What is the prosperity of Pakistan

Pakistan Country Information Sheets

PublisherSwitzerland: State Secretariat for Migration (SEM)
Publication DateJuly 1, 1997
Cite as Switzerland: State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), Pakistan Country Information Sheets, 1 July 1997, available at: https://www.refworld.org/docid/466ff0692.html [accessed 20 May 2021]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

1. Constitution

1.1. State name

Islami Jamhuriya-e-Pakistan = Islamic Republic of Pakistan

1.2. State symbol and national coat of arms

Flag: white-green; white crescent moon and star national coat of arms
on green ground Source: Meyers Grosses Universallexikon. Mannheim. 1984

1.3. Form of government

Pakistan is a federal republic. The division of powers between the provinces and the central state is regulated in the constitution, with the latter having the decisive powers. The 1973 constitution, which was repealed after the Zia ul-Haq coup in 1977, was reinstated on March 10, 1985 after numerous changes. In May 1991 the parliament passed the "Shariat Bill", which institutionalized Islam as the supreme guiding principle of the state. Islam as the state religion is under the special protection of the state: the constitution stipulates that the state president must be a Muslim. The constitution also defines that a Muslim must believe in the finality of prophecy through Muhammad. This regulation, introduced on September 17, 1974, is directed against the religious community of the Ahmadis, who are thus officially considered non-Muslims. The penal code also contains protective provisions for the Islamic faith and for Muslims, some of which are problematic in their effects. On the other hand, freedom of religion is expressly guaranteed in the constitution (Art. 2). The constitution also guarantees the other elementary fundamental rights such as freedom of expression, movement and assembly. A two-thirds majority in the National Assembly and a simple majority in the provincial parliaments and the Senate are required for a constitutional amendment.(important: end of section and do not delete this text!)

2. Social and culture

2.1. population

Around 109 million people (as of 1989) live on an area of ​​803,943 km² (excluding the Pakistani-occupied areas of Kashmir, Baltistan and Gilgit), which corresponds to a population density of around 136 people per km². (The Punjab, however, has a population density of 230 inh / km²). About 29% of the population lives in cities. The annual population growth is 3%, the average life expectancy is 51 years. 65% of the Pakistani population speaks Punjabi, 22% Sindhi, 7% Urdu and 2.5% Baluchi. In addition, there are Bengali and Dravidian minority groups as well as over a million Afghan refugees, who mainly live in northwestern Pakistan.

2.2. language

Pakistan is a multiethnic state with correspondingly different languages. Urdu is the official language in three of the four provinces, in Sind it is Sindhi. English is also recognized as the state language, but is only spoken by an educated upper class of the population. Punjabi, the mother tongue of the majority of the population, is not considered the state language.Literary languages ​​of the Northwest Source: The Cambridge Encyclopedia of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Editor: Francis Robinson, Cambridge University Press 1989

2.3. religion

Religious freedom is guaranteed according to the constitution. However, the influence of Islam is formative: almost 98% of the population are Muslims, of which around 80% are Sunnis and 20% Shiites. The Ahmadis, a Sunni sect with an estimated two million members in Pakistan, were officially declared "non-Muslims" in 1974. Of the remaining religious minorities, the Hindus and Christians each make up about one percent of the total population. The remaining religious communities, such as the Buddhists, Parsees, Sikhs, etc. have only a few tens of thousands of members.

2.4. Schools and education

Pakistan has no compulsory schooling and, with 76% illiteracy in education, is at the bottom of an international comparison. Women are particularly affected by the educational misery. The inadequate state education system is increasingly in competition with a proliferation of religious-Islamic private schools. The universities are struggling with great financial difficulties. Teaching is often disrupted by violent clashes between the various, mostly armed, student organizations fighting for supremacy at the respective training centers.

2.5. Medical infrastructure

Medical care is guaranteed in advance in the vicinity of urban centers. For residents of remote areas, but also for members of the lower class, there is hardly any access to adequate medical care. The state is constantly striving for improvements in the medical field (vaccination and education campaigns, expansion of health centers and outpatient clinics), but their implementation is often hindered by bureaucratic inadequacies.

3. Wife and family

Women in Pakistan are disadvantaged in many ways. It is true that there are strong class-specific and regional differences in the understanding of the role of women: The social behavioral patterns of the urban middle and upper classes, for example, can in no way be equated with the customs in the country or even in the tribal areas. Nevertheless, women are clearly discriminated against due to the supremacy of the current Islamic jurisprudence (Sharia), which is based on a conservative-patriarchal tradition. Accordingly, they are subordinate to the man and their field of activity should be limited exclusively to the family and domestic areas. In contrast to the man, you can hardly get a divorce on your own. A woman's testimony in court is only half as valuable as a man's. This legal disadvantage of women has fatal consequences in the area of ​​the Islamic Criminal Law Ordinance (Hadud), and there especially in the so-called 'Zina' (offense for fornication): For example, raped women who file a complaint may have to prosecute themselves Extra-marital intercourse, which is considered a serious Zina offense, reckon with poor prospects if you have a male witness against you. It also happens again and again that unpopular wives or daughters end up in prison due to flimsy accusations of Zina by relatives. In the meantime, several women's and human rights associations have been formed in Pakistan, which are committed to improving the situation of women. As important organizations here are these Women's Action Forum (WAF) and the War Against Rape (WAR) mentioned, who can already point to certain successes of their efforts.

4. Media

4.1. News agencies

There are six agencies operating in the national domain in Pakistan: Associated Press of Pakistan (APP); Independent News of Pakistan (in Urdu); National News Agency (NNA); News Network International; Pakistan Press International (PPI) and United Press of Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd (UPP). Most international agencies have offices in Islamabad or Karachi.

4.2. newspapers and magazines

Since the departure of Zia ul-Haq, freedom of the press has been guaranteed again. The most important English-language newspapers include the Dawn and the PakistanTimes. The weekly magazine TheFridayTimes has an extremely critical journalism. Influential newspapers in Urdu are those DailyYerk, Nawa-i-Waqt, Imroze, Jasarat and Mashriq. The Urdu press alone knows over 800 different titles.

4.3. radio

The Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation is nationalized. It maintains a studio in all major centers. It is broadcast in 20 different languages ​​and dialects. The radio also provides international service in Urdu and English.

4.4. watch TV

The Pakistan Television Corpn Ltd. is nationalized. About the People's Television Network but international programs such as CNN can also be received.

5. Economy

5.1. National economy

55% of the employed work in agriculture, 16% in industry. The most important export goods are cotton products, rice, leather, hides and chemicals. The main economic problems are high partial unemployment and strong population growth. The military and debt service take up around 70% of the state budget. Agriculture suffers from the fact that 77% of farmers own less than 5 hectares of land. This makes a profitable and rational building of the soil impossible. The government is keen to promote private industry, re-privatize nationalized businesses and modernize agriculture. The growing prosperity of the ruling classes (feudal lords, administration and military) is based on billions in development aid, high remittances from Pakistani workers abroad, illegal profits from the flourishing drug and arms trade and widespread corruption. Since the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan and the subsequent collapse of the communist empire, US support has fallen massively. However, the drug business alone brings in billions in US dollars each year and has now become one of the country's most important economic drivers.

5.2. Employment situation

The official unemployment rate for 1992/93 was only 6.2%. On the other hand, the rate of underemployment was quite high at 20-35%. At around 3%, the number of newly recorded labor force corresponds to the growth of the total population, with the proportion of women in the workforce still remaining extremely marginal. However, agriculture, where many women also work, is not recorded statistically. The ongoing unrest in the economic metropolis of Karachi, which alone generates 60% of Pakistan's national income, has a negative impact on the investment climate and thus also on the employment situation. Overall, there is still a high level of migratory pressure.

5.3. currency

1 Pakistani rupee (pR) = 100 Paisa (Ps); 1 CHF = 30 pR (as of November 1995).

6. Mobility

6.1. Means of communication

Pakistan hardly lives up to its transport policy role as a gateway to the Indian subcontinent: The ongoing war in Afghanistan has almost brought overland traffic to Central and West Asia to a standstill. The thinly populated and traffic-repellent Iranian highlands rise in the west. In the north, the Karakoram Highway, which was completed with Chinese help, offers the possibility of limited traffic to and from Sinkiang. The border to the Indian part of Kashmir has been hermetically sealed off as a military protection zone since the first war with India (1947/48). There is only one road or rail connection open to India by land at Lahore. The government is trying to push ahead with the expansion of the road network, as motorized traffic is on the increase. The entire road network covers around 100,000 km, a good half of which has a decent surface. Aviation is also being promoted. International passenger traffic - including to neighboring countries - takes place primarily from the specially developed airports in Karachi, Islamabad / Rawalpindi, Lahore and Peshawar. The state-owned Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) also has a monopoly on domestic flights, for which a total of 24 airports are available. In contrast, the railway is rather neglected; the route network covers around 9,000 km. Most of it dates back to the time of British rule, but still connects the country's major population centers. Most of the rolling stock is out of date, which is not infrequently the cause of accidents. Karachi has the only natural harbor on the coast of the Arabian Sea and can therefore justify its importance as an economic and trade metropolis. Because of the inconsistent water flow of the rivers, there is no noteworthy inland navigation.

6.2. Travel documents

Both the identity card and the passport (green with gold letters) are easily available from the responsible authorities - but also on the black market. Perforated identity cards indicate that a passport has been issued for the person concerned.

7. Government

7.1. Head of state

The President of Pakistan is elected by the members of the National Assembly, the Senate and the Provincial Parliaments. The term of office is five years. Since November 14th, 1993 FarukAhmedLeghari, a former companion of Benazir Bhutto, incumbent. He replaced the former Senate President Wassim Sajjad, who had taken over the office on July 18, 1993 after the resignation of Ghulam Ishaq Khan. Under the military dictatorship of Zia ul-Haq, the office of president was given extensive powers in the eighth amendment to the constitution of 1985. On April 1, 1997, Parliament decided with the required two-thirds majority to partially repeal this constitutional amendment. The previous competencies of the President were thereby considerably restricted in favor of the position of the head of government. In particular, the president can only dissolve parliament in future on the instructions of the head of government.

7.2. State government

On November 5, 1996, President Leghari replaced the government of Benazir Bhutto, leader of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), whom he accused of corruption, disregard of the law and aiding in human rights violations, and dissolved parliament. A neutral transitional government under Meraj Khalid held elections on February 3, 1997. The election winner Nawaz Sharif, The leader of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) was sworn in as head of government on February 17th, 1997.

8. Parliament

The federal parliament consists of two chambers, the National Assembly and the Senate. The National Assembly consists of 217 members. 207 seats are awarded in direct popular elections based on a majority procedure, which means that the candidate with the most votes receives the mandate in each constituency. The remaining ten seats are reserved for non-Muslim minorities who have to elect their MPs separately. There used to be twenty additional seats reserved for women. However, these women's seats were abolished. A legislative term of the National Assembly lasts five years. The Senate consists of 87 members who are each elected for six years by the provincial parliaments, with a third to be appointed every two years. The competences of the Senate are limited vis-à-vis the National Assembly: For example, it can delay laws in the event of differences by rejecting a draft to the National Assembly for reassessment and making its own recommendations for assessment; Ultimately, however, the decision of the National Assembly is decisive.

9. Administration

Pakistan consists of the four provinces Punjab, Sind, Balutschistan and North West Frontier Province (NWFP) with their own parliaments and extensive self-government powers, which in turn are divided into divisions and further into districts and villages. In addition to the provinces, there is the capital city of Islamabad and six agencies (tribal areas) that are directly subordinate to the federal administration. Azad Kashmir (free Kashmir), which is not part of the national territory, has an autonomous status - albeit restricted by federal supervision. The main evil in the administration is widespread corruption.Administrative divisions of Pakistan Source: The Cambridge Encyclopedia of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Editor: Francis Robinson, Cambridge University Press 1989

10. Elections

The February 3, 1997 elections resulted in an overwhelming victory for the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) led by Nawaz Sharif. The election result for the National Assembly is as follows (in brackets the election results of October 6, 1993 for comparison): National Assembly elections 1997 1993 PML (Pakistan Muslim League) 134 (72) PPP (Pakistan People's Party) 17 (86) MQM (Mohajir Qaumi Movement) 12 (-) * JIP (Jamaat-i-Islami Pakistan) - * (3) ANP (Awami National Party ) 9 (3) BNP (Balochistan National Party) 3 (3) JWP (Jamhoori Watan Party) 2 (2) Independents 20 (20) Other 8 (11) * The MQM boycotted the 1993 elections. The JIP boycotted the elections of 1997 The PML was also the actual winner - and the PPP accordingly the loser - of the provincial council elections that took place at the same time: In Punjab, the most important province, the PML won 211 seats, while the PPP, (which did not win a single one in the elections for the National Assembly in Punjab Seat), only received two mandates. Of the remaining seats, 22 went to independent candidates and three to small splinter parties. In the North West Frontier Province, too, the PML asserted itself as the strongest faction with 31 seats, ahead of the regional ANP with 28, the PPP with four and the Islamist JUI (F) with one seat.In addition, independents received eleven and the other parties two seats. In Baluchistan, the PML won four and the PPP one seat. Most of the votes went to the regional parties BNP with ten and JWP with six seats. The JUI (F) received five seats, while eleven seats went to independents and two to representatives of the other groups. Only in Sind was the PPP able to assert itself as the strongest political force with 34 seats, followed by the regional party of Indian immigrants MQM with 29, the PML with 14 seats and the NPP (National People's Party), a split from the PPP, with three seats. The PPP (SB), the splinter party of Benazir Bhutto's brother who was killed in 1996, won two seats. Eleven mandates went to Independent Candidates and one to one of the other groups.

11. Law and Justice

11.1. Law

Civil law was built on British common law and colonial laws. On the other hand, Islamic law (Sharia) predominantly applies to family and inheritance law. Criminal law has also been Islamized since 1979 and includes both the death penalty and corporal punishment. No provision of the law may contravene the commandments and ideas of Islam.

11.2. Ordinary courts

Federal Supreme Court is the SupremeCourtwhile the HighCourts form the highest courts of the provinces. At the lower level they are in office DistrictCourtswhere the Magistrates and the sessionJudges are active. There are also the for the treatment of Islamic law FederalShariatCourt and the ShariatCourts.

11.3. Special dishes

To deal with special decrees, so-called SpecialCourts or ad hoc and acting judges are used. For example, eleven Special Courts for Speedy Trials were set up on the basis of the special powers for the fight against crime and terrorism (12th Amendment Bill), which was transferred by parliament to the government in July 1991. However, these were dissolved again by order of the President in July 1995. They are still in function Special Courts for the Suppression of Terrorist Activities. These are to fight cases of serious crime, subversion and terrorism in accelerated proceedings.

11.4. Military courts

Since the abolition of martial law, military jurisdiction has been limited to the immediate military disciplinary area.

12. Military and security forces

12.1. military

The army is a crucial political force. In 1958 (Ayub Khan), 1969 (Jahja Khan) and 1977 (Zia ul-Haq) the army chiefs took power for a long time in a coup d'état. Even under the civil governments, the numerous privileges of the army have so far remained untouched. It is the only institution in Pakistan that functions efficiently nationwide. In view of the socio-politically unstable situation, the army is also active as a regulatory factor under civil governments: from June 1992 to December 1994 it was deployed in Sindh in accordance with a constitutional mandate to help maintain peace and order. In July 1993, the army resolved a crippling state crisis by forcing both the incumbent president and the government to resign and a transitional government to be set up. There is no general conscription. The professional army has 450,000 men, divided into ground troops, air force and navy.

12.2. Police and gendarmerie

At the top is the Inspector General of Police (IGP). He is the responsible police chief for the province. Below him follows the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) etc. to the individual police station (Police Station), which from Station House Officer (SHO) to be led. This usually has the rank of inspector, with three stars as a badge of rank. To him are the ordinary cops (Foot Constables) assumed. In some items are also Detective Foot Constables (DFC) active. For the fight against crime is generally the Criminal Investigation Agency (CIA) responsible. The central government maintains the police, which is organized on a provincial basis Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), which in turn have their own units (so-called Special branches) is active in the provinces. After all, there is Airport Security Force (ASF), a special police force that is exclusively responsible for airport security.

12.3. Militias

The following paramilitary forces are deployed in Pakistan: National Guard, Rangers, Border Guard and Coast Guard. These reach a total of 164,000 men. But there are also numerous private, armed groups. Influential personalities and tribal leaders usually have their own protection force. In addition to organized crime, many religious and political organizations also maintain their own armed units, some of which are even better equipped than the police.

12.4. Secret services

Various secret services are active in Pakistan. In connection with the war in Afghanistan, especially the army secret service could InterserviceIntelligence (ISI) secure an influential position.

13. Detention and the execution of sentences

According to the law, arrested persons must be brought before the judge within 24 hours. You also have the right to lodge a complaint. Most courts also try to comply with these principles. In practice, however, the police repeatedly disregard the statutory provisions. The conditions of detention are usually based on the social position of the individual prisoners. In the prisons it becomes official three categories distinguished: The Category A is reserved for the celebrities. As a rule, they enjoy numerous privileges and the conditions of their detention are therefore generally satisfactory. This also applies to a limited extent to the prisoners of the Category B.. However, the situation is precarious for the prisoners of the Category C, the crowd of ordinary people. In this category, the most diverse types can be amalgamated from the serious criminal to the small party activist or even to the minor. The prisoners usually have to live in overcrowded cells and are often exposed to the arbitrariness of the supervisory staff. Reform efforts in the prison sector are announced again and again, but hardly ever implemented.

14. General human rights situation

After the departure of the dictator Zia ul-Haq (on August 17, 1988) there was a fundamental improvement in the human rights situation: free political parties, freedom of the press, democratic elections, readmission of student organizations, and the release of political prisoners. On the other hand, however, the overlaying of politics by violence and criminal tendencies cannot be overlooked. The police are generally poorly trained, corrupt and violent: prisoners are often ill-treated. Several deaths in police custody have been reported in the past year. Guilty police officers are only called to account in exceptional cases. The victims of police arbitrariness are primarily the socially weakest, especially women, while better-off people have the opportunity to exercise their "rights". The legal discrimination of the Ahmadis, who are forbidden under threat of punishment to profess to be Muslims (Art. 298 of the Pakistani Penal Code), remains problematic. In its judgment of July 3, 1993, the Supreme Court upheld these legal provisions as constitutional. Against Ahmadis - as well as against members of other religious minorities - several proceedings for insulting prophets (Art. 295-C) have been initiated, which face the death penalty. Since most of the cases are obviously abusive reports by fanatical Muslims, the government is keen to reform this article, but is facing bitter resistance from numerous Islamist parties and groups.

15. Political and religious movements

There are a large number of parties and groups, which are often still entangled in factional battles, so that the party landscape is constantly in motion. However, only parties that are able to bring representatives into parliament are politically relevant. Therefore
The parties often come together to form alliances of convenience, but these usually do not last long. The main political parties are:

- Pakistan Muslim League (PML): It was founded in 1947 as the successor organization to the All India Muslim League and sees itself as the actual state party of Pakistan. Ideologically, it tries to realize the secular idea of ​​the state in harmony with the teaching of Islam. The party has already experienced several splits: in 1979 into the Pagara (was pro-Zia) and the Chatta or Qasim group. In 1988 the Pagara group split into the Fida (Zia loyalists) and Junejo groups. For its part, the Junejo group split up in May 1993 into the Nawaz faction (PML-N) under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif and the Junejo faction under Nazir Hamid Chatta, the latter having become practically insignificant after the elections in February 1997 . The PML is anchored across the country; however, its real power base lies in the Punjab, where it is particularly strong in the cities. As the ruling party, the PML steers a pragmatic, western-oriented course. The PML's student organization is called Muslim Student Federation (MSF).

- Pakistan People's Party (PPP): Founded in 1967 by the landowner Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as a moderate socialist party with the programmatic slogan: "Our religion is called Islam, our political order is called democracy, our economic system is called socialism."

The party's power base is in Sind, which is home to the Bhuttos family dynasty. The party is chaired by Benazir Bhutto, who ruled the country twice as Prime Minister from December 1988 to August 1990 and from October 1993 to November 1996, both times being ousted by the respective president. The party is shaped by the feudal style of the Bhuttos: all important party positions are awarded by the party leader in return for appropriate loyalty. Basic democratic party elections have been promised time and again, but have never been held so far. The central committee, in which the chairman gathers the most important regional party leaders, functions as the party's decision-making body. According to feudal custom, family disputes among the Bhuttos have a direct impact on the party: For example, after his return from exile in Damascus in November 1993, Benazir's brother Murtaza Bhutto - where he went for prosecution in connection with his function as leader of the militant AlZulfikarorganization (AZO) had withdrawn - asserted his claim to the party leadership and was initially supported by his mother, Nusrat Bhutto. The dispute also revolved around the role of Asif Zardari, the influential husband of Benazir Bhutto, who is known in the people as an extraordinarily corrupt personality. Murtaza organized his followers in the PPP (SB) (SB stands for Shahid Bhutto), but remained clearly in the minority compared to the mother party. Murtaza was shot dead by the police in Karachi on September 20, 1996. His bereaved wife, Ghinwa Bhutto, then took over the management of the PPP (SB). The PPP also has its own organizational units of women, professional associations and trade unions. The student organization of the PPP is called People's Student Federation (PSF), the youth wing People's Youth Organization (PYO).

- National People's Party (NPP): Was founded on August 30, 1986 as a spin-off from PPP. Has only a few members and no recognizable independent profile. The most prominent leader is Ghulam Mustafa Khar.

- Jamaat-i-Islami Pakistan (JIP): Was founded in 1941 by the Sunni pseudo-scholar Abu l'A la al-Maududi as an internationalist Islamic fundamentalist cadre party. The JIP has been actively involved in the war in Afghanistan from the very beginning and also provides direct support for the Islamist secessionists in the Indian part of Kashmir. Ideologically related to the salvation front in Algeria, the JIP wants to transform Pakistan into an Islamic state of God. She ran in the elections in October 1993 under the electoral alliance PakistanIslamifront(PIF), but performed extremely poorly despite a populist election campaign. In the February 1997 elections, the JIP preferred not to run. There are numerous militant sects around the JIP, some of which fight each other. The chairman of the JIP is Amir Qazi Hussain Ahmad. The JIP student organization, the IslamiJamiat-i-Talaba(IYC), is considered to be the best organized movement in universities.

- Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM): (Also: Mohajir Qaumi Mahaz = national movement of the Mohajirs), this was founded in 1986. The MQM represents the interests of the population (Mohajirs) who immigrated from India after the partition of 1947 and which meanwhile proportionally dominates the big cities in Sind. This is where the MQM's power base lies. A central requirement is the recognition of the Mohajirs as an independent nationality. With its distinctive leadership cult around the charismatic figure of Altaf Hussain, the MQM has obvious fascist traits. He moved to London in 1992, from where he directs his organization. Several criminal cases in connection with felony are pending against him and other prominent party leaders. When, in June 1992, the army’s mission to fight crime in Sind was also directed directly against the MQM, most of the party cadres went underground for a while. The MQM boycotted the elections to the National Assembly in October 1993, but took part in the provincial council elections and became the second largest party in Sind with 27 seats. The split off Haqiqi Group,MQM (H), which enjoys the support of secret service circles, could not prevail politically, but is still fighting a bloody power struggle with the mother party in Karachi. During the reign of Benazir Bhutto (1993 to 1996), the law enforcement officers took massive action against the armed activists of the MQM and committed serious human rights violations. After the elections of February 1997, the MQM formed an alliance of convenience with the PML and participated in the government in Sind. The student organization of the MQM is called AllesPakistanMohajirStudentsorganization(APMSO). Altaf Hussain officially let the party in in July 1997 Muttahida Qaumi Movement (United National Movement) rename.

- Jamaat-i-Ulema-i-Islam (JUI): Association of Ulemas (scribes) of Islam. Sunni fundamentalist party which emerged from the school tradition of the Deobandis and which approves the democratic multi-party system. The party is led by Maulana Fazlur Rehman. One faction is under the influence of Maulana Abdullah Darkhwasti.

- Anjuman Sipah-i-Sahaba (ASS): (Soldiers of the Prophet's Companions) Is an extremist-militant split from the JUI, which is mainly active in Punjab. The ASS wants the Shiites to be declared 'non-Muslims' and is waging an armed struggle against exponents and institutions of the Shiite religious community. It is considered to be the main organization responsible for the sectarian war between Sunnis and Shiites in Punjab, which has escalated since the beginning of 1997. The leader, Maulana Ziaur Rehman Faruqui, was killed in a bomb attack in Lahore on January 18, 1997 and his deputy, Maulana Azam Tariq, was seriously injured. The ASS murder squads are under the name Lashkar-i-Jhangvi known and run by Riaz Basra.

- Jamaat-i-Ulema-i-Pakistan (JUP): Moderate Sunni party, which emerged from the Barelvis school tradition. It is mainly anchored in the urban centers of the Sind. The main leaders are Shah Ahmed Noorani, Maulana Nasrullah Khan, and Maulana Abdus Sattar Khan Niazi.

- Islami Jamhoori Mahaz (IJM): Temporary alliance between the JUI and the JUP with the conceptual idea of ​​a compromise between the Deobandis and the Barelvis, the two important Sunni religious schools in Pakistan.

- Mutahida Deeni Mahaz (MDM): An alliance of small Sunni sects with the JUI faction of Samiul Haq and the ASS.

- Tehrik-i-Jafaria Pakistan (TJP): Formerly called Tehrik-i-Nifaz-i-Fiqh-i-Jafaria (TNFJ) (Movement for the Application of Shiite Jurisprudence). Association of Shiites, which was constituted as a party in 1987. The model is the Islamic state of God as it was realized in Iran. Chair: Sajid Naqvi. Student organization: ImamiaStudentsorganization(ISO).

- Sipah-i-Muhammad Pakistan (SMP): Militant offshoot of the TJP, which is responsible for numerous attacks against Sunnis and their institutions. Niaz Beg, located in Punjab, is a stronghold of the movement. The leader Allama Murid Abbas Yazdani was murdered on September 12, 1996 in Rawalpindi. Thereafter, Ghulam Raza Naqvi was considered the strong man in the organization.

- Milli Yakjethi Council (MYC): Platform founded in March 1995 by the various Islamist parties and groups, including the JIP, JUP, JUI and TJP, with the aim of achieving a politically powerful, fundamentalist Islamic united front.So far, the MYC has tried in vain to end the struggle between militant Sunnis and Shiites.

- Awami National Party (ANP): Created in 1986 from a merger of four left-wing parties. Only relevant in the North-West Frontier Province. Is against the big Kalabagh dam project and against the support of the Mujahedins in Afghanistan. Has already entered into coalition agreements with the PPP and the PML. Chairman: Wali Khan.

- Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP): Typical regional party in Baluchistan under the leadership of the influential tribal prince Nawab Akber Bugti.

- Pakhtoonkwa Milli Awami Party (PMAP): Also a regional party in Baluchistan, which represents the interests of the Pashtuns. Chairman: Mahmud Khan Achakzai.

Parties in Azad Kashmir: Even in this structure, which is politically dependent on Islamabad, a strongly fragmented party landscape prevails. Here are also the centers of numerous organizations which - supported by the Pakistani Army Secret Service (ISI) - are conducting the "liberation struggle" in the part of Kashmir occupied by India. Worth mentioning are:

- Muslim Conference (MC): It is dependent on the PML and has the longest government activity in Azad Kashmir. However, it lost the parliamentary elections on June 30, 1996, whereupon the previous Prime Minister Sardar Abdul Qayyum lost his office. The second strong man in the party, Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan, was deposed as President of Azad Kashmir on August 12, 1996 by a motion of no confidence in parliament.

- Azad Jammu Kashmir People's Party (AJKPP): It is the local branch of the PPP. With the support of the government in Islamabad, the party came to power in Azad Kashmir in 1996. Prime Minister became Barrister Sultan Mahmud Chaudhary and President Sardar Mohammad Ibrahim Khan.

- Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF): The organization was founded in 1965 as a liberation organization with the aim of achieving complete independence for the territory of the former Principality of Kashmir. In this sense, the organization does not take part directly in the party political disputes in Azad Kashmir, but is primarily involved in the liberation struggle in India. Founding member Amanullah Khan is chairman. However, the organization is split into at least three factions. So far, no asylum-related persecution measures against the JKLF have become known in Pakistan.

Source: Asia: Small Reference Book. Editor: Roland Felber,
Diethelm Weidemann, Dietz Verlag, Berlin, 1987