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The economic growth rate has averaged 5 percent annually since —a feat achieved by very few countries. Politically, however, the interplay of religious fundamentalism, sectarianism, ethnic cleavages and regional economic disparities has made the country volatile and unstable.
Various East Asian countries that were behind Pakistan in the s have surged far ahead in most economic and social indicators.
Pakistan has thus been unable to realize its potential. It is usually believed that economic growth can take place only in the presence of political stability, but the Pakistani case contradicts conventional wisdom.
In order to explain these paradoxes and contradictions, this article attempts to address the following questions: How can a country that has suffered from political volatility and instability for such a long period achieve high economic growth?
Have periods characterized by stable authoritarian regimes in Pakistan provided the means for long term economic performance? Have external influences, particularly the United States, played a constructive role?
Despite sharing a common historical, cultural and social milieu, Pakistan and India have pursued different paths since independence in Both countries have done reasonably well in improving their economies and reducing absolute poverty levels.
India has, however, emerged as a stable and vibrant democracy while Pakistan has spent half of its post-independence years under military dictatorships and is currently struggling to quell an Islamic insurgency in the northwest part of the country. The democracy—development nexus appears to be well entrenched in the case of India, while it is faltering in Pakistan.
A great deal of recent literature has suggested that China and India are the typical representatives of authoritarian and democratic regimes, but fewer attempts have been made to resolve this puzzle in the case of India and Pakistan, two countries that are more akin to each other and share a common legacy.
The Flat Fifties, to Pakistan came into existence as a moth-ridden country at the time of the partition of India. The British-controlled provinces of Punjab and Bengal were each divided into two parts. The physical separation between eastern and western Pakistan, with Indian territory in between, put Pakistan at a serious disadvantage from its inception.
After the death of the first prime minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, and the ascent of bureaucrat Ghulam Mohammed to the office of Governor-General, the supremacy of politicians in the political order was lost. Changing political loyalty has since become one of the main causative factors of political instability.
Pelf, patronage and power have dominated the political scene. The seeds of separation were further sown when the Muslim League lost the provincial elections in East Bengal due to a growing disaffection with the ruling political elite in West Pakistan.
This elite from the Punjab province, instead of coming to grips with the grievances of East Bengal, adopted a confrontational strategy to consolidate their power by merging all four western Pakistan provinces into one province. As a result, East Pakistanis were antagonized when their province, which contained the majority population, was forced to accept parity with newly-formed West Pakistan in the Parliament.America Media is the leading provider of editorial content for thinking Catholics and those who want to know what Catholics are thinking.
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As empires acquired massive wealth, the unequal distribution of this wealth across social classes placed enormous pressure on the political and social order.
Eventually, all of the classical civilizations could not deal with the problems created by their own internal or external crises.