par excellence. 238
Such was the response of the people to the government's emphasis on national development that during Ayub's "Decade of Development," agricultural "output increased at a rate unprecedented in Pakistan's history; by the end of the Ayub era, the country's output of foodgrain had more than doubled in just over eleven years." 239 In the 1980s, during Zia's regime, we see a contrast to the 1960s. Instead of focusing on developmental programs, the state through its "Islamization" programs dragged the country into facile religious controversies. The regime's preoccupation was with prayers. The president of the country announced how the system of prayers was to be organized in every village and urban district; it gives a good idea of the regime's priorities:
Only those persons are being appointed for this service of religion who have sound moral character and their piety is so exemplary that their words will have deep effect on the hearts of people. The procedure for this exercise for the time being [italics added] is based on persuasion and motivation and not on compulsion. But we are determined to succeed in establishing the system of prayer at all cost. 240
While in the 1980s the country's gross national product increased at twice the rate of other low-income countries, the overall state of the economy was such that at "no time during the country's history--not even in the difficult period immediately following independence-- . . . the economic institutional base was as weak as in the early eighties." 241 In international politics, images are an important component of interstate relations, especially with the West which is not impressed with religious slogans, and for good reason. For example, in the 1980s, "although Russian intervention in Afghanistan resulted in a serious reappraisal of Pakistan's strategic situation, it did not lead to a substantial increase in aid flows." 242 A Pakistan that is perceived to be progressive is most likely to receive technological assistance from the West, which can further enhance the developmental process. It can enhance, but the impetus and direction for development have to come from within the society, from its own consciousness.
In Pakistan, the way Islam has so far been taught, interpreted, understood, and practiced by the religious establishment, and as a consequence by the vast majority of the population, is almost completely at variance with what the Qur'an teaches. Astonishingly, reliance has been primarily on the hadith literature, which is the source of the sharia/sunna/traditions, and not the Qur'an itself. The result is that there is a very vague and distorted idea about what Islam means. The ideas on Islam are based essentially on a highly questionable
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Publication information: Book title: Islam and Modernization:A Comparative Analysis of Pakistan, Egypt, and Turkey. Contributors: Javaid Saeed - Author. Publisher: Praeger. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1994. Page number: 112.
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