By Vexen Crabtree 2013
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Islamic Republic of Pakistan
|Social and Moral Index||176th best|
|Land Area||770 880 km21|
|Population||179.95 million (2011)2|
|Life Expectancy||66.37yrs (2017)3|
|GNI||$5 031 (2017)4|
|ISO3166-1 Codes||PK, PAK, 5865|
“The Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world and dating back at least 5,000 years, spread over much of what is presently Pakistan. During the second millennium B.C., remnants of this culture fused with the migrating Indo-Aryan peoples. The area underwent successive invasions in subsequent centuries from the Persians, Greeks, Scythians, Arabs (who brought Islam), Afghans, and Turks. The Mughal Empire flourished in the 16th and 17th centuries; the British came to dominate the region in the 18th century. The separation in 1947 of British India into the Muslim state of Pakistan (with West and East sections) and largely Hindu India was never satisfactorily resolved, and India and Pakistan fought two wars - in 1947-48 and 1965 - over the disputed Kashmir territory. A third war between these countries in 1971 - in which India capitalized on Islamabad's marginalization of Bengalis in Pakistani politics - resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. In response to Indian nuclear weapons testing, Pakistan conducted its own tests in 1998. India-Pakistan relations have been rocky since the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, but both countries are taking small steps to put relations back on track. In February 2008, Pakistan held parliamentary elections and in September 2008, after the resignation of former President MUSHARRAF, elected Asif Ali ZARDARI to the presidency. Pakistani government and military leaders are struggling to control domestic insurgents, many of whom are located in the tribal areas adjacent to the border with Afghanistan. In January 2012, Pakistan assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2012-13 term.”
CIA's The World Factbook (2013)9
|UN HDI (2016)10|
|155||Papua New Guinea||154|
|Social and Moral Development|
The United Nations produces an annual Human Development Report which includes the Human Development Index. The factors taken into account include life expectancy, education and schooling and Gross National Income (GNI) amongst many others..
The Social and Moral Development Index is a formulaic aggregation of many factors. It concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2017).
“In a decade during which most of Asia has leapt ahead, Pakistan has lagged behind. Female literacy, crucial as both an indicator of development and a determinant of future prosperity, is stuck at 40%. In India, which was at a similar level 20 years ago, the figure is now over half. In East Asia it is more like nine out of ten.”
|Life Expectancy (2015)12|
|137||Sao Tome & Principe||66.58|
|3||St Vincent & Grenadines||2.0|
|133||Sao Tome & Principe||3.5|
Pakistan's population is predicted to rise to 234.43 million by 2030. These millions of extra people will all need space to live, food to eat, energy to consume, and will increase the burden on the planet's resources. This country has a fertility rate of 3.25.
The fertility rate is, in simple terms, the average amount of children that each woman has. The higher the figure, the quicker the population is growing, although, to calculate the rate you also need to take into account morbidity, i.e., the rate at which people die. If people live healthy and long lives and morbidity is low, then, 2.0 approximates to the replacement rate, which would keep the population stable. If all countries had such a fertility rate, population growth would end. The actual replacement rate in most developed countries is around 2.1.
|Female Vote and Stand|
|Gender Inequality (2015)13|
Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.
“According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, at least 675 women and girls were murdered in the first nine months of 2011, mostly for having illicit relations. Some were raped or gang-raped before being killed. Of course this is illegal, but the state is too weak and too unwilling to enforce the law consistently. Very few of the culprits will be brought to justice.”
|Disbelief In God|
|How Many Are Religious?|
Data from the Pew Forum, a professional polling outfit, states that in 2010 the religious makeup of this country was as follows in the table below15:
The CIA World Factbook has slightly different data, and states: Muslim (official) 96.4% (Sunni 85-90%, Shia 10-15%), other (includes Christian and Hindu) 3.6% (2010 est.)16.
The worrying and continued increase in religious violence in Pakistan is harming the entire county and destabilizing the government. The Economist in 2011 reports that "with the rise in religious observance society has become less tolerant" and bemourns that Pakistan "has become a very violent place. Over 30,000 Pakistanis have lost their lives in terrorist-related violence in the past four years. Even in the comparative lull in suicide-bombings in late 2011, the newspapers carried a litany of horror stories: terrorist attacks; honour killings; ethnic violence in Karachi; assassinations" and states that large numbers of migrant workers who come through Saudi Arabia are responsible for spreading overly strict Islam14.
The country stands in the growing shadow of a new dark ages, inspired by fundamentalist Islam. The mass media is singularly biased. In 2011 the country faced a series of crises, but the press "still agonised over the antics of Veena Malik, a Pakistani actress who had posed on the cover of an Indian men's magazine, apparently wearing nothing but a tattoo"14,17. This distorted perspective seems to go down increasingly well with the masses. In 2011, the Pakistani Taliban was said by 10% to be the greatest threat to Pakistan11 probably because of the destabilisation, negative effects on education, their barbaric beliefs, and their political interference. But how come only 10%, then, say that the Taliban are a threat? 60% said the USA is a bigger threat. It is a culture that is losing its way, misinformed about the world, and many of the most educated (i.e., doctors) take themselves abroad. Few return.
The International Humanist and Ethical Union produced a report entitled "Freedom of Thought" (2012), in which they document bias and prejudice at the national level that is based on religion, belief and/or lack of belief. Their entry for Pakistan states:
“The constitution and other laws and policies restrict freedom of religion, and in practice national and local government enforces these restrictions.
Chapter XV of Pakistan's Penal Code contains several sections regarding blasphemy-type laws. Article 295-A outlaws "deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs." Article 295-B outlaws the defiling of the Holy Qu'ran. Article 295-C bans the use of derogatory remarks in respect of the Holy Prophet. Article 298 bars uttering works with the deliberate intent to wound religious feelings. And article 298-B punishes any misuse of epithets, descriptions, or titles reserved for certain holy personages or places. Prosecutions for blasphemy are widely thought to be brought against those wishing to eliminate competitors or those against whom they have a feud or grudge. The mere accusation may result in accused's life being endangered in prison, and such is the power of the mullahs who often come to court to intimidate the judiciary in such cases, that obtaining a lawyer, and even a judge to try the case fairly is often impossible. An accusation, however false, can therefore become a sentence of death.
When applying for a passport, applicants must state their religion. "No Religion" is not accepted as an answer. If an applicant states their religious identity as "Muslim" then they are required to sign an additional declaration that they accept the Prophet Mohammad as the "final Prophet".
Cases of Discrimination
On November 8, 2010, Asia Bibi, a Christian farm worker and mother of five was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death for allegedly making blasphemous remarks following a disagreement with a Muslim co-worker who refused to drink from a container of water she carried, believing it was tainted. Several prominent Pakistani politicians have been assassinated for supporting her freedom (more below).
On March 2, 2011, Shabaz Bhatti, Minister for Minority Affairs, was assassinated at his home in retaliation for his opposition to blasphemy laws. His assassins left leaflets threatening opponents of blasphemy laws with a similar fate. Despite the fact that members of the Tehrik-e-Taliban have taken responsibility for the murder, no one has yet been charged in Bhatti's death. Bhatti had been fighting for a presidential pardon for Asia Bibi, whose case is mentioned above.
On June 22, 2011, 29-year-old Abdul Sattar was sentenced to death and fined 50,000 rupees (US$1,000) for sending text messages and having phone conversations in which the Holy Qu'ran, the Prophet Muhammad, and other Islamic figures were allegedly blasphemed.
On Oct. 13, 2012, a retired schoolteacher named Ameer Ali Wahocho was sentenced to three years in prison for allegedly making insulting remarks about the Prophet Muhammad and his family. Wahocho was originally sentenced to one month, which he appealed. While out on bail, his accuser also petitioned - for a stricter sentence. The accuser's petition was granted and Ameer Ali Wahocho's prison sentence was extended to three years.
[...] An IHEU member organization was formed in Pakistan in the 1990s, but its founder, Dr Younus Shaikh, was soon charged with blasphemy and sentenced to death (following an IHEU campaign, Dr Shaikh's conviction was overturned and he fled the country). Today, there is no registered organization in Pakistan able to become an IHEU member. Yet there is a thriving Facebook group for Pakistani atheists with far more participants than the defunct off-line group ever attracted.”
"Freedom of Thought" by IHEU (2012)18
In 2001, the Governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, was arguing for leniency against a Christian woman, Asia Bibi (mentioned in the IHEU cases above), who was sentenced to death for blasphemy. Taseer was also campaigning to reform Pakistan's horrible blasphemy laws. As a result of this, Taseer was assassinated by his own bodyguard, Mumtaz Hussein Qadri.18. Demonstrations of support of the bodyguard broke out across Pakistan - "'the demonstrations expressed the feelings of many' according to Pakistanis themselves, the reforms were making people angry and 'God gave Qadri the courage to do something about it'"11. Such is the temper in a country that is being dragged backwards into a barbarous theocracy by religionists, amidst a wave of fear.
|IT Security Risks|
|Internet Users in Population|
|111||Sao Tome & Principe||18.80|
Internet access has become an essential research tool. It facilitates an endless list of life improvements, from the ability to network and socialize without constraint, to access to a seemingly infinite repository of technical and procedural information on pretty much any task. The universal availability of data has sped up industrial development and personal learning at the national and personal level. Individuals can read any topic they wish regardless of the locality of expert teachers, and, entire nations can develop their technology and understanding of the world simply because they are now exposed to advanced societies and moral discourses online. Like every communications medium, the Internet has issues and causes a small range of problems, but these are insignificant compared to the advantages of having an online populace.
“In Pakistan and Indonesia, online groups have flourished even though organized atheism is impossible if not directly illegal, although in both countries atheists who have been caught criticizing religion online have been arrested and harrassed on seemingly spurious thought-crime type offences.”
"Freedom of Thought" by IHEU (2012)19
|Alcohol Consumption (2010)20|
(World Position, 2013-2016)21
|Personal, Civil and Economic Freedom (2014)22|
|Global Peace Index|
|150||Central African Rep.||2.87|
|Human Rights Treaties|
|Press Freedom Index|
|R & D Spending|
|Country||% RDP PPP|
|Gross National Income Per-Capita (2011)12|
|139||Myanmar (Burma)||$4 943|
All #tags used on this page - click for more:
The Economist. Published by The Economist Group, Ltd. A weekly newspaper in magazine format, famed for its accuracy, wide scope and intelligent content. See vexen.co.uk/references.html#Economist for some commentary on this source..
(2013) World Factbook. The USA Government's Central Intelligence Agency (USA CIA) publishes The World Factbook, and the online version is frequently updated.
(2017) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2017). Accessed 2017 Mar 24.
(2009) Religiosity. gallup.com/poll/142727/.... The survey question was "Is religion an important part of your daily life?" and results are charted for those who said "yes". 1000 adults were polled in each of 114 countries.
IHEU. International Humanist and Ethical Union.
(2012) Freedom of Thought. A copy can be found on iheu.org/...Freedom of Thought 2012.pdf, accessed 2013 Oct 28.
Lynn, Harvey & Nyborg
(2009) Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations. Richard Lynn, John Harvey and Helmuth Nyborg article "Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations" in Intelligence (2009 Jan/Feb) vol. 37 issue 1 pages 11-15. Online at www.sciencedirect.com, accessed 2009 Sep 15.
The Fraser Institute
(2016) The Human Freedom Index. Published by The Cato Institute, The Fraser Institute and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Covers data up to 2014. On www.fraserinstitute.org/.../human-freedom-index-2016..
(2011) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Published on the United Nation's website at hdr.undp.org/.../HDR_2011_EN_Complete.pdf (accessed throughout 2013, Jan-Mar). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2013) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. Published on the United Nation's HDR website at hdr.undp.org/.../hdr2013/ (accessed throughout 2013). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2017) Human Development Report. Data for 2015. Available on hdr.undp.org/..
World Health Organisation. (WHO)
(2014) Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health. A copy can be found on the WHO website. Accessed 2015 Jan 04. It "presents a comprehensive perspective on the global, regional and country consumption of alcohol, patterns of drinking, health consequences and policy responses in Member States" and was published in Geneva on 2014 May 12.
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