Future of Pakistan

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After a great struggle Muslims of the sub-continent succeeded to get a homeland where they could lead their lives according to their religion. On 14th august, 1947, Pakistan came into being. Unto now Pakistan has made much progress in different fields. Although Pakistan has been in troubles from the very first day yet it has made much progress. Now Pakistan is the 6th atomic power in the world. Exploring current images of Pakistan’s futures is the task for this essay. Based on a literature review of Pakistani magazines, newspapers and journals as well as conversations with Pakistani scholars and interviews with members of the general public, we develop and evaluate five images or scenarios of the future.

This essay concludes with suggestions for designing alternative futures for Pakistan. Before we articulate these images of the future, let us first examine the “futures approach” to the study of social reality. A futures view focuses primarily on temporality. Where are we going? What are the possibilities ahead? What strategies can we use to realize our goals? How can the image of the future help us better understand and change today? Who are the losers and winners in any particular articulation of time? The futures perspective is initially similar to traditional political analysis in that it begins with an exploration of economic, international and social events and the choices made by actors that make these events possible.

However, the futures view also attempts to place events and choices within an historical dimension; that is, the larger and deeper structures that make these discrete events intelligible, such as core-periphery, urban-rural, gender, caste, and macro patterns of social change. Also important in the futures view is the post-structural dimension; the larger meaning system or the epistemological ground plan of the real as embedded in language that constitutes events and structures. Unfortunately, most efforts to understand the future remain in the predictive mode. It is often asked, what and when will a particular event occur and how can we profit or increase our power from a specific prediction?

Economists and strategic analysts claim to excellent this task. Our efforts here sensitive to the richness of reality and the need to decolonize the study of the future from narrow models of reality is to explore images or scenarios of the future. Our task is not to predict and thereby make this essay political fodder for technocrats but to use the future to create real possibilities for change.

We thus do not intend to give a familiar reading of Pakistan’s future, as might be available in a five year plan, rather we enter into a discussion of alternative futures, of the many choices ahead as contoured by the structure of history and the modern boundaries of knowledge that frame our identity. In the images or scenarios that follow it should be remembered that these images are meant as tools for discussion and dialog; they are intended to clarify the futures ahead not to reify social reality. Our goal is insight not prediction. As an initial caveat, an important failing of this essay is that the textual sources and conversations were entirely in English one might get different images with local Pakistani languages.

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