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Non-economic Factors in Development

  • Najamul Saqib Khan

    (Former Ambassador of Pakistan.)

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    Economic development in knowledgeable circles has a missing dimension— the non-economic, which is not quantifiable. Development, a leading sector in national transformation, is rooted in nonmaterial factors and requires a positive feedback between culture, economy, and polity. I would invite attention to an insightful comment from a practising professional economist: ‘The need for economic growth in a developing country has few if any economic springs. It arises from a desire to assume full status by taking part in an industrial Civilisation, participation in which alone enables a nation or individual to compel others to treat it as an equal. Inability to take part in it makes a nation militarily powerless against neighbours, administratively unable to control its own citizens, and culturally incapable of speaking the international language’. The functioning of a developmental state has to be viewed in the context of regional and international geopolitical environments. First, in the case of Pakistan, the troubled relationship with India, a big country assailed by the anxieties and complexes of a small and beleaguered nation aspiring to a super-power status with hegemonic goals, has cast a lengthening shadow across its path of development. Second, our achievement of political independence coincided with the onset and intensity of the cold war. In the post-independence period, the stream of national freedom merged with the tidal waves of the cold war and became visibly polluted. A bipolar world, where the contending superpowers were vying with each other to win the allegiance and support of the fledgling states, virtually sucked the latter into the geopolitical game as it was being played on the global stage and deflected their attention from tackling developmental issues on the home front with a sense of urgency.

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    Article provided by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics in its journal The Pakistan Development Review.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 715-725

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    Handle: RePEc:pid:journl:v:39:y:2000:i:4:p:715-725
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