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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Pakistan is doing better than we think

William Dalrymple is optimistic about recent developments in Pakistan.


  1. Are you and Ila right about RBI actions ?

    I am getting very sceptical about claims by you on RBI purchases .

  2. Pakistan has typically done better than most Indians think, partly because it never went as deeply into the kind of failed bureaucratic socialism that India developed in the 1960s and 1970s. Hence, there was less damage to undo in the 1990s onwards. However, they never developed the education base that India did, which is reflected in their near total absence in modern sectors such as IT, pharma, and spohisticated manufacturing.

    On the other hand, India's great success has been to build solid political foundations that not only withstand bad leadership but also allow the country to develop. Pakistan has not done it. Dalrymple misguides his readers by interpreting Pakistan's 2 largest political parties (PPP and PML) as 'secular' modern parties, similar to what the Congress claims to be. In fact, they are openly sectarian but appear 'moderate' only because their competitors are even more Islamically-inclined. The point is that there is no secular leadership and no solid political foundations to guide the country. Hence, its future depends on individual leaders, the Army and to some extent America.

    On the whole, Pakistan is doing rather badly but it is not as poor as many Indians think.


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