Sunday, 19 October 2014
A worthwhile state? By Dr Niaz Murtaza
HAS Pakistan been worth it? In other words, has it yielded the benefits that Pakistan movement leaders expected from their long struggle? This inquiry could be interpreted as questioning the validity of Pakistani ideology, which incidentally is discouraged in Pakistan.
I have no such intentions, especially since questioning it is a theoretical exercise today. Further, many Pakistanis still lack the confidence to deliberate that question dispassionately, even theoretically. So, I take the pursuit of independence as a given and analyse whether its success has satisfied initial expectations and if not, how future prospects are.
Poor governance has limited the potential we inherited.
Contemporary Pakistan was arguably among India’s most backward regions in terms of education and industry. But it possessed potential industrial viability given its sea access, large population, fertile agriculture and a small but well-educated class.
So, rather than basing my inquiry on the claim that Indian Hindus and Muslims constituted distinct civilisations, I base it on the ‘backward sub-region’ thesis to analyse whether separation has helped Pakistan develop faster economically and politically.