India vs Pakistan Relationship: A Lesson from Chandrayaan-3 Moon Mission

India vs Pakistan relationship

By: Khan Sanjik

India Vs Pakistan Comparison: A Case of Healthy Competition

India recently became the first country to land a spacecraft on the moon's south pole, a feat anyone would expect the likes of the US and China to accomplish. This places India on a similar radar with the global powers in technology, innovation, and space exploration like NASA. But why is this a unique accomplishment for India? To understand India and what this success represents, you would like to know a bit about its neighbor, and sister country, Pakistani.

India and Pakistan gained independence in 1947 from the former Mughals and the British administration. Both countries share certain cultures but their values differ making them friendly rivals.

Friendly in the perception that an average Indian does not hate a Pakistani as the media portrays and an average Pakistani seems to see India as a competitive partner, not like deadly rivals as in a Terminator movie. Their main rivalry lies in ideology, religious views, and political history. Meanwhile, the political sphere of both countries is more intensely explosive in opposing each other.

The relationship between India and Pakistan seems to be controversial, but there is a big lesson from it. It seems both countries are gradually shifting to a healthy relationship that may change the future of the region for good. Their economic, technological, and other factors seem to prove this.

Pakistani as of 2022 had a GDP of about $377 billion while India's GDP stood at $3.75 trillion by June 2023. (Statistica)

The most amazing thing about India is that while Pakistan relies on agriculture (22.7%), industry (18.8%), and services, even values for its GDP, India's main GDP (about 49-55%%) is from the service sector. Yet, India's global GDP share is over 7%, wow!
India is a secular country (a free state) but Pakistan is an Islamic country (very religiously and ideologically strict). Let's not forget that the former has a population of over 1.3 billion while the latter (Pakistan) population is 169 million. 

Pakistan has about 30 tribes categorized into 9 major ones while India on the other hand has a whooping 645 tribes making it more ethnically diverse. Even so, both countries' ethnic differences are not loudly pronounced, instead their ideological differences.

Unfortunately, India invests more in education, and technology and has higher value-added industries such as manufacturing, and utilities than Pakistan. Although both countries have enjoyed healthy competition for years India has made great improvements in tech and innovations even though they both started together and almost share similar geographical, historical, and near-cultural features. Wonder what could be the contributing factor?

What's killing Pakistan and making it lose its battle with India is not far from corruption, ideological extremism, and poor government policies.

Talking about corruption, Transparency International considers India as the cleanest country in Southeast Asia with a score of 40 (85th rank), while Pakistan has a CPI of 26, making it 140th on the ranking list. Note that the least corrupt country, Denmark has a CPI of 90 and ranks first. This means that the higher the CPI value, the less corrupt a country.

Whether it is a factor of corruption or ideology, it all bounces to how political components influence a country's development.

The good news is that just like India, Pakistan is blessed with a rising youth population who are tired of the country's sluggishness in its developmental strides. This makes the country a time bomb for a political revolution that will lead to a great scientific, technological, and developmental transformation in Pakistan. Pakistan is beginning to witness a rising number of youths who see India as a good competitor rather than a political rival as the contemporary government makes them envisage.

There is a surge in tech startups and readiness for growth in Pakistan and the rival mindset between Pakistan and India is slowly fading. Of course, one can witness this through the warming reactions India received from an average Pakistani during the Chandrayaan-3 mission on the moon's South Pole last year.

Whatever the outcome of the relationship between India and Pakistan is a great lesson for other developing countries to learn. If perhaps there is no other lesson is the fact that investment in education and a corruption-free policy is the key to accomplishing a country where everything is possible.

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