Intel - Regions
Asia - South Central

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Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world and is the second most populous country with a Muslim majority

There is no tax on agriculture in Pakistan, and farmers have very heavily opposed movements in this direction, leaving the government with a huge shortfall of potential revenue to improve the country

At times, Pakistan has been considered the "most allied of allies", quite an accomplishment in the presence of the UK and Israel. Yet, Pakistan is also the most "sanctioned" of allies.

United Nations Development Program "60% of Pakistanis are born stunted" in growth, the height of the average Pakistani is going down! (13:20)

These regions have a status in the Pakistani Constitution almost analogous to Indian Reservations in the American Constitution. They are a separate territory in a sovereign sense. Each tribe is collectively responsible for maintain the law and order in their given area. The laws and the political systems that prevail in this part of Pakistan are much different than those that prevail in other parts of Pakistan.

The word "Pak" in Farsi, means pure, cleansing before entering the mosque

Pakistan allied with US soon after its creation, in part, to take advantage of US aversion to the Soviet Union

Pakistan developed nuclear weapons, not so much to deter India from engaging in nuclear war, but to prevent India from launching a conventional war to reclaim Pakistan into its territory.

Jinnah is widely described as either an atheist, or at least not a very religious Muslim

"The earliest jihadi manuals were printed courtesy of the University of Nebraska" in the 1980's, as part of the Cold War i in Afghanistan (7:25-8:31)

It is the military which defines the national interest, reflected in the lack of investment in human capital: education, housing, literacy, poverty, health care


The military owns or controls many businesses in Pakistan, and owns or controls much land as well. All countries have an army, but in Pakistan the army has the country. (Ahmed Rashid)


Pakistan is reported to have become one of the major international centers of the heroin trade when Afghan manufacturers and dealers "found their operations restricted after the Soviet invasion in 1979," and moved the enterprise across the borders (South). "The US government has for several years received, but refused to investigate, reports of heroin trafficking by some Afghan guerillas and Pakistani military officers with whom it cooperates." (Deterring Democracy, p. 118)

Border Nations

"Double-decker" bus in Pakistan

  • Karachi (12,461,423)
  • Lahore (6,747,238)
  • Faisalbad (2,708,944)
  • Rawalpindi (1,877,590)
  • Multan (1,528,075)
  • Gujranwala (1,514,590)
  • Hyberabad (1,496,193)
  • Peshawar (1,394,967)
  • Quetta (825,889)
  • Islamabad (657,788)
  • Sargodha (573,541)
  • Bahawalpur (516,882)

"The security of India in relation to Pakistan depends not on the quality of the Indian nuclear force or the rationality of an Indian decision-making system, but on the integrity of Pakistan's chain of command. Indian lives and security ultimately rest on the calculations of the least reliable link, the least informed decision-maker, the most extremist general, and the most rabidly anti-Indian politician, who finds themselves in Pakistan's decision-making system." Needless to add here, of course, is the fact that the security of Pakistan in relation to India rests on a very similar calculus. (Kashmir in the Shadow of War, p. 57)

  • In 1990, the United States cut off all economic and military aid to Pakistan, because of its failure to open up its nuclear program to international inspection.
Four major ethnic groups Punjabis (62-63%), Sindhis (25%), Pashtons/Patons (15%), and Baluch (5%). Punjabs dominate Pakistan, politically, and militarily. They are the source of power in Pakistan.


  • Population: 172,800,048
  • Life Expectancy: 64.13 years
  • Literacy: 49.9%
  • Median Age: 20.5 years
  • Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal; joint electorates and reserved parliamentary seats for women and non-Muslims
Brownouts, or "energy shedding" is extremely common in Pakistan

Films and Documentaries
The government does a lot of things "half-way", such as forcing the registration of madrasas, crackdown on extremists in ISI, getting foreign funds in madrasas.

Four petals monument


Hindu Kush mountain range

Pakistan took the defeat of the Soviets in Afghanistan to mean that investing in the mujahideen was a low-cost, highly effective way to conquer an enemy. They then looked to the east, with India, and invested in the Islamists for battle there as well.

The AQ Khan network was helping fund ISI operations in Afghanistan, helping the Taliban, and in Kashmir during the 1980s and 1990s

Bazaar in Peshawar

Pakistan's ISI helped organize the Sikh rebellion in the 1970s and 1980s, and India helped organize the Balochistan rebellions in Pakistan. Pakistan's military has a tremendous fear that India could invade from the east and have the Balochis attack from the west.

After 9/11, the ISI, with Musharaff's explicit approval and direction, deployed retired ISI staff to work with the Taliban, for 3-4 week deployments, so as to avoid detection by the United States. This was a "second structure" to the official ISI, whose non-"Second Structure" members were all known to the CIA. (29:00-30:00)

  • Pakistan has had four periods of rule by the army, and three periods of rule by civilians.
  • Muslim League of Nawaz Shariff is more right-wing, more conservative and sympathehic to religious extremeists points of view, though it is not particularly a religious party. The Pakistan People's Party of Benazir Bhutto is more left wing and populist. Her father, once executed, became known as a martyr.
  • The Pakistani army is very hierarchical, nothing like a Latin American army. There, a junior level officer could stage a coup, whereas in Pakistan, a junior officer could never stage a coup. Additionally, it is extremely difficulth to stage a coup against a military leader. It would be far too difficult, and it is a very large army.

Benazir Bhutto

General Musharaff has zero credibility in the country, no one trusts him. Every move he has made is to stay in power, every compromise he has made is to stay in power, the whole war on terror has been to stay in power.

There are approximately 400 female journalists employed in Pakistan, from newspapers, broadcast media, and magazines. They cover high level stories, and are viewed as credible. In no way are they restricted to fluffy puff pieces, and their coverage is both trusted and welcomed.

If the US unilaterraly goes into the FATA region, then the very legitimacy of the Pakistani military is called into question, and they will resist it

After 9/11, the Pakistani military wanted to maintain the Taliban as a proxy resistance force

  • The Tribal Areas declared part of Pakistan August 15, 1947
  • Jinnah, true father of the country, dies of TB (1948)
  • Liaquat Ali Khan assassinated, unsolved to this day (Oct 16, 1951)
  • Muhammad Ayub Khan military coup (1958)
  • Pakishtan's army was built up during the 1960's by the United States, as a weapon against the Soviets
  • US illegally sent aircraft to Pakistan through Iran (1965)
  • Indo-Pakistani War (1971)
  • Bhutto starts Pakistan's nuclear program
  • ISI becomes more prominent in domestic politics, under Bhuto, in (mid-1970s)
  • Relationship between Pakistan and Iran, under the Shah, was very close
  • Shah of Iran overthrown (1979)
  • Bhutto executed, under influence of Kissinger (no one takes to the streets to protest) (11:35) (April 4, 1979)
  • Zia Huq was trained at Fort Bragg in counterinsurgency as a yong officer
  • Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan (1979)
  • Pakistan's relations with Iran deteriorated rapidly with the rise of Khomeini
  • President ul-Haq introduced some Islamist-style laws, such as a woman's testimony being half of a man's. However, these laws are not particularly enforced, and this is in part because of active NGO's and newspapers. They are still on the books, in part out of fear of denigrating the previous administration.
  • President Zia-ul-Haq dies in suspicous plane crash (1988)
  • Madrasas promoted as school system because public schools were so awful (approx 1988)
  • Following Afghan war, ISI turns attention to Kashmir, using skills learned suporting the US counterinsurgency in Afghanistan in 1980s, running an insurgency against India (circa 1990)
  • Head of Pakistani Army, General Bagh (sp?) (a Shia) suggested sharing nuclear technology with Iran, but Musharaff staunchly refused (1990-1991)
  • US places Pakistan under economic sanctions, invoking the Pressler (sp?) Ammendment, soon after Afghan war against Soviets over, great resentment in Pakistan (October 1990)
  • Taliban Revolution succeeds with Pakistani military support (their only military victory) (1996)
  • Taliban recognized by only three countries: Saudi Arabia, Pakistan (Bhutto), and United Arab Emirates
  • Benazir Bhutto ousted from power (November 1996)
  • Tribesmen of the Northern Areas given right to vote in 1997 general elections
  • Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif meets with 18 clerics, vows to crush sectarian terrorism. (April 2, 1998)
  • India has a nuclear test (May 11-13, 1998)
  • Pakistan has a nuclear test (May 28-30, 1998)
  • Country essentially goes bankrupt (1998)
  • Mini-war between India and Pakistan (May-July 1999)
  • Musharaff military coup (Oct 12, 1999)
  • Musharaff sends 80,000 troops into Tribal Areas, to clean up terrorists, 600-700 troops dead (2001-2002?)
  • Return to Parliamentary government (2002)
  • Kashmir registering 7.7 richter scale earthquake killed 79,000 October 8, 2005
  • Red Mosque Siege (July 3 - July 11, 2007)
  • Massive earthquake hits Quetta, Pakistan (October 29, 2008)
Federally Administered Tribal areas comprise 10,507 sq miles (27,220), an area just smaller than the state of Massachusetts. 6.5 million people live in the region, whose capital is Peshawar. THIS IS DIFFERENT THAN THE NORTHWEST TERRITORY. The principal languages are Pashto and Urdu. Female literacy is abou 5%, and few jobs for anyone. The Pashto minority in Pakistan is the majority in Afghanistan, just over the border, which contributes to the instability in the Tribal region. The region was fairly secular, until the Afghan war. There is a $4-6 billion drugs business run in the region. Many identify as Pashtuns first, before any Pakistani identity. Everyone talking about what is going on in the tribal areas does not understand what they are talking about because they have never been there, plus there is 100% total press censorship (the Army does not allow any journalists to travel into Wariristan to know what is actually going on). Every man in the region is armed, about a million armed men. It is 1500 miles along the border with Pakistan and Afghanistan. These people have never accepted any centralized form of government. They have militarily defeated every invader since Alexander the Great. These tribes have fought each other most of the times, but whenever a foreigner comes they unite. Every village has its own parliament, its own jury system, in a way it is a perfect democracy. The border, which barely exists, was laid out by the British, and essentially divided the Pashtun people between two countries.


Languages India has approximately 36 languages, but if you ask someone "where are you from?" they always say India, maybe "north" India or "south" India, but India all the same. This is NOT the case in Pakistan
  • Punjabi 48%
  • Sindhi 12%
  • Siraiki (a Punjabi variant) 10%
  • Pashtu 8%
  • Urdu (official) 8%
  • Balochi 3%
  • Hindko 2%
  • Brahui 1%
  • English (official; lingua franca of Pakistani elite and most government ministries)
  • Burushaski
  • Other 8%
Al Qaeda has tried to assassinate Musharaff multiple times, so there is no hidden love for Osama bin Laden from Musharaff

Young Pakistani girl

Iran and Saudi Arabia got into, in effect, a proxy war, with Iranians pumping money to support the Shi'ite groups, and the Saudis, to support Sunnis. The government does not like this foreign involvement at all, and it has recently led to sectarian strife.

The constitution is not an Islamic document at all, it is largely based on the British model of government, and is a parliamentary system, which is a reflection of the original intent of the founders of the country, many of whom were either atheists or not very religious Muslims

Baluchistan desert

  • United Nations
  • World Trade Organization
Kashmir: India controls 141,338 km (54,571 sq mi) of the disputed territory, Pakistan 85,846 km2 (33,145 sq mi) and China, the remaining 37,555 km2 (14,500 sq mi).

Pakistan supported Al Qaeda and the Taliban, but it did not really see 9/11 coming. Their primary motivation was to "use" them to defeat India in irregular warfare, like the Soviets were defeated, and secure possession of Kashmir.


  • Muslim 95% (Sunni 75%, Shi'a 20%)
  • other (includes Christian and Hindu) 5%
Pakistan, on the one hand, wants to retain a counterinsurgency capability, by way of supporting anti-Kashmiri terrorists. This is, in part, to retain this capability, in case the US abandons them (i.e. 1965 and 1990). On the other hand, some terrorist groups have started to attack the government (Marriott Hotel attack and Mumbai attacks)


I am not going to predict how unstable the current situation is today in Pakistan but I will caution everyone who is paying attention to the situation there. That often things that seem more unstable and dangerous than they turn out to be...and ...nothing is ever quiet as it seems there are all sorts of vested interests there is a lot of grand standing, there is a plenty of hypocrisy to go around on all sides, no one is entirely in the right.
  • Not a signator to the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty

The Mohajir Quami Movement (MQM), the organization of Indian Muslims who moved to Karachi with the British partition of India in 1947 and who constitute the major business community there...MQM leader Altaf Hussain, in turn, is headquartered in London.

The tribal belt became the main supply route for the Mujahideen fighting the Soviets. The tribal areas provided a base for the Mujahideen, and weapons, supplies, and other war sustenance efforts were routed from these areas. Large numbers of Afghan refugees arrived in the FATA, placing pressure on the local resources. In some cases, refugees outnumbered the local population. The war also brought a culture of guns and drugs. During this period, the economy of the tribal areas, which was already underdeveloped, suffered enormously. When Musharraf came into government, he decided to try to integrate the Tribal Areas into the rest of Pakistan. There were plans for elections, and there were some stakeholders who were hostile to the idea, primarily drug dealers. This was the time just before 9/11. During and following the bombing in Afghanistan, there were a lot of refugees who came pouring over the border. Many of them were from the same tribe, and a lot of sympathy came about because of that, so the Mullahs achieved great status. Consequently, Musharaff decided to delay the elections, out of concern that the Mullahs would win instead.

India pushed through massive land reforms, to curtail the power and influence of the big landlords, but Pakistan never did this" (10:01-10:15) - note (this is probably related to India's closer relations to the USSR and Pakistan's closer relations with the US)