ISLAMABAD: The Centre for Strategic Perspectives and India Study at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) held an event to launch a book titled “Development Pathways: India-Pakistan-Bangladesh (1947-2022)” authored by Dr. Ishrat Husain on Monday.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance, Dr. Waqar Masood Khan, was the chief guest at the event. The ceremony was attended by prominent members of foreign and civil services, media, academia, the diplomatic corps, and civil society.
Dr Waqar Masood Khan commended the author and co-authors for their valuable work and contribution to addressing the knowledge gap in this field. In particular, he appreciated Dr. Ishrat’s motivation and devotion to the subject.
The book’s choice of subjects and focus was also highlighted by Dr. Khan, who believed that it would considerably help experts and practitioners.
Dr Waqar Masood said that the book rightly addressed the convergences and divergences between the three economies, as he termed the 1990s as the turning point for them. He explained that this shift was due to globalization, liberalization, and the end of the Cold War.
He underlined some of the challenges faced by Pakistan and India, such as administrative issues, investment, infrastructure, and small industry.
Dr. Khan addressed the regulatory bodies in all three nations and positively evaluated their functioning. He said that South Asia had moved past the traditional approach towards economic prosperity. He recommended building up reserves, which he felt are the critical component of any economy.
DG ISSI Ambassador Sohail Mahmood, in his welcome remarks, highlighted Dr. Ishrat’s six decades of distinguished public service and contributions to institutional and economic reforms – including a consistent emphasis on political stability and policy continuity for sustainable long-term development.
He also commended the author’s direct and accessible writing style, making complex economic topics and policy debates more understandable to readers across a broad spectrum.
Book to Serve Solid Foundation
He said that given the rich data sets of the three economies contained in the book, it could serve as a solid foundation for further studies on the economic trajectories of Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.
He said that the most valuable aspect of the book was the chapter dealing with risk factors and “pain points” for the future.
He also pointed out that the book made it clear that sound economic management alone did not bring the desired effect and that investing in social and human development was necessary, which would also enhance the dividends manifolds.
He described the book as a valuable contribution to the existing literature on the topic and a source of thought-provoking ideas on a vast range of subjects.