Social Change—The Essence of Development (Keynote Address)

Author: Nafis Sadik
Publication Year : 1997

This is a critical historical moment, in the 50th year of our independence. Our decisions, commitment and action in the next few years will affect our country for much of the 21st century. The decisions needed would be a challenge for any country: for Pakistan they involve a drastic change in development priorities. Our development efforts since Independence have gone into building the economy. In the early years this was quite successful: we harnessed the great rivers for power and irrigation; we revolutionised agriculture, we pushed exports up to new levels. For a time economic growth was quite dynamic. But we were always aware that something was missing. At Independence Pakistan started more or less even with other countries in the region. All our efforts since then have left us lagging behind. In 1950 the Republic of Korea had about the same GNP per head as Pakistan. Today Korea’s GNP is $7,670; ours $476. That is a difference of 1,611 percent.