Civil society is an emerging arena for social and political change in Pakistan. It includes a vast array of organizations and associations that represent the interests of the country’s population of 145 million to various degrees. Some of them have a long history in Pakistan, such as trade unions, bar associations, teacher’s associations, peasant organizations, student groups, and charity organizations. In this discussion we focus on the organizations and coalitions working in civil society today that are explicitly addressing issues of poverty and human development.
Organizations that share certain characteristics, such as private, not profit distributing, self-governing and voluntary (to some extent) have been grouped by this study as Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs). Based on a nation-wide survey, the study found about 45,000 such organizations active in Pakistan. They have been classified according to the area that each organization termed as its most important service or activity. Religious education is the leading activity of the NPO sector as a whole.download link 1