Bangladesh is on the verge of becoming the next Asian Tiger. Yes, this is the same country that, prior to 1971, Pakistan’s ruling elite (including General Ayub Khan & General Yahya Khan & others) strongly believed that it was dragging Pakistan’s economic growth down.
Bangladesh had a worst history of natural disasters, resulting in famines and persistent poverty, and shared much serious problems as compared to Pakistan like military interventions, poor governance, institutional vacuum, corruption and inefficiency. From 1980’s and onwards, growth picked up initially was a lackluster, but once it was on track, there was no stopping it in Bangladesh. In fact, Bangladesh’s growth rate is at 8. 10% since last year, even surpassing that of India and China.
All over in US, what you see are ready made garments, textile products, etc made in Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia but hardly anything made in Pakistan. Bangladesh has 1.1 percent population growth rate whereas Pakistan stands at a staggering 2.3 %. Yes more than double!
Bangladesh had closed the gender gap in primary and secondary education by 1990s, where as Pakistan has gone down in the gender gap as compared to what it was in previous years.
Bangladesh’s early growth came from the ready-made garment industry, which not only proved to be a boon for women’s employment but to others also. Hwever Pakistan, instead of increasing the exports believes in depreciation of its currency.
$1 gets Bangladesh Taka 82 whereas in Pakistan a Dollar costs Rs. 120, and in India it’s $ 1 gets Rs. 58. Hardly anyone on our TV channels is talking about this and instead it is more interested in Panama Papers, Imran Khan’s third marriage, Reham Khan, Maulana Tariq Jamil discussing about Hoories, Khadim Hussain Rizvi abusing others and other nonsensical issues.
In Pakistan, 25 million children are out of school & gender gap is substantially increasing, quality of education is simply pathetic & disgusting and the educational institutions are destroying education here. We have the worst infant mortality rate in the world, rampant malnutrition and stunted growth in 40% of the children.
Tragically these issues do not bother either Pakistan political leaders or its intelligentsia or Pakistan establishment and they think that their superficial unrealistic claims that a high growth rate for 10 or so years will automatically solve all our problems. Pakistan needs to realize it needs to bring radical shift in policies that also focus on social development as well as upholding democratic and human rights of the people here.
Think about your present also!
Contributed by Riaz Khan