Pakistan is a country that came into the limelight during the cold war owing to its alliance with the US. As a result, of their collaborating nature, the US was able to prevent the spread of the soviet into Middle East thereby leading to an end of the cold war. The immense military empowered emanating from the alliance thrust Pakistan into a military powerhouse despite its dismal economic and social performance.
Pakistan’s Physical Geography
Pakistan provided the gate to central Asian countries as the pathway through where silk and spices were transported. In the midst of a change from traditional to modern culture, Pakistan boasts of a multiplicity of ancient cultures while maintaining strong Islamic characteristics as postulated by Malik (2006). Pakistan lies in the middle of the world’s largest political hotspot, with the likes of Iran, Afghanistan and India. Its association with the West has rubbed the geographical neighbors the wrong way culminating to unending conflicts.
According to the international conflict crisis international (Cohen, 2004), the massive influx of refugees succeeding independence from India thrust both countries into war owing to refuted geographical boundaries. According to Aziz, (2007), since 1958, the army has occupied a central seat in the politics of the country through successive coups and assassinations. Pakistan stretches over 307,374 square miles with a population of 159 million as at 2004.
As postulated by Cohen (2004), the terrain of Pakistan comprises of contrasting landscapes. With access to the Arabian Sea, its topography comprises of sea level altitudes to the second-highest summits on earth. Ice capped mountains leading to gushing rivers as well as dry plateaus and arid lands characterize the expansive landscape.
Ancient civilizations carved a niche in farming. Through irrigation, they were able to circumvent the unfavorable conditions especially in the desert and semi arid areas. Extensive irrigation schemes necessitated construction of the mangle dam that serves to provide water for irrigation to the arid ad semi arid landscapes (Mohiuddin, 2007). In addition to the Mangla dam, Tarbella and Warsak dam serve the same purpose, in addition to controlling the destructive power of raging floods during the wt season federal division. However, by the 1980s, the road network had received numerous facelifts. Increase in traffic as also observed because of the convenience of road transport over railways (Nobleman, 2003). Maritime transport was however the biggest casualty, with the fleet of marine vessels halving within ten years of independence. The government controls the major airlines with small private airlines venturing into the sector in recent times.
Lines of communication
Through the taxes collected by the colonialists, transport and communication networks were constructed. Railways and roads were commissioned in a bid to ease movement of the improved volumes of produce from the agricultural lands (Haqqani and %u1E24aqq%u0101n%u012B, 2005). Private investors in the media industry have made dissemination of information easier. Numerous audio-visual service providers have emerged although most people prefer radio broadcasts since they are illiterate. The influence of the media in the politics of the country is beyond denial. However, state control is still felt in some instances like during the 1992 Olympics, the state banned broadcast of footage from the swimming competitions.
Past military conflicts and their impact on society
The appointment of past military officers into public office is viewed as a major contributing factor to the prevalence of military coup. As asserted by Corvisier & Childs (1994), the presence of military personnel is felt in all aspects of livelihoods including business religion and public service. As a result the once democratic nation turned into a state marked with successive military interference and ingrained corruption.
As early as 1947, Pakistan tasted the brunt of war in defense of Kashmir from the Indian. 30 years later, a bloodless coup followed the contested elections with an arm officer claiming the top seat. Subsequently, under his rule, he advocated for a sense of purpose among the young bordering fundamentalism. As a result, the Pakistanis found themselves in battlefront again to prevent e spread of communism championed by Soviet Union. However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Pakistan was left in the cold by the US. Economic ad military sanctions were
The climatic conditions are based on the geographical locations that vary from highlands to deserts separated by a semiarid stretch. The highlands experience cool and moderate climate with cold winters. However, the deserts are hot and dry with solace from monsoon period that comes once in a year (Malik, 2006)
The climate is prime for farming owing to the moderate nature of the seasonal changes. Favorable temperatures through out the year coupled with reliable rains have enables the natives to engage in successful vegetable and fruit production. Similarly, production of cereals and horticultural is possible in the highlands. During the dry seasons, irrigation is carried out using fed by river Indus. Owing to this fact; the economy is predominantly agricultural as outlined by Malik (2006).
The long spells of war have contributed to the thriving of underground business of smuggling, which contributes to nearly 30% of the GDP (mohhiudin, 2007). Such an extent of smuggling has contributes to the Kalashnikov culture where crime rates ad violence have remained high. Because of a well-knit drug business, drug addiction has plagued the youth who rely on crime to earn a living.
As postulated by Federal Research Division (2004), the conviction originating from the cultural and religious teaching breeds radicalism, which is rife among the population. Motivated by a variety of reasons, the fervor with which the insurgents fight leaves a strong message regarding the limit they are willing to go to achieve their goals. The smuggling and drug business contributes through availability of weapons and artillery which sometimes become impossible for the military to conquer.
In Pakistan, the farming regions are great significance to the individuals since most of the civilians rely on farming for survival. Settlements are concentrated in watered areas due to the need of water for irrigation.
Similarly, the country has invested in life sustaining dams, which provide water for irrigation, hydroelectric power in addition to controlling flooding in the low lying flat lands. As a result, dams represent a major portion of the structures in Pakistan. Most of the prominent buildings and towers are concentrated within the cities since the terrain of the rural areas is too steep. The country is dotted with numerous man-made structures with Muhammad Ali’ tomb being the most visited site (Cohen, 2004).
The lack of a democratic leadership structure in Pakistan has greatly affected the capabilities of the authorities to provide the necessary services to the civilians. Military rule is prone to injustices that go unpunished. Corruption is rife in the country with most of the businesses categorized as black market trade. As a result, most individuals are geared towards making money at the expense of others. As observed, the tax system in place is oppressive to the poor and the politically incorrect individuals who have no representation in the government. The insurgency common in the country are responsible for the huge casualty levels while hospitals are rarely sufficient to deal with casualties of all sorts. Most of households in the rural areas lack piped water and electricity, thus are exposed to unhealthy conditions. Proper sewerage conditions are also rare in the rural areas (Federal Research Division, 2004).
Political parties and other forms of organizations originate from kinship. Most of the parties are propelled by the need of a family or clan to gain number s and thus have a voice in the overall structures. As a result, objectivity has always been lacking since leadership is not democratic but dictatorial. The functions of the organizations vary from humanitarian to advocacy to administration. The limitations of these organizations are the partisan nature in which they operate.
Most events in the country are based on the religious inclinations of the individuals. As a result, national and religious holidays are duplicated across the religion. Islamic holidays depend on the lunar calendar as postulated by nobleman, thus the dates differ year to year, while national holidays have fixed dates. Ramadan and Eid-ul-Adha are the most revered of religious holidays while Pakistan Independence Day (august 14) and Pakistan Day (March 13) feature as the most prominent national days.
The people of Pakistan
Owing the closely-knit family ties, the social life of most Pakistanis tends towards family. Westernization has seldom eroded the closely-knit lifestyles observed among the population. The villages are thus borne out of a common ancestry contributing to the retained close ties. Important ceremonies including birth, matrimony and bereavement are instances when family ties are proven since family members contribute food and lend a hand with the proceedings. Most Pakistanis live in the urban areas with only 37% residing in the rural areas according to Graham (2003). As a result social amenities such as piped water and electricity are not available to the rural dwellers are
Since 97% of Pakistanis being Muslims, religion plays a central role in the society, customs and personal life. Their beliefs are firmly hinged on the teaching of Mohammed and the belief in total submission as connoted by the word ‘Islam’. The unification emanating from the hajj has brought together most the Pakistanis together regardless of creed. As posited by Graham (2003), the dress code for women includes a completely veiling cloth, which protects any skin from exposure. This emanates from their reserved nature in maters of sexuality.
The most popular sport is cricket. Traditionally, Pakistanis play ‘kabaddi’, where the goal of the players is chase and catch one another (Nobleman, 2003). in social settings, Pakistanis love listening to music and socializing with friends and family. Wheat and rice are the staple meals for most Pakistanis owing to the availability from the farms. Variations of the two are common across the regions with recipes providing the required assortment.