Forgotten World (217): Pakistan

Pakistan is in the news for terrorism (regularly) and floods (currently), but there is much more to this nation of 180 million, the sixth most populous on the planet. Created in 1947 when it was carved out of India as a new Muslim state, it remains a nuclear-armoured rival to its huge neighbour with Pakistan and India both continuing to contest ownership of the Kashmir.

Civilian politics in Pakistan in the last few decades has been tarnished by corruption, inefficiency and confrontations between various institutions. Alternating periods of civilian and military rule have not helped to establish stability.  Since February 2008, there has been an elected government but it is weak and fragile.

Despite being a very poor country in 1947, Pakistan’s economic growth rate has been better than the global average during the subsequent decades. However, at least 20% of the population live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day and life expectancy is in the low 60s.


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