The culture in Pakistan has several layers:
the ancient Indus culture, Buddhism and Islam. However,
the vast majority of Pakistanis feel primarily like
Punjabi, Sindhis, Pashtuns or Baluchs. Similarly,
cultural heritage is regionally rooted, although there
are some common features.
In the area that today constitutes Pakistan, one of
the earliest high-ranking societies, the Indus or
Harappa culture, was developed around 2500-1700 BC. From
this time there are many ceramic objects depicting
people and animals as well as sculptures of stone and
bronze. Animals and plants are often depicted on seals,
small stone plates that also contain text in a written
language that science has not yet been able to
Latest population statistics of Pakistan, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
From the first centuries after the birth of Christ,
there are many Buddhist art objects. This Gandhara art -
named after the Gandhara kingdom around the city of
Taxila near present-day Islamabad - shows clear
influence from Roman and Late Hellenistic art. From
Gandhara there are also many stupas - Buddhist cult
Islamic culture has created many magnificent
buildings. A large part of them are in the city of
Lahore, which reached a cultural peak between the 16th
and 18th centuries. There are, among others, the
Badshahi and Wazir Khan mosques, the Mughal emperor
Jahangir's tomb monument and the famous Shalimar Garden
which is listed on the UN agency UNESCO World Heritage
Songaah: List and lyrics of songs related to the country name of Pakistan. Artists and albums are also included.
Especially during Muhammad Zia ul-Haq's military
regime 1977–1988 (see Modern History), Islam was
promoted as a national cultural expression. Religious
music, such as qawwali songs with motifs from the
conceptual world of Sufism (Islamic mysticism), is very
popular, as is poetry. Muhammad Iqbal, who first put
forward the idea of a Muslim state in India, can be
said to be the great national bald.
The Pashtun culture of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is
characterized by the area's warlike past and is
permeated with ideals such as masculinity, honor,
justice, hospitality and revenge.
Pakistan has an extensive film production and like in
India, the film music has a large spread.
Pakistan's most well-known author was for a long time
Saadat Hassan Manto (1912–1955), who among other things
published a large number of short story collections in
Urdu. In recent years, writers who write in English have
received the greatest international attention. Among
them are Mohsin Hamid (best known to the reluctant
fundamentalist) and Mohammed Hanif (Mangon who
The US resumes a military program
Pakistan is once again welcome to participate in a US military exercise
program that the South Asian country was banned from two years ago when
President Trump froze military support for Pakistan (see January 2018).
The resumed program is only a small part of frozen military cooperation, but it
is a sign that relations between the two countries are improving.
Musharraf is sentenced to death
Pakistan's dictator general Pervez Musharraf is sentenced to death for
treason in a Islamabad court. Musharraf is convicted of abolishing the
constitution in 2007 and introducing a state of emergency in order to extend his
own time in power. Musharraf thus becomes the first military leader in Pakistan
to be held responsible for violating the constitution. He was the country's
highest military leader when he took power in a military coup in 1999 and was
then president between 2001 and 2008. The lawsuit against Musharraf for high
treason has been ongoing since 2013. He is currently in Dubai for medical
treatment. Musharraf himself believes that the trial is politically motivated
and emphasizes that the entire government was behind the decisions taken in 2007
(see Modern History).
Khan critics block off main roads
Conservative minister and Islamist opposition leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman
ends his "march of freedom" in Islamabad against the Khan government. Instead,
he chooses to start "Plan B", which means that the protesters, many of whom are
mattress students, block important key routes in the country. Among other
things, the main road is blocked between the city of Quetta in the southwest and
Chaman, a border crossing to Afghanistan used by NATO for transport of supplies.
The main road in Sindh province is also blocked off.
Indian Sikhs make pilgrimage in Pakistan
Hundreds of Indian Sikhs make a pilgrimage four kilometers into Pakistan to
the village of Kartapur, where Sikh founder Guru Nanak is believed to have died.
The pilgrimage is possible thanks to a cooperation between India and Pakistan in
the form of a secure temporary visa-free country corridor. The collaboration is
seen by assessors as one of the few examples of collaboration between the two
arch enemies in a time of severe tension.
Mass protest against Khan
Tens of thousands of Pakistanis embark on a "march of liberty" in Islamabad
in protest of the Khan government. The march is led by Khan's political arch
rival, the conservative preacher Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who is also the leader
of the Islamist opposition party Jui-L. Rehman accuses Khan of having come to
power with the help of the military, and not by the will of the people. The
preacher calls on Khan to resign as prime minister within 48 hours, a claim that
Khan has expected to ignore. The mass protest lasts for 13 days before
protesters change tactics and begin to block some streets in the capital.
Khan mediates in the Middle East
Prime Minister Khan visits Iran and Saudi Arabia in the role of mediator,
with the task of trying to reduce tensions between the two influential countries
in the Middle East. In Tehran, Khan meets Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and
the country's top leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Two days later (15/10), Khan
visits Saudi Arabia and meets King Salman and Crown Prince Bin Salman. Pakistan
has good relations with both Saudi Arabia, where over 2.5 million Pakistanis
live and work, as well as with Iran. Pakistan sometimes represents Iran in its
contacts with the United States.
Opposition politicians are killed in the blast
Maulana Muhammad Hanif, who leads a religiously conservative party, is killed
in a blast attack in southwestern Pakistan. Hanif is organizing a march against
the Khan government when the attack is carried out. At least two other people
are killed in the same act.
Khan leads mass protest against India
Prime Minister Khan is leading a national mass demonstration against the
Indian government's actions in Kashmir. Thousands of Pakistanis in Islamabad,
Lahore and Karachi, among others, follow him in protest against India's decision
to revoke the Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir's autonomy (see Conflicts:
The conflict over Kashmir is intensified
Pakistan denies India's decision on August 5 to revoke Jammu and Kashmir
autonomy for "illegal" (see Conflicts: Kashmir). Islamabad announces that
India's High Commissioner in Pakistan should be sent home and Pakistan's
ambassador to New Delhi called home. Diplomatic and trade relations should be
reduced. Pakistan calls on the international community to intervene, saying that
the Pakistani government will turn to the UN Security Council.
One billion from the IMF
The IMF pays a billion dollars to the Pakistani government to "support its
economic reform program" and make the country "less financially vulnerable". The
billion is part of the $ 8 billion rescue package granted by the loan agency
(see April 2019). Pakistan's economy suffers, among other
things, from high inflation and large budget deficits. The Khan government has
promised to freeze military spending and cut sharply in other government
spending, as well as increase tax revenues.
Money from Qatar
Qatar grants Pakistan an economic rescue package worth $ 3 billion. In the
past year, China, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have also offered
financial assistance to the crisis-hit Pakistan.
Courts are set up for female witnesses
The Supreme Court announces that more than 1,000 special courts will be set
up around the country where women should be able to testify without fear of
revenge attacks from, for example, perpetrators or relatives. A similar court
was set up on trial in Punjab province 2017 with successful results.
Tight budget proposal
The government presents its budget for 2019/2020 to Parliament. Tax revenue
should increase to the equivalent of $ 36 billion (only 1 percent of Pakistanis
are expected to pay any tax). The draft budget also contains a number of
savings, including the remuneration of all ministers by 10 percent. The
civilian part of the budget is reduced by 5 percent in the proposal, while the
military budget remains unchanged. Pakistan's economic policy is closely
followed by the IMF, which has granted the country a comprehensive rescue
package (see April 2019).
Separatists attack hotels in Gwadar
A security guard is killed and several people are slightly injured when three
perpetrators enter the luxury hotel Pearl Continental in the port city of Gwadar
in Baluchistan and begin shooting. The separatist group Baluchistan's Liberation
Army (BLA) takes on the deed. The attack is believed to be a protest against the
large Chinese presence in Gwadar, which is a culmination point in the so-called
Sino-Pakistani Economic Corridor (CPEC), which in turn forms part of China's
major infrastructure investment New Silk Road (BRI). The Separatists believe
that the big project will not benefit the Baluchian locals to the extent that it
should. Construction work is mainly done by Chinese labor. BLA has attacked
Chinese projects several times before, including the group behind the attack on
the Chinese consulate in Karachi (see November 2018).
Price increases and delayed tax deductions
The government agrees with the IMF to abolish a series of tax exemptions that
cost the state around $ 2.5 billion a year, and raise electricity and gas prices
to bring more money into the Treasury. Pakistan has difficulties in paying off
Rescue packages from the IMF and the World Bank
The government has agreed with the IMF on a rescue package of eight billion
dollars over three years. Six billion come from the IMF and two to three billion
dollars come from the World Bank. The money will be used to reduce the $ 12
billion deficit in the Pakistani state budget. The package concerns, among other
things, energy prices, tax intakes and exchange rates.
Pakistan: "No connections to Kashmir council"
Pakistan has not been able to demonstrate any links between the suspected
opponents that police and military seized at the request of India and the
suicide attack in Indian-controlled Kashmir (see February 2019).
Pakistani authorities have arrested 54 people since India handed over a list of
90 suspected assailants as well as 22 places in Pakistan where New Delhi
believes terrorists have set up training camps. Pakistani Foreign Ministry says
54 of the 90 people have been investigated and none of them have links to the
deed outside Srinagar that killed some 40 Indian soldiers. The mass arrests in
Pakistan were under pressure since the US to increase Islamabad's
counter-terrorism efforts. Pakistani Foreign Ministry says that there are also
no terrorist training camps in the 22 places in Pakistan that India claims. The
sites have been investigated by Pakistani authorities and no terrorist attacks
have been found, according to Pakistani Foreign Ministry. The Islamabad
government says Indian investigators are welcome to visit the sites if New Delhi
Prohibited groups get frozen accounts
4th of March
Pakistan freezes accounts and assets of organizations that have been banned
by the UN Security Council. After several weeks of pressure from the outside
world, mainly from the United States, the decision in Islamabad will strike
against militant groups in the country's territory.
Mutual violations of the airspace over Kashmir
According to the Indian news agency PTI, Pakistani fighter aircraft breach
Indian airspace by flying over Jammu and Kashmir, but they are chased out by
Indian flights. No people should have been injured according to Indian sources,
despite the fact that Pakistani aircraft have dropped bombs on the way back. A
little later, the Pakistani military announces that two Indian fighter aircraft
have been shot down and that a pilot has been captured. One plane must have
crashed in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, the other on the Indian side of the
control line. A few days later, Pakistan releases the captured Indian pilot as a
Indian flight attack on Pakistani ground
Indian warplanes bomb one of Jaish-e-Mohammad's fortifications in Balakot
inside Pakistan. According to an Indian minister, many of the group's rebels are
killed in the attack, which is carried out after India was notified that
Jaish-e-Mohammad was preparing a new attack on India. However, Pakistan says
that the attack was met by Pakistani flight and that no man was killed. On the
same day, Indian flights shoot down an unmanned drone in the Kutch desert
district of Gujarat near the Pakistan border, according to Indian police. In
addition, Pakistani representatives say that Indian grenade fire across
Kashmir's control line kills two civilian Pakistani women, two children and
injures ten other civilians in two different incidents. The United States, the
EU and China call on both India and Pakistan to show restraint in the tense
situation that occurred after the suicide bombing in Indian Kashmir on February
Pakistan bans two Islamist groups
Pakistan bans two Islamist groups, Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniat, who
are considered to go the banned terrorist-stamped Lashkar-e-Taiba cases. Both
claim that they only work with charity, but the groups emerged after
Lashkar-e-Taiba was banned after the group was designated as the Bombay deed in
2008, when 166 people were killed. The pressure from the US and India on
Pakistan to act against terrorists in Pakistani territory is great following the
Kashmir Council on February 14 when some 40 Indian soldiers were killed.
Three men behind Kashmir council are killed
A spokesman for the Indian Army announces that three men belonging to
Jaish-e-Mohammad and who participated in the suicide attack in Indian-controlled
Kashmir on February 14 were killed on February 18 in a firefight with government
soldiers outside Srinagar. Two of the killed terrorists were Pakistanis, one of
whom was one of the group's top commanders. According to the army spokesman, the
attack was planned and organized in Pakistan, especially by the ISI military
intelligence service. Four Indian government soldiers, a police officer and a
civilian were also killed in the fighting.
Saudi agreements are signed
Pakistan is visited by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
During the visit, seven agreements are formally signed, which together means
that Saudi Arabia invests approximately $ 20 billion in Pakistan's economy and
infrastructure (for details, see September 2018,
October 2018 and December 2018).
Tense in Kashmir after terrorist act
Relations with India reach a new bottom when the terrorist-stamped group
Jaish-e-Mohammad performs the worst violence against Indian military since the
1980s. The group says it was behind the attack that was carried out by a suicide
bomber running straight into a military column of 2,500 soldiers outside
Srinagar in Indian-controlled Kashmir. More than 40 Indian soldiers were killed.
The government in New Delhi designates Pakistan as guilty of what happened
because Jaish-e-Mohammad is allowed to stay within the borders of the
neighboring country. The Indian government will take "all possible diplomatic
steps" to "completely isolate" Pakistan internationally. At the same time, India
is abolishing the special trade privileges enjoyed by Pakistan since 1996 and
introducing tariff duties of 200 percent for Pakistani goods.
HD warns the military
6th of February
In unusually clear terms, the Supreme Court upholds the military and the
intelligence service by reminding them that the Constitution prohibits the
military from acting politically. The statement from the court is a comment on
suspicions that the military intelligence service acted in the background to
support supporters of the mock laws during mass demonstrations 2017.
Asia Bibi may leave the country
Christian woman Asia Bibi, who was acquitted in October 2018 after serving
ten years in prison for violating the mock laws, can now leave Pakistan after
the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal of the acquittal. Bibi later moves to
Canada later in the spring and reunites with her daughters who have been granted
political asylum there (see October 2018).
The level of violence in the country is falling
In 2018, violent resistance groups conducted 264 attacks in Pakistan,
according to the Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Center (JTIC). This is 28
percent less than in 2017. Overall (with the perpetrators included) 660 people
were killed in these attacks, which is a 29 percent reduction compared to 2017
in terms of terrorist deaths. The attacks were largely targeted at police and
military, as well as members of religious minorities. The most common approaches
were suicide bombings by a single person and home-made explosive charges.
Construction of coal-fired power plants is postponed
The PTI government is halting a planned construction of a coal-fired power
plant (Rahim Yar Khan) that is part of the comprehensive Sino-Pakistani
infrastructure project CPEC. China agrees to do a new overhaul of the power
plant, which the Pakistani government believes is overburdening the Treasury. A
number of Chinese-backed energy projects have been launched since 2015. The Khan
government is struggling to keep government debt in check and has recently been
granted aid and loans from the Arab world. The contracts with China were
concluded with the old PML-N government.