Book Review: Ijaz Nabi, Naved Hamid and Shahid Zahid, The agrarian economy of Pakistan: Issues and policies


The book under review is in the nature of a wide-ranging overview of issues in Pakistan’s agriculture by three of the country’s distinguished economists. It is particularly welcome as only the second comprehensive work on the subject to appear in the 1980s, [the first, Mahmood Hasan Khan’s Underdevelopment and Agrarian Structure in Pakistan, was reviewed in the inaugural issue of this journal in (1982)] . Although individual readers will doubtless find much in this book that is commendable (and some that is contentious), an enumeration of the book’s strengths and weaknesses will probably not be as useful as an indication of possible revisions and extensions that can be undertaken by the authors and their professional colleagues. I think this review strategy is justified because: (i) much of the material in the book is based on the authors’ previous work and has passed through review procedures elsewhere; (ii) at the same time, the book offers considerable potential for revision and extension, indicated both by what the authors have covered and what they have omitted; and, (iii) a thematic discussion of the book could help articulate hypotheses and policy for the future.

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