Pakistan Institute of Development Economics

Discourse Vol 1, Issue 2
Dr Nadeem’s Apology And Our Responsibility (Article)
Publication Year : 2022

Amongst the comparatively well-known economists of Pakistan, I’ve always found admiration for Dr Nadeem-ul-Haque’s work and his ideas. The first time I heard of him was in the corridors of Block ‘Q’ (Finance Division) and Block ‘P’ (Planning Commission), where colonial minded, high-browed bureaucrats discussed his thoughts and proposals with contempt. That immediately interested me in his work since my experience with bureaucracy had taught me a valuable lesson: what they usually hold in contempt is actually something valuable!

His Framework for Economic Growth (FEG) was first of the readings, and since then, his writings have been a must-read, leading me to challenge what I had known and thought about economics. It’s always a refreshing experience to listen to him since his talk does not follow the typical, trite rhetoric centered on few chosen macro indicators like taxes, expenditures, monetary and fiscal policy, etc. Now at Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) as its Vice Chancellor (VC), he has re-invigorated an institution that had faced challenges in the near past. His honesty has ruffled quite a few feathers, and rubbed status quo people the wrong way. But despite all the push-backs, he has admirably managed to keep persisting for change.

It was not a surprise, then, to read his honest apology for the legacy that his generation had leﬞ for the ones to come. Further, it’s not a surprise either that none of his compatriots from his generation had the guts to do the same. In the following lines, I will recount my own experience with this colonial legacy and lay out some of the challenges that my generation encounters.

Discourse Vol 1, Issue 2
Dr Nadeem’s Apology And Our Responsibility (Article)
Publication Year : 2022

Amongst the comparatively well-known economists of Pakistan, I’ve always found admiration for Dr Nadeem-ul-Haque’s work and his ideas. The first time I heard of him was in the corridors of Block ‘Q’ (Finance Division) and Block ‘P’ (Planning Commission), where colonial minded, high-browed bureaucrats discussed his thoughts and proposals with contempt. That immediately interested me in his work since my experience with bureaucracy had taught me a valuable lesson: what they usually hold in contempt is actually something valuable!

His Framework for Economic Growth (FEG) was first of the readings, and since then, his writings have been a must-read, leading me to challenge what I had known and thought about economics. It’s always a refreshing experience to listen to him since his talk does not follow the typical, trite rhetoric centered on few chosen macro indicators like taxes, expenditures, monetary and fiscal policy, etc. Now at Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) as its Vice Chancellor (VC), he has re-invigorated an institution that had faced challenges in the near past. His honesty has ruffled quite a few feathers, and rubbed status quo people the wrong way. But despite all the push-backs, he has admirably managed to keep persisting for change.

It was not a surprise, then, to read his honest apology for the legacy that his generation had leﬞ for the ones to come. Further, it’s not a surprise either that none of his compatriots from his generation had the guts to do the same. In the following lines, I will recount my own experience with this colonial legacy and lay out some of the challenges that my generation encounters.