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macrohistory & world report

Islamic Republic of Pakistan

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Pakistan (capital Islamabad) and neighboring states

World Factbook as of November 2014: "Decades of internal political disputes and low levels of foreign investment have led to slow growth and underdevelopment in Pakistan. Agriculture accounts for more than one-fifth of output and two-fifths of employment. Textiles account for most of Pakistan's export earnings, and Pakistan's failure to expand a viable export base for other manufactures has left the country vulnerable to shifts in world demand. Official unemployment was 6.6% in 2013, but this fails to capture the true picture, because much of the economy is informal and underemployment remains high. Over the past few years, low growth and high inflation, led by a spurt in food prices, have increased the amount of poverty. As a result of political and economic instability, the Pakistani rupee has depreciated more than 40% since 2007. The government agreed to an International Monetary Fund Standby Arrangement in November 2008 in response to a balance of payments crisis. Although the economy has stabilized since the crisis, it has failed to recover. Foreign investment has not returned, due to investor concerns related to governance, energy, security, and a slow-down in the global economy. Remittances from overseas workers, averaging about $1 billion a month since March 2011, remain a bright spot for Pakistan. However, after a small current account surplus in fiscal year 2011 (July 2010/June 2011), Pakistan's current account turned to deficit in the following two years, spurred by higher prices for imported oil and lower prices for exported cotton. Pakistan remains stuck in a low-income, low-growth trap, with growth averaging about 3.5% per year from 2008 to 2013. Pakistan must address long standing issues related to government revenues and energy production in order to spur the amount of economic growth that will be necessary to employ its growing and rapidly urbanizing population, more than half of which is under 22. Other long term challenges include expanding investment in education and healthcare, adapting to the effects of climate change and natural disasters, and reducing dependence on foreign donors."

Economic growth rate
2011: 2.4%
2010: 3.8%
2009: 1.7%

Labor force in agriculture
2010: 45%

Unemployment rate
2011: 5.6%

Import/export ratio
2011: exports $25.35, imports $35.82

Wikipedia: "According to 2002, 2006, 2009 and 2010 surveys, the majority of respondents consistently view the police as being the most corrupt sector of Pakistani government. In the 2010 survey, 31% of 4,224 respondents reported paying bribes to the police."

Bribery is also involved in billing for electrical power and regarding taxes. Wikipedia: "According to the 2002 study, 99% of 256 respondents reported facing corruption of taxation. Furthermore, 32% of respondents reported paying bribes to have their tax assessment lowered, and nearly 14% reported receiving fictitious tax assessments until a bribe was paid."

Income Distribution – GINI index
Ranks 115th among 140 countries (lower rank number is less equal). More equal than Britain, which ranks 94th, and the US, which ranks 45th

Health expenditures
2009: 2.7% of GDP.

People

Living in an urban area
2010: 36%

Net migration rate
2012: A net loss of 2 persons per 1,000 population.

Educated Pakistanis, such as engineers, have migrated to the United States and the UK. In the 1970s and '80s large numbers of skilled laborers migrated to the Middle East, sending money back to their families in Pakistan.

Ethnic groups
Punjabi 44.68%, Pashtun (Pathan) 15.42%, Sindhi 14.1%, Sariaki 8.38%, Muhajirs 7.57%, Balochi 3.57%, other 6.28%

Religion
Muslim (official) 95% (Sunni 75%, Shia 20%), other (includes Christian and Hindu) 5%

In Pakistan insulting the Koran or the Prophet Mohammed is regarded as blasphemy and can be punished by death.

Literacy (for age 15 and older, estimated for 2005)
2005: males 63%, females 36%

Capital Crimes in Pakistan as of January, 2008
Murder, robbery, sexual relations between the unmarried, rape, hijacking, arms trading, drug trafficking, child smuggling and blasphemy.

Geography

Between Iran in the west and India in the east. Almost twice the size of California. 1,046 kilometers of coastline.

Government

Mir Hazar Khan KHOSO

Pakistan is a federal republic.

Pakistan is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations – a voluntary association of sovereign countries that includes the United Kingdom. Suspended for four years and re-admitted in May, 2004.

Capital: Islamabad.

Recent History

July 19, 2010: According to a July 18 article in the New York Times "very few" upper class households in Pakistan pay income tax. In Pakistan "a festering inequality," according to the Times, "is creating conditions that have helped spread an insurgency that is tormenting the country and complicating American policy in the region." The Times quotes Riyaz Hussain Naqvi, a retired government official who worked in tax collection for 38 years: “This is a system of the elite, by the elite and for the elite. It is a skewed system in which the poor man subsidizes the rich man.” Continues the Times: "The average worth of Pakistani members of Parliament is $900,000, with its richest member topping $37 million, according to a December study by the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency in Islamabad." Said a former judge: “In my time, it was considered a moral thing for a person to file a tax return. Today, corruption has broken all records.”

May 17, 2011: Pakistan declares China to be its best and most reliable friend. According to the BBC, "The two sides are expected to sign a series of agreements and discuss how they can fight extremism." Trade between the two countries has been increasing. China is believed to be Pakistan's biggest supplier of military equipment, including surface-to-air missiles, warships and fighter jets. Pakistan's new nuclear reactor in Punjab was built with Chinese help.

Oct 11, 2011: Every country has its primitives. In Pakistan they are supporting Mumtaz Qadri, the assassin of Governor Salman Taseer, who thought Pakistan's blasphemy law too stringent. Today, Qadri's death sentence was suspended. In Pakistan it is a crime punishable by death to insult Islam, the Koran or the Prophet Mohammed. Recently the law has been used to persecute and prosecute Christians.

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.