THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
Role of Infaq in Poverty Alleviation in Pakistan
A number of studies such as Naseem (1973, 1977); Allaudin (1975); Mujahid (1978); Irfan and Amjad (1984); Kruijk and Leeuwan (1985); Cheema (1985); Malik (1988); Akhtar (1988); Ercelawn (1988, 1989, 1990); Ahmad and Ludlow (1990); Havinga et al. (1990, 199Oa); Malik (1992) and Zaidi and de Vos (1993) have been undertaken to analyse the phenomena of poverty in Pakistan. The general picture that emerges from these studies is that although poverty is widespread in Pakistan, it is more prevalent in rural areas. Poverty increased during the 1960s, but it has been declining ever since 1970. The change in agrarian structure during the 1960s contributed towards the higher rural poverty. A respectable rate of economic growth and the increase In foreign remittances are generally mentioned as factors responsible for the decline in poverty since the 1970s. The introduction of zakat and ushr system in 1980 also played its role in this regard. However, poverty still remains One of the most serious problems in the country.