In the long term, social action programs have become rather ineffective as government finances have been weakened by power struggles, corruption, millions of refugees from Afghanistan, high costs of armor and close enough civil war between different ethnic groups. The inequality between the population layers is enormous. The army, the bureaucracy and the religious leaders, like the big landlords, constitute significant economic and political forces that counteract social development. Resources for necessary welfare programs are lacking as less than one percent of the population pays tax. The number of poor people is increasing, despite the country’s economic development.
The majority of the population has poor housing in Pakistan. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of PAK and acronym for Pakistan. Half the population lacks clean drinking water and reasonable sanitary conditions. About 7 million Pakistanis lack access to health care, and there are only eight doctors per 10,000 residents (2008). About 37 percent of children under five years suffer from malnutrition. Malnutrition and malnutrition are common. Although food production per capita has increased slightly, almost half of Pakistanis lack the opportunity to produce or buy the nutrition they would need.
Most of the population lives in isolated villages. However, the use of mobile phones has increased greatly and has helped to reduce the isolation of many Pakistanis. However, there are major differences between the city and the countryside. The differences between the provinces are also great. In 2009, unemployment was estimated at just over 15 percent. To this should be added a widespread underemployment. Trade unions exist but have not been able to make themselves a strong power factor as they have been banned from time to time during the many state of emergency proclaimed during Pakistan’s short history. There is no general old-age pension, and the pension schemes available to officials are insufficient.
1990 The Sharia is introduced
Shortly after being deployed as prime minister, Sharif initiated an economic reform plan aimed at once again boosting private investment. The plan included extensive privatizations of public companies and therefore encountered great resistance among the 300,000 workers in this sector. In addition to economic reform, Sharif initiated a controversial “re-Islamization” of the country. As part of the plan, Islamic law – the Shariah – was to be introduced. Sharif’s view had the Benazir Bhutto government facing backlash in the religious sphere. The introduction of the Sharia immediately resulted in a backlash in the social and legal position of women. At the same time, the government banned the media from mentioning women’s right to divorce.
In November 91, a major political-administrative scandal broke out. The opposition accused Nawaz Sharif of scamming with public finances. He was responsible for the bankruptcy of a number of cooperative credit institutions. Only the backing of President Ishaq Khan prevented the prime minister from being overthrown and the case handed over to the judiciary. The scandal triggered a host of demonstrations led by the PPP, and the government responded with escalating repression.
Accusations against the government for human rights violations grew through 91. Amnesty International demanded the death sentence over 20 people rescinded. Acc. the human rights organization had not sentenced the trial to a minimum of guarantees.
Alongside the confrontation between government and opposition, the country was already plagued by violence between the various ethnic groups for many years – especially between Sindhis and muhajis. The violence had particularly plagued Sind province and the industrial capital, Karachi.
At the international level, ending the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan put Pakistan in a difficult situation. The country no longer played the same strategic role for the United States as it had done in the 1980s. At the same time, the Islamicization process that Sharif had initiated was viewed with distrust in Washington. Especially because it involved an approximation to other Islamic regimes in the region.
In February 92, the historic conflict over Kashmir brought Pakistan and India back on the brink of war. Jammu and Kashmir’s Liberation Front is a Muslim group calling for the establishment of an independent state in the area. It now conducted a protest march against the division of the area. The organization had called for thousands of people from both sides of the border to cross it. The government of Pakistan had responded by ordering the army to shoot at the march, to curb the separatists. The result was 5 killed and about 50 wounded.
Pakistan declared in the same year that it was well advanced in the development of nuclear weapons. This triggered diplomatic pressure from the United States to halt the program and ended up largely ceasing North American economic and military assistance. In return, Pakistan declared that it had economic and technological backing from China to continue its nuclear program.
In November 92, Benazir Bhutto led a protest march from Rawalpindi to Islamabad demanding Sharif’s resignation. The government detained 1600 participants, including Bhutto who was sentenced to 30 days in Karachi.
President Ishaq Khan blamed Prime Minister Mohammed Nawaz Sharif for lousy administration, corruption and nepotism, forcing him in April 93 to resign. Sharif appealed to the Supreme Court and was reinstated in May. At the same time, the dissolution of Parliament was canceled and the printing of elections canceled.
Sharif’s return deepened the conflict with President Kahn, and in July they both resigned. The interim president, Moin Kureishi, who had been a World Bank official and the IMF himself, took a number of steps: abolished the system by which MPs received funds to invest in their own constituencies – a traditionally endless source of corruption. At the same time he ordered the landlords to pay taxes. Traditionally, they had dominated economic and political life, and as such had exempted themselves from paying taxes. Only 1% of the country’s 130 million inhabitants paid taxes, yet a single charge of tax evasion was never made.