Chang­ing Trends

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Southasia - - CONTENTS -

Arif Hasan, an ar­chi­tect and Man­soor Raza, an en­gi­neer, have jointly au­thored the book, Mi­gra­tion and Small Towns in Pak­istan. Mak­ing for an in­ter­est­ing read, the book talks about the chang­ing de­mo­graph­ics of ma­jor cities in Pak­istan and small towns as a re­sult of em­i­gra­tion and mi­gra­tion.

Apart from the ma­jor cos­mopoli­tan cen­tres of Pak­istan, three small towns, pri­mar­ily Mithi in Tharparkar, Chiniot in Pun­jab and Uch Sharif in Bahawalpur were cho­sen by the au­thors for com­pre­hen­sive re­search. Each town was high­lighted for a spe­cific rea­son. In or­der to ar­rive at a bal­anced con­clu­sion, the re­searchers chose to ex­plore three ar­eas ly­ing in com­plete con­trast to each other. Mithi is lo­cated in a desert whereas Uch re­mains to be a town by­passed by changes while Chiniot is the fastest grow­ing town among all the three.

The re­search makes this book no less than a fact file of a de­mo­graph­i­cally chang­ing Pak­istan and helps readers gauge how an or­di­nary Pak­istani per­ceives his fu­ture, the de­ci­sions he makes for his fam­ily and the nu­mer­ous rea­sons be­hind em­i­gra­tion and mi­gra­tion.

The book in­tro­duces the po­lit­i­cal struc­ture of the coun­try in terms of union coun­cils, talukas and dis­tricts. It dis­cusses the in­equal­ity of the phys­i­cal de­vel­op­ment and the poverty struc­ture of Pak­istan based on the de­mo­graph­ics of the 1998 cen­sus. In this con­text, the au­thors es­pe­cially high­light the state of girls’ ed­u­ca­tion in ru­ral and ur­ban Pak­istan and the di­lap­i­dated con­di­tions of hous­ing for or­di­nary Pak­ista­nis.

The de­vel­op­ment of the canal ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem in Pak­istani Pun­jab by the Bri­tish is deemed as the ini­tial cause of mi­gra­tion to Pak­istan. The par­ti­tion be­ing the sec­ond cause, in­sti­gated a change in the so­cio-eco­nomic struc­ture in ad­di­tion to phys­i­cally im-

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