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How can Pakistan turn itself in to an economic and intellectual powerhouse?

July 11, 2014 by Omar Sohail

For a country that has seen only 67 years of independence, it will take more than just a sufficient amount of time and effort to pull out the country from the egregious state that it has been dragged into. Fortunately for Pakistan, it is one of the very few countries (similar to Middle East) which possess abounding resources on its land. They range from naturally occurring minerals to thousands of individuals possessing above average intellect, and miles and miles of fertile land fit for crops to be grown upon. With these factors and more, all that remains is to take the right step forward, develop an initiative and steer the country towards economic and intellectual prosperity. Here are some of the ways in which Pakistan can turn itself in an economic and intellectual powerhouse.

1. Taking the first step

Taking The First Step

Though there are several problems disseminating throughout Pakistan, the ones that require immediate attention and remedy are the ones that will transform the country into an economic and intellectual powerhouse. The issues that need to be addressed are as follows:

  • Energy crisis
  • Improving education
  • Improving the overall telecommunication infrastructure

No doubt the energy crisis should be given the paramount level of attention seeing that one of Pakistan’s largest industries (textile industry, which accounts for 66% of the total merchandise exports) will not be able to deliver even the minimum output if there are intermittent power outages plaguing the country. However, the solution does not lie in procuring imported power generators because they are too expensive to purchase, extremely difficult to maintain and require petroleum to run, which in such an era is bio hazard to the environment as well as degenerative for the economy.

Pakistan’s larger industries can easily accommodate to procure such expensive power generators, but the only problem is that these industries are small in number and cannot make such an effective impact the way small and medium enterprises can, which are considered to be the nation’s primary growth factor. Relying on gas based projects would not be a resourceful option because the country’s gas supply is also limited. However, a group of engineering students, Team Meezab were able to construct a car possessing a 70 CC engine which ran on Ethanol, a by-product of several industries and was able to give a mileage of up to 80 kilometers on 1 liter of Ethanol.

This approach will provide a suitable and cost effective alternative to the current fuel combustion that is currently being used to power cars. In addition, if such an approach was successfully able to power cars, then enough research will allow Ethanol to form another iteration that will be able to deliver sufficient amounts of power to run industries properly. Another suitable alternative is wind energy; inexpensive to setup, and will not dissipate a harmful by-product. This form of energy will be able to generate between 7000 to 10000 Mega watts, which will easily be able to pull the country out of the energy crises.

2. Improving education

Improving Education

Improvingeducation does not necessarily mean improving the education establishments where a curriculum is delivered. It also has to do with spreading campaigns that will force households to start educating their offspring and in majority of the cases; send women to receive higher education. In Pakistan’s case, gender discrimination in education occurs amongst the poorest households but is non-existent amongst rich households. In fact, only 18% of Pakistani women have received 10 years or more of schooling, after which they become encumbered in household chores that prevents them from pursuing higher education.

The ratio of boys receiving education to women is alarming. According to UNESCO, primary school enrolment for girls stands at 60 percent, while for boys; it has remained significantly high, standing in at 84 percent. Furthermore, the secondary school enrolment rate stands at a lower rate of 32 percent for females and 46 per cent males. Regular school attendance for female students is estimated at 41 per cent while that for male students is 50 per cent. With the shocking disparity of the level of education that boys are receiving compared to girls, Pakistan’s goal of becoming an intellectual super power will be unable to become a reality. In order to shorten the percentage gap of education between boys and girls, it is highly recommended that universities form a coalition and start campaigning on the significance of education. Furthermore, when students are able to graduate and seek lucrative employment opportunities abroad, the foreign remittances that they send will add to the economic development structure of Pakistan.

3. Improving the overall telecommunication infrastructure

Improving The Overall Telecommunication Infrastructure

Only recently, cellular services in Pakistan brought 3G and 4G connectivity services in the country. This was a welcomed development in the telecommunication sector but there are still several issues that need to be addressed. One of them happens to be unblocking viewership to Google owned video sharing and streaming website; YouTube. After a wave of blasphemous content started getting shared across the platform, the authorities forced the site to be blocked from public viewership.

Although users can still manage to bypass this barrier through the use of 3rd party software, it degrades the buffering and streaming performance. Thousands of users used YouTube as an interactive and responsive educational hub. Although there are several other forms of content present on the internet that will aid students in their curriculum, having an interactive hub requires far less time to assimilate information. Furthermore, access to payment processing mediums such as PayPal is not available, which will obviously limit the citizens when they want to request acquisition for materials. In the technological age, where smartphone calling apps provide cheap international call rates, users can take full advantage of these apps to not only maintain communication with their families, but also rely on foreign transactions to take place for the running of their business and adding bits and pieces to the economy. In order for this plan to come to fruition, access to payment processing mediums must be established.

According to Goldman Sachs, Pakistan’s economy would become the 18th largest in the world, having a GDP of US $3.33 trillion. In addition, the country is also being favored of becoming one of the 11 countries that will transform it in to one of the most stable and powerful economies of the 21st century.

However, predictions alone cannot be the driving factor that will guide Pakistan to a whole new stratum. The aforementioned problems and solutions must be addressed, followed by an analysis of the alternative solutions at hand and must be implemented accordingly if the officials expect the country to become an economic and intellectual powerhouse.

Have questions or suggestions? We love to hear from you.


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