An 'Asian Tiger' Agenda for Today's U.S.-Pakistan Summit
This article first appeared in Foreign Policy. Read it in its original format here.
Yesterday, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that member companies should invest in Pakistan, where global giants like Colgate-Palmolive and Nestlé have made substantial profits. Today, he will meet with President Barack Obama to discuss an economic program to spark Pakistan's development. This is a nice change of pace from the regular drones/terrorists/Taliban agenda -- vitally important as these issues are.
In fact, many of Pakistan's pathologies -- including Army dominance over civilian institutions, poor governance, pervasive insecurity, and the continuing generation and export of violent extremists -- would be mitigated if Pakistan's political class, and the world, focused more intensely on steepening its growth trajectory. Arguments that Pakistan cannot successfully modernize for cultural or religious reasons should be rejected on their face, so diverse have been the developmental success stories of emerging economies in East Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Persian Gulf, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and South Asia.
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