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It’s a collection of sixty-one essays written in the last twenty-six years. They cover a wide range of issues related to Pakistan an:1 beyond. There are reflective essays about freedom, old age, good life, evolution, and gossip. Another group of essays focus on culture and society: leisure and work, the art of discussion, Muslim societies, and nostalgia. A third group covers international politics: conflicts in the Holy Land, Kashmir, Afghanistan and Xinjiang, Bangladesh at 50, and Islamophobia. The fourth group of essays are about the history and politics of Pakistan, including three counterfactuals. The focus of the next group of essays is on Pakistan’s economy, its performance and comparison with Malaysia and Bangladesh. The largest number of essays are in the sixth group on agriculture and rural development in Pakistan. In the final croup are seven biographical essays about the life and work of individuals who are simply inspirational.
UNDERDEVELOPMENT AND AGRARIAN STRUCTURE IN PAKISTAN
In this analysis of the relationship between agrarian structure and agricultural development in Pakistan, the author investigates the slow and uneven performance of agriculture and explores probable causes. He demonstrates that land reforms have failed to alter the pattern of concentration of land ownership and have in tact increased the marginality of landless tenants and small land-owners. He argues that among the most serious causes of Pakistan’s uncertain agricultural future is the predicament of the average farmer.
Noting that small owner-operated farms are socially more efficient than large ones, Dr. Khan proposes a new, economically viable, land-tenure system. He also examines Pakistan’s outmoded land-tax system and suggests a new method of direct agricultural taxation that would be efficient, equitable, and administratively feasible. He concludes, however, that such reforms are not likely to meet with political acceptance, even though increased pressures of technology and marginalizalion on the peasantry inevitably will result in disruptive — perhaps violent — change.