71 years into Pakistan’s independence, this book with its renowned and aspiring constellation of scholars makes it clear that the Partition of 1947 was a revered and historic starting point which set the guiding principles for this state and it is those very principles that the country and its people need to re-focus and return to. The authors agree that while Pakistan’s democracy may be struggling in the face of many challenges, it remains alive, vibrant, diverse and perseverant. Some of the reflections, recommendations, aspirations and ideas of Pakistan’s present and future thought leaders included in this book include:
South Asia, once a political wasteland of the past is an incubator of change today, the stagnant economic conditions of the pre-independence era for nearly all SAARC countries have now transformed into an economic dynamism that is impossible to ignore.
Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri
The existing asymmetric power relationship between the military and the civilian sectors needs to be reversed. Pakistan can become a democratically governable state by rebuilding vibrant, agile and effective institutions of democratic governance.
Dr Ishrat Husain
Pakistan must go beyond setting up task forces, implement deeper structural reforms, scale up social safety nets, have more effective vertical and horizontal federal-provincial-local fiscal arrangements, fully leverage regional cooperation for enhanced seamless and multimodal transport and IT connectivity, and sharpen Pakistan’s response to climate change.
Dr Shamshad Akhtar
The weak performance of Pakistan’s economy has occurred in the context of a broad atrophy of the country’s institutional framework and lack of transition to institutional democracy. The absence of a genuine reform constituency in the country – one that is aware, politically mobilised and sufficiently large – is a critical hurdle in the path of reforms.
Mr Sakib Sherani
The tax policies formulated and the administration of taxation in Pakistan is patchy and needs the creation of an agency that would collectively oversee the work being done by the federal and provincial governments to enhance coordination and cooperation among them.
Engr Ahad Nazir, Mr Abbas Maken, and Dr Vaqar Ahmed
Like Malala Yousafzai, Pakistan is home to many social workers and human rights activists, usually operating in difficult circumstances. Indeed, their dedication and courage would turn them into icons of feminism the country could be proud of, were it not for the lack of media coverage.
Dr Nathalène Reynolds
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is an international treaty of the United Nations which comprehensively addresses women’s rights within all aspects of life, while providing opportunities to each state to address its shortcomings.
Ms Bandana Rana and Ms Victoria Perrie
Focusing on short-term gains over governance and deteriorated human
longer ranging Sustainable Development Goals have weakened and social development conditions. Thus, Climate-Compatible
Development in Pakistan is achievable by combining both generic capacities, determined by health, governance, political rights, literacy, and economic well-being; and specific adaptive capacities, determined by risk management activities and early warning systems in a way that can also enhance the agency of people.
Dr Maaz Gardezi and Ms Sana Illahe
In order to address rising climate risks and environmental degradation, there is a need to develop integrated coordination systems, like Climate Smart Villages. While building large dams has become a political issue, investing in small dams can become a possible solution for drought.
Mr Ghamz E Ali Siyal, Mr Syed Mohsin Ali and Dr Mahreen Zahara
Pakistan has made good progress in Information and Telecommunications, but when compared with other developing states, the country is seriously lagging behind. Rationalisation of taxes on ICT goods and services and other regulatory measures could enable Pakistan catch-up with its peers.
Dr Manzoor Ahmad
For digitalisation of Pakistan’s economy, it is the Government which must lead the way by increasing its own use of IT to encourage private businesses, and increase the size of the domestic market of digital products and services. It should also develop a comprehensive Cyber Security Strategy together with an implementation plan.
Mr Parvez Iftikhar
To understand rural-to-urban migration, in terms of the contemporary push and pull factors in semi-arid regions of Pakistan, there is need for immediate attention for overall agriculture sector development, including climate resilient and agriculture smart policies to lower the push factors of migration in rural areas.
Mr Ghamz E Ali Siyal, Dr Imran Khalid and Ms Ayesha Qaisrani
Book blurb by Sarah S. Aneel