What was/is the golden age of Pakistan?

Mudassir Ali
Dec 22, 2019 11:37 AM 0 Answers
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What was/is the golden age of Pakistan?

Mudassir Ali
- Dec 22, 2019 11:38 AM

There is no golden age of Pakistan. Pakistan is a younger country, and in just 70 years, it has seen more changes than any other country in the world.

We can probably divide Pakistan history in eight eras (or ages if you prefer the word).

1947–1958: it was a democratic era with many problems, but there was a commitment and resolve to solve Pakistan problems and develop the country. It was not a politically stable time, but the rights of people were better protected.
1958–1971: Martial-law and some artificial political stability by force that resulted in the unrest in the whole country particularly East Pakistan. In 1971, the defeat of Pakistan ended the martial law and this era. Economically, it was the continuity of the national drive to develop new born country. The bureaucratic effort was supported by the policy makers as no change in 1950′s policy of economic growth was made. It was better time for the economic growth but the worst era for nation building. The rights were suppressed and the public was frustrated.
1972–1977: Democracy returned and a new constitution was enforced. Economically, it was almost a disaster because of the reversal of growth policy of 1950’s. Big industries were nationalized and capitalists/investors left Pakistan. The nation building took a different turn and a new Pakistan emerged.
1977–1988: Again Martial-law and suppression of rights. This time martial-law tried to take moral support from Islamization. Law and order deteriorated as the result of involvement in the Afghan war. The ethnic and sectarian hatred increased mainly because of absence of democratic activities. Economically, the disaster ensuing from socialist narrative and nationalization of industries was halted but not reversed.
1988–1999: After the death of the dictator of that time, a two-party (but a controlled) democracy emerged with confused policies because no government was able to complete its tenure. The maximum length of any government was 2 and half years.
1999–2008: An era as useless as any thing, but it started looking important after 9/11 attacks. Because of the support given to the US and allies in Afghanistan, there was some flow of money from the west. This generated some limited economic progress, but no significant development took place.
2008–2017/18: A judicial coup made headway for more democratic setup. Law and order and energy problems were mainly solved by second democratic government. Some economic progress and stability were seen with (gradual) restoration of democratic rights.
2018-now: civilian success in solving major problems could not be digested by Pakistan’s ambitious military. A customized martial- law was imposed and a puppet government was installed. The progress made after 2014 in some areas started to unwind.

This is a very terse history of Pakistan that highlights “continuous changes”. Just over 70 years, this country has seen more changes than China in 200 years. With such rapid and drastic swerving of the state from its objectives, the country is deeply unstable and will remain so in foreseeable future.

The history shows that there is no golden period (and cannot be) because the country keeps changing the direction. In this lack of stability, the right question to be asked is “which was the less black era for Pakistan”.

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