Message from the Executive Director

Executive Director

It is indeed a great pleasure, privilege and honour for me to be the new Executive Director of the IBA. I have been an Adjunct Professor at the IBA for seven years now and am quite familiar with the quality of teaching and particularly, the outstanding quality of our students. Many of our students are quite brilliant and compare favourably to any university and institution not just in the country, but globally as well. This observation is collaborated by the fact that the students from the IBA are increasingly finding well-paid jobs in the industry both in Pakistan and overseas, while an increasing and impressive number are going abroad for further studies, most of whom are on scholarships and many completing their PhDs. Having taught for almost four decades in Pakistan and at universities like Columbia University and Johns Hopkins University, and having interacted with students at dozens of universities including Oxford, Cambridge, SOAS, the London School of Economics and many others, I can safely say that many of our students are of similar standard, with some of our students already studying for higher degrees at some of these very universities.

The IBA has evolved exceedingly well from being Pakistan's premier Business School for a number of decades, now to an institution which offers degrees in Accounting and Finance, Economics and Mathematics, Computer Science, Social Science and Liberal Arts, Journalism, and hopefully soon in Law. In many of these disciplines, we are also offering Masters-level programmes and PhDs in Computer Science, Journalism and Economics. This is a major transformation that has taken place in the ethos and nature of the IBA focusing much more on education, more broadly defined, in addition to providing skilled graduates for the workplace. We are at the juncture where we are setting the future for a new IBA.

In the most recent Placement Survey conducted by the IBA to assess where our students are a few months after graduation, we found that 67 percent of our graduating class of 2019 had already found employment, while 7 percent of this class, as many as 17 students, were pursuing higher education. Perhaps the most encouraging sign from this data was, that of the 17 students undertaking higher education, the majority were our women graduates. This is indeed a remarkable sign which clearly shows not only how Pakistan's demography and social structure has transformed, but also that women are now overcoming social taboos and constraints and are setting new standards for all our graduates. Moreover, 48 percent of those finding employment within a year of graduation from the IBA, were our women graduates. Clearly, these are remarkable and path-breaking developments and trends, which are highly encouraging.

These changes would not have been possible without the stellar achievements in the development of infrastructure and overall facilities undertaken by both my predecessors, Dr Ishrat Husain and Dr Farrukh Iqbal. They have laid the strong foundations which has made the IBA what it is and they have provided a challenge for me to build on their legacy and provide intellectual leadership to where we want the IBA to be some years from now. I will also continue to work with IBA's highly accomplished alumni who now head key positions of authority and power in diverse sectors across Pakistan. The IBA Brand Name is a highly successful product and one needs to maximise the benefit from this.

I believe institutions of learning are judged and evaluated on the basis of their teachers and their graduating students. For this, academics and the Faculty need to be the priority for the IBA over the next few years where we can provide our students the best education they can possibly receive. IBA students are quite driven, eager to learn, and quality teachers can provide them the education which they demand and require, whether to be able to compete in the marketplace or to continue their intellectual quest for higher learning. I hope to make the IBA an institution where we can attract the best possible teachers and help in building skills and support Faculty who are already at the IBA. By emphasising training and exchange programmes for Faculty, by building institutional linkages with leading universities in the region and in the world, and by giving incentives and encouragement to research, I feel that we can attract exceptional scholars and teachers. I also want more academic and intellectual engagement between IBA Faculty members and students and scholars and academics from within Pakistan and abroad, and hope to announce a number of initiatives which bring in such scholars to the IBA in each Department, for lectures, symposia and to run short seminar series.

My ambition, intention and hope is to make the IBA one of the leading centres of learning, education and creative intellectual endeavour in the region.

S Akbar Zaidi
Executive Director

Education


PhD History, University of Cambridge, 2009

MPhil Economics, University of Cambridge, 1992-93

MSc Social Planning in Developing Countries, London School of Economics and Political Science, 1981-82

BSc (Hons.) Economics, University College London, 1977-80

Brief profile


Professor Dr. S. Akbar Zaidi is a renowned political economist with an experience of over 36 years of teaching and research in Pakistan and abroad. His area of interest in research includes: political economy, development, social sciences and history.

He completed his PhD in History from the University of Cambridge in 2009, MPhil in Economics from the University of Cambridge in 1993, MSc in Social Planning in Developing Countries from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1982 and BSc (Hons.) in Economics from University College London in 1980.

His name has been associated with many renowned organizations globally including Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Oxford, IBA Karachi, United States Institute of Peace, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pakistan, the World Bank, Department for International Development (DFID), University of Karachi, State Bank of Pakistan, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Department for International Development, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), Aga Khan Foundation (Pakistan) etc.

Prior to his appointment as the Executive Director, IBA Karachi on January 7, 2020, Dr. Zaidi served as Professor at Columbia University, New York and held a joint position at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), and at the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS).

Moreover, he taught at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, from 2004-2005 as a visiting professor. He was the review editor of the Global Social Policy, McMaster's University, Canada during 2006-2011. He was also associated with the Applied Economics Research Centre, University of Karachi as a senior research economist.

Dr. Zaidi has written over 75 academic articles in international journals and as chapters in books. Amongst his books, are: Military, Civil Society and Democratization in Pakistan (2011), The New Development Paradigm: Papers on Institutions, NGOs, Gender and Local Government (1999), and Pakistan's Economic and Social Development: The Domestic, Regional and Global Context (2004).His recent books include Issues in Pakistan's Economy: A Political Economy Perspective published by Oxford University Press in 2015, and a co-edited volume entitled New Perspectives on Pakistan's Political Economy: State, Class and Social Change, published by Cambridge University Press in April 2019. Dr. Zaidi is currently serving as the Executive Director, IBA Karachi.

Academic Papers


  1. 'The urban bias in health facilities in Pakistan', Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 20, No. 5, 1985. Reprinted in Ejaz Aslam Qureshi (ed.), Development Planning in Pakistan, Ferozsons, Lahore, 1991.
  2. 'The class composition of medical students: some indication from Sindh, Pakistan', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 21, No. 40, 1986.
  3. 'Why medical students will not practice in rural areas: evidence from a survey', Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 22, No. 5, 1986. Reprinted in Ejaz Aslam Qureshi (ed.), Development Planning in Pakistan, Ferozsons, Lahore, 1991.
  4. 'Issues in the health sector in Pakistan', The Pakistan Development Review, Vol. 25, No. 4, 1986.
  5. 'Unemployment among doctors in Pakistan', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 22, No. 47, 1987.
  6. 'Undergraduate medical education in underdeveloped countries: the case of Pakistan', Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 25, No. 8, 1987. Reprinted in Ejaz Aslam Qureshi (ed.), Development Planning in Pakistan, Ferozsons, Lahore, 1991.
  7. 'Health for all by the year 2000: can Pakistan meet the target?', The Pakistan Development Review, Vol. 26, No. 4, 1987.
  8. 'Religious minorities in Pakistan today', Journal of Contemporary Asia, Vol. 8, No. 4, 1988.
  9. 'How the bourgeoisie views Pakistan' Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 23, No. 48, 1988.
  10. 'Poverty and disease: need for structural change', Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 27, No. 2, 1988. Reprinted in The Indian Economic Journal, Vol. 36, No. 4, 1989.
  11. 'Regional imbalances and the national question in Pakistan: some indications', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 24, No. 6, 1989.
  12. 'An agenda for disaster: new Soviet thinking about the revolutionary movement in the Third World', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 24, No. 39, 1989.
  13. 'Explanations for high levels of infant mortality in Pakistan – a dissenting view', The Pakistan Development Review, Vol. 28, No. 3, 1989.
  14. 'A pause in the revolution?...', International Affairs, No. 1, 1990.
  15. 'Which way Socialism: questions regarding new concepts', Journal of Contemporary Asia, Vol. 21, No. 1, 1991. Paper presented at the 20th Anniversary Conference of the Journal of Contemporary Asia.
  16. 'Sindhi vs mohajir: contradiction, conflict, compromise', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 26, No. 20, 1991. Paper presented at the Democracy and Development in South Asia Conference, Tufts University, 1990.
  17. 'The structural adjustment programme and Pakistan: external influence or internal acquiescence?', Pakistan Journal of Applied Economics, Vol. 10, Nos. 1 &2, 1994
  18. 'Planning in the health sector: for whom, by whom?', Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 39, No. 9, 1994.
  19. 'Locating the budget deficit in context: the case of Pakistan', Pakistan Journal of Applied Economics, Vol. 11, Nos. 1&2, 1995.
  20. 'Gender perspectives and the quality of care in underdeveloped countries: disease, gender and contextuality', Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 43, No. 5, 1996.
  21. 'Urban local government in Pakistan: expecting too much from too little?', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 31, No. 44, 1996.
  22. 'Urban local governance in Pakistan', in Islam, Nazrul and M Mohabbat Khan (eds.) Urban Governance in Bangladesh and Pakistan, Centre for Urban Studies, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, 1997.
  23. 'Karachi: prospects for the future', in Khuhro, Hameeda (ed.), Karachi: Megacity of Our Times, Oxford University Press, Karachi, 1997.
  24. 'Politics, Institutions, Poverty: The case of Karachi', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 32, No. 51, 1997.
  25. 'Urban safety and crime prevention in Asia', Occasional Paper No. 42, Urban Management Programme – Regional Office for Asia-Pacific, Thailand, March 1999. Reprinted in Proceedings of the Regional Symposium on Urban Poverty in Asia, UNCHS, Habitat, Fukuoka, Japan, April 2000.
  26. 'Democratic decentralisation in Pakistan: A contradiction in terms?' in Tahir, Naveed Ahmad (ed), Problems of Good Governance in South Asian Countries: Learning from European Political Models, Area Study Centre for Europe, University of Karachi, 1999.
  27. 'NGO failure and the need to bring back the State', Journal of International Development, Vol. 11, No. 2, 1999. Reprinted in Mukherji, P N, and Chandan Sengupta, Indigeneity and Universality in Social Science: A South Asian Perspective, Sage, New Delhi, 2004.
  28. 'Is poverty now a permanent phenomenon in Pakistan?', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 34, No. 41, 1999.
  29. 'Meeting the International Development Targets: Prospects and key challenges. Country Case Study for Pakistan', mimeo, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, October 1999
  30. 'Tuberculosis in Pakistan: Social, economic and policy concerns', in Meulemans, Herman (ed.), Tuberculosis in Pakistan: The Forgotten Plague, Leuven/Amesfort, Acco, 2000.
  31. 'The limits to patient compliance with Directly Observed Therapy for tuberculosis', in Meulemans, Herman (ed.), Tuberculosis in Pakistan: The Forgotten Plague, Leuven/Amesfort, Acco, 2000.
  32. 'The Last, Losing Bet', in HarperCollins Publishers, On The Abyss: Pakistan After the Coup, HarperCollins Publishers India, New Delhi, 2000.
  33. 'Poverty reduction without human development in Pakistan', Development Policy Review, Vol. 18 No. 1, 2000.
  34. 'The business of giving advice: Pakistan economy and society', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 35, No. 19, 2000.
  35. 'Structural adjustment and economic slowdown: Likely impact on health outcomes in Pakistan', in Qadeer, Imrana, Kasturi Sen, and KR Nayar, Public Health and the Poverty of Reforms: South Asia at the turn of the Century, Sage Publications, New Delhi, 2000.
  36. 'The nature of social and economic change in Pakistan', Pakistan Perspectives, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2000.
  37. 'Review Article: A history of the politics of the Pakistani military', Pakistan Perspectives, Vol. 5, No. 2, 2000.
  38. 'Bonded labour and poverty in Pakistan', Pakistan Perspectives, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2001.
  39. 'Economic Confidence Building measures in South Asia: Trade as a Precursor to Peace with India', in Ahmar, Moonis (ed.), The Challenge of Confidence Building in South Asia, Haranand Publications, New Delhi, 2001.
  40. 'Pakistan: The political economy of peace', Peace Initiatives, Vol. 6, Nos. 4-6, 2000. Republished in Sawney, Karan (ed.), Kashmir: How far can Vajpayee and Musharraf go? Peace Publications, New Delhi, 2002.
  41. 'Globalisation and the creation of poverty in Pakistan', Pakistan Journal of Public Administration, Vol. 7, No 1, 2002.
  42. 'The limits to patience compliance with Directly Observed Therapy for Tuberculosis: A socio-medical study in Pakistan', International Journal of Health Planning and Management, Vol. 17, pp. 249-67, 2002.
  43. 'What are we paying for our loans?', Pakistan Journal of Applied Economics, Vol. 15, Nos. 1&2, 1999 [published August 2002].
  44. 'The dismal state of the social sciences in Pakistan', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 37, No 35, 2002.
  45. 'Does 'global' include all countries of the world? Equally? Locating Pakistan in the new global order', Pakistan Perspectives, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2002.
  46. 'The politics of opportunism', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 37, Nos. 44 and 45, 2002.
  47. 'Institutional failure, state failure or the failure of 'civil' society? The rural water supply and sanitation sector in Pakistan', in Bengali, Kaiser (ed.), The Politics of Managing Water, Oxford University Press, 2003.
  48. 'The political economy of dealing with Globalization', Pakistan Journal of Public Administration, Vol. 8, No 4, 2003.
  49. 'Universal Values and Diverse Responses', (Comment on the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization), Global Social Policy, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2004.
  50. 'Elected Representatives in Pakistan: Socio-economic Background and Awareness of Issues' Economic and Political Weekly, Vol 39, No. 45, November 6, 2004
  51. 'Economic Development in Pakistan: 1970-2003', New Cambridge Economic History of India, Orient Longman, India, 2004.
  52. 'The Search for Civilisation and Civil Society in Medieval India: Why it Matters Five Centuries Later', Pakistan Perspectives, Vol 9, No 1, 2004.
  53. 'Pakistan's Economy After 9/11: Will the end be different this time Around?', Occasional Paper No 6, 2004, Centre of South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge. [Published May 2005].
  54. 'Dealing with Globalisation and WTO: Pakistan and its Textiles', in Debroy, Bibek and Mohammad Saqib (eds), WTO at Ten: Looking Back to Look Beyond, Konark Publishers, New Delhi, 2005.
  55. 'State, Military and Social Transition: The Improbable Future of Democracy in Pakistan', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol 40, No. 49, 2005.
  56. 'Contested Identities and the Muslim Qaum in Northern India, 1860-1900: An Exploratory Essay', Pakistan Perspectives, Vol 10, No. 2, 2005.
  57. 'Introduction: The Context of Globalization in Pakistan', in Actionaid, Education Under Globalization: The Case of Pakistan, Actionaid, Islamabad, 2006.
  58. 'Musharraf and His Collaborators', in Pakistan in Crisis, Social Science Perspectives, Social Science Research Council, New York, December 2007.
  59. 'The Puzzle of Pakistan's Social Sector Development: Finally on Track?' in Rajshree Jetley (ed), Pakistan in Regional and Global Politics, Routledge, New Delhi, 2008.
  60. 'An Emerging Civil Society? Pakistan After Musharraf', Journal of Democracy, Vol 19, No. 4, October 2008.
  61. 'South Asia? West Asia? Pakistan: Location, Identity', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol 44, No. 10, 2009.
  62. 'A Conspicuous Absence: Social Science Teaching and Research on India in Pakistan', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol 44, No. 38, 2009. Reprinted in E. Sridharan, ed., International Relations Theory and South Asia: Security, Political Economy, Domestic Politics, Identities and Images, Vols. I and II, Oxford University Press, 2011.
  63. 'Re-imagining the Image', in Saima Zaidi (ed), Mazaar, Bazaar: Design and Visual Culture in Pakistan, Oxford University Press, 2009.
  64. 'Surviving Economic Meltdown and Promoting Sustainable Economic Development', in Henry Sokolski (ed), Pakistan's Nuclear Future: Reining in the Risk, Strategic Studies Institute, Washington, DC, 2009.
  65. 'Living Amongst Different People', in Rumana Hussain, Karachiwala: A subcontinent within a City, Jaal Publications, Karachi, 2010.
  66. 'Who is a Muslim? Identities of Exclusion – North Indian Muslims, c 1860-1900', Indian Economic History and Social Review, Vol 47 No 2, 2010.
  67. 'A New Social Policy?', Global Social Policy, Vol 10, No 2, 2010.
  68. 'International Relations Theory and the Political Economy of Trade: India and Pakistan', in E. Sridharan, ed., International Relations Theory and South Asia: Security, Political Economy, Domestic Politics, Identities and Images, Vols. I and II, Oxford University Press, 2011.
  69. 'Who Benefits from US aid to Pakistan?', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol 46, No. 32, 2011.
  70. 'The Captivating Vision of the "New Growth Strategy": The Missing Political Economy Perspective', The Lahore Journal of Economics 17: SE (September 2012): pp. 33–49, 2012
  71. 'Contesting Notions of Pakistan', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol 47, No. 45, 2012.
  72. 'Influencing from Afar: Role of Pakistani Diaspora in Public Policy and Development in Pakistan', in Yong, Tan Tai and Md Mizanur Rahman (eds.), Diaspora Engagement and Development in South Asia, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2013.
  73. 'Writing Partial Truths: Orality, Print, Myth, and Identities', in Freitag, Sandra B, David Gilmartin, and Usha Sanyal, (eds.) Muslim Voices: Community and the Self in South Asia, Yoda Press, New Delhi, 2013.
  74. 'Different Governments, same Problems: Pakistan's Economy 1999-2013', in Bhumitra Chakma (ed), South Asia in Transition: Democracy, Political Economy and Security, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2014.
  75. 'Rethinking Pakistan's Political Economy: Class, State, Power and Transition', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol 49, No. 5, 2014.
  76. 'Is the Taj Mahal Pakistani?' Pakistan Historical Society. Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society, Vol. 62, No. 3, 2014.
  77. 'Uncontested Engagements', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol 49, Nos. 26 & 27, 2014.
  78. 'Circuits of Knowledge: Learning from the Pakistani diaspora and teaching them in return', in Rashid Amjad (ed), The Pakistani Diaspora: Corridors of Opportunity and Uncertainty, Lahore School of Economics, Lahore, 2017.
  79. 'The Death Wish in Pakistan's Aid Dependence', Current History, Vol 118, No. 807, April 2019.
  80. 'A road through Pakistan, and what this means for India', Strategic Analysis, Vol 43, No. 2, 2019.
  81. 'Introduction' (with Matthew McCartney), in Matthew McCartney and S Akbar Zaidi, New Perspectives on Pakistan's Political Economy: State, Class and Social Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2019.

Books/Monographs – all single authored/edited unless stated:


  1. The Political Economy of Health Care in Pakistan, Vanguard, Lahore, 1988.
  2. Regional Imbalances and the National Question in Pakistan, Vanguard, Lahore, 1992 (edited)
  3. The New Development Paradigm: Papers on Institutions, NGOs, Gender and Local Government, Oxford University Press, 1999.
  4. The Dismal State of the Social Sciences in Pakistan, Council of Social Sciences Pakistan, Islamabad, 2002.
  5. Continuity and Change: Socio-Political and Institutional Dynamics in Pakistan, City Press, Karachi, 2003 (edited).
  6. Social Science in Pakistan in the 1990s, Council of Social Sciences Pakistan, Islamabad, 2003 (edited).
  7. Pakistan's Economic and Social Development: The Domestic, Regional and Global Context, Rupa and Co., New Delhi, 2004.
  8. The Political Economy of Decentralisation in Pakistan, University of Zurich, Switzerland, August 2005.
  9. The Poverty-Health Relationship in Pakistan, Pakistan Poverty Assessment Update, Background Paper Series, Background Paper 6, Asian Development Bank, Islamabad, November 2005.
  10. The Political Economy of Military Rule in Pakistan: The Musharraf Years. Working Paper No 31, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore, January 2008.
  11. Military, Civil Society and Democratization in Pakistan, Vanguard, Lahore, 2011.
  12. Issues in Pakistan's Economy: A Political Economy Perspective, Oxford University Press, 2015.
  13. (With Saba Aslam and Farheen Ghaffar), Misperceptions about India-Pakistan Trade: Beyond Politics, United States Institute of Peace, Washington, DC, June 2017.
  14. (Co-edited with Matthew McCartney), New Perspectives on Pakistan's Political Economy: State, Class and Social Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2019.