Pakistan, 1997

By Craig Baxter; Charles H. Kennedy | Go to book overview

2
Is Pakistan's Past Relevant for Its
Economic Future?

Shahid Javed Burki

In a number of earlier works 1 I have argued that most important decisions that have influenced Pakistan's economic development must be understood by analyzing the political and social context in which they were taken. It is only with the help of this kind of in-depth analysis that we can fathom the motives behind the actions taken by a number of important leaders in Pakistan. Pakistan's fiftieth year has been one of the most difficult in its history. With the economy in shambles, the administration headed by Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif needs to move ahead decisively. It must adopt a number of policies aimed at bringing about a deep structural change in the economy. Without such a structural transformation, Pakistan will be subject to recurrent economic crises of the type that have marked its fiftieth year. The question then is, will the country's social and political situation allow the new government to undertake deep reforms? We will look at Pakistan's social, economic, and political history to search for an answer to this question.

By way of preface to this brief paper I should also point out that for a number of years I remained optimistic about Pakistan's economic future. In many articles and speeches written and given in the late 1980s, I argued that Pakistan was well on the way to achieving the status of a middle-income country. 2 I used to suggest that Pakistan would have achieved that status in the 1980s if its remarkable progress during the period President Ayub Khan held office had not been interrupted by the political populism unleashed by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's six and a half years in office were to set back Pakistan by a couple of

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Pakistan, 1997
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • 1 - Pakistan Elections 1997: One Step Forward 1
  • Conclusion 14
  • Notes 15
  • 2 - Is Pakistan's Past Relevant for Its Economic Future? 17
  • Notes 33
  • 3 - Pakistan and the Post-Cold War Environment 37
  • Notes 57
  • 4 - Judiciary in Pakistan: A Quest for Independence 61
  • Conclusions 73
  • Notes 75
  • 5 - Liberalization of the Economy Through Privatization 79
  • Conclusions 89
  • Notes 97
  • 6 - Revivalism, Islamization, Sectarianism, and Violence in Pakistan 101
  • Notes 118
  • 7 - Challenging the State: 1990s Religious Movements in the Northwest Frontier Province 123
  • Notes 138
  • 8 - Pakistan's Environment: Pressures, Status, Impact, and Responses 143
  • Notes 159
  • Chronology (september 1994-April 1997) 163
  • About the Contributors 181
  • Index 183
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