ALL VERY IMPORTANT ESSAYS FEDERAL PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION COMPETITIVE EXAMINATION FOR POSTS IN BPS-17 UNDER THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, 2000 GENERAL KNOWLEDGE PAPER-I
Islam and Liberal Democracy
The end of the Cold War and the demise of the Soviet communist empire have shown the dominance of liberal democracy and capitalism over all other possible alternatives. The emerging “New World Order“ has been characterized by the collapse of communism and the global demand for democracy. Fukuyama even went as far as declaring the
“end of history“: `what we may be witnessing is not the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of postwar history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalisation of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government. However, after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and indeed before that, the attention of many scholars and government officials has been directed towards the lack of democracy in the Islamic states and the reasons for it. Many scholars while trying to explain the rationale why the Muslim world is not successful in the development of pluralism, liberalism and other democratic values `have concluded that it must have something to do with culture, and more particularly with Islam. The results of the Freedom House report in 2005 identified three Muslim countries as free, 20 states as partly free and 23 as not free at all. (Freedom in the world 2006) The table on Islam and democracy shows that democracy has not found a home in the region and the authoritarianism continues to be a strong force in Muslim domains. Here states with an Islamic majority comprise one in two of the world’s authoritarian regimes.
The increasing level of interest towards democracy within the Muslim world is growing dramatically. People are no longer willing to support dictatorships. `… Muslims have recognized that democratic revolution may be the only way to deliver them from the hands of the dictators and despots that rule their states.` (Milton-Edwards, 2004: 116) Nevertheless the incompatibility of Islam with the notions of liberal democracy has been stressed by many scholars, although it is strongly argued by the majority that Islam and democracy can co-exist and allow the societies to prosper. This essay will try to analyze the complex relationship between Islam and democracy. The essay will identify trends within Islam that can be related towards democratic governance, as well as trends that underline Islam’s irreconcilability with the liberal values of democracy. Also, some of the views of the Islamic intellectuals within the Muslim community and their relationship to the processes and experiences of democratization will be analyzed.
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Islam and Democracy.
`In Islamic history, there are a number of very important concepts and images that shape the contemporary visions of what a just human society should
be.` (Esposito and Voll, 1996: 23) However, the interpretations of such concepts
and images vary and there are some considerable discrepancies about the definition of a just society in the Muslim countries. Just like in Christianity, the various elucidations of Islamic customs can lead
to the support for authoritarianism as well as liberal democracy. This essay will try to analyse the relationship from both perspectives. First some concepts that clearly challenge democracy will be identified. In this context Abu al-Ala al-Mawdudi stated that the `political system of Islam has been based in three principles, viz: Tawheed (Unity of God), Risalat (Prophethood) and Khilafat (Caliphate).` (Mawdudi, 1967: 40) While Risalat is not particularly important to this study and will be mentioned briefly, the other two may dramatically contradict each other, depending on interpretation.
The first principle emphasizes that the unity and sovereignty of Allah is foundation of the Islamic system. There can be only one sovereign and that is God who delegates His authority to umma. Here the first contradiction with democracy arises as the Tawheed principle raises the question whether the shari’a limits the freedom of people. According to the scholar al-Turabi `it does not since all the people believe in the principles and details of shari’a law, and apply them wholeheartedly as an expression of their free will.` (in El-Solh, 1993: 60) However democratic, secular values are based on the principle of popular sovereignty, power of the people and the separation between religion and politics. But how can there be democracy in the Islamic society if the concept of sovereignty of the people conflicts with the sovereignty of God? How can secular principles be adopted if there is no separation between the state and the mosque, public and private, religion and politics? For Mawdudi a perfect Islamic state is the one governed by Shari‘a, while the single ruler is only selected to represent God and Muslims. The concept of Risalat may come in here as Prophet Mohammad combined religious leadership as well as being a political ruler of his people. Mawdudi sees that as the only way to rule an Islamic state, `the kingdom of God`. (Mawdudi, 1976: 159) This view was supported by Ayatollah Khomeini who underlined the fact that the Islamic state is not a dictatorship because the leader rules according to Divine law, not his own will.
He later explains that the Islamic state cannot be a democracy where people make their own rules because: `It is the rule of the Divine law as interpreted and applied by the Just Faqih – the duty of the people is to obey in accordance to the Koran.` (in Zubaida, 1993: 17) Also, it is important to note the notion of fatalism in Islam, as described by Voigt (2005). The concept of ultimate sovereignty of God implies fate as the determination of any person’s future. From this perspective the liberal democratic traditions of representation are not valid as the people are not the masters of their own future but fate and the will of God govern the outcome of every action. For democracy to be successful `relevant parts of the population need to be convinced that to a considerable degree their individual actions, not fate, determine their lot.` (Voigt, 2005: 68)
The second important concept is Khilafah. The early theories
of the caliphate
identified the leader as the `caliph`, however the contemporary debates discovered a new meaning of the term. In this sense
human beings are interpreted as God’s agents, or His representatives on earth. This proposes equality
among all of the people in the eyes of God, which according to Esposito and Voll (1996) makes any human hierarchy impossible and condemns a hierarchical, dictatorial system
as non-Islamic. (This theory, however is
argued by La Porta, Lopez-de-Silanes, Shleifer and Vishny (1997) And as His vicegerents people are `required to exercise Divine authority in this world within the limits prescribed by God.`, that is live according to Islamic system of rule. (Mawdudi, 1967: 42) The principle of Khilafah brings Islam closer to liberal democracy in two ways. First, just like in the democratic states, people are equal. Second, the identification of “caliph“ with humanity as a whole, rather just with a single ruler encourages the caliphate to reach a certain level of self-governance which will be reflected in the process of mutual consultation (shura) and consensus (ijma). This is the political outcome of the theory of the caliphate of human beings. In this context Islam is believed to be superior to democracy in guaranteeing the unity of umma since it calls for a consensus rather than the rule of the majority.
The principle of shura is now presented by many as `the functional equivalent of Western parliamentary rule, and as the basis of authentic Islamic democracy` because it
`demands open debate among both the ‘ulema and the community at large on issues that concern the public.` (Kramer, 1993: 7, Abootalebi, 1999: 16) The importance of consultation as part of an Islamic traditions is recognized extensively. Shura may be carried out formally, or through an assembly or council (majlis). This clearly shows Islam’s compatibility with democracy. Supporters of democracy have tried to expand the idea of consultation during the nineteenth and twentieth century. Most scholars agree that the decisions affecting the life of umma have to be made by the community itself and this should now involve the development of an assembly of representatives. `Shura thus becomes a key operational element in the relationship between Islam and democracy.` (Esposito and Voll, 1996: 28) However, there are some controversies regarding the notion of shura. It does not define the process of consultation. Is it binding for the ruler to seek umma’s advice and is he bound by the verdicts of those consulted? Such disagreements again allow for various interpretations and may support both authoritarianism and democracy. `Principles of shura manifest in relationships between ruler and ruled in modern-day states are highly restricted and are not inclusive of all in a society.` (Milton-Edwards, 2004: 116) The possibility of opposition and disagreement to the laws of the ruler is highly limited in such conditions. Any such disagreement may be interpreted as the cause of fitnah, another Islamic concept that strongly contradicts the freedoms of expression of liberal democracy. It requires total submission to the ruler.
Muslims must listen to their leader,
be passive and obey. Revolt is not tolerated
in Islam and the umma cannot be divided. This concept can be used by the ruler to accuse the opposition in threats to Muslim faith and legitimize the persecutions because the Quran instructs the umma to actively oppose fitnah:
`Kill them whenever you meet them, and expel them from anyplace
from which they expelled you, because their fitnah is worse evil than the act of killing.` (The Holy al-Quran, 2: 189-190) Fitnah justifies the great reluctance of the rulers to allow for unlimited
freedom of speech.
It encourages the limited acceptance of pluralism within the framework of Islam only and recognizes that any kind of authority is better
than anarchy. If someone
disagrees with this framework they are labeled the enemies of Islam. `As long as there is no certainty as to who defines the `framework of Islam,` and where exactly
power and interest come into play,
pluralism and democracy remain in jeopardy.` (Kramer, 1993: 8) The concept provides much of the debate over the rights of opposition in democratizing Muslim societies.
There are a number of shared assumptions at the core of contemporary writing about the relationship between Islam and democracy. Islam’s traditions of the equality of people as God’s agents, the sole sovereignty of God, the existence of government to ensure an Islamic life and enforce Islamic law and that the head of the state is a mere representative of the umma that can dispose of him at any time, each contribute to the debate of the compatibility of Islam and liberal democracy. All of these traditions, however, can be interpreted to support both liberal democracy and authoritarianism.
There seems to be no immediate solution to the debate, except for the fact that Muslims are not willing simply to adopt Western democratic models. Such scholars as Huntington, Kedourie and Kramer argue that Islam is uniquely undemocratic and that the Muslim world can never democratize. They contend that Islam is simply lacking the institutions and structure for democracy to grow. They stress the reluctance of Islam to adopt Western values and question Islam’s ability to deliver a representative and accountable regime. To quote Bernard Lewis:` in principle the (Islamic) state was God’s state, ruling over God’s people; the law was God’s law; the army was God’s army; and the enemy, of course, was God’s enemy … the history of Islamic states is one of almost unrelieved autocracy.` (Lewis, 1993: 6) Others, like Soroush, Milton-Edwards and Midlarsky name other reasons for the lack of democracy in Muslim domains and argue that `Islam and democracy are not only compatible, their association is inevitable. In a Muslim society, one without the other is not perfect.` (Soroush in Wright, 1996: 68) However, the critics of Islam are right about Muslims not willing to adopt the Western style of democracy.
Instead Korany (1994) suggests that it should the other way around and democracy should employ and respect
the principles of Islam if it is to be successful in Muslim states: `if Western democracy wants indeed
to travel, it has to learn the language
of the countries it visits. Such familiarity with non-Western contexts will help this latest Western product to indigenize, get universalized, and lose in the process
some of its negative historical connotations.` (Korany, 1994: 512)
JUDICIAL ACTIVISM IN PAKISTAN
- What is Judicial Activism?
- Origin of Judicial Activism
Marbury Vs Medison case Macquillun VS Maryland Case
- Judicial Activism in Pakistan
- Historical Background
eg. Moulvi Tameez ud din case, Dosso case, Nusrart Bhutto Case
- Current scenario
- Is it a Judicial Activism or Judicial Adventurism in Pakistan?
- Causes of Judicial Activism
- Mal performance of executive
eg. Sugar crisis, Punjab Bank scam, missing person issue
- Mal performance of legislature
eg. NRO, 17th amendment, ambiguity in laws
- Corruption/ No accountability d.Violation of Fundamental Rights of people
e. Role of strong civil society
- Repercussions/impacts of Judicial Activism
- Protection of Fundamental Rights of people
- Check on extra-constitutional acts of administration
- Political adventurism
- Public awareness against injustices
- Legal status of Judicial Activism
- Suo moto notices U/A.184(3)
- Judicial Review Power
- Supreme Court is guardian of Fundamental Rights of people
- Precedents..eg USA and India
- Judicial Activism Vs Parliamentary Sovereignty
The SC cannot be the forum to make the final arbitration. It can interpret the constitution but cannot take away the rights of the people
Since its creation, Pakistan witnessed multiple military coup d’états that obstructed the growth of democracy. None of the elected parliaments could complete their term. Either the head of the state or the military dissolved parliament. The then governor-general dissolved the first Constituent Assembly in 1954 when the drafting of the constitution reached a final stage. Tamizuddin Khan, the president of the Constituent
Assembly, challenged the governor- general’s action in the Sindh High Court. The Sindh High Court accepted the writ and after a proper hearing declared the action of the governor-general illegal, who appealed against the judgment to the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan. The country fell into a deep constitutional crisis. Ignoring protocol, the governor-general reportedly went and met Chief Justice Munir at his residence. The SC in its judgment validated the action of the governor-general under the infamous ‘doctrine of necessity’. The same person had earlier dismissed the prime minister on the ground that he had lost the confidence of the people. It was true that the dismissed prime minister became unpopular in the eastern wing of the country but it was the job of parliament to have a no-confidence vote to remove him from office. The governor- general was supposed to act on the advice of parliament. His successor Iskander Mirza followed the same path. He dismissed Prime Minister Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy on the pretext that he no longer enjoyed the confidence of the people but did not allow him to test the confidence of parliament. Two years later, the same Iskander Mirza dissolved parliament, abrogated the recently promulgated constitution and handed over power to General Ayub Khan. This marked the beginning of the dismemberment of united Pakistan.
General Ziaul Haq took charge of the country in the backdrop of a mass movement launched by the opposition parties, protesting the rigging of the parliamentary election in 1977. The government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto tried to contain the movement by force but that did not help. The movement turned violent and caused large
scale destruction of life and property. General Zia seized the opportunity and overthrew the government. Bhutto was detained on the charge of the
attempted assassination data copied from vu solutions dot com of Ahmed Raza Kasuri. The Lahore High Court found Bhutto guilty and sentenced him to death. The verdict of was challenged in the SC. The full bench of the SC gave a due hearing and by a narrow margin upheld the verdict. This judgment of the highest court gave rise to controversy, casting a shadow on the independence of the judiciary in Pakistan.
Benazir Bhutto’s government was dismissed by the president in 1996 on the ground
it was corrupt and failed to uphold the rule of law. The dismissal of the government was challenged in the SC, which upheld the decision. The crux of the matter is that people elect members of parliament and the party winning the majority seats becomes
eligible to form the government. As long as the party in power commands the confidence of parliament, it has the right to govern the country. In the event the president reserves the authority to dismiss the government on the ground of poor performance or being involved in corruption, it denies the very principle of governance of the people. Should the government fail to perform up to the expectations of the people or drifts away from its commitment, it is the people who should decide the fate of the ruling party in the next election. They will either re-elect the party or give a chance to another party to form the government. In the same vein, the SC cannot be the forum to make the
final arbitration. It can interpret the constitution but cannot take away the rights of the people. The elected government represents the majority members of parliament and thereby represents millions of people in the country. The SC, regardless of the depth of knowledge on the law of the land and the constitution, cannot overrule the choice of millions of people. If it does, it will dismiss the very essence of democracy — the government is of the people, by the people and for the people.
The judiciary in Pakistan came under turmoil during the regime of General Pervez Musharraf. In the year 2000, a good number of judges of the high courts and the Supreme Court had to leave because of their refusal to take oath under an ordinance issued by the office of the president. The situation improved after the last parliamentary election. The Chief Justice and judges sacked by the military regime were reinstated. This was a healthy move and people expected that the judiciary would again be the forum of last resort to seek justice.
The SC of Pakistan on June 19, 2012 disqualified Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, declared his membership of parliament void and declared him ineligible to participate in elections for the next five years. Earlier the SC had found Mr Gilani guilty of contempt of court. The court observed that since no appeal was filed against the judgment, the conviction had attained finality. It noted that the Speaker should not have gone beyond her authority to find faults in the judgment of the apex court.
The issue that has shaken the country and cost Mr Gilani the job of the prime minister centres round the money allegedly transferred to Swiss banks by President Asif Ali Zardari. After the dismissal of Ms Benazir’s government, Mr Zardari was arrested and kept in jail for nearly eight years. The administration could not prove any of the charges of foul play allegedly committed by him and failed to get him convicted in court. Judged in this backdrop, the attempt of the highest judiciary to dismiss the prime minister and thereby his government on the issue involving the president seems untimely. It has added to political instability when the country is facing the wrath of the superpower.
People cannot ignore the reality that a government deeply troubled by economic and security problems cannot effectively confront an international challenge. On the other hand, the action of the SC has come as a reminder
to the politicians that they do not
LIST OF IMPORTANT TOPICS FOR ESSAYS
It is the list of those essays which has been asked in previous css exams and intend to b most important. By practicing those essays u can achieve robust grip in essay. The following essays may not repeat but surely play crucial role to enlarge idea that how a css essay paper formatted.
- Dilemma of the water and energy crisis in pakistan (2003)
- Art critics and reviewers (2003)
- Alleviation of poverty (2005)
- Persecuted poor women (2005)
- Foreign direct investment (F.D.I) in pakistan (2006)
- Global warming (2006)
- Personalization of pakistani politics (2006)
- Formal and casual dressing codes (2003)
- Liberalism (2006)
- Existentialism (2003)
- Socio-economic challenges faced by pakistan (2005)
- Islam versus the west (2005)
- International crisis in terrorism (2000)
- Humour in urdu literature (2006)
- Higher science education in the developing countries (2000)
- The search of truth (2005)
- Nuclear weapons are not only a great peril but great hope (2006)
- Austerity, As a solution og all our economic problems (2000)
- Economic prosperity of a nation is directly proportional to the level of literacy in it (2001)
- Politics is perhaps the only profession for which no preparation is though
- National Integration ( 2001)
- Risk of “Sovet syndromt” for pakistan (1999)
- Higher economic problem at pakistan and how to meet them (2000)
- Devolution of power in pakistan (2001)
- Art and morality (2000)
- Need for serious planning in techinical education in pakistan (2000)
- Is the world ready of the Gene age? (1999)
- Public office is a public trust (2001)
- Piety at public expence (1999)
- The greatest of evil and the worst of crime is poverty (1996)
- The struggle to raise`s a nation`s living standard is fought first and foremost in the class room (1999)
- Pleasure of idleness (1997)
- Eternal vigilane is the prie of liberty (1996)
- Renaissance in the muslim world : Prospects and perils (1999)
- The press and the nation rise and fall together (1996)
- Most of the history is guessing and rest is prejudice (1999)
- Expanding I.T ; a curse or blessing (1997)
- CTBT and its implications for pakistan (1996)
- Decay of Idealism in pakistan (1999)
- Human development must b objective for all other development (1997)
- Ravages of flood and their control in pakistan (1996) 42.The current economic scenario at pakistan (1996)
- Pakistan as leader of the islamic world (1998)
- Iz small family necessarily a properous family ? discuss (1996)
- Muslim perception for west ,and the western perception for islam (1997)
- World economic scenario and paksitan place in it (1998)
- Accountability first and elections later (1996)
- The causes of female backwardness in pakistan and an appraisal of contribution that woman can make to nation development effort (1996)
- Fralty thy name is woman (1998)
- Nuclear weapons are not only a great peril but great hope (2006)
- Danger of nuclear war in the years to come (1998)
- Civil war “in afghanistan” consequences for regional countries (1997)
- The seourge of sectarian militancy and ethnic violence in pakistan (1996)
- The role of science in next century (1998)
- Democracy in pakistan will remain insecure without strong local self- government institution (1997)
- History as “the biography of great men ” (1998)
- My philosophy in life
- In democracy the voter of the vicious and stupid count but under any other system they might “be running the show”.(1997)
59 The United Nations : Its triumphs and failures since its inception (1998)
- Estrangement from our own culture is driving us on the verge of collapse,not just our identity but out morality (2005)
- WTO (world trade organisation) and its implication for developing economies like pakistan (1997)
- A review of the political and economical development (1998)
- The national economy and its tribulation (1997)
Important quotations for essay
- Truth is short supply (2006)
- Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change (2003)
- Young habits die-hard (2003)
- We grow too old soon and too late smart (2006)
- Every art is an imitation of nature (2000)
- “Brain like heart” go where they are appreciated (2006)
- Every solution breeds new problem (2006)
- “of all the needs a book has, the chief need is that it be readable” (2000)
- Turn not thy check in scorn toward folk nor walk with pertness in the land ( Al-Quran) (2001)
- Education ahs for its object the formation of character (2000)
- Justice delayed is justice denied (2001)
- And who is saved from narrow-mindedness…….such are they who are successful ( Al-Quran ) (1999)
- Man was born free and every where he is in chains (1996)
- Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes (2001)
- None but the brave deserve the fair (1997)
- Self-conceit may lead to self destruction (2001)
- Who eats the fruit should atleast plant the seed (2001)
- The cream rises to the top,so does the scum (1999)
- Man gets what he strives for ( Al-Quran ) (1996)
- It is not only fine feather the makes fine birds (2001)
- For forms, of government , Lets fools contest, whatever is administered best is best (1999)
- The manner in which it is given is worth more than the gift (1997)
- I disapprove what u say but i ll defend to death your right to say it
- The best plae to find a helping hand is at the end of your arms (2001)
- How can a man indulge in bribery, and nepotism ,and injustice, and in extortion ,and indeception ,without batting an eyelid, if he believes in here after (1996)
- lots of folks confuse bad management with destiny (2006)
- Genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains (1998)
- There comes a time to put aside principles and do whats right (2006)
- All life is a game of power,the object of game is simple enough to know that (1998)
LIST OF IMPORTANT PCS TOPICS
Following is the list of essay which has been asked in PCS exam
- Imperatives of justice
- Role of information technology in 21st century
- The purification of politics is an iridescent dream
- Moral standards in internation relations
- Causes of backwardness of muslim countries
- Significance of human rights in modern society
- Internation terrorism-fact or fallacy
- Importance of tolerance in social life
- New world order-hopes and Apprehensions
- Personal liberty is the paramount essential to human dignity and human happiness
- Good governance and the role of public servant
- If u wish the sympathy of broad manes, then u must tell them the
crudest and most stupid things
- Sweet are the uses of adversity
- Progressive alleviation of poverty in pakistan………an overview
- Hero-worship is the strongest where there is least regard for human freedom
- Education make a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive,easy to govern ,but impossible to enslave
- Advancement in science and technology is the gateway to the economic properity of a country
- We never know worth of water till the well is dry
- Is pakistan ready to meet challenges of 21st century
- The barbarity of ethnic cleansing
MOST IMPORTANT TOPIC LIST
- Right of women
- Nation which lose faith in god,deteriorate
- Moral standard in international affairs
- Role of expatriats in pakistan progress
- Is modern civilisation is failure ?
- Menace of human traffickling
08 Man`s place in universe
- Your concept of an ideal beaurocrate
- Women place in home and society
- Joint family system
- The power and responsiblity of the press
- Trends in pakistan`s foriegn policy
- Falling standard of education……causes and remedies
- The need and importance of tolerance and moderation in politics
- Importance of independence of media
- Upcoming elections
- First and foremost duty of government
- Population planning in pakistan
- Peer pressure
- Role of political parties in pakistan
- The end of cheap oil….or Oil crisis
- Importance of women in islamic society
- USA behavior with muslim world
- Should higher education be provided for the selected few only?
- Isreal, the treat of world peace
- Self finance scheme in the government institute
- Scientific progress is confronting natural system
- higher education in pakistan
- Modern banking,finance and employment are part of one single paradigm
- Genuine rural uplift can only make our country strong and self-reliant
- United we stand……Divided we fall
- A long dispute means that both parties are wrong
- The mystical and idealistic spirit of islam
- All recorder history is contemporaneous
- Corruption in pakistan
- National solidarity…..ways and means of achievements
- Longing for love
- Politics should be a forbidden fruit for our students
- Interest free banking or Ideal banking system
- Pluralistic vision of Islam
- Science and religion
- Inflation in pakistan…..Discuss reasons
- Importance of education for women
- clash of civilization
- Drug…..a great menace or Addiction to drugs
- Future of baluchistan or baluchistan crisis
- ISI acussation report
Media in Pakistan:-
“When complaints are freely heard, deeply considered, and speedily reformed, then is the utmost bound of civil liberty attained, that wise men look for.”– Milton
No power on this earth can block the truth as it is God who, being the truth Himself, guards it. Nowhere in history could the truth ever be suppressed, it always revealed itself in some other form and with dangerous consequences.
British philosopher John Stuart Mill underlined the need for free speech mainly for three reasons. He believed that freedom to read or write is an important element to expose and reveal the truth, to ensure self-development and self-fulfillment of citizens and to help ensure participation of the citizens in a democracy.
The Pakistani media is an enthusiastic member of the new warrior clan of the 21st century and despite belonging to war-torn country, is playing active role in keeping with the demands of the modern times. By airing divergent views and engaging in cross questioning on significant national and social issues the media reflects and informs public opinion and practically shares the task of the parliament. Investigative reporting and live discussions can undermine the spell of many a magicians.
This has facilitated public access to the hitherto unseen workings of the political and bureaucratic set-up while simultaneously highlighting the injustices suffered by the common man as a result of the shady practices of the elite.
After a significant role of media in restoring the judicial crisis, media has an unprecedented ability to act as a catalyst in civil society efforts to strengthen democratic polity.
The fundamental ingredient making democracy possible is the flow of information. The media (plural of medium )electronic, print, cyber and internet ensures this flow of information. If restricted, censored or hindered in any way the people will remain ignorant, ignorant of events, ignorant of their rights, their duty to the State, their needs and the role that they can play for the betterment of the society they live in and the country as a whole.
Macaulay called the Press as Fourth
Estate of the government, but the advent of
technology the media has gained new dimension, great strength and very sharp transforming the present age into information explosion.
The media plays an extremely important role in transmitting the claims of social, economic and political movements to the decision-makers and the public. A free press and electronic media is an essential attribute today of a democratic polity because only these sources of information can keep not only information flowing freely but also help maintain a constant dialogue between the policy makers and the masses.
How did TV Channels Emerged in Pakistan:
Surprisingly, the free electronic media in Pakistan was initiated by a dictator General Musharraf, though he had his own interests to present himself as a democrat President before the West.
Growth of Satellite system facilitated it technical side. President Musharraf to project Enlightened Moderation and democratic image.
Multinationals’ advertisements provided huge income to make the business viable.
The peoples’ interest in watching their issues instead of traditional dramas and movies.
The world after 9/11 and talk shows got the attention of the Pakistanis and the Muslim world. Talented anchor persons became the voice of the people.
Less readership and more viewer ship due to busy life spread the culture of watching.
Availability of TV sets due to China imports and cheap manufacturing in Pakistan.
New local government system in 2001 and 2002 the urgency to provide electronic media at the grass-roots level.
Allowing media freedom was not a choice for Pakistan’s establishments. It was their compulsion. During the Kargil conflict the Pakistani establishment had learnt the bitter lesson that PTV commanded only a limited audience. People watched Zee News and other Indian channels to get the other side of the story.
backdrop it was decided
the Pakistan needed its
own independent electronic
Western Media and need for local Media:
The Western Media Cover Iraq, or Afghanistan, WMD. A.Q. Khan, London bombings, Pope’s remarks about Islam or Islamabad agreement with tribal elders in South Waziristan, but with its own comments and showing one as Hero and other as Villain. The world is in the grip of War of Media.
Johann Galtung, a distinguished journalist, maintains that media projects violence without analyzing its causes for unresolved issues portrays one side as’ ‘Evil’ and the other as ‘Liberator.’ Kevin Doyle quotes the theory of ‘Propaganda Model’ and explains that the modern Media promotes the division within the global village which is enhancing insecurity.
The US controlled western media, is blaming Islam and Muslims as terrorists. If some Muslims are terrorists, it does not prove over a billion Muslims are terrorists. Former President CBS News, Richard Salient reveals,
“Our job is to give people not what they want, but we decide they ought to have.”
Miracles of Electronic Media:
Modern-day electronic media, on the other hand, has employed advanced technology to wage a bloodless war in the form of investigative reporting and live debates.
The combined usage of auditory and visual sensory perceptions by the electronic media can succeed in stimulating deep emotions and sensations.
Televised news is the most powerful medium today, especially in Pakistan where the literacy rate is extremely low. Due to impact of TV channels, the people are more informed. The electronic media, along with the print media, often criticize the government for going against the spirit of the constitution, violating democratic traditions and being unaccountable to the public at large for inflation, unemployment, poverty, deterioration of the law and order situation and highhandedness against opposition.
It can be
used as a motivational force
bring consensus on vital issues like education and health. The truth is that the
significance of the media as a medium
of human affairs cannot be undermined in an age of rapid globalization.
It seems to have overtaken the press in forms of impact on the target population in as much as it reproduces events and characters on the screen directly and promptly. The advent of independent TV channels in the country substantially transformed our culture and political discourse. Television is far more effective pervasive, intensive and graphic than print media. Its impact on the public mind is substantially higher than that of the print media. Live coverage on television not only provides us with the most up-to-date information about events but also engages the viewer in a way that print media cannot do the in the same way.
It is usually claimed that the job of the media is the dispassionate presentation of facts. The fact is that the job of the media person is not to serve as a post office but more importantly to educate the public through informed reporting so as to facilitate as objective an opinion formation as possible. A free media that works conscientiously can serve as the collective conscience at the national and international level. This, however, is often easier said than done.
The reporter or journalist is after all human and endowed with biases and in some cases prejudices and as with all power bases the media too is vulnerable to the corruption of the absolute power. There will always be those in their ranks who can be bought with cash or perks or promises of paradise. But then there will always be those who are not purchasable because they know that their reporting can make or break individuals, communities and nations — a heavy burden indeed.
The skilled and bold personality of anchor person raises people’s voice and clearly asks the real point of the crisis.
They analyze government actions, either in favor or against the masses and develop the opinions of the experts.
Media is serving as true democratic
notion of people’s participation.
The general peoples’
criticism, analysis, and comments are
added. which also act as a
The ruling feel shame while speaking bluff in live shows before the millions of the citizens.
Media successfully informs the whole world against any injustice and shows world’ criticism which compel the government to change its autocratic orders.
Shows government’s projects internationally to get foreign investment by projecting the benefits of the enterprise.
Advertising to maintain competition among various companies which facilitates the public. Like, mobile phones and their lowering prices.
It represents new business trends going in the world and offering the new opportunities for the investors.
Performance of stock exchange keeps update the investors.
Spreads technical education to learn the working of the machinery.
Bring the world at doorstep
with its various trends, colors and life styles.
Changes moods and behavior of people from conservative to liberal.
Bold topics through dramas and talk shows to purify the society from superstitions, evils and fake stories.
New household styles to upgrade the living standards.
Guides the youth for new opportunities and to compete with the world in all fields of life.
Creates civic sense.
Authentic information by the competent scholars instead of narrow minded and ignorant clerics who have changed the world into hell.
Solutions of answers of publics’ questions which remain unheared and unexplained.
Highlights religious events like Mohram, Eid, Mairaj and the holy ramazan.
Sectarian harmony is minimized by putting forward the views of competent and enlightened Ulamas.
Blackmailing by the media persons to get personal gains as now practically, media is not answerable before any institution.
Sensationalism of news to get cheap popularity.
To show one as Evil and other as Liberator by continuously repeating the comments or visuals.
Vulgarity due to inflow of foreign culture. The English and Indian channels are affecting the moral of the youth.
Time wastage due to constant watching the dramas.
More materialism by diminishing simplicity.
Generation gap is increasing on account of fast approach towards life.
Weakening religious impressions due to foreign
culture and time wastage.
Challenges to Media:
The violence stricken areas like FATA, Balochistan, the journalists are terribly vulnerable. In 2008, almost 12 journalists were killed and 6 in 2009. It has curbed the free flow of information.
Pakistan is facing conflict of ideologies between conservative and secular approaches. Therefore media is cautious in debating on such sensitive issues
The government indirectly restricts media by withholding advertisements.
Media monopoly by big groups is also obstructing the expansion of smaller channels
PAMERA have frequently threatened to cancel the license. Also other government agencies pressurize.
The political issues are so debated that other social, religious and psycholoigical aspects are not properly addressed.
Though the media as an institution enjoys enormous power and influence, media organizations are not charity houses: they operate as businesses and have commercial interests. There is a natural tendency to indulge in corruption and malpractice when an institution enjoys absolute power, particularly in the absence of a strong system of accountability.
The Government verses Media
Our country is rapidly drifting towards destruction due to the ever-increasing corruption and poor governance.
Since independence, corruption and mismanagement have become common norms. Now media has to work hard to sweep the dirt. As a result, the government considers it as humiliation and defeat. The anchors like Kamran khan, Dr Shahid Masood, Hamid Mir, luqman Mubasher, Talat Hussain etc. have successfully criticized missing people, steel mills case, Kerry Lugar bill, NRO, rental projectors, victimization by members of the assemblies and the inside stories of DEALS with each other.
This government has no ability or a
morally upright resource to take
cognisance of it; our
attorney-general has resigned due to corruption charges, the minister for parliamentary affairs has been named in a corruption case involving tens of million rupees and it is needless to mention the conduct of our ex-chief justice Abdul Hameed Dogar.
The banning of Meray Mutabiq is unacceptable to 170 million Pakistanis who believe in the freedom of speech. This is an attack on free speech and the media by the current regime which must be resisted. Dr Shahid Masood has been bringing the facts before the nation.
He is a professional journalist and must be allowed to continue his show.
PEMRA and Freedom of Media
The Authority is responsible for facilitating and regulating the establishment and operation of all broadcast media and distribution services in Pakistan. The mandate of PEMRA is ensure accountability, transparency and good governance by optimization the free flow of information. But the ex-President Mushraf issued orders’ “To seize broadcast equipment or seal the premises.” When journalist refused to be overawed by indirect threats, a draconian law in the form of the Pemra (Amendment) Ordinance, 2007, was promulgated. This law is on its face contrary to Article 19 to the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973, which guarantees freedom of speech, expression and the press…. To raise the fine of violations tenfold and if required to suspend the lincense.”
Sensationalism in the Media:
What is sensationalism? Dog bites Man. This is old news. We already know the outcome. Man bites Dog. This is sensationalism: it immediately stirs the listener’s mind and is the cause for great hype.
The dramatic background music, images of clashes between security officials and civilians, and riots all form a part of sensationalism, enticing the viewer to turn on the television set. Whatever the truth, does not matter, television is selling, making money and that is the true motive.
On the other hand the growing trend in broadcast media for attracting anchors on heavy remunerations, anchors who possess skills of creating sensationalism and who spice news with hypothesis, is an example of how media channels are departing from objectivity and balanced reporting.
Furthermore, the frequent switching of anchors from one channel to another mainly for economic gains in
utter disregard of the basic ethos of
the journalistic profession also supports the argument
that broadcast media in Pakistan
is headed for over-
These channels sometimes most of the time have been guilty of over-doing things with their moment-by-moment commentary. Give them some time (a decade at least!), they’ll mature over time.
Also they would just cut anybody, a politician would be there talking and they will cut him in the middle saying buhat buhat shukriya app ka
During the Lal masjid episode she even once said to DG ISPR app qaum ko koi pegham dena chahin ge. he said, BB main yahan apni duty de raha hoon, qaum ko pegham dene nahin aya.
The claim of Sub se pehley has started a mad race.
The media has realized its power and ability to penetrate an innocent mind and they are exercising it so savagely.
The private channels are owned by big investors with a purpose to enhance business. They have to afford massive expenses, so, competition to excel others makes them irresponsible. In order to attract more view ship and resultantly more commercials-they even sometimes forget the damage caused to national interest.
A bold and blunt anchor person undermines the set standards. The petty events are heightened. Tiny is made mighty and vice versa-on the grounds of personal grudges or at the behest of the owners.
Moreover still, the mood of the public is not as mature as in the strong democracies due to lack of education and weak sociopolitical and cultural norms.
Causes of Controlled Media:
The imperial heritage has been hallmark about politics. In Pakistan, not only the dictators but also the civilians rulers took unconstitutional steps, covered their own corruption along with their associates. Internal corruption of judiciary all were only possible with a curbed media.
Narrow minded religious parties
once the blue eyed boys of the
military restricted media
Media has been the fear of every general after taking over the government.
The illiterate masses have been exerting zero pressure on the policy makers.
The reason for different views are the investors. If a party or institution invests in the media, they want to see their own views reflected. The views reflected are not necessarily of the public, nor of the employees, rather, the views of those who pay wages to these employees, in turn shaping not only their view, but also the public.
Corporate barons who own a large chunk of the Pakistani Media obeyed the official orders to get monetary benefits.
Pakistan has failed to spawn a free and fair political culture attuned to the expectations of its people. Journalists have been intimated and humiliated by the denizens of power and their agents. The vigilantes of the political parties, too-especially the religion- oriented ones-also contribute generously to making the lives of journalists miserable.
Everyone wants the journalists to obey their orders.
The media as an institution and fourth estate is accountable to the public and responsible for its actions. Media practitioners should stop thinking they are above the law. Let the media introduce an internal scheme of checks and balances. Undoubtedly, this is an uphill task.
Accountability of the media is not possible under the disputed regulatory regime. Media organizations and civil society should jointly constitute a commission for this task. The recent coming together of several leading TV channels to frame rules for terrorism coverage is a step in the right direction. This move may help purge the elements abusing the power of the media in violation of the public mandate.
The aim of media activism should be to strengthen the weak and vulnerable segments of society. It is they who need our support, activism is not merely reporting but it involves deep passion and research.
While covering a big story, especially in the war zones,
the human sides of a conflict are
often ignored by the general media. Here media activism can play its true role in reminding the world of the miseries and sufferings of the ignored segments of society.
In the same context the NRO has made even the highest office of the country questionable. In such an environment it is the honest and straight-forwarded media which can make some difference by acting as a pressure group and the recent action of the government amounts to treason.
First and foremost, media must help in stabilizing the national institutions and national socio-economic, political and administrative structure by pointing out the flow and appreciating any rod work done by the Government or State institutions and organizations in private sector. Serving the country honestly and sincerely must be projected.
The need to strengthen our socio-cultural and ideological foundations was never so great as it is today. There is cultural invasion from the West and Indian TV channels and Cable TV networks. Our values are being attacked and are in danger. Media must build our confidence and faith in our values.
We as viewer should mend ourselves, so that we may not be carried away with the media hype. We should know when t o stop viewing the repeated hysterics.
Media going through a turbulent transition, with a new found liberties. It is hoped they will settle to a saner posture in due course.
It must create a pride in our glorious past, our culture and our way of living. Pakistan is the seventh atomic power in the world and the only Muslim country, which has achieved this status. This is a matter of great pride and prestige. We have mat beautiful normative and social value structure, which needs to be preserved, promoted and strengthened.
Media must help sustain confidence in our national institutions such as parliament, armed forces and our social structure. Erosion of such confidence in our institutional set-up can be dangerous. All problems and issues such as relating to functioning of our institutional framework have to be explained effectively to the people so that they develop a positive opinion and attitude.
At present, we are living in a world, which is
moving too fast. And
in the ensuing din and noise masses must be helped by the mass media to see things
clearly so that they are
The prime objective of media must be national stability in all its dimensions. A social and political climate needs to be created in which people could engage-themselves in positive and healthy activities and could contribute to the overall national development.
The feelings of despondency, frustration and deviant tendencies need to be neutralized. Only an effective media, can do this.
This also places far greater responsibility on the shoulders of those running its affairs. The nature of their functions is such that all those involved in the process including reporters, analysts, anchors, editorial staff and the management are required to make difficult choice every day. It is essential for their credibility that they remain visibly impartial, evenhanded and demand from the passions of the moment.
A system of journalistic accountability, both internal and external, is in place on the news side, which leads to more responsible reporting and editing.
The sudden boom in the media has led to severe shortages of trained manpower, so that people can be appointed to positions that require more journalistic experience than they really have.
The print and broadcast media must make every effort to ensure that their coverage is factual, balanced and informed. Live pictures must be responsibly broadcast.
To summarize, media can help stabilize and strengthen the country by playing educational and informative role and by imparting knowledge to the masses as knowledge is power and only a well-informed society can develop a positive approach towards fife.
The objective of media freedom can be realized only when public trust and confidence reposed in the media is respected and protected by the media itself by acting as a true watchdog, keeping an eye on the government on behalf of the public.
“Freedom of conscience, of education, of speech, of assembly, is among the
fundamentals of democracy and all of them
would be nullified if freedom of the press
maintained US president Roosevelt.
COMPARISON OF PAKISTAN AND INDIA’S ELECTRICITY POTENTIAL
EFFECTS OF LOAD-SHEDDING AND BLACKOUTS
- Business Sector and Industries
- Agricultural Sector
- Flight of capital to other countries
- Hesitation in foreign Investment
- stagnation to growth and development
- Agitation among common people may lead increase in crimes
- Increase in Anti Government sentiments by protests and boycotts
- Affecting Education sector and students
(a) Decrease credibility of politicians in a thrice time military ruled country
CAUSES OF PREVALENT CRISIS
- Lack of proper planning and implementation
- Major reliability on Thermal electricity and increase in international oil prices
- Lack of water resources for required dams and hydro-power
- Theft of electricity : Network and corrupt wapda employees
- Population explosion
- Internal Political disputes
- No quest for the required alternative energy resources
ELECTRICITY DEMAND AND SUPPLY GAP
(est. figures for June 2009)
—DEMAND = 25,000 megawatts
—SUPPLY = thermal (12,580 megawatts, 65%)
hydroelectric ( 6,463 megawatts, 33%)
nuclear ( 462 megawatts, 2%)
—DEFICIT 3000 megawatts (Peak season 4000 to 6000 megawatts)
capacity 19,505megawatts , generation fluctuates from 16000 to 17000 megawatts Source: Energy Crisis Report, Center for Research and Security Studies Islamabad Pakistan
INSTITUTIONS, ECONOMIC STRUCTURE AND POVERTY
By Akmal Hussain
PAPER PUBLISHED IN THE SOUTH ASIA ECONOMIC JOURNAL (SAEJ), INSTITUTE OF POLICY STUDIES OF SRI LANKA, COLOMBO
INSTITUTIONS, ECONOMIC STRUCTURE AND POVERTY
Pakistan’s economy since the early 1990s has had a protracted period of slow GDP growth, acute fiscal pressures and increasing poverty. This paper examines these features through a historical analysis of the relationship between the processes of institutional decay, deterioration in the structure of the economy, and the process of poverty. These processes accelerated during the 1990s and began to be manifested in terms of acute poverty, sharp slow down in the GDP growth, unsustainable fiscal deficits and intense pressures on governance. The analysis in this paper therefore focuses on the pattern of growth, fiscal deficits and poverty creation in the context of the politics and the economic policy of
various regimes in the period 1958 to 19991.
I. THE AYUB REGIME: WEAKENING INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE, ECONOMIC GROWTH AND SOCIAL CONFLICT (1958-69)
The Constituent Assembly in 1954 made the first attempt to give a constitution to the nation. The failure of this attempt signifies the conflict between the greed for personal power of individual leaders and the imperatives of strengthening institutions: a conflict of interest that was to underlie the process of institutional decay in the next five decades. On October 28, 1954, the Constituent Assembly was scheduled to formally vote on the published draft of Pakistan’s first constitution, a draft that had been approved in the previous session of the Constituent Assembly. On this fateful day Governor General Ghulam Mohammad who felt that the draft constitution did not suit his power interests, ordered the police to bar members of the Constituent Assembly from entering
1 Some of the research for this paper was used by the author in Chapter 2 of his work embodied in the Pakistan National Human Development Report. Sub sections I.2, II.2,
III.2 and IV.3 in chapter
2 of the Report are also included in this paper. See, UNDP, Pakistan National Human Development Report 2003, Poverty Growth and Governance,
their meeting room in Karachi2. The passage of the first constitution was thus aborted. Subsequently a weakened form of parliamentary democracy was restructured from the remnants of the first Constituent Assembly until it was terminated by Ayub Khan’s coup d’etat in 1958. The significance of this conflict between individuals and institutions was to resonate through Pakistan’s subsequent history. It was summed up in a prescient remark by a social scientist: “Once the first constitution is destroyed, it is doubtful that any succeeding one, no matter how successfully drafted will ever be truly accepted. A tradition which makes it possible for new leaders to replace old documents with others which appear preferable to them not only denies constitutionalism but makes reference
to it little more than a sham”3.
The military coup d’etat which brought General Ayub Khan into power established the dominance of the military and bureaucracy in Pakistan’s power structure. The associated political system concentrated power in the person of Ayub Khan and gave pre eminence in the decision making process to certain sections of the elite in the military bureaucratic oligarchy. Through a series of political measures dissent in the civil society was suppressed and the independence of the judiciary undermined. The economic strategy undertaken by this government, while it accelerated GDP growth, sharply accentuated inter personal and inter regional economic inequalities. Thus the foundations were laid for the rise of provincial and class tensions which were to erupt in a conflict along the rich/poor divide in West Pakistan and a war of independence in East Pakistan. These conflicts led to the downfall of the government and the emergence of independent Bangladesh. In this section, we will briefly examine the political and economic policies of the government that eroded Pakistan’s nascent democratic institutions and created explosive regional and class tensions by marginalizing the majority of the population from the political and economic processes. We will indicate how an economic structure emerged in this period
2 Allen Mc Grath: The Destruction of Pakistan’s Democracy, OUP, Karachi 1996, Page X.
3 Lawrence Ziring: The
Enigma of Political, Development, Westview Press, Boulder, 1980, Page 220. Cited in Allen, Mc Grath: The Destruction of Pakistan’s Democracy, Op.cit.
that was to lock Pakistan’s economy into a narrow and inefficient industrial base, slow export growth and increasing loan dependence in the next four decades.
I.1. Political Repression and Popular Revolt
The fatal flaw of the political system established in the period 1958-69, was that while its support was drawn from a relatively narrow social stratum through state patronage, it did not have an institutional mechanism for accommodating opposition4. Power was concentrated in the hands of Ayub Khan
who relied on the bureaucracy for running both economic and political affairs5.
The central and provincial legislatures were severely constrained by the narrow scope for parliamentary legislation. The President could also veto any legislation without the legislatures having the power to “over-ride”6 his veto.
The system of “Basic Democracy” consisted of elected union councilors (called “Basic Democrats”) from 80,000 constituencies who formed a safe electoral college for electing the President, and were provided access over state resources. The candidates for election to the position of “basic democrats” (B.Ds.) were selected by the bureaucracy which also disbursed state resources to elected B.Ds. for a variety of social and economic functions at the local level. Thus, “Basic Democrats” provided the bureaucracy an institutional mechanism for a patron-client relationship with sections of the rural elite.
While the legislatures were subject to Presidential veto, dissent from individuals and institutions in civil society was suppressed by a series of administrative measures. For example in April 1959 a Martial Law Ordinance was promulgated under which the government could take over any newspaper which in the “opinion of the government” contained material that threatened national security. The government then proceeded to take over the Pakistan Times and Imroze which were two of the most influential English and Urdu daily newspapers respectively. Subsequently control over the press was
4 See Omar Noman: The Political Economy of Pakistan, 1947-85, Routledge Kegan and Paul, London 1988, Page 28.
5 See S.J. Burki: Pakistan: Fifty Years of Nationhood, Vanguard Books, Lahore 1999, Page 32.
6 See S.J. Burki op.cit. Page 32
institutionalized through the establishment of an official body called the National Press Trust. Individuals in academic institutions were prevented from publishing or even verbally expressing dissenting opinions in public. The judiciary which was the last remaining institution, which could provide a check over governmental authority, was also brought under administrative control. This was done by means of the “Law Reforms” which gave the government control over
judicial appointments, and subjected judges to political scrutiny7.
In a culturally diverse society when the people of Bengal, Sindh and Baluchistan were not significantly represented within state institutions, and when political and cultural expression was suppressed, the tendency for the assertion of linguistic or ethnic identities was intensified. This was reinforced by the growing regional economic inequalities so that by the late 1960s political pressures on the state began to explode: in East Pakistan in the form of the assertion of Bengali nationalism and in West Pakistan in the form of mass street demonstrations against the government.
I.2 Economic Growth, Inequality and the Roots of Financial Dependence
Following the Korean boom in 1953, the government introduced a policy framework for inducing the large profits of traders in jute and raw cotton to flow into the manufacturing sector. This was done through a highly regulated policy framework for import substitution industrialization in the consumer goods sector. The policy combined tariff protection for manufacturers of consumer goods together with direct import controls on competing imports. It has been estimated
that the average rate of effective protection was as high as 271% in 1963-64, and fell to 125% in 1968-69.8 This enabled the emerging industrial elite to make large profits from the domestic market without the competitive pressure to achieve higher levels of efficiency and an export capability.
During the 1960s import substitution industrial growth in the consumer goods sector, was more systematically encouraged by the government. This was
7 All Pakistan Legal Decisions (PLD) 1963, XV, Cited in Omar Noman op.cit. Page 29.
8 Dr. A.R. Kemal: Patterns of Growth in Pakistan’s Industrial Sector, in Shahrukh
Rafi Khan (ed.): Fifty Years of Pakistan’s Economy, O.U.P., Karachi, Page 165.
done by means of high protection rates to domestic manufacturers of consumer goods, cheap credit, and direct import controls on competing imports. At the same time, there was removal of import controls (established earlier in the 1955) on industrial raw materials and machinery. In addition to various forms of protection, new incentives were offered for exports. These included the Bonus Voucher Scheme, tax rebates, tax exemptions and accelerated depreciation allowances to increase post tax profits.
The Bonus Voucher Scheme enabled exports of certain manufactured goods to receive in addition to the rupee revenue of their exports, bonus vouchers equivalent to a specified percentage of the foreign exchange earned. The vouchers could be sold in the market (to potential importers) for a price usually 150 to 180 percent above the face value. Thus the exporter not only earned the rupee revenues from exports but also an additional premium through sale of the bonus vouchers.
The Bonus Voucher Scheme essentially constituted a mechanism for enabling domestic manufacturers to earn large rupee profits on exports which brought no gain to the economy in terms of foreign exchange. It has been estimated9 that during the 1960s, Pakistan’s main industries (when input costs and output values are both measured in dollar terms) were producing negative value added.
It has been argued that the phenomenon of negative value added in industry was an important reason why during the 1960s, inspite of import substitution and large export volumes, foreign exchange shortages persisted10. This set the “mould” for Pakistan’s narrow export base (concentration on low value added end of textiles) and the debt problem, that remains till to-day. For
example (see chart 1), the share of the traditional textile industry in total exports far from falling, in fact increased from 30% in the decade of the 1960s to 50% in the decade of the 1990s.
9 Soligo, and J.J. Stern, Tariff Protection, imports substitution and investment efficiency, The Pakistan Development, 1965, Pages 249-70.
10 Sikander Rahim:
Myths of Economic
Development, Lahore School
Economics, Occasional Paper No.10, February 2001.
Period Averages of Exports of Various Commodity Groups as a %of Total Exports of Pakistan
1960-70 1973-77 1978-87 1988-99
In a broader perspective, it can be argued that the government through a range of protection measures and concessions in the 1960’s, enabled the emerging industrial elite to make large rupee profits from domestic and export sales, without the market pressures to diversify into high value added industries or to achieve international competitiveness. Thus, the experience of the 1960s is illustrative of the nature of both government and the economic elite. In the pursuit of securing its power base, the government by means of subsidies, manipulation of tariffs and the exchange rate mechanism, transferred rents to the industrial elite. This reinforced the tradition bound propensity of the economic elite for risk aversion, lack of innovative dynamism and dependence on governmental patronage.
The economic policies and processes during the 1960s, illustrate the sociological propensity of the ruling elite to seek rents from government which in turn reinforced its power through such patronage. These sociological propensities are rooted in the region’s history stretching back to the eighteenth century11. These tendencies persisted in varying degrees for the next four decades. Yet they
were at an economic cost that became a growing burden on an increasingly fragile economy: It has been estimated for example that even in 1990-91 by which time the rates of effective protection had been considerably reduced, the
11 See: Government
Patronage and Rent Seeking
Elites: A Longer
Historical View: Pakistan
NHDR, UNDP, Oxford University Press, Karachi Pages 48-49.
increase in the share of manufacturing attributable to protection amounted to 5% of GNP.
As we have seen, the government during the 1960s adopted a deliberate policy of concentrating national income in the hands of the upper income groups.12 The economic basis of this policy was the assumption that the rich save a larger proportion of their income and hence a higher national savings rate could be achieved with an unequal distribution of income (the target savings rate being 25% of GDP). In practice while the policy of distributing incomes in favour of
the economic elite succeeded, the assumption that it would raise domestic savings over time failed to materialize. It has been estimated that 15% of the resources annually generated in the rural sector were transferred to the urban industrialists
and 63 to 85 percent of these transferred resources went into increased urban consumption.13 Far from raising the domestic savings rate to 25%, the actual savings rate never rose above 12%14.
The failure of the economic elite to save out of their increased income resulted during the 1960s, in a sharp increase in the requirement of foreign aid. According to official figures, gross foreign aid inflows increased from US $ 373 million in 1950-55 to US $ 2,701 million in 1965-70. The rapid increase in foreign aid was accompanied by a change in its composition from grants to
higher interest loans15. Consequently the debt servicing burden rose dramatically.
Debt servicing as a percentage of foreign exchange earnings was 4.2% in 1960- 61 and increased to 34.5% by 1971-72. The magnitude of this figure did not fall for the next three decades and by the year 2000, it was even higher at 40%.
12 “It is clear that the distribution of national production should be such as to favour the savings sectors”, Government of Pakistan, Planning Commission, The Third Five Year Plan, 1965-70, Karachi, Page 33.
13 K. Griffin: Financing Development Plans in Pakistan, in K. Griffin and A.R. Khan, Growth and Inequality in Pakistan, Macmillan, London Page 41-42.
14 Ibid. Page 133.
15 For example, during 1950-55 grant and grant type assistance constituted 73% of total foreign
aid. By 1965-70
this type of assistance had declined to only 9% of total foreign aid. See: Economic
Survey, Government of Pakistan,
Finance Division, Islamabad, 1974, Page 133.
Given the policy of re-distributing incomes in favour of the rich, it is not surprising that by the end of the 1960s a small group of families with inter- locking directorates dominated industry, banking and insurance in Pakistan. In terms of value added 46% of the value added in the large scale manufacturing sector originated in firms controlled by only 43 families.
In banking, the degree of concentration was even greater than industry. For example, seven family banks constituted 91.6 percent of private domestic deposits and 84.4 percent of earning assets. Furthermore, State Bank compilation
of balance sheets of listed companies indicates that the family banks tended to provide loans to industrial companies controlled by the same families.16 The insurance industry, although smaller in size than banking, also had a high degree of concentration of ownership. The forty-three industrial families controlling 75.6 percent of the assets of Pakistani insurance companies tended to favour industrial companies owned by the same group.17
The major industrial families and entrepreneurs were a fairly closely-knit group. Not only did many of them have caste and kinship relations, but members of the families tended to sit on each other’s boards of directors. For example about one-third of the seats on the boards of directors of companies controlled by the forty-three families were occupied by members of other families within the forty-three.
Not only were the forty-three families dominating industry, insurance and banking, but also had considerable power over government agencies sanctioning industrial projects. PICIC (Pakistan Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation) was the agency responsible for sanctioning large-scale industrial projects. Out of the twenty one directors of PICIC, seven were from the forty three leading industrial families and were actively involved in the public sector financial institutions that directly affected their private economic interests.
16 L.J. White: Industrial Concentration and Economic Power in Pakistan, Princeton University Press, Page 63.
17 Ibid. Pages 74-75.
During the process of rapid economic growth of the 1960s, while an exclusive and highly monopolistic class was amassing wealth, the majority of Pakistan’s population was suffering an absolute decline in its living standards. For example, the per capita consumption of foodgrain of the poorest 60 percent of Pakistan’s urban population declined from an index of 100 in 1963-64 to 96.1 in 1969-70. The decline was even greater over the same period in the case of the
poorest 60 percent of rural population. In their case, per capita consumption of foodgrain declined from an index of 100 in 1963-64 to only 91 in 1969-70.18 There was an even larger decline in the real wages in the industry: In the decade and a half ending in 1967, real wages in the industry declined by 25 percent.19 According to one estimate, in 1971-72 poverty in the rural sector was so acute that 82 percent of rural households could not afford to provide even 2,100 calories per day per family member.20
In an economy where there were significant differences in the infrastructure facilities available in the different provinces, there was a tendency for investment based on private profitability to be concentrated in the relatively developed regions. Consequently regional disparities would tend to widen over time. This is in fact what happened in the case of Pakistan. The Punjab and the Sind provinces, which had relatively more developed infrastructure, attracted a larger proportion of industrial investment than the other provinces. In Sind, however, the growth in income was mainly in Karachi and Hyderabad. Thus, economic disparities widened not only between East and West Pakistan, but also between the provinces within West Pakistan.
During the 1960s, the factor which accelerated the growth of regional income disparities within what is Pakistan today was the differential impact of agricultural growth associated with the so-called ‘Green Revolution’. Since the yield increase associated with the adoption of high yield varieties of foodgrain required irrigation, and since the Punjab and the Sind had a relatively larger proportion of their area under irrigation, they experienced much faster growth in
18 N. Hamid, The Burden of Capitalist Growth, A study of Real Wages in Pakistan, Pakistan Economic and Social Review, Spring 1974.
19 K. Griffin and A.R. Khan, op.cit. Pages 204-205.
20 S.M. Naseem: Rural Poverty and Landlessness in Asia, ILO Report, Geneva, 1977.
their incomes, compared to the Baluchistan and the North West Frontier Province.21
In a situation where each of the provinces of Pakistan had a distinct culture and language, the systematic growth of regional disparities created acute political tensions. Addressing these tensions required a genuinely federal democratic structure with decentralization of political power at the provincial
level.22 Only such a polity and large federal expenditures for the development of
the under-developed regions could ensure the unity of the country. In the absence of such a polity, the growing economic disparities between provinces created explosive political tensions.
The failure to conduct an effective land reform in Pakistan has resulted in a continued concentration of landownership in the hands of a few big landlords. Thus, in 1972, 30 percent of total farm area was owned by large landowners (owning 150 acres and above). The overall picture of Pakistan’s agrarian structure has been that these large landowners have rented out most of their land to small and medium-sized tenants (i.e., tenants operating below twenty-five acres).
In my doctoral thesis23 I had shown that given this agrarian structure, when the ‘Green Revolution’ technology became available in the late 1960s the larger landowners found it profitable to resume some of their rented out land for self-cultivation on large farms using hired labour and capital investment. Consequently there was a growing economic polarization of rural society. While the landlords’ incomes increased, those of the poor peasantry declined relatively, as they faced a reduction in their operated farm area and in many cases growing
21 Naved Hamid and Akmal Hussain: “Regional Inequalities and Capitalist Development”, Pakistan Economic and Social Review, Autumn 1974.
22 Akmal Hussain, Civil Society Undermined, in: Strategic Issues in Pakistan’s Economic Policy, op.cit. Page 374.
23 Akmal Hussain: Impact of
Agricultural Growth on changes
in the Agrarian
Structure of Pakistan, with special
reference to the Punjab
Province, D.Phil. Thesis, University of Sussex 1980. Also see: Akmal Hussain:
Strategic Issues in Pakistan’s Economic Policy: Technical Change and Social Polarization in Rural Punjab,
Chapter 4, Progressive Publishers, June 1988.
landlessness.24 For example in the case of farms in the size class 150 acres and above, the increase in the farm area during the period 1960 to 1978, constituted half their total farm area in 1978. In terms of the source of increase, 65% of the increase in area of large farms came through resumption of formerly rented out land. That this resumption was accompanied by growing landlessness of the poor peasantry is indicated by the fact that in the period 1960 to 1973 about 0.8 million tenants became landless wage labourers. Of the total rural wage labourers in Pakistan in 1973, as many as 43% had entered this category as the result of
proletarianization of the poor peasantry25.
The polarization of rural society and increased landlessness of the poor peasantry was associated with increased peasant dependence in the face of rural markets for agricultural inputs and outputs that were mediated by large landlords. In the pre “Green Revolution” period, the poor tenant relied on the landlord simply for the use of the land but used the government’s canal water, his own seeds and animal manure. In the post “Green Revolution” period however, since the political and social power of the landlord remained intact, the peasant began to rely on the landlord for the purchase of inputs. (e.g. HYV seeds, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, the landlord’s tube-well water, for a seasonally flexible supply of irrigation, and credit). Thus, in many (though not all) cases, the dependence of the poor peasant intensified with the commercialization of agriculture in the sense that now his very re-constitution of the production cycle annually depended on the intercession of the landlord. At the same time due to the reduction in his operated area following land resumption, the tenant was obliged to complement his income by working as a wage labourer part of the time at a wage rate below the market rate in deference to the landlord’s power. (Conversely, the landlord’s management of the owner cultivated section of his land was facilitated through this tied source of labour supply). This phenomenon
persists till to-day26. (It was first analyzed in my doctoral study 1980)27. Finally,
24 See: Akmal Hussain, D. Phil Thesis, op.cit.
25 See: Akmal Hussain, Strategic Issues in Pakistan’s Economic Policy, op.cit. Page 187
26 For the latest
survey evidence, see: Akmal Hussain et.al, Pakistan National Human Development Report, 2003, Chapter 3, Section
IV, UNDP, Oxford University Press, Karachi, 2003.
the peasant’s income was further constricted as he was obliged to sell a large part of his output at harvest time when prices were low (in order to pay back loans for input purchase). Near the end of the year, when he ran out of grain, he had to
purchase his remaining consumption requirements at high prices from the market.28
Thus, the “commercialization of agriculture” in a situation where landlords and the local power structure controlled markets for inputs and outputs, brought new mechanisms for the reproduction of rural poverty, even though overall agricultural growth accelerated. As we will see, the high rate of agricultural growth during the Ayub regime could not be sustained in subsequent years. Yet the mechanisms of reproducing rural poverty that had emerged in this period, persisted over the next four decades.
II. THE BHUTTO REGIME: 1973-77
- Power and Patronage
The Ayub regime had instituted policies which resulted in a concentration of incomes in the hands of a nascent industrial elite while real wages declined and poverty increased. In the resultant social tensions, Z.A. Bhutto emerged as a champion of the poor to lead a mass movement for overthrowing the Ayub government. Support for the newly formed Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) led by Bhutto came not only from workers and peasants but also from elements of the urban middle classes seeking reform. Conservative landlords also gravitated to the PPP, because of their antagonism to an industrial elite that was appropriating a growing share of economic resources.
The radical stratum of the middle class was dominant in the Pakistan People’s Party until 1972. This was evident from the manifesto which was anti- feudal and against monopoly capitalists. The same stratum played a key role in devising a propaganda campaign that aimed to present the manifesto as “revolutionary”, thereby mobilizing the support of the workers and peasants. The
27 See Akmal Hussain, D. Phil Thesis, op.cit.
28 For a
more detailed analysis of the squeeze
on poor peasant incomes see: Akmal Hussain: Technical
Change and Rural Polarization in: Strategic
Issues in Pakistan’s Economic
Pages 150 to 156.
radical stratum was drawn from diverse social origins and its members therefore related with the party leader as separate factions. The inability of these different radical factions to constitute themselves into a united bloc within the PPP facilitated the purges that came later. By 1972 the balance of social forces within the PPP began to shift in favour of the landlord groups. This shift was rooted in the imperatives of mobilizing popular forces on the one hand and the practice of politics within the traditional power structure on the other. In the pre-election period, the dominance of the urban middle class and its radical rhetoric was necessary if the PPP was to get a mass base for its election victory. After the election, the proclivity of the top party leadership to contain demands for radical change within the existing power structure combined with the dominance of the landed elite within the party, led to a purge of radical elements from the PPP. Consequently there was an institutional rupture between the PPP and its mass base amongst the workers and peasants. This set the stage for economic measures that were socialist in form, while actually serving to strengthen the landed elite and widening the base for state patronage.
One of the most important initiatives of the PPP government was the nationalization in 1972 of 43 large industrial units in the capital and intermediate goods sectors such as cement, fertilizers, oil refining, engineering and chemicals. Just three years later the government nationalized the cooking oil industry and then flour milling, cotton ginning and rice husking mills.
While the first set of nationalizations impacted the “monopoly capitalists”, the second set of nationalizations in 1976 by contrast hit the medium and small sized entrepreneurs. Therefore nationalization in this regime cannot be seen in terms of state intervention for greater equity. Rather the rapid increase in the size of the public sector served to widen the resource base of the regime for the practice of the traditional form of power through state patronage. This
involved the state intervening to redistribute resources arbitrarily to those who had access to its patronage.29
29 Omar Noman, The Political
Economy of Pakistan, op.cit., Page 79.
II.2 Investment, Growth and the Budget Deficit
Let us now briefly indicate the implications of the economic measures in this period on investment, growth and the budget deficit. Private investment as a percentage of GDP in the Bhutto period (1973/74 to 1977/78) declined sharply to 4.8% compared to 8.2% in the preceding period 1960/61 to 1972/73. (See table 1). The nationalization of heavy industries shook the confidence of the private sector and was a factor in the declining investment. The trend may have been reinforced by a second set of measures during this period. These included a devaluation of the exchange rate which placed large and small scale industry at par with respect to the rupee cost of imported inputs (i.e. the indirect subsidy provided to large scale manufacturing industry through an overvalued exchange rate, was withdrawn). At the same time, direct subsidies to manufacturing were significantly cut down, import duties on finished goods were reduced and anti- monopoly measures along with price controls were instituted. It is not surprising that domestic manufacturers who had been bred on government support, responded by further reducing investment.
It may be pertinent to point out here that the decline in private sector manufacturing as a percentage of the GDP, had already begun eight years before the Bhutto period, after the 1965 war.30 So while the nationalization and subsequent economic measures cannot be said to have caused the decline in private investment, they certainly intensified it.
The decline in private sector investment in the post 1965 period as a whole, (as opposed to its sharp deceleration during the nationalization phase), can be attributed31 to three underlying factors: (i) foreign capital inflows fell sharply after the 1965 war, (ii) the manufacturing sector in a situation of declining domestic demand was unable to meet the challenge of exports due to high production costs in traditional industries, and (iii) entrepreneurs did not diversify
into non traditional industries where there was considerable growth potential.
30 See A.R. Kemal: Patterns of Growth in Pakistan’s Industrial Sector, in Shahrukh Rafi Khan (ed.). Fifty Years of Pakistan’s Economy, O.U.P, Karachi 1999, Page 158.
Thus the declining trend in private sector manufacturing investment in the post 1965 period, a trend that persisted right into the 1990s, can be said to be rooted in certain sociological features that characterized most of Pakistan’s entrepreneurial elite: (a) its reliance on foreign savings rather than its own thrift, (b) its dependence on state patronage and subsidies of various kinds, and (c) its tradition bound nature, risk avoidance and in many cases lack of innovativeness for breaking new ground.
We find that unlike manufacturing investment, the decline
in the total private sector investment as a percentage of the GDP was more than compensated by an increase
in the total public sector investment. Thus, the overall investment/GDP ratio during the Bhutto
period reached 15.5%, which was slightly higher
than in the preceding
period (see Table 1). Yet inspite of an increase
in the total investment/GDP ratio, the growth rate of GDP declined compared to the preceding period (as table
3 shows, GDP growth during the Bhutto period was about 5% compared
to 6.3% in the earlier 1960-73 period). This is indicative of a decline in the productivity of investment (i.e. an increase in
the incremental capital output ratio). The question is, what caused the decline in the capacity of investment to generate growth? The answer lies in the fact that not only was most of the investment in the period emanating from the public sector, but that a large proportion of this investment was going into unproductive spheres: Defence and public administration were the fastest growing sectors of the economy (11.4%) while the commodity producing sector was growing at only 2.21% during the period. Even in the productive sector, the lion’s share of the public investment went into the Steel Mill project beginning in 1973. The project using an obsolete Soviet design, involved a technology that was both capital intensive and inefficient. Consequently, the tendency of declining productivity of investment was exacerbated.
Even in the existing manufacturing industries in the public sector while some industries showed good profits to start with, there was a sharp decline in the rates of return on investment, due to a combination of poor management of existing units and improper location of new units on political grounds32. Thus, the lowering of GDP growth inspite of an increase in investment in the Bhutto period
occurred because of two sets of factors: (a) concentration of public sector investment in the unproductive sectors of defence and administration, and (b) economically inefficient investment decisions in the public sector industries based on political considerations, with respect to technology choice, geographic location, and production management.
Let us now briefly discuss the implications of the political and economic measures of the government during this period for the budget.
The problem of the government’s dependence on financial borrowing as we have indicated, started in the Ayub period, when the obligation of maintaining a large military and bureaucratic apparatus combined with the imperatives of providing huge subsidies to both agriculture and industry: For agriculture in the form of subsidized inputs (water, fertilizer, pesticides) as part of the elite farmer strategy; for industry in terms of explicit and implicit subsidies such as an over-
32 Omar Noman: The Political
Economy of Pakistan, op.cit. Page 80.
valued exchange rate, subsidized credit and tax incentives to an industrial sector that was inefficient and lacked export competitiveness.
In the Z.A. Bhutto period, budget deficits widened further as expenditures on defence and administration increased sharply. Higher defence expenditures were part of the policy of refurbishing the defence establishment. Large expenditures on government administration arose mainly out of the decision to
build new para military institutions such as the Federal Security Force.33 The
bureaucracy was also enlarged and re-structured through the policy of ‘lateral entry’ which enabled loyalists outside the civil services cadre to be appointed at the upper and middle echelons. The attempt to build a demesne of patronage within the state apparatus had huge financial consequences. For example, defence expenditure as a percentage of GDP increased from 2.7% in 1965 to 6.7% in
1974-75. Similarly general administration as a percentage of GDP increased from 1.1% in 1964-65 to as much as 1.8% in 1974-7534
Apart from the increased expenditures on defence and administration, the budget was additionally burdened by the losses of the public sector industries. The deficits in these industries were generated by their poor performance on the one hand and the pricing policy on the other. Nationalized units under official pressure to suppress price increases inspite of rising costs, were recovering not much more than their operating costs. Consequently, internally generated funds
could finance only 7%35 of the investment undertaken, thereby necessitating
heavy borrowing from the government.
As government expenditures increased, the ability to finance them from tax revenue was constrained by two factors: (a) The slow down in the GDP growth, and (b) the government’s inability to improve the coverage of direct taxation. As a consequence, the deficit increased rapidly. The government attempted to control the rising budget deficit by reducing subsidies on consumption goods and increasing indirect taxation. However even these
33 For a more detailed discussion on the nature of changes within the state structure see: A Hussain: Strategic Issues in Pakistan’s Economic Policy, op.cit., Pages 378 and 379.
34 Hafiz Pasha in Shahrukh R. Khan (ed.), op.cit. Page 209, Table-3.
35 Omar Noman, Op. cit. Page 82.
measures failed to reduce the budget deficit in the face of rising current expenditures. So monetary expansion was resorted to, resulting in accelerated inflation.
The financial constraint following the large non development expenditures, severely restricted the funds available for development, and hence enfeebled the two initiatives that were designed to benefit the poor: the National Development Volunteer Programme (NDVP) and the Peoples Work Programme. The former aimed at providing employment to the educated unemployed and the latter to generate employment for the rural poor through labour intensive projects.
Both programmes were marginalized due to budgetary constraints.36
The social consequences of these financial measures were to have a profound impact on the political strength of the Bhutto regime. Withdrawal of subsidies on consumption goods together with higher inflation rates squeezed the real income of the middle and lower middle classes. This served to accentuate the resentment that had followed the nationalization of the small and medium sized food processing units in 1976. Ironically these very urban petit bourgeois elements had in 1968-69 fuelled the anti-Ayub agitation that had catapulted Bhutto into power. They now joined the street demonstrations in 1977 that led to his downfall.
III. THE ZIA REGIME (1977-1989)
III.1 The Rise of Islamic Fundamentalism
Each regime that came into power sought to legitimize itself through an explicit ideology: The Ayub regime propounded the philosophy of modernization and economic development. The Z.A. Bhutto regime donned the mantle of redeeming the poor through socialism. Zia ul Haq having come into power through a coup d’etat, sought to institutionalize military rule through the garb of a coercive and obscurantist version of Islamic ideology.
36 Omar Noman, op.cit. Page 122.
In the absence of popular legitimacy, the Zia regime used terror as a conscious policy of the government.37 In the pursuit of this policy, the democratic constitution of 1973 was set aside and draconian measures of military courts, arbitrary arrests, amputation of hands and public lashing were introduced. Pakistan’s society, by and large, was historically characterized by cultural diversity, democratic aspirations and a religious perspective rooted in tolerance
and humanism. This was one of the reasons why the founding father, Quaid-e- Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah conceived of Pakistan’s polity as democratic and pluralistic with religious belief to be a matter concerning the individual rather than the state.38
“You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the state….. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one state…. Now, I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in the course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual but in the political sense as citizens of the state.”
In attempting to restructure such a state and society into a theocracy, the government undertook two kinds of initiatives: First, measures designed to subordinate to executive authority, institutions of state and civil society such as the judiciary and the press, which if allowed to function independently could check governmental power. In the case of the judiciary its essential powers to scrutinize the legality of martial law or the orders of military courts were abolished. The judicial protection against arbitrary detention of a citizen embodied in the right to Habeas Corpus was eliminated for the first time in Pakistan.
37 President Zia ul Haq publicly stated: “Martial law should be based on fear”. In the same vein, Brigadier Malik wrote: “Terror struck into the hearts of enemies is not only a means, it is the end itself”. See: Omar Noman, op.cit., Page 122.
38 Speech of Mohammad Ali Jinnah as President
of the Constituent Assembly, August 11, 1947, cited in Muhammad
Munir, from Jinnah to Zia, Vanguard Books, Lahore 1979, Page 29-30.
In the case of the press, an attempt was made to subordinate it to State authority.39 In the pursuit of this policy, press control measures were introduced. The government constituted committees at the district level to ensure that articles repugnant to the ideology of Pakistan were not published. Those members of the press who had refused to acquiesce faced state repression. A number of newspapers were banned and journalists were arrested and given flogging
sentences by military courts.
The second set of measures towards a theocratic state sought to inculcate obscurantist views and induced a narrowing of the human mind. It involved a suspension of the sensibility of love and reason underlying the religious tradition signified in Pakistan’s folk culture40.
Advocacy for a theocratic social order41 was conducted through the state controlled television and press42. Individual and group behaviour and society were sought to be controlled through the enforcement of coercive measures such
as the amputation of wrists and ankles for theft, stoning to death for adultery and 80 lashes for drinking alcohol. Apart from this, in 1984 a law was passed to officially give women an inferior status compared to men.43 In August 1984 the government began a national campaign involving the direct physical intervention of the state into the personal life of individuals. For example the Nizam-e-Salat
Campaign was launched through the appointment of 100,000 “Prayer Wardens” for rural and urban localities. The task of these state functionaries was to monitor religious activities of individuals and to seek their compliance in religious practices.
39 President Zia ul Haq declared: “Democracy means freedom of the Press, Martial Law its very negation”. The Daily Dawn, 12th July 1977, cited in Omar Noman, op.cit. Page 124.
40 The hero Ranjha is celebrated as the synthesis of love and reason, See: Najam Hosain Syed, Recurrent Patterns in Punjabi Poetry, Punjab Adbi Markaz, Lahore, Second edition, 1986.
41 In the absence of a popular mandate, Zia claimed that his mission to bring an “Islamic Order” in Pakistan had a divine sanction: “I have a mission given by God to bring Islamic Order to Pakistan”. Omar Noman, op.cit.
The institutional roots of “Islamic Fundamentalism” were laid when government funds were provided for establishing mosque schools (madrassas) in small towns and rural areas which led to the rapid growth of militant religious organisations. This social process which later came to be known as “Islamic Fundamentalism” was catalyzed by the Afghan war. As measures were undertaken to start building a theocratic State, and society was brutalized, the isolation of the government from the people as a whole was matched by increased external dependence. Political, economic and military support was sought from the U.S. by offering to play the role of a front line state in the Afghan guerilla war against the occupying Soviet army. Accordingly, Pakistan obtained a package of U.S. $ 3.2 billion in financial loans and relatively sophisticated military hardware. Moreover, with the support from the U.S., Pakistan was able to get additional fiscal space by getting its foreign debt rescheduled, and increased private foreign capital inflows. These official and private capital inflows played an important role in stimulating macro economic growth in this period. They also helped establish a political constituency both within the institutions of the state and in the conservative urban petit bourgeoisie, for a theocratic form of military dictatorship.
As the government under President Zia ul Haq engaged in a proxy war, some of the militant religious groups together with their associated madrassas were provided with official funds, training and weapons to conduct guerilla operations in Afghanistan. While they helped fight the war in Afghanistan, the religious militant groups were able to enlarge the political space within Pakistan’s society as well as in its intelligence and security apparatus. Since the late 1970s with the steady inflow of Afghan refugees into Pakistan and its use as a conduit for arms for the Afghan war, two trends emerged to fuel the crisis of civil society:
- A large proportion of the weapons meant for the Afghan guerillas filtered into the illegal arms market in Pakistan. (b) There was a rapid growth of the heroin trade44. The large illegal arms market and the burgeoning heroin trade injected both weapons and syndicate organisations into the social life of major urban
44 According to
an estimate which is really in the nature of a “guesstimate” the narcotics trade amounted to US $ 3 billion,
See the weekly “The Economist” (London), April 10, 1985.
centers. At the same time the frequent terrorist bombings in the Frontier province together with a weakening of state authority in parts of rural Sindh, undermined the confidence of the citizens in the ability of the State to provide security of life and property. Increasing numbers of the under-privileged sections of society began to seek security in various proximate identities whether ethnic, sectarian,
biraderi or linguistic groups. 45
From 1987 onwards sectarian violence mushroomed in the Punjab province (which till then had been relatively peaceful) and later spread across the country. The phenomenon of large scale sectarian violence conducted by well armed and trained cadres was closely associated with the rapid growth of Deeni Madrassas (“religious” schools). While historically, such schools merely imparted religious knowledge, in the late 1980s a new kind of Deeni Madrassa emerged, which engaged in systematic indoctrination in a narrow sectarian identity, and inculcated hatred and violence against other sects. In 1998 there were 3,393 Deeni Madrassas in the Punjab alone and 67% had emerged during the period of the Zia regime and after. The number of Pakistani students in these madrassas were 306,500 in the Punjab. Between 1979 and 1994, many of the madrassas were receiving financial grants from Zakat funds. According to an official report of the police department, a number of madrassas were merely providing religious education. Yet as many as 42% of them were actively
promoting sectarian violence through a well conceived indoctrination process46.
The students predominantly from poor families were given free food and lodging during their term at the madrassas. As poverty increased in the 1990s, the burgeoning madrassas provided a growing number of unemployed and impoverished youths with the security of food, shelter and an emotionally charged identity: a personality that felt fulfilled through violence against the other.
As the new kind of sectarian madrassas emerged and grew during the Zia regime so did sectarian violence. As chart 2 shows the number of sectarian
45 Akmal Hussain, Civil Society Undermined, in, Strategic Issues….., op.cit., Page 386.
46 Zia ul Hasan
Khan, Rise of Sectarianism in Pakistan:
Causes and Implications, Research Paper (Mimeo), Pakistan Administrative Staff College, Lahore 1995.
Casualties in Sectarian Violence
1987-1989 1990-1992 1993-1995
killings increased from 22 during the 1987-89 period, to 166 during the 1993-95 period (See Table 2). Thus violence against the other became both the expression and the emblem of the narrowed identity.
|1990 to 1992||137||1052||1189|
|1993 to 19 *||166||648||814|
mobilisation of these narrow identities involved a psychic disconnection from the well springs of universal human brother hood within the Islamic tradition. Its liberating elements of rationality and love, were replaced in
the narrowed psyche, by obscurantism and hatred. Violence against the “other” became an emblem of membership within these identities. Thus, civil society divorced from its universal human values began to lose its cohesion and stability
III.2. Economic Growth and the Prelude to Recession
The rapidly growing debt servicing burden together with a slow down of GDP growth and government revenues that had occurred at the end of the Bhutto period would have placed crippling fiscal and political pressures on the Zia regime but for two factors: (a) the generous financial support received from the West, and (b) the acceleration in the inflow of remittances from the Middle East which increased from US $ 0.5 billion in 1978 to US $ 3.2 billion in 1984. These remittances not only eased balance of payments pressures, but also potential political pressures, directly benefiting about 10 million people, predominantly in
the lower middle class and working class strata.47
PERIOD AVERAGES OF THE PERCENTAGE SHARE OF SELECTED MACRO-ECONOMIC INDICATORS IN THE GDP OF PAKISTAN.
AverageDuring Real GDP
Gro th % Savings as %
as % of
Growt % GD
% of GDP
% of GDP
% of GDP
|1 60-1973||6.26||12 99||6 19||4.57||-5.11||1.28|
|1 78-1988||6.6||8.15||14 33||9.59||-8.66||7.71||2.44|
|1 93-19 8||3.14||14 9||5 15||5||-3.99||2. 5||3.48|
SOURCE: Economic Survey, Government of Pakistan (G.O.P.), Economic Advisor’s Wing, Finance Division, Various Issues.
47 As many as 78.9% of
emigrants to the Middle East were production workers See: Jillani et.al. Labour Migration PIDE, Research Report No. 126.
As it was, the easing of budgetary pressures together with good harvests and the construction and consumption booms associated with Middle East remittances, helped stimulate economic growth. As table 3 shows, GDP growth increased from about 5% during the Z.A. Bhutto period i.e. (1973-77) to 6.6% during the Zia period (1978-88). The data show that this acceleration in the GDP growth was induced to some extent by increased investment: The gross fixed capital formation as a percentage of the GDP increased from 15.5% in the Bhutto period to 16.8% in the Zia period. (Table 1).
There was a strategic shift from the “socialist” policies of nationalization, and the large public sector in the Bhutto period, to denationalization and a greater role assigned to the private sector in the growth process. In this context the Zia regime offered a number of incentives to the private sector such as low interest credit, duty free imports of selected capital goods, tax holidays and accelerated depreciation allowances. These inducements combined with high aggregate demand associated with consumption expenditures from Middle East remittances, and increased investment in housing, created a favourable climate for new investment. Private sector gross fixed investment increased from 7.1% of the GDP in the Bhutto period to 9.2% in the Zia regime (See Table 1). The public sector gross fixed capital formation as a percentage of the GDP however declined slightly from 10.7% in the preceding period to 9.7 % in the Zia period. The data on the manufacturing sector is also consistent with these findings and show a substantial acceleration in the growth of overall manufacturing from 5.5% in the 1970s to 8.21 % in the 1980s. In terms of the composition of investment in the large scale manufacturing sector as table 4 shows, there appears to be a significant acceleration in the investment in the intermediate and capital growth sectors, whose percentage share in the total manufacturing increased from about 43% at the end of the Bhutto period to about 50% in the mid 1980s. (The share fell again in the late 1980s and 1990s). This is consistent with the boom in the construction sector and the secondary multiplier effects in the intermediate and capital goods sectors.
Although the GDP growth rate during the Zia period did increase,
yet this higher
growth rate could not be expected to be maintained because of continued poor performance of three strategic factors
that sustain growth over time: (i) The
domestic savings rate continued to remain below 10% compared to a required rate of over 20%. (ii) Exports as a percentage of GDP continued to remain below 10% and did not register any substantial increase (see table 3). (iii) Inadequate investment in social and economic infrastructure. As defence and debt servicing expenditure increased, the Annual Development Programme (ADP) through which much of the infrastructure projects were funded, began to get constricted. As table 5 shows, ADP expenditure as a percentage of GDP fell from an average of 7.4% in the Z.A. Bhutto period, to 6.2% in the Zia period.
is not surprising that when the cushion of foreign loans and debt relief was withdrawn
at the end of the Afghan War, the underlying structural constraints to GDP growth began to manifest
themselves: Debt servicing pressures resulting from the low savings
rates, high borrowings and balance
deficits related with low export
growth and poor infrastructure, combined
to pull down the GDP growth into a protracted economic recession in the 1990s. Similarly the seeds of social conflict sown with the breeding of religious militant groups, began to erupt and feed off the growing poverty and unemployment.
TOTAL INVESTMENTS IN VARIOUS INDUSTRIES AS A % OF TOTAL INVESTMENT IN ALL INDUSTRIES IN THE LARGE SCALE MANUFACTURING SECTOR OF PAKISTAN.*
|rs||Investment in Consumer Goods||Inve n Intermediate & Capital Goods||estment n & Related Goods||Investment n all other Industries|
SOURCE: Census of Manufacturing Industries, FBS, Statistics Division, Govt. of Pakistan. Various Issues.
- The CMI data represents only the large scale manufacturing sector in the economy.
- The co ilation of CMI data is ucted thro mai enquiry su ent by field visits. The questionnaires are issued to the factories as per list of manufacturing lishments maintai ed on he basis of mont statements of registrations and cellations received from the provincial Chief inspectors of Factories, Directorates of Labour Welfare of the Provinces.
- Large e manufacturing industries are those which employ 20 workers or more on y gi day of year for manufacturing activity.
- Investm nts here refer to all fi assets consisting of land and uilding, plant and machinery and other fi assets which are expected to have a productive life of more than one year and are in use by the establishment for the manufacturing activity.
- Investments for a year include additions made during the y m nus any sales of fixed as during that year. ese consist of, both Pakistan made and imports, and assets made for own use.
* Data refers to the figures obtained from the industries/establishments included in the census and does not represent the figures as a whole for the economy of Pakistan.
DP AS A PERCENTAGE OF GDP PERIOD A ERAGES
|A uring||AD||as a% of GDP|
|1972/73 t 1976/77 1977/78 to 1986/87||6.24|
|1987/88 to 1996/97 1997/98 t 1999/2000||4.26|
SOURCE: Economic Survey, GOP, Economic Advisor’s Wing, Finance Division, Various Issues.
IV. POLITICIANS, POWER AND PELF: THE DEEPENING CRISIS 1989-1999
- Institutions Undermined: Pursuit of Power
At the end of the Zia regime a new triumvirate of power emerged that came to be known as the “Troika”. This was an essentially informal arrangement of power sharing in the actual as opposed to formal conduct of governance, between the President, the Prime Minister and the Army Chief (Chief of Army Staff).
A fundamental feature of the “Troika” was that precisely because the power sharing arrangement was informal, the contention for increasing the relative share of power by each protagonist was inherent to its functioning. Without precisely specified domains of decision making, or even the confidence that each protagonist would pursue a shared perception of “National Interest”, periodic breakdown of the arrangement amongst a given set of members was a predictable feature. This is in fact what happened, so that between 1988 to 1999 an elected Prime Minister was dismissed on four occasions, three Presidents were changed and one Chief of Army Staff (General Jehangir Karamet) was
pressurized into resignation.48 A second army chief (General Pervez Musharraf)
faced dismissal. This was the final act in the dramatic conflict within the informal “Troika”, that brought the curtain down on the formal democratic structure itself: General Musharraf took over power through a coup d’etat on 12th October 1999.
The government headed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in its second term came with a two third majority in the National Assembly. This parliamentary strength could have been used to deepen democracy by reviving the economy, establishing transparent governance, bringing extremist militant
groups within the law, and ensuring the independence of the judiciary49. Instead
48 The contention for power expressed itself in some cases in terms of the appointment and dismissal decision of key positions in the military. The contention also occurred on the issue of the legally correct application of Article 58 2(b) under which the President could dismiss the government and dissolve the national assembly “if in his opinion a situation has arisen in which the government of the Federation cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution”.
49 As the
UNDP Human Development Report 2002 points out: “Whether the judiciary
can maintain its
independence is often the litmus test for
whether democratically elected rule can avoid turning
an attempt was made to enhance the relative power position of the Prime Minister within the structure of state institutions.
A systematic attempt was made to undermine and control institutions such as the Presidency, the Parliament, the Judiciary, the Press and (in the end) the Army, in order to lay the basis of authoritarian power within the democratic structure.
An attempt was made not only to weaken the office of the President and relegate it to a purely ceremonial role but also to control members of the ruling party in parliament. This was done by passing the constitutional amendments thirteen and fourteen. Under the thirteenth Amendment the dreaded Article 58-2
- was withdrawn. (This article of the constitution gave the President powers to dismiss the government and hold fresh elections in case of extreme misgovernance). Under the fourteenth amendment the ability of elected members of the majority party to vote or even speak against the official position of the majority party in Parliament, on any legislative issue, was also withdrawn.
Conflict between the government and the Judiciary soon followed. Tensions between these two institutions began when the government asserted its claim to judicial appointments, a claim that was resisted by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on grounds of the independence of the judiciary.50 A political
campaign against the Judiciary was launched during which disparaging remarks were made against it, both inside and outside the parliament. Subsequently, the Supreme Court decided to hear a writ petition for contempt of court against the Prime Minister and some of his associates, which if it had been decided against the Prime Minister, could have resulted in his disqualification. According to independent observers, an attempt was then made to “engineer a division within
the apex court”.51
50 The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court at the time, Sajjad Ali Shah, later stated: “the independence of the judiciary can be maintained only when the Chief Justice has some kind of control over the appointment of judges……the appointment of judges should not be made by executive for political reasons……………”. See: Interview, published in the monthly Herald, January 1998, Page 48.
Story, the monthly Newsline, December 1997, Pages 24, 25.
Inspite of the consequent division and conflict amongst judges of the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice resolutely went ahead with the trial of the Prime Minister. On the day fixed by the Supreme Court for the hearing, the ruling
Pakistan Muslim League (PML) transported thousands of its supporters to stage a protest against the Chief Justice. The charged mob52 broke the gate of the Supreme Court building and ransacked it, forcing the Supreme Court Judges to abandon the trial and retire to their chambers.
The unprecedented mob attack on the Supreme Court by a ruling political party brought in its wake a major constitutional crisis. President Leghari accused the Prime Minister of inciting the attack and warning that “he would not allow the law of the jungle to prevail”.53 The Prime Minister retaliated by moving an impeachment notice against the President in Parliament and also sending him a
summary advising him to sack the Chief Justice. The President was now faced with the choice of getting impeached or signing what he regarded as an illegal order against the Chief Justice. In a situation where the Army appeared unwilling to step in to resolve the crisis, the President decided to resign.54 Thus, the powers that were earlier distributed between the Chief Justice, the President and the Prime Minister, were now concentrated in the hands of the Prime Minister.
After the Judiciary the next target became the Press. The Government began to harass journalists who had exposed a series of corruption scandals.55 This harassment reached a dramatic stage when the Jang Group of newspapers (one of the largest in the country) which had been critical of the Prime Minister, was targeted by his regime. The publisher of the Newspaper was specifically
52 The mob attack, was evidenced in the video record of the court. This was also widely reported in both the international and national press. See for example: Monthly Newsline, December 1997, Page 26.
53 Newsline op.cit. Page 26.
54 The indication that the Army had decided to stay aloof came when the Army ignored requests by both the Chief Justice and the President to provide physical security to Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah following the mob attack on the Supreme Court.
55 The editor of the Friday Times, a respected liberal weekly newspaper, Mr. Najam Sethi reported
that his printers
were served with notices threatening closure. Thugs were sent to soften him up and rape and kidnapping threats were made to his wife and children. See: The Friday Times, October
pressurized to dismiss nine journalists from its staff, whom the government found “unacceptable”.56
The Press in Pakistan received another shock when the regime abducted the editor of an influential weekly newspaper, the Friday Times in a midnight raid on his home.57
After enhancing the power of the Prime Minister relative to some of the other institutions, focus now shifted to the Army. The Chief of Army Staff, General Jehangir Karamet, voiced the Army’s concern at the deteriorating economic, political and law and order situation in a letter to the Prime Minister. As the contention for power within the State structure continued, the underlying crisis worsened. On October 5, 1998 in his annual address at the Pakistan Navy War College in Lahore, General Karamet expressed his worries publicly as a prelude to stepping down rather than initiating military intervention. He argued that Pakistan could not afford “the destabilizing effects of polarization, vendettas
and insecurity driven expedient policies”.58 The Prime Minister responded by
indicating his intent to order premature retirement of the Army Chief. General Karamet chose to leave gracefully and tendered his resignation.59
56 Income tax notices were served, the Jang Group’s bank accounts were frozen, newspaper godowns sealed, its journalists threatened and sedition cases lodged. That the government’s conflict with the Jang Group did not hinge merely on the non-payment of income tax, became apparent when an audio tape of a telephone conversation between Nawaz Sharif’s top aides dealing with the Press and Mir Shakil ur Rehman (the Jang Group’s chief editor) was revealed. One of the government’s aides issued clear threats on the phone and the policy that his newspapers should follow. This audio tape was played to a public audience at the Lahore Press Club. Also See: The Friday Times, February 5- 11, 1999: Ejaz Haider: Press Government or State-Society Struggle? Editorial: Well Fought Shakil-ur-Rehman.
57 The daily News, Tuesday, May 11, 1999, Front Page. The editor’s bedroom was broken into, at 2:45 a.m., by a security agency of the civil establishment, and he was handcuffed, dragged out of bed and taken away without a warrant of arrest.
The democratic elements in civil society, were outraged both by the manner of Mr. Sethi’s “arrest” and the subsequent failure of the government to bring him to trial before a court of law. Apart from Mr. Sethi’s case, which got wide publicity, there were other less famous cases of journalists being persecuted for expressing a dissenting opinion. Inspite of attempts at intimidation and illegal detention of the journalists, the press withstood the pressure and emerged a stronger institution.
58 Quoted in the article titled: General Discontent, by Zafar Abbas, in the monthly Herald, October 1998, Page 44.
59 Zafar Abbas, op.cit. Page 45.
Not long after the appointment of the new COAS General Musharraf, tensions between the Prime Minister and the Army intensified. In August 1999, matters came to a head when an attempt was made to appoint a new Army Chief without consulting with the existing one. Having given appointment orders to a new Army Chief (General Zia ur Rehman) while the existing one was in Colombo on an official trip, action was initiated (unsuccessfully as it turned out) to prevent the landing in Karachi of the PIA aircraft on which General Musharraf was returning. This brought to a dramatic head, the confrontation between the Prime Minister and the Army. The Army swiftly launched a coup d’etat that brought the military government of General Pervez Musharraf into power.
It is perhaps indicative of the gravity of the national crisis, that there was no significant public protest at the overthrow of the popularly elected government.
The Supreme Court in its validation of the military take-over referred to the crisis explicitly: “On 12th October 1999 a situation arose for which the constitution provided no solution and the intervention of the Armed Forces through an extra constitutional measure became inevitable which is hereby validated…”.60 In establishing the grounds of its verdict, there were three key elements in the Supreme Court judgment:
- “……all the institutions of the state were being systematically destroyed and the economy was in a state of collapse due to the self serving policies of the previous government…..”.61
- “….. a situation had arisen where the democratic institutions were not functioning in accordance with the provisions of the constitution……” and “……there was no real democracy because the country was by and large under one man rule”.62
60 Text of the Supreme Court Verdict in the Military Take-over Case published in the daily Dawn, 13th May 2000 Page-5.
- “……. An attempt was made to politicize the Army, destabilize it and create dissension within its ranks, and where the judiciary was ridiculed……..”.63
Governance during the late 1990s intensified to a critical level the three key elements of the crisis that threatened the state: (i) A collapsing economy. (ii) The threat to the life and property of citizens resulting from rampant crime, and the emergence of armed militant groups of religious extremists. (iii) The erosion of many of the institutions of democratic and effective governance.
Given the dynamics of Pakistan’s power structure and the greater strength of the military relative to other institutions within it, when a democratic regime fails to deliver on these issues, power would be expected to flow to the military.64 Inspite of the adverse international environment for a coup d’etat, in October 1999, power did flow to the military when the crisis of the state had reached a critical level and the democratic government was seen to be exacerbating rather
than resolving the crisis.
IV.2 Public Office for Private Wealth: The Macro Economics of Corruption
Whatever the institutional weaknesses in the democratic edifice of 1989, it was brought down by the individualized pursuit of power and the use of public office for private gain. The establishment of honest and competent governance, and the strengthening of institutions could have preserved democracy. The relative strength of the Prime Minister within the power structure essentially depended on demonstrating that the government was turning the country around from its descent into economic collapse, religious extremism and the break down of law and order. It was delivering on these counts that could have deepened democracy by winning greater legitimacy and space to the undoubtedly constrained democratic structure. As it was, the failure to deepen democracy undermined even its existing fragile form.
64 For an analysis of these dynamics, see: Akmal Hussain:
The Dynamics of Power: Military, Bureaucracy and the People, in K. Rupasinghe and K. Mumtaz (ed.): Internal Conflicts
in South Asia, Zed Books,
During the mid 1990s, large amounts of funds were siphoned off from public sector banks, insurance companies and investment institutions such as the National Investment Trust (NIT) and the Investment Corporation of Pakistan (ICP). The evidence was found in the non-performing loans, which the state controlled financial institutions were forced to give to the friends of the regime,
in most cases without collateral65. During this period the NIT and ICP were
forced to lend to patently unviable projects which were then quickly liquidated. The purpose of such lending apparently was not to initiate projects but to transfer state resources into private hands. The case of an oil refinery in Karachi and a cement plant in Chakwal have been quoted as examples of infeasible projects
funded by the NIT on political grounds and both projects declaring bankruptcy66.
According to a reliable estimate, the cost of such corruption to the banking sector alone was 10 to 15 percent of the GDP in 1996-97. It has been estimated that the overall cost to the country of corruption at the highest level of government, was 20% to 25% of the GDP in 1996-97, or approximately US $ 15 billion. The estimate includes the losses incurred due to corruption in public sector corporations such as the Pakistan International Airlines, Sui Northern Gas, Pakistan State Oil, Pakistan Steel, Heavy Mechanical Complex, the Water and Power Development Authority, and the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation. The losses of these public sector corporations had to be borne by the government and
constituted a significant element in the growing budget deficits.67
The device of forcing state controlled banks to lend to family members or family owned companies was persistently used during the 1990s. This contributed to increasing bad debts of nationalized banks, and reducing the credit available for genuine trade and investment.
Occurring at a time when GDP growth had already begun to fall below its historical trend rate, widespread governmental corruption may have been a significant factor in intensifying the slow down in investment, increasing the
65 See: S.J. Burki. op.cit. Page 174.
66 S.J. Burki, op.cit. Page-175.
67 S.J. Burki, op.cit.
economic burden on the poor and perpetuating the inadequacy of basic services during this period.
The World Bank in its recent literature has focused on the link between good governance and greater and more equitable development.68 Conversely it can be argued that widespread corruption in Pakistan during the 1990s adversely affected investment and growth in at least three ways: (1) The uncertainty and lack of transparency in government policy and the loss of time and money associated with governmental corruption would create an unfavourable
environment for private sector investment. (2) Widespread corruption implied that following an investment decision, the investor would have had to pay bribes at various stages of project approval and implementation thereby raising project cost. A significant proportion of private sector savings directed at new projects would flow to corrupt government officials rather than into productive investment. The consequent decline in the overall productivity of capital in the economy would lead to lower GDP growth for given levels of investment. Evidence shows that such a decline in the productivity of capital did indeed occur
in the 1990s. Recent estimates show that in Pakistan’s manufacturing sector, the productivity of capital has been declining since 1992-93.69 (3) Since banks and investment finance institutions were being forced to lend on political grounds and there were substantial defaults as a result, it is clear that a significant proportion of banking capital was being transferred as rents to corrupt individuals. This would adversely affect private investment in two ways: (a) There would be lesser
credit available for investment. (b) Due to the increased “transactions cost” of banks following defaults, the interest rate for private investors would increase.
Corruption during the 1990s, may have not only slowed down investment and growth but also increased inequality and the economic burden on the lower income groups. This happened in three ways: (1) Increased corruption and mismanagement in government meant that for given levels of development expenditure, there were fewer and poorer quality of public goods and services. This was clearly manifested in the deterioration of the irrigation system with
68 Governance and Development World Bank, Washington DC. Page 3.
69 See: Nomaan Majid. Pakistan: An Employment Strategy, ILO/SAAT, December 1997.
lesser water available at the farm gate70, as well as a reduced availability and quality of health, education and transport services provided by the government.
(2) The total development expenditure (as a percentage of GDP) itself fell sharply during the 1990s, partly due to budgetary constraints induced by low revenues. The problem of the narrow tax base was accentuated by the massive leakage in the tax collection system due to corruption. According to one estimate this
leakage amounted to 3 percent of the GDP, about twice the level ten years earlier.71 The consequent low revenues, combined with slower GDP growth and high levels of government’s current expenditure, led to unsustainably high levels of budget deficits. (3) Since the government was unable to plug the leakage in the tax collection system, or reduce non development expenditure, it had to resort to
increased indirect taxation to deal with the fiscal crisis. Evidence on the incidence of taxation during the late 1980s and early 1990s shows that the tax burden as a percentage of income was highest at 6.8 percent for the lowest income group (less than Rs.700 per month) and lowest at minus 4.3% for the highest income
group (over Rs.4,500 per month)72. Thus, the burden of governmental
mismanagement and corruption was passed on to the poorest sections of society.73
70 Out of the 93 MAF of water extracted from the rivers as little as 31 MAF reached the farmer, i.e. 67% of the water was lost due to deterioration in canals and water courses.
71 Shahid Javed Burki: Governance, Corruption and Development: Some Major obstacles to Growth and Development, The Banker, Lahore Spring 1998.
72 See: Overcoming Poverty, Report of the Task Force on Poverty Alleviation, May 1997.
73 Corruption by successive governments during the 1990s was not only a factor in undermining the economy, and intensifying the deprivation of the poor, but also in eroding the very legitimacy of the political system.
Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s government in August 1990, and Nawaz
Sharif’s government in April 1993 were both dismissed
by President Ishaq Khan under Article 58.2(b)
of the constitution on charges of corruption and economic mismanagement. In July 1997, during her second tenure as Prime Minister, Bhutto’s government was dismissed
on similar charges, this time by President
Farooq Leghari who had been her close political
associate. President Leghari in his dismissal
order charged that the corruption under Benazir Bhutto’s government had seriously damaged state institutions. Furthermore, he believed
that mismanagement and corruption had brought the entire political system “close to collapse”. (S.J. Burki, Pakistan: Fifty Years of Nationhood, op.cit. Page 171).
IV.3. Economic Growth, Employment and Poverty in the Decade of the 1990s
During the decade of the 1990s, political instability, historically unprecedented corruption in governance, and the worsening law and order situation perhaps had a significant adverse effect on private investment and GDP growth. Yet these factors merely accentuated the tendency for declining growth that was rooted in structural factors, which were manifest even in the 1980s. The failure of successive governments in this period to address the deteriorating infrastructure and the emerging financial crisis further exacerbated the unfavourable environment for investment. As table 1 shows, total investment (as a percentage of GDP) declined from 17.9% in the period 1988-93 to 16.3% in the period 1993-1998. The decline in the overall investment was due to the fact that while the private sector investment did not increase (it remained around 9%), the public sector investment declined sharply from 8.7% at the end of the 1980s to 5.3% at the end of the 1990s. The decline in the public sector investment was to an extent due to “budgetary constraints”: successive governments being unable to reduce their unproductive expenditures chose instead to reduce development expenditure which fell from an average of 7.4% of GDP in the Z.A. Bhutto period (1973-77) to only 3.5% of GDP in last Sharif regime, 1997-98 to 1999- 2000 (See Table 5). The chart 3 shows development expenditure as a percentage of GDP in various periods. This percentage falls from 7.4% in the Z.A. Bhutto Regime to 3.5% in the last Nawaz Sharif regime. By contrast, chart 4 shows that unproductive expenditure on government remained at a high level.
The sharp decline in the investment and the GDP growth for such a protracted period in the 1990s though unprecedented in Pakistan’s history, had nevertheless been predicted. My study in 1987 had argued that the high growth experience of the preceding three decades may not be sustainable in the next decade due to structural constraints rooted in the deteriorating infrastructure, low
savings rates and slow export growth.74
74 Akmal Hussain in
his 1987 study predicted:“…….if present trends continue, we may be faced with the stark possibility that high GDP growth may not be sustainable over the next five years…..” (Emphasis
added). See: Akmal Hussain: Strategic Issues in Pakistan’s Economic Policy, Progressive Publishers, Lahore
1988, Page xviii.
Development Expenditure (ADP) as a Percentage
of GDP in Various
1972/73 – 1976/77
1977/78 – 1986/87
1987/88 – 1996/97
1997/98 – 1999/2000
While GDP growth declined during the 1990s (from 6.3% in the 1980s to 4.2% in the 1990s), employment growth has continued to remain at a low level of 2.4% since the 1980s. This indicates that the employment problem persisted during the 1990s. At the same time the growth of labour productivity declined (see Table 6), which would be expected to push real wages downwards. The available evidence shows that this is indeed what happened in the 1990s: an ILO study suggests that real wages of casual hired labour (which is the predominant
form of hired labour in Pakistan) declined in both agriculture and industry, during the 1990s.75
Declining growth in the next decade could be predicted because: “……… the strategic variables and sectors through which growth is sustained over time seem to show a declining trend: For example the growth rate of fixed investment, the domestic savings rate, the growth rate in the value of exports, and finally the weight of the commodity producing sectors in the economy……..”, Akmal Hussain, op.cit. Page-4.
75 Nomaan Majid: ILO/SAAT, op.cit.
Pages 34, 35.
GROWTH OF T AND PRODUCTIVITY IN TWO DECADES
GROWTH 1980s 1990s
- GDP GROWTH 6.3
- EMPLOYMENT GROWTH (TOTAL) (i Agriculture
- PRODUCTIVITY GROWTH (TOTAL)
SOURCE: OMAAN ID,
PAKISTAN: AN E
PLOYMENT STRATEGY, ILO/SAAT, DECEMBER
1997 (Mimeo), TABLE A5,
Ch a r t 4
E x pe n ditur e on G o v e r nm e nt* C om pa r e d to D e v e lop m e nt E x pe n ditur e ( P e r c e nt of GDP )
* G ov ernm ent: G ov ernm ent ex penditure on def ens e and g eneral adm inis t ration.
An examination of the evidence on employment elasticities in various sectors shows that the employment elasticity in the manufacturing sector declined sharply from 0.17 in the 1980s to minus 0.10 in the 1990s, while in agriculture it declined only slightly. However employment elasticities in construction and trade increased substantially over the two decades (see Table 7). This evidence of declining employment elasticities in agriculture and manufacturing when
combined with the evidence of declining output growth in these two sectors, suggests a crisis of employment and poverty emerging during the 1990s.76 The
76 Agriculture and manufacturing have historically absorbed the bulk of the employed labour force in Pakistan. For example in 1969-70,
72.6% of the total employed
|Electricity & Gas||-0.39||0.32|
fact that there were slower economic growth rates, declining employment elasticities and falling real wages in both agriculture and industry during the 1990s, had an important implication for the mechanism of poverty creation: It meant that increasingly, the second family members of households on the margin of poverty could not get adequate wage employment. This could have been a significant factor in pushing increasing numbers of households into poverty.
A second important dimension of the dynamics of poverty creation in this period was located in the increased fluctuations in agricultural output which was pointed out in a recent study.77 It indicates that under conditions of declining input productivity, when higher input/acre is required to maintain yields, the subsistence farmers with fewer resources are likely to suffer a greater than average decline in yields compared to large farmers. At the same time, due to
force was employed in these two sectors. By the mid nineties this percentage fell, but was still over 60%.
77 Akmal Hussain: Employment Generation, Poverty Alleviation and Growth in Pakistan’s Rural Sector: Policies for
Institutional Change, ILO/CEPR, Mimeo, 1999. This study analyses
the structural factors
that slowed down agricultural growth and increased its variability from year to year.
lack of savings to fall back on, they are relatively more vulnerable to bad harvests under conditions of unstable growth.78 Consequently, slower and more unstable growth during the 1990s could be expected to be accompanied by growing poverty and inequality. The evidence shows that this is precisely what happened during the 1990s: The Gini coefficient, which is a measure of the degree of inequality, increased from 26.85 in 1992-93 to 30.19 in 1998-99. Similarly the
percentage of the population below the poverty line (calorific intake basis) was 26.6% in 1992-93, and increased to 32% in 1998-9979.
IV.4 Postscript: The Military Regime and After
The multifaceted crisis of economy, society and state, as we have seen in this paper, reached a critical point by the end of the 1990s. The collapse of the formal democratic structure within which the contention for power by the informal “Troika” had been conducted, created the space for yet another military intervention in Pakistan’s politics in October 1999. In view of the gravity of the crisis the Supreme Court validated the military take over and gave General (later President) Musharraf permission to run the government for upto three years and hold general elections by October 2002.
During the extra constitutional interregnum President Musharraf’s government formulated a comprehensive set of reforms aimed at addressing the crisis of poverty, reviving the economy and establishing the institutional basis of good governance. At the same time through a number of constitutional amendments the political system was restructured. The powers of the President were enhanced and a National Security Council was established to ensure that the newly elected government maintains the “continuity” of reforms initiated by the military government. The new political dispensation signifies the institutionalization of military power within the political structure. What was previously an informal presence in the conduct of governance (see Section IV.1 of this paper) has now become formal. It therefore embodies a shift in the balance of political power from the civilian to the military domain within the political
78 Ibid. Page 4.
79 Federal Bureau of Statistics, Government of Pakistan,
April 2001, (Mimeo).
system. As we have seen in this paper, this is a shift that was the result as much of the failure of democratic governments to pursue public interest in the 1990s, as it was by the military to maintain its influence in politics.
It appears that the issue of the relative power enjoyed by the military in Pakistan’s political structure may be resolved through a process of the development of institutions and political culture in Pakistan’s polity.
For the latest elected government, the challenge at the political level lies now more than ever before in translating the vision of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah into specific policies and institutions to build a modern democratic state. Moderation, tolerance and humanness are required to build a dynamic Muslim community that can enrich human civilization in the contemporary world. These features in Pakistan’s polity are indeed necessary if Pakistan is to flourish by acquiring the support of the international community for reviving the economy, and achieving both human security and the security of the State.
At the economic level the challenge is to win international financial and technical support to launch a three-pronged initiative for poverty alleviation and economic revival. The first prong would consist of a major development program that can provide health, education, basic services and employment opportunities to the people. The second prong would consist of giving a jump-start to the economy by acquiring international financial and technical support for building infrastructure projects such as ports, highways, medium sized dams, and projects for improving the delivery efficiency of irrigation. The third prong would consist of facilitating foreign and private sector investment projects in high value added small-scale industries that can generate both higher employment and higher exports per unit of investment.
this paper we have traced through various
political regimes, the dynamic interaction between the processes
of deterioration in the institutions of governance on the one hand and the structure
of the economy
on the other. The
purpose was to understand the emergence of the process of increasing poverty, the tendency for loan dependence and slow GDP growth.
The Ayub regime was characterized by denial of political rights to the people and economic policies that induced acute social and regional economic disparities. The resultant political tensions exploded into a civil war and the emergence of independent Bangladesh. We saw how the mechanisms of rural poverty observable to-day, were rooted in the increased peasant dependence on the landlord, and asymmetric markets for inputs and outputs that resulted from a particular form of agricultural growth during the Ayub period. The analysis also showed how the tendency for the economy’s loan dependence so manifest to-day, may have originated in the policies of the Ayub regime. The government by providing state subsidies locked the economy into an industrial structure which was dominated by low value added industries, incapable of generating adequate foreign exchange for the country.
The structural constraints to fiscal space were exacerbated as successive governments engaged in financial profligacy, and allocation of state resources based on considerations of political patronage rather than economic efficiency. Nationalization of industries during the Z.A. Bhutto period enlarged the domain of power and patronage for the regime. However the consequent growing losses of nationalized units laid the basis of subsequent fiscal haemorrhaging of the government. The sharply rising budget deficits during the Z.A. Bhutto period were accentuated by a huge increase in expenditures on the State apparatus as part of the attempt to build a domain of patronage and power within the State structure.
military regime during 1977 to 1987 sought to establish dictatorial rule by means of an obscurantist and retrogressive version of religious fundamentalism. State resources were used for the first time to
armed groups of religious extremists and to finance
religious seminaries (madrassas) many of which,
systematically indoctrinated young minds to hate and kill. The politics
the Zia period therefore laid the basis of the emergence of armed militant groups in society and sectarian
violence which was to undermine the process of investment and growth
institutions of governance.
During the Zia regime State funds were directed to establishing a theocratic State instead of urgently needed investment in the maintenance of the irrigation system and technical training of the human resource base. Consequently, when the cushion of foreign financial assistance was withdrawn after the Afghan war, investment and growth declined, budget deficits increased sharply, and poverty intensified.
The decade of the 1990s was marked by democratically elected leaders using public office for private gain. The resultant misallocation of national resources during this period accentuated the fiscal crisis. We have analyzed how the widespread corruption during this period was an important factor in not only reducing private sector investment, but also reducing the productivity of capital, thereby sharply slowing down GDP growth. During this period the structure of GDP growth also underwent further adverse changes as both capital and labour productivity fell sharply, together with declining employment elasticities. A reduction in capital productivity led to slower growth, while reduction in labour productivity led to falling real wages. As both GDP growth and real wages fell, poverty tended to increase. This tendency was reinforced by declining employment elasticities. Thus, bad governance and associated adverse changes in the structure of the economy, in this period, laid the basis for a rapid increase in poverty and unemployment.
We have seen how the military regimes of Ayub Khan and Zia ul Haq laid the structural basis for the deterioration in both the polity and economy of Pakistan. We have also seen that the democratically elected regimes in various periods not only sought authoritarian forms of power within formally democratic structures, but also accelerated the process of economic decline. The crisis of poverty and human development in Pakistan therefore is located as much in the deterioration of institutions and the economy, as it is in the failure of individual leaders to pursue public interest rather than their own.
military regime of President Musharraf even though
it institutionalized the role of the military
in the political structure made progress towards the financial stabilization of the economy. The crisis in the real economy of poverty and slow growth however persists. The question
is whether the present
elected government can pull Pakistan out of the national crisis of poverty, economic
recession and the severe
law and order situation. Focusing on these issues may well determine not just the success of the elected
government but the evolution of democracy itself.
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- Rahim, Sikander, February 2001. “Myths of Economic Development”. Lahore School of Economics, Occasional Paper No. 10.
- Rupasinghe, K. and Mumtaz, K. (ed.), 1996. “Internal Conflicts in South Asia”. Zed Books, London.
- Soligo and Stern, J. J., 1965. “Tariff Protection, Imports Substitution and Investment Efficiency, The Pakistan Development”.
- Syed, Najam Hussain, 1986. “Recurrent Patterns in Punjabi Poetry” Second Edition. Punjab Adbi Markaz, Lahore.
- The Dawn, Daily. Karachi.
- The Economist, Weekly. London
- The Friday Times, Weekly.
- The News, Daily. Lahore.
- UNDP, Human Development Report 2002, Deepening democracy in a fragmented world, OUP, 2002.
- White, L. J. “Industrial Concentration and Economic Power in Pakistan”. Princeton University Press.
- World Bank. “Governance and Development”. Washington DC.
- Ziring, Lawrence, 1980. “The Enigma of Political Development”. Westview Press, Boulder.
Dancing around the fire is not the solution to any problem.One should try to see beneath the surface in order to grasp an idea about the basic issue. Despite a steam of strong words and Family Planning Programmed introduced by the governments of many countries of the world, population is still increasing at an alarming especially in the third world countries.
Pakistan is also facing the dragon of over population. This problem has given rise to multidimensional problems in our country. At present we are scarce in resources and it has become difficult for the government to meet the rapidly growing needs of the huge population with its scarce resources. The growth rate of Pakistan is very high and is among the highest in the world. Since partition in 1947, the population of Pakistan has become more than tripled. Every year almost four million people are added to already over burdened economy. This yearly increase in our population is equal to the total populations of any countries. This rapidly growing population has really created an obstacle in the way of our economic progress. The massively increasing population has almost outstripped the resources in production, in facilities and in job opportunities.
It is estimated that if the present growth rate prevails, then the population of Pakistan will be double by the year 2020. This is , in fact, an alarming situation, Even today at the population of 140million it has become difficult for us to provide basic necessities of life to the majority of the population. A great number of people have no access to the health services. The safe drinking water is also not available at many places, many people do not have the sanitation facilities, a lot of children are not provided the primary education and illiteracy rate is very high among the adults. According to a report issued by united Nations about four million people are living below the poverty line.
The genesis of the situation reflects some obvious reasons. A major reason is the tradition of having joint family system. This system puts less burden of bringing up of children on the parents. As the parents have minimum expenditure so they tend to produce more children.
Another important factor is that majority of the population of our country lives in the rural areas. In these regions agriculture is the only profession and in agricultural processes, children are considered very helpful for the parents. This factor encourages the parents to have more children.
Then there is the question of male child in our society.
The male baby
is welcomed more warmly rather than a baby girl. This creates a desire for having a male baby at least, This factor acts an incentive for more and more children
suitable number of male babies is achieved.
In addition to these the early age marriages in the rural areas, prove potential large size family makers. It has been observed that such marriages produce at least seven children.
Then it comes to the Islamic laws. According to these the widows are allowed to marry again and thus continue to act as procreation agents. Along with this the polygamy is also allowed and is practiced in Islam. This gives rise to an obvious result of multiple issues.
The Islamic viewpoint of the people is also one of the major causes for the over population. It is a matter of faith with the Muslims that Almighty God provides the needs of every child and the parents are having no obligation in this regard. The Muslims are staunch believer in fate and so they do not follow family planning programmes. These programmers are considered against the spirit of Islam. At many places most of the elders in the rural areas categorize it as an instrument of vagrancy and waywardness. They are of the view that such programmes give rise to immorality among the young boys and girls.
Another reason can be considered is the hot and pleasant climatic conditions of Pakistan. The environment of our country helps the early maturity of boys and girls and they become capable of raising a family at an early stage. Along with this the recreational facilities are almost non-existent. Conjugal recreation is the only alternative for married people.
The rapidly growing population is having a lot of adverse effects on our country. All over the country poverty as increased and people do not have the basic necessities of life.
There is a shortfall in educational institutions and class rooms are over crowded. It has become very difficult to get the child admitted I government schools. Due to this fact high fee charging intuition spring up. These intuitions implement their own syllabus which is completely different from the course of government schools. This creates a clear distinction between the students of government and private schools. This also gives rise to tow educational systems working simultaneously in the county.
Due to high growth rate of population the health care facilities have become inadequate. Child and maturity centers are also lacking. The standards of food have been fallen and due to this the number of patients has increased.
population is that ever increasing population creates housing and settlement problems. It becomes very difficult
the individual and the society to overcome them.
The great number of people is responsible for making the parks and gardens ugly spots. The reactions facilities are decreasing in this way.
The unemployment increase. It becomes very difficult for the employer to provide social fringe benefits to the employees. These employees are often deprived off from their rights like pensions, medical facilities children’s education etc.
The high growth rate of population makes our society a consumption oriented society. This is because more natural resources are to be consumed for more people. These resources once used, cannot be renewed. So we have to import these terms at the cost of foreign exchange which increases our import bill thus widens the gap between imports and exports.
The increase in population means an increase in the crime rate. When the people do not get the jobs, when they do not get the proper facilities, they get frustrated and become revengeful against the society. Due to this factor the crime rate increases. The rise in crimes makes an atmosphere of fear. The people are oscillating between uncertainty and fear.
Dens traffic on roads cause a lot of accidents in which many precious lives are being lost. Due to high growth rate of population the unlawful settlements are formed. These type of settlements give rise to many problems . As no health facilities are available the are , so many disease are caused.
In late 1990’s the government of Pakistan started two programmes to control the over population. These were names as primary health care and population planning. These were implemented through the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Population Welfare respectively. These are planned to proveddoor to door services especially in the rural areas. Many lady workers have been given jobs for this purpose. These women have been provided sufficient trainings. The aim of these programmes is to create awareness about the family planning programmes. For this purpose about ten thousands persons have already been inducted by population welfare departments.
As the dragon of over population is digesting our already scarce resources at a massive speed. So our government should go for the remedial measures. In this regard the following suggestions may prove very fruitful and result oriented.
Late age marriages should
be encouraged and the early age marriages
should be condemned very seriously. This will become very useful because the early age marriages usually gives rise to large families.
The services of ulemas should be utilized in order to convince the people that family planning programmes are not contrary to the Islamic values. In rural areas the people are highly under influence of the religious leaders so their words spoken in the favor of family planning may yield the desire results.
As the girls today are to become mothers in future so the high literacy rate in females may become very important. An educated female will be aware of the consequences of over population. In this regard the sex-education should be provided to all the graduates so that the problem of over population can be countered in a comprehensive manner.
Conferences another programmes to creates awareness in the general public should be held at all levels. These programmes willbecome very helpful in explaining the adverse effects of over population to the people. This might make the brain wash of the people.
The electronic media should also be utilized. The advertisements through television might convey the message very easily. Along with this non-government organizations should do some activities which may become helpful in conveying the message to the general public.
A day should be celebrated at National level with the name of National Population Day. This should be done on the pattern of the “World Population Day” which is being celebrated on the 11th of July each year. These types of activities play an important role in creating awareness about the subject matter.
So, conclude in this way that the dragon of population has become a serious threat for the prosperity of our country. Now the time has come that if we want to make Pakistan a State where integrity, solidarity and prosperity will be all around, then we should not leave any stone unturned in reducing the population growth rate. This reduction in population will lead the country towards a stage where it will be able toprovide all basic nece
ssities of life to everyone.
Poverty anywhere is a threat to prosperity everywhere. It is a scrooge and one of the worst curses and miseries that a human can face. According to Homer. “This , this is misery! The last, the worst that man can feel”.
Poverty can be measured either in absolute terms, for example, the number of those who cannot afford more than two pairs of shoes, or in relative terms, for example, the number of the poorest ten percent of house holds. In either sense it is a concept, which is defined arbitrarily . Poverty exists not only because incomes are low, but also because the needs of certain low income households are high.
Poverty has many dimensions, which include economic, political, social, environmental and human dimensions. In economic terms a county, a region or a household is poor when the per capita income of purchasing power of a poor country or household is below a certain minimum standard, there are low medical care and health facilities, productivity is very low and there is illiteracy.
In political terms a country, a regionor a group of people are poor when they do not have a voice in the community or dependent on other more powerful groups or individuals in order to express their own rights and choices.
In social terms poverty in a country a region o a household breeds all types of socially unacceptable behaviors like drug addiction, crime, position, violence ad terrorism in a family or in a community, These factors degrade human self respect, moral and social values of the society as a whole and as a result more and more people in the community become intolerantand rude towards each other in their day to day life.
In environmental dimension, poverty destroys the living environment not only of those who live in poverty but of all other human beings as well as non-human living things that depend on the same resources and ecosystem on which those living in poverty depend and survive. People living in poverty cannot change their behaviors easily because of lack of resources, kn0lwledge about their own surroundings and education. Thus by destroying their own living environment, the poor in reality are destroying their own resources on which they survive in the long run.
Poverty in its human dimension is the most
important of all, because
poor people live in conditions that are miserable, conditions in
which some members
of their family die of hunger, disease of famine. Poverty in tis human dimension exists,
when a child is down
with a curable
disease and the parents have to take
a decision whether to take
the child to a doctor and buy expensive
medicines or purchase
other essentials of daily use. It exists when parents of a child sell their child into slavery or prostitutionbecause of lack of resources
to feed or care for that child and when government institutes fail to
protect the rights
of the poor.
Poverty has emerged as the most important issue for Pakistan. Poverty redressal requires economic growth accompanied by an improvement in access to social services. The reason that economic growth has failed to trickle down to the poor in Pakistan is the slow improvement in social indicators Economic growth and social sector development are interdependent as one reinforces the other. In fact economic growth is necessary for poverty reduction but poverty reduction itself is necessary for sustained growth.
The estimates of poverty are not consistent in Pakistan. According to caloric based (2250 calories per person), the incidence of poverty declined sharply from 46.5 percent in 1969-70 to 17.3percent in 1987-88. However , poverty increased significantly in 1990’s rising from 17.3 percent in 1987 -88 to 22.4 percent in 1992-93 and further to 31 percent in 1996-97.The recentestimates suggest that poverty ahs further increased from 32.6 percent in 1998-99 to 33.50 percent in 1999-2000. This shows that the incidence of poverty has increased in 19990’s. similar trends have been observed in the case of urban and rural poverty.
The main reasons for increase in poverty during 1990’s can be attributed to the relatively lower rate of economic growth, rising unemployment, stagnant real wages, declining flow of worker’s remittances and bad governance. In addition to the factors mentioned above the high population growth also puts pressure on the merge social services thereby causing social distress.
Painting a broad picture of third world poverty is not enough. Before anyone can formulate effective policies and programmes to attack poverty at its source, one needs some specific knowledge of poverty groupsand their economic characteristics, It is not sufficient simply to focus on raising growth rates of Gross National Product in the expectation or hope that this national income growth will “trickle down” to improve levels of living for the very poor. On the contrary many observers argue that direct attack on poverty by means of poverty focused policies and plans can be more effective and one cannot attack poverty directly without detailed knowledge of its location, extent and characteristics.
National Economic development is central to success in poverty alleviation. But poverty is an outcome of more than economic processes. It is an outcome of economic, social and political processes. To attack poverty requires action at local , national and global levels. The following actions are required to be taken y poor people, government, private sector and civil society organizations.
Growth is essential for expanding economic opportunities for the poor. The question is how to achieve rapid, sustainable and pro-poor growth. A business environmental conducive to privateinvestment and technological innovation is necessary, as is political and social stabilityto invite public and private investments.
The poor should be
empowered in the true
sense. Empowerment means enhancing
the capacity of the
poor to influence the states institutions that affects their
strengthening their participation in political process, and local decision-making. It also means removing the barriers political, legal and social that work against particular groups and building the assets of poor people to enable them to engageeffectively in markets.
Enhancing security for poor people which means reducing their vulnerability to such risks as ill health, economic shocks and natural disasters and helping them cope with adverse shocks when they occur.
The ultimate cause of the unequal distribution of personal incomes in most third world countries is the unequal and highly concentrated patterns of asset ownership (wealth). The principal reason why less than 20 percent of their population receives over 50 percent of the national income is that this 20 percent probably owns ad controls over 90 percent of the productive and financial resources, especially physical capital and land but also financial capital (stock and bonds) and human capital in the form of better education. It follows that perhaps more important line of policy to reduce povertyand inequality is to focus directly on reducing the concentrated control of assets, the unequal distribution of power, unequal access to education and income earning opportunities.
Policies to enforce progressive rates of direct taxation on income especially at the highest levels are, what are most needed in this area of redistribution activity.
Unfortunately, in many developing countries the rich do not show a larger part of their income and assets. Further , they often also have the power and ability to avoid paying taxes without the fear of government.
Pakistan is facing twin challenges of reviving growth and reducing poverty. This requires rapid economic growth keeping in view the factors responsible for slow growth and rising poverty, the government has formulated a comprehensive economic revival programmed aimed at reviving economic growth and social development. The government has adopted a multi-pronged approach to promote pro-poor economic growth and reduce poverty.
Engendering growth by correcting macroeconomic imbalances and stabilizing the economy has been made the central pillar of the government’s economic revival program. The government has adopted a sound macroeconomic framework aimed at both stabilizing the economy and stimulating growth. It comprises five building blocks namely tax reforms, expenditure management, prudent monetary policy, external adjustment and debt management.
Implementing broad based governance reforms are essential ingredients of he
government’s poverty alleviation strategy. Without governance reforms thee enormous tasks of reviving
growth and reducing poverty cannot be addressed. Sagging growth and rising poverty
are in partresults of the
poor performance of the government institutions in Pakistan. In fact, poverty
in Pakistan is not
outcome of economic
ills but also a result of mis-governance over the past years. The
main element of reforms are devolution of power at grass roots level, civil services reforms, access to justice and financial transparency.
The care principle of Pakistan’ poverty alleviation strategy is to empower the people and to create greater opportunities for increasing real income by improving access to productive assets mainly housing, land an credit. Access to credit is the surest way of empowering thepoor and improving their income generating opportunities. In addition to the already existing financial intuition, thegovernment has now established the “Khushhali Bank” or “Micro Finance Bank” for the provision of micro credit to poor communities.
The effects of sluggish economic growth are clearly reflected in Pakistan’s performance in the social sectors, Human development is essential for attracting investment and generating the capacity for future sustainable growth.Pakistan’s progress on almost every social indictor e.g. education, health and nutrition is poor as compared with that of other developing countries. In order to address this situation, the government has prepared comprehensive human development strategies aimed at the effective utilization of the available resource s through improved institutional mechanisms.
The government’s key social safety net for reducing vulnerability to exogenous shocks is the reformed system of Zakat and Usher. The system of collection and distribution of Zakat has recently been reorganized. However, its potential and scope in fighting poverty is yet to be fully realized. The food support programed is another social safety instrument of he government for the poorest.
In spite of all these
cataclysmic facts, on may hope
that according to the
economy revival plan of the
government, the time will be
changed and the economic development rate will be enhanced andat
the same time the level of
poverty will be decreased. Now the
time ahs come that if we want Pakistan to
rise up to that extent where the prosperity, integrity, solidarity and economic stability will be all around, then every Pakistani
will have to work
as far as in him
lies. By working with
whole dedication, concentration and conviction we may achieve a
strong Pakistan dream by Quaid-e-Azam , and by
going this way,
the day will not be far away when Pakistan ill bear the palm and it will l show its mettle of
the rest of the
Terrorism In Pakistan: Its Causes, Impacts And Remedies
- What Is Terrorism
- Islam’s Response To Terrorism:
- Causes Of Terrorism:
- Internal Causes
- Socio-Economic Causes
- Poverty And Unemployment:
- Food Insecurity:
- Political Causes:
- Non-Democratic Set-Up:
- Improper Government Set-Up
- Absence Of Law And Failure Of Law Enforcement Agencies:
- Religious Causes:
- Role Of Madrassahs:
- Religious Intolerance:
- External Causes
- Afghan War: 1979
- Iranian Revolution:
- War On Terrorism: 9/11
- Factors Boosting Terrorism:
- Anti-Terrorism Campaign And Drone Strikes:
- Negligence Of Government:
- Persecution Of Innocent Muslims In Kashmir And Palestine:
- Steps Taken By Pakistan:
- Ban On Terrorist Organisation
- Operation Rah-E-Nijat
- Operation Rah-E-Rast
- Impacts Of Terrorism:
- Civilian Loss
- Economic Cost Of Terrorism:
- Agriculture Loss:
- Manufacturing Cost:
- Declining Foreign Direct Investment:
- Diminishing Tourism:
- Internally Displaced People/internal Migration
- Social Impacts;
- Political Impacts:
- Psychological Impacts:
- Religious Impacts:
At present the gravest problem that Pakistan is faces is terrorism. It has become a headache for federation and a nightmare for public. Though, it is a global issue but Pakistan has to bear the brunt of it. Pakistan’s involvement in the War on Terror has further fuelled the fire. We are facing war like situation against the terrorists. This daunting situation is caused due to several factors. These factors include social injustice, economic disparity, political instability, religious intolerance and also external hands or international conspiracies. A handful of people who have their vicious interests to fulfil have not only taken countless innocent lives but also distorted the real image of Islam before the world through their heinous acts. Terrorist acts like suicide bombings have become a norm of the day. On account of these attacks Pakistan is suffering from ineffaceable loss ranging from civilian to economic. People have become numerical figures, blown up in numbers every now and then. Terrorists have not spared any place. Bazars, mosques, educational institutes, offices, hotels, no place is safe anymore.
Though terrorism has no accepted definition, yet it can be defined as the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aim or the calculated use of violence or threat of violence against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature, this is done through intimidation or coercion or inciting fear.
According to FBI’s definition, Terrorism is the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objective.
The religion of Islam (Submission), advocates freedom, peace
agreement and admonishes aggression. The
following verses make it very clear.
“And do not aggress; GOD dislikes the aggressors”. (Quran 5:87)
“You shall resort to pardon, advocate tolerance, and disregard the ignorant”. (Quran: 7:199)
The relations of Muslims (Submitters) with others are based primarily on peace, mutual respect and trust. The theme in the Quran is peace, unless there is oppression or injustice that cannot be resolved by all the peaceful means available. The true religion of Islam forbids the killing of innocent people, irrespective of the cause, religious, political or social beliefs.
“…You shall not kill * GOD has made life sacred * except in the course of justice. These are His commandments to you that you may understand.” (Quran 6:151)
“You shall not kill any person * for GOD has made life sacred — except in the course of justice.” (Quran17:33)
In Islam, an amazingly powerful emphasis is laid on developing love for mankind and on the vital importance of showing mercy and sympathy towards every creature of Allah Almighty, including human beings and animals. For indeed, love and true sympathy is the very antidote of terrorism.
Injustice is one of the foremost factors that breed terrorism. When the grievances of the people are not redressed they resort to violent actions. So this is the case with Pakistan where timely justice has always been a far cry. Hence, the delayed justice is working as incentive for victims and dragging them to the swamp of terrorist organisations.
Illiteracy is the root causes of extremism and terrorism. More than one in five men aged 15 to 24 unable to read or write, and only one in 20 is in tertiary education. such a high illiteracy rate has made Pakistan vulnerable to terrorism. furthermore, technical and vocational education, and adult literacy, are especially important but unfortunately have been neglected the most in Baluchistan, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and the Tribal Areas.
Illiteracy and lack of skills provide fertile ground for those who wish to recruit young men and women to their cause, especially when significant monetary payments are attached.
Regarding poverty, it is also an incubating cause of terrorism. And it is said that “a hungry man is an angry man.” Notably, majority of people in Pakistan are living below poverty line. While especially for the youngsters, unemployment has made the matter worse. In these adverse circumstances, some people go to the level of extremism and even commit suicide. These are the people whose services are hired by the terrorist groups and they become easy prey to terrorism.
Food insecurity is
also linked with militancy and violence. When people remain unable to afford food and cannot meet
their basic needs civil strife grows. A report
by the Islamabad-based Sustainable
Development Policy Institute The highest levels of food insecurity, for instance, exist in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas,
according to the report, where 67.7 per cent of the
people are insecure. The next
highest level is in Baluchistan, with food insecurity
at 61.2 per cent, and then in Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa,
per cent. In Pakistan some extremist forces are exploiting the feelings of lower and lower middle class food insecure people. They are motivating their unemployed youth to commit heinous crimes such as suicide attacks against innocent people.
Another reason of terrorism is dissatisfaction. When a person is dissatisfied with the rulers and thinks that his rights are being humiliated or exiled, his living of life has not been compensated, he is deprived of rightful inheritance to office, wrongly imprisoned and property confiscated then he joins some religious parties. It does not matter which organisation it would be. None of the organisations has any importance for him. Adopting an organisation would only save him from the critical situation he is in and leaves him
to play in the hands of his so-called leaders who destroy his public sense of security.
Today’s Pakistan is facing democratic turmoil. A path chartered by the military regime of Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan then of Zia-ul-Haq was altered by yet another military regime that of Musharraf. All these regimes produced political instability, poor governance, institutional paralysis, by passing the rule of law, socio-economic downfall and so on.
These fragile conditions along with deteriorating law and order situation have provided a fertile ground for terrorism to grow.
Furthermore, lack of proper government set-up and lack of coordination and information sharing between various institutions of government is also a cause of behind the escalating terrorist activities. Not to talk of providing security to common people, our law enforcing agencies (LEAs) have completely failed to protect high officials of the country. In the absence of law and proper trial the terrorists are entrenching their roots firmly.
Failure of the (LAEs) to bring the terrorist to book has emboldened terror mongers to strike at a target of their choice at will. Schools, hospitals, markets and places of worship have become their favourite targets.
Religion became the dominant force during the Zia regime when the Islamization of laws and education became a state policy. And the Islamic legislation was promulgated and a number of Islamic enactments were made, including the Hudood and blasphemy laws.
One may also mention the vital role of the jihadis in their fight against the Soviet military occupation with the American support, as well as the generous patronage extended by the government to the religious parties and groups. It may be added that various religious groups benefited from the support they received from abroad, in particular from Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Religious Madrassah is not something new for the Islam or our country. But after Russian attack on Afghanistan it took a new dimension. They were being used as recruitment centres for jihadis. Thousands of Mujahedeen were trained and sent to Afghanistan for so- called jihad. After the fall of Russia, a sizeable number of the jihadis who returned to Pakistan got involved in terrorist activities.
Religious intolerance is another factor which is adding fuel to the fire of terrorism. youth, educated through religious Madrassahs, are indoctrinated with extreme ideas. They become intolerant towards other religions and even other sects of their own religion.
They impose their own extreme
ideas and vent their fanaticism thorough violent
actions. Intolerance makes society jungle. It is proving destructive phenomenon for
harmony, political stability, and economic growth.
The soviet Afghanistan war was the most critical event responsible for spreading militancy and intolerance in Pakistan. A fundamental change that altered the very character of Pakistani society occurred after establishment of the soviet backed communist regime in Afghanistan. The aftermath of the soviet withdrawal exposed the damage, transformation of violence and Weaponisation into Pakistani society. It ultimately plagued Pakistan with a new trend commonly referred as “Kalashnikov Culture” and “Talbanisation”. This was perhaps an end to our long established pluralistic culture and values. Result was a wave of vicious cycle of Sectarian and Inter-sect and Interfaith violence/terrorism.
Religious extremism that took its roots in Pakistan after the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979 has proved venomous for Pakistan. The increased danger of sectarian motivated acts of violence, have gained in power and influence over the recent past. External as well as internal influences have impacted the sectarian issues and have served to further intensify the magnitude and seriousness of the problem. Sectarian violence, therefore, was an extremely rare and unheard of phenomenon in Pakistan with sectarian disputes being very localized and confined rather than being frequent and widespread.
This religious extremism took a new shape of terrorism after 9/11. After the incident of 9/11 suicide bombing in Pakistan has become a norm of the day. The American invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, as well as the military operation in Pakistan, along with the American drone attacks, have served to fuel religious radicalism leading to violent reaction. The breakdown of state structures in Afghanistan created a void which was quickly filled by groups and individuals who took it upon themselves to continue the lost battle. Some of them also intruded into Pakistani tribal areas, thus inviting the US displeasure. Flushing out these foreign fighters by Pakistani security forces made Pakistan a battle ground, as foreign militants and some of their local hosts, joined hands to counter the security forces.
The drone strikes have increased anti-Americanism in Pakistan society and the region. The terrorists have used the collateral damage to maximize the environment and society to their benefit. Families of people killed in collateral damage become ideal nursery for suicide bombers In Pakistan society drone attacks are popularly believed to have caused even more civilian casualties than is actually the case. The persistence of these attacks on Pakistani territory is continuously creating public outrages and alienating people from government and Army. The drone is a tactical weapon and has certainly given good results tactically to support coalition forces operation on their sides of the border but strategically history has many unanswered questions.
On account of anti-campaign and drone attacks scores of people have become homeless and even some have lost all their possessions Coupled with this, governments indifference towards these internally displaced people has further deteriorating the situation and encouraging people to join anti-state actors. Negligence on the part of government has alienated the people and has placed Pakistan in an undesirable situation domestically.
Furthermore, indiscriminate and brutal persecution of innocent citizen of Kashmir and Palestine by Indian
and Israeli forces respectively is further boosting the monster of
terrorism. the people of Kashmir and Palestine have been denied their basic rights for decades. Hence their feelings of antagonism springing out in the form violent acts and also their supporters are conducting these types of acts here in Pakistan in order the draw the attention of the world towards the injustices being done to them.
Pakistan has done its level best to rid terrorism and terrorists from its soil. In first step, many terrorist organisations were banned by the Musharraf government. After those successful military operations namely Rah-e-Nijat and Rah-e-Rast have been conducted. Pakistan army has fought bravely against terrorist and has destroyed their safe dens. It has broken the backbone of the terrorists and has forced them to flee. These operations still keep ongoing in some tribal areas. In this context, it is worth-mentioning that public support to military operations is very essential, and without people’s backing no army can win this ‘different war’ against terrorism.
For Pakistan the consequences of being the epicentre of the war on terror have been disastrous physically, psychologically and economically. Nobody understands terrorism better than us (Pakistanis). We have been victims of various manifestations of it since the Soviet Afghan war. Since 9/11, the wave of suicide bombing has so far killed scores of innocent Pakistani civilians and muffled the already slow pace of our economic growth.
The financial cost of the ongoing global war on terror in the last two years alone has been
$35 billion. This has badly affected in particular, the socio-economic development of Pakistan. Lest we forget, we even lost our prominent political leader Benazir Bhuttoto an act of terror.
Since September 11, 2001, 21,672 Pakistani civilians have lost their lives or have been seriously injured in an ongoing fight against terrorism. The Pakistan Army has lost 2,795 soldiers in the war and 8,671 have been injured. There have been 3,486 bomb blasts in the country, including 283 major suicide attacks. More than 3.5 million have been displaced. The damage to the Pakistani economy is estimated at $68 billion over the last ten years. Over 200,000 Pakistani troops were deployed at the frontline and 90,000 soldiers are fighting against militants on the Afghan border.
The ongoing insurgency has accelerated the already dismal economic situation and has affected almost each and every economic aspects of the country, particularly in FATA and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa. All the main resources of revenue in affected areas have been hurt, including agriculture, the tourism industry, manufacturing and small-scale industry.
Due to insurgency, the loss to agriculture alone amounts to Rs.35 billion. The breakdown in law and order situation has damaged the fruit based economy of the northern areas. It has rendered billions of rupes losses to the landowners, labourers, dealers and farmers who earn their livelihood from these orchards. Also, the Economic survey of Pakistan report shows that the share of agriculture in the gross domestic product (GDP) has been constantly falling. It accounted for 25.99 per cent of GDP in 1999-2000; however, gradually its share shrank to 21.3 per cent in 2007-2008. The figures show that terrorism has not only decreased the productive capacity of agricultural activity in these regions but also in the entire country.
sector has been hard hit by frequent incidents of terrorism
created an uncertain environment resulting into low level of economic growth. The manufacturing sector is witnessing the lowest-ever share of 18.2 per cent in the GDP over the last five years. In addition, the small and medium-size enterprises which are key area of manufacturing in Pakistan have been affected across the country because of power shortages and recurrent terrorist attacks.
According to a Harvard study (December 2000), higher levels of terrorism risk are associated with lower levels of net FDI. In case of Pakistan, terrorism has affected the allocation of firms investing money in the country. As a result, FDI, which had witnessed a steep rise over the previous several years, was adversely affected by the terrorist acts in the country, especially in FATA and other areas of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa.
According to the World Economic Forum, Pakistan ranked 113 out of 130 countries in 2009 as a tourist destination. The low ranking is attributed to incidents of terrorism and the lack of a tourism regulatory framework in Pakistan. On account of persistent terrorist attacks many hotels in the northwest areas have been closed. According to government’s own estimates, the hotel industry in Swat valley has suffered a loss of Rs. 60 billion. Many workers have lost their jobs and transport has also face a severe blow.
Due to war on terror, local people of war-ridden areas are migrating to other areas of Pakistan. Country has seen the largest migration since independence in 1947. These people have left their homes, businesses, possessions and property back home. This large influx of people and their rehabilitation is an economic burden for Pakistan.
Unemployment is still prevalent and now the question of providing employment to these migrants has also become a serious concern. This portion of population is contributing nothing worthwhile to the national income yet they have to be benefitted from it. This unproductive lot of people is a growing economic problem of Pakistan
Social impacts have also been caused by this war. In a society where terror exists cannot be healthy. Social disorganization has occurred due to terrorism. Social relations, economic transactions, free moments, getting education, offering prayers etc. have suffered. Pakistan’s participation in the anti-terrorism campaign has led to massive unemployment, homelessness, poverty and other social problems and ills. In addition, frequent incidents of terrorism and displacement of the local \population have severely affected the social fabric.
On the political front Pakistan is badly impacted in fighting the war against terrorism. It has taken many valuable steps to defeat terrorists. In spite of all the sacrifices the country is making it is branded to be a country insincere or half-hearted in fighting the menace. Every time the country is told to “do more”. It is further alleged for infiltration of the militants inside US-NATO dominated Afghanistan. The failure of the Western troops in the neighbourhood is blamed on Pakistan. This situation has eroded the trust between the governments and caused international image problem for the country.
Similarly the terror has brought in its wake psychological problems. Fear in the hearts of the people is created. Trauma, depressions and confusion have been increased. The people feel insecure and unsafe whenever in their daily life activities, as time and again they watch the terror events taking place in different cities. Those have especially been