The Economy of Pakistan

The Economy of Pakistan

The Economy of Pakistan

The Economy of Pakistan

Excerpt

This study represents an attempt to describe and discuss the main aspects of Pakistan's economy. There are numerous very good surveys of the economy of undivided India, but few have attempted to describe, in a comprehensive manner, the greatly changed economy of Pakistan. The massive transfer of population and the major readjustments in finance, banking, transport and trade routes, all make it necessary for a serious student of the life of South Asia to investigate recent developments in Pakistan economics. At first, the newness of Pakistan and a host of urgent problems prevented the compilation of complete and accurate statistics, without which economic study must be largely guesswork. In the past few years, however, a greatly improved mass of data has become available, and it seems desirable to publish this analysis without further delay.

Briefly, the economic story to date is one of apparently insurmountable initial handicaps, largely overcome, only to be followed by a succession of natural disasters, bravely faced. It would have been a real achievement for Pakistan barely to have survived the difficulties of its early days. It has, however, reached its tenth birthday with a growing maturity and national determination which bids fair to overcome the recent setbacks in food production and commodity prices. In August 1947 the newborn Dominion consisted of two widely-separated parts of the subcontinent, with no adequate connexions between them. An estimated six million non-Muslims left Pakistan and an even greater number of Muslims immigrated from India under conditions of misery and even horror for a large proportion of those concerned on both sides. Division of labour had previously been practised largely along communal or religious lines, so that the wholesale transfer meant that Pakistan acquired a disproportionate number of artisans, peasants and small shopkeepers, as against the large number of wholesalers, importers, exporters, clerks, teachers, bankers and other professional people who departed.

The complicated irrigation system of the Indus Basin, the centuries-old Grand Trunk Route and the important broadgauge railway line from the Khyber to Delhi were cut by the . . .

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