“Na Khuda hi mila, na visaal-e-sanam/Na udhar kay rahay, na idhar kay rahe (I found neither faith, nor union with my lover/And now I belong neither there nor here).”
Pakistan's quest for democracy under civilian rule has produced neither democracy nor development in the Islamic country of over 180 million people. Currently, Pakistan is experiencing 6th consecutive year of stagnant economy and human development under an elected but highly corrupt "democratic" government run by the Sharif family and their cronies for their own benefit.
Is it a Democracy?
Can one call it a rule-of-law or democracy when the Sharifs illegally order the Lahore police to attack the home of Allama Tahir ul Qadri, kill over a dozen unarmed civilians including women, and then refuse to file a report (FIR) of the incident at the local police station? Can you call it constitutional rule when the ruling politicians openly defy the Supreme Court orders to hold local government elections under Article 140 (A) of the Pakistan constitution? Is it democracy when all of the most powerful government positions are held a few members of the Sharif family and their close friends?
Is it Development?
Is it development when Pakistan's human development progress is the slowest in decades? Is it development when Pakistan faces another lost decade like the decade of 1990s under PPP and PMLN rule? Is it development when Pakistan continues to drop in world rankings on social indicators included in the UNDP's HDI index?
Pakistan's HDI grew an average rate of 2.7% per year under President Musharraf from 2000 to 2007, and then its pace slowed to 0.7% per year in 2008 to 2012 under elected politicians, according to the 2013 Human Development Report titled “The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World”.
|Source: Human Development Report 2013-Pakistan|
At 0.515, Pakistan's HDI is lower than the average HDI value of 0.558 for South Asia which is the second lowest among the various regions of the world tracked by UNDP. Between 2000 and 2012, the region registered annual growth of 1.43% in HDI value, which is the highest of the regions. Afghanistan achieved the fastest growth (3.9%), followed by Pakistan (1.7%) and India (1.5%), according to the United Nations Development Program.
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.
|Source: The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World|
|Source: The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World|
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.
Acceleration of HDI growth during Musharraf years was not an accident. Not only did Musharraf's policies accelerate economic growth, helped create 13 million new jobs, cut poverty in half and halved the country's total debt burden in the period from 2000 to 2007, his government also ensured significant investment and focus on education and health care. The annual budget for higher education increased from only Rs 500 million in 2000 to Rs 28 billion in 2008, to lay the foundations of the development of a strong knowledge economy, according to former education minister Dr. Ata ur Rehman. Student enrollment in universities increased from 270,000 to 900,000 and the number of universities and degree awarding institutions increased from 57 in 2000 to 137 by 2008. In 2011, a Pakistani government commission on education found that public funding for education has been cut from 2.5% of GDP in 2007 to just 1.5% - less than the annual subsidy given to the various PSUs including Pakistan Steel and PIA, both of which continue to sustain huge losses due to patronage-based hiring.
|Source: Pew Surveys in Pakistan|
Looking at examples of nations such as the Asian Tigers which have achieved great success in the last few decades, the basic ingredient in each case has been large social sector investments they have made. It will be extremely difficult for Pakistan to catch up unless similar investments are made by Pakistani leaders.
Civilian rule in Pakistan has delivered neither democracy nor development. The country stands at a crucial juncture with highly energized Pakistanis staging a historic massive sit-in in Islamabad since August 14, 2014. They have shaken up the ruling Sharif family and forced them to seek Pakistani military's help to save themselves from the wrath of the people. Any decisions made by Pakistan's military and politicians now will have long term impact on the health of the country. Let's hope these decisions bring about changes which help accelerate socio-economic development while making Pakistan's rulers more accountable and responsive to the people for their actions.
Here's a video discussion on the current political crisis in Pakistan:
Pakistan PM Invites Army Intervention; Can Army Chief Save Nawaz Sharif Govt? from WBT TV on Vimeo.
Another Lost Decade in Pakistan?
Pakistan Military's Role in Current Crisis
Civilian "Democracy" Vs Military "Dictatorship" Debate in Pakistan
Saving Pakistan's Education
Political Patronage Trumps Public Policy in Pakistan
Dr. Ata-ur-Rehman Defends Pakistan's Higher Education Reforms
Twelve Years Since Musharraf's Coup
Pakistan's Economic Performance 2008-2010
Role of Politics in Pakistan Economy
India and Pakistan Compared in 2011
Musharraf's Coup Revived Pakistan's Economy
What If Musharraf Had Said No?
Musharraf did well because he was heading a stable govt. there was no imran khan or qadri. The point is whether pakistan wishes to be a democratic state or a military state. Fortunately, the founding fathers of pakistani constitution chose democrazy. Therefore it not open even to pakistanis to go back on this. Instead pakistanis should inculcate the japanese type harworking qualities and succeed. Hardwork will never fail.
US President Richard Nixon won his second term in a landslide. Yet, he was forced to resign because he was suspected of ordering burglary of his opponents' party headquarters in Watergate. Sharif brothers in Pakistan are suspected of something far more egregious: Ordering police to attack TuQ's home and murder a dozen un-armed civilians in the dead of night. And then refusing to register a case. It calls for Sharif brothers ouster if they do not voluntarily resign.
I am not sure the Military regime should be applauded here. Yes there is not much to say about the civilian government either. The Asian Tiger Miracle has to do more with savings rate and exports.
Export policies have been the de facto reason for the rise of these four Asian tiger economies. The approach taken has been different among the four nations. Hong Kong, and Singapore introduced trade regimes that were neoliberal in nature and encouraged free trade, while South Korea and Taiwan adopted mixed regimes that accommodated their own export industries. In Hong Kong and Singapore, due to small domestic markets, domestic prices were linked to international prices. South Korea and Taiwan introduced export incentives for the traded-goods sector. The governments of Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan also worked to promote specific exporting industries, which were termed as an export push strategy. All these policies helped these four nations to achieve a growth averaging 7.5% each year for three decades and as such they achieved developed country status.
Moin: "Export policies have been the de facto reason for the rise of these four Asian tiger economies"
Pakistani military govts also focused on expanding export.
Pakistan's exports triple during Musharraf years 2000-2007.
In 1969 as Ayub Khan's decade of development ended, Pakistan’s manufactured exports were higher than the exports of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia combined.
I am appalled. I am appalled at the apathy of Pakistani society in not supporting for once what is clearly ( in my lifetime at lest ) the most serious and deep rooted attempt at reform. I am appalled at the pretentiousness of many otherwise perfectly logical and sane people, for not supporting this serious attempt to get rid of this terrible putrid sewerage system of so called democracy, so cunningly labelled by self serving politicians to safegurad their golden geese. These poliicians who have destroyed all semblance of good order and governance, simply because of this label of so called democracy. Look at these names who have been in political power in one form or shape or the other, be it a civilian or military administration. Look at this horrible horrible roll call. Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Ishaq Dar, Saad Rafique, Asif Zardari, Khurshid Shah, Fazlur Rehman, Asfandyar Wali its an endless list of self serving, corrupt to the core, people. While some may criticise IK and TUQ for resorting to "undemocratic" methods. Here's something to ponder. What choice do IK and TUQ and and people like us have. We cant boot the Nawaz Sharifs and Asif Zardaris out through the electoral process because they have "bought" the entire process. We cant take them to court, because they have "bought" the entire judicial system. We cannot hold them for administrative impropriety. misgovernance, gross and blatant use of authority in appointments, misuse of public funds, corruption, brazen conflict of interest because they have "bought" the entire administrative structure. So IK and TUQ and people who want reform had and have no option but to resort to what they have done. Because, while theoretically we have a parliament and an elected government and there is due process for acquiring power, the system has been hijacked and held hostage by these "professional crooks" masquerading as political leaders. Look at Khurshid Shah thundering in parliament, earlier today and look at the sickening amount of ill gotten wealth he has acquired through corruption since 1991 when he was ifrst elected as am MNA. Can anyone justify this terrible and blatant hypocrisy and criminality. While some may not like IK's arrogance ( I do) or TUQ's Canadian citizen ship ( irrelevant). BUT If these two can set in motion the wheels of change for a better, prosperous Pakistan with strong institutions, especially the Police and the Judiciary, an electoral process which does not hand over power to a bunch of professional crooks with just 10 to 15 % of the registered vote, a system of political accountability which does not allow people in power to blatantly and brazenly misuse authority and public trust and public funds, and a country where no one Faith is imposed on another, I am all for it. And for those professional politicians with IK ( not many with TUQ) who think that they will benefit once again from the 'IK" bandwagon, as they have done on other bandwagons in the past...I think they are in for a surprise!!
Prof Riaz ul Haq sb,
India has finished 71 in Global Competitive Index 2014-15, Pakiland has finished 129.
Thank God for partition!
Anon: "Thank God for partition!"
In spite of all of Pakistan's problems, an average Pakistan is better off than an average Indian today with lower hunger, less poverty, better health and hygiene.
In a united India, Pakistani Muslims would fare much worse like the Indian Muslims who are the new untouchables.
An Indian government commission headed by former Indian Chief Justice Rajendar Sachar confirms that Muslims are the new untouchables in caste-ridden and communal India. Indian Muslims suffer heavy discrimination in almost every field from education and housing to jobs. Their incarceration rates are also much higher than their Hindu counterparts.
According to Sachar Commission report, Muslims are now worse off than the Dalit caste, or those called untouchables. Some 52% of Muslim men are unemployed, compared with 47% of Dalit men. Among Muslim women, 91% are unemployed, compared with 77% of Dalit women. Almost half of Muslims over the age of 46 ca not read or write. While making up 11% of the population, Muslims account for 40% of India’s prison population. Meanwhile, they hold less than 5% of government jobs.
FINALLY, a sensible article from Dr. Yaqub, former governor of State Bank of Pakistan....
2014 Domestic Savings have fallen even further to an abysmal historical low of 7.5% (see Table 1.6 on page 18)--
the article states...
'The Musharraf government followed an unwise policy of consumption-stimulated increase in economic growth. It proved short-lived and fuelled both inflation and balance of payments crises, which ultimately brought down the growth rate'
Riaz is unlikely to agree with you there he thinks Pakistan's problems can be solved by the fauj...these finer 'bookish economics' details don't interest him you see.
Anon: "The Musharraf government followed an unwise policy of consumption-stimulated increase in economic growth. It proved short-lived and fuelled both inflation and balance of payments crises, which ultimately brought down the growth rate'"
He's absolutely wrong. Musharraf era economy was fueled mainly by rising investments.
Domestic savings rate was about 18% and foreign direct investment reached $5.2 billion, or 3.5% of Pakistan's GDP. These investments fueled economic growth from 2000-2008. In my view, the activist judges led by former chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry have contributed significantly to the sharp decline in FDI and domestic investments in the country.
Read more at http://www.riazhaq.com/2014/05/declining-investment-hurting-pakistan.html
Ayaz Ali stands outside the only school in his southern Pakistan village, struggling to recall the last time the lone teacher showed up. It was at least five years ago.
“I’d come back but we haven’t really seen the teacher for some time now,” said Ali, 16, who now spends his days in the fields picking cotton and wheat near Allah Warayo village in Sindh province. “I don’t think he’s returning.”
The school is strewn with plastic bags, while urine stains and dried-out feces emit a foul smell. Since district education officials say the school is technically still open, Ali has no alternatives that he can afford.
Ali’s plight shows how Pakistan’s government often poses a bigger obstacle to a quality education than Taliban militants who shot Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai in the face two years ago. One in three students now attends a privately run school, up 50 percent from a decade ago, as a failing public system produces one of the world’s highest truancy rates.
“People are rushing to private schools,” said Mosharraf Zaidi, campaign director for Alif Ailaan, an education advocacy group in Islamabad, who added that poor students like Ali who can’t afford private school are the ones who suffer most. “The answer isn’t private, private, private. The answer is to fix the government.”
The country has seven million children who are out of school, two-thirds of them girls, and most of them lack minimum mastery of math and reading, according to a World Bank report in April 2014. Pakistan ranked 113 of 120 countries on the United Nations’s Education for All index.
Pakistan is a young country, with a third of its population less than 15 years old. Even so, spending on education fell for a second straight year to 2.1 percent of gross domestic product in 2012, among the lowest in the world, according to the latest available data from the World Bank. That’s about half as much as the nuclear-armed nation spends on its military, budget documents show.
Since his election in May 2013 Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has focused on stabilizing an economy hit by a power crisis that curbed growth. Provincial governments are responsible for overseeing education, according to the constitution.
Ali’s school in Allah Warayo is typical of government-run schools, which are often in decaying buildings that lack running water, toilets or proper furniture. Teachers are frequently absent or don’t attend at all.
Private schools are increasingly filling the gap. Pakistan now has more than 150,000 for-profit schools, at least 25,000 madrasahs and hundreds of other non-profit schools. That compares with 233,300 public schools, according to the government’s Economic Survey 2014.
Elite private schools in well-to-do sections of big cities can cost as much as 30,000 rupees ($300) a month. These offer better salaries to attract highly qualified teachers and provide a good standard of education.
Politicians often stand in the way, said Atta-ur-Rahman, a former chairman of the constitutionally mandated Higher Education Commission. Poorly qualified teachers are routinely hired as a way to dish out favors in return for votes.
“The feudal landlords who have ruled over us are determined to keep the people of Pakistan uneducated,” Atta-ur-Rahman said. “This allows them to loot and plunder the national exchequer at will.”
In Allah Warayo village, Ali is stuck toiling in the fields as he waits for his school to reopen.
“I really miss my math class,” he said. “If I can go back to school, I will leave this farm work and finish my education so I can get a proper job and take care of my family.”
Departing UNDP Official on Pakistan:
1 Pakistan's Progress on Development Isn't Fast Enough
Mr. Franche is quoted as saying he is frustrated that a country full of “capable and intelligent” people isn’t making more progress on reducing poverty and modernizing the state. “The fact that even in 2016, Pakistan has 38% poverty; it has districts that live like sub-Saharan Africa; that the basic human rights of minorities, women and the people of FATA [tribal regions in the northwest] are not respected; that this country has not been able to get its act together and hold a census; or that it has not been able to push for reforms in FATA, an area that is institutionally living in 17th century. It is extremely preoccupying,” he said.
2 The Country's Political Class 'Uses Its Power to Enrich Itself'
The UNDP official said the country’s elites needed to change their lives to help Pakistan. “You cannot have a political class in this country that uses its power to enrich itself, and to favor its friends and families. This fundamental flaw needs to be corrected if Pakistan is to transform into a modern, progressive developed country,” he is quoted as saying.
He said elites take advantage of cheap labor while partying in London, shopping in Dubai and investing in property abroad: “The elite needs to decide, do they want a country or not,” he is quoted as saying.
Mr. Franche also had a word for the propertied classes. “I have visited some very large landowners, who have exploited the land for centuries, paid nearly zero money for the water, and how they almost sometimes hold people in bondage. And then they come to the United Nations or other agencies and ask us to invest in water, sanitation, and education for the people in their district. I find that quite embarrassing,” he is quoted as sayin
3 Local Governments Need Real Power
Mr. Franche said provincial governments in Pakistan don’t have enough power. “Only KP [the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province] has a decent law that gives real power and real money to the local government. Local government does not mean that you just elect them and deny them fiscal resources or power,” he said.
4 Pakistan's Media Is 'Manipulated'
He also said the media should be one of the pillars of democracy, but “unfortunately, the level of dependence of the government on military authorities, and the degree by which a lot of media in this country is manipulated by powerful sources, are sources of erosion of democracy and erosion of the institutions that are the foundations of this country.”
5 Country Needs More Opportunities
“The apartheid of opportunities in Pakistan is horrible, which is why so many young people are trying to leave the country,” Mr. Franche is quoted as saying.
“Pakistan will not be able to survive with gated communities where you are completely isolated from the societies, where you are creating ghettos at one end and big huge malls for the rich at the other end. It is not the kind of society you want your kids to live in.”
World Bank: #PTI governed #KP tops in human development in #Pakistan, #PPP led #Sindh at bottom. #ImranKhan #HDI https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/164287-KP-progressed-in-human-development-says-WB-report …
The World Bank (WB) has categorised the PTI-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on top among all four federating units of Pakistan for making progress in different areas of human development.
“Pakistan’s provinces have experienced very different levels of progress in human development over the last decade. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa seems to have made the most progress in a number of areas,” the WB’s report titled “Pakistan Development Update” states.
According to the WB, the gross primary enrolment rate in the KP increased three percentage points between 2010 and 2015, in a period when other provinces were deteriorating. The child immunisation rate in KP increased from 40 percent in 2005 to 53 percent in 2013 and 58 percent in 2015, the largest increase of all provinces over that time period.
Sindh, on the other hand, appears to be flat-lining across the same indicators. Child immunisation was lower in 2015 than it was in 2005 (45 and 46 percent respectively) and the gross primary enrolment rate also fell from 82 percent in 2010 to 79 percent in 2015.
Stunting in Sindh also remains very high. Sindh continues to face large differences in urban and rural outcomes, which are most stark in water and sanitation where only 31 percent of rural households have a flushing toilet compared with 97 percent of urban households. Only 23 percent of Sindh schools are equipped with basic facilities compared with 93 percent in Punjab, 44 percent in KP and 26 percent in Balochistan.
Punjab has had mixed success while Balochistan has struggled. The data suggests that Punjab is also stagnant in some of the social outcomes over recent years. Its improvement falls between Sindh and KP, having made steady progress on child malnutrition (particularly stunting), as well as child immunisation and rural sanitation while making little or no progress on enrolment rates and the quality of learning outcomes.
Balochistan has struggled to increase its particularly poor outcomes, seeing deterioration in learning outcomes (only 33 percent of year 5 children could read a story in 2014) and child immunisation. Gender equality is improving somewhat – from a low base – in education and the workforce progress on women’s empowerment is also mixed. While gender inequalities persist, women are slowly participating more in education and work. Female labour force participation is slowly increasing, albeit from a low base (from 19.3 percent in 2005 to 24.8 percent in 2014) and more girls are completing lower secondary.
The ratio of female to male literacy is steadily improving, with seven literate women for every 10 literate men in 2015. This ratio differs wildly across provinces, however, with Balochistan exhibiting only four literate women for every 10 literate men.
Population growth is a key challenge for service delivery. Looking forward, population growth presents a key challenge for all areas of human development. Systems are not expanding quickly enough to increase access and coverage to Pakistan’s fast-growing population. Service delivery strategies will need to take a long-term view if services are to capture a greater share of a growing population while also improving quality, the report concluded.
Ahmed Jamal Pirzada
Doesn't look good for Pak: the human capital index has stayed flat since 2005. While "avg years of schooling" has increased from 4 years in 2000 to 6 years in 2015 (Barro-Lee dataset), the quality has not improved. Worse, the gap with regional countries has increased since 80s.
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