The Pakistani Economy

Pakistan’s economy, like that of the Soviet Union, was based on a number of five-year plans. However, these five-year plans were generally unsuccessful in increasing the nation’s economy, and often resulted in a surprising misappropriation of funds.

The first five-year plan was one of the most ineffective. Occurring between the years of 1955 and 1960, it failed to increase per capita earnings by more than one percent, and also failed to meet modest goals in housing, industry, transport, and communications sectors. Partially in response to these failures, the next five-year plan (1960-1965) was aimed at accelerated economic growth. In this sense the plan was successful, the nation’s gross domestic product did indeed grow at 5.2% for the five-year period. However, the nation’s population grew greatly, so the growth in GDP was distributed over a larger-than-expected body of citizens. This translated into a mere 2.7% increase in per capita income. Moreover, the second five-year plan appropriated just 8% to social programs such as health, education, and social welfare. Despite these shortcoming, the plan was deemed a success in the international community, and became something of model for third-world economic development.

Today, Pakistan’s economy remains somewhat backwards. The economy, like the foreign policy, is focused on a misguided desire for homeland defense from India. The distribution of funds is even more shocking than that of the second five-year plan. The armed forces, which are generally considered overly large for Pakistan’s size, are allotted a whopping 16% of the national budget. Education, on the other hand, receives but 1.2%. The economy is another facet of Pakistan that has been victimized by the unhealthy obsession with India.

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