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‘From Canada’

September 19, 2012

THIS is apropos of Ayeza Aizar Qureshi’s letter ‘From Canada’ (Aug 20). The writer has discussed the progress Pakistan has made since independence.

While assessing the progress of a country one has to do comparative study with other contemporary nations to arrive at valid conclusions.

In 1947 Pakistan was well ahead in achievements than the countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Korea.

For example, Malaysia did not have any university, medical or engineering college, nor did it have any other advanced institutions while Pakistan had world-class universities and academic and technical institutions.

Its economic indices like per capita income and exports were much higher. It enjoyed distinctive position in the world and the green passport was respected.

Now it is left behind and is going down the hill day by day. Countries like China, Japan, Koreas, the Philippines, Vietnam, were devastated by wars but now have made a phenomenal progress and are in the forefront of progressive nations.

Other war-ravaged countries like Japan, Germany and Europe have done equally well. In the subcontinent the Indian Punjab province, which Ayeza Qureshi migrated, was far behind the Pakistani Punjab in every respect.

Indian Punjab did not possess any university or advanced academic institutions and it had a much lower agricultural yield per acre, compared to the Pakistani Punjab. Now the situation has reversed.

Indian Punjab got a 20 per cent share of Indus basin water and is generating over 15,000 MW of electricity out of this, while Pakistani Punjab is producing less than 5,000 MW of electricity out of its eighty per cent share of water.

This is so because Pakistan has not developed mega dams. Without energy, no progress is possible. In the earlier days we did not incur national debts while we have now accumulated huge debts.

Our national institutions are falling one by one. The Pakistan Railways is one example.

There is a massive brain-drain. People do not come to Pakistan even for sports. Nevertheless, there is a hope.

If we get a leader like Dr Mahatir Mohamad, we can put the country on the right path.