Edited by Anis Chowdhury and Wahiduddin Mahmud
Chapter 2: Pakistan
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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