Since the Pakistani media is pertually in a tizzy over the latest disaster to strike the nation, some perspective might be in order. An August 2007 article by William Dalrymple might provide some badly needed context.
Remarking about how the nation’s relative prosperity strikes first time visitors, he write:
“There is far less poverty on show in Pakistan than in India, fewer beggars, and much less desperation. In many ways the infrastructure of Pakistan is much more advanced: there are better roads and airports, and more reliable electricity. Middle-class Pakistani houses are often bigger and better appointed than their equivalents in India.
Moreover, the Pakistani economy is undergoing a construction and consumer boom similar to India’s, with growth rates of 7%, and what is currently the fastest-rising stock market in Asia. You can see the effects everywhere: in new shopping centres and restaurant complexes, in the hoardings for the latest laptops and iPods, in the cranes and building sites, in the endless stores selling mobile phones: in 2003 the country had fewer than three million cellphone users; today there are almost 50 million.”
Thank you Mr. Dalrymple, for saying what few Pakistanis would say today for fear of appearing “politically incorrect.”