Many people in Pakistan, continue to down play the recent visit of President Obama to the neighboring rival, India. Of course there are long standing disputes between the two neighbors, which often trump the facts.
There is no doubt that in the last 10 years or so, India has made significant progress on a lot of fronts. Regretfully, Pakistan is lagging and it would not be harsh to admit, that surviving on life support. Pakistan's general population's "Hate America" tirades cannot erase the fact that, US does not want Pakistan to fail. US has stood by Pakistan in some real tough situations and wants Pakistan to be a stable country. This is all in US national interest, as a stable Pakistan, keeps the balance of power in check and around South Asia.
What is ironic, that US farmed out many of its service sector jobs to India, in the name of "efficiency and out sourcing." The net effect of that ill planned strategy, can be felt in the heartland of America. With double digit unemployment on a national level, Americans are struggling with this so called " global recession."
Even in this global recession, there are two countries, which are definitely moving in the right direction, India and China. No matter how much the facts are twisted, India is on target by embracing one factor to its fullest. It is clearly education laced with modern day skills.
President Obama's announcement of $10 Billion in trading partnership with India, should not come as a surprise. By the way, his announcement of this move is supposed to create more jobs in the US, as unbelievable it may sound. This is a lost opportunity for Pakistan. Being one of its staunchest ally in all these years, this should have been in Pakistan's sector. But very painfully we are recipients of aids and promises of more aid, provided, we get "our act together."
As much as we Pakistanis criticize India for being a fundamentalist "Hindu state", and this too in response to their swipe on us being, the "fanatic Islamists", the fact remains quite obvious. We are no competition to India, when it comes to its size, population, resources, skills, heritage, arts and diversity.
Only if we realize where we are utterly missing the boat, so to speak, we can move forward in this world. The world is a huge marketplace of ideas and skills. The only thing in demand will be the dynamic abilities to acquire and implement those skills. Those who would sit on the sidelines and mock others will soon become a sorry chapter in the books of global history.
Although a visit by President Obama to Pakistan, is on the horizon in March 2011, but the end result may not be the same. It will be more of, "Pakistan to do more", "We appreciate your help", and "US is not at war against Islam and Pakistan", so on and so forth. I wish and hope that it would be not about aid and terrorism, but about jobs and tangible development. Otherwise it will be just vain rhetoric and people at Foreign Office will be able to prove that Pakistan can attract President Obama as well.