Social Problems and Issues in Pakistan

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Social Problems and Issues in Pakistan

By | June 2011
Page 1 of 9
Ethnic Pressures
Pakistan's 180 million people are divided into five main ethnic groups: Punjabi (44.7 percent), Pashtun (15.4 percent), Sindhi (14.1 percent), Muhajirs (7.6 percent), and Balochi (3.6 percent).The country is divided into four provinces: Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as North-West Frontier Province, or NWFP). In addition, there are the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan. Historically, the dominant role played by Punjab, which is home to over 55 percent of the population and provides the bulk of the army and bureaucracy, has caused much resentment among the other three provinces.

There had been little support for the independent state of Pakistan among Sindhis, Balochis, and Pashtuns; in fact NWFP and Balochistan had resisted incorporation into Pakistan. Ever since, Pakistan has battled secessionist movements in NWFP, Balochistan, and Sindh. In the early years, the deepest ethnic fault lines existed between the country's east and the west wings, which resulted in Pakistan's break-up in 1971. East Pakistan, predominantly ethnic Bengali, became the new independent state of Bangladesh. Grievances among and within provinces abound, especially over economic inequities and scarce resources. Pakistan's major political parties are also divided along regional or ethnic lines, resulting in a lack of parties that can respond to national concerns.

Monster of Economy
Pakistan's economy suffered serious setbacks from the floods in August 2010. The government forecasted economic growth would drop to 2.5 percent in 2010-2011 from 4.1 percent the previous year. Higher inflation is forecasted, and a growing fiscal deficit is expected to worsen as revenues remained low with a narrow tax base. Electricity shortages also cripple the economy and have often become the cause for violent protests in recent years. The electricity supply gap is projected to increase...

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