Pakistan Monitor

February 20, 2011

Institutions, Entrepreneurship and Channels to Sustained Economic Growth

Filed under: Uncategorized — pakistanmonitor @ 9:50 am

Latest research paper by Pak-Haung Mo on Enterpreneurship.

February 13, 2011

Youth Engagement

Reckoning an optimistic view one may assert that harnessing youth potential can bring a socio-economic revolution in Pakistan – ‘Road to Economic Stardom’; on the contrary, if youth issues, perceptions, ideas, are not assessed and subsequently addressed in a timely manner, one may watch ‘Nightmare on Road to Prosperity.’  The aforesaid scenarios, the optimistic as well as pessimistic, have implications for public policy, which is considered important not only in the context of growing security challenges in the region, but also in the realm of seeking fair rents from knowledge based global markets. All over the world youth is being given prime importance in future policy making due to rapidly evolving knowledge base; new and emerging technologies; ever growing potential of social and economic networking in modern times; and livelihood challenges. A similar initiative has been taken at the Planning Commission of Pakistan wherein a team of 12 young professionals have been engaged to work on the New Growth Strategy.

The youth issues are being addressed in ‘New Growth Strategy’ as youth is regarded as one of the important pillars in New Development Approach (NDA) being formulated at Planning Commission. The youth engagement under NDA is looking at Pakistani youth with a ‘big picture’, a global perspective, and developing a strategy to make Pakistani youth a productive and integral part of the global knowledge based economy. The following are the objectives of the youth strategy:

  1. providing educational and other developmental opportunities to youth,
  2. reviewing policy to provide institutions and infrastructure that youth and community might need,
  3. promoting a globalized and socialized youth, and
  4. providing economic opportunities, especially for entrepreneurship, as the youth enters the labor force.

It is pertinent to mention that the youth engagement strategy shall be guided by the following principles:

  1. working with youth not only requires patience, but overcoming barriers to communication;
  2. youth engagement requires understanding of youth issues, barriers to hidden potentials, and pathways to different milestones in young people’s lives;
  3. youth requires, guidance, encouragement, recognition, and above all a chance to reveal and channel their latent energies into a positive force; and
  4. from citizens in waiting youth must be promoted as citizens in action. 

Hence, a comprehensive strategy focusing on youth education, training, volunteerism, citizenship, and entrepreneurship, in public private partnership framework, is required for engaging youth both on the supply and demand side in order to make them productive part of the society. This requires a change the way decision-makers and institutions work at all levels, including local and national. For the purpose it is imperative for the policy makers (who mostly belong to older generation) to connect with young people. Improvement in the quality and efficiency of these interactions can deliver the objectives of economic growth.

Plan of Action: Opening Windows of Opportunities for Youth

On the Supply side:  imparting essential life skills is necessary to channel youth energies into a positive force; especially skills in building team spirit, motivation, sharing ideas, problem solving, conflict resolution, assertiveness, communication and networking, managing workload, time management, decision making, and graduating from fellowship to leadership. The emphasis should be from considering young people as a problem to treating them as the most promising asset for the transforming the socio-economic landscape of the country. While providing services for youth they should be engaged in the same as well.

On the demand side more jobs need to be created through favorable policy environment. If we assume that people enter the job market at the age of 15 years, then approximately 1.3 million jobs have to be created every year for new job market entrants. This requires a conceptual framework for new economic growth, which facilitates both public and private sector in providing opportunities for a large youth population coming into the labor market over the next ten years. Planning Commission of Pakistan has been vigorously working on that and looks forward to receiving feedback from youth on its New Development Approach. Please visit download read the draft of the Conceptual Framework for New Economic Growth and give your feedback by regularly visiting Planning Commission’s blog at

February 27, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — Yasin Janjua @ 6:53 am

With civilian dictator in place Pakistan is not far from becoming a failed state very soon. There is no rule of law, judiciary is sold out, and judges have devilish grins on their faces while they bargain promotions, perks, and power with the dictator.

Disqualifying leaders of opposition after the people of Pakistan have given their verdict will push the nation down on a disaster path. The economy has already received serious economic blows and cannot sustain political instability for long.

Almost everyone has condemned the verdict given by the hijaked Supreme Court, including sensible people from within PPP, except for a major ethnic party from the Sindh province. Any opposition party that will support this decision should read the history what happened to PPP regime when Civilian Dictatorship powers were concentrated after 1970 in one person.

What a Shame!

Pakistan wake up!

October 20, 2006

Artificial States

Filed under: Uncategorized — pakistanmonitor @ 7:01 am

Recently a study by Harvard and NYU Economists (A. Alesina, W. Easterly, and Janina Matuszeski) has characterised Pakistan and some other states as Artificial States. According to them:

Artificial states are those in which political borders do not coincide with a division of nationalities desired by the people on the ground. We propose and compute for all countries in the world two new measures of the degree to which states are artificial. One is based on measuring how borders split ethnic groups into two separate adjacent countries. The other measures how straight land borders are, under the assumption the straight land borders are more likely to be artificial. We then show that these two measures seem to be highly correlated with several measures of political and economic success.” 

The study acknowledges that according to their methodology US and Canada are also Artificial states. However some artificial states are failed while others are not. Don’t ask me in what situation Pakistan is–read for yourself. I think the most important thing for Pakistanis to learn is, from the example of US and Canada, how did they manange to servive artificially or graduated to a legitimate state; remeber the North-South war in US and handling of Quebec situation in Canada. In case of Pakistan, the story is somewhat different but the problem is similar—survival of an artificial state.

I must say that I have bought in the term coined by these authors because looking back in history, as an introspective Pakistani, I feel that lack of democracy and inability of successive governments-civilian and military both-to deliver social services, to protect freedom, to honor social justice, to promote opportunity of equality has forced Pakistan to stay in the line of fire and has prevented it from graduating to a genuine naturalised state.

However, I do feel that all is not lost and one must learn from the mistakes of past. The most important thing is dismentling of extrimism, elemination of corruption, protection of freedom and promotion of civil justice (I will write more-stay tuned, but it can take several weeks due to limited internet access) .

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