In few countries, economic progress has had so little impact on social development. Although Pakistan has experienced rapid economic growth for long periods, four residents were below the national poverty line.
Yet the most screaming poverty rate has fallen during the 2000s, partly thanks to extensive cash support for the poorest families introduced in 2008, when rising inflation in a short time almost halved the purchasing power of a large part of the population. In addition to cash support, the poor can also receive interest-free loans and health insurance.
- Countryaah Official Site: Official statistics for population in Pakistan, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
Health care is poor and generally worse than in other countries in South Asia. Millions of people have no access to health care whatsoever. The differences between the city and the countryside are large, both in terms of standard and accessibility.
Child mortality is high, as is the proportion of malnourished children. The nutritional deficiency has contributed to almost every second child being too short in the plant. The proportion of women who die during childbirth is also high.
Lung tuberculosis is a common disease, and Pakistan is also one of the few countries in the world where polio still exists. Attempts to curb the disease have been disrupted by vaccination staff being attacked by Islamist extremists who claim the vaccine is a Western plot to sterilize Muslims. After the turn of the year 2014/2015, a clear reduction in polio cases was noted after the military took control of the Taliban-controlled areas where the polio vaccination resistance occurred.
Pakistan suffers from water shortages, and more than four in five residents are referred to drink contaminated water according to authorities. Over three million people are estimated to be ill every year due to polluted water. The pollutants are mainly bacteria and poisons, mainly arsenic. The bacteria cause, for example, cholera, typhoid, dysentery, jaundice and diarrhea, while arsenic causes diabetes, skin, kidney and heart disease as well as birth defects and various forms of cancer.
In rural areas, almost half of the residents have access to a toilet, compared to the next three quarters of the cities.
As a result of heroin smuggling from Afghanistan, drug abuse has increased sharply since the 1980s.
Child and forced labor
Pakistan has adopted the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and most of the ILO Charter, including those prohibiting children under the age of 14 from working. In practice, millions of children are forced to work for the family’s livelihood. It also happens that adults work under conditions that are similar to life traits (see also Labor Market).
The situation of women
The most important social protection network is found within the own extended family. The older men of the family settle disputes, make sure everyone gets theirs and represent the family outward. In the large families, the old are taken care of, as far as resources are concerned. There is no general retirement pension.
In most cases, marriage is still decided by the parents and is as much a matter of appropriately uniting two families, or bonding a family closer together, as uniting a young couple.
Although women have important tasks within the family, it is the man who decides and the woman’s role is to subordinate themselves. How a woman behaves is crucial to how the family is perceived by her surroundings. A woman who lives outside the community without restrictions is considered shameless. The ideal is because the woman stays in the home and has the least possible contact with outsiders of the opposite sex. Should she be staying outdoors she should be covered. These restrictions are usually symbolically called purdah (Persian for “curtain”).
This view of women is widespread throughout society, although social reasons have created exceptions. Among rural poor people, the need for women’s labor is so great that in practice, purdah cannot be applied. Among the educated middle class in the cities, extreme gender segregation has also largely disappeared following the influence of the West.
The weak position of women in society is an important explanation for the slow social development. Rape and group rape are rarely reported. In 2006, Parliament decided that rape should be tried by civil courts under ordinary criminal law. Earlier trial in Sharia courts forced a woman to prove the abuse with the help of four male witnesses, which meant that most rapists went free and the women were often convicted of lewdness. In 2016, the sentence for rape on children or disabled life imprisonment or the death penalty was increased.
The strong weight attached to the family’s honor has a terrible back in the form of so-called honor-related violence (also murder) against women. There are no reliable statistics, as society’s various actors collectively silence the phenomenon. The “culture of honor” is so strongly linked to prevailing moral rules and societal views that the murders in these parts of the country are not perceived as crimes and therefore not reported to the police. It was not until autumn 2016 that honor killings were criminalized since several well-known women were murdered by close relatives during the year. Honor killings can now give life imprisonment.
FACTS – SOCIAL CONDITIONS
Infant Mortality: 57 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected: 0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men: 0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean water: 88.5 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to toilets: 59.9 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a percentage of GDP: 2.7 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person: US $ 40 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament: 21 percent (2018)
Around 60 are killed by US drones
Nearly 60 suspected Islamists are killed by drones in the Khyber clan area. The US spy chief in Pakistan is taken home for security reasons since his name was leaked.
Pakistan’s nuclear weapons concern the US
Internet site Wikileaks publishes US diplomatic reports, showing that the US is more concerned about the security of the Pakistani nuclear arsenal than it has been publicly stated.
Christian woman sentenced to death
In Punjab province, a Christian woman is sentenced to death for insulting Prophet Muhammad. The pope appeals for her release and a minister calls on a higher court to which the judgment has been appealed to give her a fair trial.
Musharraf forms a new party
Former President Musharraf forms a new party, the All-Pakistan Muslim League, and says he intends to run for it in the 2013 parliamentary elections.
German Islamists are killed by drones
Five German citizens are among eight Islamists killed in an attack by an unmanned US aircraft, a so-called drone, in North Waziristan. This and several similar attacks in a short time are linked to warnings of terrorism in Germany and other European countries.
Worst flooding in modern times
Unusually heavy monsoon rains trigger the worst floods in Pakistan in modern times. At least 20 million people have their homes and fields destroyed or lost. Up to 1,800 people drown. Hundreds of thousands suffer from diseases.
Internet services are monitored
Authorities are starting to monitor a number of Internet services, including Google, Yahoo and Youtube, to block pages that are considered to violate Muslim sentiments.
“ISI supports Taliban”
An investigation by the London School of Economics claims that the Pakistani military intelligence service ISI is deeply committed to supporting the Afghan Taliban financially and organizationally. ISI staff even attend the Taliban council meetings, the report said by ISI.
Significantly increased defense funding
The PPP government announces that the defense budget will be increased by 17 percent and that most of this money will go to fighting militant Islamists.
Around 100 dead in assaults on ahmadiya
Nearly 100 people are killed in two concerted suicide attacks in Lahore against members of the ahmadiya movement, considered by other Muslims as a heretical sect (that is, not following proper doctrine).
Police receive UN criticism for Bhutto murder
A UN report states that the December 2007 murder of Benazir Bhutto could have been avoided had she been adequately protected. According to the report, the police failed to investigate the murder properly, as it feared that it was the security service that had killed Bhutto. The report causes several senior police officers and intelligence officers to be fired.
Northwestern border province becomes Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
The Northwest Border Province changes its name to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to reflect the Pashtunian character of the area.
The president’s power is diminished
Parliament adopts a comprehensive constitutional amendment, which will correct the amendments to the basic constitutional text of 1973 passed by former dictators. The powers of the President are thus drastically reduced.
Army: “Bajaur is cleared”
The army claims to have driven all militant Islamists out of the Bajaur clan area, where fighting has been going on since August 2008.