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Table of Contents



Indus Valley Civilization and Occupation of Indo-Aryans ....................................................................... 5

The Pakistan Movement ......................................................................................................................... 6
Overview ................................................................................................................................................. 8
Regional Diversity ................................................................................................................................. 10
Punjabi .............................................................................................................................................. 10
Sindhi ................................................................................................................................................ 11
Baloch................................................................................................................................................ 12
Pashtun ............................................................................................................................................. 12
Kashmiri ............................................................................................................................................ 13
Ethnic Groups .................................................................................................................................... 14
Pakistani Culture ................................................................................................................................... 14
Features of Pakistani Society ................................................................................................................ 15
Population ......................................................................................................................................... 15
Religion ............................................................................................................................................. 17
Islam in Pakistani Society .................................................................................................................. 17
Education and Literacy...................................................................................................................... 18
Structure of the System ................................................................................................................ 18
Female Education.......................................................................................................................... 19
Reform Efforts ............................................................................................................................... 20
Living Standards of Pakistani People ................................................................................................ 21
Men and Women, Gender Relations ................................................................................................ 22
The Status of Women and the Women's Movement ....................................................................... 23
Non-Muslim Minorities ..................................................................................................................... 26
Health and Welfare ........................................................................................................................... 26
Maternal and Child Health ............................................................................................................ 27
Health Care Policies and Developments ....................................................................................... 27
Smoking, Drugs, and AIDS ............................................................................................................. 28
Zakat as a Welfare System ................................................................................................................ 29
Crime and Law Enforcememt ........................................................................................................... 30

Comparison of Cities and Rural Areas............................................................................................... 31
Marriages in Pakistan ........................................................................................................................ 32
Families in Pakistan ........................................................................................................................... 33
Social Enterprise ............................................................................................................................... 34



A society is a large social grouping that shares the same geographical territory and is subject to the
same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Human societies are characterized by
patterns of relationships between individuals sharing a distinctive culture and institutions.

Pakistani Society is ethnically diverse yet overwhelmingly Muslim. It is largely rural yet beset by the
problems of hyper urbanization. Since its independence in 1947, Pakistan has enjoyed a robust and
expanding economy--the average per capita income in the mid-1990s approached the transition line
separating low-income from middle-income countries--but wealth is poorly distributed. A middle-
class is emerging, but a narrow stratum of elite families maintains extremely disproportionate
control over the nation's wealth, and almost one-third of all Pakistanis live in poverty. It is a male-
dominated society in which social development has lagged considerably behind economic change, as
revealed by such critical indicators as sanitation, access to health care, and literacy, especially among
females. Increasing population pressure on limited resources, together with this pattern of social
and economic inequity, was causing increased disquietude within the society in the early 1990s.

Pakistan was created in 1947, as a homeland for Muslims in South Asia, and about 97 percent of
Pakistanis are Muslim. The founders of Pakistan hoped that religion would provide a coherent focus
for national identity, a focus that would supersede the country's considerable ethnic and linguistic
variations. Although this aspiration has not been completely fulfilled, Islam has been a pervasive
presence in Pakistani society, and debate continues about its appropriate role in national civic life.
During the 1990s, Islamic discourse has been less prominent in political controversy, but the role
that Islamic law should play in the country's affairs and governance remains an important issue.

There is immense regional diversity in Pakistan. Pakhtuns, Baloch, Punjabis, and Sindhis are all
Muslim, yet they have diverse cultural traditions and speak different languages. Ethnic, regional,
and--above all--family loyalties figure far more prominently for the average individual than do
national loyalties. Punjabis, the most numerous ethnic group, predominate in the central
government and the military. Baloch, Pakhtuns, and Sindhis find the Punjabi preponderance at odds
with their own aspirations for provincial autonomy. Ethnic mixing within each province further
complicates social and political relations.

Expectations had been raised by the return of democracy to Pakistan in 1988 after the death of
Mohammad Zia ul-Haq, by the continued economic expansion in the 1990s, and by some observable
improvement in the volatile relations among ethnic groups that had so divided the country in years
past. Also in the early 1990s, previously peripheralized social movements, particularly those
concerning women and the environment, assumed a more central role in public life. As bilateral and
multilateral development assistance has dwindled, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)
committed to economic and social development have emerged and begun to take on important
responsibilities. Nonetheless, the problems that confront Pakistan pose a significant threat to its
cohesion and future.

Sociologists speak of a loss of a sense of social contract among Pakistanis that has adversely affected
the country's infrastructure: the economy, the education system, the government bureaucracy, and
even the arts. As population pressure increases, the failure of the populace to develop a sense of
publicly committed citizenship becomes more and more significant. The self-centeredness about
which educator Ishtiaq Husain Qureshi complained soon after independence is increasingly
noticeable in many areas of social life. Although many people once imagined that economic
development would by itself improve the quality of life, few any longer believe this to be true.

Family or personal interest and status take precedence over public good in Pakistan. Thus traffic laws
are often enforced solely according to a person's political clout rather than due process, and
admission to school depends more upon connections or wealth than on ability. Salaries, as
compared with bribes, are so inconsequential a privilege of employment that people sometimes
plead to be given appointments without pay.

Failure to develop civic-minded citizenship is also evident in public administration and imbalanced
government spending. For example, military expenditures vastly exceed combined expenditures on
health and education. The bureaucracy, a legacy of the British colonial period, has not modernized
sufficiently to incorporate new technologies and innovations despite efforts by the government staff

Although in the mid-1980s the World Bank forecast the advancement of Pakistan to the ranks of
middle-income countries, the nation had not quite achieved this transition in the mid-1990s. Many
blame this fact on Pakistan's failure to make significant progress in human development despite
consistently high rates of economic growth. The annual population growth rate, which hovered
between 3.1 and 3.3 percent in the mid-1990s, threatens to precipitate increased social unrest as
greater numbers of people scurry after diminishing resources.

An anonymous Pakistani writer has said that three things symbolized Pakistan's material culture in
the 1990s: videocassette recorders (for playing Hindi films), locally manufactured Japanese Suzuki
cars, and Kalashnikov rifles. Although the majority of the people still reside in villages, they
increasingly take social cues from cities. Videocassette tapes can be rented in many small villages,
where residents also watch Cable News Network (CNN)--censored through Islamabad--on televisions
that are as numerous as radios were in the 1970s. The cities are more crowded than ever; parts of
Karachi and Lahore are more densely populated even than Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. In many
areas, tiny Suzuki automobiles have replaced the bicycles and motorcycles that were in great
demand merely a decade earlier. Whereas urban violence was traditionally related to blood feuds, it
has become more random and has escalated dramatically.

Seeing the name of the document, most of the people start thinking that this topic is not
required to picture the society of Pakistan. Well this is false. To study the social structure of Pakistan,
we have to trace it back to its ancestors so that we can see a complete link between the prehistoric
origins of this society. Well, coming to the point, the archeological research carried out has revealed
Pakistani nation to be a part of the Indus valley.

Indus Valley Civilization and Occupation of Indo-Aryans

The Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) was a Bronze Age civilization (33001300 BCE; mature period
26001900 BCE) which was centered mostly in the western part of the Indian Subcontinent and
which flourished around the Indus River basin. Primarily centered along the Indus and the Punjab
region, the civilization extended into the Ghaggar-Hakra River valley and the Ganges-Yamuna Doab,
encompassing most of what is now Pakistan, as well as extending into the westernmost states of
modern-day India, southeastern Afghanistan, and the easternmost part of Balochistan, Iran.

The reach of the Indus civilization is

extensive. After the discovery of Harappa
and Mohenjo-Daro, further sites have been
revealed - as far down the coast as Lothal,
making the spread of the Indus civilization
greater than that of Egypt and Mesopotamia
together. At Lothal there is even a specially
designed dockyard, of kiln-baked bricks, from
which vessels trade along the coast and
possibly up the Persian Gulf as far as
Mesopotamia. The sense of order, so evident
in the Indus cities, begins to diminish after
about 1900 BC. Less imposing buildings, of
more flimsy construction, are inhabited now
by a declining population. Many reasons
have been suggested - an impoverished
agricultural base due to over-exploitation, or The Ancient Indus Valley Civilization
a succession of devastating floods. The discovery of several unburied bodies in a street in Harappa
has led to suggestions of a sudden and violent end.

The Indo-European group known as the Aryans (from their own word for themselves) becomes
established in northwest India from about 1500 BC. As a nomadic people of the steppes, fighting
with bow and arrow from light and speedy chariots, their advance proves hard to resist on open
ground - as proves to be the case with other Indo-European tribes elsewhere. (This has recently
become a controversial topic. Some archaeologists claim that the lack of any visible change in the
archaeological record disproves Aryan invasion of south Asia. Linguists reply that the Indo-European
elements in north Indian languages can have no other explanation.)

The Mauryan kingdom is the first in India's history to deserve the broader title of empire. It reaches
its greatest extent under Chandraguptas grandson, Asoka, who defeats his brothers in a battle for
the throne in about 272 BC. According to later Buddhist chronicles he murders them all, but this may
be a pious legend. A great sinner is the most welcome of converts. The Mauryan dynasty ends in

about 185 BC. The last king is assassinated by one of his own military commanders, who seize the
throne. The gradual collapse of the Gupta Empire is followed by a period when many small
principalities compete for power. The odd one out is a portent of the future - though as yet
seemingly insignificant.

The Arrival of Muslims in Sub Continent

The Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent mainly took place from the 12th century onwards,
though earlier Muslim conquests made limited inroads into the region, beginning during the period
of the ascendancy of the Rajput Kingdoms in North India, although Sindh and Multan were captured
in 8th century.

According to Muslim historical accounts such as the Chach Nama, the nature of the expeditions was
punitive, and in response to raids carried out by pirates on Arab shipping, operating around Debal.
The allegation was made that the King of Sindh, Raja Dahir was the patron of these pirates. The third
expedition was led by a 17-year-old Arab chieftain named Muhammad bin Qasim. The expedition
went as far North as Multan, then called the "City of Gold that contained the extremely large Hindu
temple Sun Mandir.

Bin Qasim invaded the sub-continent at the orders of Al-Hajjaj bin

Yousef, the governor of Iraq. Qasim's armies defeated Raja Dahir at
what is now Hyderabad in Sindh in 712. He then proceeded to
subdue the lands from Karachi to Multan with an initial force of only
six thousand Syrian tribesmen; thereby establishing the dominion of
the Umayyad Caliphate from Lisbon in Portugal to the Indus Valley.
Qasim's stay was brief as he was soon recalled to Baghdad, and the
Caliphates rule in South Asia shrank to Sindh and Southern Punjab in
the form of Arab states, the principal of who were Al Mansura and
Multan. This was the turning point for the civilization of Sub
Continent who accepted Islam in great numbers through Saints at
that time. The arrival of Islam is one of the most important factors in

determining the social makeup of Pakistan. The Mughal Empire

The attacks of several Muslim conquerors continued till the arrival of mughals. The Mughals
dominated Indian politics from the thirteenth through the nineteenth centuries, lasting until the
British took colonial control in 1857. Under the emperors Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan, art and
architecture flourished. By the early 19th century, the Sikhs had consolidated their power and
declared Lahore their capital. Within a few decades, however, the Sikhs were defeated in battle by
the English

The Pakistan Movement

The Pakistan Movement has its origins in the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh. Muslims there
were a minority, yet their elite had a disproportionate amount of representation in the civil service
and overall influence. Muhammad Ali Jinnah desired to build a state on a principle, composed of
three parts, "one nation, one culture, one language".

The Role of Pakistani society comes here as this

society didnt share its cultural, religious and
moral norms with any other nation of sub
continent, the Muslims felt quite separate, giving

The Pioneer Muslim Leaders

rise to the idea of separatism. The idea was seeded back to 712 AD but was never sowed. The Urdu-
Hindi Controversy started in 1867 refreshed this idea. The people of sub continent were now feeling
different and distinct. This gave rise to two nation theory which later fueled the Pakistan movement.
Pioneer Muslim leaders like Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Muhammad Iqbal realized the
problem of rivalry of both groups on the basis of religion,, culture, moral and social values and
found the only solution in separating the to nations by means of land division thereby giving
independent identity to muslims of Sub Continent.

Soon by the continuous efforts of these prominent leaders, the Muslim community of India started
progressing towards this goal and within a period of two to three decades, they were able to achieve
Pakistan, a separate social identity. Pakistan emerged on the map of the world on 14 th of August,

The Present Society
Pakistan is a society in transition; it is a society defined by its keen acceptance of new production
methods but maintains a strict adherence to more traditional values. It is unfortunate, however, that
we cannot have our cake and eat it too. The adversarial relationship that these new modes of
productions have with old values and traditions is seldom immediately evident. It is akin to changing
the brick-pattern of the pavement while passers-by continue to walk on, one does not notice the
changes until one consciously goes in search of them.

Pakistan, as a State, came into existence due to two fundamental class-movements. The first was the
movement of the Bengali middle class and constituted the bulk of the intellectual and cadre base of
the two-nation theory. The second movement was of the feudals in West Punjab who joined forces
with the proponents of the two nation theory simply because they wanted to free themselves from
the threat of Land Reforms that were rumoured to be on the Congress Partys agenda. Value
systems in Pakistan were a result of the balance between different class forces finding dominance
from time to time. It is for this reason that the values inherent in Pakistani society, along the
changing decades, can be classified very neatly into distinct blocs.

1947 to 1958

Pakistan was, predominantly, led by individuals from the salariat who had risen to high posts in the
Muslim L eague by dint of services rendered during the independence movement. It is for this
reason that the two dominant classes of Pakistan, i.e. classes which enjoyed an intimate contact with
the functioning and the state apparatus, at the time, were either the upper middle class of the
feudal class. It must be mentioned here that while the feudal class in Pakistan was an
overwhelmingly powerful one it was content at the time to merely be powerful yet silent partners
with the upper middle class. All this with the implicit understanding between both that the
interests of the feudal class would not come into contention or controversy. It was a precarious
relationship but, given the fact that Pakistans economy was overwhelmingly agrarian, a necessary

It is for this reason that these eleven years are identified, primarily, with the emergence of social
norms and values attributed to the upper middle class. Professionalism was one of the stronger
points of this decade and a quasi-democratic culture came into existence. Although these years are
also remembered for incidences of gross incompetence by some leaders, they are also remembered
for some radical good decisions as well.

An example of this is the decision to set up infrastructure within the country to facilitate eventual
industrial growth, during this particular decade rather than that of Ayub Khan who is sometimes
erroneously praised for setting up the industrial backbone of Pakistan.

1958 to 1971

These years are known for the military rule that Ayub Khan instituted within Pakistan by deposing
the con government of Iskandar Mirza. While this had a profound and everlasting affect on Pakistani
politics, the real affect (of which politics is only a reflection) was on the very make-up of Pakistani
society and class dynamics.

The upper middle class of Pakistan was virtually thrown out of the political arena by Ayub Khans
regime and was replaced by a new artificial class of crony capitalists. I call this class artificial

because unlike the bourgeoisie freedom movements in other countries, which led to the
establishment of the bourgeoisie as a distinct and dominant class industrial units and agriculatural
lands in Pakistan the bourgeoisie followed the Junkers Path, i.e was literally constructed by the state
itself by giving out to individuals and families selected from the feudal and mercantile class of

As can be expected, these years were known for the rise of political and social corruption within
Pakistani society. One of the defining features of any dictatorial regime is the eventual emergence of
nepotism, and Ayub Khans regime was no exception. Economic and financial corruption along with
the rise of the 22 families was another blemish on an already dirty record.

General. Agha Yahya Khan inherited the state of Pakistan from General. Ayub Khan when the latter
stepped down from office due to his plummeting popularity in Pakistan. Yahya Khan, also a military
dictator, was further confounded in his efforts to rule the country due to the heap of political,
economic and social incompetence that the 11 year old rule of Ayub Khan had left in its wake. In
comparison, this regime was both short and floundering from the beginning. The military campaigns
and the loss of East Pakistan only exacerbated the problems for Yahya Khan and he handed over
office to Z. A. Bhutto in 1971.

Not much can be said about the condition of values and ethics under Yahya Khan since he, himself,
became a victim of the ghosts of Ayub Khans corrupt policies. Society under Yahya Khan, however,
came together and gelled to form a democratic backlash to 13 years of unconstitutional military rule.
This era is known for an increase in social consciousness and emphasis on concepts of fairplay and
justice. Social cohesion and mass-politics also defined this era.


Also known as the Bhutto years, this particular era was known for its radical and status-quo-
shattering policies. The re-nationalisation of the industrial units that Ayub Khan had given away for
peanuts was also one of such policies.

The class-divide in Pakistan changed once again as peasants and workers of Pakistan found more
power in their hands than they had earlier. Feudal values started to disappear one by one but the
rise of religious political parties was the inevitable consequence of the military years before Bhutto.
It is for this reason that these years saw the bifurcation of Pakistani society into two well-defined
camps. The first were the secular and progressive lobby represented by the PPP, NAP and various
communist and leftist parties. The second was the religious and traditionalist camp, which was
represented by religious parties and some other mainstream parties. Although Bhutto tried to
placate the religious mullahs by disenfranchising minorities such as the Ahmedis, but it was felt that
the chasm between Bhutto and the religious parties had grown too wide. It was for this reason that
General. Zia was able to overthrow Bhutto with the consent of various powerful classes (bourgeoisie
and feudals both of which had been affected by Bhuttos reforms bourgeoisie by industrial
nationalisation and feudals by land reforms introducing a land holding ceiling and tenancy laws,
various, religious parties and United States.

The best word to describe the nature of values held by Pakistani society under Bhutto is awaami.
There is no disputing the fact by friend or foe, that Bhutto was a man of the crowds. He knew how
to talk the talk, so to speak. His (relaxed to say the least) adherence to socialist principles made him
stand out in a society where, up until that point, socialist ideals were conspicuous only by their
absence. It is this quagmire of pseudo-socialist, quasi-democratic and populist values that defines
both this era and Bhutto himself.

1977 1988

The years under General Zia-ul-haq can be conveniently summed up in one sentence they were
years in which free or profound thought were a crime that was punished swiftly and severely. These
years mark the steady rise of religious and militant forces in Pakistan,- all because Pakistan was
taking part in a very different form of proxy war back then, the war against the communists.

These jihadis, trained by the best facilities Pakistan could provide, were the front line offensive
against USSR in Afghanistan. However, the cost incurred to Pakistani society for taking part in this
war has gone beyond simple figures, the echoes of our past resound in our ears even today. Militant
fundamentalism, a phenomenon that the state and people of Pakistan have been battling ever since
the (in)famous 9-11 incident is a direct consequence of having trained those so-called jihadis to
begin with.

All in all, these years are known for a general retrogressive and downward traditionalist spiral in
cultural norms and values. Religious indoctrination and militant fundamentalism were encouraged as
state policy and all democratic norms and notions of freedom of thought or expression were flogged
out of people.

1988 1999

These years were a veritable merry-go-round of the same old faces coming back into office over and
over again in nothing short of leap-frog fashion. However, as corrupt as they were or as haughty as
the individuals in the regime were, we are better able to assess those years for what they really were
now that we have been granted the wisdom of further years and experience.

The class-clash in these years was a dynamic one. Power was given to and wrested back from the
lower-classes over and over again as Benazir and Nawaz Sharif played their years long game of tug-
of-war. However, these years are also known for the rampant corruption that came to exist in
Pakistan as a result of the many manners in which both rulers made efforts to cling to power.
Benazir had her Mr. 10 percent and Nawaz Sharif had illusions of everlasting glory as the first Caliph
of Pakistan. Pakistani society became a complex mixture of discontent, distrust, disillusionment and
despondency. These were the sentiments on the street up until General. Pervaiz Musharraf carried
out his, now, historic coup of 1999.

Regional Diversity
The land of Pakistan is divided into five parts, each having its own diverse and ethnical structure. The
regional division also creates different social and cultural characteristics which are as follows:

The Punjabi people are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group from South Asia. They originate from the Punjab
region, which has been host to some of the oldest civilizations in the world including one of the
world's first and oldest civilizations, the Indus Valley Civilization. The Punjabi identity is primarily
cultural and linguistic, with Punjabis being those whose first language is Punjabi, an Indo-European

Geographically, the North West region of India is known as Punjab. This is called the land of five
rivers as the word Punjab is made up of two words 'Panj'+ 'Aab' where 'Panj' means five in Punjabi
and 'Aab' mean rivers in Punjabi.

Punjabi culture is one of the oldest and richest cultures of the world. The Punjabi Culture is the
culture of the Punjabi people who are now distributed throughout the world. The scope, history,
sophistication and complexity of the culture are vast.

Punjab is the largest state in Pakistan. Many races of

people and religions made up the cultural heritage of
the Punjab. The genius of Punjabis finds expression in
love stories, lusty dancing and in humor. Punjab is
very rich in terms of dance and is known for its dance
forms. Most popular Punjabi dances are Bhangra,
Giddha, Jhumar, Luddi, Dankara Julli, Sammi, Dhamal,
Jaago, Kikli and Gatka.

Bhangra - Culture of Punjab Now a day, many non-Punjabis are also getting into
Punjab's folk dances and you can occasionally see a
European or Chinese in various Bhangra competitions. These non-Punjabis have simply made Punjabi
dance a part of their own culture as well.

Museums in Punjab-Punjab museums possess an extensive range of paintings and sculptures by

many Indian artists as well as a collection of Indian miniatures of the Mughal Rajsathani, Pahari and
Sikh schools. The museums also house a fine collection of medals and arm, as these are objects of
princely states with sections on Archaeology, Anthropology, Tribal and folk arts depicting different
concepts and scopes in the patterns of Art and Culture.

Art and craft of Punjab- Punjab art is described as a creation or expression of something beautiful
especially in visual form and many a time in Art and craft. Many phrases have decorative designs and
handicrafts. Many things which are associated with art and craft of Punjab are known all over the
world for their quality and beauty.

Sindhis are a Sindhi speaking socio-ethnic group of people originating from Sindh, a province of
Pakistan. Today Sindhis that live in Pakistan belong to
various religious denominations including Muslim,
Zorastrian, Hindus and Christians. After the Partition of
India in 1947, a large number of Indian Muslim refugees
(Muhajirs) flocked into Pakistan and settled in the
prosperous Sindh region. At the same time Sindhi Hindus
migrated to India in large numbers. The culture of Sindh
has its roots in the Indus Valley Civilization. Sindh has
been shaped by the geography of the largely desert
region, the natural resources it had available and the

continuous foreign influences. Typical Sindh Culture

The original inhabitants of ancient Sindh were believed to be aboriginal tribes speaking languages of
the Indus Valley civilization around 3000 BC. The prehistoric site of Kot Diji in Sindh has furnished
information of high significance for the reconstruction of a connected story which pushes back the
history of South Asia by at least another 300 years, from about 2500 BC. Evidence of a new element
of pre-Harappan culture has been traced here. When the primitive village communities in
Balochistan were still struggling against a difficult highland environment, a highly cultured people
were trying to assert themselves at Kot Diji, one of the most developed urban civilizations of the

ancient world that flourished between the 25th century BC and 1500 BC. The ancient civilization
centered on the towns whose modern names are Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa

Sindh, as a western frontier of the South Asia, has always been exposed to the entry of migrants
from Central Asia and the Middle East. Sindhi culture is also highly Persianized as Sindh was exposed
to cultural, religious and linguistic influence from Islamic Persia. Most significantly, numerous
Persian loanwords made their way into the Sindhi language along with the Nastalq script, in which
modern Sindhi is written today. Muslim Sindhis tend to follow the Sunni Hanafi fiqh with a
substantial minority of Shia Ithna 'ashariyah. The Sufism has made a deep impact on Sindhi Muslims
and Sufi shrines dot the landscape of Sindh.

The Baloch are an ethnic group that belong to the larger Iranian peoples. Baloch people mainly
inhabit the Balochestan region and Sistan va Balochistan in the southeast corner of the Iranian
plateau in Western Asia. The Baloch people mainly speak Balochi, which is a branch of the Iranian
languages that is highly influenced by that of Mesopotamia and shares similarities with Kurdish,
Persian, Avestan and other languages. The Baloch inhabit mountainous terrains and deserts and
maintain a very distinct cultural identity. The Baloch people are descendants of ancient Median and
Persian tribes. Historical references of ancient Persia have made it possible to arrive at this

The origins of Balochi culture and traditions can be

traced back to Mesopotamia, which is widely
accepted as the origin of the Baloch people. Balochi
customs and traditions are conducted according to
codes imposed by tribal laws. These strong traditions
and cultural values are important to Baloch people
and have enabled them to keep their distinctive
ancient cultural identity and way of life with little
change to this day. The Baluch men wear long shirts
with long sleeves and loose pants resembling the
Achaemenid outfits of ancient Persians; the dress is
occasionally accompanied by a turban or a hat on A Tribe of Balochistan
their heads. The women put on loose dress and pants
with sophisticated and colorful needlework, including a large pocket at the front of the dress to hold
their accessories.

Baluch people are culturally and traditionally regarded as secular. However, Baluch people are a
minority and growing fundamentalism in the region is seen as a threat to Baluchi culture. Other
challenges include violations of basic human rights, psychological warfare, and propaganda in mass
media of their modern geography enabled by poverty, illiteracy and inaccessibility to information in
the digital age.

Pashtuns also called Pathans or Afghans are an Eastern Iranian ethno-linguistic group with
populations primarily in Afghanistan and western Pakistan, which includes Pakhtunkhwa, Federally
Administered Tribal Areas and Balochistan. The Pashtuns are typically characterized by their usage of
the Pashto language and practice of Pashtunwali, a traditional set of rules and ethics guiding
individual and communal conduct. Pashtun society consists of many tribes and clans who were
unsuccessful in establishing an independent government in their land until the rise of the Hotaki
dynasty and Durrani Empire in the early-18th century.

The history of the Pashtun people is ancient and much of it is not fully researched. Since the 2nd
millennium BC, cities in the region now inhabited by Pashtuns have seen invasions and migrations,
including by early Aryan tribes, the Mediian and Persian empires of antiquity, Greeks, Mauryas,
Kushans, Hephthalites, Sassanids, Arab Muslims, Turks, Mongols, and others. In recent age, people
of the Western world have explored the area as well.

Pashtun culture is mostly based on Pashtunwali and the use or understanding of the Pashto
language. Pre-Islamic traditions, dating back to Alexander's defeat of the Persian Empire in 330 BC,
possibly survived in the form of traditional dances, while literary styles and music reflect influence
from the Persian tradition and regional musical instruments fused with localized variants and
interpretation. Pashtun culture is a unique blend of native customs with some influences from South
and Western Asia.The Pashtuns speak Pashto, an Indo-European language. It belongs to the Iranian
sub-group of the Indo-Iranian branch.

Numerous intricate tenets of Pashtunwali influence

Pashtun social behavior. One of the better known
tenets is Melmastia, hospitality and asylum to all
guests seeking help. Perceived injustice calls for Badal,
swift revenge. A popular Pashtun saying, "Revenge is a
dish best served cold", was borrowed by the British and
popularized in the West. Men are expected to protect
Zan, Zar, Zameen, which translates to women,
treasure, and land. Some aspects promote peaceful co-
existence, such as Nanawati, the humble admission of
guilt for a wrong committed, which should result in
automatic forgiveness from the wronged party. Other Pathans Praying
aspects of Pashtunwali have attracted some criticism, particularly with respect to its influence on
women's rights. These and other basic precepts of Pashtunwali continue to be followed by many
Pashtuns, especially in rural areas.

A prominent institution of the Pashtun people is the intricate system of tribes. The Pashtuns remain
a predominantly tribal people, but the worldwide trend of urbanization has begun to alter Pashtun
society as cities such as Peshawar and Quetta have grown rapidly due to the influx of rural Pashtuns
and Afghan refugees. Despite this trend of urbanization, many people still identify themselves with
various clans.

The overwhelming majority of Pashtuns follow Sunni Islam, belonging to the Hanafi school of
thought. A smaller Shi'a community exist in the northeastern section of Paktia province of
Afghanistan and in neighboring Kurram Agency of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan.

The Kashmiri people are a Dardic ethnic group living in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and
Pakistani territory of Azad Kashmir who speak the Kashmiri language. Kashmiri is "a Northwestern
Dardic language of the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-Iranian subfamily of the Indo-European
language family." which is also known as Koshur and hence are classified as a Dardic people.

Originally, the Kashmiris were mostly Buddhist, Hindu, and Pagan. Islam was introduced by Sufi
saints from Central Asia, Hazrat Bulbul Shah of Anatolia and Hazrat Shah Hamadan of
Hamadan,being the most prominent of them. Prince Rinchin of Ladakh, a Buddhist who was living in
Jammu & Kashmir at the time came under the influence of Saint Bulbul Shah and converted to Islam.
Later on after the defeat of the Hindu ruler Suhadeva by Dulchu, Suhadeva fled Kashmir, and Rinchin
became King of Jammu & Kashmir and adopted the name Malik Saduruddin. Eventually the majority

of Kashmiris adopted Islam and became Muslim, although there are still small communities of
Hindus and Sikhs living in the Kashmir Valley, the former being known as Kashmiri Pandits.

Ethnic Groups
About 98% of languages spoken in Pakistan are Indo-Iranian (sub-branches: 75% Indo-Aryan and 20%
pure Iranian), a branch of Indo-European family of languages. Most languages of Pakistan are written
in the Perso-Arabic script, with significant vocabulary derived from Arabic and Persian. Punjabi
(Shahmukhi), Seraiki, Sindhi, Pashto, Urdu, Balochi, Kashmiri (Koshur), etc. are the general languages
spoken within Pakistan. The majority of Pakistanis belong to various Indo-Aryan-speaking ethnic
groups, while a large minority is various Iranic peoples and Dardic language groups. In addition, small
groups language isolates such as Burusho and Brahui-speaking peoples also live in the country. The
major ethnic groups of Pakistan in numerical size include: Punjabis, Pashtuns, Sindhis, Seraikis,
Muhajirs, Balochis, Hindkowans, Chitralis and other smaller groups.

The population comprises several main ethnic groups (2009):

Punjabis (44.15%) 78.7 million

Pashtuns (15.42%) 27.2 million

Sindhis (14.1%) 24.8 million

Seraikis (10.53%) 14.8 million

Muhajirs (7.57%) 13.3 million

Balochs is (3.57%) 6.3 million

Others (4.66%) 11.1 million

Smaller ethnic groups, such as Kashmiris, Hindkowans, Kalash, Burusho, Brahui, Khowar, Shina, and
Turwalis are mainly found in the northern parts of the country. The people of the Potohar Plateau in
Northern Punjab, (Potoharis) are sometimes listed separately from Punjabis. This would tend to
decrease the Punjabs population further.

Pakistan's census does not include the registered 1.7 million Afghan refugees from neighbouring
Afghanistan, who are mainly found in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Federally
Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) areas, with small numbers in the cities of Karachi and Quetta.
Around 2 million refugees from Bangladesh, Iran, Africa, and other places are also found in Pakistan.

Pakistani Culture
Pakistani Culture is very unique in terms of its social and ethical values. These values are something
which are given due importance. This culture revolves around the religion of Islam which teaches
equality among every human being that exists on this planet. Pakistan's culture is very diverse. It has
been invaded by many different people belonging to different races. These people include the white
Huns, Persian Arabs, Turks, Mongols, and various Eurasian groups. These groups differ in there way
of dressing, food, religion. Pakistani culture consists of different cultures starting from the Punjabis
and sindhis to the tribal cultures of the easternmost Pakistani provinces. Now these cultures have
strongly been influenced by surrounding cultures of India, Central Asia and the Middle East along
with other places.

Pakistani society is largely multilingual and multicultural. There are some similarities than differences
that can be found as most Pakistanis belong to Aryan heritage. Like sindhis and Punjabis obviously

have a language difference. Traditional family values are known everywhere in this multicultural
environment. The rural areas of Pakistan are still dominated by their own tribal customs dating back
hundreds of years.

Today due to globalization, Pakistani

culture is largely influenced by the
western society. Our traditional dress is
shalwar kamiz which is mostly turned in to
shirt and trousers. This main influence is
due to the fact that many Pakistani are
living abroad and they come back with this
change. Many restaurants from other
countries have started business in Pakistan
and are making a lot business here. Media
has played a wide role in bringing this
change. There are many channels of
different countries that we can see these
days. This is something that is to some
extent positive and negative also.
Positively the new generation gains
knowledge while negatively they are
attracted to it and want to bring it in to Pakistani Cultural Diversity
practice. Indian movies can be seen here in
Pakistani cinemas and Pakistani movies can be seen in India. This is positive in terms of Indo Muslim
Relations but Indian culture can not be accepted here. Some major differences occur. Like they
worship Gods consider them as statue stone. We believe in one God and it's a belief within our
souls. We do not make statues. Like movies our industry is not well known but we still do make

We are doing almost everything done in other parts of the world. Large number of Pakistanis lives in
other parts of the world like UK, United States, Canada, Australia as well as the Scandinavian nations.
Large number Pakistanis are also living in Middle East. These emigrants and their children influence
Pakistan culturally and economically by travelling to Pakistan and returning and investing there. At
the same time there is also a reactionary movement in Pakistan which wants to move away from
these changes made by the western influence in Pakistan. This group is strongly conflated with Islam
and is on a strong mission.

Features of Pakistani Society

The key features of Pakistani Society are as follows.

Pakistan's estimated population in 2010 is over 170 million making it the world's sixth most-
populous country, behind Brazil and ahead of Russia. During 1950-2008, Pakistan's urban population
expanded over sevenfold, while the total population increased by over fourfold. In the past, the
country's population had a relatively high growth rate that has, however, been moderated by
declining fertility and birth rates. The population growth rate now stands at 1.6%. According to the
2009 Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),60.3% of
Pakistanis live on less than $2 a day.

Dramatic social changes have led to rapid urbanization and the emergence of megacities. During
1990-2003, Pakistan sustained its historical lead as the second most urbanized nation in South Asia
with city dwellers making up 36% of its population. Furthermore, 50% of Pakistanis now reside in
towns of 5,000 people or more. The statistical data for population is as follows:

Population: 172,800,000 (July 2008 best estimation)

Growth rate: 2.2% (2008 estimation)
Birth rate: 31 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 8 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Age structure

014 years: 42% (male 33,293,428; female 31,434,314)

1564 years: 54.9% (male 48,214,298; female 46,062,933)
65 years and over: 4.1% (male 3,256,065; female 3,542,522) (2006 est.)

014 years: 36.7% (male 33,037,943/female 31,092,572)

1564 years: 59.1% (male 53,658,173/female 49,500,786)
65 years and over: 4.2% (male 3,495,350/female 3,793,734) (2009 est.)

Gender ratios

Sex ratio at birth: 1.00 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
1564 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Mortality and life expectancy

Infant mortality rate: 62 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

Maternal mortality rate: 320 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
o Total population: 65.5 years (2007 est.)
o Male: 66.5 years (2009 est.)
o Female: 67.2 years (2009 est.)

Religious population In Pakistan

Muslims: 175,376,000 (Sunnis are the majority while Shi'as are minority who make up 5-
Hindus: 3,200,000 (approx. 1.6%)
Christians: 2,800,000 (approx. 1.6%)
Buddhists: 20,000
Sikhs: 20,000
Zoroastrian/Parsis: 5,000
Others (included Animists, Atheists, Jews, etc.): unknown

About 97 percent of Pakistanis are Muslim, 77 percent of whom are Sunnis and 20 percent Shia;
remaining 3 percent of population divided equally among Christians, Hindus, and other religions.

The following is a list of all the religions that are practised in Pakistan. The percentages are
estimations depending on the source.


Sunni Muslims: 80-95%

Shia Muslims: 5-20%

Ahmadi Muslims: approximately 2.3% or 4 million

Other religions

Christians: approx. 1.6% or 2,800,000 people

Hindus: approx. 1.6% or 2,443,614 people

Bah's: 79,000

Sikhs: 20,000

Zoroastrian/Parsis: 20,000

Buddhist: Unknown

Jews: Unknown

Islam in Pakistani Society

Islam was brought to the South Asian subcontinent in the eighth century by wandering Sufi mystics
known as pir. As in other areas where it was introduced by Sufis, Islam to some extent syncretized
with preIslamic influences, resulting in a religion traditionally more flexible than in the Arab world.
Two Sufis whose shrines receive much national attention are Data Ganj Baksh in Lahore (ca. eleventh
century) and Shahbaz Qalander in Sehwan, Sindh (ca. twelfth century).

The Muslim poet-philosopher Sir Muhammad Iqbal first

proposed the idea of a Muslim state in the subcontinent in
his address to the Muslim League at Allahabad in 1930. His
proposal referred to the four provinces of Punjab, Sindh,
Balochistan, and the NorthWest Frontier--essentially what
would became the post-1971 boundary of Pakistan. Iqbal's
idea gave concrete form to the "Two Nations Theory" of
two distinct nations in the subcontinent based on religion
(Islam and Hinduism) and with different historical
backgrounds, social customs, cultures, and social mores. Muslims Praying at Faisal Mosque

Islam was thus the basis for the creation and the unification of a separate state, but it was not
expected to serve as the model of government. Mohammad Ali Jinnah made his commitment to
secularism in Pakistan clear in his inaugural address when he said, "You will find that in the course of
time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious
sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of

the State." This vision of a Muslim majority state in which religious minorities would share equally in
its development was questioned shortly after independence. The debate continued into the 1990s
amid questions of the rights of Ahmadiyyas (a small but influential sect considered by orthodox
Muslims to be outside the pale of Islam), issuance of identity cards denoting religious affiliation, and
government intervention in the personal practice of Islam.

Education and Literacy

At independence, Pakistan had a poorly educated population and few schools or universities.
Although the education system has expanded greatly since then, debate continues about the
curriculum, and, except in a few elite institutions, quality remained a crucial concern of educators in
the early 1990s.

Adult literacy is low, but improving. In 1992 more than 36 percent of adults over fifteen were
literate, compared with 21 percent in 1970. The rate of improvement is highlighted by the 50
percent literacy achieved among those aged fifteen to nineteen in 1990. School enrollment also
increased, from 19 percent of those aged six to twenty-
three in 1980 to 24 percent in 1990. However, by 1992
the population over twenty-five had a mean of only 1.9
years of schooling. This fact explains the minimal criteria
for being considered literate: having the ability to both
read and write (with understanding) a short, simple
statement on everyday life.

Relatively limited resources have been allocated to

education, although there has been improvement in
recent decades. In 1960 public expenditure on education
was only 1.1 percent of the gross national product (GNP); A Typical Anatomy Lecture in King Edwards
by 1990 the figure had risen to 3.4 percent. This amount
compared poorly with the 33.9 percent being spent on defense in 1993. In 1990 Pakistan was tied
for fourth place in the world in its ratio of military expenditures to health and education
expenditures. Although the government enlisted the assistance of various international donors in
the education efforts outlined in its Seventh Five-Year Plan (1988-93), the results did not measure up
to expectations.

Structure of the System

Education is organized into five levels: primary (grades one through five); middle (grades six through
eight); high (grades nine and ten, culminating in matriculation); intermediate (grades eleven and
twelve, leading to an F.A. diploma in arts or F.S. science; and university programs leading to
undergraduate and advanced degrees. Preparatory classes (kachi, or nursery) were formally
incorporated into the system in 1988 with the Seventh Five-Year Plan.

Academic and technical education institutions are the responsibility of the federal Ministry of
Education, which coordinates instruction through the intermediate level. Above that level, a
designated university in each province is responsible for coordination of instruction and
examinations. In certain cases, a different ministry may oversee specialized programs. Universities
enjoy limited autonomy; their finances are overseen by a University Grants Commission, as in

Teacher-training workshops are overseen by the respective provincial education ministries in order
to improve teaching skills. However, incentives are severely lacking, and, perhaps because of the
shortage of financial support to education, few teachers participate. Rates of absenteeism among

teachers are high in general, inducing support for community-coordinated efforts promoted in the
Eighth Five-Year Plan (1993-98).

In 1991 there were 87,545 primary schools, 189,200 primary school teachers, and 7,768,000
students enrolled at the primary level, with a student-to-teacher ratio of forty-one to one. Just over
one-third of all children of primary school age were enrolled in a school in 1989. There were 11,978
secondary schools, 154,802 secondary school teachers, and 2,995,000 students enrolled at the
secondary level, with a student-to- teacher ratio of nineteen to one.

Primary school dropout rates remained fairly consistent in the 1970s and 1980s, at just over 50
percent for boys and 60 percent for girls. The middle school dropout rates for boys and girls rose
from 22 percent in 1976 to about 33 percent in 1983. However, a noticeable shift occurred in the
beginning of the 1980s regarding the postprimary dropout rate: whereas boys and girls had
relatively equal rates (14 percent) in 1975, by 1979-- just as Zia initiated his government's
Islamization program--the dropout rate for boys was 25 percent while for girls it was only 16
percent. By 1993 this trend had dramatically reversed, and boys had a dropout rate of only 7 percent
compared with the girls' rate of 15 percent.

The Seventh Five-Year Plan envisioned that every child five years and above would have access to
either a primary school or a comparable, but less comprehensive, mosque school. However, because
of financial constraints, this goal was not achieved.

In drafting the Eighth Five-Year Plan in 1992, the government therefore reiterated the need to
mobilize a large share of national resources to finance education. To improve access to schools,
especially at the primary level, the government sought to decentralize and democratize the design
and implemention of its education strategy. To give parents a greater voice in running schools, it
planned to transfer control of primary and secondary schools to NGOs. The government also
intended to gradually make all high schools, colleges, and universities autonomous, although no
schedule was specified for achieving this ambitious goal.

Female Education
Comparison of data for men and women reveals significant
disparity in educational attainment. By 1992, among people
older than fifteen years of age, 22 percent of women were
literate, compared with 49 percent of men. The comparatively
slow rate of improvement for women is reflected in the fact that
between 1980 and 1989, among women aged fifteen to twenty-
four, 25 percent were literate. United Nations sources say that in
1990 for every 100 girls of primary school age there were only
thirty in school; among girls of secondary school age, only
thirteen out of 100 were in school; and among girls of the third
level, grades nine and ten, only 1.5 out of 100 were in school. A Girls School in Rawalpindi
Slightly higher estimates by the National Education Council for
1990 stated that 2.5 percent of students--3 percent of men and 2 percent of women- -between the
ages of seventeen and twenty-one were enrolled at the degree level. Among all people over twenty-
five in 1992, women averaged a mere 0.7 year of schooling compared with an average of 2.9 years
for men.

The discrepancy between rural and urban areas is even more marked. In 1981 only 7 percent of
women in rural areas were literate, compared with 35 percent in urban areas. Among men, these
rates were 27 and 57 percent, respectively. Pakistan's low female literacy rates are particularly

confounding because these rates are analogous to those of some of the poorest countries in the

Pakistan has never had a systematic, nationally coordinated effort to improve female primary
education, despite its poor standing. It was once assumed that the reasons behind low female school
enrollments were cultural, but research conducted by the Ministry for Women's Development and a
number of international donor agencies in the 1980s revealed that danger to a woman's honor was
parents' most crucial concern. Indeed, reluctance to accept schooling for women turned to
enthusiasm when parents in rural Punjab and rural Balochistan could be guaranteed their daughters'
safety and, hence, their honor.

Reform Efforts
Three initiatives characterized reform efforts in education in the late 1980s and early 1990s:
privatization of schools that had been nationalized in the 1970s; a return to English as the medium of
instruction in the more elite of these privatized schools, reversing the imposition of Urdu in the
1970s; and continuing emphasis on Pakistan studies and Islamic studies in the curriculum.

Until the late 1970s, a disproportionate amount of educational spending went to the middle and
higher levels. Education in the colonial era had been geared to staffing the civil service and
producing an educated elite that shared the values of and was loyal to the British. It was
unabashedly elitist, and contemporary education--reforms and commissions on reform
notwithstanding--has retained the same quality. This fact is evident in the glaring gap in educational
attainment between the country's public schools and the private schools, which were nationalized in
the late 1970s in a move intended to facilitate equal access. Whereas students from lower-class
backgrounds did gain increased access to these private schools in the 1980s and 1990s, teachers and
school principals alike bemoaned the decline in the quality of education. Meanwhile, it appears that
a greater proportion of children of the elites are traveling abroad not only for university education
but also for their high school diplomas.

The extension of literacy to greater numbers of people has spurred the working class to aspire to
middle-class goals such as owning an automobile, taking summer vacations, and providing a
daughter with a once-inconceivable dowry at the time of marriage. In the past, Pakistan was a
country that the landlords owned, the army ruled, and the bureaucrats governed, and it drew most
of its elite from these three groups. In the 1990s, however, the army and the civil service were
drawing a greater proportion of educated members from poor backgrounds than ever before.

One of the education reforms of the 1980s was an increase in the number of technical schools
throughout the country. Those schools that were designated for females included hostels nearby to
provide secure housing for female students. Increasing the number of technical schools was a
response to the high rate of underemployment that had been evident since the early 1970s. The
Seventh Five-Year Plan aimed to increase the share of students going to technical and vocational
institutions to over 33 percent by increasing the number of polytechnics, commercial colleges, and
vocational training centers. Although the numbers of such institutions did increase, a compelling
need to expand vocational training further persisted in early 1994.

Literacy Rate:

Definition: aged 10 and over and can read and write

Total population: 57%

Male: 69%
Female: 45% (2009 est.)

Educational institutions by kind

Primary schools: 156,592

Middle schools: 320,611
High schools: 23,964
Arts & science colleges: 3,213
Degree colleges: 1,202
Technical and Vocational Institutions: 3,125
Universities: 132

Living Standards of Pakistani People

Pakistanis are getting modern as far as their life style is concerned. While the world has become a
global village and internet has made every thing accessible, Pakistani people try to copy Indian or
Western life style. Being a Muslim state, Pakistanis should be Muslim too in their ways of living. But
the situation is quite opposite. Like all other societies in world, there are three sections in which the
whole society is divided.

1 - Upper class
2 - Middle class
3 - Lower class

Upper Class: If we look at the life style of upper class that is obviously rich
class, they are purely western by their look. They follow each and every
thing of west. Whether it is education, dressing, architecture, foods,
language, behavior or any other thing is concerned. They try to hide their
identity of being Pakistanis and feel proud of being western and modern.
Abu Dahbi Towers, Islamabad
Middle Class: There is another class of people whom we call middle class.
They are the most pitiable people of society. They spend their whole life in a struggle. Struggle to
enter in upper class; struggle to avoid lower class of society. In Pakistan there is joint family system
which is most popular system in the east. Shalwar Kameez is the very common dress of people of
this class. These people are neither modern nor conservative in their thinking or life style but
moderate. They are most hardworking and loyal to their country too. They speak Urdu. But the
impact of Indian culture is vivid in this class. They
follow some rituals of Indian society.

Lower class: The people belonging to this class live a

very hard and tough life. They can't earn enough to
feed themselves. They have hardly any sense of
education, religion or moral values. Their first and last
objective is to earn their livelihood by any means by
hook or crook. They are in majority. They eat food
that is wasted by other people. They wear dress,
worn out by others. They speak local languages of
Pakistan. They don't know Urdu. They don't know what is happening in the world. The most painful
fact is that government is not doing much to improve A Food Distribution in the name of Allah
their living.

Men and Women, Gender Relations
Gender relations in Pakistan rest on two basic perceptions: that women are subordinate to men, and
that a man's honor resides in the actions of the women of his family. Thus, as in other orthodox
Muslim societies, women are responsible for maintaining the family honor. To ensure that they do
not dishonor their families, society limits women's mobility, places restrictions on their behavior and
activities, and permits them only limited contact with the opposite sex.

Space is allocated to and used differently by men and women. For their protection and
respectability, women have traditionally been expected to live under the constraints of purdah
(purdah is Persian for curtain), most obvious in veiling. By separating women from the activities of
men, both physically and symbolically, purdah creates differentiated male and female spheres. Most
women spend the major part of their lives physically within their homes and courtyards and go out
only for serious and approved reasons. Outside the home, social life generally revolves around the
activities of men. In most parts of the country, except perhaps in Islamabad, Karachi, and wealthier
parts of a few other cities, people consider a woman--and her family--to be shameless if no
restrictions are placed on her mobility.

Purdah is practiced in various ways, depending on family tradition, region, class, and rural or urban
residence, but nowhere do unrelated men and women mix freely. The most extreme restraints are
found in parts of the North-West Frontier Province and Balochistan, where women almost never
leave their homes except when they marry and almost never meet unrelated men. They may not be
allowed contact with male cousins on their mother's side, for these men are not classed as relatives
in a strongly patrilineal society. Similarly, they have only very formal relations with those men they
are allowed to meet, such as the father-in-law, paternal uncles, and brothers-in-law.

Poor rural women, especially in Punjab and Sindh, where gender relations are generally somewhat
more relaxed, have greater mobility because they are responsible for transplanting rice seedlings,
weeding crops, raising chickens and selling eggs, and stuffing wool or cotton into comforters (razais).
When a family becomes more prosperous and begins to aspire to higher status, it commonly
requires stricter purdah among its women as a first social change.

Poor urban women in close-knit communities, such as the old cities of Lahore and Rawalpindi,
generally wear either a burqa (fitted body veil) or a chador (loosely draped cotton cloth used as a
head covering and body veil) when they leave their homes. In these localities, multistory dwellings
(havelis) were constructed to accommodate large extended families. Many havelis have now been
sectioned off into smaller living units to economize. It is common for one nuclear family (with an
average of seven members) to live in one or two rooms on each small floor. In less densely
populated areas, where people generally do not know their neighbors, there are fewer restrictions
on women's mobility.

The shared understanding that women should remain within their homes so neighbors do not gossip
about their respectability has important implications for their productive activities. As with public
life in general, work appears to be the domain of men. Rural women work for consumption or for
exchange at the subsistence level. Others, both rural and urban, do piecework for very low wages in
their homes. Their earnings are generally recorded as part of the family income that is credited to
men. Census data and other accounts of economic activity in urban areas support such conclusions.
For example, the 1981 census reported that 5.6 percent of all women were employed, as opposed to
72.4 percent of men; less than 4 percent of all urban women were engaged in some form of salaried
work. By 1988 this figure had increased significantly, but still only 10.2 percent of women were
reported as participating in the labor force.

Among wealthier Pakistanis, urban or rural residence is less important than family tradition in
influencing whether women observe strict purdah and the type of veil they wear. In some areas,

women simply observe "eye purdah": they tend not to mix with men, but when they do, they avert
their eyes when interacting with them. Bazaars in wealthier areas of Punjabi cities differ from those
in poorer areas by having a greater proportion of unveiled women. In cities throughout the North-
West Frontier Province, Balochistan, and the interior of Sindh, bazaars are markedly devoid of
women, and when a woman does venture forth, she always wears some sort of veil.

The traditional division of space between the sexes is perpetuated in the broadcast media. Women's
subservience is consistently shown on television and in films. And, although popular television
dramas raise controversial issues such as women working, seeking divorce, or even having a say in
family politics, the programs often suggest that the woman who strays from traditional norms faces
insurmountable problems and becomes alienated from her family.

The Status of Women and the Women's Movement

Four important challenges confronted women in Pakistan in the early 1990s: increasing practical
literacy, gaining access to employment opportunities at all levels in the economy, promoting change
in the perception of women's roles and status, and gaining a public voice both within and outside of
the political process.

There have been various attempts at social and legal reform aimed at improving Muslim women's
lives in the subcontinent during the twentieth century. These attempts generally have been related
to two broader, intertwined movements: the social reform movement in British India and the
growing Muslim nationalist movement. Since partition, the changing status of women in Pakistan
largely has been linked with discourse about the role of Islam in a modern state. This debate
concerns the extent to which civil rights common in most Western democracies are appropriate in
an Islamic society and the way these rights should be reconciled with Islamic family law.

Muslim reformers in the nineteenth century struggled to introduce female education, to ease some
of the restrictions on women's activities, to limit polygyny, and to ensure women's rights under
Islamic law. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan convened the Mohammedan Educational Conference in the 1870s
to promote modern education for Muslims, and he founded the Muhammadan Anglo- Oriental
College. Among the predominantly male participants were many of the earliest proponents of
education and improved social status for women. They advocated cooking and sewing classes
conducted in a religious framework to advance women's knowledge and skills and to reinforce
Islamic values. But progress in women's literacy was slow: by 1921 only four out of every 1,000
Muslim females were literate.

Promoting the education of women was a first step in

moving beyond the constraints imposed by purdah. The
nationalist struggle helped fray the threads in that
socially imposed curtain. Simultaneously, women's roles
were questioned, and their empowerment was linked to
the larger issues of nationalism and independence. In
1937 the Muslim Personal Law restored rights (such as
inheritance of property) that had been lost by women
under the Anglicization of certain civil laws. As
independence neared, it appeared that the state would
give priority to empowering women. Pakistan's founding Women in Veil
father, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, said in a speech in 1944:

No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you; we are victims
of evil customs. It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of

the houses as prisoners. There is no sanction anywhere for the deplorable condition in which our
women have to live.

After independence, elite Muslim women in

Pakistan continued to advocate women's
political empowerment through legal reforms.
They mobilized support that led to passage of
the Muslim Personal Law of Sharia in 1948,
which recognized a woman's right to inherit all
forms of property. They were also behind the
futile attempt to have the government include
a Charter of Women's Rights in the 1956
constitution. The 1961 Muslim Family Laws
Ordinance covering marriage and divorce, the
most important sociolegal reform that they
supported, is still widely regarded as

empowering to women. Pakistani Women Procession

Two issues--promotion of women's political representation and accommodation between Muslim

family law and democratic civil rights--came to dominate discourse about women and sociolegal
reform. The second issue gained considerable attention during the regime of Zia ul-Haq (1977-88).
Urban women formed groups to protect their rights against apparent discrimination under Zia's
Islamization program. It was in the highly visible realm of law that women were able to articulate
their objections to the Islamization program initiated by the government in 1979. Protests against
the 1979 Enforcement of Hudood Ordinances focused on the failure of hudood ordinances to
distinguish between adultery (zina) and rape (zina-bil-jabr). A man could be convicted of zina only if
he were actually observed committing the offense by other men, but a woman could be convicted
simply because she became pregnant.

The Women's Action Forum was formed in 1981 to respond to the implementation of the penal code
and to strengthen women's position in society generally. The women in the forum, most of whom
came from elite families, perceived that many of the laws proposed by the Zia government were
discriminatory and would compromise their civil status. In Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad the group
agreed on collective leadership and formulated policy statements and engaged in political action to
safeguard women's legal position.

The Women's Action Forum has played a central role in exposing the controversy regarding various
interpretations of Islamic law and its role in a modern state, and in publicizing ways in which women
can play a more active role in politics. Its members led public protests in the mid-1980s against the
promulgation of the Law of Evidence. Although the final version was substantially modified, the
Women's Action Forum objected to the legislation because it gave unequal weight to testimony by
men and women in financial cases. Fundamentally, they objected to the assertion that women and
men cannot participate as legal equals in economic affairs.

Beginning in August 1986, the Women's Action Forum members and their supporters led a debate
over passage of the Shariat Bill, which decreed that all laws in Pakistan should conform to Islamic
law. They argued that the law would undermine the principles of justice, democracy, and
fundamental rights of citizens, and they pointed out that Islamic law would become identified solely
with the conservative interpretation supported by Zia's government. Most activists felt that the
Shariat Bill had the potential to negate many of the rights women had won. In May 1991, a

compromise version of the Shariat Bill was adopted, but the debate over whether civil law or Islamic
law should prevail in the country continued in the early 1990s.

Discourse about the position of women in Islam and women's roles in a modern Islamic state was
sparked by the government's attempts to formalize a specific interpretation of Islamic law. Although
the issue of evidence became central to the concern for women's legal status, more mundane
matters such as mandatory dress codes for women and whether females could compete in
international sports competitions were also being argued.

Another of the challenges faced by Pakistani women concerns their integration into the labor force.
Because of economic pressures and the dissolution of extended families in urban areas, many more
women are working for wages than in the past. But by 1990 females officially made up only 13
percent of the labor force. Restrictions on their mobility limit their opportunities, and traditional
notions of propriety lead families to conceal the extent of work performed by women.

Usually, only the poorest women engage in work--often as midwives, sweepers, or nannies--for
compensation outside the home. More often, poor urban women remain at home and sell
manufactured goods to a middleman for compensation. More and more urban women have
engaged in such activities during the 1990s, although to avoid being shamed few families willingly
admit that women contribute to the family economically. Hence, there is little information about the
work women do. On the basis of the predominant fiction that most women do no work other than
their domestic chores, the government has been hesitant to adopt overt policies to increase
women's employment options and to provide legal support for women's labor force participation.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) commissioned a national study in 1992 on women's
economic activity to enable policy planners and donor agencies to cut through the existing myths on
female labor-force participation. The study addresses the specific reasons that the assessment of
women's work in Pakistan is filled with discrepancies and underenumeration and provides a
comprehensive discussion of the range of informal- sector work performed by women throughout
the country. Information from this study was also incorporated into the Eighth Five-Year Plan (1993-

A melding of the traditional social welfare activities of the women's movement and its newly revised
political activism appears to have occurred. Diverse groups including the Women's Action Forum, the
All-Pakistan Women's Association, the Pakistan Women Lawyers' Association, and the Business and
Professional Women's Association, are supporting small-scale projects throughout the country that
focus on empowering women. They have been involved in such activities as instituting legal aid for
indigent women, opposing the gendered segregation of universities, and publicizing and condemning
the growing incidents of violence against women. The Pakistan Women Lawyers' Association has
released a series of films educating women about their legal rights; the Business and Professional
Women's Association is supporting a comprehensive project inside Yakki Gate, a poor area inside the
walled city of Lahore; and the Orangi Pilot Project in Karachi has promoted networks among women
who work at home so they need not be dependent on middlemen to acquire raw materials and
market the clothes they produce.

The women's movement has shifted from reacting to government legislation to focusing on three
primary goals: securing women's political representation in the National Assembly; working to raise
women's consciousness, particularly about family planning; and countering suppression of women's
rights by defining and articulating positions on events as they occur in order to raise public
awareness. An as yet unresolved issue concerns the perpetuation of a set number of seats for
women in the National Assembly. Many women activists whose expectations were raised during the
brief tenure of Benazir Bhutto's first government (December 1988-August 1990) now believe that,

with her return to power in October 1993, they can seize the initiative to bring about a shift in
women's personal and public access to power.

Non-Muslim Minorities
The most visible groups of non-Muslim minorities are Hindus and Christians. Hindus are found
largely in the interior of Sindh and in the vicinity of Quetta in Balochistan. Christians, representing
almost all West European dominations, are found throughout the country; many are engaged in
menial work. Other minorities include Zoroastrians (also called Parsis), largely concentrated in
Karachi, and members of groups relatively recently designated as non-Muslim, notably the

The various religious minority groups have secured separate

representation in national and provincial assemblies but still
have limited influence on national policy. They finally united
around a common issue in October 1992 when the government
of Nawaz Sharif decreed that religious affiliation would be
indicated on identity cards. These cards were needed for a
range of activities, including attending school, opening a bank
account, registering to vote, casting a vote, and obtaining a
passport. Members of minority groups organized
demonstrations to protest this discrimination, which they A Protestant Church in Lahore
argued would demote them to the ranks of second-class
citizens. They argued that safeguards existed for them both within Islamic law and in the promises
that had been made to them in 1947. The government soon rescinded the decree.

Health and Welfare

In 1992 some 35 million Pakistanis, or about 30 percent of the population, were unable to afford
nutritionally adequate food or to afford any nonfood items at all. Of these, 24.3 million lived in rural
areas, where they constituted 29 percent of the population. Urban areas, with one-third of the
national population, had a poverty rate of 26 percent.

Between 1985 and 1991, about 85 percent of rural residents and 100 percent of urban dwellers had
access to some kind of Western or biomedical health care; but 12.9 million people had no access to
health services. Only 45 percent of rural people had safe water as compared with 80 percent of
urbanites, leaving 55 million without potable water. Also in the same period, only 10 percent of rural
residents had access to modern sanitation while 55 percent of city residents did; a total of 94.9
million people hence were without sanitary facilities.

In the early 1990s, the leading causes of death remained gastroenteritis, respiratory infections,
congenital abnormalities, tuberculosis, malaria, and typhoid. Gastrointestinal, parasitic, and
respiratory ailments, as well as malnutrition, contributed substantially to morbidity. The incidence of
communicable childhood diseases was high; measles, diphtheria, and pertussis took a substantial toll
among children under five. Although the urban poor also suffered from these diseases, those in rural
areas were the principal victims.

Despite these discouraging facts, there has been significant improvement in some health indicators,
even though the population grew by 130 percent between 1955 and 1960 and between 1985 and
1990, and increasing from 50.0 million in 1960 to 123.4 million in 1993. For example, in 1960 only 25
percent of the population had purportedly safe water (compared with 56 percent in 1992). In
addition, average life expectancy at birth was 43.1 years in 1960; in 1992 it had reached 58.3 years.

Maternal and Child Health
The average age of marriage for women was 19.8 between 1980 and 1990, and, with the rate of
contraception use reaching only 12 percent in 1992, many delivered their first child about one year
later. Thus, nearly half of Pakistani women have at least one child before they complete their
twentieth year. In 1988-90 only 70 percent of pregnant women received any prenatal care; the same
proportion of births was attended by health workers. A study covering the years 1975 to 1990 found
that 57 percent of pregnant women were anemic (1975 to 1990) and that many suffered from
vitamin deficiencies. In 1988 some 600 of every 100,000 deliveries resulted in the death of the
mother. Among women who die between ages fifteen and forty-five, a significant portion of deaths
are related to childbearing.

The inadequate health care and the malnutrition suffered by women are reflected in infant and child
health statistics. About 30 percent of babies born between 1985 and 1990 were of low birth weight.
During 1992 ninety-nine of every 1,000 infants died in their first year of life. Mothers breast-feed for
a median of twenty months, according to a 1986-90 survey, but generally withhold necessary
supplementary foods until weaning. In 1990 approximately 42 percent of children under five years of
age were underweight. In 1992 there were 3.7 million malnourished children, and 652,000 died.
Poor nutrition contributes significantly to childhood morbidity and mortality.

Progress has been made despite these rather dismal data. The infant mortality rate dropped from
163 per 1,000 live births in 1960 to ninety-nine per 1,000 in 1992. Immunization has also expanded
rapidly in the recent past; 81 percent of infants had received the recommended vaccines in 1992. A
network of immunizations clinics--virtually free in most places--exists in urban areas and ensures
that health workers are notified of a child's birth. Word of mouth and media attention, coupled with
rural health clinics, seem to be responsible for the rapid increase in immunization rates in rural
areas. By 1992 about 85 percent of the population had access to oral rehydration salts, and oral
rehydration therapy was expected to lower the child mortality.

Health Care Policies and Developments

National public health is a recent innovation in Pakistan. In prepartition India, the
British provided health care for government employees but rarely attended to
the health needs of the population at large, except for establishing a few major
hospitals, such as Mayo Hospital in Lahore, which has King Edward Medical
College nearby. Improvements in health care have been hampered by scarce
resources and are difficult to coordinate nationally because health care
remains a provincial responsibility rather than a central government one. Until
the early 1970s, local governing bodies were in charge of health services.

National health planning began with the Second Five-Year Plan (1960-65) and
continued through the Eighth Five-Year Plan (1993- 98). Provision of health care for the rural
populace has long been a stated priority, but efforts to provide such care continue to be hampered
by administrative problems and difficulties in staffing rural clinics. In the early 1970s, a decentralized
system was developed in which basic health units provided primary care for a surrounding
population of 6,000 to 10,000 people, rural health centers offered support
Pakistan Health Ministry Logo
and more comprehensive services to local units, and both the basic units and
the health centers could refer patients to larger urban hospitals.

In the early 1990s, the orientation of the country's medical system, including medical education,
favored the elite. There has been a marked boom in private clinics and hospitals since the late 1980s
and a corresponding, unfortunate deterioration in services provided by nationalized hospitals. In
1992 there was only one physician for every 2,127 persons, one nurse for every 6,626 persons, and
only one hospital for every 131,274 persons. There was only one dentist for every 67,757 persons.

Medical schools have come under a great deal of criticism from women's groups for discriminating
against females. In some cities, females seeking admission to medical school have even held
demonstrations against separate gender quotas. Males can often gain admission to medical schools
with lower test scores than females because the absolute number for males in the separate quotas is
much greater than that for females. The quota exists despite the pressing need for more physicians
available to treat women.

The government has embarked on a major health initiative with substantial donor assistance. The
initial phase of an estimated US$140 million family health project, which would eventually aid all
four provinces, was approved in July 1991 by the government of Pakistan and the World Bank, the
latter's first such project in Pakistan. The program is aimed at improving maternal health care and
controlling epidemic diseases in Sindh and the NorthWest Frontier Province. It will provide help for
staff development, particularly in training female paramedics, and will also strengthen the
management and organization of provincial health departments. The estimated completion date is
1999. The second stage of the project will include Punjab and Balochistan.

In addition to public- and private-sector biomedicine, there are indigenous forms of treatment.
Unani Tibb (Arabic for Greek medicine), also called Islami-Tibb, is Galenic medicine resystematized
and augmented by Muslim scholars. Herbal treatments are used to balance bodily humors.
Practitioners, hakims, are trained in medical colleges or learn the skill from family members who
pass it down the generations. Some manufactured remedies are also available in certain pharmacies.
Homeopathy, thought by some to be "poor man's Western medicine," is also taught and practiced in
Pakistan. Several forms of religious healing are common too. Prophetic healing is based largely on
the hadith of the Prophet pertaining to hygiene and moral and physical health, and simple
treatments are used, such as honey, a few herbs, and prayer. Some religious conservatives argue
that reliance on anything but prayer suggests lack of faith, while others point out that the Prophet
remarked that Allah had created medicines in order that humans should avail themselves of their
benefits. Popular forms of religious healing, at least protection from malign influences, are common
in most of the country. The use of tawiz, amulets containing Quranic verses, or the intervention of a
pir, living or dead, is generally relied upon to direct the healing force of Allah's blessing to anyone
confronted with uncertainty or distress.

Smoking, Drugs, and AIDS

Smoking is primarily a health threat for men. Nearly half of all men smoked in the 1970s and 1980s,
whereas only 5 percent of women smoked. Twenty-five percent of all adults were estimated to be
smokers in 1985, with a marked increase among women (who still generally smoke only at home).
The national airline, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), instituted a no-smoking policy on all its
domestic flights in the late 1980s. In an unusual departure from global trends, PIA reversed this
policy in mid1992 , claiming public pressure--despite no evident public outcry in newspapers or
other media. Men also take neswar, a tobacco-based ground mixture including lime that is placed
under the tongue. Both men and women chew pan, betel nut plus herbs and sometimes tobacco
wrapped in betel leaf; the dark red juice damages teeth and gums. Both neswar and pan may
engender mild dependency and may contribute to oral cancers or other serious problems.

Opium smuggling and cultivation, as well as heroin production, became major problems after the
Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. The war interrupted the opium pipeline from Afghanistan to
the West, and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's crackdown on drug smuggling made shipment through
Iran difficult. Pakistan was an attractive route because corrupt officials could easily be bribed.
Although the government cooperated with international agencies, most notably the United States
Agency for International Development, in their opium poppy substitution programs, Pakistan
became a major center for heroin production and a transshipment point for the international drug

Opium poppy cultivation, already established in remote highland
areas of the North-West Frontier Province by the late nineteenth
century, increased after World War II and expanded again to
become the basis of some local economies in the mid1980s .
Harvesting requires intensive labor, but profits are great and
storage and marketing are easy. The annual yield from an entire
village can be transported from an isolated area on a few
donkeys. Opium poppy yields, estimated at 800 tons in 1979,
dropped to between forty and forty-five tons by 1985, but An opium field in NWFP
dramatically rose to 130 tons in 1989 and then 180 tons in 1990.
Yields then declined slowly to 175 tons in 1992 and 140 tons in 1993. The area under opium poppy
cultivation followed the same pattern, from 5,850 hectares in 1989 to 8,215 hectares in 1990. It
reached 9,147 hectares in 1992 but dropped to 6,280 the following year. The caretaker government
of Moeen Qureshi (July to mid-October 1993) was responsible for the reductions in production and
area under cultivation; the succeeding government of Benazir Bhutto has perpetuated his policies
and declared its intent to augment them.

Use of heroin within Pakistan has expanded significantly. The Pakistan Narcotics Control Board
estimates that although there were no known heroin addicts in Pakistan in 1980, the figure had
reached 1.2 million by 1989; there were more than 2 million drug addicts of all types in the country
in 1991. This dramatic increase is attributed the ready availability of drugs. There were only thirty
drug treatment centers in Pakistan in 1991, with a reported cure rate of about 20 percent.

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) has not yet been much of a problem in Pakistan,
probably as a result of cultural mores constricting premarital, extramarital, and openly homosexual
relations. The effect of poor quality control on blood supplies and needle sharing among addicts is
undetermined. The government has been slow to respond to the threat posed by AIDS. Cultural and
religious restrictions prevent official policies encouraging "safe-sex" or other programs that would
prevent the spread of the disease. State-run radio and television stations have made no attempt to
educate the public about AIDS. In fact, the government has minimized the problem of AIDS in the
same way that it has dealt with potentially widespread alcoholism by labeling it as a "foreigners'

The Ministry of Health, however, has established the National AIDS Control Programme to monitor
the disease and to try to prevent its spread. During 1993 twenty-five AIDS screening centers were
established at various hospitals, including the Agha Khan University Hospital in Karachi, the National
Institute of Health in Islamabad, and the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center. AIDS screening kits
and materials are provided free at these facilities. By early 1994, approximately 300,000 people in
Pakistan had been tested.

A center for AIDS testing has also been established at the Port Health Office in Keamari harbor in
Karachi. Another is expected to open during 1994 at Karachi Airport. Beginning in 1994, all foreigners
and sailors arriving in Pakistan will be required to have certificates stating that they are AIDS-free.
Certificates of inspection are already required of Pakistani sailors. All imported blood, blood
products, and vaccines must also be certified.

Zakat as a Welfare System

Social security plans were first introduced in the 1960s but have never achieved much success.
Traditionally, the family and biradari have functioned as a welfare system that can be relied on in
times of need based on reciprocal obligations.

In 1980, as a part of his Islamization program, Zia introduced a welfare system, known as the Zakat
and Ushr Ordinance. Based on the Islamic notion of zakat, the aim was to forge a national system to
help those without kin. The Zakat and Ushr Ordinance combined elements of the traditional Islamic
welfare institution with those of a modern public welfare system. The ordinance's moral imperative
and much of its institutional structure were directly based on the Quran and the sharia.

As a traditional religious institution, zakat involves both the payment and the distribution of an alms
tax given by Muslims who enjoy some surplus to certain kinds of deserving poor Muslims
(mustahaqeen). The traditional interpretation by the Hanafi school of religious law stipulates that
zakat is to be paid once a year on wealth held more than a year. The rate varies, although it is
generally 2.5 percent. Ushr is another form of almsgiving, a 5 percent tax paid on the produce of
land, not on the value of the land itself. Both zakat and ushr are paid to groups as specified in the
Quran, such as the poor, the needy, recent converts to Islam, people who do the good works of God,
and those who collect and disburse zakat.

The Zakat and Ushr Ordinance set broad parameters for eligibility for zakat, which is determined by
local zakat committees. Priority is given to widows, orphans, the disabled, and students of
traditional religious schools. Eligibility is broad and flexible and presumes great trust in the integrity,
fairness, and good sense of the local zakat committees. Although the program initially focused on
providing cash payments, it gradually has moved into establishing training centers, especially sewing
centers for women. By 1983 the zakat program had disbursed more than Rs2.5 billion to some 4
million people. The program, however, has come under a great deal of criticism for the uneven
manner in which funds are disbursed.

Shia have vociferously criticized the program on the basis that its innate structure is built around
Sunni jurisprudence. Shia leaders successfully have championed the right to collect zakat payments
from members of their community and to distribute them only among Shia mustahaqeen.

Crime and Law Enforcememt

Crime in Pakistan is present in various forms. Organised crimes include drug trafficking, money
laundering, forged Indian currency printing, extortion, murder for hire and fraud. Other criminal
operations engage in human trafficking, corruption, black marketeering, political violence, terrorism,
abduction etc.

Pakistan falls under the Golden Crescent, which is one of the

two major illicit opium producing centres in Asia. Opium
poppy cultivation in Pakistan is estimated to be 800 hectares
in 2005 yielding a potential production of 4 metric tons of
heroin. Opium is cultivated primarily in the North-West
Frontier Province and Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Until the
late 1970s, opium production levels were relatively static; it
increased after 1979. Since the beginning of the 1980s, drug
trafficking is flourishing in Pakistan. Opium production in
Pakistan increased in part due to the "Taliban Effect"(the Police Controlling Situation in NWFP
increasingly conservative views towards both the freedom of women and religion) in Afghanistan.
One of the results was the influence on Afghan women to move their families to Pakistan. Once in
Pakistan, they were more able to take on important economic roles such as poppy cultivation.
Pakistan is a key transit point for Afghan drugs, including heroin, opium, morphine, and hashish,
bound for Western countries, the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, and Africa.

An estimated $4 billion is generated from drug trafficking in Pakistan. Petty crime like theft is

Law enforcement in Pakistan is carried out by several federal and provincial police agencies. The four
provinces and the Islamabad Capital Territory each have a civilian police force with jurisdiction
extending only to the relevant province or territory. At the federal level, there are a number of
civilian agencies with nationwide jurisdictions including the Federal Investigation Agency and the
National Highways and Motorway Police, as well as several paramilitary forces including the Pakistan
Rangers and the Frontier Corps. The most senior officers of all the civilian police forces also form
part of the Police Service of Pakistan, which is a component of the civil service of Pakistan.

Comparison of Cities and Rural Areas

Those who live within a village in Pakistan must undertake a number of rigorous chores. The women
in a village do not cook with a stove heated by gas or electricity. They must rely on kerosene to start
the fires that they use while cooking. If a woman needs to have a number of dishes cooking at once,
she needs to prepare a line of kerosene fires.

When a woman in a village needs to do the laundry, she can not throw things in a washing machine.
She can not even find a Laundromat there in the village. She must wash her family's clothes along
the banks of the nearest river.

A village in Pakistan can not supply each home with either electricity or running water. When a
woman needs water for cooking, she must travel to a river or well. Then she must fill a container
with water and carry it home, where she can put it to use. When she wants to clean her home, she
can not use a vacuum; she must rely on a broom.

Lacking running water, homes and business in the village do not have indoor plumbing. When nature
calls, the residents of the village must use an outhouse. Sometimes, a row of businesses might share
a single outhouse. This can make for some amusing scenes.

Within a small village, any business can become like a water cooler at large business. Many men
gather to talk at selected businesses in the village. They think nothing about carrying on their
conversation while a man from an adjoining business walks past, carrying the vessel that shows his
reason for by-passing the ongoing conversation.

Within the cities in Pakistan, one would never expect to witness such scene. A city in Pakistan often
holds one of the country's universities. The presence of a university helps to bring added cultural
elements into the cities of Pakistan. A university often has a museum. A university often has a choir
or orchestra. And of course a university usually has a nice-sized library.

Frequently, some residents of a village choose to move to a city. They tend to make such a move for
financial reasons. Families living in a city generally have servants. When poorer families move from a
village to the city, then they know that they can find work. They often expect to work as servants or
as drivers.

The students who enroll at the universities in the cities are

not expected to work; they are expected to study. Some
students take time out from their studies to take part in the
occasional demonstration. Those are the students most
often viewed by TV audiences on the other side of the
world. Such students broadcast their own views, but not
the views of all the villagers in Pakistan.

One can not yet predict how technological innovations


could eventually manage to have an effect on every village in Pakistan. Such innovations could one
day see the widespread use of cell phones and laptop computers in those small villages. Such
changes would no doubt reshape the thinking of the villagers in Pakistan.

Marriages in Pakistan
Marriage in Pakistan is considered the most standard and stable living form for adults. A marriage is
understood not only as a link between a man and a woman but it is also considered a union between
their parents' families.

Arranged marriages have been an integral part of Pakistani society for years and are traditional to
have arranged marriages. Arranged matches are made after taking into account factors such as the
wealth and social standing of their families. A marriage can also be made within the extended family
such as between cousins.

Polygamy is permitted under Pakistani civil law as well as under the Pakistani Family Act. However, it
is now the less common, especially in the major cities. If a married man remains childless with his
first wife, family members might recommend to marry a second wife.

Arranged marriage is most commonly followed in Pakistan. In this type of marriage, the wedding will
be fixed with the close wish and liking of the bride and groom's families. So, the whole family will be
involved in all the wedding arrangement of the couples. Marriage in Pakistan is considered to be the
customary standard and livelihood of adults. Here marriage is never expressed as a close
relationship between the bride and the groom, but it is dearly conceived as a good understanding
between those families. This is the reason most of the marriages are obviously arranged by the
wishes of the parents.

For several hundred years, arranged marriages are conceived to

be the constitutional and inherent character of the Pakistan
social group. Moreover, it is quite common for individual to fix
their marriage by their family members and elders. Generally,
arranged marriage is organized by both the families on looking at
their family background, potentials, social status, caste, wealth
and lot more. Usually, marriage in Pakistan is arranged between
the expanded family members like cousins or relatives.

A little illustration will validate most point. Marriage in all 4

provinces in Pakistan is mostly arranged. Generally, the groom's
parents and relatives will make a visit to the bride's house and
set forth their proposal. Once if the bride's parents and relatives
accept the proposal, the "mangni" will take place. Mangni is the
engagement function that takes place as a grand celebration
with the presence of relatives and friends. Once the marriage
A Bride Signing Nikah Nama date, the bridegroom will be taken to the place of the bride,
where Nikah takes place.

Generally it is really a difficult task for people to make their choice of marriage as successful. The
traditional and culture passionate Pakistani people, particularly residing in rural areas will never
accept the love marriage system and most cases they will break the relationship between them and
the pairs. Moreover, the married pairs will be locked in jail, as they wed-locked with the opposition
of their parents and relatives. Where as in some other cases, the girl or the boy will be imbibed and
buried on the grounds, because of marrying someone without the approval and acceptance of their
parents and relatives.

Love marriage in Pakistan is really very difficult to happen, as people here will stick with the tradition
and culture. It is really a tough situation to marry the person of your choice in Pakistan. Though the
commandment and law grants the women to join her hands with her choice of person, the parents
and relatives of both bride and groom will never accept the wedding. Moreover, people will
conceive their marriage as the dishonor to their family and religious customs. At cases, the girl will
be killed by her people and at some cases her partner will also murdered.

For all these reasons, most of the marriage in Pakistan will be arranged marriage. The wedding will
be decided by both parents and relatives. Wedding that gets arranged by the parents and people will
be performed as a grand celebration depending upon their ability and potentials.

Families in Pakistan
For some families, a flight from Pakistan to a location in the Western Hemisphere can seem like a
flight to another world. That would certainly be the case if a close-knit Pakistani family were to travel
to either the United States or Canada.

In Western countries, family members tend to be categorized. Some family members fall in the
designation "immediate family;" others come under the heading "extended family." For the families
in Pakistan, the closeness of all family members obliterates the need for such categorization.

In Pakistan, the closeness of all family members dictates the family approach to ever occasion.
Pakistani children, even older children, do not hesitate to accompany their parents out in public.
Many Pakistani children share their home with one or both pairs of grandparents.

When a child grows up in such a close-knit family, he or she learns to appreciate all members of any
family. If such a child later immigrates to the U.S., then his or her spouse will receive a wonderful
surprise. An adult familiar with close-knit families will quickly offer condolences to any family
member who experiences the loss of a loved one.

Among the families in Pakistan, one can find many different types of what has come to be called a
"joint family." As mentioned, a joint family invariably contains one or more grandparents. A joint
family can also contain an Aunt, an Uncle and even some cousins. In a joint family, they would all live
under one roof.

Each member of a Pakistani family has respect for the older family members. At the same time, the
families in Pakistan never fail to look at the children in the family as "gifts from God." The parents
feel responsible for teaching the children in the family the basic beliefs of the family's chosen

Islam is the religion practiced by most of the families in Pakistan. Special occasions, such as
weddings, are carried out according to Muslim tradition. Many marriages are planned marriages.
The father of a daughter decides who she will marry. His word must go unquestioned.

While the father directs the planning for a wedding, all of the family members play a part in the
wedding preparations. They help to outfit the bride, to obtain needed deorationsand to prepare
food for guests. On the day of the wedding, the family members gather for the administration of the
marriage contract, what Pakistanis call "mikah."

A second ceremony conducted in Pakistani homes is called the "aqeeqa" ceremony. During that
ceremony, family members gather for a feast. They witness the circumcision of a new male infant.
The importance of that ceremony underlines the ephasis that families in Pakistan put on their male

A female child is expected to grow into the role of a mother, with her life decisions guided by men.
Of course, women in Pakistan are finding more and more reason to proceed through life in a manner
that refuses to accept any restrictions proposed by male family members.

The actions of women in present-day Pakistan could well re-shape the nature of family life inside

Social Enterprise
By definition, a social enterprise is a company which applies market-based principles to further a
particular social cause. Because of the fact that these companies' missions are linked to social,
environmental and financial gains they are often referred to as having a 'triple bottom line'. With all
the focus on issues like climate change and inequality, social enterprises do seem to be the most
practical and efficient companies to promote, particularly in the developing world. In a country like
Pakistan, although it has not been one of the main culprits in fuelling rising pollution that has caused
a depletion of the ozone layer, it will be one of the countries that is most affected by climate change.
It is for this reason, that we have an even greater interest in ensuring that any new businesses do
have environmental and social concerns at the forefront of their business model. In Pakistan the
main industries range from production of textiles to soccer ball manufacturing to surgical goods.
There is a vast potential for using social enterprise models in these industries to encourage better
working environments and better quality products, with higher prices, as a result. The Pakistani
corporate sector is realizing the importance of social development and its direct correlation with
their own growth and it is for this reason that most companies do have projects related to 'corporate
social responsibility.'

In terms of social development, social enterprises offer good opportunities to provide employment
and skills training to workers across the handicrafts and cottage industries in Pakistan. Currently,
these industries are plagued by lack of access to markets, limited skills training, negligible quality
control and a lack of innovation, which has caused a lot of traditional crafts to dwindle over the
course of time. Most of the time, villagers working in the production of handicrafts have had to rely
on middlemen to transport their products to big urban centers like Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore or
Peshawar. Locally, these products do not fetch high prices which means that the money trickling
down to the actual artisan is even less. Many of the workers in this industry are women who work
from their homes in an effort to supplement the family income. Unfortunately, in the current
market, this industry does not offer itself as a viable full-time profession for artisans and simply
attracts seasonal or home-based workers.

Considering how closely linked handicrafts are to cultural heritage, it is a shame to see this potential
wasted due to market forces which work against the artisan. On the other hand, social enterprises
who work to promote the work of artisans or organizations who train workers to produce crafts, do
have a vast potential at growth since their motivation is less on their own personal financial gains
and more towards the preservation of local indigenous traditions and providing artisans with a viable
profession. Social enterprises need to bring artisans into the industry by getting them involved in
decisions related to marketing strategies, quality control as well as market demand. It is with further
collaboration at the grassroots level that markets will become more accessible to individual artisan

In order to spur economic growth and social development, public and private sectors, along with civil
society, need to join hands to recognize the potential of social enterprises and encourage their
formation in a variety of sectors. Linking social, environmental and economic gains will prove to be
sustainable and profitable in the long run.

The society of Pakistan has faced a long term transition and is still in the stage of development.
Three interrelated propositions can be made about the social structure of Pakistan:

1. Pakistan society is characterized by a social stratification process which is compensatory in


2. The compensatory process of social stratification over the years has given rise to status-centric
value orientation.

3. The most significant indicator of status-centric orientation is emergence of artificial middle class
which can be distinguished from real middle class in terms of norms.

The above propositions in the form of a model are presented for four reasons. Firstly, a conceptual
framework was desired about the social structure of Pakistan and the direction of social change
taking place. Secondly, concepts were needed to study the norms of social classes in Pakistan. At
best, some studies conducted by economists like Naseem and Talat, for instance, have assessed the
magnitude and degree of poverty, not who the poor are. What are their norms or value
orientations? What are the norms of other social classes? Do the poor share the norms of other
social classes or do they possess their own norms? Furthermore, these studies indicate that "an
excessive concern with overall inequality of income may conceal important factors which tend to
widen or equalize the income inequalities at a disaggregated level". What are those factors? Thirdly,
it was intended to make a further contribution to the theoretical understanding of social structure
and the social stratification process. The existing literature deals with social stratification as a
distributive process, established bases of social classes, social status in society, their measures,
explanations and relationships among social classes and social status groups and the rate and
magnitude of mobility from one social class to another. All these are relevant topics for investigating
contemporary sociological realities in Pakistan. But certain changes are also taking place in the
structure of social classes in Pakistan which need to be studied and conceptualized. Observations
suggest that while the real middle class is shrinking due to brain drain and the slow rate of
legitimized upward occupational mobility, a new social formation is emerging due to various reasons
which is parallel to the middle class in economic terms and not in sociological or normative terms or
educational attainments. What are the norms of this new formation? Does this new social formation
pose a threat to middle class or compensates for it? Theoretical or conceptual explanations to these
questions are sought. Fourthly, some dimensions of social structure are conceptualized to explain
why education in Pakistan is not economically productive or why education as a legitimized avenue
for upward occupational mobility is underutilized or why there is a gap in planning and
implementation at the lower levels in education.

The methodology used for formulating propositions in this paper is inductive. Data from micro
studies, observations and experience with the Pakistani society are organized by means of simple
logic to formulate the concepts in the propositions which, of course, need to be operationalized and
tested on diverse samples of people from various socioeconomic backgrounds.

Proposition I

(That Pakistan society is characterized by social stratification which is compensatory in nature.)

It is assumed in Pakistan that the two processes of social stratification compensatory and
distributive--exist parallel to each other. Little or no research has been done on either of the two in

Social stratification as a compensatory process is unfolded in terms of the following basic


Assumption 1: Everyone in society has his own definition of his social status as superior in power,
privilege and prestige taken together or singly. (Available tests measuring own concept may be used
for assessing this but in this case the focus will be on measuring his/her perceived own definition of
his/her power, privilege and prestige (1).)

Assumption 2 : While one defines one's social status as superior to that of others in terms of power,
privilege or prestige, one also realizes or acknowledges the inferior aspect of one's status in any one
of the three aspects. The lower groups justify their superiority in non-material terms; the top groups
may explicitly or implicitly acknowledge their inferiority in terms of degrees of the three aspects of
their status.

Assumption 3: Decision on the superior aspect and inferior aspect of one's status is consciously
made by constantly comparing one's status with that of others at various intra-and inter-societal

Assumption 4: In the comparing process, one consciously weighs one's deprivations against one's
possessions and attempts to compensate either by asserting one's possessions of certain aspects of
social status (power, privilege or prestige) or by acquiring the deprived aspect.

The above assumptions taken together mean that individuals are conscious of their share from
available entitlements and none or several social rewards, and react to equalize by way of
compensation for social rewards. Their expectations and responses matter a great deal in equalizing
inequalities in social status. These reactions of individuals, when taken collectively, define Pakistani
society as a struggle-oriented society and not passive or indifferent society. This definition of
Pakistani society tends to cast doubt on the existing literature about the traditional societies'
strategy that individuals in these societies do not react to their deprivations. Let us compare this
meaning with the other concepts available within the context of the existing theory of social
stratification. It appears that some comparisons can be made of social stratification as a
compensatory process with some conceptual ingredients found in the viewpoints of Marx, Veblen
and Weber but the concept defining the process of social stratification as a compensatory process
extends to a different viewpoint with some new concepts. From Marx and Weber it borrows the
element of struggle for power and from Veblen it takes the element of imitation of the higher by the
lower classes and the norm of conspicuous consumption. Generally speaking, the Marxist notion
split society into two antagonistic classes growing out of the property structure of the economy.
Marx is concerned with the consciousness of the social classes.

In defining social stratification as a compensatory process, it is assumed that an individual's level of

consciousness of the distribution process of entitlements in the society determines his decision
about superior or inferior aspect of his status, which in turn determines his aspirations and struggle
patterns for gains in.

Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization by Jonathan M. Kenoyer
Contemporary Pakistan: Politics, Economy, Society by Manzooruddin Ahmed
Culture Shock! Pakistan: A Guide to Customs and Etiquette by Zafar Ihsan and Karin
Mittmann (Jan 1, 2000)
Pakistan Society: Islam, Ethnicity and Leadership in South Asia by Akbar S.
Ahmed ( May 7, 1987)


Family & society in Pakistan

By Syed Abdul Quddus - 1995

The culture and society of Pakistan

By Masud-ul-Hassan Khan Sabri 1994

Pakistan Society: Islam, Ethnicity and Leadership in South Asia

By Akbar S. Ahmed - May 7, 1987

The changing Pakistan Society

By Sabeeha Hafeez - 1991