Amidst such dismal set of facts, how is Pakistan still existing?

Published: November 11, 2015

We can still, with just a bit of honesty, hard work, perseverance, tolerance and unity, rescue ourselves like we did before. PHOTO: REUTERS

A former CIA official, Kevin Hulbert, recently wrote in his blog for The Cipher Brief, that Pakistan is probably the most dangerous country of the world as it is ripe with threats of terrorism, a failing economy and the fastest growing nuclear arsenal. Once again, sadly, this nation has been put on the map for the most ominous things.

Hulbert says, quite dramatically:

“The spectre of the sixth largest country in the world being a failed state is a hypothetical catastrophe that would unleash a world of unintended consequences.”

Country profiles by organisations such as BBC and HRW have named Pakistan as one of the world’s deadliest countries for journalists, with 14 media workers being killed in 2014 alone, while sectarian attacks continued with impunity, military operations in North Waziristan displaced more than one million people and massive floods wrought devastation in Sindh and Punjab provinces.

Violent attacks on religious minorities continued and on-going human rights concerns in the Balochistan province related to disappearances, extrajudicial killings, and torture remained unaddressed. Violence against women and girls — including rape, honour killings, acid attacks, domestic violence, and forced marriages – remained commonplace. Lack of internal unity led to economic upheavals with an energy crisis, slow performance of exports and low literacy and nutrition rates.

One can’t help but wonder, amidst such dismal set of facts, how is Pakistan still in existence?

After much deliberation, the only answer any one of us can come up with is – it just is.

Pakistan had nothing when it was born. The international media had started predicting the demise of Pakistan, as soon as the nascent state yawned awake.

TIME, in its issue of December 8, 1947 under the caption “Pakistan: Sick” commented that:

“Last week after less than four months of independence, Pakistan was an economic wreck while serious social unrest was arising.”

The area in the subcontinent which was to constitute Pakistan was widely regarded as an economic wasteland with predominantly an agrarian base, producing food and non-food crop with little domestic capacity for processing them. As for infrastructure, it was extremely poor except for the irrigation network, and the railways and roads developed by the British government for transportation of raw materials to sea ports for export to the UK.

Here’s what Pakistan had when it first started its journey in 1947:

– There was only one airport that met the international standards in Karachi

– Only one airline which was owned by a Muslim and that was based in Calcutta

– One sea port in Karachi, and a small anchorage in Chittagong

– Two national shipping companies, with small ships that had a limited carrying capacity of 6,000 deadweight tons.

– There were 5,650 post offices, 15,283 telephones, 12,640 cars, jeeps and station wagons, 277 motor cabs, 5187 buses, 912 trucks, 2,987 two-wheeler motor cycles and 871.6 three-wheeler motor cycles.

– With almost insignificant automated means of transportation, passengers and freight movement was largely dependent on horse-driven tongas, and bullock, mule, donkey and camel driven carts.

– The territory of Pakistan lacked a steady financial structure. There was no central bank or a security printing press. The financial sector was largely under-developed and a large segment of the economy was non-monetised with transactions taking place on a barter basis. This is evident from the proportion of money supply to the Gross National Product (GNP) standing at 15.5% in 1949-1950. The per capita income was palpably lower than India and other Asian countries and reflected endemic poverty.

Still, no recourse was taken to “foreign borrowing” for fear of compromising the economic sovereignty of the state. Social indicators were as dismal as the economic indicators. The literacy rate in all of Pakistan was just 10 per cent and in West Pakistan it was as low as 4.5% in 1948. The government had limited pencils and writing paper, and simply keeping track of the needs and demands was often more than officials could manage.

Muhammand Ali Jinnah, Liaquat Ali Khan and a constellation of his dedicated members of the team went to work.

And, it paid off.

Pakistan’s GNP moved up from Rs17.2 billion in 1948-49 to Rs19.9 billion in 1954-55, raising per capita income from Rs231 to Rs245 billion.

The structure of the economy was transformed from a purely agrarian base to a more diversified base with the share of agriculture in GDP declining from over 60 per cent to 58 per cent and that of manufacturing increasing from 4.7% to 5.3%. The shares of utility services, banking and insurance in GDP also recorded substantial gains between 1948-49 and 1954-55. The social sector indicators showed positive improvement during this period as well. The literacy rate went up from 10 per cent to 15 per cent, following an increase in primary schools from 38,046 in 1947-48 to 40,162 in 1954-55.

Then…we lost our way a little, owing mostly to just our own greed.

We indulged in discrimination against our own people. This led to a growing polarisation in society, defiance of the rule of law, manipulation of religion in distorted ways. With time we allowed interference by western powers to grow. We re-imposed the jagirdari and zamindari systems. Bad governance and corruption fermented in all spheres, and we experienced what most would call a ‘downfall’.

Today, Pakistan, for all it has been through, is still standing.

In 2015, it ranked fifth in countries with improvements in water and sanitation, became the first Asian team to hit 1,000 sixes in Test cricket, ranked fourth on the global intelligence survey, had its national airline earn Rs2.83 billion profits in the first quarter of 2015, had the sixth largest production of dates and had the fifth largest production of mangoes.

It still bred talented, intelligent, courageous and successful individuals, many of whom went to set world records.

Hulbert, in his blog, says:

“A large percentage of the Pakistan population does not view jihadi groups, including the Taliban and other militant religious groups, as dangerous elements…”

No doubt extremism is a several headed monster but his statement is too bold. In fact, the 2014 PEW Research Survey found that only 8 per cent of Pakistanis look at the Taliban as a favourable force, with only 12 per cent looking favourably upon Al Qaeda.

Hulbert goes on to say,

“There is little hope for millions of young men entering the workforce every year.”

Not only is this untrue, he neglected to mention how Pakistan is leagues ahead when it comes to representation of women in the workforce. Pakistan is listed as 64th in the Inter Parliamentary Union’s (IPU) list of women in national parliaments and stands ahead of several developed democracies, such as the United States of America, in this regard.

Furthermore, Hulbert argues,

“Rather than risk it, and as much as we might like to move on, we really should increase the level of engagement with Pakistan, not decrease it.”

Mr Hulbert, we really wish you would just move on. The “level of engagement” countries have bestowed upon us has not always been beneficial

Let’s not forget that the US played a huge role in landing us in our current situation. How could it have slipped your mind that your beloved former president, Ronald Reagan, referred to the mujahideen during the Afghan war, as “our boys”?

When it came to defending the interests of the US and keeping Russia out, you applauded Pakistan’s efforts. As soon as your interests were sufficiently under protection, you dusted off your hands and began pointing fingers.

We, Pakistanis, can still, with just a bit of honesty, hard work, perseverance, tolerance and unity, rescue ourselves like we did before.

As Allama Iqbal said,

Sabaq phir parh sadaqat ka, adalat ka, shujaat ka liya jaye ga, tujh say kaam dunya ki imamat ka.

“Read again the lesson of truth, of justice and valour!
You will be asked to do the work of taking on responsibility for the world.”

May the Pakistani flag flutter in the violent winds, even weakly, even at half mast, but may it continue to stay and hold on till we make things better.


Mariam Kizilbash

The author read her LLM from University College of London and has worked in human rights NGOs in Islamabad and London. She is currently a legal researcher for Corruption Watch (UK).

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • vinsin

    “Pakistan was widely regarded as an economic wasteland” – not true. Pakistan got 25% of land and water resources for merely 15% of population.Recommend

  • ArainQureshi

    Just to let you know, you linked to an April Fools article..other than that not a bad article.Recommend

  • Burst


    Here`s how:

    I think you know whom to thank!Recommend

  • shipwreck

    well written. Before I point out the the positive things, I would like to highlight a few negative things.

    Pakistan has not been existing since 1947, it started a new journey from 1971, when Bangladesh was created. 1971 should have propelled new thoughts, self introspection and debates within the country; sadly, it didn’t. If half the population of United states or china were to set themselves free and formed a new country, would you say, US or china ‘survived’? NO. Then why ‘Pakistan survived’?

    It was not only Pakistan, but the whole of south Asia was dirt poor when they became independent. India is still one of the poorest countries in the world. When Bangladesh was created, it started as a country where millions were massacred, shattered economy and millions of displaced, yet they have come along way in just 4 decades, now they are better than Pakistan in many indicators.

    The US didn’t create Taliban, it was already created by Pakistan somewhere around 1972, the first CIA official or the first time the Americans started engaging with Taliban was in year 1980. A total of 8 years later after Pakistan had already created Taliban.

    And reports of “fourth most intelligent” are dubious at best, and representation of Pakistani women in national parliament is not a entirely are a great indicator of development. Pakistani parliament has always been a place which has been a exclusive zone of elitists. Whether women or men, only the rich, powerful or carrying a certain bloodline of the elite get elected. A look at how much changes they have brought in the system should be a starting point.

    On the positive things, Pakistanis are indeed talented and great people. But I suspect this “survival” of Pakistan is lot to do with the amount of money the non-resident Pakistanis send back home every year, which is also one of the highest in the world. This does the unseen magic within the country. And this magic is the “survival” what you talk about.Recommend

  • Saeed Khan

    An amazing article i must sayRecommend

  • Grace

    I think we all know that there are vested groups that like to raise the spectre of a dangerous Pakistan but the reality is that Pakistan is one of the few functioning Muslim democracies and is probably one of the most stable Muslim countries. This is perhaps the real danger to others. Since Pakistan has great potential and the economy is poised to take off with China’s help, many want to keep Pakistan down. It doesn’t matter that the problems that Pakistan faced with terrorism, economic pressures and refugees were caused by others and that Pakistan was abandoned by the West after defeating the Soviets and ending the Cold War. If you ask me, it’s downright preposterous to call Pakistan dangerous when it was Pakistan that made the world safe by bringing down the Soviets in Afghanistan and ending the nuclear arms race. Think about how the world owes Pakistan so much but this childish writing by some vested interests ignores the sacrifices of Pakistani civilians and soldiers. Anyhow, we all know the nation is resilient and growing despite the consternation of its detractors. Kevin Hubbert and writers like him are only showing their own desperation!Recommend

  • Akbar Sait

    Clearly the developments that have taken place are a tribute to the ordinary people of Pakistan who have shown extraordinary endurance inspite of having to suffer misgovernance at every level.Recommend

  • Vish

    Funny, how all such articles are written by non-resident Pakistanis. Will the author be willing to return to Pakistan to make it the thriving nation she wishes it to be? Or will she just issue emotional appeals from the safety of foreign shores expecting resident Pakistanis to do all the heavy lifting. Hope she is not a dual citizen hedging her bets while hoping for others to improve things.Recommend

  • GulSher

    “Read again the lesson of truth, of justice and valour!
    You will be asked to do the work of taking on responsibility for the world.”
    This verse clearly shows what Iqbal had invested in, but unfortunately we stopped reading and started listening to noise generating from the vested interests.Recommend

  • Anoop

    First of all, Pakistan is Pakistan in name only. The majority people of Pakistan decided to rename their country Bangladesh. Pakistan ceased to exist the day Bangladesh was born.

    So, TIME magazine was bang on the mark. So were Nehru and many Congress leaders. They had predicted its breakup, which eventually happened. 3 million people perished in the 2nd Partition for the people of Pakistan. Bangladeshis didn’t want to be identified with the past so they renamed themselves Pakistan. Since, they were in the majority when Pakistan was created and disintegrated, they have greater rights on the name ‘Pakistan’.

    Pakistan calling itself ‘Pakistan’, is absurd as Pakistan calling itself India after Partition. The majority in India retained the rights to call themselves that. Had Bangladesh decided to call itself Pakistan, today’s Pakistan would have had to look for another name.

    Jinnah and Iqbal were the architects of a failed experiment. Leaders like Maulana Azad had predicted its breakup, so you can’t really claim nobody had any idea a breakup would take place. Nehru thought that Pakistan would fail soon, it just dragged on for 24 years. He was half right. Funnily enough, Jinnah was the architect of Bangladesh as well since he was the one who imposed Urdu over Bengalis, who were in majority. Something had to give after that..

    The so-called Pakistan is surviving today. Surviving is not thriving. Smaller countries are easier to manage than large ones. But, today we see poverty in India is lower than Pakistan and India achieved its Millenium Development goals of halving poverty, while Pakistan didn’t. You can see this is all indicators. Due to low GDP growth in Pakistan, unemployment is rising, so is poverty. Exports are dipping. Pakistan is stuck in a rut and will continue to remain in that position. Something will give.. One can only guess. Balochistan going independent? Sindhudesh? FATA integrating with Afghanistan? Poverty increasing ever rapidly? Population bomb since jobs are not geting created, but population is growing exponentially? You never know..Recommend

  • Cosmo

    Wow so much bravado and no substance! A feel good write is just to brush the problems under the carpet. US did not put a gun to Pakistans head to rope it into the Afgan war, it offered Pakistan a carrot, whihc it is still chasing!!Recommend

  • Humza

    Most of the news coming from international analysts, investment houses and foreign investors such as Moodys, the Economist Magazine and others is positive on the Pakistani economy so I don’t know why there should by any need for concern. When Musharraf was around, there was all kinds of speculation of doom and gloom but it vanished along with him and his dictatorship.Recommend

  • Swaadhin

    How come hitting a 1000 sixes in test cricket is a milestone for a country’s success. As far as intelligence is concerned, I am sure Pakistanis were not dumb in 1947 either. You might have been wanted to talk about the resilience of the Pakistani people but the examples used are not convincing.Recommend

  • 19640909rk .

    “Today, Pakistan, for all it has been through, is still standing.”

    Can somebody educate her that half of Pakistanis broke off and formed a new nation known as Bangladesh? She seems to be un-aware of Pakistan’s history.

    Pakistan still practices genocide in Baluchistan to keep it under control.

    Also Pakistan was not poor when it was born. The wealth of Hindus and Sikhs which constituted 70% of Pakistan’s GDP was snatched. They went to India empty handed.

    Same atrocity was not committed by Hindus of India. Indian Muslims stayed back en-mass. It was windfall for Pakistan like none. Also as soon as Pakistan was formed, they started begging money from USA. All through its history Pakistan has been living on handouts.Recommend

  • Anwaar

    man you can’t resist … :P …Recommend


    Anoop Pakistan today is a nuclear power and any country that looks at us with a dirty eye will be obliterated from the surface of the earth. Yes Pakistan has many issues but we are resolving them in our own way…..and in Pakistan’s case it may take sometime……The scenarios that you created are extremely hypothetical, as nowhere there is a secessionist movement in Pakistan even half as strong as that of the Maoists or the Nagas or the Bodos or the Kashmiris of Hindustan.Recommend

  • Mehsud

    “Pakistan calling itself ‘Pakistan’, is absurd as Pakistan calling itself India after Partition.”

    This statement is like saying India calling itself India is absurd because the real India before 1947 was British India which was an artificial construct based on British politicking and warmongering.Recommend

  • Asad

    hundreds of millions of Indians stay out of India. you know that right ?Recommend

  • Asad

    yea really hurts you someone writing a positive article for Pak, doesnt it ? my sympathies.Recommend

  • Asad

    so India ceased to exist in 1947 when Pak was created and again in 1948 when half of Kashmir was taken from your mouths ? OK.Recommend

  • Swaadhin

    No Asad, it did not hurt!! For ones, you can trust me on it.Recommend

  • Swaadhin

    “The scenarios that you created are extremely hypothetical, as nowhere there is a secessionist movement in Pakistan even half as strong as that of the Maoists or the Nagas or the Bodos or the Kashmiris of Hindustan.”

    Mate, no one expects you to do research before you comment that does not mean you should not be googling about the examples you are giving.

    “Anoop Pakistan today is a nuclear power and any country that looks at us with a dirty eye will be obliterated from the surface of the earth.”

    What if the Taliban takes over Pakistan, will you obliterate yourself?Recommend

  • sanjita

    Indians know that India is responsible for many of the problems in Pakistan. The use of Afghanistan as a base to conduct cross border terrorism in Pakistan for so many years hasn’t helped Pakistan and ultimately destroyed Afghanistan. Afghans begging for asylum all over the world as refugees don’t even know how they were used by their own political leaders in Kabul and Indian leaders. Bangladesh was caused by India too and it was Indira Gandhi who triumphantly said 1971 was India’s revenge for 1000 years Muslim rule. Despite all of this, Pakistan survives and it is finally becoming a stable country. To be honest, if only Kashmir could be settled there would be long lasting peace but India will never let people in Kashmir vote in a free referendum. I know India will try its best to keep at it because it doesn’t want to lose Kashmir when the majority there is for independence or merger with Pakistan.Recommend

  • LS

    What has changed in Pakistan after being nuclear? I say it got worse than before. So nuclear or not you are worse off right now. Take a look at every possible positive Index Pakistani is consistently at the bottom and slipping.. Or look at every possible negative Index and Pakistan is at the top. These indicators themselves measure everything including internal strife and secessionist movement and Pakistan is ranked way dangerous than India. So stop listening to your so called fake defense ananlysts on TV or Mullah who claim that there are 30 odd “Tahreek” chal rahi hai India me…” There isn’t. But it sure is a feel good comment.Recommend

  • sterry

    India only exists because of the British. Let the Indians hate and be consumed by their own negativity. I think Pakistanis need to stop over analyzing every article by someone who against them overseas – especially when they are wrong!Recommend

  • Vish

    True, but none of them write such articles. Hope u understood my comment. Is the author willing to come back, as she writes, to make things better.Recommend

  • Anoop

    India was a land of different cultures with a common theme, which British named India.
    Before that this land was called HIndustan.
    Even before that it was called Bharat.
    If you need, you can refer to India as Bharat. I’d have no problem with it.Recommend

  • Anoop

    North Korea too is a nuclear power. So?
    60,000 Pakistanis, 1 Prime Minister, many politicians, hundreds of soldiers killed by insurgents in the past 10 years, 2 million homeless IDPs and you have the gall to say your successionist movement are of a lesser threat than Indias.
    Emperical evidence is enough to drill giant holes in your assertion.Recommend

  • Sid

    Even countries like Somalia still exists and so does North Korea. Its not the existence, it is the quality of your existence which matters. Question is do you want to exist as black cross mark on world map and history or exist as best country to be.Recommend

  • Mehsud

    India literally means “land where the Indus flows” which technically is in Pakistan (followed by small parts in India and China).

    Hindustan only referred to North West India and Pak. Bharat never included Kashmir, Assam or South India so in order to truly become a realm of the past you would need to give up those areas.

    In any case this culture wars is stupid. Legally both India and Pakistan are an extension of British India.

    You are acting just as unrealistic as those who see Pakistan in the Mameluke Sultanates or Indus valley civilization. If we accept your nationalist claims then we would have to also accept these claims too, no?Recommend

  • Sane

    India also broke in pieces in 1947, but still exists. So, after Bangladesh Pakistan exists. A nuclear power, world’s best army, world’s best doctors/engineers and labors, population of 180 million, fighting global terrorism alone, having indigenous warfare technology. How Pakistan could be a failed state. Pakistan is rapidly progressing.

    This is India, infected by Hindu Taliban having a PM who himself a Hindu Taliban. India is rapidly turning into a failed state. Where politics hangs around BEEF, COW and HATRED. Where minorities are killed daily.Recommend

  • Sane

    Reading your first paragraph, didn’t India cease to exist when divided in 1947. Give some other logic….here and there.Recommend

  • Sane

    It would be more appropriate to call British India, as you say its name has already changed twice. let’s change 3rd time. I suggest more names like; Beefistan, Beefinda, Modiland.Recommend

  • Swaadhin

    “The use of Afghanistan as a base to conduct cross border terrorism in Pakistan for so many years hasn’t helped Pakistan and ultimately destroyed Afghanistan. ”

    Woww.. what a sweeping statement. The Afghans were good at fighting the foreigners and among themselves, the cross border thing which you have finally come to understand as terrorism was actually introduced to them by none other than the Pakistanis.

    “Afghans begging for asylum all over the world as refugees don’t even know how they were used by their own political leaders in Kabul and Indian leaders.”

    “Begging” is an emotive word, let us not get into that unless you have forgotten the response given to your journalists by Hilary Clinton while discussing Kerry- Luger bill.

    “Bangladesh was caused by India too and it was Indira Gandhi who triumphantly said 1971 was India’s revenge for 1000 years Muslim rule.”

    Everything was hunky dory until the Hindu baniya stepped in.

    “To be honest, if only Kashmir could be settled there would be long lasting peace but India will never let people in Kashmir vote in a free referendum.”

    Let us see whom does it hurt more if Kashmir remains a stalemate, we have seen the worse of what you had in offer for us, it is time for India to turn the tables.Recommend

  • Ram Dargad

    ”The per capita income was palpably lower than India ” Was it due to extreme poverty in east Pakistan? At least in year 1971, West Pakistan had higher per capita income than India. The population density in Pakistan is almost half compared to India’s (in spite of much higher birth rate), which is a huge advantage in availability of natural resources.Recommend

  • Ram Dargad

    Your comments are typical of a Pakistani mind, mislead by propaganda. Note Indian point of view, below.
    -Accusations of cross border terrorism should be supported by proofs, acceptable by world community. It is ISI that has been using Pakistani terrorist organizations ( banned by UN) as their strategic asset to bleed India.
    -India helped liberate east Pakistan at the request of Shaikh Mujib, the democratically elected leader of Pakistan, after Pak army created a genocide pushing 10 Mn refugees into India.
    -India was keen to settle Kashmir thru Plebiscite during Nehru era from 1948 to 1964. It could not be done because Pakistan refused to withdraw its troops , a precondition of UN resolution. Thereafter the situation in subcontinent has changed so much that Plebiscite is no more a possibility. Such UN resolutions do not have perpetual validity.Recommend

  • Iqbal

    OMG. What a wasteful exercise of patting ones own back! OK. The CIA guy is harsh, and unrelenting. He exaggerates. But to use the occasion to write a piece completely lacking in an analysis of the criticism is unacceptable. Does Kizlibash realise that such arguments can be used by anybody, any group in this world, with minor modifications? The readers of the Tribune deserve better.Recommend

  • sanjita

    When you realize that there is a world outside India that records and follows events, your arguments fall flat. Did not former US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and many other US officials make reference to India using Afghanistan as a base for cross border misadventure against Pakistan. The Afghans have allowed themselves to play games against Pakistan under Indian instruction to foment trouble in Peshawar and Baluchistan for over 60 years. It has failed so isn’t it time for the Indian leadership to show some genuine regard for peace in the region. You really think there is a deadline on the UN Kashmir resolutions? Do you think there should be a deadline for Tibetans to agitate for freedom or for Palestinians to ask for freedom. When you wake up to the reality that the majority of Kashmiris will never accept Indian rule, peace between neighbors is possible.India has never wanted to respect wishes of people there. If you think India was only acting to help Bangladeshis, you are mistaken.Recommend

  • sanjita

    What you need to understand is that you can’t hold people hostage forever in Kashmir. Whether you like it or not, the majority of Kashmiris do not wish to be occupied by India. It doesn’t matter how many times Indians tell Kashmiris in Srinagar you will be part of India. Over 60 years of terrorizing Kashmiris has not achieved anything. I don’t want the Kashmiris to give what you have in store for them for over 60 years and still have in store. In a modern world, people need to negotiate and not terrorize a region with 600 k soldiers like in Indian Kashmir. It is better to negotiate a settlement in accordance with the UN so the people there can make their wishes known in free and fair electionsRecommend

  • Anoop

    Dude.. with all the Islamic Radicals running around do you really want me to point out the obvious names for Pakistan?Recommend

  • Anoop

    Buddy, read my comment again. Pakistan got divided and the bigger nation gave up its right to call itself Pakistan. What would Pakistan had done, had Bengalis, who were numerically superior decided to stick to the name ‘Pakistan’?

    In this case, the majority decided to retain the name ‘India’, ‘Bharat’ and ‘Hindustan’, as is our right.Recommend

  • Ram Dargad

    ”You really think there is a deadline on the UN Kashmir resolutions?” Yes, if the ground situation changes
    drastically, a new resolution is required. More so, if the delay in implementing the resolution & change in ground situation is caused by the very party who is desperate to implement it. Also note that UN resolution does not provide an option of independent Kashmir wanted by most Kashmiri separatists.
    I am not ruling out a referendum in future, when the subcontinent will be free of religious fanaticism & minorities of Kashmir (driven out by religious fanatics) will be able to return to their homeland & we are assured of protecting their human rights. It will be choice of democratic, secular south asia & not be dictated by the outdated resolution.
    Chuck Hagel’s statement is very weak & vague compared to
    the strong & direct charges, faced by Pakistan from many dignitaries (not Indians) & some Pakistanis too. No wonder, Hagel had to resign.Recommend

  • Ram Dargad

    This is continuation of my earlier reply: You are right- India’s help to Bangladesh also had self interest. It facilitated return of east Pakistani refugees and established a relatively friendlier neighbor on the east.Recommend