On 14 august 1947, Pakistan became an independent country. But it faced many problems. Not only did it have to find a way to set up a new government in a country with limited resources, but it had to do so in the face of some of the most serious communal violence ever seen. Let’s know some major problems which face Pakistan as a new nation after its independent.
‘Most of the leaders of the Indian National Congress thought that Pakistan was not a viable state politically, economically, geographically or militarily and that sooner or later India would re-unite.
The euphoria of independence was short-lived as partition brought disastrous consequences in the wake of communal conflict. Partition unleashed untold misery and loss of lives and property as millions of Hindu and Muslim refugees fled either Pakistan or India. Both nations were also caught up in a number of conflicts involving the allocation of assets, demarcation of boundaries, equitable sharing of water resources and control over Kashmir.
In 1947, Pakistan finally gained its long for independence, but it immediately faced very serious problems. Although Pakistan was created to unite the Muslim population of the old British India, it did not have natural borders, such as rivers, mountains or the sea. The two separate parts of Pakistan (East Bengal and West Pakistan) were separated by about a thousand miles of land that belonged to India.
The vast distance between them also meant that there were significant differences and outlook between the people of the two different regions. East Bengal and the Punjab, for example, were both largely Muslim areas, but they had little else in common.
In 1947, it had been decided that old British India should be divided into two new countries, Pakistan and India. But Pakistan was to face many more problems than India.
India inherited government buildings, furnishings, even officials from the British. Pakistan most handsome of these.
India had officials, members of the Indian National Congress, with the political experience to take over the government. These people had the worker to gain political influence under the British and had experience both of the election process and of holding political office. In Pakistan, the assembly members were mostly wealthy landowners with little political experience. The Muslim League drew most of its support from rural areas and lacked support from urban areas.
They geographical separateness of east and West Pakistan made it hard to govern as one country. This was made worse by the fact that while over half the population of Pakistan lived in east Bengal, the majority of government and army leaders came from West Pakistan.
Pakistan lacked both the administrative and the governmental machinery to run the affairs of a new country. Even the minimal requirement of working central governmental machinery to run the affairs of a new country. Even the minimal requirements of a working central government-skilled personnel, equipment and capital city with government buildings were missing.
The first task before the newly born state was to form a government, and a cabinet of experienced people, with Muhammed Ali Jinnah as Governor-General and Liquate Ali Khan as Prime Minister, was formed.
Arrangements were made to bring in former Indian officials who had opted for Pakistan. All governments were headed to bring in former Indian officials who had opted for Pakistan.
All government papers, files, and documents which Pakistan got as her share were brought from Delhi, the capital of the undivided India, to Karachi, and also from Calcutta, the capital of Bangla, to Dhaka. The capital of east Bengal.
It was no doubt a heavy burden on the part of a new state. Three was not even proper office accommodation at the start.
Some central and provincial departments were lodged in army barracks and others in private buildings. Under these conditions. The government of Pakistan began to function.
Pakistan was made up of states that were mostly underdeveloped, with very little industry. Although Karachi was a modern port with substantial trading and business activity, much of Pakistan (e.g. the North West Frontier Province) was on the borders of the sub-continent and has not been linked to the industrialization that had taken place in central India.
Around 90 % of the people lived in the countryside, and there were only 8 towns with a population of more than 100,000 (Karachi, Lahore, Dhaka, Hyderabad, Rawalpindi, Multan, Sialkot, and Peshawar).
Pakistan was not a wealthy country and its major activity, agriculture, did not produce a sufficient surplus to create the wealth needed for industrialization. The exception to this was in the production of jute, where, in 1947, east Bengal produced nearly 70% of the world’s crop.
Jute export produced the major source of foreign exchange earnings for Pakistan for many years. But the problems created by a partition are exemplified by the fact that, in 1947, Pakistan did not have a single jute mill.
All the jute mills were in the new India in spite of the fact that East Pakistan produced more than 90 percent of jute.
As the table below shows, in divisions of the subcontinent’s assets. Pakistan died not doing well.
The percentage of economic assets in Pakistan after partition
Registered factories 10%
Electrical capacity 5%
Industrial workers 6.5%
Mineral deposits 10%
The economy has suffered from political instability, rising population growth rate and a war of words with the neighboring country India which has proved to be very costly for Pakistan’s economy.
There is worldwide financial crisis and rising inflation due to which Pakistan’s economy is suffering from a balance of payment crisis. The IMF initially loaned Pakistan $7.6 billion in 2008 to avoid a BOP crisis and this was increased to $11.3 billion in the year 2010.
However, Pakistan’s growing economy suffered a substantial blow in the year 2008 as the role of Pakistan in the “War on Terror” started facing severe retaliation. This increasing uncertainty and instability caused the country to lose a major crux of its FDI as it fell from $8 billion to $3.5 billion. After 2008 Pakistan’s situation does not seem to improve. The economy suffers from heavy trade deficits, rising inflation rates and a fall in the value of Rupees which fell from 60-1 USD to 90-1 USD in 2012.
The rising level of security concerns has furthered the economy near to a collapse. Pakistan is considered to be in a state of war and is a victim of terrorism for the past few years. This has caused economic and political instability in the country resulting in a fall in foreign investments. Many of the people do not feel safe in the country due to which skilled labour from Pakistan is migrating to other developed nations. They do not want to risk their time and resources in an uncertain economy where they feel they would not be paid a price according to their skills. Foreign investors do not feel comfortable in investing in Pakistan’s economy because the returns are not enough to match the risk in investing in a weakened economy likePakistan. Other than this they do feel that their lives are not safe as they could also become victims of terrorist groups operating in the country.
Although Pakistan’s economy is facing severe economic problems at the moment, it still has the potential to recover and revive its economy but to do that serious amounts of efforts are required at both the governmental and individual level.
CANAL WATER DISPUT:
The canal water had its origins in the portion of Punjab in 1947. West Pakistan is a fertile country but has a hot and dry climate. Rainfall in not plentiful and so it relies upon litigation from a series of canals which draw water from the three main rivers in the area.the Indus, the Jhelum, and the Chenab.
The partition of the subcontinent cut across many rivers and canals. The problem for Pakistan was that the flow of water through the canals and rivers was controlled at a series of headworks all or which lay in the part of Punjab the canals and rivers were controllers at a series of headworks all of which lay in the part of Punjab that was now in India.
The Indian government promised not to interfere with the supply of water to Pakistan. However, India and Pakistan were soon in a dispute over the canals, especially the waters from the Bari-Doab canal.
India claimed that as the headworks were in its country it had complete rights to do what it wanted with the water.
Pakistan argued that it had a right to the water as its economy depended upon it. The Pakistan government In May 1948, a temporary agreement was reached. India agreed to allow water from east Punjab to flow into west Punjab, but only if Pakistan agreed to try to find alternative wate4r supplies.
The Water problem was one that the new country had to address urgently.