BANGALORE, India India and Pakistan-- rival nations that have fought many wars and were constantly indulging in saber rattling for half a century-- may find software development a common thread in their recent friendly moves toward each other.
A delegation from Pakistan led by the Pakistan Software Houses Association (PASHA) was in Bangalore looking for a growth plan to kick-start that nation's software sector, by jointly addressing the Middle East markets in partnership with Indian software firms.
At about $500 million, Pakistan's software exports hardly compare with India's much higher numbers, but the recent overtures by the two long-time Asian rivals could be significant in tapping the Middle East market, where Pakistan is ideologically better suited to address. They could tap into India's famed software development skills to do this.
The Pakistani delegation's visit follows that by a team from India's National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) to Pakistan. The Pakistani delegation has said that development costs in Pakistan are cheaper than in India and hopes to take advantage.
What the results of the current efforts of Indian and Pakistani software firms to partner will be is hard to figure given the turbulent past between both countries. But clearly, a war with Pakistan is seen by India as a geopolitical risk that could affect the Indian software industry as an offshore software development destination.