Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Prime Minister’s 2010 Programme: Bridge to the 21st Century (Keynote Address)

Author: Ahsan Iqbal

It is indeed a unique opportunity for me to present this Keynote Address to this largest gathering of the development economists in Pakistan-a gathering keen to share experiences, and learn lessons, and bringing, I hope, new ideas to development, which remains a challenge. This meeting is taking place at a time when we are at the threshold of the Twenty-first Century. At this important occasion, we must not forget the vision of development given to us by the Father of our Nation. On the eve of Independence, the Quaid-i-Azam held out a glorious vision for Pakistan’s future, a vision of a prosperous and tolerant people, a responsible government free from corruption and, nepotism, and an enlightened society based on the Islamic values ofjustice and equity. That was the spirit of 1947. Sad to admit that fifty-one years later, Pakistan is nowhere close to that vision. The country’s respectable economic growth and the phenomenal expansion of infrastructure have justifiably been lauded, but they have not helped to create a society that the founders had imagined. The society is still mired in ignorance, disease, poverty, intolerance, corruption, injustice, and backwardness, all attributes of non-development.

Ahsan Iqbal