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Empowering Local Governance in Pakistan

A picture of national assembly written on it Empowering Local Governance in Pakistan

In Pakistan, every provincial statute on local governments seeks to thwart the transfer of efficient administrative and financial authority. Provisions for the dissolution or expulsion of local governments are included in provincial statutes governing local governance. The masses are typically illiterate when they are poor and have little to no understanding of holding their representatives accountable for their unethical behavior. Both of these arguments appear to have been used in Pakistan in concert to prevent the holding of municipal elections. Instead of the small number of province and national assembly members with relatively small constituencies, the average citizen would have considerably better access to their officials at the union council, tehsil, and district levels. There have been numerous local government acts in Pakistan, many of which have undergone subsequent changes.

People at the local level should be well informed of their rights, the local government’s budget, and local development initiatives.

No district-level or lower elections were held again until 2015 following the two local government elections held during General Musharraf’s administration. The planning of the upcoming election cycle has been delayed in every province as well. Local administrations in KP saw their terms end in 2019, but new elections weren’t held for another 2.5 years. The first round of local government elections in Sindh was conducted two years later than planned, and its second round was recently finished in January of this year.

The local government term in Punjab was cut short in 2019 but then extended by the courts, and it has already expired more than a year ago. The following round of municipal elections, however, is currently scheduled for April 2023. Balochistan’s local government elections were delayed by a year and a half, and the final districts’ votes took place six months after the initial round. The Balochistan High Court halted the elections in Quetta, which were set to take place in August 2022, and in June 2022.

Since independence, Pakistan’s first sincere effort to concentrate on local governments was made in 1958 when martial law was imposed. During this time, the need for democratic governance at the local level was pointed out, and provincial and national assemblies were disbanded. The bureaucracy and the deputy commissioner’s offices were in charge of the local government structure that General Ayub Khan established during the British era. The last tier of government rarely receives any power even when elections are held. Local body elections are worthless without the democratization of power, which is connected to financial independence. Four democratically elected political administrations came to power between 1988 and 1999, but none of them paid attention to the local government structure. Instead, they chose to rely on local patronage systems run by provincial elites to maintain their dominance. The following attempt at devolution in Pakistan was made by General Pervez Musharraf.

Since his devolutionary exercise did not transfer authority from the federal level to the provinces but instead concentrated on establishing local administrations without regard to political affiliation, it served as a justification for a centralized system of government.

There is no denying the significance of locally elected governance in a democratic system of government. In reality, it is the first rung on every nation’s democratic ladder. Local elections based on political parties are frequently cited as essential to bolstering democracy, and the results can have a big impact on the growth of the local economy. In contrast to candidates with prior public service experience, local candidates with more political ties won more votes and had a higher chance of winning. The findings point to the necessity of strengthening institutional control over local government.

The financial gap between the cost of local activities and the revenue of local taxes is significant, and there is a noticeable lack of funding for local services and elections. Local governments, power, and capacity to raise money independently must be greatly increased. Additionally, monetary contributions from provisional to local governments must be changed to accommodate regional differences in needs and advance accountability and equity.

In Pakistan, local elections are a massive undertaking. The most recent cycle included elections for nearly 80,000 seats across four provinces, and about 87 million voters were contacted to select representatives for these seats. Local elections merit consideration from practitioners as well as scholars because their outcomes are associated with the nation’s overall political stability. There are critical initiatives that must be taken for local governments to be effective. Constitutional protections should be made to ensure that any irregularities in municipal governments are fairly dealt with.

Fortunately, Pakistan is knowledgeable about constitutional issues, but implementation struggles due to a few persistent execution-related flaws. Sadly, practically everyone desires to start new development initiatives in order to boost his party’s political standing. This bias for large-scale projects makes it difficult for them to assess the value of scarce resources and allocate their use more effectively. Most significantly, task-based conversations between elected and non-elected stakeholders are required. Without this, local government improvements will be doomed because foundational democracy does not focus on aesthetics but rather on practical methods.

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Book review of Why Nations Fail
Why Nations Fail

A detailed book titled “Why Nations Fail?” presents an outlook on why some nations are wealthier than others and provides a solid explanation for global economic inequality. “Daron Acemoglu” and “James A. Robinson” authored the book during the period coinciding with Arab Springs. Acemoglu has contributed to the global economy by writing a number of papers, several of which he co-wrote with James A. Robinson and Simon Johnson. Robinson is a British economist and political scientist who has published widely on political and economic development, as well as the linkages between political power, institutions, and wealth. Through relevant examples from real-life situations, the book successfully explains the underlying causes of a state’s wealth or poverty.

The book “Why Nations Fail?”, divided into fifteen parts, begins with a contrast of European development to Egypt’s and other countries’ backwardness, such as Zimbabwe. According to the authors, despite several attempts to explain global disparity, the underlying cause of poverty is political and economic exploitation by the elites. Comparing Nogales, Arizona, and Nogales, Sonora, we find that the former is in the United States, while the latter is in Mexico. Because of the differences in the institutions that exist, the lifestyle and basic facilities for people in Nogales Arizona are many times better than in the other. The author contends that US institutions are more inclusive and provide incentives for development to their population. Mexican institutions, on the other hand, are extractive, and the concept of democracy is relatively new to them.

The author of “Why Nations Fail?” afterward discusses the historical distinctions between Latin America and North America. Latin America, being the most suitable region for colonization, was colonized by the Spanish, who exploited the native population to extract wealth and reduce their wages to subsistence levels. North America, on the other hand, was comparably less desirable due to a lack of resources and was “leftover” to England. Because of the differences in conditions, Europe adopted a different and later more inclusive structure in order to strengthen itself. Furthermore, we have discussed the constitutional evolution of the United States. To accommodate divergent interests, the gradual process of development was based on various compromises and separation of powers. In contrast, the Mexican political class resisted such changes in order to consolidate their control, and they were hesitant to give up their own privileges, resulting in the state’s relative poverty.

The roots of European development can be found in the Industrial Revolution and these states’ positive adaption to technological developments. Politically inclusive institutions emerged before economic inclusiveness and incentives. These countries provided development incentives to their citizens. The author used the case study of Bill Gates to demonstrate how state institutions aided his success. While revolutions swept across Mexico and other Latin American countries, they always replaced extractive institutions with similar ones. Elites shaped the political and economic structures of such regimes, where the law varied for different sectors of society. The elites constantly resist reforms that have even the slightest risk of undermining their existing power and authority.

On the basis of solid arguments and examples, the author rejects various explanations, including geography and ignorant notions, as the cause of poverty in certain states in comparison to others.

The author is convinced that the economic demise of societies is not a product of specific geography or the ignorance of political leaders. Instead, the elite is usually aware of the repercussions of their policies, but they continue to implement them in order to achieve short-term goals or gain political support. The distinction between South and North Korea has explained the repercussions of institutional differences. There is a significant difference between these two regions in terms of living standards, which are far higher in the south than in the north. In North Korea, this disparity stems from institutions that exploit the populace to extract wealth and power, whereas in South Korea, the situation is diametrically opposed.

Several states, such as Russia after World War II, typically prospered for a period of time under extractive systems but then followed a backward trajectory. The author concludes that while these institutions may assist a state in achieving quick growth, this progress is never stable. The reason for this short-term development is that it is not dependent on technological advancements, which can trigger changes in the market economy. Because the displacement of human labor diminishes political support, the political class is frequently resistant to such change. Instead, societies typically employ traditional methods and restrain innovation to preserve the monopoly of political and economic elites.

The author takes “historical perspective” into account in order to explain how history plays a role in the current situations of a particular state. Throughout history, the states have faced one or more critical junctures, defined as the turning points in history by the author. Now, the element that each state prospers or further becomes exploitative depends on how these states respond to such critical junctures. The Industrial Revolution, preceded by the Black Death, was one such turning point in history. Europe responded to it positively which had already gone through a gradual political transformation while regions like Latin America further went through deterioration.

The book “Why Nations Fail?” concludes with the assertion that inclusive political institutions lead to inclusive economic institutions, which change a state’s fate and set it on a path of progress. States where a few elites retain a monopoly never become rich until more politically and economically inclusive leadership destroys such regimes.

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Digital Resilience: Navigating Cyber Challenges

Digital Resilience: Navigating Cyber Challenges

“Digital resilience is not about avoiding every cyber challenge, but about navigating them with agility, adaptability, and a commitment to constant improvement”.       

In an age marked by digitization and interconnectivity, the notion of “digital resilience” has acquired paramount significance. It constitutes a comprehensive strategy geared towards adeptly repelling, adapting to, and recuperating from the multifaceted array of cyber threats and disturbances that characterize our contemporary digital milieu. Parents, educators, and policymakers have raised concerns about the potential adverse effects of online risk experiences, like cyberbullying and exposure to violent content, on the well-being of children and young people. At least partially, the level of resilience when dealing with negative outcomes stemming from internet use can explain the discrepancy between the number of people who face online risks and those who actually report feeling harmed afterward.

In recent times, cyberattacks have become both more sophisticated and frequent, extending their scope beyond major corporations to include private citizens. Alarming increases in data breaches, ransomware attacks, and other malicious activities have led to substantial financial losses and have placed individual privacy in a precarious position.

Contemplate the astonishing statistics: Bitkom estimates that IT equipment and data theft, digital espionage, and sabotage will cost Germany €206 billion ($224 billion) in 2023. This marks the third consecutive year with damages exceeding €200 billion. Bitkom’s survey of over 1,000 companies indicated that 52% now perceive cyberattacks as a threat to their business’s existence, a notable increase from 45% in the previous year and 9% two years ago. Despite a slight decrease in the number of companies reporting attacks, cyber threats continue to be a significant concern in Germany.

Numerous organizations have effectively implemented the principles of digital resilience. The financial industry consistently faces threats to safeguard sensitive consumer data, making it a notable example. Capita, an outsourcing group, is bracing for a financial impact of up to £25 million due to a cyberattack that commenced in March. This cyberattack, attributed to the Black Basta ransomware group, specifically targeted Capita’s Microsoft Office 365 software, resulting in the compromise of personal data belonging to both employees and clients.
Capita has confirmed the exfiltration of a limited amount of data, less than 0.1% of its server estate, but it has successfully recovered the data since. As a result, Capita anticipates reporting a pre-tax loss of nearly £68 million for the first half of this year. Financial institutions have significantly bolstered their digital resilience through investments in cybersecurity technologies, regular risk assessments, and employee training.

Evolving cyber threats, technological advancements, and global efforts to enhance cybersecurity shape the future trends of digital resilience.

  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning Integration:
    Digital resilience is increasingly receiving support from the more frequent utilization of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Systems for threat detection and mitigation powered by AI have the capacity to analyze massive amounts of data in real-time. According to a report by Gartner, by 2026, organizations prioritizing their security investments based on a continuous exposure management program will be three times less likely to suffer from a breach.
  • Zero Trust Architecture: The Zero Trust security model, which assumes that threats exist both inside and outside the network, is gaining prominence. A survey by Cybersecurity Insiders revealed that 92% of Global Organizations Indicate Identity Security as Critical for a Robust Zero Trust Implementation.
  • Rise of Quantum-Safe Cryptography: With the potential threat posed by quantum computing to current encryption methods, the adoption of quantum-safe cryptography is on the horizon. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is actively working on standardizing quantum-resistant cryptographic algorithms.
  • Global Cybersecurity Collaborations: International collaborations to establish cyber norms and treaties are expected to grow. The United Nations has initiated efforts to address global cyber threats, recognizing the need for collective action.
  • Behavioral Analytics and User-Centric Security: Behavioral analytics and user-centric security solutions are expected to gain prominence. These systems analyze user behavior to identify anomalies and potential threats. The global user and entity behavior analytics market is projected to reach $10.6 billion by 2030.
  • Remote Work and Hybrid Environments:
    The shift to remote work and hybrid work models will persist, necessitating enhanced security measures to protect remote endpoints and ensure secure access. A survey by PwC found that 83% of executives plan to make remote work a permanent option.

In an era characterized by a digital landscape that offers both opportunities and vulnerabilities, digital resilience emerges as a beacon of hope. It grants individuals and organizations the capability to adeptly navigate the continually evolving realm of cyber threats. These forthcoming trends in digital resilience are propelled by the intricate and dynamic nature of the cyber landscape. Consequently, it becomes imperative for both organizations and individuals to adapt to these emerging trends to effectively safeguard their digital assets and privacy within an increasingly interconnected world.

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Is Pakistan military discombobulated this time?

Pakistan's Military Involvement in Politics
Is the military discombobulated this time?

Pakistan’s history of 76 years has been full of twists and turns, some predicted and some appearing out of nowhere. To understand military involvement in politics and the present situation of any country, taking a look at its past is the single most necessary thing to do.

A look back at the past

Pakistan soon after its inception, found itself in the midst of all the problems that it inherited from the British colonial rule, a weak infrastructure, low economic share, and the burden of refugees that exceeded the total population that this part of the Indian subcontinent had prior to the partition, to name some. The catastrophic conditions reached their heights on the eve of the first coup by President Iskander Mirza, promulgating martial law and declaring Ayub Khan as the chief martial law administrator. It was the start of military intervention in Pakistan’s politics and since then, it has been a recurrent pattern in the unfolding of Pakistan’s political history.

In the past, there had been two kinds of military takeovers in Pakistan. In one kind,  the military takes over first which is then followed by a hybrid regime or a technocratic system, as happened after Zia’s and Musharraf’s martial laws, and in the other form it’s the other way around, that is to say, that the Hybrid regime or technocratic system is followed by a military coup, as it happened in 1956.

Iskanders martial law

It’s been quite surprising to find out that The first instance of a coup in Pakistan was civilian in nature rather than military. It compels one to think of how and why Pakistan’s military involvement in politics became the recurrent pattern in Pakistan’s political history if the start was that of a civilian and not the military. Its roots lie in the colonial apparatus that Pakistan inherited from its colonial masters, British India.

The British colonial apparatus, being repressive in nature for the Indian subjects, had three strong institutions, the Judicial system, The Indian Civil Service, and the British Indian Army. Out of the three, Pakistan inherited two of them in a fairly stronger position which was a strong bureaucracy and a strong army.

The first coup in Pakistan by President Iskander Mirza had so many causes but in a nutshell, Pakistan lacked its own proper constitution, the lack of strong leadership after the demise of Mr. Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan, economic and political conditions were not stable as well and due to all bunch of reasons, the President abrogated the newly made constitution and promulgated the first martial law. Apparently, Muhammad Ali Bogra was called from abroad and thus Pakistan saw the first instance where Khawaja Nazimuddin, the then Prime Minister and a loyal and most respected Muslim league’s leader was removed by a bureaucratic intervention.

Soon Pakistan saw Ayub Khan removing the President and sending him into exile to London, which is a story in itself but what it did was create a legacy of Pakistan being ruled and dominated by its bureaucracy and military. It was the first type of intervention where at the start we had a hybrid regime which then was followed by a proper military takeover.

When the military intervened for the second and third time in the history of Pakistan, I.e. Zia ul Haq in 1977 and Musharraf in 1999, we saw a proper military takeover that was then followed by a quasi-democratic/ hybrid regime at the end. But the common situation, in any military takeover, that paved a pathway for army to intervene in state politics was the highly unstable and chaotic political as well as the economic situation at the time.

Army being a strong and always prepared institution, always has been ready to take over and tackle such situations at will. The first instance of indulging themselves in such a situation and coming out of it with success was in 1953, a martial law at a smaller level in Lahore to deal with the sectarian riots over there. This episode gave them the confidence to deal with any chaotic situation with ease and the rest was the history that unfolded the way it did.

What’s on the cards!?

In recent times, Pakistan’s military has once again become actively involved in the politics of the country, especially amidst a backdrop of heightened political and economic instability. The military has not only covertly engaged in political manoeuvrings but has also made its intentions regarding Pakistan’s military involvement in politics increasingly clear.

The matter of fact is that right now we are having a technocratic caretaker government which depicts the exact picture of what we had back then in 1950, before the first martial law. But the problem that Pakistan faces now is that things have been so complex and complicated that the military also seems to be discombobulated and things are going in a direction in which nobody knows exactly about where we are heading in actual fact, whether a military takeover is waiting for Pakistan in the future or we are going to see a prolong quasi-democratic system to work for a longer period of time. It’s high time for Pakistan to think of a way out of this mess in a fairly long-term policy implementation rather than continuing the legacy of policy reversal every time any new government comes to power!

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Development Journey of Pakistan from 1947 to 2023

Development Journey of Pakistan from 1947 to 2023’


After the provenance of Pakistan under the charismatic leadership of Quaid-e-Azam, it was envisaged that Pakistan would be a democratic Muslim welfare state where the principles of Islamic justice and economics would find fair play for the benefits of the poor masses and the country would have equal standing in the comity of sovereign nations promoting peace and prosperity. But the dream has yet to be materialized; the country even after seventy-five years is shellacked with political, religious, and economic problems, later being the cause of formers. Pakistan lags behind in development as compared to many developing countries which started their journeys with it that need incisive rumination.

Development of any country in the modern world is attributed to the sine qua non-elements of rule of law, operational principles of government, institutions of governance, equitable economic distribution, the effectiveness of government to curb inflation and stagflation, freedom from hindrances in trade, opportunities for investment of capital, lack of corruption, foreign reserves, educational opportunities, healthcare, protection of minorities, freedom of expression, gender parity and status of women, pluralism and modernity in worldview. The experience of Pakistan is topsy-turvy which rarely configures with these elements since its inception as compared to other developing countries.

Missed Opportunity: 1947-71

Post-independence, Pakistan has to develop from a non-existent base of infrastructure. It had to enact a constitution which was postponed as the country was in the quagmire of a number of crises due to the influx of refugees and ongoing conflict with India over Kashmir. The denial of due share of assets by India created a menace about survival and Time Magazine portended its collapse within six months. To put the country on track, policymakers rummaged through long-term policies to spur economic development. During the first decade, Pakistan adopted import-substitution industrialization as agriculture (59% of GDP) was not enough to stabilize growth and fulfill the requirements of the country. It embarked on five-year plans that considerably drove industrial development. Despite political doldrums, the first five-year plan surpassed projected targets and the menace of the collapse was successfully tackled.

The first decade was marred by political instability. Pakistan allied with the U.S. at the expense of making hostilities with the Soviet Union, the Muslim world, and the developing (non-aligned) world. Ayub Khan conceiving political class inept marked with cynicism and corruption unable to concur on a viable political and socio-economic system took over as president in October 1958.

The regime – celebrated popularly as the decade of development – was quite a success in terms of GDP growth. The government introduced the following measures: subsidies to exporters and importers; loans extended via Pakistan Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation (PICIC) and PIDC; export bonus scheme – an extension of bonus vouchers that encouraged the Industrial sector to surge production and exports. The import of high-yielding seeds, the sinking of tube wells, land reforms, the establishment of dams, and mechanization of the agricultural sector led to what is popularly known as the ‘Green Revolution’, albeit it was only concentrated in a few regions of Punjab, Sind, and NWFP shunning the Eastern wing and mostly peasantry was exempted from benefits.

The results indicated a spurt in growth of the manufacturing sector which grew up to 16.9% of total GDP, agriculture grew up to 6% leading to overall GDP growth of more than 5.8% during the decade though poverty remained alarmingly at more than 60% as Pakistan was pursuing functional inequality – that inequalities in income lead to economic development. Pakistan was a rising ‘Asian Tiger’ whose manufacturing sector exports surpassed that of combined exports of Turkey, South Korea, Thailand, and Indonesia in 1965. Ayub Khan apprehended that only Islamic invocation cannot hold the country together until and unless it is configured with modernity and the changing dynamics of the world. It was the first attempt to change the worldview of society by introducing modern reforms not only in the economic sector but also in the social milieu of society such as family laws and the encouragement of modernity.

The development was ephemeral as it was characterized by uneven economic development widening the gulf between East and West Pakistan’s disparities and concentration of wealth in few families, and unnecessary adventurism in case of foreign policy. Bhutto came to power promising to alleviate the grievances of peasants and the lower middle class pledging Islamic socialism that crippled the industrial base of the economy for the next decade.

Experiment with Socialism: 1972-77

To assuage the grievances of peasants and labor and to curtail the affluence of few families, Bhutto’s government embarked on a nationalization program, ergo deteriorating the Industrial foundation of the country. As the nationalization reached its apex, the private sector dropped to 15% of total investment in GDP and the public sector grew to 80%. To dispense the land among peasants 0.9 million acres were resumed, and labor unions were sanctioned. The sectors of banking, insurance, health, and education were nationalized. The failed socialist experiment of Bangladesh which led to famine in 1974 presented an ominous future of nationalization. India also unshackled the private sector and jettisoned the socialist ideals of Congress but Pakistan did not learn. For Pakistan results were disastrous: industrial growth plummeted to 2%, inflation skyrocketed to 30% and lack of monetary and fiscal disciplines led to huge budget deficits and overall GDP growth declined to 4% from 1972-77.

Despite the deterioration in economic conditions and the social sector, there were few significant developments. Pakistan achieved its constitution applicable up till now with certain amendments. The alienation of Pakistan from the Muslim world was mitigated by making amiable relations with the Muslim world, also stipulated in the constitution which would lead to $25bn in remittances next decade by labor Pakistani expats. A covert nuclear programme was also started and the first attempts for independent foreign policy were pursued. The nationalization in different sectors led to the subsequent handling of affairs by naive bureaucrats which led to malfeasance, misfeasance, and nonfeasance. Following the controversial election and diminishing law and order, the military took over.

Denationalization and Islamization: 1978-88

The following decade from 1978-88 was characterized by high GDP growth, denationalization, Islamization, and involvement of Pakistan in Afghan Jihad. Zia’s denationalization and neo-liberalization coalesced with Deng Xiaoping’s liberalization of the Chinese economy and the privatization and deregulation of Bangladesh’s economy. Contrasts were that Deng committed China to not indulge in any war for a century, Bangladesh made no enemies but to gain foreign assistance, and Pakistan plunged itself into other wars.

GDP growth in the 1980s was 6.5% exceeded only by China, South Korea, and Hong Kong, and growth in real wages was surpassed only by Thailand. Manufacturing surpassed 9%. Revival of five-year plans made performance exceptional by every standard albeit transient as Pakistan did not bode well in Human Resource Development. The controversial Islamization led to the servitude of minorities, surged sectarianism, and gender parity nosedived to its lowest levels. Society was highly polarized that still haunts Pakistan by breaking the social fabric of society. Women faced extreme violence and discrimination due to the government make shifting to the medieval worldview and the introduction of Hadood ordinances.

Zia’s government was physically involved in Afghan Jihad against the Soviet Union with the aid of the U.S. It caused the exodus of Afghans to Pakistan which it could ill afford, most of the refugees still dwelling in the country. Though, the involvement in a war filled the coffers of the country the culture of Kalashnikov and the ensuing civil war after Soviet withdrawal had disastrous impacts on Pakistan’s society and economy prevalent up till now. Moreover, Pakistan continued its covert nuclear program which strained Pakistan-U.S. relations in the next decade of lost democracy.

Structural Adjustment Programmes 1988-99

The decade of the 1990s featured the arbitrary use of power by the president using 58(2)(b) amended by Zia which allowed the president to unilaterally dissolve the parliament. Governments came and went but economic decisions were often made by caretaker governments under the auspices of IMF/World Bank. In the 1990s Pakistan entered IMF structural adjustment programs which committed Pakistan to deregulation and liberalization of the economy with major accentuation on the laissez-faire in the private sector. Due to political mayhem and rampant corruption, the GDP growth stagnated at around 3 to 4% approximately in the 1990s. Pakistan was ranked the second most corrupt country after Nigeria in 1995. The plans under the IMF/World Bank often would not reach targets which were readjusted to close proximate targets so that planners could claim success leading to self-deception.

The 1990s saw the onset of ethnic violence in Sind urban centers, the politicization of the Kalabagh dam, and the dragging of the military into politics. At the end of the decade, when Pakistan conducted nuclear tests in 1998 which was one of the biggest achievements of Pakistan since its inception, the U.S. passed the Glenn Amendment which terminated U.S. aid to Pakistan, denied export credit, and opposed any extension of loan by IMF to Pakistan. India also conducted tests but her successful foreign policy shielded her from harsh sanctions. Pakistan was on the brink of bankruptcy when the military came to power in 1999.

Authoritarian Development:1999-2007

Despite doubting the credibility of the U.S., Pakistan’s military government joined the U.S. war on terror after 9/11. A neutral foreign policy and only extension of diplomatic support would have helped Pakistan avoid a bleak future and gory terrorism saving 70,000 lives and avoiding a $150bn loss in economy but the necessity of aid (military and economic) to support the bankrupting country’s economy pushed toward alliance with NATO forces. The influx of aid and waiving of sanctions by the U.S. put the economy back on track. GDP grew 7% per annum from 2004-07 and debt cries were averted for the time being.

The government took some modernizing steps by freeing media from government censoring, introducing a women’s protection bill, creating schools, and constituting the Higher Education Commission for higher education. The number of universities grew at an exponential rate from 74 in 2001/02 to 184 in 2015/16. There was also a decline in poverty from 34.6% to 20% in 2007 but all these indicators proved fugacious. The transition to democracy in 2008 did not translate into development under the next government of PPP.

Battle for Democracy and Growth:2008-22

The PPP regime from 2008-13 was lackadaisical in responding to grave challenges the country faced. The surge in corruption, rampant terrorism in the years 2008-12, and the absence of any financial policy hampered the economic and social sector development. GDP nosedived from 6% to alternating between 2 to 3%. The only significant development was the 18th amendment with the devolution of presidential power of dismissing parliament and the announcement of the NFC award which gave more power and autonomy to provinces. Moreover, for the first time country, one political party gave way to another in a democratic way in 2013.

PMLN government with loans from the IMF put the economy back on track, averaging 4 to 5% during 2013-18. The education budget for the first time reached 4% of GDP. Pakistan also initiated China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which is aimed at $70 billion in investments by 2030. Instead of the unfettering private sector and adopting a laissez-faire approach as Bangladesh and India did, the government pursued patronized-based privatization which aims only at a few loyal businessmen, and rigging of markets for self-interests caused big lacunas in transparent and accountable private sector growth. After PLMN was voted out, PTI (2018-2022) struggled to put the economy on track with partial success.

The GDP slumped into the negatives in the first year and debt grew while the government failed to convince the IMF for a $6 billion loan tranche as the policies of the government and IMF did not collude. The government was struck by the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic which it managed effectively with the help of the military but it halted industrial growth. At the end of government in April 2022, there was a robust recovery in GDP growth which exceeded projected targets to 5.97%. Similarly, the agriculture sector contributed 4.4% while the Industrial sector showed 7.2% growth in 2022 and for the first time tax collection reached 28.1%. Investment also climbed to 15.1% though for sustainable development, economics pundits assert it must be above 25% for smooth GDP growth. But social sector development was shunned as always and the education budget was a minuscule 1.77 % of GDP. There were huge budget deficits due to subsidies and inflation also rose which crushed lower middle classes.

The new coalition under PDM has concluded talks with the IMF for a bailout to avert mounting economic crises. IMF imposed harsh conditions on the government and the already impoverished masses are now bearing the brunt of elite capture of the state and their crass policies. Only a free and fair election can help a country steer through troubled water which seems impossible in the offing. Certainly, the situation is being created for chaos and soon the masses and the youth would lead them would turn to revolt against the elite which is the need of the hour. The time is up for gerontocracy.

Annual Sectorial Share in GDP

SectorPercentage share FY21
Ministry of Finance

Bangladesh after secession took a divergent path as compared to Pakistan. Despite alterations in government, Bangladesh kept favorable economic policies for the private sector eliminating impediments for the private sector while diminishing the government’s role as much as possible whereas Pakistan remained dependent on foreign assistance. Its GDP is growing by 7-8%, poverty declined to 20 percent and HDI increased by over 60%. That is why Bangladesh has surpassed Pakistan in almost every sector of development.

Indonesia and Pakistan had more similarities than any other. Indonesia embarked on the concept of ‘unity in diversity’ which created cooperation and harmony among different groups whether religious or ethnic. It gave autonomy to the groups over their lands while unfettering the economy from government control which led to an economic boom. By the end of the previous century, it brought 15 million people out of poverty and the country is now among the rapidly developing world with modern infrastructure and development. The centralized governance system of Pakistan gave no meaningful results that could translate into growth and development and the constant interference of the military in politics created doubts and fears among investors about the intentions of governments.

Social sector development presents a grim image of Pakistan’s development as compared to developing countries. Health care is obsolete. 9.6 million children are facing nutritional deficiencies; due to a lack of delivery hospitals,  out of every 10,000 women 250 die while delivering. Private sector health is too expensive to be affordable by pauperized masses. The poverty rate is still high at 37% which is growing due to ubiquitous inflation while India succeeded in suppressing it to 10% and Bangladesh is fairly better.

Pakistan is no better performer in education as 27.8 million children are out of school and most of them are females. HEC budget is gutted down which would lead to fee hikes and deficiency in higher education. Women in Pakistan are highly discriminated against; Pakistan has become the second worst country in the Gender Parity Gap. Women’s participation in the workplace is less than 25%. The Human Development Index is no better in that it ranks 154 out of 184.

Patronage, cronyism, tax exemptions, and tariff concessions to only a selected few for loyalty and affiliation erode the working of socio-economic institutions. To cater to development, as the developing and the developed world experiences show, Pakistan needs to discern that the key determinants of development such as institutions of governance, judiciary, media, and economic institutions such as the State Bank of Pakistan must be reformed. Political interference must end and meritocracy be introduced while the military bars itself from comingling in political processes.

Lessons from History

As democracy is for the people, the purpose of the elected official should be the betterment of the people, and policies for the benefit of the poor must be made as Quaid-e-Azam stated, ‘If we want to make this great State of Pakistan happy and prosperous we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well being of the people and of the masses and the poor.’ A major shift in worldview is the sine qua non for the way forward. Instead of indoctrination of obsolete medieval ideas, youth must be enlightened with a modern worldview based on rationalism and humanism that is in no way contradictory to Islamic principles of rationality. It is vital for Pakistan to separate religious extremism from politics and move toward a democratic polity.

Conclusions & road ahead

To cut a long story short, it must be noted that Pakistan’s development story cannot be written off. A recent economic survey by the finance ministry showed the great achievements of Pakistan despite political doldrums in the country’s history. Pakistan emerged as the 24th largest economy in the world after 75 years in purchasing power parity and 44th in nominal GDP. Pakistan’s GDP has grown to $383b compared to $3b in 1947. Pakistan has been an active member of the UN and succours peace and prosperity around the globe denouncing wars. It has a huge bulk of youth under age 30 which is the trump card for any upheaval task. Pakistan successfully countered terrorism in the country, exposed Indian atrocities in Kashmir, and supported the right of self-determination to the people.

Pakistan has had huge infrastructure development in seven decades. It has managed to build huge dams to facilitate agriculture, a vast network of highways connects large parts of the country, it has Asia’s biggest ports, one of the strongest armies, bustling middle classes clamoring for change and it has built the highest airport in Skardu which would enhance tourist attraction.

Moreover, Pakistan has a strategic geographical location that can help it to become an economic hub of the globe and CPEC is a step toward that goal. National Security Policy for the first time in the history of the country shifted Pakistan’s approach from geo-strategic to geo-economics, the lesson wisely learnt. It has accentuated neutral and independent foreign policy during recent conflicts. Pakistan is a nuclear power which it is peacefully utilizing for energy production. These are the reasons to be more sanguine about the future though it is hard to predict but easy to imagine, that a bright future lies ahead.

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Economic Governance Challenges in Pakistan

Economic Governance Challenges

The hallmark of a nation’s prosperity and economic well-being lies in its governance, a pivotal indicator of success. However, achieving economic goals and holistic development requires not just strong institutions but also well-justified policies. The World Bank defines good governance as the art of public officials and institutions harnessing authority to shape public policies and deliver essential services. Cultural nuances, the global environment, and a nation’s socio-economic condition, in turn, shape these institutions. The crux of governance credibility rests upon transparency, efficiency, accountability, and impartiality. While governance’s purpose centers on delivering goods and services, fostering equality and upholding justice, intricate factors such as political and social frameworks, cultural dynamics, geographical landscapes, and economic circumstances influence its path.

However, a disconcerting pattern emerges in Pakistan’s recent history—witnessed as a diminishing quality of governance and dwindling institutional trust. The decline in institutional capacity is responsible for the deterioration in macroeconomic stability, economic contraction, and weakened governance foundations. This collision of powerful interests and weakened institutional strength undermines the very essence of governance. Crafting policies might seem straightforward, yet their successful implementation is an intricate puzzle. Once an institution lays its foundation, changing its course becomes a challenging task uphill. Institutions, like pyramids, have a resilient core that resists easy replacement. In contrast, advanced nations focus on fortifying institutions from the outset, allowing subsequent governments to recalibrate policies while retaining overarching objectives.

Pakistan’s perpetual oscillation between civilian and military governments has cast a shadow on sustained economic transformations. Civilian administrations often chase short-term economic gains to bolster electoral support, whereas military regimes strive for civilian legitimacy through economic incentives. The recurring theme of political instability remains a chronic ailment that afflicts Pakistan’s economic landscape. Frequent shifts in power hinder policy execution and create a void in consistency. Unlike developed countries, where succeeding governments uphold the policies of their predecessors, Pakistan faces disruptions. The current regime might halt or even reverse previous initiatives, exacerbating economic hardships and squandering public funds.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) stands as a cornerstone for national growth, yet Pakistan grapples to attract significant FDI due to prevailing volatility. The unpredictability of civilian tenures dissuades foreign entities from committing capital. Interestingly, during military rule, the stability that prevails encourages substantial FDI, bolstered by the assurance it provides. Trust forms the bedrock of a nation’s economic fabric. In an uncertain environment, market fluctuations deter private investments. The practice of patronage and cronyism, which grants special privileges like tax exemptions, licensing advantages, and tariff concessions to favored individuals, breeds skepticism. Such practices impede economic growth, perpetuate a lack of rule of law, amplify institutional frailty, and fuel illicit markets.

Nations marred by political instability and ethnic divisions face several challenges. These include sluggish economic growth, feeble adherence to the rule of law, inadequate institutional health, and rampant black market activities. In summary, robust economic governance hinges on elements such as transparency, accountability, political stability, rule of law, continuity, and eradicating corruption. To spur economic growth and cultivate investor confidence, Pakistan must confront its governance challenges holistically. By fostering stability, ensuring policy continuity, and championing transparent governance, Pakistan can embark on a transformative journey toward sustainable prosperity.

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Understanding Pakistan’s Foreign Policy towards Afghanistan

An army standing in front of a father and daughter and written on foreign policy towards Afghanistan ,

Understanding Pakistan’s Foreign Policy towards Afghanistan

Theoretical foundations

Foreign policy has adopted its definition based on its role in global dynamics, which influences the behavior of states, both in their interactions with specific neighbors and in a more general sense. The terms “particular” and “general” find unique applications in the foreign policy challenges faced by two neighboring countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan. In this context, the “particular” aspect pertains to the continued one-way intervention of Pakistan in Afghan affairs, casting a shadow on its policies. The masses perceive this intervention as forceful, turning it into a psychological issue as they subsequently seek to reverse it. As Duncan Bell points out, “The last wars will not be fought based on the existence of evil here but on the differentiation between evil and good made by some people.”

The “general” aspect of foreign policy in this context has attracted considerable theoretical attention due to the intervention of major powers in Afghanistan. When viewing both the particular and general aspects through a single lens, it becomes evident that there is substantial evidence of traditional-historical international relations at play. However, the current scenario exhibits a high level of complexity resulting from the ambivalence characterizing this relationship.

Furthermore, according to Farhat Taj, understanding this issue in an ontological manner reveals that Afghanistan faces significant political pressure due to its unstable political institutional structure, while Pakistan experiences institutional pressure and influence that further complicates the dynamics between the two nations.

Pakistan’s Afghan policy

Pakistan’s Afghan policy is always viewed objectively as “Strategic Depth”. The term objective refers to the least understanding of Afghan affairs by an Institution that has instrumentalized everything at its disposal but miscalculated the shifting dynamics and the appeal that was shaping the atmosphere to its fullest. Pakistan’s support for the Afghan Mujahedeen after the USSR invasion was part of the same project. Colonel Ameer Sultan Tarar aka Col-Imam biography is a Pakistani State version of intervention into Afghan affairs. Ahmed Rashid points the seven-party joint organizations in Peshawar against the USSR were the brainchild of Pakistan’s secret services.
During and after the USSR-Afghan war, many widely believed that Pakistan might annex parts of Afghanistan to maintain a lasting influence.

An attempt made by the warlords in Jalalabad led by Pakistani General Hamid Gull against the Afghan Army failed terribly and exposed the commitments between the groups which would later turn against Pakistan itself. Some of these groups believe that curbing Pakistan’s influence is necessary, as they assert that Afghans should determine their own fate. Taliban somehow lingering between Pakistan support and their exerting influence over Afghan society has also taken similar influence as most of their top brass view Pakistan as an unreliable partner and neighbor.

Bette Dam supports this fact in her remarkable work on Taliban founder Mullah Omar. She refers to the fact that the latter never paid any heed to Pakistan’s suggestions and neither had he ever traveled until his death in 2013. The Karzai and Ghani era were full of expensive foreign diplomatic confrontations between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Each day has contributed to the mistrust between both countries.

Rethinking Afghan policy

After 9/11 the contours of Afghan policy shifted to new dynamics. The primary focus in the foreign policy towards Afghanistan initially was normalizing Pashtun Nationalist resistance. The remedy advised for the problem was religious parties. This has dual impacts on the understanding as Pakistani Pashtuns witnessed a social change to what Mariam Abou Zahab mentioned a change from traditionalism to religion, however, the dynamics are changing again and a popular mass is witnessing a shift again towards traditionalism.

This later has its conformation in the arrangements taking place at the public level. The Case of Afghanistan has impacts still unresolved and not calculated by Pakistan. The Afghan Masses and elites despite all sorts of engagements and confrontations bowed to the subjective explanation of the masses which hovered around the Durand case.
Ahmed Rashid hints at this spectrum in an example where Mullah Omar halted Pakistani officials during a meeting and asked them to normalize the Durand Line.

After 9/11 the shift in Pakistan’s policy towards Afghanistan has sewed seeds of disagreements even among its allies in the Afghan Lines and strengthened the fact that Pakistan has interpretations of its own. Pakistani Taliban is an offshoot of the Afghan Taliban ideologically and practices similar armed order politics against Pakistan in the present scenario. The actions of the former against Pakistan and the diplomatic politics of the latter are a replica of Pakistani politics during NATO infiltration in Afghanistan.

The case of understanding Pakistan’s foreign policy has a mitigated structure in the face of these certain and uncertain events. Foreign policy cannot shape itself on its own rather dependent on the issues taking place. Afghan Taliban in the face of previous events is trying to normalize their foreign policy spectrums not to seek attention of normal behavior from Pakistan but its public masses. They view a coercive policy against Pakistan as a tool to maintain internal support and order.

Pakistan needs to view the policy in the traditional spectrum, she has been adopting a coercive religious policy which has visible dividends even in the country and specific voices raised during political campaigns hint at the sectarian divides. Pakistan needs to opt for a policy of contribution as India did in Afghanistan. Furthermore, Pakistan should not view Indian influence timely as their investments have contributed to garnering support from the Public which has the least of chances for Pakistan.

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Modern South Asia: Book review

Ayesha Jalal and Saguta Bose’s review of academic textbook “Modern South Asia: History, Culture, and Political Economy
Modern South Asia: History, Culture, and Political Economy

Ayesha Jalal and Saguta Bose’s highly renowned academic textbook “Modern South Asia: History, Culture, and Political Economy” offers an in-depth evaluation of South Asia’s history from antiquity to the present.

Both Sugata Bose and Ayesha Jalal are renowned experts in South Asian history.  Sugata Bose is an authority on Indian history, and Ayesha Jalal is well known for her work on Pakistani history.  They each bring a lot of expertise and a unique viewpoint to the topic.

The intricate history of this area prior to the arrival of Islam on the subcontinent is explored in this book. This also describes the historical period of Hindu emperors and empires such as Ashoka at the Maurya Empire (268–232 BC), which led to the establishment of the “Sunga Dynasty” after the death of the final Maurya Emperor, “Brahadratha,” in 185 BC at the hands of his commander in chief, “Pudhyamitra Sunga.” This dynasty continued till the third century A.D.

The Kushans destroyed the Sunga Dynasty in the third century A.D., and their first emperor was Kajula Kadphases, who ruled over the largest empire at the time, which included parts of Central Asia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India.

The arrival of Islam in this region following the demise of these greatest Hindu empires was likewise covered by both authors. Like Arabs, particularly after Muhammad Bin Qasim’s entrance in 712 A.D. and the way he hastened the spread of Islam across the subcontinent. After Muhammad Bin Qasim, numerous other Muslim emperors attempted to invade the subcontinent, including Mahmood Ghazni, who ruled the Ghaznavid Empire from 997 to 1030 A.D.

Shah Buddin Muhammad Ghori also created the first Muslim Sultanate following the defeat of Pritvi Raj Chuhan, which lasted from 1205 to 1526 and was ruled by many dynasties, including the Mumluks (1206-90 A.D.), Khiljis (1290-1320 A.D.), Tughluks (1320-1413 A.D.), and lastly the Loddies (1451-1526).

 This book describes how, after the Delhi Sultanate’s empire fell, the Mughals—a new Muslim empire—came into being. They ruled over India for more than 500 years, from 1526 to 1857 A.D.—under the leadership of Babar (1526–30), Humayun (1530–56), Akbar (1556–1605), Jahangir (1605–27), Shah Jahan (1628–58), and Aurangzeb (1658–1707), the last effective Mughal Emperor, the Mughal Empire gone towards decline after him because of the incapabilities of Emperors and finally ended with the defeat of Bahadar Shah Zafar (1837-57 A.D) by British.

The arrival of Portuguese, French, and the last British under the name of Traders is also explained in this book. However, when they arrived in Bengal, they opposed the Nawab of Bengal. Eventually, however, they overcame Alivardi Khan, Siraj ud Daula, Mir Jafar, and Mir Qasim in the battles of Plessay and Buxar to become the Nabobs of Bengal.

When the British defeated and imprisoned the last Mughal Emperor, Bahadar Shah Zafar, they declared that India was now a colony under the rule of the British Queen (British Crown). Ayesha Jalal and Sugata Bose write about the British colonialism process in a very beautiful way. The colony will be governed by laws issued by the British parliament, including the Indian Council Acts of 1858, 1861, 1892, 1909, 1919, and the final Indian Council Act of 1935.

In the time when they controlled India, the British also included Indians (including Muslims and Hindus) in the struggle against the Ottoman Empire by promising them that they would not destroy Turkish Muslims. Ultimately, they did as they pleased and prevailed. The Indians did not help the British in WWII as a result of this poor outcome.

The authors discuss the post-independence conditions of both countries at the end of the first two to three chapters of this book. For example, India presented its first constitution in 1949, while Pakistan did so in 1956. They also discuss the 1948 Kashmir War, problems with princely states, and refugees. The most significant is that Pakistan has had a military government four times, whereas India has never had a military government. Therefore, Pakistan’s various plans failed, and as a result, we experienced severe political and economic catastrophe.

Unquestionably, both authors are experts on the histories of their respective nations—India and Pakistan—and they convey them in this book quite effectively. Therefore, readers have complimented the book for its in-depth analysis, well-researched information, and impartial attitude to the historical events and individuals presented. It is regarded as an important tool for academics, students, and anybody else seeking to comprehend South Asian history more deeply.

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The Hacked World Order by Adam Segal: Book Review

The Hacked World Order Book Review
The Hacked World Order Book Review

“The Hacked World Order,” authored by Adam Segal, presents a compelling and thought-provoking analysis of the intricate nexus connecting cyberspace, technology, and international relations. As a recognized authority in the field of cybersecurity, Segal offers a comprehensive examination of the dynamic landscape characterized by global power dynamics, espionage, and cyber threats.

The book effectively underscores the growing significance of cybersecurity in an increasingly interconnected world, shedding light on the vulnerabilities and challenges confronted by governments, corporations, and individuals. Segal’s expertise in the subject matter is readily evident as he adeptly navigates intricate technical concepts, policy debates, and historical contexts, ensuring clarity and understanding for readers.

Through his exploration of complex cyber phenomena and the interplay with broader geopolitical dynamics, Segal elucidates the far-reaching implications of cyber activities, including state-sponsored hacking incidents. The book encourages critical thinking and fosters an understanding of the multifaceted complexities inherent in the evolving global landscape. The book provides a comprehensive analysis of the vulnerabilities and challenges posed by the interconnectedness of the digital world, highlighting the potential ramifications for governments, corporations, and individuals. Segal skillfully weaves together historical context, policy analysis, and real-world case studies to elucidate the emergence of what he terms the “hacked world order.”

One of the central arguments of the book is that traditional notions of power and security are being reshaped by the increasing reliance on technology and the weaponization of cyberspace. Segal adeptly illustrates how cyberattacks have become a prominent tool in the arsenal of both state and non-state actors, enabling them to achieve their objectives in ways previously unimaginable. Through numerous examples, he demonstrates the interconnectedness of these attacks, whether originating from criminal organizations, hacktivist groups, or nation-states.

Segal navigates the complex terrain of international relations in the digital age, analyzing the strategies employed by countries like Russia, China, and the United States to achieve their geopolitical goals through cyber means. He provides valuable insights into the motivations, tactics, and capabilities of these nations, shedding light on their cyber operations and the potential for escalation in conflicts conducted in cyberspace.

Moreover, the author emphasizes the need for international norms, agreements, and cooperation to mitigate the risks posed by cyber threats. He explores the challenges in establishing effective governance structures and global cooperation in an era where state boundaries are increasingly blurred in the digital realm. By examining various international initiatives and diplomatic efforts, Segal underscores the urgency of building a collective response to cyber threats that transcend national interests.

The book also delves into the impact of cyber threats on individuals, businesses, and societies at large. Segal delves into issues such as cyber espionage, intellectual property theft, online activism, and the erosion of privacy. Through these discussions, he raises crucial questions about the balance between security and civil liberties, corporate responsibility, and the role of citizens in protecting themselves against cyber threats.

broader cybersecurity landscape would have provided a more holistic understanding of the challenges faced in cyberspace.

Overall, Adam Segal‘s “The Hacked World Order” offers valuable insights into the intersection of technology, cyberspace, and international relations. It successfully communicates complex technical concepts in an accessible manner, making it suitable for a diverse readership. While there are moments where the narrative becomes dense and the book’s focus on state-sponsored cyber activities may overshadow other aspects of cybersecurity, it remains a timely and thought-provoking exploration of the challenges and opportunities presented by our interconnected digital world. By emphasizing the need for comprehensive strategies and international cooperation, Segal prompts readers to recognize the urgency of safeguarding against cyber threats and working towards a more secure global society in the face of technological advancements.

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Rethinking Pakistan’s Independence-Autonomy, policy, and identity

Rethinking Pakistan's Independence
Rethinking Pakistan's Independence

” Leadership is the intelligent use of power.”

_Winston Churchill_

Pakistan and its political diaries are a very tightrope walk. Since its inception, post-colonial Pakistan remained either on colonial footprints or colonial-impeded inertia as baggage of history. Post-colonial inherited style of politics, post-colonial model of governance, and all politico-social, and politico-economic rationale largely remained on colonial nostalgia. Since its inception, the post-colonial Pakistan political economy largely remained at a Crossroads of foreign dependence and interdependence. Post-colonial foreign policy largely remained at the Crossroads of internal imbalanced power dynamics among de facto institutions and weak de jure civilians. Post-colonial independence largely remained dependent on the fluidity and liquidity of sovereignty over Various matters. Post-colonial democracy in Pakistan just remained up to the ritual of election and the ritual of parliamentary terms. Post-colonial Islamic state in Pakistan largely remained either on a fundamental aspect of religion or radical rife and the post-colonial civic ethics of Pakistan remained around a tightrope walk over relaxation and independence of minorities and civil liberties for minorities.

Meanwhile, visualizing all existing dynamics rethinking all existing models, and searching for Plato said philosopher king universality and utility in all aspects. Radical and pragmatic rethinking in all aspects is the need of hours. Since its inception political economy of Pakistan largely remained an economy of rent-seeking and just economy of superficial influx of boom and bust. Under the authoritarian cult of political demagogues and under all-time geo-strategic wheeling and dealing the state-craft of Pakistan mostly remains on the principle of rent-seeking based political economy. Dismantling, all previously existing models of rent-seeking and boom and bust they needed a more and more productive approach, more socially integrated approaches, and more communitarian approaches as well. Installment of natural productivity, installment of gendered progresses and installment of value-added aspects can only curb this superficial boom and bust and crisis of unproductivity in the economy. The installment of clear stability from politically motivated will can change the spectra of socially, politically, culturally, and economically isolated indicators with a rethinking of a productive economy as well.

Previously, viewing to post-colonial inherited institutionalized model
De-facto monopoly of Garrison State remained a primary aspect of policy design. Either over aspect of camp diplomacy or buffer in between great power rivalries garrison state construct and aspirations remained most dominant. From policy making to control over policy de-facto monopoly of deep institutions always prevailed by institution for institution. Dismantling the internal de-facto monopoly of institutions and external buffer conception and camp diplomacy rethinking approaches lies among the sovereign design of policy, neutrality of policy, and actualization of narrative and state interests in foreign policy. Previously, post-colonial independence largely remained polarized among partition archives and colonial inherited institutionalized Apparatus. Traditional, south Asian style of politics and politics of peer pressure and hostage factors remained a prominent aspect around Indian-centric factors. Viewing to Indian-centric factor as an existionalist threat the post-independence political strands largely remained motivated by geo-strategic wheeling and dealing and in between conflictual grounds. Rethinking independence approaches must have to lie among geo-economic, win-win-based relations and politics of porous borders to politics of cooperation.

Historically, Pakistan’s democracy just remained around the ritual of elections and just up to rituals of parliamentary procedure. Clear Garrison state authoritarian approach to the always de facto monopoly of Garrison state democracy just remained up to the house of cards and civilian leadership was just a manufactured and artificially groomed thing. Rethinking Pakistan’s democracy as a true Republican franchise truly lies in dismantling vendetta-led politics among civilians around the smooth transfer of power among civilians and a true charter of democracy among civilians. Rethinking approaches also lies among a pragmatic shift in the structure of existing political parties and among alternative narrative regardless of this existing feudal-cum dynasty-cum model of political parties.

Since objective resolution, the Islamic construct and Islamic roots are founded turning into the fundamental aspects and extremely radical aspects over the name and shame of religiosity. Post, Zia’s Islamic angle to ideologic governance as part of the state and religion as a part of the state Islamic angle largely used up over real-politic means. Rethinking Islam in Pakistan lies around the dismantling of religion as a real political tool of cultish, chest-thumping political leadership and the true use of religion as a Republican faith-based franchise and its clear manifestation.

Viewing to dynamics of civil liberties and civic ethics in Pakistan civil society remained the most marginalized subject under the oppression and suppression-based culture of the state and under the patriarchy of the state over culture, politics, economics, and religion. Popular culture sponsored by the state remained only the soul-policed aspect. Culturally much congestion and ethnically conflictual aspect remained the resultant product of state policing. Sometimes, extra moral policing from the state itself acted as a tool of oppression. State-led homogeneous models either over, cultural, political, economic, or religious grounds remained a most disturbing aspect of heterogeneous reality and unity in diversity. Rethinking approaches to the independence of minorities and marginalized communities lie among plurality, autonomy, decentralization, and civil liberties. Additionally, re-thinking of civic ethics and civic liberties lies around Gramscian-made civil society.

While, concluding as an objective aspect the autonomy, policy & identity of Pakistan remained as same as ritual is performed without understanding ritual philosophy. Autonomy either from political, social, cultural, or economic prospectus remained just over fluid construct, Policy making remained highly influenced by politically impeded inertia and identity over the mercy of a homogeneous state-created model. To seek true autonomy all aspects clearly need more and more decentralization and localization of autonomy. Rethinking, in all cadres of policy Making clearly needs political neutrality and actualization of rationale in policy. Rethinking identity clearly needs relaxation in all aspects and finding unity in diversity in installing a heterogeneous model.

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