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Knowing Pakistan

Updated on November 19, 2015

Political Environment

The political history of Pakistan which has several turbulent periods in its folds. Intermittent martial laws, feudal mindset of politicians, culture of corruption, powerless legislative, role of establishment and intelligence agencies, have all contributed towards a decaying political system. Resultantly, people have lost faith in the political system. Dismemberment of national level political parties by the agencies has led to the rise of sub nationalist political groups defying writ of the government. The resultant political instability has weakened national integration and law and order apart from tarnishing country’s image abroad. Due to a number of positive steps taken during recent years to formulate the political environment aimed at devolution of power, the current political landscape of Pakistan can be summed up as of “Uncertainty of Transitional and Coalition Politics.”

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Economic Environment

Years of ill-conceived policy framework and gross mismanagement in handling the economic affairs led to a series of multi-dimensional economic crises related to growth and investment, income distribution among classes and regions, poverty, low literacy rate and decreasing employment opportunities. Over the last few years sincere efforts have been made to revive the economy. The current economic environment of Pakistan can be summed up as “Stabilized but not yet reformed.”

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Social Environment.

Pakistan’s growing defense production capacity and well trained / equipped conventional forces backed by credible nuclear deterrent not only add strength to the nation’s morale and self confidence but gives them a sense of security and freedom from the fear of external threat. However, the social dimension can be summed up as, “Lack of education leading to relatively less developed society”. This has resulted into education and knowledge deficit, lack of social mobility, inadequate middle class, three systems of education widening social and cultural gap, literate but unemployed youth getting frustrated and indulging in anti – social activities and the lack of respect for rule of law.

Ideological and Cultural Environment

Pakistan is an ideological state with solid religious and socio-cultural foundations, rich traditions and core values. Islam is the binding ideology that has held together our society and ensured provincial harmony despite varying cultures and languages. Any threat to our ideological foundations is likely to erode our national harmony and integration. In an era of information revolution, Pakistan is facing a massive ideological and cultural threat from Jewish based western and Indian media onslaught.

Governance

Lack of good governance has become one of the major irritants in our national integration because of impediments like nepotism and political and vested interests. In Pakistan, owing to varying factors like incompetent bureaucracy and its callousness, the short / long term strategic planning has not been able to cater the needs and aspirations of the people. Corruption has made deep inroads in every sphere of our society. Corruption not only manifests itself in lawlessness, but also retards economic progress.

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Lack of Justice

In Pakistan, judiciary has not been able to maintain fairness and prompt delivery of justice. As a matter of routine, cases are settled painfully slow manner, which is very frustrating. Rampant corruption in the lower courts has eroded the confidence of the public in the judicial system.

Poverty and Unemployment

Successive governments have paid little attention to HRD, which combined with slow economic progress has led to unemployment and poverty. This deprivation is instrumental in developing of negative trends in the masses, which remain vulnerable to exploitation by the politicians, religious extremist groups and crime mafias.

Weaponization of Society.

A severe consequence of war in Afghanistan was the unchecked growth of firearms all over Pakistan. Past attempts at controlling this menace have by and large, failed to produce desired results due to powerful vested interests.

Media’s Impact

The information flow has brought about mass awareness. At the global level through astute disinformation and well orchestrated themes, media is extensively used for propaganda and psycho-social exploitation, to mould the opinion of target audience. Countries with greater media resources have a definite edge in voicing their theme songs. Indian intellectuals / professors teaching in US / Western universities are also projecting a negative image of Pakistan’s society. They have been able to influence the opinion of a section of US / Western societies about Pakistan.

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Pakistan today faces more serious challenges on the internal front while threat from the external dimension has considerably reduced. Extra players have started impinging upon internal security through exploitation if internal fault lines, to fulfill their vested interests. While in the past, host of factors including lack of political will had resulted in erosion of credibility and effectiveness of the state security apparatus, the present government, though has taken some bold steps, there is yet a lot to be covered to cope up with the challenges.

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