Pakistán: country profile

Publication date:
Safiya Aftab

Pakistan has been in the grip of a series of political crises for the last few years, which have only been compounded by an economic downturn. The country is badly governed and has consistently ranked amongst the more corrupt countries in the world – habitually falling below its South Asian neighbors in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. In addition, Pakistan’s status as a frontline state in the War on Terror has been concomitant with a deteriorating security climate, lawlessness, the rise of violent extremism and an increased tendency towards intolerance and xenophobia in society. Paradoxically, the country has also seen the emergence of a vibrant and free media which has assumed an important role as an opinion maker; and (in small pockets of society and mainly confined to big cities), a revival of the arts and cultural activity.