Geography & an Overview of Pakistan
About Pakistan: (Geography & an Overview of Pakistan)
Islamic Republic of Pakistan  
President: Gen. Pervez Musharraf (2001)
Prime Minister: Shaukat Aziz (2004)
Area: 310,401 sq mile (803,940 sq km) (Ranked 34)
Population (2004 est.): 159,196,336 (Male 51.9%, Female 48.1%, Urban 33.5%, Rural 66.5%) (Growth rate: 2.0%); birth rate: 31.2/1000; infant mortality rate: 77.1/1000; life expectancy: 62.6; density per sq mi: 513, (Ranked 6th)
Literacy Rate: 43.9% (Male 54.81%, Female 32.02%)
GDP: 4,144,319 (fc)
Foreign Reserve: 12,327.9 million US $ (2003-04)
Capital (2003 est.): Islamabad, 951,600
Largest cities: Karachi, 10,573,200; Lahore, 5,756,100; Faisalabad (Lyallpur), 2,247,700; Rawalpindi, 1,598,600; Gujranwala, 1,384,100, Quetta, 670,000, Multan, 310,000, Peshawar, 1,015,000
National Anthem: Pak Sarzamin Shad Bad (Blessed be the Sacred Land)
Sub Divisions (Province): Sind, Punjab, Baluchistan, North West Frontier, Federal Administration Tribal Area, Azad kashmir
Monetary unit: Pakistan rupee
Time Zone: UTC +5
Internet TLD: pk
Calling Code: 92
National Game: Field Hockey & Cricket
Principal languages: Punjabi 48%, Sindhi 12%, Siraiki (a Punjabi variant) 10%, Pashtu 8%, Urdu (official) 8%, Balochi 3%, Hindko 2%, Brahui 1%, English, Burushaski, and others 8%
Ethnicity/race: Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashtun (Pathan), Baloch, Urdu speaking
Religions: Islam 97% (Sunni 77%, Shiite 20%); Christian, Hindu, and other 3%
Literacy rate: 46% (2003 est.)
Economic summary  
GDP/PPP (2003 est.): $317.7 billion; per capita $2,100. Real growth rate: 5.4%. Inflation: 3.1% (FY 02/03 est.). Unemployment: 7.7% plus substantial underemployment. Arable land: 28%. Agriculture: cotton, wheat, rice, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; milk, beef, mutton, eggs. Labor force: 40.4 million; note: extensive export of labor, mostly to the Middle East, and use of child labor (2000); agriculture 44%, industry 17%, services 39% (1999 est.). Industries: textiles, and apparel, food processing, beverages, construction materials, paper products, fertilizer, shrimp. Natural resources: land, extensive natural gas reserves, limited petroleum, poor quality coal, iron ore, copper, salt, limestone. Exports: $11.7 billion (f.o.b., 2003 est.): textiles (garments, cotton cloth, and yarn), rice, leather, sports goods, and carpets and rugs. Imports: $12.51 billion (f.o.b., 2003 est.): petroleum, petroleum products, machinery, chemicals, transportation equipment, edible oils, pulses, iron and steel, tea. Major trading partners: U.S. UAE, UK, Germany, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, China, Japan, Malaysia.
Telephones: main lines in use: 2.861 million (March 1999); mobile cellular: 158,000 (1998). Radio broadcast stations: AM 27, FM 1, shortwave 21 (1998). Radios: 13.5 million (1997). Television broadcast stations: 22 (plus seven low-power repeaters) (1997). Televisions: 3.1 million (1997). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 30 (2000). Internet users: 1.2 million (2000).


Railways: total: 8,163 km (2002). Highways: total: 254,410 km; paved: 109,396 km (including 339 km of expressways); unpaved: 145,014 km (1999). Ports and harbors: Karachi, Port Muhammad Bin Qasim. Airports: 124 (2002).
International disputes:  
Millions of Afghan refugees still reside in Pakistan; isolating terrain and close ties among Pashtuns in Pakistan make cross-border activities difficult to control; armed stand-off with India over the status and sovereignty of Kashmir continues—India objects to Pakistan ceding lands to China in 1965 boundary agreement that India believes are part of disputed Kashmir; disputes with India over Indus River water sharing and the terminus of the Rann of Kutch, which prevents maritime boundary delimitation.
Pakistan is situated in the western part of the subcontinent, with Afghanistan and Iran on the west, India on the east, and the Arabian Sea on the south. The name Pakistan is derived from the Urdu words Pak (meaning pure) and stan (meaning country). It is nearly twice the size of California. The northern and western highlands of Pakistan contain the towering Karakoram and Pamir mountain ranges, which include some of the world's highest peaks: K2 (28,250 ft; 8,611 m) and Nanga Parbat (26,660 ft; 8,126 m). The Baluchistan Plateau lies to the west, and the Thar Desert and an expanse of alluvial plains, the Punjab and Sind, lie to the east. The 1,000-mile-long (1,609 km) Indus River and its tributaries flow through the country from the Kashmir region to the Arabian Sea.
Pakistan was one of the two original successor states to British India, which was partitioned along religious lines in 1947. For almost 25 years following independence, it consisted of two separate regions, East and West Pakistan, but now is made up only of the western sector. Both India and Pakistan have laid claim to the Kashmir region, and this territorial dispute led to war in 1949, and again in 1965, 1971, and 1999, and remains unresolved today.

What is now Pakistan was in prehistoric times the Indus Valley civilization (c. 2500–1700 B.C.). A series of invaders—Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Arabs, Turks, and others—controlled the region for the next several thousand years. Islam, the dominant religion, was introduced in 711. In 1526, the land became part of the Mogul Empire, which ruled most of the Indian subcontinent from the 16th to the mid-18th century. By 1857, the British became the dominant power in the region. With Hindus holding most of the economic, social, and political advantages, the Muslim minority's dissatisfaction grew, leading to the formation of the nationalist Muslim League in 1906 by Mohammed Ali Jinnah (1876–1949). The league supported Britain in the Second World War while the Hindu nationalist leaders, Nehru and Gandhi, refused. In return for the league's support of Britain, Jinnah expected British backing for Muslim autonomy. Britain agreed to the formation of Pakistan as a separate dominion within the Commonwealth in Aug. 1947, a bitter disappointment to India's dream of a unified subcontinent. Jinnah became governor-general. The partition of Pakistan and India along religious lines resulted in the largest migration in human history, with 17 million people fleeing across the borders in both directions to escape the sectarian violence accompanying the partition.
The socioeconomic position of Pakistan in the third world
PIP: The position of Pakistan is compared with respect to other members of the 3rd world according to social and economic indicators of development. A total of 97 countries (32 from Asia and Pacific, 41 from Africa, and 24 from Latin America) are included in the definition of the 3rd world countries. 2 separate procedures are used in the analysis. The first relates to a ranking of the countries on the basis of selected indicators. For this purpose a variation of the Wroclaw Taxonomic Method was used. The 2nd procedure involves the grouping of countries according to the degree of similarity within groups relative to that between groups. The latter procedure is referred to as cluster analysis. The Wroclaw Taxonomic analysis program was run separately for all social, economic, and socioeconomic indices of development. Pakistan is relatively more developed in the demographic, cultural, and health-nutrition indices but is less developed in housing, education, and political areas. As a whole, on the composite social scale, Pakistan occupies 84th position in the 3rd world. Within Asia Pakistan seems to have a reasonably good status having 21st position in the composite index. There is considerable variation among the selected social indicators; the variation is maximum in political data. Pakistan shows significant progress in all economic areas except labor. In the composite index, Pakistan has sound economic status in the 3rd world. In the aggregate socioeconomic index of development, Pakistan has the strongest position in the 3rd world. It is clear from the clustering results that Pakistan, in general, is more similar to the African developing countries than to the countries of her own region. She is relatively better off in terms of economic indicators and is more or less at the same stage as some North and South American countries. The results of these cross-country comparisons can be useful in formulating some "directions" for Pakistan's future development.