Regional Disparity and Quality of life in Pakistan: A Taxanomic Distance Analysis
Author: Amna Sarwer

This study assesses the prevailing disparities in quality of life at intra-provincial level in Pakistan using the Wroclow Taxanomic Distance method. Scandinavian approach ofquality of life is used in this study with optimal combination of fifteen objective indicators of education, health and living conditions. For ranking of districts composite indices of quality of life are constructed. Districts are categorized according to their level of development i.e., ‘high level developed’, ‘high-middle level developed’, ‘lowmiddle level developed’ and ‘low developed/backward districts’ on the basis of constructed composite indices of quality of life. For bringing out uniform development, model districts are identified for backward districts and potential targets are estimated for those indicators which are significantly lagging behind. At intra-provincial level, Punjab is the most developed followed by Sindh, KPK and Balochistan. Intra-provincial disparities in quality of life are estimated for four provinces. In Punjab, Central and northern Punjab such as Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Jehlum and Sialkot are developed as compared to Southern Punjab Muzaffargarh, Vehari and Rajanpur. Karachi, Hyderabad, Peshawar, Abbotabad and Quetta are developed districts in Sindh, KPK and Blaochistan. Musa Khel, DeraBugti, TharParkar, Thatta, DI Khan, Tank and Kohistan are backward districts in these three provinces. The findings show that huge disparities in the quality of life are present among different districts between and within different regions of Pakistan. Urbanization, industrialization, presence of cantonments, colonial history, inflow of remittances and unequal land distribution are major factors in variation of quality of life in Pakistan. This study utilizes Wroclow Taxanomic distance method which helps in setting targets to be achieved by backward districts. This study argues that resource distribution mechanisms such as Provincial Finance Commissions should focus on location specific micro planning in order to include peripheries in development process. This study shows that how each district stands in relation to other districts in domain of quality of life and how lagging indicators of health, education and living conditions can be improved. Regional disparities often create political and ethnic strife amongst provinces and this looming fear makes micro planning an imperative to avoid social and ethnic unrest. Key words: Quality of life, Wroclow Taxanomic Distance, Scandinavian approach, micro planning Supervisor:- Dr. Idrees Khawaja

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Supervisor: Muhammad Idrees Khawaja

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