Economic Growth and Development in South Asia, with and without Regional Cooperation (The Jawaid Azfar Memorial Lecture)

Author: S.M. Naseem
Publication Year : 2004

I thank the PSDE for inviting me to deliver this plenary lecture at its 20th AGM belatedly honouring the memory of a personal friend and colleague, Jawaid Azfar, who passed away more than twenty years ago. Jawaid’s premature demise robbed Pakistan of one of its most promising economists and planners and created a vacuum in the intellectual leadership of Pakistan’s once proud economic planning and management team, which is still a gaping hole. Jawaid Azfar received his academic training in economics at Cambridge and Harvard Universities and his doctorate dissertation on income distribution in Pakistan was a seminal piece of work which inspired many other studies focusing on aspects of equity which were ignored by the earlier planners in Pakistan.1 My own two studies on poverty in Pakistan published in the 1970s benefited greatly from the methodology and insights of his study.2 While teaching at the Quaid-i-Azam University, I worked as a Consultant to the Planning Commission on macroeconomic model building, in close collaboration and almost daily interaction with him. Jawaid also agreed to my request to help in teaching courses at the University and acted as an external examiner on many occasions. Jawaid was a quiet, shy person whose low-key manner concealed his considerable intellectual depth. He died tragically at a young age of stroke due to extreme pressure of work imposed on him by his many demanding bosses who relied on his expertise to push their own self-serving agendas during the first half of Gen. Ziaul Haq’s 11-year military rule.