Pakistan is an Islamic republic in South Asia. The sovereign state appeared relatively recently, in 1947, as part of the disintegrated British India. It is a large country, the sixth largest in the world. More than 188 million people live in Pakistan, which is even more than in Russia. Civilization here arose in the III-II millennia BC. Then the territory was inhabited by the Aryans.
After the campaign of Alexander the Great, these lands were saturated with the spirit of Hellenism. And from the VIII century, Islam began to spread here. In the 19th century, the territory of what is now Pakistan was invaded by the British. Here wars are constantly waged with neighbors, military coups are carried out.
Pakistan is not a country where many tourists go. Lack of information gives rise to myths about Pakistan, which we will try to debunk.
Pakistan is a hot country. It has a predominantly dry continental climate. It is really warm on the plains in winter - 12 degrees. But in the highlands, the temperature can drop to -20 degrees.
In Pakistan, few people know English. In Pakistan, you can choose English to study, many people work with it. It is believed that it is needed for personal and career growth. Much of the country has long been an English colony that has shaped the local culture. Words and phrases in Urdu are mixed in everyday life with English, in this language people think. By the way, this is one of the official languages of the country. The Constitution is also written on it.
Pakistan is part of the Middle East. Pakistan shares an Islamic identity with several countries in the Middle East. But this country does not belong to this region or the Arab world. Pakistanis have much more in common with Indians, residents of Sri Lanka and Nepal. If you look at the map, then from the Middle East to Pakistan, two thousand kilometers.
There are no normal beaches in Pakistan. The southern coast of the country has many miles of beautiful coastline. Unfortunately, cities near the sea pollute the water area with industry. In Karachi, people are crazy about their beach, despite the poor water quality. Water sports in this city are an important part of the recreational life. For the beaches in Pakistan, you have to go to secluded wild places. Jivani town on the shores of the Arabian Sea has stunning sunsets and a great beach. It is considered one of the best in the world.
There are only terrorists in Pakistan. If you watch Hollywood blockbusters, you might get this impression. Meanwhile, a peaceful life is going on in the country with might and main, people are actively behaving, traveling, resting. In 2009, over 90% of citizens spoke out against al-Qaeda and the Taliban. 70% of citizens are worried about the problem of extremism in the country.
Pakistanis are Wakhabis. The vast majority of people in Pakistan were not enrolled in Wakhabist schools. The growth in the number of adherents of this doctrine in recent years has not affected the majority of students.
American music and television are banned in Pakistan. There are no such restrictions in Pakistan. The myth was born by those who did not bother to visit this country.
Pakistani natives find it difficult to adapt to new countries. This country is densely populated, which is why many of its inhabitants are looking for a better life in other countries. Knowledge of the English language is an important asset. Usually Pakistanis adapt quite well to the new environment. The delay may be to learn the rules of the road that are different for each country.
Diwali is celebrated here. This holiday of the victory of good over evil is central to Hinduism. So Hindus celebrate it. For Pakistan, the celebration is not a significant event.
All women in Pakistan wear the burqa. Part of the country's population strives to lead a secular lifestyle. Women are not at all obliged to cover their heads and wear a burqa, to be isolated from any social events. The norms of public morality are much softer here than in Saudi Arabia.
Pakistani women slaughtered. Local women are sometimes even considered overly aggressive. They try to use their brains and achieve equality on all fronts: in creativity, education, work, leadership.
Women obey men. Most of the women here are as educated as the men. In some remote areas of the country, of course, gender rights are not respected. But this is an exception for the whole country. Yes, and Islam still gives men and women equal rights. Many Pakistanis living in the United States behave in an absolutely civilized manner, jointly managing a household. And in Pakistan, many women participate in politics. And Benazir Bhutto even managed to achieve the post of prime minister, becoming the first female head of a Muslim country.
Pakistanis prefer vegetarian food. In this country you can see vegetarians, but this is not an imposed thinking, but a chosen way of life. Residents love meat, with the exception of pork. The reasons for this are cultural and religious.
Arabic and Persian are native to Pakistan. There are many spoken languages in the country. These are Urdu, English, Pashto, Sindhi, Punjabi, Shiraiki and others. The Arabic language is studied only as an option in the schools of Punjab, but it is not spoken in the country. If you try to buy something in a local store, explaining yourself in Arabic, people will even get scared. To assume that everyone in Pakistan knows this language is analogous to the fact that all Americans or British people know Latin.
The caste system is widespread in Pakistan. Local culture considers all people to be equal. Only the pious deserve more respect. Pakistanis do not divide people into castes, according to skin color, origin, appearance. The caste system is a Hindu tradition, and even then it is rapidly disappearing, as it hinders the development of the country.
Pakistanis are no different from Indians. Pakistanis have their own cultural heritage, unlike Indians. Representatives of the two nationalities are similar in appearance and accents, but they represent completely different layers. Pakistanis are predominantly Muslim, and in India the majority adhere to the Hindu faith. But there are also Muslims there, numbering up to a third. Here they are very similar to the Pakistanis in relation to various issues and problems.
Pakistanis don't like Hindus. The two major countries have serious political differences over Kashmir. But most of the citizens of the two countries have the same values, respecting each other. Both Pakistanis and Indians want to settle the unresolved issues between the countries not with the help of weapons, but in a civilized way. By working with each other, people treat their colleagues from a neighboring country with respect. Polls showed that in a foreign country 81% of Indians and Pakistanis are getting closer, only 3% of Pakistanis do not believe in friendship with Indians.
Pakistanis are in conflict with Jews. Most Pakistanis are worried about the conflict in the Middle East. They want the Palestinians to find their free homeland. But the conflict must be resolved peacefully and fairly. There is a minority that hates Jews in any state. Local Muslims are not directly involved in the conflict in the Middle East.
Everyone here rides camels. Once again, the myth arose from the confusion with the Arabs and the Middle East. Some people never see a camel in their entire lives in Pakistan. People here prefer other means of transportation, more modern: trains and cars. For example, Pakistan is the largest market for Toyota Corolla.
Pakistan is a US ally. In fact, the country only looks after its own national interests. The security service cooperates with the United States, receives help from there, but personal goals are always in the foreground. During the Cold War, America considered Pakistan its ally in the fight against the USSR. In the 1980s, the United States provided substantial assistance - about $ 8 billion at current prices. At the same time, Pakistan has always pursued its own policy. When President Ayub launched the war with India in 1965, when unrest in Bengal was brutally suppressed in 1971, Washington was not consulted. After the events of September 11, 2001, Pakistan sometimes helped the United States and sometimes refused to do so.
Pakistan is an ally of the Taliban. Just as Pakistan is not an unconditional ally of the West in the fight against terrorism, there is no unconditional support for the Taliban either. The local military sometimes gives shelter to the Afghan Taliban, but there is no question of transferring modern weapons - anti-tank or anti-aircraft missiles. If Pakistan were really on the side of the Taliban, they would have fought much more effectively. And the Taliban themselves do not trust the Pakistanis, considering them prone to betrayal. However, this attitude is mutual.
The Islamic Revolution is coming to Pakistan. In 2010, polls showed that only 20% of Pakistanis are sympathetic to the Taliban. The masses are not interested in the Islamic revolution, and the rich clans that dominate politics do not want upheavals. The Taliban can gain support in Pakistan only after a large-scale military insurgency.
In Pakistan, everything is run by the military. The country's constitution was adopted in 1972 and reinstated in 1985. Its action was suspended during military coups. The head of state is the president, who is elected by parliament. The government is formed and headed by the prime minister. The army in the country has always played an important role, being the sixth largest in the world. Generals held high civilian positions, participating in politics. At times, the military took control of the government. But the last military coup took place back in 1999. The current president of the country, Mamnoon Hussein, is not a career soldier.
Polygamy is widespread in Pakistan. In this country, polygamy is officially allowed. But there are few such families in Pakistan. And men are more likely to evoke not envy, but sympathy. Polygamy comes with a lot of responsibility. The Qur'an says that if a man is afraid of his injustice, then he should have one wife. Moreover, only a wealthy person can afford to have several wives. Yes, and wives live separately, simultaneous sexual relations are not allowed. And every woman can be protected by her relatives.
There is no prostitution in Pakistan. In this country, Islamic laws prohibit the sale of your body. And the growth in the number of extremist groups leads to the fact that prostitutes even risk their lives. Nevertheless, the practice of providing sexual services exists. Some women become the result of human trafficking, others have always worked in this area, and still others are trying to find additional income with the help of a pimp. Victims of trafficking work in brothels, volunteers in the process work as call girls, accompanied by a pimp. There is also a problem with underage prostitutes. In 2003, there were about 20 thousand of them in the country. Girls 13-15 years old are sometimes trafficked by their own families. Studies have shown that in large cities of the country, many people provide intimate services. Karachi and Lahore is a base of call girls. But prostitution is scattered across all urban areas, there are no pronounced “red light districts” here.
There are no gays in Pakistan. It turns out that homosexuals feel great in this patriarchal society. True, they have to hide their relationship from society. After all, sodomy in Pakistan is a criminal offense. Karachi is generally considered a gay paradise. Here parties, orgies are held underground, marriages of convenience are concluded to cover up real relationships. They provide sex services and masseurs under the guise of additional services. Homosexuality is not at all a phenomenon in Pakistan, many gay men are prominent politicians.
Sports are not developed in Pakistan. Different kinds of sports are popular here, just some more than in the West. They play both football and tennis, but cricket and field hockey are much more interesting. Cricket is the most popular sport in the country and the national team is one of the strongest in the world. In 1992, Pakistan even won the World Cup. Field hockey is the most successful of the Olympic sports. The country has won 10 medals throughout its history, 8 of them in the men's version of field hockey.