Pakistan ranks lowest amongst all the comparable South Asian countries in the Human Development Index 2019, says the latest report released by the United Nations Development Programme. Pakistan has slipped one rank down to 152 as compared to the 2018 report, out of the total 189 countries considered for the survey.
According to the UNDP’ report that was released on Thursday- “Pakistan is languishing at 13 per cent below the average HDI of South Asia including Bangladesh and India. Pakistan grew steadily over the period 2000 to 2015 but its progress slowed down afterwards.”
The neighbouring countries India and Bangladesh are at 129 and 135 positions respectively. Myanmar too is above Pakistan at 145th rank whereas Nepal is at 147th position. Collectively, all the above nations including Pakistan have been bracketed into “Medium Human Development”. India’s southern neighbour, Sri Lanka, is grouped under “High Human Development” category and is ranked at 71, 14 places higher than the People’s Republic of China which is at 85.
The report analyses that Pakistan’s HDI value marginally improved to 0.56 in 2018 as compared to 2017 stat of 0.558. Pakistan’s HDI improved by 25 per cent in the period from 2000 to 2015 with an average annual growth of 1.2 per cent but it slowed down after that. The report mentions that the improvement could be credited largely to education and income pointers.
However, despite some advances, Pakistan Human Development Index 2019 continues to remain 13 per cent lower than than the comparable economies of South Asian countries and 12 per cent below the average HDI of the Medium Human Development category. Pakistan performed poorly on account of life expectancy at birth, expected years of schooling, mean years of schooling and GNI per capita with all the regional countries of South Asia.
With regards to the Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI) too, Pakistan’s performance shrunk as it had an IHDI of 0.386 in 2018. In addition, Pakistan suffered a loss of 31.1% due to inequality in the distribution of HDI dimension indices.
One of the prominent parameters that defined the Human Development Index is education. While the expected years of schooling in India was at 12.3 years and in Bangladesh at 11.2, in Pakistan, however, it was only 8.5 years.
Pakistan is also accused of gross human rights violations in its illegally held Balochistan province along with federally administered Pakistan occupied Kashmir. Besides, Pakistan is also considered a breeding ground for Islamic terrorism and it holds the dubious distinction of sheltering the most dreaded terrorists from across the world.