Analysis from South Asia:
Citizens look to their leaders for sound leadership, quality service delivery, and protection always, but more so during times of crisis, and as a result are willing to accept increased government presence in their lives. In combating COVID-19, CIPE is witnessing the trend of increasing government and military presence in the economic and civil space in South Asia, such as in Pakistan and Bangladesh. This trend, if sustained beyond the life of the ongoing health emergency, can weaken the business enabling environment by resulting in restrictive institutional and structural changes affecting the private sector and civil society organizations. While emergency health response may necessitate reasonable and proportionate government intervention, the critical question revolves around the existence or absence of sunset provisions and a clear mechanism to ensure these advances remain targeted to COVID-19 response and thus sustain their temporary nature.
This video provides an in-depth assessment of governments’ response to COVID-19 in Pakistan and Bangladesh, and the countries’ prospects for a sound socio-economic recovery.
Opening Remarks: Andrew Wilson, Executive Director, CIPE
Moderator: John Morrell, Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific,
CIPE Panelists: Dr. Ali Riaz – South Asia expert and Professor at the Department of Politics and Government of Illinois State University Dr. S. Akbar Zaidi – South Asia expert and Professor at School of International and Public Affairs of Columbia University