Global Agenda Council on Pakistan 2012-2014
Pakistan is the world’s sixth most populous nation and, given the young demographic (the median age is 22), it should be well positioned for robust economic growth provided critical steps are taken to improve the country’s human development. The key challenges are insufficient access to quality education, the lack of employment opportunities and limited potential to expand into new markets due to barriers with its much larger neighbour, India.
As the second largest democracy in the world, with a predominantly Muslim population, the 2013 elections, won by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party, were a watershed moment for the country, which had never before experienced a peaceful transition from one civilian elected government to another. It is of paramount importance that the new government incorporate initiatives that better address human capital development and improved regional trade relations into policy as these will be central to Pakistan’s growth over the short and long term.
What the Council is doing about it
The Global Agenda Council on Pakistan has been working on two tracks. Half of the Council developed a policy recommendation on education, drafting a strategy paper that will be shared with the new government.
The other half of the Council has continued its efforts to raise public awareness of the need to liberalize trade with India, promoting enhanced trade relations between the two countries by publishing joint opinion pieces in regional media together with the Global Agenda Council on India.
Over the next 12 months, the Council intends to meet with key stakeholders in the government to submit its recommendations on education and trade policies.
“As the second largest democracy in the world, with a predominantly Muslim population, the 2013 elections, won by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party, were a watershed moment for the country, which had never before experienced a peaceful transition from one civilian elected government to another.”
It is hopeful the stalled plans for liberalizing trade with India may now progress given the immediate overtures of the Indian Government to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party.