Q.1 How did infant Pakistan manage to survive economically after independence (1947)? Justify your answer with at least five points. 10 marks
• The history of Pakistan’s economic development highlighted the key role played by the manufacturing sector. Pakistan progressed from its status as a low-income to a lower middle income country and achieved her objective of poverty reduction. For sustainable growth, Pakistan needs to significantly increase national saving and investment rates, achieve budget surpluses for minimizing her domestic and external debt burden, and have political stability to promote a healthy investment climate for domestic and foreign investors, high levels of investment in human capital, and greater openness to international trade and private foreign investment.
• In 1948-1951 Pakistan’s economic policy was focussed on solving problems of the day, the integration of large numbers of refugees, questions arising from the development of Indo-Pakistani relations. When Britain devaluated the Pound Sterling and the Indian Rupee followed suit in 1951, Pakistan maintained the value of her Rupee, which resulted in her main export products, to a large part traditionally sold to markets within the British Empire and Commonwealth, becoming more expensive; Pakistan experienced a recession. Pakistan did devaluate her currency in July 1955.
• In June 1951 the National Development Plan (NDP) was launched. The partition of British India into India and Pakistan had left the latter with a partially truncated infrastructure; the emphasis of the NDP lay thus in infrastructure projects turning the existing infrastructure into a functioning national one, while securing the food supply and developing the country’s industries. The projects were financed with Colombo Plan credits and other overseas loans. Several hydroelectric dams constructed in the NWFP, as part of the NDP, had both economic and political purpose, as the Pakistani government feared India might divert the headwaters of the main rivers on which Pakistan depended for irrigation. In 1954 construction of a pipeline to transport gas from gas fields in Baluchistan to Pakistan’s industrial centers was begun.A Five Year Development Plan for 1955-1960 was launched.
• The government played an important role in the country’s industrialization program. Government’s industrial policy statement issued in April 1948 emphasized particularly manufactured goods based on domestic raw material. Manufacture of cotton textiles for the home market presented attractive opportunities. There was ranging increase in the production of sugar, cigarettes, vegetable ghee, cement and natural gas. In 1947-58 the average annual growth was over 19%. Jute industry was set up in East Pakistan in lete50’s. A large demand for domestic markets was created by imposing import controls and for the early entrants who could charge monopoly prices, profits were very high. High profits, high savings, high investments, and high rates of growth were the main features of the industrial development in the earlier years.
• Overall, Pakistan has maintained a fairly healthy and functional economy in the face of several wars, changing demographics, and transfers of power between civilian and military regimes, growing at an impressive rate of 6 percent per annum in the first four decades of its existence.
Q. 2 Briefly describe socio-cultural diversity in the Pakistani society. Justify your answer with at least five points. 5 Marks.
• Pakistani society has diverse social and cultural history. After independence society face many cultural domination in different decades of last century. Through globalization, and media activism from nineties, Islamic culture are dominating by Western culture continuously, specifically in Pakistan’s cities areas. Both cultures has a lot of differences in the attitude of religion, beliefs, traditions, values and other ways of life. These changes seriously affect the society, especially the youth of Pakistan. Pakistan is a country of over 165 million people with diverse social, ethnic, linguistic and cultural circumstances. The country came into existence after division of British Indian colony in 1947 on the basis of Islamic identity of people living in this region but different social and ethnic groups have maintained their distinct character.
• Mostly language is the basis of ethnicity in Pakistan. Punjabi is the predominant ethnic class which consists of 48% of Pakistan’s population. Sindhis form about 12%, Siriki (a variant of Punjabi) forms 10%, Urdu speaking (Urdu speaking population usually refers itself as Mohajirs as they migrated from India in 1947) 8%, Balochis 3%, Hindko 2%, Brahui 1% and others 8%. Pakistan is predominantly a rural society where over 65.5% of population lives in the rural areas. Agriculture is the main employer of the labour force which employs over 43% of the work force. The culture and social norms of Pakistan are defined by the agrarian nature of society.
• Rural to urban migration, necessitated by growing poverty, has given rise to a number of female headed households which is a new phenomenon in rural areas of Punjab because traditionally women have always been treated as inferior to men and not involved in decision making. Due to economic hardships that ordinary people face, the women are economically active and contribute to the household incomes through their work as farm labour and cattle farmers. However like other areas of Pakistan their contribution is hardly acknowledged and they do not have a place in decision making at the household level.
• Punjab has a culture of tolerance and friendship which is manifest by its sufi saints and poetry with message of universal love towards mankind irrespective of cast, religion and colour. Sindi culture is quite similar to Punjabis where they have great respect towards fellow human beings. Pushtuns living in the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North Western Frontier Province) province trace their roots to Afghanistan. The Pushtuns are bound by their tribal code known as the Pushtun Wali (literally meaning the Pushtun way of life). Pushtun Wali has nine major components i.e. courage, taking revenge, giving shelter, generosity to defeated, self respect, justice, hospitality, tolerance and loyalty. Baluchs live in the Baluchistan province of Pakistan. They have a nomadic culture as barring a few places Baluchistan is a barren area. Water is scarce and the only means of sustenance is sheep and camel raring. Women and men work alike with herds of sheep and goat.
• Pakistani culture is as diverse as its people. From people of different religions and places, to diversity in food cuisines, languages and dresses, Pakistan is a home of different cultures and has managed to sustain the variety in a great manner.