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Dead Reckoning

Visiting Bangladesh

Shrugging off its traditional reliance for foreign exchange earnings on jute goods, tea etc, economically BD has made giant strides, home remittances and garment manufacturing giving momentum to a whole basket of non-traditional exports. A cursory visit is enough to dispel the general perception prevailing in Pakistan that Bangladesh (BD) is doing economically far better than Pakistan. Despite multiple crises compounded by rampant corruption and a terror-driven law and order situation, Pakistan’s economy is far more resilient and multi-faceted, notwithstanding the BD Taka performing better than the Pakistani Rupee. The pervasive mass poverty in Bangladesh far outstrips the comparable percentage in Pakistan. The focus of BD’s economy seems to be the city of Dhaka with high-rise buildings mushrooming on scarce land with greater value than almost any other capital city in the world, traffic jams are endemic. One thing in common to both our democracies, rampant nepotism and corruption put than increasingly under threat, force-multiplied by widening rich-poor gap and inflation triggering a mass upsurge.

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