Political Violence in Pakistan: Myths vs. Realities

Jacob Shapiro and Saad Gulzar

The study argues for a data- driven approach in answering challenges posed by political violence. It uses incident level data to examine the scale, scope, and geographic distribution of political violence in Pakistan. Evidence suggests that there has not been a fundamental change in the patterns of political violence in the core population centres of Pakistan. However, the recent increase in violence in FATA, KPK, and Balochistan, are uncharacteristic of their historical patterns.

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Interaction of Labour Law and Economic Growth- Case Study of Sheikhupura, Pakistan

Anjum Altaf

This project is part of the portfolio of projects undertaken on aspects of economic growth in the Lahore region including the surrounding small cities that are or can potentially be a part of the metropolitan labour market. It explores the interaction between labour laws and economic growth formally. The aim of the project is to produce findings and recommendations that would provide useful inputs in reviewing or formulating labour policy, economic growth policy, legal policy, governance policy and accountability policy.

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Breaking the Countercyclical Pattern of Local Democracy in Pakistan

Ali Cheema, Adnan Q. Khan, and Roger B. Myerson

The history of Pakistan shows a paradoxically countercyclical pattern for local democracy. Three times in the history of Pakistan, elected institutions of local democracy have been created by military regimes, and each time the subsequent civilian governments have either failed to revive elected local governments or replaced them with unelected administrators. Supporters of democracy in Pakistan must understand this countercyclical pattern of local democracy to seek ways of escaping from it. Successful democracy depends on a vital relationship between democratic politics at the local and national levels. A commitment by civilian democratic regimes to functional elected local governments would strengthen the foundations of federal democracy in Pakistan. The democratic parties’ disconnection from local government has created local political vacuums that have been repeatedly exploited by nondemocratic forces to undermine the national system of civilian governance. Thus, in this paper, it is considered how this disconnection between political parties and local democracy evolved, and how healing this rift could strengthen the foundations of democracy in Pakistan.

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Agricultural Growth and Economic Development: The Case of Pakistan

Naved Hamid

The natural conditions of Pakistan put severe limits on its capacity to support a human population. Only because of more than a century of investments in harnessing the waters of its major rivers could the country become a source of enough food and work to more than a hundred million people and even sustain a flow of net agriculture, these investments have set the stage and the pattern for the country’s economic development. Since independence in 1947 these investments in water supplies have continued to a point where further major additions are becoming unlikely because of their environmental risks. Protection of catchment areas and more efficient water use increasingly require attention, rather than future growth of controlled water flows.

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Dynastic Politics in Punjab: Facts, Myths and Their Implications

Ali Cheema

A fundamental paradox of Punjab’s politics is the coexistence of competitive electoral contests with a deeply held belief among the electorate that the political system is extremely uncompetitive. A resolution of this paradox is provided by the claim that the political class in Punjab is heavily dominated by dynasties, held together by ties of blood and marriage that impede the participation of non-dynastic aspirants to public office. Proponents of this view argue that, while Punjab’s politics appear competitive as members of dynastic factions aggressively compete against each other using different party platforms, they are simultaneously uncompetitive because the dynasties, and the pursuit of their interests, trump other concerns in political party, public policy and development-related matters.

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Accountability Failures and the Decentralisation of Service Delivery in Pakistan

S K Mohmand and Ali Cheema

Historically, Pakistan’s rapid economic growth has not been matched by advances in social development. So, were the 2001 local government decentralisation reforms effective in improving the magnitude and quality of provision of essential public services? This paper examines the impact of these reforms in rural Pakistan over a three year period in a set of case study villages. Evidence from these villages suggests that, while the provision of targeted services has increased, the quality and provision of universal services has not. Local Government Ordinance 2001 (LGO 2001) represented an attempt to address recognised accountability failures through local government reforms. It sought to redesign political, electoral and administrative structures at local level in order to increase the accountability of service providers to local citizens. This paper looks at perceptions of pre- and post-reform provision and quality in four villages in rural Punjab three years after the reforms were instituted. It also draws on a 2004 Pakistan-wide social audit designed to track changes in service delivery.

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Decentralization in Pakistan: Context, Content and Causes

Ali Cheema, Asim I. Khwaja, and Adnan Qadir

This paper provides a description of the recent decentralization reforms in Pakistan under General Musharraf. It not only highlights major aspects of this reform, but also analyzes the evolution of this reform in historical context in order to better understand the potential causes behind the current decentralization. The Pakistani experience shows that each of the reform experiments is a complementary change to a wider constitutional reengineering strategy devised to further centralization of political power in the hands of the non-representative centre. We argue here that the design of the local government reforms in these contexts becomes endogenous to the centralization objectives of the non-representative centre. It is hoped that analyzing the Pakistani experience will help shed light on the positive political economy question of why non-representative regimes have been willing proponents of decentralization to the local level.

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Computerization of the Lahore High Court: A case study of IT in the judicial system

Farooq Naseer and Muhammad Fareed Zafar

This report summarizes the findings of an investigation into the current state of technology use at the Lahore High Court and suggests improvements in the existing systems to facilitate better management of court time and resources as well as improve the access to justice. The introduction of Information Technology (IT) at the Lahore High Court (LHC) dates back to 1991 when the then Chief Justice inaugurated the IT department at LHC. However, the IT system that was introduced has made little impact on the routine functions of the Court.

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Fiscal Federalism In Pakistan: A Radical Departure And Some New Challenges

Ijaz Nabi and Hina Shaikh

This paper summarizes the federal structure of Pakistan and reviews the system of fiscal transfers from the perspective of vertical and horizontal equity. It then highlights and assesses the changes introduced by the 18th amendment and the seventh National Finance in terms of the two equity perspectives. The paper also comments on how the changes might impact several key challenges such as encouraging more prudent sub-national expenditure management, motivating revenue effort by the federating entities and improved management of natural resources.

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