Handbook on the South Asian Economies

Handbook on the South Asian Economies

Elgar original reference

Edited by Anis Chowdhury and Wahiduddin Mahmud

This Handbook on the South Asian Economies (a companion to the Handbook on the Northeast and Southeast Asian Economies) is a comprehensive and unique collection of original studies on the economic and social development of countries in South Asia. The analytical narratives draw upon a wide range of extant literature in an easily accessible way, whilst highlighting the impact of socio-political factors on economic outcomes. The introductory chapter by the editors provides a comprehensive survey of the main features of South Asian economic development, especially in respect of the policy reforms since the late 1970s.

Chapter 2: Pakistan

Parvez Hasan

Subjects: asian studies, asian development, asian economics, development studies, asian development, economics and finance, asian economics, international economics


Parvez Hasan Political setting of economic development Pakistan came into existence as a national entity with the partition of British India on 14 August 1947. It consisted of two wings, East Pakistan and West Pakistan, separated geographically by nearly 1000 miles of Indian territory. The lack of geographical contiguity, though it seemed strange to the outside world, did not particularly concern either the leadership or the people. The desire for an independent homeland for Muslims free from the likely Hindu-dominated majority rule in an undivided India had become very strong. Indeed, the widespread communal riots in the year preceding partition led to a decision by the British government to hasten the announcement of independence and partition on 3 June 1947, though the boundaries of the new states were not to be known till 17 August 1947. The partition had many unintended and unforeseen consequences that have continued to shape the economic and political history of Pakistan, including the role of the military, and relations with India. No one was prepared for the deepening of communal violence and the mass movement of population across the new borders immediately following independence, largely fed by religious fears. According to most conservative estimates, casualties included 250 000 dead and 12 to 24 million refugees.1 While there was movement of population across the border in both wings of Pakistan, West Pakistan was most affected by the transfer of population. Almost all Hindus and Sikhs left the west wing while all of the Muslim population...

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