Why Bangladesh overtook Pakistan
BANGLADESH is not some Scandinavian heaven. It is poor and overpopulated, undereducated and corrupt, frequented by natural catastrophes, experiences occasional terrorism, and the farcical nature of its democracy was exposed in the December 2018 elections. But the earlier caricature of a country on life support disappeared years ago. Today, some economists say it shall be the next Asian tiger. Its growth rate last year (7.8 per cent) put it at par with India (8.0pc) and well above Pakistan (5.8pc). The debt per capita for Bangladesh ($434) is less than half that for Pakistan ($974), and its foreign exchange reserves ($32 billion) are four times Pakistan’s ($8bn).
Much of this growth owes to exports which zoomed from zero in 1971 to $35.8bn in 2018 (Pakistan’s is $24.8bn). Bangladesh produces no cotton but, to the chagrin of Pakistan’s pampered textile industry, it has eaten savagely into its market share. The IMF calculates Bangladesh’s economy growing from $180bn presently to $322bn by 2021. This means that the average Bangladeshi today is almost as wealthy as the average Pakistani and, if the rupee depreciates further, will be technically wealthier by 2020.
Other indicators are equally stunning. East Pakistan’s population in the 1951 census was 42 million, while West Pakistan’s was 33.7m. But today Bangladesh has far fewer people than Pakistan — 165m versus 200m. A sustained population planning campaign helped reduce fertility in Bangladesh. No such campaign — or even its beginnings — is visible today in Pakistan.
其他指标也同样惊人。在1951年的人口普查中，东巴基斯坦（孟加拉国）人口为4200万，西巴基斯坦人口为3370万。如今孟加拉国的人口比巴基斯坦少得多——1.65亿 VS 2亿。持续的人口控制有助于降低孟加拉国的生育率。今天在巴基斯坦看不到这样的生育控制，甚至看不到开始的迹象。
The health sector is no less impressive — far fewer babies die at birth in Bangladesh than in Pakistan. Immunisation is common and no one gets shot dead for administering polio drops. Life expectancy (72.5 years) is higher than Pakistan’s (66.5 years). According to the ILO, females are well ahead in employment (33.2pc) as compared to Pakistan (25.1pc).
How did West Pakistan’s poor cousin manage to upstage its richer relative by so much so fast? It’s all the more puzzling because Bangladesh has no geostrategic assets saleable to America, China, or Saudi Arabia. It also has no nuclear weapons, no army of significance, no wise men in uniform running the country from the shadows, and no large pool of competent professionals. At birth, East Pakistan had, in fact, no trained bureaucracy; it received just one member of the former Indian Civil Service.
None should be more surprised at these new developments than those West Pakistanis — like me — who went to school during the 1950s and 1960s and grew up surrounded by unconcealed racism. Short and dark Bengalis were reputedly good only for growing jute and rice and catching fish. They were Muslims and Pakistanis, of course, but as children we were made to imagine that all good Muslims and real Pakistanis are tall, fair, and speak chaste Urdu. We’d laugh madly at the strange-sounding Bengali news broadcasts from Radio Pakistan. In our foolish macho world, they sounded terribly feminine.
The mega surrender of 1971 made West Pakistanis eat humble pie. But, even as the two-nation theory went out of the window, the overwhelming majority was loath to change its thinking. The west wing renamed itself Pakistan, many assuming this was temporary. They said Bangladesh could never survive economically and would humbly ask to be taken back.
Others optimistically imagined that the disaster had taught Pakistan a profound lesson making change inevitable. Responding enthusiastically to the popular roti, kapra, makaan slogan, they believed Pakistan would shift from pampering its hyper-privileged ones towards providing welfare for all. Equally, it was hoped that the rights of Pakistan’s culturally diverse regions would be respected. None of this happened. Instead, we simply got more of what had been earlier.
其他人乐观地认为，这场灾难给巴基斯坦上了深刻的一课，使变革不可避免。他们对流行的“roti, kapra, makaan”口号反应热烈，他们相信巴基斯坦将从纵容其超级特权阶层转向为所有人提供福利。同样，人们希望巴基斯坦不同文化区域的权利将得到尊重。这些都没有发生，相反，我们只是得到了更多以前的东西。
In a nutshell, Bangladesh and Pakistan are different countries today because they perceive their national interest very differently. Bangladesh sees its future in human development and economic growth. Goal posts are set at increasing exports, reducing unemployment, improving health, reducing dependence upon loans and aid, and further extending micro credit. Water and boundary disputes with India are serious and Bangladesh suffers bullying by its bigger neighbour on matters of illegal immigration, drugs, etc. But its basic priorities have not wavered.
For Pakistan, human development comes a distant second. The bulk of national energies remain focused upon check-mating India. Relations with Afghanistan and Iran are therefore troubled; Pakistan accuses both of being excessively close to India. But the most expensive consequence of the security state mindset was the nurturing of extra state actors in the 1990s. Ultimately they had to be crushed after the APS massacre of Dec 16, 2014. This, coincidentally, was the day Dhaka had fallen 43 years earlier.
译文来源：三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/47037.html 译者：Jessica.Wu
Excellent read based on facts and ground realities. I wish that Pakistani people and establishment realizes that the tactics of the past will no not work in the 21st century
It is surprising that there are no comments for such good article. Nicely explained and all supporting data is provided which no one can deny.
One of the only sane voices on the editorial of this national newspaper@
Nice article. As author mentioned Bangladesh is not burdened by excessive defence spending or obsession with for being strategically located or geo politics. These have impacted focus on human development. There is no significant trade with any nations.
One of the few sane voices in Pak.Analysis of history should be taken seriously.
Pakistan spent 10 Billion dollars on its military, while Bangladesh spent only 2 billion in 2018. For 2019 its is going up by nineteen pct.This does not include pensions to the military personal.
One subtle point missed by everyone is the hidden implicit Indian support to Bangladesh.
Bengladesh has very wisely decided to accept its geo political location and made peace with India. In fact, Modi did land exchange with Bengladesh and Bengladesh got more land in the deal. Bengladesh pounce upon on anti Indian groups and as a result large textile investments and machinery flowed from India to Bengladesh.
A real wake up call for us all
Excellent analysis, lesson to be learned.
I have never seen such a candid article before in any news paper. Very well articulated guide for any country, not only Pakistan.
One of the best article of dawn.It summarise all Pakistani problems.The greed to have parity with India has destroyed Pakistan.Pakistan should focus on education,health and infrastructure rather than Kashmir, Palestine or Afghanistan.
Checkuroo R Venkat
Sir ..small clarification. India has resolved border issue with Bangladesh by exchanging territory/ villages with the population there two years ago.
Water sharing is also approved/ agreed by our Central Government ....but the CM of our Bengal State has objected to the same. Hopefully will be resolved soon.
What a beautifully written article. I had the privilege of visiting Bangladesh multiple times during 2002-2004 and was amazed at the tremendous hardworking mindset of the people despite all odds. People do have grievances against neighboring countries, but they always put the economic interests first
Hope this brilliant write-up serves as an eye opener for Pakistan.
As usual a great and informative piece by our talented professor. No one accepts that our defense spending is out of control
Good article we needs to make human development our top priority instead of spending Billion on defense.
hope he is not tried for treason for speaking up the truth..
Bangladesh, settled all border issues with India, does not have to worry in defense spending. All it has worry about economic issues and that its making headway.