In the 1990s, economic growth plummeted to between 3% and 4%, poverty rose to 33%, inflation was in double digits and the foreign debt mounted to nearly the entire GDP of Pakistan as the governments of Benazir Bhutto (PPP) and Nawaz Sharif (PML) played musical chairs.
Before Sharif was ousted in 1999, the two parties had presided over a decade of corruption and mismanagement.
After a relatively peaceful but economically stagnant decade of the 1990s, the year 1999 brought a bloodless coup led by General Pervez Musharraf, ushering in an era of accelerated economic growth that led to more than doubling of the national GDP, and dramatic expansion in Pakistan's urban middle class.
Per Capita PPP GDP Pakistan became one of the four fastest growing economies in the Asian region during 2000-07 with its growth averaging 7.0 per cent per year for most of this period.
As a result of strong economic growth, Pakistan succeeded in reducing poverty by one-half, creating almost 13 million jobs, halving the country's debt burden, raising foreign exchange reserves to a comfortable position and propping the country's exchange rate, restoring investors' confidence and most importantly, taking Pakistan out of the IMF Program.
The above facts were acknowledged by the current PPP government in a Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) for 2008/09-2009/10, while signing agreement with the IMF on November 20, 2008.
The document clearly (but grudgingly) acknowledged that "Pakistan's economy witnessed a major economic transformation in the last decade.
The country's real GDP increased from billion to 0 billion, with per capita income rising from under 0 to over 00 during 2000-07".It further acknowledged that "the volume of international trade increased from billion to nearly billion.Riaz Haq writes this blog to provide information, express his opinions and make comments on wide ranging topics.The subjects include personal activities, education, South Asia and South Asian community activities, regional and international affairs and US politics to financial markets and beyond.For investors interested in South Asia, Riaz has another blog called South Asia Investor at economy grew at a fairly impressive rate of 6 percent per year through the first four decades of the nation's existence.In spite of rapid population growth during this period, per capita incomes doubled, inflation remained low and poverty declined from 46% down to 18% by late 1980s, according to eminent Pakistani economist Dr. This healthy economic performance was maintained through several wars and successive civilian and military governments in 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s until the decade of 1990s, now appropriately remembered as the lost decade.