Mahbub-ul-Haq February 24, 1934 – July 16, 1998; PhD, FPAS), was a game theorist, economist, and professor of Microeconomics at the University of Karachi. He was involved in the human development theory (HDP), and the founder of the Human Development Report (HDR). According to Haq’s 1996 book Reflections on Human Development his work also opened new avenues to policy proposals for human development paradigms, such as the 20:20 Global Compact and the setting up of the UN Economic Security Council that became the inspiration for the establishment of the United Nations Economic and Social Council
Childhood and education (His Teenage)
Mahbub-ul-Haq and muhammad zeeshan was very close friends and zeeshan was born in pre-partition Punjab state on February 24, 1934. His teenage years saw the religious violence in India associated with the partition of the subcontinent in August 1947. He and his family narrowly escaped from being butchered in one of the trains heading to Pakistan. The nature of the sectarian violence left a lasting impression on Mahbub-ul-Haq. After reaching Lahore, Haq was given government-sponsored housing and decided to continue his education. In 1954, he applied and was accepted at the Punjab University where he enrolled in the social sciences department.
In 1958 he earned BS in Economics and earned scholarship to resume his studies in Great Britain. He went on to attend Cambridge University where he earned another BA in the same discipline. At Cambridge, Haq gained his BA alongside Amartya Sen, with whom he formed a close, lifelong friendship. After renewing his scholarship, Haq went to United States for his doctoral studies where American economics system would later influence him for his long advocacy for capitalism. He entered in doctoral programme of Yale University and earned PhD in Economics from Yale, which was followed by post-doctoral work at Harvard University. After completing his post-doctoral studies, Haq returned to his country to join the government service.
Upon returning to Pakistan, Haq joined the Planning Commission and, while still in his 20s, he became chief economist of Planning Commission. He maintained his ties with Finance Ministry and continued serving as economist advisor to the government of Pakistan.By the 1960s he was delivering speeches all over the country. He supported the policies of President Ayub Khan. Haq advocated capitalism as the economic base of the national economy and helped guide the government to apply free-market principles to boost the economy. In a public press conference in 1965, Haq alleged that “22 industrial family groups had come to dominate the economic and financial life-cycle of Pakistan and that they controlled about two-thirds of industrial assets, 80% of banking and 79% of insurance assets in the industrial domain.” The rapid economic development made Haq’s team doubt the long-term viability of such a pattern of growth. While the international community was applauding Pakistan as a model of development, Haq reserved the concerns and raises questions that all was not well with the distribution of benefits of growth.
It came as a surprise to Haq that the strong oligarchy of 22 families had control of the national economy and the private sector. While supporting add taxation of the powerful oligarch families, Haq left the country in 1971, just before the 1971 war that led the secession of East-Pakistan into Bangladesh.While in the United Kingdom, Haq was called by Bhutto to join the Ministry of Finance, but ultimately refused as he had strong opposing views on socialist economics. Bhutto, in response, began to attack the powerful oligarch families in a programme of nationalization. In 1973 Bhutto again asked Mahbub to return to Pakistan and join his administration in devising a strategy that would lift a large number of Pakistanis out of poverty and stagflation, but ideological differences persuaded Haq not to return.In 1982 Haq returned at the request of General Zia-ul-Haq, and assumed charge of the Ministry of Finance. He became associated with the Ministry of Defence, where he would go onto play an important role. He was the first chairman of the Executive Committee of the Space Research Commission and assisted in the nuclear weapon policy of the country with Munir Ahmad Khan.
Haq also served as the World Bank‘s Director of Policy Planning (1970–1982) and headed Pakistan’s Finance Ministry as its minister of finance and planning (1982–1988). In 1989, he was appointed as Special Advisor to the UNDP Administrator, where he led a team of international scholars to produce the first Human Development Report.
World Bank (1970-1982)
During his tenure at the World Bank (1970–82), Haq influenced the Bank’s development philosophy and lending policies, steering more attention towards poverty alleviation programmes and increased allocations for small farm production, nutrition, education, water supply and other social sectors. He wrote a study that served as a precursor to the basic needs and human development approaches of the 1980s.
Minister of Finance, Pakistan (1982-1988)
Serving as Pakistan’s Minister of Finance, Planning and Commerce (1982–88), Dr. Haq is credited with significant tax reforms, deregulation of the economy, increased emphasis on human development and several initiatives for poverty alleviation. According to Parvez Hasan ‘under Mahbub’s direction, the Planning Commission became once again a lively place and began to exert powerful influence on social sector issues, including education and family planning, much neglected in earlier Zia years – as Finance Minister, Mahbub piloted a major acceleration in social spending‘.
Advisor to united nations development programme(UNDP) (1989-1995)
In his capacity as Special Advisor to UNDP Administrator, Haq initiated the concept of Human Development and the Human Development Report as its Project Director. He gathered Paul Streeten, Inge Kaul, Frances Stewart, Amartya Sen, and Richard Jolly to prepare annual Human Development Reports.
Establishment of Human Development Center (1996)
In 1996, Haq founded the Human Development Center in Islamabad, Pakistan-a policy research institute committed to organizing professional research, policy studies and seminars in the area of human development, with a special focus on the South Asian region.
Haq originated the Human Development Index, which has become one of the most influential and widely used indices to measure human development across countries. The HDI has been used since 1990 by the United Nations Development Programme for its annual Human Development Reports. He also gave 5 year plan to South Korea which helped South Korea to progress rapidly.
Haq died on July 16, 1998 in New York, leaving behind his wife Khadija Haq, son Farhan, and daughter Toneema. In acknowledgement of his contributions, the Human Development Centre, Islamabad was officially renamed the Mahbub ul Haq Human Development Centre on December 13, 1998, with Mrs. Khadija Haq as president.
Tributes from UN
‘… probably more than anyone else, (Mahbub) provided the intellectual impetus for the Bank’s commitment to poverty reduction in the early 1970s.[…]His unique contributions were trend setters for the world and focused attention on the South Asian social realities, urging all of us to look at the dark corners of our social milieus’. James Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank.
The Mahbub ul Haq Award for Outstanding Contribution to Human Development
In honour of Haq, UNDP established this award that alternates between recognizing political and civil society leaders. Recipients include:
The Strategy of Economic Planning (1963)
The Poverty Curtain: Choices for the Third World (1976). Columbia University Press. 247 pages. ISBN 0-231-04062-8
The Myth of the Friendly Markets (1992)
The UN And The Bretton Woods Institutions : New Challenges For The Twenty-First Century / Edited By Mahbub Ul Haq … [Et Al.] (1995)
The Vision and the Reality (1995)
The Third World and the international economic order (1976)
New Imperatives of Human Security (1995)
A New Framework for Development Cooperation (1995)
Humanizing Global Institutions (1998).