Pakistan - Education
The goals of the education system include an expansion of vocational and
technical education as well as the fight against illiteracy, which in the adult
population is approximately 62% (1995) and by far the largest for women. In parallel
with the public education system, there are Koranic schools.
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The teaching in the five-year primary school for 5-10-year-olds is
characterized by a lack of connection and drop-out, as it is only followed by
approximately 70%; especially the participation of girls is low. The primary school is
followed by a three-year middle school, completed by 49% (1998), and a four-year
Continuing education takes place at the country's more than 20 universities
and colleges, where English is the language of instruction.
OFFICIAL NAME: Islamic Jamhuriya and Pakistan
CAPITAL CITY: Islamabad
POPULATION: 182,490,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)
AREA: 796,100 km²
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): urdu, panjabi, sindhi, pashto, baluchi, andre
RELIGION: Sunni Muslims 77%, Shia Muslims 18%, Christians 2%, Hindus 2%, others 1%
CURRENCY CODE: PKR
ENGLISH NAME: Pakistan
POPULATION COMPOSITION: punjabier 50%, pashtuner 13%, sindhi 12%, saraiki 9%, urdu-speaking 7%,
GDP PER residents: $ 596 (2007)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 64 years, women 66 years (2007)
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, HDI: 0.539
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, POSITION: 134
INTERNET DOMAIN NAME: .pk
Pakistan, Islamic Republic of South Asia. The core area is located around the
river Indus, an ancient cultural land with many peoples and languages and
through the centuries marked by changing immigrations and conquests; but
Pakistan also contains isolated mountain areas with very own cultures.
The name, formed in the 1930's, means in Persian 'the land of the pure (ie
orthodox)'; it is at the same time an acronym, formed by names of areas that
were imagined to be included in the future Pakistan: Punjab, Afghanistan,
Kashmir and Sindh as well as the last link in Baluchistan.
Since the partition of British India in 1947, when Pakistan was formed,
relations with neighboring India have been conflict-ridden, not least due to the
still unresolved issue of Kashmir's affiliation.
Pakistan - Constitution
The Constitution of the Islamic Federal Republic of Pakistan is from 1973
with several amendments, most recently in 2003. The Islamic law, sharia,
constitutes the legal basis of the country. Pakistan is a federal state with
The executive power lies with a president who acts after consulting with the
prime minister. The president is elected for a five-year term by an electoral
college composed of the two chambers of the federal parliament and the four
provincial assemblies. He must be a Muslim. The President has the right, with
the approval of the Prime Minister, to dissolve Parliament, after which the
matter must be submitted to the Supreme Court within 15 days. The Prime Minister
is appointed by the National Assembly for a five-year term.
Legislative power lies with a two-chamber parliament: the House of Commons,
the National Assembly, has had 342 members since 2002, of which 60 are to
represent women and 10 to represent minorities. The upper house, the senate, has
100 members. The lower house is elected by direct election for four years, the
upper house is elected for five years with equal distribution among the members
of the four provincial assemblies and eight representatives of tribal
areas. Bills can be tabled in both chambers, however, finance laws are reserved
for the National Assembly.
The role of the Senate is subordinate at all and of an advisory nature, but a
conciliation committee has been set up to mediate in the event of disagreement
between the chambers. There is a National Economic Council with the president
and a representative from each province to advise both the provincial
governments and the federal government. The activities of the provincial boards
are limited to purely local conditions. The provincial governors are appointed
by the president.
A national security council chaired by the president consists of nine
civilian politicians and four military personnel. There is an advisory body on
Islamic ideology and an Islamic research institute.
Pakistan - social conditions
Despite the fact that Pakistan has a relatively large GDP per capita. per
capita compared to other developing countries, the social conditions in the
country are not marked by this. For example, in 1998, the UN placed Pakistan
between Kenya and India in terms of life expectancy and dissemination of
literacy, although both of these countries have a GDP per capita. capita of
almost 1/3 of Pakistan.
Social work in the country is most often handled by voluntary organizations
with public support. Children, women and the disabled are entitled to financial
support if they cannot feed themselves. Pensions are handled by a state life
insurance company. Child labor is still widespread. In 1997, the International
Labor Organization, ILO, estimated that 3.6 million children between 5 and 14
years had full-time work. In the financial year 1995-96, 3.8% of the state's
expenditure went to the health and family planning area.
Pakistan (Health Conditions)
The health conditions in Pakistan are generally worse than in other countries
in Asia with the same degree of development. The average life expectancy for men
and women together is 63 years. Infant mortality is approximately 100 pr. 1,000 live
births, which is similar to the average for low-income countries, but is high
compared to both other countries in Asia and all developing countries. As in
other developing countries, health statistics are very uncertain.
Malnutrition is widespread and it is estimated that 50% of all children under
the age of five are malnourished. The most common causes of death are infectious
diseases, malaria, diarrhea and respiratory infections. Illness and
malnutrition create a vicious circle that accounts for a very large proportion
of infant deaths.
Outside the major cities, 71% of the population has access to clean drinking
water, while only 19% has access to health-sound disposal of wastewater and
latrines. Vaccination coverage is low, only 65% of children are vaccinated
against tuberculosis, and 55% against measles, compared to resp. 85% and 69% in
the other low-income countries. Fertility and population growth are high and
only 9% of women use modern contraceptives.
There are about 2000 residents per. doctor, but more than half of the
population has no access to modern healthcare.
The Armed Forces is (2006) at 619,000. The army is 550,000, the navy 24,000
and the air force 45,000. A special organization has not yet been established as
a framework for the country's nuclear weapons. The equipment of the three guards
is a combination of new equipment and equipment from the 1960's and 1980's. It is
a mixture of Western, Chinese and Soviet products. The material situation
reflects that it is in the West and China that Pakistan has been able to seek
support in the confrontation with India. This confrontation and the terrain in
which it takes place have determined the composition of the defenses. The army
is partly lightly equipped for action in the mountains of Kashmir, partly
heavily equipped for combat in the plains and desert areas of Punjab to the
south. The navy and air force are equipped to challenge Indian naval rule in the
Indian Ocean and air rule over the Punjab. In addition to defending the country
against India, the role of the army is to act as a reserve in internal
security. There are 302,000 in the country's various security forces.
Pakistan's inherited enemy is India, due to disagreement
over Kashmir province. In 1949, 1965 and in 1999 they were at war due to
Kashmir. In 1967 and 1973, Pakistan aided Syria and Egypt against Israel in
the Six Day War and the October War, respectively. During the Soviet Union's
war in Afghanistan 1979-88, Pakistan shot down Afghan and Soviet planes that had
invaded Pakistani territory, among others. the later Vice President Alexander
Rutskoy in a Su- 25. Pakistan tested its first atomic bombs in May 1998, a few
weeks after India tested five atomic bombs (Shakti IV).
Pakistan - Mass Media
Although there are almost 300 dailies (2004), Pakistan is one of the
countries in the world with the fewest newspapers read. The largest and most
influential daily newspaper is Daily Jang (grdl. 1940, circulation approximately
775,000), which is published in several national editions in Urdu as well as in
an international edition in London. Another major newspaper in Urdu is
Nawa-i-Waqt (Grdl. 1940, circulation approximately 295,000).
The English-language newspapers, with Dawn and The News as two of the largest
and most important, are read especially by the well-educated middle class in the
cities and have great political influence, even though they only appear in small
editions. Most newspapers are privately owned or owned by large associations,
which often publish several publications. Main news agencies are Associated
Press of Pakistan and Pakistan Press International.
While the print press is concentrated in Karachi and Lahore, radio and
television are headquartered in Islamabad. The state radio company Pakistan
Broadcasting Corporation (grdl. 1947) broadcasts from a number of stations
across the country and in more than 20 languages and dialects. In 1990, the
state television company Pakistan Television Corporation (grdl. 1964) was joined
by the first partially private television channel, ATV, which reaches half the
ATV broadcasts news from CNN and BBC. Satellite TV is popular, and in
the early 21st century, private Pakistani television stations also began
broadcasting via satellite. Since 1988, there has been official freedom of the
press in the country, yet censorship and other attacks on freedom of expression
Pakistan - architecture and visual arts
The remains of two significant cultural centers, the Indus culture and the
Gandhara culture, are found today on Pakistani soil. The Indus culture was at
its peak around 2000 BC. In the large cities of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, there
are excavated palaces and brick houses on several floors, and seals with
elaborate animal motifs and decorated ceramics have been found. Stupasand ruins
of other Buddhist buildings from the 100's-400's. in the areas around Taxila and
Peshawar stand as monuments to a rich Buddhist culture, from which Gandhara
art sprang up. Among the oldest remains of Islamic architecture is a mosque from
772, excavated in Banbhore in Sindh. Well-preserved tombstones in Multan
include the tombs of Shah Yusuf Gardizi (1152) and Rukn-i-Alam (1320), a
magnificent building adorned with blue and white tiles in geometric
patterns. One of the world's largest mosques is Emperor Aurangzeb's Mosque
(Badshahi) in Lahore from 1673. See also India (architecture and visual arts).
Due to the lack of domestic architects, it was foreign architects who marked
the large-scale construction in Karachi and Islamabad in the decades after
independence in 1947. From 1958, it became possible to train as an architect in
Pakistan, which has created fertile ground for a modern Pakistani architecture
with impulses from domestic traditions. The visual arts have many practitioners
in Pakistan, and art schools have been established all over the country with The
National College of Art in Lahore as the most significant.
Pakistan - literature
Pakistan's literary heritage includes literature in many languages. The
Muslim conquest of the Indus Valley in the 700's. led to a wave of
Arabic-language religious literature based on Sindh; from 1000-t. flourished a
rich Persian literature in Punjab.
Several of the local languages, especially pakhto, baluchi, sindhi and
panjabi, have a centuries-long literary tradition behind them with romantic
ballads, folk songs and Sufi poetry.
Although efforts are being made to promote literary activity in the local
languages, most modern Pakistani writers write in Urdu, the official language of
The most respected poet in Pakistan is Muhammad Iqbal, who around 1930
became a spokesman for the establishment of an Islamic state. Significant Urdu
writers in recent times are Faiz Ahmad Faiz (1911-84) and Ahmad Faraz
Finally, a number of Pakistani writers write in English, including Zulfikar
Ghose (b. 1935).
Pakistan - music
The art music in Pakistan is identical to the classical North Indian
music. Equally closely related to Indian tradition is film music, which enjoys
immense popularity among the entire population.
Among the middle class, the most held form of singing is the romantic ghazals,
which embrace from the lighter classical singing tradition to modern film
music. One of the country's most famous and esteemed artists was Nusrat Fateh
Ali Khan (1948-97), whose starting point was qawwali, the Sufi music
of India and Pakistan, but which merged with many modern styles.
Qawwali are religious poems with music that combines a slightly
classical, harmonium-backed song with rhythmic hand claps and drums. Based on
qawwali, tarana is developed as an attempt to create its own national
genre. In addition, a pop and rock scene is slowly emerging in the big cities,
but poor economy and religious tensions give these genres difficult conditions.
In Pakistan, there are also very diverse and very lively folk music
traditions with great richness in instruments. Best known in the West is the bhangra from
Punjab, which has become very popular in modernized versions among Indian and
Pakistani immigrants in Europe.
Pakistan - film
Restrictions on imports of Indian films since 1965 have created fertile
ground for a Pakistani film production of about 100 films a year. The films lean
heavily on the Hindu film tradition from before the founding of Pakistan in
1947, i.e. the song- and dance-influenced popular film; Hindi names and topics
have simply been replaced with Muslim ones. Nor in East Pakistan, which became
Bangladesh after the Civil War in 1971, was there any real national cinematic
tradition. The famous Bengali art tradition was without Muslim participation,
disregarding the Indian director Ritwik Ghatak (1925-76), who was born in the
region and co-directed the film A River called Titash (1973).