“Behind the Clichs, a Modern Pakistan”

I was sent the captioned article by a friend. Thankfully, not a pessimistic perspective on contemporary Pakistan.

The author, Shuja Nawaz, a former international civil servant makes some good points:

“For a returning native, Pakistan offers a kaleidoscope of images that defy the West’s stereotypes. American audiences are used to seeing Pakistan as poised on the brink of nuclear conflict with India, hosting Taliban “jihadist” militia, with a military-dominated government that has a tenuous hold on its fractious component provinces. Violent riots and screaming bearded crowds shouting anti-US and anti-Western slogans make their way into evening news broadcasts….

Pakistan has a palpable vibrancy that is reflected in its burgeoning cities, revitalized private sector and increasing prosperity, with gross domestic product growing at more that 6 percent annually….

Nongovernmental organizations are improving their traction in the fields of human rights, health and education. Their focus is on women and girls, a much-neglected aspect of Pakistani economy and society. The recent success of NGOs in fighting the ravages of the earthquake in northern Pakistan has given them new life and visibility. Meanwhile a largely unfettered press keeps the government on its toes.”

Read more here

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