Economic Growth of Pakistan

Written by Hurain Sheikh 11:47 am

Political and Economic Growth of Pakistan Vis-à-vis Bangladesh

The economic and political growth of Pakistan and Bangladesh after 1971 can be seen as a reflection of their political culture. The author, Hurain Sheikh, explains that the political culture of Pakistan and Bangladesh is not new to elitism, nepotism, and corruption. She notes that while both states have a history of political instability, the economy of Bangladesh has flourished as compared to Pakistan. Keeping in mind how Bangladesh has managed to lower its unemployment and poverty rate, and improved its economy, she suggests a few measures to help Pakistan develop.

Why Comparative Politics?

Due to globalization, it has become increasingly important to understand the economic and political growth of states, particularly of states like Pakistan, through methods of comparative political studies. The methods involve the study of the historical context of states, the differences or similarities in their political regime types, or their political cultures.

This allows us to critically assess the development of the countries by analyzing the relationship between these political aspects, and aids in understanding the issues related to the political structure, systems, behavior, and policies. Moreover, these comparisons result in either pushing regimes to achieve a high-capacity state or remain stagnant as a low-capacity state.

The Necessity of a Pakistan and Bangladesh Comparison

Generally, the relevant countries in Southeast Asia—India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sir Lanka—are studied separately, rather than being assessed comparatively. Considering the historical and cultural similarities of these countries, it is interesting to compare and analyze the economic growth of Pakistan and Bangladesh. The two states used to be a unified state, located on different territories, and now form two different Muslim-majority nations facing similar issues related to poverty, law and order, and state security.

Moreover, they have significant differences in state development despite facing issues related to nationalism, military dominance, political language, civil-military relations, and religious extremism. For example, both countries initially attempted to establish themselves on democratic principles by upholding a secularized approach of their once founding father, Mohammad Ali Jinnah. However, over the years, there was a shift towards politicizing religion and racial identities and towards undemocratic norms. Both states have transitioned and consolidated differently despite their strong sense of national identity.  

Country Profile: Pakistan

Population (2020)220,892,340   
Area881,889 sq km
Head of State (President)Arif Alvi (2018 – present)
Head of Government (Prime Minister)Imran Khan (2018- present)
CapitalIslamabad
Year of Independence1947
Year of Current Constitutions1973
LanguagesOfficial: English, Urdu
Provincial: Sindhi, Punjabi, Pashto, and Balochi
GDP per Capita (2020)1,260$ USD
Human Development Index Ranking154
Key Features of Pakistan
RegimeFederal representative, Parliamentary Republic
Administrative DivisionsProvinces: Baluchistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Sindh
Administrative territories:  Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan
Federal territory: Islamabad Capital Territory,
Executive BranchPresident: Ceremonial figurehead
Prime Minister (PM): Chief executive and responsible for running the federal government.
Selection of the ExecutivePresident: Elected by the Electoral College
Prime Minister: Elected through a majority vote of the National Assembly 
Legislative BranchA bicameral Parliament: Composed of 2 houses—the lower house and the upper house
Lower house or National Assembly: 342 members, 272 of which are elected by the population, and 70 seats reserved for religious minorities and women.
Upper house or the Senate: Consists of 104 Senators elected by the members of the provincial assemblies.
Judicial BranchThe Supreme Court: Appoints 16 justices and two ad hoc judges selected by the president through consultation with the chief justice.
Political Party SystemMultiparty system with 3 dominant parties: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)
Regime and Political Institutions

Timeline of the Historical Development of Pakistan

  • 1947-1948: Pakistan becomes a sovereign state after acquiring its independence during the end of the British rule in the sub-continent. This divided the sub-continent into India, East Pakistan, and West Pakistan. It marks the largest demographic movement in history, with more than 17 million people moving between India and East (present-day Bangladesh) and West Pakistan. Muhammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, passes away in 1948.
  • 1951-1954: The first prime minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan, was assassinated in a rally in 1951, resulting in political instability. Several prime ministers were dismissed for drafting the constitution and determining the role of various governance institutions.
  • 1956-1958: Military strongman Iskander Mirza, played a key role in overthrowing Governor-General Malik Ghulam and was sworn in as the first president, approving Pakistan’s first constitution. In 1958, President Iskander Mirza abolishes the constitution and declares martial law. In the second half of this year, General Ayub Khan dismisses President Mirza through a military coup and exiled him to Britain, declaring himself as president (Khan, 2018).
  • 1965 -1969: The president, General Ayub Khan defeated Fatima Jinnah, the sister of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, through propaganda, and was re-elected as president through rigged elections. In 1969, he hands over power to General Yahya Khan who imposes another martial law and dissolves all assemblies due to the protests led by politician Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
  • 1970-1973: First general elections are held and the Awami League (AL) wins majority in East Pakistan. General Yahya Khan and Bhutto refuse the transfer of power to the AL, causing widespread riots in East Pakistan and civil war to break out. The Indian armed intervention in the civil war leads to East Pakistan becoming an independent state—Bangladesh. After the division of Pakistan, General Yahya Khan resigns and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) becomes president. Bhutto instills a new constitution and a parliamentary system of government, giving decision-making power to the prime minister and the president as a figurehead (“Major Political Events,” 2018).
  • 1977-1979: Bhutto is overthrown by a military coup led by General Zia ul Haq and arrested for conspiracy and murder of his political opponent, Ahmed Raza Kasuri. Zia declared martial law in the same year and rejected Bhutto’s mercy petition, resulting in the execution of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1979. Benazir Bhutto takes up her father’s legacy.
  • 1985-1988: The general election was held on a non-partisan basis, leading to General Zia becoming president and Muhammad Khan Junejo as the appointed prime minister. Gen. Zia dies in a mysterious plane crash in 1988. Benazir Bhutto wins the elections later in the year, becoming prime minister.
  • 1990 – 1996: President Ghulam Ishaq Khan sacks Bhutto’s government for corruption and misuse of power. Nawaz Sharif was elected prime minister. Later on, Sharif’s government is dismissed on charges of corruption in 1993 and Benazir Bhutto becomes prime minister again. In 1996, Bhutto’s government is dismissed again on charges of corruption and Sharif wins the elections, becoming prime minister a second time.
  • 1999-2000: Chief of Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf overthrows Sharif’s government through a military coup after the government’s failed attempt to dismiss the army chief. The Supreme Court of Pakistan validates the military coup and convicts Nawaz Sharif of conspiracy, sending him into exile.
  • 2001- 2007: Gen. Pervez Musharraf is sworn in as president and head of state in June 2001. Musharraf wins a controversial referendum on extending his rule for five more years in 2002. In 2007, he issues a controversial national reconciliation law after striking a deal with Bhutto that paves way for the return of both Bhutto and Sharif. Musharraf suspends Supreme Court’s Chief Justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry, on charges of misconduct. Chaudhry is reinstated due to widespread protests led by lawyers and opposition politicians. Benazir Bhutto is assassinated in an election rally in Rawalpindi.
  • 2008- 2010: Elections are held and the PPP emerges as the winner. Yousuf Raza Gilani becomes prime minister. Musharraf resigns from his post under pressure as the president. This leads Bhutto’s husband, Asif Ali Zardari, to become president. Zardari transfers power to dissolve assemblies to the prime minister, moving the country away from a semi-presidential system to a parliamentary system again (Khan, 2018).
  • 2018: Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) won a majority in the general election, leading to Imran Khan becoming the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Also Read:  An Introduction to Pakistan's Public Sector

Political Culture

Pakistan’s political culture is unstable and turbulent. Although unity was achieved on the basis of religion in 1971, the friction between different cultural groups, ethnic groups, social classes, and religious beliefs is constant. Consequently, due to insufficient representation, separatist ideologies are present within the provinces and the population is divided according to pro-Western beliefs and religious fanaticism. Moreover, political actors are generally corrupt as they focus on benefiting their own social groups and interests, rather than the interests of the entire nation or nation-building (“Pakistan Report,” 2021).

In its 74 years, Pakistan has witnessed a noticeable amount of political instability due to the various transitions between the civilian government and military control; only in the past 15 years has it reverted to civil administration. As a result, the structure and arrangement of the government leave room for ambiguity and a lack of consolidation, which leads to a culture of accountability and ineffectiveness.

In addition to the high levels of corruption, politicians have generally politicized external matters, such as the historical conflict with India, which has further prevented the government from focusing on the people and their internal affairs. Political instability is further aggravated during the 9/11 years as the U.S foreign policies and narrative towards “terrorism” directly implicated all Islamic or Muslim majority states. Thus, disability and insecurity were further increased within Pakistan due to the rise of terrorism and extremism (“Political History,” 2021).

Thus, the presence of corruption, ineffective bureaucracy, oscillation between military rule and civilian governments, internal friction between provinces, prioritization of external threats, and the rise of internal threats have equated to Pakistan’s political instability and vulnerability. This has directly impacted the internal development and civilian lives of Pakistan.

Political Economy

Since independence, Pakistan has been stagnant in economic growth due to bureaucratic failure, political turmoil, and external and internal threats. This has affected the social progress as well as human and economic growth and development of Pakistan. Moreover, it is a reflection of the nation’s feudal, patronage, and rent-seeking culture.

There is a general indifference towards issues of poverty and social development, such as educational institutions and the job market. Therefore, spending on social development is still an open issue. Once the concept of inequality was ingrained by elite-driven political actors as a norm, the poor and minorities have simply accepted these norms (Ahmed, 2016).

Pakistan constrained itself to a rural economy since the 1990s, systematically neglecting the establishment of education and basic health facilities in rural areas. Hence, it obstructed the economic growth of Pakistan This is due to the prevailing attitude of political actor’s irresponsibility and unaccountability.

The ineffective approach of providing education and skills to the people prevents the potential to invest back into civil society or towards development. Therefore, Pakistan has the ability for economic growth due to its numerous and diverse resources, a young population, and potential for trade. However, it faces significant challenges (Shafqat, 2021).

In 2020, due to the economic structural weakness and the coronavirus pandemic, the GDP growth of Pakistan had decreased by 0.4% and inflation had risen to 9%. The manufacturing industry continues to be weak, and Pakistan still struggles to generate the energy necessary for industrialization.

Foreign remittance has been a key source of revenue and has increased despite the repercussions of the pandemic. The State Bank of Pakistan foresees that the economic growth will increase by 1.5 to 2% in 2021. However, Pakistan needs at least 7% per year to maintain living standards for the growing population.

Country Profile: Bangladesh

Population (2020)164,689,383
Area147,570 sq km
Head of State (President)President: Abdul Hamid
Head of Government (Prime Minister)Prime Minister: Sheikh Hasina Wazed
CapitalDhaka
Year of Independence1971
Year of Current Constitution1972
LanguagesOfficial: Bengali (spoken by 98% of the state’s population)
Other: English, Bihari, Chittagonian, Hajong, Chakma, Rangpuri, etc.
GDP per Capita (2020)1,260 USD
Human Development Index Ranking (2019)133 (medium human development)
Key Features of Bangladesh
RegimeUnitary representative, Parliamentary democracy
Administrative DivisionsBangladesh is divided into 8 administrative divisions: Barishal, Chittagong, Dhaka, Mymensingh, Khulna, Rajshahi, Rangpur and Sylhet
Executive BranchPresident: Has a largely ceremonial role
Prime Minister:  Chief executive and Head of the Council of Ministers
Selection of the ExecutivePresident: Elected by the National Parliament
Prime Minister: Ceremonially appointed by the President based on electorates choice in the parliamentary general elections.
Legislative BranchUnicameral Parliament: 300 seats occupied by members representing the geographical electorate, plus 50 seats reserved for women appointed by political parties based on proportion.
Judicial BranchThe Supreme Court: Appointments are made by the president
Political Party SystemMultiparty system but with a dominant party
Dominant party: The Awami League (AL)
Regime and Political Institutions

Timeline of the Historical Development of Bangladesh

  • 1947: Pakistan and India are formed due to the separation of Hindustan. Pakistan is divided into two regions West and East Pakistan (Bangladesh).
  • 1958 – 1971: East Pakistan struggled under financial and political neglect from West Pakistan. Political turbulence is caused by the overthrow of a democratically elected government due to military intervention and regime change. In 1971, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman of the AL led the Bengali independence movement from Pakistan. Pakistan’s army fought to stop the division, but with the support of the Indian army, the formation of an independent Bangladesh was successful.
  • 1975-1976: Bangladesh’s army launched a military coup to overthrow Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and General Ziaur Rahman becomes the military ruler. The general introduced a one-party socialist system and declares himself as president in 1976.
  • 1981-1986: President Ziaur Rahman was assassinated by dissident soldiers in 1981. This was followed by Gen. Hussein Mohammed Ershad seizing power and declaring himself president in 1982. Political activity became extremely limited. Gen. Ershad lifted martial law and restored the constitution in 1986.
  • 1987-1988: After protests and demonstrations led by the opposition—the AL, and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)—a state of emergency is declared. Gen. Ershad declares Islam the state’s national religion by amending the charter, but this did not affect the legal system as it was still based on British common law.
  • 1990-1991: Opposition movements and protests led by Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina forced Gen. Ershad to step down as president. He subsequently became the leader of the Jatiya Party but failed in the elections and was sentenced to prison due to corruption and abuse of power. The BNP wins the elections and Khaleda Zia, the widow of Gen. Ziaur Rahman, becomes prime minister and moves the country away from the presidency and socialist system.
  • 1996: Violence in Bangladesh has kept the electoral turnout at around 15%. The opposition leader did not submit a candidate and claimed that the result showed that Prime Minister Zia had lost the right to rule. Prime Minister Zia resigned but issued a constitutional amendment stating that all future elections will be held under the leadership of the caretaker government. Sheikh Hasina Wazed, the daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, wins the election by 126 seats and the AL returns to power.
  • 2001: In Dhaka, the general strike for the resignation of Prime Minister Hasina led to gun violence and bomb attacks. Sheikh Hasina left the office and President Shahabuddin Ahmad appointed Latifur Rahman to lead the caretaker government. Khaleda Zia’s BNP comes to power in the coalition government.
  • 2007 – 2008: Sheikh Hasina was charged with murder, while Begum Khaleda Zia was placed under house arrest by the caretaker government after a year of intense political turmoil. Moreover, parliamentary elections planned for 2007 were suspended to reform the political system and to eliminate corruption. Bangladesh’s military-backed government refused a policy to ensure equal property rights to women due to angry protests by Muslim clerics. The government said it would end the emergency rule of the past two years and restore civil liberties before the general election. In 2008, the general election resulted in the AL winning majority in parliament; Sheikh Hasina became prime minister and restored democracy in the country after about two years of rule by a military-backed regime.
  • 2014-2018: The Awami League wins the election by an overwhelming majority after the BNP boycotted the election, which extended Sheikh Hasina’s term as prime minister. In 2018, the AL wins coalition securing 96% of parliamentary seats and Sheikh Hasina remains prime minister resulting in widespread claims of election violations (“Bangladesh Timeline,” 2019).
Also Read:  The Case for STEM Education in Pakistan

Political Culture

Bangladesh’s political culture is one of deep-rooted violence due to the separation from Pakistan and then instability due to military dictatorship, multi-party conflicts, and party domination. Bangladesh established itself as a secular state due to the country’s ethnolinguistic identity in 1971. Today’s ruling party, the Awami League, led this independence struggle to fulfill its unique identity, promises of democracy, and secularization.

Though 50 years have passed since Bangladesh’s independence, it has failed to fully consolidate itself as a democratic regime. In 1975, the democratically elected government was removed through a military coup. Until 1990, military generals ruled the state power, first through martial law and then through the demands of the civilians. However, the large-scale political movement of the people successfully restored democracy in 1991. Therefore, what constituted the early years of political lethargy, proceeded towards violent collective action.

For most of this period, due to uncompromising political divisions and lack of intra-party cooperation, multi-party parliamentary elections were held, most of which threatened the safety of civilians. This political conflict is due to factional competition, corruption, the indifference of the election committee, ineffective bureaucracy, uneven representation of women, religious extremism, and the lack of good governance (K.C., 2016). Therefore, most of the political culture in Bangladesh has revolved around the politicization of crime and the criminalization of politics. This has prevented fair and accountable political leadership towards the citizens (K.C., 2016).

Political Economy

After achieving independence in 1971, it took about 45 years for Bangladesh to transform from a low-income country to a lower-middle-income economy. Compared with most other Southeast Asian and sub-Saharan African countries, this is an achievement for Bangladesh. In addition, despite political stagnation, institutional limitations, and global uncertainties, this economic growth has brought positive effects due to it continuation.

Bangladesh’s economy has experienced rapid growth through increased public sector investment, NGO participation, public awareness, and the adoption of low-cost solutions. This increased its per capita income and cut poverty, thus, it was regarded as a “development surprise” by the World Bank. Bangladesh has undergone various policy changes under different political systems (Rahman, & Bari, 2016). From the initial years of military rule to polarised political democracy, the reforms towards economical policies have progressed towards a liberalized, deregulated, and open market in Bangladesh.

The transition to democratic governance has led the political actors of Bangladesh to commit to economic reforms, such as opening trade, strengthening the private sector, alleviating poverty, achieving its “Millennium Development” goals, and increasing the business class’s participation in the economy and politics.

However, there is still importance placed on the current deficits of good governance and strengthening the institutions. This is reflected in the moderately high GDP growth rate from 5% to 6%, the low level of foreign investment, the existence of rent-seeking, confrontational and corrupt politics, and increasing inequality (Rahman, & Bari, 2016).

Comparing Pakistan and Bangladesh

Pakistan and Bangladesh were two territories—East and West Pakistan—of a single state, Pakistan, after the partition of 1947. However, after their violent separation in 1971, it is interesting how the two states developed distinctively despite their commonalities of origin, cultural norms, and religiosity. By comparing the state capacity and democratic elements of both states, we will understand the differentiation in their resulting developments.

State Capacity & Democratization

Ideally, states which are highly capable consolidated democracies can ensure the internal and external security of the country by maintaining public order and military defense. They have a functioning bureaucracy, free of corruption, that achieves national goals, upholds the rule of law, and maintains equal rights. The state establishes a manageable system for its citizens and collects income (taxes) on a regular basis.

With respect to procedural and substantive elements of democracy, an individual’s political and civil rights are preserved within the state. In this context, both Pakistan and Bangladesh have adopted some democratic elements, such as a parliamentary system, a voting system, and a constitution. However, Bangladesh depicts more elements of democratization and a higher state capacity in comparison to Pakistan (Dickovick, 2020).

Role of Military and Religion

Both countries have experienced military intervention and dictatorship in democratically elected governments. However, Bangladesh’s army has not deliberately interfered in political affairs since 1990. Contrary to Pakistan, despite a parliamentary system with an elected prime minister, the military still has great influence and control over governmental affairs. Generally, the role of the military is to defend the country from external threats; it is a separate entity from the government.

Consequently, Pakistan’s government does not hold centralized control over the use of force, resulting in low state capacity (Wilkinson,2000). Furthermore, Pakistan is notably an Islamic state and Bangladesh leans towards secular ideals with Islam as the state religion. This is important as there is more emphasis on religion in Pakistan’s political, administrative, and civil affairs.

Also Read:  A Silver Lining: Coronavirus and the Environment

In contrast, while religion is important in Bangladesh, it does not influence governmental matters as much and the policies do not prioritize one set group of people. The policies within Bangladesh tend to be more representative of their multicultural, multireligious population and strive for modernization (Hoodbhoy, 2019).

Pakistan’s democratic ideals and religious tendencies are a cause for friction and division as this has polarized the population based on different ideas and belief systems. Consequently, inequality, intolerance, and religious-based violence persist within the state as religious minorities are often persecuted and stigmatized.

This is not to say that Bangladesh’s secular regime is not criticized for giving priority to Islamic values, as fundamentalist groups seeking the transformation of the regime towards an Islamic state are empowered (Mostofa, 2020). However, Bangladesh has adopted effective police measures to minimize religious extremism in the state. In contrast, Pakistan still has difficulty controlling fundamentalist groups.

Role of Political Parties

Elitism, nepotism, and corruption exist in both state systems. Moreover, there are noticeable increases in criminal activity close to the election time, and there are signs of foul play during the election process. However, in the case of Pakistan, political parties are ruled by powerful families with hereditary leaders and do not represent the voters. Furthermore, there is no concept of an intra-party coalition. Hence, these political dynasties, PPP and PML-N, depict an immense amount of personal rivalry, which takes form in their politics.

Consequently, in Pakistan, more emphasis is placed on preserving familial legacies, affairs, and interests, rather than safeguarding the rights and interests of the people or the social and economic growth of the state. Prime Minister Imran Khan may have broken this tradition of family legacy, however, he has yet to prioritize the internal development of the country, as his focus has been mainly on external affairs, such as Kashmir and the conflict with India.

Bangladesh’s multi-party system is also dominated by political dynasties as seen in the political rivalry between the AL and BNP. However, the party leaders united against military dictatorship and formed a coalition to preserve the democratically elected government system. As a result, politicians remained responsible and accountable to the people and invested in nation-building rather than military and defense capabilities. Therefore, Bangladesh is relatively higher than Pakistan in terms of human development and economic growth. This is due to their increase in trade, their number of public institutions and life expectancy, and the decrease in unemployment, poverty, and dependency on loans and aid.

DataBangladeshPakistan
Annual GDP (2020)$329,120 million$262,799 million
Debt (2019)$107,928 million$236,211 million
Deficit (2019)-$16,428 million-$21,071 million
Exports (2020)$33,605.4 million$21,976.0 million
Imports (2020)$52,410.3 million$45,847.0 million
Defense expenditure (2019)$4,063.1 million$10,980.9million
Corruption Index (2018)2633
Unemployment rate (2018)4.28%4,4%
Literacy rate (2017)72%59%
Life expectancy (2018)7267
Innovation ranking (2018)116109
Business ranking (2019)176136
Comparison of States’ Development Indicators

Current Developments

By comparatively assessing the political and economic growth of Pakistan and Bangladesh by analyzing history, political systems, and socio-economic indicators, we can observe that Bangladesh is on the trajectory to becoming a part of the 25 largest economies worldwide by 2030. Despite the pitfalls Pakistan and India are currently experiencing due to the pandemic, Bangladesh seems to be emerging as an important figure in the sub-continent due to its focus on its own internal development and economic growth.

While India and Pakistan were focused on issues related to Kashmir, nuclear weapons, and terrorism, Bangladesh has been focused on becoming an exporting nation as it achieved $30 billion in exports in 2019. Moreover, Bangladesh is right behind China in the manufacturing of “ready-made” clothing due to its access to 150 countries (Mohan,2021).

Bangladesh has become the second-largest economy in the subcontinent. This gap continues to widen because Bangladesh has maintained its growth momentum even during the pandemic, while India and Pakistan are both trying to end their socio-economic failures. Moreover, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated that Bangladesh’s per capita GDP had even overtaken that of India in 2020. This depicts that Bangladesh is no longer under the shadow of both India and Pakistan as it has significantly upstaged both states during the pandemic.

Recommendations

It will perhaps do well for both India and Pakistan to put aside their long-standing rivalry and focus on their internal development. Pakistan’s industries lack the competitiveness and innovation that India and Bangladesh both possess. This is the reason for Pakistan’s heavy dependence on foreign remittances and international loans (“Country Headed in Wrong Direction,” 2020).

The Southeast Asian states (India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh) tend to not talk or trade with one another due to their longstanding rivalries, animosities, and politicization of one another’s identities. Perhaps it is time towards being more progressive in terms of establishing negotiations, trade-offs, and cooperation with one another rather than staying polarized, as this does not benefit the internal development of the state.

The established South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is dysfunctional due to Pakistan’s reluctance to engage with India economically, which has benefited sub-regional cooperation between India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal instead. While Pakistan and India squabble on their religious differences, nuclear arms, and the territory of Kashmir, Bangladesh has successfully established a link with India as a source of economic opportunity and growth despite being previously landlocked by India.

Moreover, Bangladesh is creating stronger ties with the United States and Japan to reduce excessive dependability on India and China, which is furthering Bangladesh’s emergence in the international platform. While China and Turkey have provided Pakistan with the opportunity to establish a better relationship with Bangladesh in 2020, it is up to Pakistan to decide whether it wants to improve on its relations with sincerity and self-reflection over the past, towards future alliances and benefits.

This can be achieved through mutual respect and inclusivity. The absence of these in the past can be considered as one of the reasons for the deterioration of the relations between East and West Pakistan. Solutions do not come from remaining in the past, solutions are achieved by thinking and moving towards the future (Shahid, 2020).

Conclusion

Therefore, in terms of state capacity, development, economic growth, and democratic elements, Bangladesh has achieved more in comparison to Pakistan. It can be said that this is due to the lack of military and religious participation in state affairs. It is also worth noting that in Bangladesh there is more focus on the internal development of the state rather than territorial debates and insecurity of neighboring states.

Although both countries depict high levels of bureaucratic and administrative corruption, Bangladesh has achieved political stability, accountability, and social development in the past decade. On the contrary, Pakistan is still struggling to stabilize itself against internal threats from various political actors, like the extremists and opposition leaders, and external threats from neighboring countries.

References


If you want to submit your articles and/or research papers, please check the Submissions page.

The views and opinions expressed in this article/paper are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of Paradigm Shift.

(Visited 1,244 times, 1 visits today)

About the Author(s)

+ posts

Hurain Sheikh is a Pakistan-born Canadian. She has international work experience in West Canada, Dubai, and Islamabad. She is currently refining her experience by pursuing a degree in political science.

Close
Click to access the login or register cheese