Khalid Saifullah –
The author Sharafat A.Chaudhry contextualizes relationship of law and development in Pakistan in a recently published book, “Law and Development: An Alternative Indicator for the Measurement of Development”.
The book, published by Iqbal International Institute for Research and Dialogue (IRD), explains the relevant schools of thought and explores the existing literature in this background. Theoretical analysis of positivism, symbolic interactionism, interpretivism, constructivism, functionalism and other schools of thought in the context of law and development is explained in details.
Sufficient detail about the diverse paradigms of development is also included in the book. These include the explanations of development with the perspectives of modernisation, feminism, welfare and sustainability.
The book then starts explaining the emergence of the assembly between law and development. A comprehensive analysis of the law and development at the international level is available and further narrow down to the national (Pakistan) level in the book.
Following a case study approach, the writer has explained the relationship of law and development in two districts of Pakistan; Pakpattan and Islamabad.
Different indicators of development (as per the standards of the UNDP and Government of Pakistan) are comparatively analyzed with a set of indicators from law.
Development indicators include collective welfare index, MP Index, headcount poverty index, poverty severity gap index and vulnerability index while laws indicators include criminal cases and civil/commercial cases.
The readers with non-law background can easily grasp an idea about different types of (popular) litigations in Pakistan. The book concludes that the type of litigation in courts in Pakistan can be an important indicator for measuring its developmental status in some particular areas.
The subject of the book in overall contributes to an important debate how the relationship of law and development can be understood in the context of Pakistan.
The debate can further be problematised if we add the indicators of population, economy (in terms of economic activity) and migration (Islamabad is a city of migrants as compare to Pakpattan).
There also emerges a need to further highlight the importance of this relationship mainly why the law should be considered as important indicator of development.
Khalid Saifullah is an MPhil in International Development, a development practitioner and author of ‘Gramsci, Hegemony and Civil Society in Pakistan’.
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