QUAID-E-AZAM LECTURES : Institutions for growth, equity and security


Pakistan was one of the top ten economic performers among the developing countries in the world during the first forty years of its existence. These forty years were tumultuous in the history of the nation but .the record of achievements was impressive. Starting with a very weak economic base at the time of independence in 1947, followed by nation building, continuing political instability in the aftermath of the death of its founder. It successfully absorbed and rehabilitated 8 million refugees or one fourth of the total population, fought a war with a much larger and powerful neighbor India in 1965, and went through a painful and traumatic dismemberment of the country in 1971. The emergence of a populist political regime that indulged in massive nationalization of private assets in the 1970s accompanied by an external shock of major oil price increases gave a big blow to business confidence and dislocation of the economy. Close involvement with the US in the Afghan War to oust the Soviet Union in the 1980s and the associated fall out i.e., spread of sectarian violence, drugs and Kalashnikovs shook the social fabric of the country. Despite these and many other challenges, internal and external, the country was able to register 6 per cent average annual growth rate during the first forty years of its existence. Pakistan was ahead of India and Bangladesh in all economic and social indicators.

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