Wikipedia article on Pakistan, further mentions:
“Pakistan is the second-most populous Muslim-majority country and also has the second-largest Shi’a population in the world.
* Islam 173,000,000 (97%) (the majority are Sunni Muslims, 5-20% are Shi’a and 2.3% are Ahmadis).
* Hinduism 2,800,000 (1.6%)
* Christianity 2,800,000 (1.6%)
* Sikhs Around 20,000 (0.001%)
* The remaining are Parsis, Buddhists, Jews, Bahá’ís and Animists (mainly the Kalasha of Chitral).
According to the constitution of Pakistan, it is the state’s responsibility to provide free primary education.
Education in Pakistan is divided into five levels: primary (grades one through five); middle (grades six through eight); high (grades nine and ten, leading to the Secondary School Certificate); intermediate (grades eleven and twelve, leading to a Higher Secondary School Certificate); and university programmes leading to graduate and advanced degrees.
Literacy rate – Pakistan
Pakistan also has a parallel secondary school education system in private schools, which is based upon the curriculum set and administered by the Cambridge International Examinations, in place of government exams.
Pakistan also has madrassahs that provide free Islamic education and also offer free boarding and lodging to students who come mainly from the poorer strata of society.
In 2004 only 46.6 percent of adult Pakistanis were literate.
Pakistani society is largely hierarchical, with high regard for traditional Islamic values, although urban families have grown into a nuclear family system because of the socio-economic constraints imposed by the traditional joint family system.
The variety of Pakistani music ranges from diverse provincial folk music and traditional styles such as Qawwali and Ghazal Gayaki to modern forms fusing traditional and western music, such as the synchronisation of Qawwali and western music by the world renowned Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
So, in spite of all the troubles with terrorism, Pakistan has shown a great level of resilience and survival skills. Pakistan was a very poor country, at the time of it’s birth in 1947. Still, it managed to have, better then international averages, growth rates for the first four decades. After that growth rates slowed down, mainly due to the terrorism related issues. Currently, the wide-ranging economic reforms have resulted into stronger economic outlook and accelerated growth specially in manufacturing and financial services. Pakistan’s foreign and hard currency reserves have been growing since 1990. On the other hand the debt has been reduced since 1990s. Pakistan’s GDP is 475.4 billion dollars and per capita income is $2942. Poverty rate is estimated to be between 23% to 28%. GDP growth was 7% in mid 2000s, which slowed down to 4.7% after the 2008 financial crisis. A very high inflation rate of 24.4% and very low savings rate is making it hard to sustain the growth. With GDP standards Pakistan is the world’s 48th largest economy and becomes 27th largest by purchasing power adjusted exchange rates. Pakistan’s economy is in the process of transition from agrarian to strongly service based economy. Agriculture now accounts for only 20% of GDP while, service sector accounts for 53%. Despite the serious terrorism related issues, Pakistan is still attracting significant foreign investment in telecommunications, real estate and energy. Other important industries of Pakistan include apparel and textiles (60% of exports), food processing, chemical manufacturing, and iron and steel. Pakistan earns $20.62 Billions from it’s exports. Overall, regardless of all the mess created by Al-Qaeda and Taliban, Pakistan is till a rapidly developing country. Pakistan was able to cope with 2008 economic crisis by adopting a very aggressive fiscal policy, without any additional foreign aid or loans. Asian Development Bank is now reporting that Pakistan’s economic crisis is easing.
Political spectrum in Pakistan varies a lot from far right to far left. There are six major and 79 smaller political parties. Three parties are defunct due to the violation of constitution of Pakistan. Although, only 9 parties make it to National Assembly. Since Senate is elected by provincial assemblies, 13 parties make it to Senate. Elections are always won by either progressive, Pakistan Peoples Party or Moderate, Pakistan Muslim League (N).
Geographically, Pakistan lies at a strategically very important but, dangerous location. Pakistan’s neighbor India is world’s second most populous country and second fastest growing economy in the world. India has never accepted Pakistan’s existence and there have been three wars between the two countries. Last war in 1971, resulted into separation of Pakistan’s east wing, which is now Bangladesh.