Economic Survey of Pakistan 2014-15 Education Report also shows that the country was poised to achieve MDG goals in years 2001-2008 during President Musharraf's rule. Then came "democracy" in 2008 and human development progress dramatically slowed down.
|Primary Enrollment Source: Economic Survey of Pakistan|
|Youth Literacy Rate Source: Economic Survey of Pakistan|
Human development index reports on Pakistan released by UNDP confirm the ESP 2015 human development trends.Pakistan’s HDI value for 2013 is 0.537— which is in the low human development category—positioning the country at 146 out of 187 countries and territories. Between 1980 and 2013, Pakistan’s HDI value increased from 0.356 to 0.537, an increase of 50.7 percent or an average annual increase of about 1.25.
|Pakistan HDI Components Trend 1980-2013 Source: Human Development Report 2014|
Overall, Pakistan's human development score rose by 18.9% during Musharraf years and increased just 3.4% under elected leadership since 2008. The news on the human development front got even worse in the last three years, with HDI growth slowing down as low as 0.59% — a paltry average annual increase of under 0.20 per cent.
Going further back to the decade of 1990s when the civilian leadership of the country alternated between PML (N) and PPP, the increase in Pakistan's HDI was 9.3% from 1990 to 2000, less than half of the HDI gain of 18.9% on Musharraf's watch from 2000 to 2007.
|South Asia HDI Trends 1980-2013 Source: Human Development Report 2014|
Who's to blame for this dramatic slowdown in the nation's human development? Who gave it a low priority? Zardari? Peoples' Party? Sharif brothers? PML (N)? PML (Q)? Awami National Party? Muttahida Qaumi Movement? The answer is: All of them. They were all part of the government. In fact, the biggest share of the blame must be assigned to PML (N). Sharif brothers weren't part of the ruling coalition at the center. So why should the PML (N) share the blame for falling growth in the nation's HDI? They must accept a large part of the blame because education and health, the biggest contributors to human development, are both provincial subjects and PML(N) was responsible for education and health care of more than half of Pakistan's population.
Why is it that "democratic" governments fail to deliver on human development? Is it just a matter of allocating insufficient funds? Or is it poor governance? Corruption? The answer is "all of the above". Ghost schools that exist only on paper are quite common, especially in Sindh, according to multiple credible reports. The funds allocated for building and staff salaries of these ghost schools are siphoned off by politicians and bureaucrats. Where school buildings do exist, the teachers draw salaries but are often absent. Such teaching positions are filled by untrained people in return for bribes. Many of these allegations against predecessors have been confirmed by by Sindh Education Minister Nisar Kuhro.
Actions of Pakistani politicians of all parties are discrediting democracy and endangering Pakistan's future. They are their own and the country's worst enemies. They must find a way to deliver on socio-economic development to restore ordinary Pakistanis' faith in democracy before it's too late.
Pakistan's Lost Decades
Saving Pakistan's Education, Airline and Railway
Asian Tigers Brought Prosperity; Democracy Followed
Pakistan Democracy: Neither Democracy Nor Development
Challenges of Indian Democracy
Pakistan's Economic History
Comparing Bangladesh with Pakistan
Economic and Human Development in Musharraf Years
India's Share of World;s Poor Up from 22% to 33%
Why is Democracy Failing in Pakistan?
Musharraf Era Higher Education Reforms in Pakistan
Comparing 30-Year Dictatorships in Indonesia and Pakistan
Democracy vs. Dictatorship in Pakistan