The military establishment retains enormous influence and is the country’s most powerful political actor, dominating security policy and foreign relations and engaging in interventions that put significant pressure on civilian authorities. Hence, the armed forces are still beyond the authority of either the government or the parliament.

The period under review saw per capita GDP growth rise to 3.7% in 2017, compared to a growth rate of 3.4% in 2016. However, the current account deficit more than doubled between 2015 and 2016, and doubled again in 2017, partly as a reflection of the consumption-driven nature of growth in the country.

Anti-democratic actors have been active in Pakistan since the birth of the country and include the civil-military oligarchy, the intelligence agencies and the landed elite.

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