Chapter 6 Culture of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 2nd year notes for English medium short question and long question pdf download now.
Pakistan Study Notes Chapter 6 Culture of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Short Question
1) Give a brief historical background of Pakistani culture.
Pakistan inherits a very rich cultural and historical background such as:
The excavations at Harappa and Mohenjodaro have revealed that the people of this land had a level of advancement in the fields of architecture and urban planning, e.g. swimmingpools, public baths, and marketplaces etc.
The people of Harappa, Mohenjodaro and Gandhara had attained excellence in the art of melting metals and making ornaments and seals and carving out sculptures.
The tradition of making festive, as well as beautiful informal male and female dresses, has been kept alive by Pakistani craftsmen. Wolen Patti of Gilgit and Swat, Shawls and gowns of Kashmir, Chapa or the block printed bedsheets of Bahawalpur, Khairpur, and Multan, Ajrak and Bandhnu of Sindh are the famous products of Pakistan.
Pakistan has a centuries-old tradition of making hand-knotted carpets. Lahore is the oldest center of carpet making. Similarly, special varieties of carpets are done in Kashmir, NWFP, Balochistan, and Sindh.
2) What do you know about Kot Diji?
Kot Diji is an important Harappan civilization site located in the Rohri Hills of Khairpur in the province of Sindh. Excavations at this site started in Nov 1955. The remains of the city were unearthed, which was dated back to 2600 years BC about 4600 years from today. The First authentic information about the pre-Harappan settlements of the Indus Valley was acquired from the relics found at Kot Diji.
3) What is the significance of Harappa in the Cultural heritage of Pakistan?
Harappa is located at a distance of about 20 km from Sahiwal, a district headquarters in the Punjab, 180 km from Lahore. It lies very close to the Peshawar Karachi Highway. The remains of the city reveal interesting details about the very developed civic life, astonishingly modern for its age. The ruins of this 4000-year-old defunct civilized city attract tourists and archaeologists from all over the world. Harappa is generally characterized as having “differentiated living quarters, flat-roofed brick houses, and fortified administrative or religious centers”. The town planning, architecture, art and crafts of Harappan civilization are definite examples of modern urbanization and building techniques.
4) What do you know about the ancient city of Mansura?
Mansura was the city founded by the Arabs after they occupied Sindh. The city had a strong fortification around, with four gateways. There was a magnificent mosque erected in the centre of the city. The city was later abandoned due to unknown reasons. The exact location of Mansura remained a matter of controversy among the researchers. Later the mass of ruins known as Dalur was identified as being the site of defunct Mansura city, which is situated at a distance of about 13 km from Shahdadpur railway station. The excavations carried out at Dalur in 1920-22 have revealed Arab coins, the remains of the Mosque and certain other relics.
5) Enlist salient characteristics features of the Muslim architect.
Islamic architecture is distinctive, featuring regional variations in both Islamic and non-Islamic countries. The distinctive architectural features almost common in all the Muslim monuments of South Asia such as:
Openness which symbolizes Muslim broadmindedness, tolerance, and enlightenment.
Balance and coherence, which is the basic principle of the Islamic way of life.
Use of arch, minaret, dome and double dome, which expressed the Muslim aesthetic sense.
Use of vertical lines instead of horizontal lines which gives the building an air of loftiness, driving an upward motion.
Long Questions/ Answers
1) Define culture; elaborate its importance in human life.
Culture is a vast term. The term applied to the positive or negative characteristics on the basis of which a community or nation is identified and distinguished from other human groups. The sum total of the higher achievements of group life, which a community or nation has acquired through its historical experience in different fields like the physical sciences, social sciences, arts, crafts, religion, ethics, and social behaviour, is called its culture. Dr.Jameel Jalibi has defined culture in the following words:
“Culture, therefore, connotes the entire range of a society’s makeup such as religion, faith, morals, customs, laws, learning, arts, crafts, hobbies and leisure which a man acquires as a member of society, and whose use and adoption enables the different and sometimes dissimilar individuals and groups to develop common interests and acquire common appearance and traits. Culture makes a man capable of distinguishing between uncivilized behaviours and urbanity, thus raising the arts and crafts to a higher level.”
According to T S Eliot ‘culture’ denotes the living patterns of the people living in a particular area or region. It is reflected in their arts, customs habits, religion, and many other things.
Importance of culture in human life:
Culture is the invisible bond, which ties people together. It refers to the pattern of human activity. The art, literature, language, and religion of a community represent its culture. Our cultural values and beliefs manifest through our lifestyle. Our moral values represent our culture. The importance of culture lies in its close association with the ways of thinking and living. Some of the cultural effects on human beings are:
i. Different Characteristics:
Human communities inhabiting different areas of the world have distinct characteristics which differentiate them from each other. These characteristics bear the imprint of the historical process they have passed through; and the land, climate, and environment they live in.
ii. Role in the Formation of Nations:
Modern sociologists believe that culture plays a decisive role in the formation of nations and nationalities. In modern political science greater stress is laid on the study of political culture and dynamics, while in the past study of political institutions was considered more important.
iii. Pakistani Nationalism:
The relationship between culture and nationality can be easily understood by the study of the Pakistan Movement. Pakistan was not meant to be a national state, pure and simple. The Muslims of India wanted to establish a state, living under which they would safeguard and promote their culture and civilization. In other words, cultural aspirations of the Indian Muslims gave the birth to Muslim nationalism in India, which later came to be known as “Pakistani Nationalism” and the culture as “Pakistani Culture.”
iv. Maintenance of social relationship:
There would be no group life without culture. Culture regulates the behavior of the people and satisfies their primary drives i.e. hunger, shelter, and sex, which enable them to maintain group life. People behave the way of society. Culture has provided a number of checks upon irrationally or irresponsibly. It has kept a social relationship intact.
Culture is the unique possession of man. No one can develop human qualities without culture. It distinguishes the personality of the individual and structure of the group. Culture and customs are the central resources for strengthening unity and harmony in families and communities.
2) Give a summary of the Toynbee’s findings regarding the culture of our area.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee was a British historian, philosopher of history, research professor of International History at the London School of Economics and the University of London and author of numerous books. He was the most eminent of all the western historians and his book “A Study of History” is still considered a most authentic treatise, on the history of civilization and the art of historiography. He was greatly inspired by Ibn-e-Khaldun’s Tarikh-ul-Ibar. The first volume of Toynbee’s history appeared in 1934. In this book, he has given valuable information about the history of Indus Valley Civilization. Some of the historical aspects of them were:
The Archaeological Department of the Government of India carried out excavations at Mohenjo Daro in northwestern Sindh and at Harappa in the Punjab, northeast of Multan. They have brought to light the material remains of an ancient culture, which is closely related to the ancient culture of Sumerians in Iraq. The affinity falls short of absolute identity.
The life span of the community at Moenjodaro is to be dated between 3250 and 2750 BC. (It was revealed in the later period through investigations made with the help of newly devised scientific instruments that this culture was actually less older than it was estimated by Arnold Toynbee. These findings dated it at 2600 BC. The ancient city of Kot Diji in Sindh is older than Mohenjo Daro.)
Some Turks like some Aryas crossed the Hindu Kush and descended upon India, while other Turks like other Aryas made their way westward as far as Syria. (This incidence manifests the ethnic affinity between the Pakistan people and the races of the Middle East.)
Sir John Marshall is the person who did pioneer work on the Indus Valley Civilization. According to him, there is complete uniformity of culture between Mohenjo Daro and Harappa, though the cities are located at a distance of nearly 650 km from each other.
The domain of this culture extends into Balochistan, but Balochistan was not an important seat of it.
There is no evidence, yet forthcoming for the presence of “the Indus Culture’ in the Ganges Basin.
Summary of Toynbee’s Findings:
Toynbee’s findings can be summarized as:
The area that now forms Pakistan had a distinct cultural identity, even in the remotest past.
History shows that the territory of Pakistan was culturally linked with the Middle East and not with the Ganges Valley.
The people of Pakistan have a closer ethnic affinity with the racial groups settled in the Middle East.
3) Write an essay on ‘Fine Arts in Pakistan’.
Art is a collective term used to signify a vast array of cultural as well as historic traditions that signify a certain civilization or era. The art in Pakistan has been greatly influenced by various regions, which include the Persian Empire along with the Afghan and Mughal Empire. Over the years, ethnic art and crafts of Pakistan have gained popularity in the world. The aesthetes from all over the world and the critics of arts in all departments of fine arts are attracted to experience and discover the boundless depth and beauty of Pakistani culture which has been attempted as:
1. Excavations at Harappa and Mohenjo Daro:
Excavations at Harappa and Mohenjo Daro have revealed that the people of this land had achieved a level of advancement in the fields of architecture and urban planning. They built houses, swimming pools, public baths, and marketplaces. These buildings were airy and bright and were provided with an excellent drainage system. Sahibzada Abdur Rasul said:
“The onlooker is deeply impressed by the urban layout and organization of Moenjodaro and Taxila, buildings of the Khanqahs and gardens laid out in the Muslim period, palaces, mausoleums, and masjids decorated with exquisite floral motifs. Lions of Mohenjo Daro and Sirkap, monasteries of Takht Bhai and Julian, fortress of Attock and Ruhtas, places and gardens of Lahore, Badshahi Mosques of Thatta and Lahore, Mausoleums of Shah Rukn-e-Alam (RA) (Multan) Jam Nizam-ud-Din (Makli) and Jahangir (Lahore) are the excellent masterpieces of our architectural skills.”
2. Excellence in various Arts:
People of Harappa, Mohenjo Daro and Gandhara had attained excellence in the art of melting metals and making ornaments and seals and carving out sculptures. During the Muslim period, the craftsmen attained excellence in the art of making glazed tiles printed with floral and geometrical designs.
3. Rich Tradition of styles in Paintings:
Pakistan has a very rich tradition in different styles of painting. Starting from the anonymous painters of the murals at But Kara (Sawat) the tradition enriched itself through the ages; especially notable are miniature paintings of the Mughal period and later the masterpiece of Abdur Rahman Chughtai and Ustad Allah Bukhsh in the twentieth century AD.
4. Wood carving and engraving, making glazed and painted earthenware, engraving and inlay work on brass, copper and alloy utensils and the art of making delicate ornaments are the specialties. Pakistani excel in and are appreciated throughout the civilized world.
Our calligraphists have demonstrated great promise by keeping abreast with the spirit of the modern age and evolving newer modes of expression. Prominent among these are Abdul Majeed Parveen Raqam, Hafiz Yousaf Sadidi, Sayyad Anwar Hussain Nafees Raqam, Khurshid Alam Gohar Raqam, Sadiqain, and Aslam Kamal.
6. Festive Dresses:
The tradition of making festive, as well as beautiful informal male and female dresses, has been kept alive by the Pakistani craftsmen. Woolen Patti of Gilgit and Swat, Shawls and gowns of Kashmir, Phulkari of the Punjab and the NWFP, Chapa or the block printed bed sheets of Bahawalpur, Khairpur, and Multan, Ajrak and Bandhanu of Sindh are the products liked by the people not only in Pakistan but also outside.
7. Carpet Waving:
The areas of Pakistan have a centuries-old tradition of making hand-knotted carpets. Lahore is the oldest centre of carpet making. The special varieties of carpets are done in Kashmir, the NWFP, Balochistan, and Sindh, which include Namdas and Ghalichas.
8. Festivals’ Celebrations:
Melas are celebrated on the birth anniversaries of the Sufi saints and on special seasonal and harvesting occasions apart from Eid and religious festivals. Festivals are more popular in rural areas and reflect the rural culture.
Wrestling, Kabaddi, Malakhra, Volleyball, and football are the most favourite sports in Pakistan’s villages. Hockey is our national sport. Pakistan has produced some of the world’s finest sportsmen in the fields of Hockey, Cricket and Squash.
Fine arts have a great contribution to promoting the establishment of Pakistan as a modern country. Pakistan is a country that has its roots in historic culture more than 5000 years old and contains reminiscences of the Indus civilization. The ancient artifacts found in all over the country have explained that the region was very advanced in fine arts activities and had a rich culture, which has left its mark on much of our literature, painting, architecture, as well as societal norms.
4) What are the cultural characteristics common among different parts of Pakistan?
The cultural manifestation of a Muslim society emerges from the spiritual and moral principles enunciated by Islam. Pakistan is a Muslim country and Islam is the dominant feature of Pakistani culture, which is highlighted by its simplicity, firm convictions and noble deeds and ideas.
Common Characteristics of Pakistani Culture:
The common characteristics of Pakistani culture are:
1. Religious Unity:
More than 96 percent of the people in Pakistan are Muslims. They have a deep love for their faith and are ready to render any sacrifice in the name of religion. This love and devotion for Islam served as the basic motive force behind their struggle for a free homeland, Pakistan.
2. Heterogeneous Character:
Pakistan is not inhabited by a single ethnic group. The area, which now forms Pakistan, attracted people from different parts of the world. These people came here and made this land their permanent homeland. The social system, which is now identified as “Pakistani Culture” has emerged as a synthesis of Arab, Iranian, Greek, British, and a number of other cultural impacts.
3. The practice of Joint Family System:
The joint family system is practiced and young members of the family pay respect to elders while the head of the family is an elderly male and women are honoured.
4. Simple Living Patterns:
The common people live on simple primitive patterns.
5. Simple and Graceful Dresses:
Men and women wear simple and graceful dresses in their daily life. Men wear sherwani and cap on formal occasions and Eids. Salwar Kameez is the common female attire with dupatta and chadar.
6. Marriage Patterns:
Marriage is taken as a sacred vow in Pakistani culture which binds the two individuals for the whole of life. The bride and groom start their new life with the religious ceremony of Nikah. Although the display of dowry, mehndi, firework, extravagant lighting, singing, and dancing are un-Islamic practices, which have now become a part of the marriage ceremonies in Pakistan. The incidents of divorce are very low as compared to Western societies.
7. Celebrations at the occasion of baby’s birth:
It is a common practice in Pakistani culture that people celebrate the occasion of the birth of a baby. Azaan is called in the ears of the baby just after his or her birth. People distributed sweets amongst friends, neighbours, and gifts are also given to the newborn.
8. Consolation on the occasion of death:
It is very common in Pakistan that neighbours, friends, and relatives gather together to console the bereaved family on the incident of death. The bereaved family is also given food by the relatives for three days.
5) Examine and evaluate the culture of Pakistan with reference to, Mohenjo Daro, Taxila, and Gandhara.
The land where the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is situated today had been a seat of the world’s leading Civilizations. Pakistan is endowed with a large number of ancient sites and historic structures, which observed many civilizations in the past such as Indus Valley civilization and Gandhara civilization.The remains of this civilization have been found at Harappa and Mohenjo Daro. The majestic Gandhara appeared in the later period and took over extensive areas of the Power Plateau.
1. Mohenjo Daro:
The name of Mohenjo Daro is widely recognized as one of the most important early cities of South Asia. Mohenjo Daro means “Mound of the Dead” in Sindhi but this is not the original name of the city. It was given after the ruins of the city, which were unearthed in the last century. The ruins of Mohenjo Daro cover an area of more than five km and lie scattered on the right bank of the River Indus. It is located about 320 km north of Karachi. One of the most spectacular structures at Moenjodaro is the ‘Great Bath’, which is astonishingly well preserved. The city also had a well-planned sewage system with regular manhole covers. The House drains were made of clay pipes and were connected to the sewers by open brick gutters.
The ruins of the historic site Taxila are located at a distance of 16 km from Islamabad. It was the centre of the magnificent Gandhara civilization. According to the mythical accounts of the Jain Mat, the city is many million years old, but the excavations made at the site of the city reveal that it was founded in the year 600 BC.
The city flourished for about one thousand years. The other sites excavated around the city of Taxila are much older than Taxila itself. Sarai Khola is one of these areas, which the experts believe is older than Harappa and Mohenjo Daro. It also seems to be closely linked with Kot Diji.
In the days of Ashoka, Taxila emerged as the paramount seat of knowledge, culture, art, learning, most modern in its time and unique throughout the world. The Universities of Taxila catered the needs of a large number of students, from all over the world to study Buddhism, arithmetic, surgery, and philosophy. The exquisite pieces of sculpture turned out by the workshops in Gandhara receive greater acclaim from the art critics, than any other style in the subcontinent.
It is another remarkable site in the chain of Gandhara cities. The name was given by the archaeologist in the last century. Bhir Mound was a part of the Iranian Achaemenid Empire. This dynasty ruled from 518 to 359 BC. At the time of Alexander’s onslaught in the year 326 BC, the city was alive and vibrant. The organized and well-planned cities of Sirkap and Sirsukh, the temple of Jandyal and the Buddhist monastery at Julian are the sites of great Hindu and Buddhist archaeological and religious interest.
The Valley of Swat is located at the boundary of the Gandhara and was an important centre of ancient Buddhist civilization. The Valley of Swat is held in high religious esteem by the followers of Buddhism, especially by the sect prevalent in Tibet. The statues of Buddha and utensils found in the valley are objects of keen interest for historians. Though the marks and ruins of Gandhara civilization can be found throughout Northern Pakistan, its heritage has been saved more in true form in Taxila, Bhir Mound, and Swat valley.
Cultural heritage and glorious past plays a vital role in the development of any nation and serves as a source of inspiration and pride for its people. Pakistan’s ancient lineage provides us with a distinct identity. These Civilizations are primarily a symbol of human development in the area of human knowledge, religion, art, and history for the world to come to a great extent.
6) Why gender equality is essential for the creation of a cultured society.
“Gender equity” refers to the existence of equal opportunities and rights between women and men across both private and public spheres, which allow and ensure that they can pursue the life they wish to lead. In most societies, there are clear patterns of women’s and men’s work both in the household and in the wider community. The general pattern is that women have less personal autonomy, fewer resources at their disposal, and limited influence over the decision-making processes that shape their societies and their own lives. This pattern of disparity based on gender is both a human rights and a development issue.
Gender Equity Issues:
For the building of just and equitable society, equality between men and women is the foremost imperative, but unfortunately, in spite of all the efforts made by the Prophets and reformers, the human society has so far failed to achieve this objective. The West, notwithstanding all its professions and high-sounding claims, is in no better position than the East. The western world has exploited the women in the name of emancipation and deprived her natural purity. According to a survey conducted lately in the UK, 98 % of the women expressed an earnest desire to return to their family life but found them helpless because neither the husband nor the father was ready to welcome them back. A lot of the women in the backward and less literate societies are no better than the so-called civilized societies. Women are suffering from several problems in underdeveloped countries i.e.
The woman is facing a problem of lesser status. Her birth is a burden for the family. In many areas, women are turning out of their homes only because they had given birth to a female child is very common.
Women are made to work as peasants and field labour in our rural areas.
In the feudal setup, the woman is confined within the boundaries of the feudal houses like slave women.
Honour killing of a woman is now a common practice. Our social system is generally inclined to favour men, women are convicted notwithstanding the fallacy of the charge levied against her, and women are not even given a chance to plead innocent in the court of law.
In our country, the literacy rate in the lower income groups is generally very low; in women, it is even lower.
Women are not provided adequate legal and constitutional safeguards of their rights, leaders of the public opinion also made high-sounding claims about these rights, but all this has failed to better the women’s lot. Apparently, the women have been provided adequate legal and constitutional safeguards, yet the social taboos remain interposed between them and justice.
Importance of Gender Equity for a Cultured Society:
Gender identities and gender relations are critical aspects of culture because they shape daily life. Changes in gender relations are often highly contested, in part because they have immediate implications for everyone, women, and men. This immediacy also means that gender roles – and particularly women’s roles as wives and mothers – can be potent symbols of cultural change or cultural continuity.
Gender equity makes good economic and social sense. It shows that if female farmers had the same access as male farmers to agricultural inputs and services, they could substantially increase the yields on their farms.
Gender equity aims at improving gender relations and roles, and achieving gender equality by creating social relations.
The promotion of gender equality is a matter of respecting human dignity, and of making use of the full spectrum of views, works, and challenges to achieve a truly “cultured” life.
Gender equity can be a powerful tool to counter negative, misogynist practices through a process of community-based dialogue, consensus, and action.
Gender equality is important for national development, the respect for human rights, and building open and inclusive societies. This can be measured by the extent to which women and men enjoy equal opportunities, resources and outcomes in key domains such as political participation, education and labour force participation.
7) Give an account of the rights Islam guaranteed for the women.
Rights of women in Islam:
Man and woman are the two wheels, which carry the caravan of civilization ahead. Both have equal importance. Islam is the religion of humanity. This is as old as humanity itself. Prophet Muhammad S.A.W was the last prophet of Allah and it was at his hand that the message of Islam was completed. Women were treated as a second rate human being in most of the societies before Islam. Greeks claimed themselves to be the most cultured and civilized people in the world, yet the status of women in the Greek city-states was no better than slaves. They were not entitled to even the right to vote. Old Hindu scriptures are full of derogatory remarks about women. The slogan of women emancipation, though very attractive appearance, resulted in more exploitation and worsening of a lot of the women. As late as in 1918 the British women were given a right to vote. American women had to wait for another ten years before they were enfranchised (1928). Islam gives women many rights, which can be classified as:
In primitive societies, the woman was considered to be an unclean and polluted creature. Islam restored her honour. Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. For the last four thousand years, billions of people are performing Hajj every year and following the tradition Sunnah of Hazrat Hajrah.
2. Right to life:
Blood of a woman is sacred and inviolable in the eyes of Islam as that of a man. One who murders a woman is subjected to the death penalty as the killers of a man.
3. The right of property:
In many societies, the woman was not given the right of property. Islam gave women full property rights of ownership and made her legally entitled to the inheritance of her father and husband. She can hold property in her name and no one including her husband is allowed to make use of this property without her permission.
4. Right to equality:
Men and women have equal rights in Islam as a general principle, the specific rights and responsibilities granted to them are not identical. Men and women have complementary rights and responsibilities. Islam has treated women generally at par with men in the matter of right. The Holy Quran says:
“… And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; but men have a degree (of advantage) over them. And Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.” (Al Baqarah 228)
Since the family unit is run like a miniature state and no state can be run without someone who heads it, Islam has given the man the position of the head of the family.
5. Right to Basic Necessities of Life:
The man has been made responsible for providing the women with necessities of life. She cannot be forced to earn a livelihood for herself or her children and husband. This is perhaps the only reason for which Allah has given men superiority over women. This has been explained in Surah An-Nisa:
“… Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they (men) support them from their means.” (An-Nisa 34)
6. Right to be Treated Fairly:
Hazrat Omer RA said,“Once I admonished my wife and she retaliated in the same tone, it was a new experience for me because in the days before Islam we gave little importance to women, Islam forbade us from treating them harshly”. The Prophet S.A.W said, “The best amongst you are those who treat their wives best.”
7. Right to be consulted with:
Islam established a tradition of consulting women and giving their opinions due consideration. The Prophet S.A.W allowed his wives to travel with him when he set out for important expeditions; he consulted them on matters of importance. On Hudaibiya Treaty, he was able to overcome a problem by acting upon an opinion rendered by Hazrat Umm-e-Salamah RA. Hazrat Omer RA made a very important decision by following the opinion of his daughter Umm-ul-Momineen Hazrat Hafsa RA. Many knowledgeable companions of the Prophet S.A.W consulted Hazrat Ayesha RA in important matters, the companions held her in high esteem for her juristic opinions.
8. Right to Social life and Attainment of Knowledge:
Opponents generally allege that Islam bars women from acquiring knowledge and wants to confine them within the boundaries of their homes. This is true that Islam does not allow women to mix freely with men. Islam believes that men and women, by virtue of their creation, are meant to perform duties different from each other and their free contact may cause damage to the society. But on the other hand, Islam not only encourages female education, but it also makes it obligatory upon every Muslim woman to acquire knowledge, in the same way as it does for men. Women form nearly fifty percent of any society, avoidance of free and unnecessary interaction between the genders shall automatically imply that at least fifty percent of the total doctors and teachers and persons in all other important places should be taken from the female half of the society.
Before the advent of Islam, women were deprived of their rightful status. They were considered shameful, and female children were buried alive. After the Islam woman has given all the rights. Allah and Prophet Muhammad S.A.W granted the rights of Muslim women more than 1400 years ago. Quran and Sunnah present the best example of giving the rights to the woman. Islam considers a woman equal to a man as a human being and as his partner in life.
8) What strategy has been adopted for women participation in national affairs under the Devolution Plan?
Women participation in national affairs under the Devolution Plan:
The issue of gender equity in terms of representation and participation in various governing institutions has gained global attention. The concept of good governance has certain rules such as equity, effective participation, and strong legal structure, which considers the contribution of both men and women in different developmental activities.
Therefore, when the Chief of the Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf came to power on October 12, 1999, and assumed the office of the Chief Executive, he envisioned a new political system in the country in which power was to be devolved on the common person at grass-root level and women were to be made an equal partner in sharing of power with men as women comprise of 48% of the total population of Pakistan. He launched a “Devolution of Power and Responsibility Plan.” The Devolution Plan consists of 33 % quota for women in local councils and 17 % quota for women in legislative assemblies. This measure was perceived as an elevation of the status of women within the political structure of Pakistan.
Strategy for Women’s Participation in Union council:
Union Council is the basic unit of the new District Government System. Under the Devolution Plan, every Union Council shall be composed of 21 members out of these 6 seats shall be reserved for women. Of these 2 seats have been earmarked for ‘Kisan’ female members. (Women working as peasants or agriculture labourers). This quota shall not bar the women from contesting for the remaining 15 seats.
Woman Participation in District Council:
District Council is the highest institution of the District Government. Women have been given 33 percent representation in the District Government. This is a very big ratio as compared with the representative bodies in the rest of the world.
Woman Participation in Legislative Assemblies:
The Government has also enhanced the quota of women in the legislative assemblies at provincial as well as at the federal level. After the constitutional amendment brought about for this purpose, women representation in Pakistan’s legislative assemblies works out as:
The Legislative Assembly
Women Seats under the 1973 Constitution
Present Position of the women Seats
This quota does not bar the women to contest for general seats. It was envisaged that the district governments should play a role socially in nature, while the legislative assemblies are law-making bodies. Law made by the Assemblies has a wider range of influence. In addition to these statutory arrangements, the media has launched special programmes for women. These programmes are creating a better understanding of women for social problems and giving them a sense of participation. APWA, an organization working for the rights of women has been reorganized to work more effectively.
Women’s equal and full participation in decision-making is extremely important for good governance, poverty alleviation, and equitable human resource development in developing countries. It is widely believed that without including women that constitute nearly half of the world’s population in the process of governance, nations cannot reach their economic development. They now have a more substantial role to play in every sphere of life, which has changed their traditional relationship to work and family. Equality in terms of gender representation and participation is recognized as a crucial factor for development worldwide. The Devolution Plan shows that a new revolution in the life of Pakistani women has set in, with reference to safeguarding their social and political rights and ensuring their constructive participation in the task of nation-building.
9) Write an essay on “Be Pakistani, Buy Pakistani”.
The economy is the most important factor that plays a vital role in the development of a nation, which is largely based on imports and exports. If a country is able enough to produce goods to complete its own needs then it will have a strong economic base. Underdeveloped countries like Pakistan do not use their own producing goods widely. The phenomenon of using imported and branded goods and neglecting local goods in Pakistan is growing gradually which is resulting in backwardness and economic decline of the country.
Be Pakistani, Buy Pakistani:
History bears that only those nations made real economic progress, which had once decided to adopt the habit of using their indigenous products and had remained religiously committed to this vow. Pakistanis have never adopted the habit of patronizing their national products and perhaps one of the paramount causes of our retarded economic growth. The People of Pakistan are in an immutable habit of using imported goods instead of using locally manufactured items. The consumer decision to buy a particular brand is affected by different factors such as to express the personality, social status etc.
Measures to prevent using of imported goods:
History is evident that only those nations made real progress who at one decided to use their indigenous products and maintain their national identity. Therefore, the following measures should be taken as initial steps to reduce the dependency on imported goods:
Abandon the Use of Imported Goods: The leaders of the public opinion should serve as a role model for the people by publicly announcing to abandon the use of imported goods.
Improvement in the quality of Products: The standard and quality of the local products should be improved and brought at par with the imported goods.
Provision of incentives: It is necessary that tax holidays and other incentives should be provided to local manufacturers to improve the standards of indigenous products.
Purchasing of Pakistan-made Products: Pakistani people, who live outside the country, should buy the products from Pakistani stores, which also contain the products made in Pakistan. They can buy Pakistani made clothes and Pakistani food items. This will help in improving the image of Pakistan in the world.
Media Campaigns: The media should be employed for creating awareness among the people. People should be told that they should ‘be Pakistani, buy Pakistani’ and that this is the only way to make our nation economically strong and stable.
Pakistan is a country, which highly depends on trade because the country needs to import a variety of goods to fulfill the increasing demands resulting from its economic recovery and development. Unfortunately, Pakistan’s Imports have generally been greater than its exports and it has to face the problem in balance of trade. The government and media should play a vital role to reduce the effect of imported trade and goods on Pakistani people and to export its own goods in the international market. So that Pakistan’s standard can be raised in the global world.
10) Highlight the social characteristics of Pakistan with reference to family life . and social customs.
Family life and Social Customs in Pakistani Culture:
Family is a basic and very important unit in the Pakistani culture. The respect and honour is the foundation of the family, therefore people in the family life for the respect and dignity of the family. The Pakistani culture, customs, and traditions are an amalgamation of the Arab, Persian and native cultures. However, these greatly differ in all regions or provinces of the country. The notable features of the Culture of Pakistan are:
The joint family system is practiced, young members of the family pay due respect to elders.
Head of the family is an elderly male and the woman is honoured. They are considered to be the guardians of the family and play a significant role with respect to the well-being of their family unit. The major decisions in the family are taken by them and their words must go unquestioned.
In the rituals and customs, regarding marriage and mourning, un-Islamic local traditions dominate.
Common people live on simple primitive patterns.
Women are eligible to get their share from father and husband’s inheritance.
Majority of the women are chaste and observe ‘Pardah’. These needs are also granted in the designing of houses.
Honour and vanity are the values rated so high that people like to live and die for them.
Dresses have always been the most prominent feature in the culture of any nation. That is why Pakistan also has a specific dress, which represents the national culture. Men and women wear a simple and graceful dress in daily life. Men wear sherwani and cap on formal occasions and Eids. “Shalwar kameez’ is the common female attire, with dupatta and cheddar worn on the head. Men also use western dress in offices and educational institutions.
The routine diet of the people is simple. Festive food is prepared for special occasions.
Marriage is taken as a sacred vow that binds two individuals for the whole of life. Bride and groom start their new life with the religious ceremony of Nikkah. Display of the dowry, Mehandi, firework, extravagant lighting, singing, and dancing are the un-Islamic practices, which have now become part of the marriage ceremonies.
Family system in Pakistan is very sound and stable; incidence of divorce is extremely low when compared with western society.
Azan is called in the ears of the newborn just after his or her birth. Sweets are distributed amongst friends, neighbours and gifts are given to the newborn.
Neighbours, friends, and relatives gather together to console the bereaved family on the incident of death. The full helping hand is given in the fitting out of the corpse (tajheez-o-takfeen), carrying of the body to the graveyard (janaza), and the interment. (Tadfeen or burial) the bereaved family is given food by the relatives for three days.
The real beauty of any nation lies within its traditions, values, and culture and the organization that is called a “Family.” In Pakistan, a family is not merely a group of people who are together just by nature, here family is a “bond of relationships” in which people are joint to each other with emotional ties. They give respect to their customs and traditions and pay due attention to family values, which lead to a happy, healthy, and prospering society. Thus it is rightly said that one good family builds a good community, then all good communities build a good society and at the end, all good societies jointly fabricate a successful nation.