Dr. Ishrat Husain, a former World Bank senior official and an ex governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, wrote an article captioned "India, Pakistan: a comparison" at the end of the first five decades of two nations' existence as independent states. To my knowledge, Dr. Hussain has not done an update of his article since it was first published. Although about three years too late, this post is my attempt to present a comparison of the two South Asian nations after sixty years of independence.
Here is the opening paragraph from Dr. Husain's article from the late 1990s, which I believe still stands true today:
"India and Pakistan are completing five decades of their independence. Since ...view middle of the document...
Leaving aside the countries in East Asia and China, very few large countries have been able to reach this milestone.
2. The incidence of poverty (defined as $1 per day) has also been reduced significantly although the number of absolute poor remains astoundingly high. However, the level of poverty is lower in Pakistan.
3. Food production has not only kept pace with the rise in population but has surpassed it. Both countries, leaving aside annual fluctuations due to weather conditions, are self-sufficient in food. (Pakistan exports its surplus rice but imports small volumes of wheat).
4. Food self-sufficiency has been accompanied by improved nutritional status. Daily caloric and protein intake per capita has risen by almost one-third but malnourishment among children is still high.
5. The cracks in the dualistic nature of the economy -- a well-developed modern sector and a backward traditional sector -- are appearing fast in both the countries. A buoyant middle class is emerging. The use of modern inputs and mechanization of agriculture has been a leveling influence in this...