Unravelling Gordian Knots
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Dr. Ishrat Husain revolutionized the State Bank of Pakistan. Overall, he functioned beautifully in it and also outside it. I always admired him because he is a person who expresses his views openly instead of beating around the bush. Honestly speaking, I learnt a lot on the finance and economy side from Dr. Ishrat and definitely wanted him to stay for a third term at the State Bank.
PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, Former President of Pakistan.
The greatest quality that I found in Dr. Ishrat Husain is that he is an institution builder. I would put him amongst my finest countrymen, both in competence and in loyalty. I have never seen him do anything which would bring him personal gain in terms of position or career advantage. He would only do things what he thought would benefit Pakistan.
SYED BABAR ALI, Founder Lahore University of Management Sciences
When the history of the economy of Pakistan is written, Dr. Ishrat Husain will be remembered as one of the best Governors the State Bank has ever had. He took charge of the Bank at a very difficult time for Pakistan but his policies propelled the pace of industrial and agricultural production and foreign trade eventually leading to record GDP growth and excellent macroeconomic and monetary stability.
SARTAJ AZIZ, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan
Dr Ishrat Husain has had a distinguished career in many fields over several decades. He has excelled in civil service, as an economist and Director at the World Bank, as Governor of the State Bank, as a leader who transformed the IBA, and now as Adviser to the PM on Institutional Reforms. His experience, analytical ability and dedication to public service uniquely qualify him to share draw lessons for development both to Pakistan and other countries.
HAFEEZ SHAIKH, Finance Minister
Unravelling Gordian Knots by Sibtain Naqvi is a captivating biography of a brilliant Pakistani economist. Drawing from Ishrat’s vast experience, internationally as well as in Pakistan, the author has crafted a remarkable fusion of personal and professional reminiscences. Weaving the story with that of the many countries especially in Africa, South Asia and Ishrat’s own country Pakistan where his pivotal role in economic reforms has left an indelible mark, the book is masterfully done. The book illustrates this through examples and stories from Ishrat’s firsthand experiences -- persuading Presidents in Africa to make bold economic decisions; advising Prime Ministers of Pakistan in times of economic crises; strategic roles in influencing positive advances in myriad organizations, to name a few. The book is a welcome addition to the repertoire of biographies of economists who have made a real difference.
PRAFUL PATEL. Former Vice President World Bank
Unravelling Gordian Knots explores the life and times of Dr. Ishrat Husain, from his earliest days in a refugee camp in newly made Pakistan to his impactful tenures in the civil services, World Bank, State Bank of Pakistan, academia and institutional reform.
A sweeping story, the biography touches upon the key moments in Pakistan’s history as told through the eyes of Dr. Ishrat Husain who served as Governor of State Bank and also other notables drawn from Pakistan’s politics and industry and the institutions Dr. Ishrat Husain has contributed to.
As a high-ranking civil servant Dr. Ishrat Husain is an eyewitness to such epochal episodes as the separation East Pakistan and while at the World Bank he saw firsthand the economic struggles of African nations and countries formerly in the Soviet Union. Later he led Pakistan’s economic recovery in the 2000s and for past two decades has been involved in reform of the country’s public and private institutions. A savant and celebrated economist, Dr. Ishrat Husain has left his mark on several institutions.
Currently Dr. Ishrat Husain is the Minister for Institutional Reform and as Pakistan strives to improve its public institutions and reform its bureaucracy, his timely biography is a must read for policy makers, educationists, economists, corporate managers and anyone interested in learning about a lifetime of service.