A Market Economy Approach to Pakistan's Development

Pakistan Club

October 8, 2012: 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

The Pakistan Club is proud to host an exciting conversation with Ali Salman, a development consultant in Pakistan, who has spearheaded several market approaches which were influenced by the Chicago School of Economics. In particular, he will share how an education vouchers system—as envisioned by Milton Friedman—was introduced and implemented successfully in Pakistan.


Gleacher Center
Room 602
450 North Cityfront Plaza Drive
Chicago, Illinois

Driving Directions:

Driving Directions:

Discounted Parking ($6.00):

300 East Illinois Street (AMC Theater-River East Self Park Garage) $6.00 validated parking after 3PM.

Have your parking ticket validated at the Gleacher Center's security desk in the lobby.

Event Details

Nations have grown richer and prosperous by expanding freedoms—personal, economic and political to most of its citizens. In current Pakistan, patronage, which originates in state-capture by the elite since pre-independence, has denied widespread prosperity to all citizens. The state officials enjoy endless discretions, which they use to favour their cronies in systemic manner. Enterprises often grow out of privileges instead of free competition. The state collects taxes from all citizens theoretically, yet directs resources to few. A state aristocracy develops and flourishes. A direct consequence of state capture is failed state, a characterization with which Pakistan is now often introduced. However, the story does not finish here. Along with a degenerating state, a strong and resilient economy has emerged based on mostly citizens' initiatives and private enterprise. Perhaps a most notable—but not the only—area is affordable private schooling. Others include housing solutions, municipal services, public transport and the list goes on. Pakistan's experiences with a deregulated telecom industry has caught on tremendously and now access to mobile phone has become universal. Since opening up of air waves, Pakistani electronic media has been thriving and the channels run into hundreds. These broad trends should lead to a valid lesson: open up the economy to not only help the poor but also make Pakistan more stable. This economic freedom does not need to be state controlled capitalism that has, in the past sixty five years, doled out privileges to few and selected at the cost of nation's prosperity. Rather, an economic freedom provides the right environment for citizens to create wealth by entrepreneurship, meritocracy and professionalism. Economic freedom—together with a transparent and constitutional government—is not meant for rich alone, and in fact will be detested by large businesses. This economic freedom will develop a new citizenry, which will nurture an open society protecting freedoms, peace and prosperity.


Compliments of the Pakistan Club.


Register Online

The Pakistan Club, now in its 9th year, started out as an alumni organization at Chicago Booth. Over the years, we have partnered with other divisions for our programming as well as activities. Now, we have members from all divisions of the University, including current students, alumni, and faculty. We have conducted Admissions sessions, high-profile presentations by senior corporate executives, policy makers, and academics (including one Nobel Laureate economist). We also hosted a highly successful investment conference about Pakistan and another one about the emerging opportunities in the Silk Road countries.

Please visit our Events and News webpages to see what we have been able to accomplish with our limited, volunteer time:

Besides the presentations from our events, we also have Research reports on Pakistan from investment banks and think tanks on our club's website:

Deadline: 10/7/2012


6:00 PM-7:00 PM: Social Hour and Networking

7:00 PM-7:15 PM: Introduction

7:15 PM-8:00 PM: Presentation

8:00 PM-9:00 PM: Q & A and Networking

Speaker Profiles

Ali Salman (Speaker)
Co-founder and Managing Partner, Development Pool

Ali Salman is a development consultant and economic analyst based in Islamabad, Pakistan, where he heads his economic research firm, Development Pool. He has worked as a consultant and trainer for major international development organizations, public sector organizations and non-profits. Ali is author of several monographs including the recently published "Discord between Economic Freedom and Social Justice in Islam." An active member of Economic Freedom Network Pakistan, Ali regularly writes a column in Express Tribune and a blog on economic issues. Ali Salman has held Fulbright scholarship, Royal Netherlands Fellowship and Charles Wallace fellowship and has master degrees in Economics, Public Policy and Business Administration from leading international and national universities. He is an adjunct faculty member at Government College University Lahore and is a visiting fellow at Institute of Economic Affairs, London. Ali is an alumnus of International Academy of Leadership, Germany and Atlas Network Think Tank MBA Program.

In his capacity as a consultant, Ali has led various research and training projects supported by Center for International Private Enterprise, Competition Commission of Pakistan, US-AID, CIDA, South Asia Partnership Pakistan, Aga Khan Foundation Pakistan, International Republican Institute, UNDP and Friedrich Naumann Foundation.

Starting his career as Research Associate at Planning Commission, Ali Salman has worked in the private, public and development sectors of Pakistan for over twelve years. He has worked as Consultant to the Competition Commission of Pakistan, Executive Director for Alternate Solutions Institute and has taught Economics and Entrepreneurship at the Management Studies Department at Government College University.

Ali has a Masters degree in Economics from Boston University (which he attended as a Fulbright Scholar); Masters in Development Studies from Institute of Social Studies as Royal Netherlands Fellow; and an MBA from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. Ali is also a British Council's Charles Wallace Fellow under which he has worked at the UK's premier think tank, Institute of Economic Affairs. His articles regularly appear in Pakistan's leading daily, Express Tribune.

He also blogs at:

Selected research articles:

Liberate to Learn: Review of Education Vouchers Schee in Lahore

Price Controls: Implications for Liberty and Welfare

State Intervention in Commodity Markets


K. Rizwan Kadir, '97 

Other Information

Save the Date:

Monday, November 26, 2012: A Conversation with Farhana Qazi, Senior Instructor on the Af-Pak team at Booz Allen Hamilton, who designs and teaches a variety of classes on Pakistan to the US military.