“India For Balochistan“ The most anticipated and long awaited comments of PM Narendra Modi on his Govt.’s stand on POK has cleared the air and incited a hope in the minds of Balochs and those suffering atrocities in the region occupied by Pakistan. Presently when both parties claim the disputed area, (to which India earlier refrained doing so) has become a bone of contention for the International society (read UN). As to whom the area belongs and who holds a legitimate claim is a conundrum. Or there is another option “Referendum”, let the people decide their Nationality. The process of casting the vote by electorate on a single political question which has been referred to them for a direct decision is known as Referendum, which some mention is the consummate solution to Kashmir problem. Interpreting the aftermath of such a plebiscite is the desideratum of this article. Making choice involves assessing the no. of options available, their quality, and choosing the country to live in is really a serious matter. Certain important aspects such as access to Health, Education facilities, Liberty, Governance etc. need to be assessed. No matter in whose favor the people cast their vote but it is pertinent to contrast between the two contenders and assist people choose their Nationality. There is very less or no probability for a referendum to occur but if something of that kind happens then the borders will have to be redrawn changing the current face of Geo-political scenario in Asia. Introductory note could never be better without unveiling what is at stake for both the countries.
J&K the northern state addressed by several epithets such as “Crown of India”, “Paradise on Earth” and “City of Temples”. With an area of 222,236 Km square and a population of 12,541,302 which roughly makes up about 6% of total area and 1% of total population. J&K holds an immense Geo-political importance. Shielding any possible aggression from the North, the Himalayas stand tall against any adversary. In addition to this the high peaks have a potential to attract the adventurous expeditions. The only sphere left in the incomplete “Pearl of Strings” is the Northern Sphere. India cannot afford to loose its strongest Geo-political pillar separating its two rivals in the region Pakistan and China.
Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad kashmir, Balochistan are at stake for Pakistan. Amounting to about 49% of total area and 9% share in population, the three regions are of immense importance to Pakistan. Sharing its boundary with Afghanistan in North and Iran in West, the Balochistan province if acquired by India(a mere assumption) could land-lock Pakistan, resulting in “No way to escape”. The prestigious CPEC and Gwadar port are the assets not to be lost. The investments poured in by China alone are estimated to be over 46 billion USD. So, one can hope China’s role also in inclining the result of referendum towards Pakistan. Gilgit-Baltistan and POK could be an issue of bilateral talks as both countries share their boundaries with the two regions. But Balochistan is totally out of the heat and has welcomed India’s attention recently only. Kashmir is equally mesmerizing and resplendent on both sides while Balochistan is rich in natural resources primarily minerals and gas.
The introductory notes turn boring beyond a certain length, therefore the issue of contrast and difference between two Nations is addressed thereupon the introductory note.
To compare the governance in two regions we shall begin by contrasting the title adopted officially. One adopted the title Republic, the other is known officially by Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Islamic Republic means a state governed by Islamic laws. While one country is exclusive , the other is inclusive in framing its policies of governance and carves out different policies for different religions under one common law (IPC). The conundrum of choosing sides with or against terrorism is still a matter of concern for the Pakistan and its neighboring countries, leaving the image of Pakistan tarnished. On contrary India is now perceived as the Leader of the Third World Nations and a perpetual machine of development. The present conditions in both the countries and their future perceptions can be attributed to their respective governance policies. The largest Democracy in the world and the inventor of Islamic Republic regime are two epithets sufficient to contrast between the Nations.
The economic reforms were introduced in Pakistan in 1977-79 which gave a quick boost to its private sector investment in the subsequent decade but failed to show any enduring or long-term effect. Learning from the aftermath of 1977 reform then several reforms were initiated and slated in the following years. On the other hand major reforms in India were introduced in 1991, following a major economic crisis and was successful in changing the fate of otherwise slowed economy. The average growth in post-reform period saw an up shoot. In succeeding 25 years these reforms have paid more than they were meant for. More economic liberalization programmes are being ushered in to be at par with modern standards and to cope with International challenges around the globe, by both the countries. But there has to be only one winner in the competition of two. So, we go by the stats and contemplate the structure of Economics of both the Nations by numbers.
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For an elaborated comparison please visit this LINK
Education, Social conditions, access to various amenities is altogether different in both the countries. India is the largest exporter of IT Engineers and software developers, while Pakistan can boast of its young population at the same platform. But India has a definite edge over its rival. India is ranked at 130th spot in HDI, and Pakistan is not far at 147th spot. The only difference that conditions in India are improving with every passing day while that in Pakistan deteriorating. India is hailed for raising about 138 mn people above poverty line, a record earlier held by China. Even though the % of urban population in India is less than that of Pakistan, but the numbers don’t make any difference, when both the countries have a large share of population under poverty line, with little or no access to even the basic amenities. The only similarity shared by both the sides. Literacy rate in India is nearly 65% while that of Pakistan is almost 56%. Satya Nadela, Sundar Pichai, Indra Nooyi are some of the eminent personalities who started their education in India, presently serving at the top echelons. This further glorifies the Indian education system and the opportunities present in India. Even though the problem of brain drain is prevalent in India, but slowly it is diminishing with Indian Govt. stressing on the FDI subject and attracting the top recruiters to India, which otherwise would drain all our intellect abroad. No such trend is visible in Pakistan, not till today but we hope to witness it soon, because a developed neighbor is better than a poor neighbor. The issue of social conditions is way too overt to be discussed o such a platform. It only attracts vulgar comments from the audience from both the sides. no certified data is available to be taken into account. Terrorism is perceived to be the common problem, while India blaming on Pakistan to be the perpetrator, the latter blaming the former for not providing proof for its allegations. The views of the following section would feel to some of the readers to be biased towards Indian sentiments, but one can hardly find any foreign think-tank other than those based in Pakistan to be in favor of Pakistan on this matter.
India is now perceived as the emerging “Third World Leader”, the Super Power of Asia and has found its entry into the prestigious MTCR which even China has failed to get. MOM, the least expensive Mars mission till date costing only 73 Mn $ is yet another feat achieved in first attempt by ISRO. Projects like BHUVAN, MOM, SRE-II, CME hold international repute and command hustle. Emerging as the future military Super Power, the South-Asian economic giant has a load of International responsibilities to share. With U.S. urging for its support in Asia and close ties such as with Russia, Japan, Israel only add up to its International repute. There are such uncountable instances which exemplify the International respect India commands. On contrary Pakistan is considered as a Rogue state, by by the entire International community other than China, a close ally of Pakistan in a bid to counter India. Various Internationally banned terror outfits are based in Pakistan with their Heads carrying bounties amounting to several million dollars. Incubator of Terrorism is the title awarded to Pakistan by several countries around the World. Even U.S. has scrapped its Aid Policy to Pakistan as the former has concluded that Pakistan is using the aid money to upgrade its Army against India and not against terrorism. Such is the miserable condition of Pakistan that today only China supports its covertly while all other major players refrain from doing so. Meanwhile Pakistan is entangled in its own trap of terrorism, the Indians are glorifying India Worldwide. There is not even a single leader in Automobile manufacturing in Pakistan, the likes of Tata Motors and Mahindra have bought foreign brands like Land Rover and Ssangyong. Not to talk about cutting edge technology and defense/medical research. Such is the contrast between the two Nations who started their journeys together.
Consequences of India For Balochistan
If Kashmir is lost then India would become vulnerable. Now the String of Pearls would completely encircle India, giving it no point of escape during the war scenario. The great Himalayan Wall would be lost resulting in a definite defeat on the Northern Front. The Referendum in J&K would spark a fire of separatism in Punjab, Naxalite affected areas, further worsening the conditions.
If Balochistan, POK, Gilgit-Baltistan decide to join India through a (hypothetical) Referendum, (that is the policy “India For Balochistan” is realized), India is bound to become a Super Power. With its rich natural resources, Balochistan would be an important site of investment, ushering in new job opportunities, better infrastructure which would drastically improve the socio-economic conditions in Balochistan. A potential trading hub with the facility of a port in Arabian Sea is a valuable asset. Mineral rich province then would not be just a producer but the one that would benefit also from Indian influence. Totally different from its present scenario. Cross-border trade with Afghanistan would also add into the economy of the region which at present is at its minimal. POK and Gilgit-Baltistan would enjoy the same amenities if they join Republic of India. apart from this living under the Indian Constitution is itself a state of bliss enjoyed only by Indians.
If Kashmir through a Referendum accedes to Pakistan, it would not make a difference from the Pakistan’s point of view. As it is visible from the fact that the State is already above the average mark in all aspects, whether it is economy, literacy etc. Accession would deteriorate the condition in Kashmir until it is at par with the average mark of Pakistan. Moreover, it would require a lot of funds and extra expenditure to sustain the forces and life in the harsh terrain overburdening the poor Pak economy. The expenditure on a single soldier stationed in Glacier sector for one day costs a whopping sum of 5 crore INR.
If the trio accede to India by a (hypothetical) Referendum, then Pakistan would be reduced to only 51% of its total area, that would drastically alter the Geo-polity of Pakistan. The Policy of “India For Balochistan” would become a nightmare for Pakistan and China. The CPEC would become history and its closest ally may turn its back on Pakistan, as it would now become a matter of loss rather than profit. The Chinese side would then have to again turn toward its primitive transportation scheme. India would strengthen its Northern Front and a base in Balochistan near to Afghanistan and Tajikistan would be prick into the Chinese eyes, and an effective method to counter terrorism in Asia. Geo-politics would change giving boost to India’s dreams of emerging as a Super Power.