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Issue like religious intolerance, extremism, gender inequality and sectarianism can impede the growth of any country and Pakistan is no exception.Unless these issues are addressed, it seems pointless to pursue other easier, more palatable areas of concern.

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The general perception about the corporate sector in Pakistan is that they are blood-sucking leeches who don’t really care about anything but their own selfish interests (read profits! You only need to scratch the surface of any conversation and you will find people digging up various dreadful episodes of corporate misdemeanor.

From irresponsible advertising to companies exploiting their monopolistic position, to a complete disregard of customer relationship management, the corporate horror stories in Pakistan are aplenty.

We see Pfizer and PARCO addressing a wide array of social issues and Mobilink coming up with its SMS-based Literacy Initiative.

These examples and many more suggest a much wider and locally workable model of CSR.

In a country with an unaware consumer and an unconcerned media, companies can never see CSR as a survival strategy or core business practice; it will always remain a buzz word.

The Blood Sucking Vampires: One of the biggest issues and the archenemy of good CSR implementation is the socio-cultural complexity of the country.

This perception has not only deterred companies from delivering high quality, but has also made them abandon their CSR programs in favor of more media and PR driven initiatives.

The media is also one of the weaker links in the CSR debate.

That said, the corporate sector in Pakistan has come a long way from its early days of politicized, self-promotional advertising masked as CSR.

I give you below my honest take on the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) landscape in Pakistan, with its share of shiny unicorns, drooling monsters and blood thirsty vampires.

The issues are so complex, varied and often sensitive that companies do not want to tackle them for fear of losing rapport with the people.

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