Pakistan and Its Problems

By Ninian, Alex | Contemporary Review, Summer 2010 | Go to article overview

Pakistan and Its Problems


Ninian, Alex, Contemporary Review


PAKISTAN cannot be ignored by the rest of the world for two main reasons. It has the sixth biggest population in the world, which was recorded as 173 million in July 2008 and is estimated at over 180 million now. The United Nations Population Division has estimated that it will be of the order of 335 million by 2050 placing it as the fourth largest nation in the world after India, China and the USA. The watching world is also conscious of the fact that Pakistan is the only Muslim state in the world to be an acknowledged nuclear power. Add to this the fact that the US, the UK and their allies are fighting a war in Afghanistan which makes its neighbour Pakistan a key player.

America's, and the world's, interest in this and the possibility that the nuclear weapons might fall into the hands of terrorists may be the reason that Pakistan will not be allowed to fail but, apart from that, the country is in a considerable mess with doubtful prospects of surviving as a state, never mind a stable democracy. The economy is not good, the country is beset by insurgents, ethnic and sectarian tensions are rising, the Taliban's influence in Punjab is on the increase, provinces are at loggerheads with the centre and there are great tracts of the country where the government's writ does not run. For the UK, Pakistan presents a particular problem: the great majority of terrorist plots carried out in Britain have originated in Pakistan. The large number of Pakistanis living in Britain means there are many connections between the two countries. In the middle of May several high-level US officials concerned with terrorism and security, including the head of the CIA, visited Pakistan to discuss the failed attempt to blow up a car packed with explosives in Times Square in New York City. A US citizen of Pakistani birth has been accused of that crime and he seems to have had many links with the Pakistani Taliban and their terrorist plots. This attempt highlights the reasons why the West takes such an interest in Pakistan.

Some analysts are calling Pakistan a failed state while others are calling it a rogue state. On the question of whether Pakistan is a failed state, opinions seem to be divided between 'yes it is' and 'not yet'.

The Economy

The financial year in Pakistan runs from 1 July to 30 June and for the last full year the economy of the country was in big trouble. Other developing counties like India, China and even Bangladesh managed to grow by 7 per cent and above, despite the world financial slowdown, but Pakistan could only post growth of 1.8 per cent. Inflation was 20.8 per cent in 2008 and 14.2 per cent in 2009, the rupee depreciated, and the trade deficit reached its highest level in the country's 63-year history. This forced a cap-in-hand appeal to the IMF which produced an IMF International Fund Stand-By Agreement in November 2008. This, plus US aid, staved off total bankruptcy. The IMF package has been extended in 2010 to $11.3 billion and the US has pledged to commit $1.5 billion a year for non-military spending. A report by the US General Accounting Office in 2008 reported that, of the $7 billion distributed to 27 countries by the US between 2002 and 2008, $5.5 billion had gone to Pakistan in non-military aid. A further $10 billion had been given in military aid, making the total help to Pakistan since 2002, some $15.5 billion. The country's main infrastructure weakness is the shortage of energy production and critics say that the government has neglected to spend aid on new facilities and even skimped on repairs to existing ones. The unemployment rate is about 15 per cent and GDP per capita is only $2,600 per annum, which is ranked 130th in the world and only 1 per cent of the population pay income tax.

On a more optimistic note, the IMF has reported in Islamabad in February 2010 that Pakistan is progressing well. It stated that Pakistan had observed all quantitative performance criteria for end-December 2009, except for the budget deficit target which was exceeded by a small margin.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Pakistan and Its Problems
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.