Contemporary Problems of Pakistan

Contemporary Problems of Pakistan

Contemporary Problems of Pakistan

Contemporary Problems of Pakistan


"Despite weeks of negotiation with the leaders of the Congress Party and the Muslim League, the British Cabinet Mission failed in its efforts to maintain a united India. As a result, in 1947 the Asian subcontinent was partitioned into a Muslim-majority but geographically divided West and East Pakistan and a Hindu-majority India. Of the nations created after World War II, Pakistan is one of only two founded on a religious ideology: Islam. But religious cohesion did not mitigate the monumental problems that confronted Pakistan's leadership as it strove to establish the basic economic, political, and social institutions needed to govern a geographically divided nation. After forty-six years of independence, Pakistan faces the twenty-first century with great potential, yet it must surmount tremendous barriers in order to attain its ambitious goals. This book considers the range of social, political, and economic problems facing Pakistan today. The contributors analyze the country's attempts to control explosive population growth, ease ethnic confrontations, and cope with a flood of Afghan refugees as well as to deal with the demands for education, women's rights, economic growth, and greater democracy." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Shortly after the turn of the century, the eminent sociologist William Graham Sumner claimed that the "maintenance [economic] mores are basic to the well being of every society." Regardless of whatever economic philosophy a nation has pursued, this truism has stood the test of time. At its founding, Pakistan was primarily an agricultural society with a minimal industrial base. Today the industrial /commercial part of the economy is closely approaching that of agriculture in importance.

This volume offers a discussion of some of the most important problems that continue to confront the government of Pakistan, many of which will challenge the nation's leadership for years to come.

Aside from the brief effort of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan's leaders have avoided any attempts to institute Draconian measures to establish a Marxist economy, and Zia ul-Haq's efforts to impose his Islamization program have been diverted from full fruition. Nawaz Sharif, on the other hand, has set the nation in the direction of a market economy by denationalizing some basic industries that Bhutto nationalized.

Shahid Javed Burki points up some of the major failings as well as strengths of previous administrations and indicates the positive aspects of the nation's early leaders, who eschewed the adoption of ideologically based measures in an effort to seek a Utopian paradise. Nevertheless, a measure of success was achieved over the years when one considers the monumental problems that confronted the fledgling state at its birth. Much of the success, however, was due to generous aid from abroad, particularly the United States. In the last two decades remittances from Pakistanis employed in the oil-producing states have played an important role in contributing to a rising standard of living. With the impending end of aid from the United States and with the decline of employment opportunities for Pakistani workers in the Middle East, the nation's leaders will have to revise their development programs to include these changes.

Burki also points out the potentially devastating effect the continued high fertility rate will have on the future development prospects of the nation. In spite of current difficulties, Burki presents a ten-point agenda that could contribute to the continuing economic development of the nation by the year 2000.

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