Growth rates in Pakistan since 2008 have declined to almost half of the level achieved in the preced - Growth rates in Pakistan since 2008 have declined

Growth rates in Pakistan since 2008 have declined to almost half of the level achieved in the preced

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Growth rates in Pakistan since 2008 have declined to almost half of the level achieved in the preceding four years. The investment ratio in 2010-11 has been the lowest in the history of Pakistan . Most of the discussion on the stagnation and decline of the economy has rightly focused on fiscal deficits, energy shortages, inflation, and high interest rates. But the relationship between the rule of law and investment and business development is not much talked about in popular discourse. In the absence of a conducive legal environment, uncertainties created by other factors such as political instability, security, law and order, energy, etc., would make matters worse. But a well-functioning judicial system can reassure the investor and act as a countervailing force to these other negative attributes. An investor will part with his financial savings and share his expertise and experience only when he is assured that the firm will make profits . To achieve this, non-discriminatory and impartial application of law, enforcement of contracts, protection of property rights and speedy disposal of cases are necessary. The recent judicial activism and suo motu actions by the Supreme Court and High Courts have done a great deal of good in establishing a new equilibrium between the Executive, Parliament and the Judiciary . This movement while commendable, should not distract the attention from the more mundane tasks of (i) ensuring broad based access to justice; (ii) revision of outdated procedures and laws; (iii) use of modern technology in case management; (iv) encouragement of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms, (v) tracking and enforcement of National

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