Q. How justified is it to term the years between 1958 and 1969 as decade of development? Explain your answer. 
President Ayub Khan governed Pakistan during the time period from 1958 to 1969. He brought revolutionary policies and tried his best to develop the country industrially. For this reason, his tenure was known commonly as the “Decade of Development” for Pakistan. How justified it is to declare his progress with this respective title, is discussed below.
Ayub Khan had introduced certain agricultural reforms to introduce agricultural productivity. He attempted to break the power of landlords as well. He appointed a limit of owning maximum 1000 acres of land and 500 acres if it is irrigated. The lower limit was 12.5 acres. Moreover, farmers were loaned money to afford tube wells and fertilizers. The Indus Water Treaty was signed during his tenure as well. It overcame the lack of water as through it, Pakistan was able to use the western three tributaries for water supply, and 3 major dams were built, thus improving water storage facilities and irrigation facilities. Crop yield was at an all-time high and food was in such surplus that it was exported to foreign countries as well. Agriculture had developed greatly during his tenure
Ayub Khan also introduced industrial reforms to improve the industrial productivity in Pakistan, which was suffering greatly. This was mostly through assistance by the US, Germany and UK in forms of loans. In 1962 an oil refinery was set up in Karachi, and to explore mineral deposits in which Pakistan was rich, a mineral development corporation was set up. Pakistan joined the RCD with Turkey and Iraq to establish trade ties. Due to these reasons Pakistan’s economy rose up at a rate of 7% annually.
He also wished to improve the educational condition of Pakistan, as the literacy rate was embarrassingly low. He launched educational programs and built new schools and colleges. A new school curriculum was also devised. Although these educational programs were slow, they achieved literacy rate to at least some extent.
Ayub Khan shifted the capital of Pakistan from Karachi to Islamabad. He did so in hopes that it would provide a better structure for government and prevent politicians from getting involved in trade and export activities, which would distract them from their governmental duties. This also enabled him to get military support in case of emergency, as Islamabad was near to military headquarters. It was a very successful idea as both his aims were met.
We can see clearly that Ayub Khan made certain achievements, but his policies also increased difficulties and challenges for Pakistan. His reforms led to the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few was multiplied. By 1962, only 22 families controlled 66% of Pakistan’s industrial assets. They also controlled 80% of banking and insurance companies. Instead of a trickle-down system of economy, it further widened the gap between the elite class and the poor.
In addition, his family planning policies failed as people in Pakistan were unwilling to give up their customs and traditions, and they saw large families as a matter of pride. It was also true that people in rural areas depended on having large families to provide financial support.
His industrial policies were also the cause of major debts. This is due to the fact that Pakistan had to make major loans from developed countries in order to develop industries. This increased both the circular and regular debt and resulted in negative balance of payments.
Based on the aforementioned reasoning, it is clear that indeed, his tenure rightfully deserves to be known as the decade of development. the drawbacks, although existent, are miniscule compared to the progress Pakistan was able to make. Pakistan desperately needed reforms like his, and he did a great job to bring Pakistan to a better position.