Pakistan moves in right direction

Aug 05 - 11, 2002


The large scale disparity and injustices in distribution of resources reflected in the fact that around 77 per cent of the world population have been deprived of a better economic, financial and social life around the world.

The living standard of a vast majority of the people in Pakistan is far behind the desired level due to various corners still persist in the political, economic, administrative and social governance of the country. However, it gives a sense of satisfaction that though at a snail's pace, yet the country is moving on the right track as far as human development was concerned. One should not give up the hope that the sufferings of the mankind on account of various ugly forms of the human sufferings such as illiteracy, disease, poverty and bad governance such as Zamindari or Sardari systems, atrocities of the police and bureaucracy would be gradually vanish from the social scene in Pakistan as well.


The latest human development report commissioned by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) says that only 55 of the 173 countries of the world surveyed during last year were on the "right track" to achieve as many as three quarters of the millennium development goals.

These formed 23 per cent of the worldís people, and included Pakistan also through bracketed with slower development.

The report placed 33 countries with 26 per cent of the worldís population in the track that listed nations falling on more than half of the targets that included India that was far behind with halve the population under-nourished failure to control the infantile mortality.

India was also far behind in removing gender disparity in secondary education enrolment although it was on track in the female gross primary enrolment. The country was also on track as far as access to improved water resources was concerned.

Pakistan was reported to be slipping back in the net primary education enrolment while it was on track as far as children reaching grade five in education and female gross primary and secondary education was concerned. It had; however, a high rate in "under-five mortality rate" while it was on track in providing improved water resources to its population. Second to Pakistan was Sudan and also Bhutan in the region.

The report was launched in Manila last week with simultaneous release at the United Nations, Information Center at Islamabad, and a number of other important metropolises around the globe. The report, which is regularly appearing for the last 12 years, was the brainchild of late Dr. Mehmubul Haq.

Javed Jabbar, former federal minister who presided over the launching ceremony in his observations said that the Report deals with conceptually balanced and devoid of emotional reactions but faced in based on solid facts and hard research work. He specifically mentioned the part of the report related to the problems faced by lower income manufacturers in exporting their products to the global markets.

Besides the social and economic sectors, the report also focuses attention on the political life of the member countries by providing what the authors said as "a timely and provocative analysis" of the role the politics plays in achieving human development. The recent plan for devolution of power in Pakistan however had not attracted the attention of the researchers or the compilers of the report.

The administrative reforms in Pakistan were commendable steps as it placed the Police authorities directly under the control of elected officials in the districts. Among the prominent Pakistanis associated with the Report in one or the other capacity were Dr. Hafiz Pasha, former chairman of the National Planning Commission, Omar Noman and Saeed Qureshi.

The steps taken by the present administrators in removing gender disparity by increasing the women representation on the legislatures has also been ignored by the report.

The Chairman National Commission on Human Development, Nasim Ashraf though agreed with the Report that on the essentiality of democracy for human development, he said it should not end at the ballot box, but should be extended to relations in the international affairs.

Pointing out the global disparity between the poor and the rich, he said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was controlled by five nations that monopolized 51 per cent of the voting rights, and thus the power to decide on world's financial fate. Reviewing the efforts carried by the National Commission, Nasim Ashraf said a plan to create a national volunteer's corps was under way, and its first experiment at Mardan has borne fruit where young volunteers have been pressed into service in various sectors of rural development.

The present government has launched a Human Development Fund with Rs2 billion in this connection.

Unfortunately, there is a general concept among the people that it is the responsibility of the government alone to bring a change for social and economic betterment of the society. People have to come out of this dream because the governments come and go it is the society, which has to survive on the values it, belongs. The seed of the welfare of the society comes from the roots of the people and not the government. It is the responsibility and duty of the people collectively or individually to contribute its share for the well being of the human being by brushing aside all political, sectarian and provincial considerations. The prosperity of the society lies in the love for humanity alone.