Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Omar Noman. The Political Economy of Pakistan: 1947 -85. London:KPI Ltd. 1988. xiii + 218 pages.

Author: A.R. Kemal

While both economic development and political change inPakistan have been analysed in a number of studies, the inter-dependenceof the two has rarely been analysed. The author’s promise in the prefaceto present ‘an integrated analysis of Pakistan’s development’ in thebook under review, therefore, excites great interest However, the readeris badly disappointed because the book fails to analyse thisinter-dependence. Only scattered references to it have been made hereand there. Even worse, the book fails to link the policy changes made inone period with those in the other periods. The book consists of tenchapters and has been divided into three parts. These parts discusseconomic and political developments in three different periods, viz.,1947- 71, 1971-77, and 1977-85. Politics, religion and economicdevelopment in each period is discussed in separate chapters. Chapter 1(part I) is entitled ‘Disenchantment with Freedom’. The basic thesis ofthe author is that the Muslim League was never interested in the Islamicprinciples and referred to Islam only with a view to arousing hatredagainst the non-muslim communities and winning over the people bypromising a better future by creating an egalitarian structure ofsociety. The author further asserts that because the Muslim Leagueleaders had no clear Islamic perception, Islam cannot be the basis ofPakistan ‘s creation; and that the Objectives Resolution was vague onIslam. However, no evidence is presented to substantiate these claims.That the Muslim League leaders had a secular outlook is not inconsistentwith creating Pakistan in the name ofIslam; the people voted for theMuslim League and Pakistan to create an Islamic State which will providesocial justice. The claim that the egalitarian bias in the manifesto ofthe Muslim League was only a ploy to get votes is belied by the factthat the Muslim League government in the early 1950s did propose majorland reforms, an aspect which the author has conveniently chosen tooverlook. Similarly, the claim that the Objectives Resolution is vagueon Islam is at variance with the contents of the Resolution.

A.R. Kemal

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