Why East Pakistan Became Bangladesh (Part 1)
In this series of posts, I will highlight just a few of the many reasons why East Pakistan seceded from Pakistan and became Bangladesh. Today, I want to focus on the economic disparity between the two wings before Liberation.
Part 1- Economic Exploitation of the East
- During the period of 1947-55 only 10% of total expenditure of the central government was spent in East Pakistan.
- In 1948 there were 11 textile mills in the East and only 9 in the West.
- In 1971 there were 26 in the East as opposed to 150 in the West.
- Presence of the country's capital city and more immigrant businessmen in the Western wing directed greater government allocations there.
- Much lower foreign investment in Eastern wing as opposed to West.
- The Pakistani state's economic outlook was geared towards urban industry, which was not compatible with East Pakistan's mainly agrarian economy.
- In 1947 and 1966, East Pakistan had a trade surplus of Rs. 4924.1 million where West Pakistan ran into a deficit of Rs. 16,634.6 million. Naturally, East Pakistan’s surplus was used to meet up West Pakistan’s deficit.
- Three capital cities - Karachi, Rawalpindi and Islamabad were built in phases in West Pakistan. An amount of Rs. 5700 million was spent till 1956 for Karachi alone to build it up but Dhaka got only Rs. 250 million.