The United States has called India and Pakistan to pursue closer ties, particularly on the security front to counter the threat of terrorism. The statement by the US state department spokesperson comes after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-day working visit to the US. The statement read that United States needs to seek closer ties between the two countries. The issue of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership has been at the forefront of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit. The US-India relations seemed to have reached a new high with Prime Minister Modi addressing the US Congress. The leaning of the US towards India is evident from its support for India’s membership to the NSG as well as other economic and defence deals. Meanwhile, relations between Pakistan and US have strained in light of recent events including the death of Mullah Akhtar Mansour, F-16 deal and other bills passed by the Senate limiting military aid to Pakistan.
Pakistan lacks a long-term strategy. On the economic front, the country is going through one of the darkest phases and only recently the economy has shown some signs of revival. Pakistan’s continuous obsession with India has harmed the country severely. A significant chunk of the budget is diverted towards defence spending and nuclear arms due to which the country has not been able to spend on other sectors of the economy. The situation of health, education, and other social sectors is terrible and is worsening every day. Pakistan needs to rethink its policies, particularly whether it can compete with India on defence spending, especially when the country’s Prime Minister is abroad for medical treatment because there are not enough facilities in the country.
At a time when the country is seeking foreign direct investment to boost economic growth, how can Pakistan woo investors unless there is sufficient power supply, stability in law and order situation and improvements in other economic fronts? The favourable stance from the US towards India for its entry in the NSG group shows how far India has come since its nuclear experiments on nuclear safety nonproliferation grounds. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s ambiguous stance on some of the terrorist groups shows its approach towards the problem.
For too long Pakistan has served the interests of other countries. Starting from the independence, Pakistan allied with the US and later on trained and sent Mujahedeen during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the economy of the country continuously suffered. The result is that today the Prime Minister of India is addressing the US Congress while Pakistani Prime Minister is in London because of lack of health facilities in this country. Pakistan cannot afford to compete with India in every aspect. The country needs to rethink both long and short term policies of the country as Pakistan cannot progress on any front without giving importance to the burning issues within the country.