The book seeks to shed light on the journey of Pakistan’s development over the last six decades. It is a journey that began with promise and hope but has become mired in disappointment and despondency when compared with the dynamic economies of East Asia (China, South Korea and Taiwan) and South-East Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam), all of which were at roughly the same level in terms of per capita income in the early 1950s. Indeed, India, of which Pakistan was a part until 1947, was considered to have the best prospects of any major economy in Asia at the time (see tables in Appendix). Pakistan began the journey reasonably well, and although the country had its share of twists and turns, a mood of mild optimism remained intact up to the 1970s. Thereafter, Pakistan’s ruling elite1 — politicians, senior civil servants, military leadership and businessmen — seem to have steadily lost their bearings and, instead of concentrating on development as the core objective, began an obsessive preoccupation with security and national identity issues based upon an exclusively religious narrative about Pakistan’s separation from India.
KeywordsSocial Justice Land Reform Rural Economy Rural Poor Washington Consensus
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