THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
Omar Noman. Economic and Social Progress in Asia: Why Pakistan Did Not Become a Tiger. Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1997. 324 pages. Hardbound. Rs 575.00.
Most people in Pakistan look towards the West for models of economic development, and some even look to the Islamic past. But in recent decades, the more spectacular cases have been much closer to home, and towards the East. Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan are already in the ranks of the developed, while China, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand are making good progress. Despite the recent setbacks, their progress over the last three decades has been enviable. On the other hand, the countries in South Asia have lagged behind. Four decades ago there was little to choose between most of these countries, but by the seventies, the paths of some had clearly diverged, while others were beginning to diverge. Today, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka are amongst the poorest in the world, and on certain measures, they are the poorest! What happened in the last four decades? This is the issue that Omar Noman tackles in this book.