Pakistan's business sector is heavily dependent on
agriculture, where just over 40 percent of the economically
active population is employed. The country's development
strategy focuses on increased industrialization and reduced
dependence on raw material exports.
Unlike in India, since independence in 1947, the economy
has been focused mainly on expansion in the private sector.
A small number of financial families control most of the
investments, and the distribution of income and financial
influence is extremely uneven. The economy is dependent on
foreign loans and assistance. Also important are income from
the large number of Pakistanis working abroad, mainly in the
countryaah, about a quarter of Pakistan's land is cultivated land.
Wheat, rice, sugar cane and cotton are the most important
crops. Wheat and rice are the main domestic staple crops,
while rice and cotton are the most important export goods.
Livestock farming is an essential part of the industry and
accounts for almost half of production.
More than 80 percent of production is dependent on
irrigation in connection with the larger rivers. Extensive
dust structures and over-utilization of the irrigation
systems have caused major problems with salting and neglect.
The so-called green revolution has, since the 1960s,
contributed to increased production through increased use of
artificial fertilizers and high-yielding crops, but at the
same time has widened the regional and economic gaps in
agriculture. Like mechanization, it has mainly benefited
larger landowners, while the situation for poor tenant
farmers has hardly improved. The attempts at land reform
made have had very limited effect.
Forestry has no major commercial significance in
Pakistan. The entirely dominant use of wood is for household
fuel. In total, an estimated 33 million m 3 of
round timber was harvested in 2008, of which 30 million m
3 was used for fuel.
Pakistan has good assets on only certain minerals. The
most important mining precious metal minerals are chromite,
but the country also houses large copper deposits as well as
gold deposits. The iron ore is of low quality and is not
used in the steel industry. Quantitatively, the quarrying of
limestone is the most extensive.
The most important commercial energy sources in Pakistan
are natural gas and oil, which in 2008 accounted for 51 and
28 percent of consumption respectively. Then comes coal and
water energy. About 20 percent of the oil is mined in the
country, mainly in the Dhurnal area of northern Pakistan and
from the source at Badin in the south. The natural gas
resources are extensive, and the extraction takes place
mainly in Sui and Mari in the southern Indus Valley. Coal is
available to a lesser extent and the quality is low.
Hydroelectric power stations are located in Indus and some
of its tributaries in northern Pakistan. Energy shortages
are prevalent in both households and industry. Power
distribution is faulty, and power outages are common. Plans
are underway to expand hydropower and to build a larger
thermal power plant near Karachi. Pakistan has two smaller
nuclear power plants.
The industrial heritage from the colonial era was a
poorly developed food and textile industry. After
independence in 1947, both these industries have grown
substantially, while the heavy industry (partly due to the
lack of domestic resources) has not been given the same role
as in India. The most important individual industry branch
is today the cotton industry, but also other lighter, often
small-scale, manufacturing industries are increasing in
importance. Natural gas is an essential base for Pakistan's
industry, as an energy resource, but also as a raw material
in manure production. In the 1970s, during Ali Bhutto's
reign, public investment in heavy industry increased.
However, growth remained low, and so did the subsequent
industrial development, which returned to a strong focus on
private investment; characterized by economic inefficiency
and low productivity. However, the '00s has meant strong
growth in the electronics and automotive industries.
Pakistan's exports are dominated by textile products,
mainly cotton, cotton products, clothing and carpets, as
well as rice and leather. The economically most important
import goods are oil and oil products, machinery and
plastics. The main trading partners are the US and China.
Tourism and gastronomy
Pakistan has good conditions for a developed tourism
industry, but political concerns and competition from more
easily accessible neighboring countries in South Asia mean
that tourist visits are still at a low level. In 2012, the
country was visited by just under 1 million tourists.
For the archaeologically interested, there are some of
humankind's oldest urban formations in Pakistan.
Mohenjo-Daro in Sind, like Harappa further north, exhibits
the remains of a large city from the high culture of
Indusdalen 2500-1700 BC, to which is added interesting
architecture from the beginning of our era. Also Taxila,
just north of Rawalpindi, has the remains of a prehistoric
city, but here it is mainly the expressions of Greek-Indian
mixed culture with from the 100 century AD. which
The art lover can note that Lahore, with its huge palace,
the Baha'i Mosque, the Imperial Garden Shalamar Bagh and its
museum (famous for its miniature collection), is actually
part of the mogul culture that is expressed across the
border in places like Delhi and Agra.
The hiker and mountaineer in northern Pakistan have a
given destination. While mountains like K2 are climbed by a
small crowd, mountain hikes offer lower altitudes, for
example in the Swat Valley, unique scenery and contact with
the many Buddhist monasteries in the area. Gilgit's
surroundings also offer opportunities for downhill skiing.
Spices, leather and groceries and textiles (including
embroidery work and carpets) are offered in the Pakistani
bazaar districts. The capital of Islamabad is the sibling
city of Rawalpindi, against which it contrasts with its
completely modern architecture and city plan.
The food is similar to the Indian, but is rarely as spicy
and slightly oily. Features are also available from the
Afghan and Iranian cuisine. In the northern parts of the
country, peaches, apricots, almonds, apples and mushrooms
are harvested; in combination with fatty tail sheep and
chicken they provide a diet that is tasty and not very
strong. Burra is diluted lamb that is completely
grilled, filled with rice, nuts and raisins. Bread, goat
cheese and yogurt are included in the daily diet.
In Baluchistan, the diet is even more based on the
livestock herds. A common dish is aloo bukhara gosht
(meat stew with plums, nuts, onions and raisins). The Punjab
region is fertile, and here bread is eaten for every meal.
Bread is also often, in combination with different fillings,
a whole dish. Makai ki roti is corn bread eaten
with sargon cheese saw, casserole with mustard
bowl, and sag gosht, spinach meat. In Sind along
the Indus and with access to the sea, seafood is common;
mussels, oysters and crabs are usually served for rice, as
it is in this part of the country that the basmati rice has
its residence. The freshwater fish pallet, which is
grilled, is a local specialty. Another specialty is kori
gosht, lamb saddle marinated in yogurt and then