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Balance is the call for urbanizing Pakistan

If you are not aware so be informed that about half of Pakistan’s population lives in her eight cities & their surroundings. Yes it is true that Karachi, Lahore, Hyderabad, Multan, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Gujranwala and Peshawar cater half of Pakistani citizens.  


The interesting part is that the cities that accommodates about 50% of total population of Pakistan represent 76 National Assembly seats out of total 272 direct seats in the house. It is 28% in total legislative scene of the country.


According to the United Nations Pakistan’s absolute urban population shall stand at 50% of total population by 2020. In numeric terms it is the tally of about 90 to 100 million people that shall hit the cities of Pakistan. It is when, we are seeing the economy in distress and we are seeking to cultivate more in agriculture and agro-based industry to coup future food and food prices challenges in the world.


Urbanization has her own advantages. The cities play vital roles in the development of economies. Even in the case of Pakistan whereby about 79% of national production is on the credit of urban areas it looks vital. According to statistics the rise in per capita income of 13% by 2008 is also the courtesy of urban economy. But what if urban planning stands at nil as of shortage of funds and lack of proper planning! & what if our rural areas are not performing that they potentially can perform!


It is not about today but about how well we plan our urbanization policy for future. In my view the balance is required in urban and rural areas for the countries like Pakistan. It is not merely about getting urbanize but rather giving new energy to rural areas in terms of development and their political role in country’s decision making.


It is a matter of fact that Pakistan is the fastest growing urban society in whole south eastern Asian region. But due to the lack of proper administrative divisions or new provinces this pace is disturbing the current infrastructure of big cities that are getting big and bigger day by day without enhancing their infrastructure in education, health, economy & law and order.


The most important aspect of this population growth in urban areas is ignorance of rural areas that are well spread across the land of Pakistan. As the government’s attention stays over big cities the countryside is becoming the nurseries for terrorism, extremism and illiterate human assets. They then come to the big cities and provide breaking news of horror via our national media.


As electronic media is prevailing in all parts of the country, it indirectly motivates rural population to migrate to the cities in the search of modern life style. This migration hit the cities with the human resources that are not fit for key employments and end of the day they are the inventories for terrorists and so called political parties. They are more likely to use them for their political motives as of their ethnic, provincial, sectarian and cultural belongings.


In my view we need to get out of this big cities or provinces syndrome. It is far better to organize this country in administrative cum economic units that have their local governments and system of economic & administrative control. Pakistan is rich of natural & human resources, if you travel Pakistan you can find a new economic strength after each 10 km crossed. So it is better to plan new cities & developed countryside in the heart of Pakistan.


Creation of innovative small cities related to the agriculture strength located in nearby rural areas can establish a new agro corporate culture and I have no doubt in my mind that if this happens, this part of economy shall hit more foreign investment than any other sector. It is merely because those commodities or agriculture are the interest of everyone globally. It is all about how well we facilitate by planning the zones that shall work the cause.  


Agriculture is our strength from the beginning and in today’s age of global economy it is indeed vital to be well tuned in commodities and agro products. It is far better to provide urban life style in the countryside to power agro based industrial revolution that ultimately work for agriculture and provide handsome income to farmers.


Cities need to be the center of services and technology industry that has to work for other non-agro aspects of national economy. Technical skills and their training programs can turn the term “skilled labor” as more prestigious. In this way we can turn useless or trend following MBAs to skilled workers and they shall be proud of it.


Political representation of Pakistani population is highly essential. We need to have a revolving system of evaluating the number and distribution of Legislative Assembly seats as per population dynamics of Pakistan. It is indeed a management curse that 72% of legislative members come from the areas of Pakistan that represents below 50% in population.  


We need to develop economic development councils in small cities and villages of Pakistan. It is difficult to educate grown up people in the countryside but we can educate them for business, commercial and economic development as per their local economic variables. This needs a proper program of mobilization. It shall indeed be useful to keep them away from spoiling their time with political fascists and extremist groups.


In order to plan for our generations to come in rural areas we need to find ways to progress our national economy so that we can be in a position to allocate funds for health, education and welfare. Even the call is same for large & small cities of the country.


If we shall under look this migration and increase of population in big cities of the country we are certainly inviting the chaos. It shall be the chaos that shall be merely based on one reason that it is all unplanned. If we make it through proper planning and providing equal opportunities of social, political and economic growth to all parts of the country then it can work as blessing. It is a time to think for our policy makers. It is indeed a time. Otherwise time shall run out of our control.

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09 - January - 2014 04:58:12 PM

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Mr. Omer

Mr. Omer [1982 born] started  his professional career as a commercial / investment banker after achieving Gold Medal in Finance at master level from University of Karachi in 2006.

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