that goes wrong in Pakistan, look inward. You’ll find the answer in the way Pakistani society is structured, ruled and preeminence given to an army that is more a policing force (and a bad one at that) than a field army.

So, grow up and start taking responsibility.

Posted by Arun | Report as abusive


so do you have a count how many hindus were killed in Pakistan after the partition?
or how many places of non-muslim worship were destroyed in Pakistan?
or count (or %age) of the non-muslim population in Pakistan?
or can you or people in your neighborhood tell if they are ok to live with other non-muslim communities?
do you know what is the population of muslims in India?
how many hindus were killed or have to run away from kashmir just because Pakistan is making conditions such a way so only muslims are living in kashmir?
can you think of any non-muslim going winning election in Pakistan? compare it with a muslim being president of India.

The problem is normal public looks at the picture which is shown to them by politicians instead of looking at the complete facts and forming own opinion. If you want to understand history the do it from both perspective.

so which country is more secular? India or Pakistan

Posted by ska | Report as abusive

zorkor a pure simpleton shows how democracy can never survive in Pakistan, mullas and madrassas will ensure that. It is not surprising Pakistanis don’t understand democracy; no democratic government has ever completed a full term. If history is our guide, present government will have the same fate. Lets talk about the killings in Pakistan’s Western provinces, the killings of Afghans, the 1 million East Pakistanis (your own citizens) killed by your troops. You really think Bangladeshis are closer to you with that history or are you on drugs? The systematic elimination of Pakistani minorities by forcible conversions, abductions, kidnappings, threats, lack of opportunity, and of course the blasphemy laws. The scum in Kashmir are your people, and India has every right and obligation to politely ask them to leave or get them out at gun point. State sponsored terrorism is a specialty Pakistan has developed over the years and guess what the roosters are coming home to roost.
There is no central power in Pakistan. It is bankrupt and has its begging bowl extended AGAIN. Its time for the world to stop bailing this failed country again knowing fully well that the same situation will occur again.

Posted by IndianNational | Report as abusive

India should exercise caution with these Punjabi Jihadi butcher before entering into any such agreements. Baloch people request India to look into the Human rights violations and oppression of Baloch people by Pakistani Jihadi army and the way our resources are been plundered and in returned gave poverty ,hunger and misery. Balkanization of Pakistan is in the intrest of all in the region eventually lead to peace and successfully nailing ISI and Jihadis in Millitry army . Baloch and Sindh will allow safe passage of Oil and Gas pipelines through our regions and use the transit fee for social and economic development rather than Jihadi projects. Pakistan as an entity should go , an articifical country created by British to serve its geopolitical intrests . Balochistan was an independent country and forcefully annexed into pakistan. Peace and prosperity comes to the region with breaking pakistan .

Dr.Wahid Baloch
President , Baloch Society of North America

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