Friday, July 19, 2024

A Brief History of Pakistan

Written By A Srinivasan (Grade 12)


Introduction

Pakistan is one of the states that occupy the Asian region, or, to be precise, the eastern part of Asia. It was formed as a sovereign nation on August 14, 1947, after a long struggle for independence from the British Empire through India.

Pakistan’s history is a vibrant landscape of occurrences and brushes that have fabricated the venture into its present state. Embraced in South Asia, Pakistan has origins that go deep into ancient civilisations, among them the Indus Valley Civilisation, dated around 2500 BCE. Through the ages, a parade of empires, such as the Mauryan, Gupta, and Mughal empires, appeared, flourished, and left heaps of ashes in the region.

Pakistan gained independence in 1947 after being partitioned from the British Empire. This was a major shift in the history of the subcontinent because Pakistan was the first Islamic republic created in the entire world. But the partition also caused large-scale communal violence and mass migration, and this put the newly created nation at a very rocky beginning.

From its very inception, Pakistan has had a number of internal and external hurdles that have tainted the nature of its political scenario. The nation has also had phases of military and constitutional crises and unquiet leadership. Such challenges have also been associated with regional threats, and some of the conflict areas are, as a result, even transiting to these countries. Among these issues is the Kashmir dispute in India. Pakistan has also gone through some phases of democracy and made substantial progress in its political evolution. It has also managed to bridge the war-defined social gap. War is not the only aspect that defined Pakistan; dissent also formed a part of the country’s development.

Economically, Pakistan has gone through different phases of development and transformation. The country started off as an agrarian economy, but other key industries, such as those within textiles and manufacturing, have emerged. However, Pakistan too has had economic problems such as inflation, poverty, and aid dependency. The attempt to diversify the economy and attract FDI for the development of sustainable economic growth is still ongoing.

Pakistan’s strategic location, being a nuclear power, and its role in regional affairs shape Pakistan’s international relations. The country has also been an active member of bodies such as the United Nations and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. It has also had complicated interactions with its neighbouring states like India, Afghanistan, and China, among others. Its position in accomplishing the global fight against terrorism and its struggle to promote regional stability also influence Pakistan’s position on the international stage.

Pakistan’s International Relations: Regional Politics and Global Issues

Pakistan’s foreign policy is tremendously dependent on international affairs. Located at the confluence of South Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East, Pakistan is a country that influences its regional politics and global matters directly.

In different regions, Pakistan has developed intimate relations with its surrounding countries, such as China, India, Afghanistan, and Iran. Its relationship with China has been getting stronger over the years, which has resulted in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). This monumental project does not only improve the economic status of Pakistan but also strengthens its relationship with China, thus giving it a major economic and geopolitical benefit.

However, Pakistan’s relationship with India has been indigenous and bitter due to some reasons that date back better. They have clashed, especially over the region of Kashmir, which is under dispute. But periodic attempts have been made at the bilateral level to foster relations and sustain peace and stability in the region.

From the perspective of global concerns, Pakistan has taken part actively in international platforms like the UN and has contributed significantly to global challenges. It has been keen to promote peace and tranquillity in the landlocked state of Afghanistan, supporting negotiations for peace and avenues of communication for the clans in Afghanistan.

In addition, its contribution to counterterrorism activities has been remarkable, as Pakistan has been a valuable ally in the war against terrorism. The efforts in which the Department of Justice is involved in curbing the menace of extremism and promoting religious harmony have been highly rewarded on the international platform.

Many countries in the world are nuclear powers; hence, their international relations are also guided by security concerns as well as the need to have a balance of power in the same. It has actively participated in the international non-proliferation body and has shown its earnestness towards nuclear responsibility.

Generally, Pakistan’s international relations are highly dimensional and dynamic. The way it associates with regional affairs and politics and global issues articulates its dreams for the stability of the region, a prospering economy in the region, and a world of peace.

The Political Landscape of Pakistan

It is inherent in the political landscape of Pakistan, the country whose history largely shaped it, that it is very difficult and complicated. Pakistan obtained its independence in 1947 to become a sovereign state that separated from British India. Ever since, it has gone through different political regimes, spanning military reigns, democracies, unstable political governance, and so on.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, led by Prime Minister Imran Khan, is one of the prime parties in Pakistani politics. In 2018, the PTI took over and was propelled by an anti-corrupt platform, a better governance mandate, and an agenda that confronts bio-economic challenges. But governing a diverse and populous nation like Pakistan is not an easy thing, and PTI has been followed by innumerable and successive adversities and criticisms from political opposition, rival parties, and civil society.

Another of the major political movements in Pakistan is arguably the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party, whose leader is Nawaz Sharif. It has a large voter base, especially in the province of Punjab, and it has revolutionised the country’s political terrain.

Further, mentioning the role of the military in the politics of Pakistan is also very significant. Through history, the military has exerted a great deal of power. There have been several instances of military rule. Nevertheless, in more recent times, there has been a move towards a more democratic system with a government led by civilians, yet the role of the military in politics is minimised.

Pakistan’s domestic political situation is not defined by her domestic environment alone but also by developments derived from Pakistan’s foreign relations. The country enjoys strategic connectivity with leading powers across the world, like China and the United States, along with neighbouring countries, including India and Afghanistan. Such relations leave far-reaching consequences for which Pakistan is likely to account for its foreign policy, security issues, and economic progress.

At the same time, all in all, the political realities of Pakistan form an interwoven tapestry, the threads of which are the historic, social, and international trends. To understand the nature of Pakistan’s politics, one must study its history, political parties, the military, and international relations. Only when all these dimensions are taken into account can their full depth and meaning be understood.

The Economy of Pakistan: Growth, Development, and Challenges

Pakistan has registered great economic growth over the years; however, quite a number of economic challenges should also be addressed properly.

As Pakistan’s macro-economy is one of the largest in the South Asian region and is quite intricate, it can be considered the dominant factor driving the development of the economy as a whole. Key sectors that support its economy include agriculture, industry, and services.

Pakistan’s economy has seen a positive trend of growth in recent years; the focus has been on building infrastructure, foreign investments, and the growth of the business climate. A series of reforms by the government have led to an increased inflow of both domestic and foreign investments and the creation of opportunities for many Kenyans in the country.

Speaking of the major accomplishments of Pakistan’s economy, it should be mentioned that the middle class has grown considerably. This growth has resulted in high consumer demand and, eventually, an improvement in various sectors like retail, property, and tourism. Additionally, poverty rate reductions and social indicators, namely education and healthcare, have improved in the country.

Nevertheless, although there have been some noticeable positive trends in Pakistan, the country still faces several critical issues that catalyse the process of its development. The first one is the problem of energy, which is that before having enough energy, there are frequent cases of power blackouts, which affect factory productivity. Moreover, the nation has very high population growth, and such high rates lead to rising pressure on resources and infrastructure.

The other challenge is the fiscal deficit and balance of payments, which call for prudent management and policy interventions. These issues should be addressed by the government through appropriate planning, human capital development, and diversification of the economy.

Additionally, the relationship with international fraternity as well as the geopolitics also play a role in determining the fate of the Pakistani economy. It is geographically close to Afghanistan, Iran, China, and India, and this has ramifications in terms of trade, security, and regional collaboration. The countries involvement in regional economic projects like the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor creates possibilities for the development of infrastructure, connectivity, and trade integration.

Conclusion

In essence, Pakistan’s economy has seen a lot of growth and development, but still, a lot of challenges come along with it. Fixing these issues efficiently through policies, investments, and regional cooperation will be fundamental to preserving economic development and improving the quality of life for its residents.


Featured Image Courtesy – Britannica



A Srinivasan
A Srinivasan
I'm a passionate writer and I like writing on a regular basis in different fields and expanding my knowledge. I have been to a few workshops for writing which has tremendously moulded my writing ability and my way to present a topic.

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