Teresita Schaffer comments on the impact of Pakistan’s economic troubles on the country’s urban population.
Pakistan-watchers tend to focus on political and security issues. But they need to start thinking as well about the economy, the outlook for which is grim over the next several years. Some of Pakistan’s problems were spawned by the epic floods of the summer of 2010, but most have resulted from the long-standing failure of the Pakistani government to invest in its people, or from more mundane mismanagement of vital sectors, such as energy. Pakistan’s economic problems will weigh especially on the urban population, adding to the country’s political woes. It is the impact on the towns and cities – 36 percent of Pakistan’s people, but growing at 3.5 percent a year, three times the rate of the rural areas – that presents the most acute political danger.
This article was published in the The AfPak Channel on March 15, 2011. Click to read full text.