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Pakistan

Pakistan Guide. Pakistan Country Profile.

Country Profile: Pakistan.

Interesting trivia: Pakistan is geopolitically placed within some of the most controversial regional boundaries which share disputes and have many-a-times escalated military tensions between the nations, e.g. that of Kashmir with India and the Durand Line with Afghanistan.

Strategically located in a position between the important regions of South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a federal parliamentary republic of four provinces and four federal territories. With over 170 million people, Pakistan is the sixth most populated country in the world and has the second largest Muslim population after Indonesia. It is an ethnically and linguistically diverse nation with a similar variation in its geography and wildlife.

Pakistan is a rapidly developing country. Nowadays, Pakistan is regarded as to having the second largest economy in South Asia, being the 27th largest economy in the world in terms of purchasing power. The structure of the Pakistani economy has changed from a mainly agricultural base to a strong service base. Significant foreign investments have been made in several areas including telecommunications, real estate and energy, whereas wide-ranging economic reforms have resulted in a stronger economic outlook and accelerated growth especially in the manufacturing and financial services sectors.

:: Background of Pakistan ::

The Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world and dating back at least 5,000 years, spread over much of what is presently Pakistan. During the second millennium B.C., remnants of this culture fused with the migrating Indo-Aryan peoples. The area underwent successive invasions in subsequent centuries from the Persians, Greeks, Scythians, Arabs (who brought Islam), Afghans, and Turks. The Mughal Empire flourished in the 16th and 17th centuries; the British came to dominate the region in the 18th century. The separation in 1947 of British India into the Muslim state of Pakistan (with West and East sections) and largely Hindu India was never satisfactorily resolved, and India and Pakistan fought two wars – in 1947-48 and 1965 – over the disputed Kashmir territory. A third war between these countries in 1971 – in which India capitalized on Islamabad’s marginalization of Bengalis in Pakistani politics – resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. In response to Indian nuclear weapons testing, Pakistan conducted its own tests in 1998. India-Pakistan relations have been rocky since the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, but both countries are taking small steps to put relations back on track. In February 2008, Pakistan held parliamentary elections and in September 2008, after the resignation of former President MUSHARRAF, elected Asif Ali ZARDARI to the presidency. Pakistani government and military leaders are struggling to control domestic insurgents, many of whom are located in the tribal areas adjacent to the border with Afghanistan.

:: Geography of Pakistan ::

Location: Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea, between India on the east and Iran and Afghanistan on the west and China in the north

Geographic coordinates: 30 00 N, 70 00 E

Area:
total: 796,095 sq km
land: 770,875 sq km
water: 25,220 sq km

Area – comparative: slightly less than twice the size of California
Land boundaries: 6,774 km
Coastline: 1,046 km

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

Climate: mostly hot, dry desert; temperate in northwest; arctic in north
Terrain: flat Indus plain in east; mountains in north and northwest; Balochistan plateau in west

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: K2 (Mt. Godwin-Austen) 8,611 m

Natural resources: land, extensive natural gas reserves, limited petroleum, poor quality coal, iron ore, copper, salt, limestone

Land use:
arable land: 24.44%
permanent crops: 0.84%
other: 74.72% (2005)
Irrigated land: 182,300 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 233.8 cu km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 169.39 cu km/yr (2%/2%/96%)
per capita: 1,072 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards: frequent earthquakes, occasionally severe especially in north and west; flooding along the Indus after heavy rains (July and August)

Environment – current issues: water pollution from raw sewage, industrial wastes, and agricultural runoff; limited natural fresh water resources; most of the population does not have access to potable water; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification

Environment – international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
Geography – note: controls Khyber Pass and Bolan Pass, traditional invasion routes between Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent

:: People of Pakistan ::

Population: 184,404,791 (July 2010 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 36.7% (male 33,037,943/female 31,092,572)
15-64 years: 59.1% (male 53,658,173/female 49,500,786)
65 years and over: 4.2% (male 3,495,350/female 3,793,734) (2010 est.)

Median age:
total: 21.2 years
male: 21.2 years
female: 21.2 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.589% (2010 est.)
Birth rate: 25.3 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
Death rate: 7.06 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
Net migration rate: -2.36 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
Urbanization:
urban population: 36% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female
total population: 1.07 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 65.32 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 68.59 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 61.89 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 65.63 years
male: 63.84 years
female: 67.5 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.28 children born/woman (2010 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 96,000 (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS – deaths: 5,100 (2007 est.)

Nationality: noun: Pakistani(s) adjective: Pakistani
Ethnic groups: Punjabi 44.68%, Pashtun (Pathan) 15.42%, Sindhi 14.1%, Sariaki 8.38%, Muhajirs 7.57%, Balochi 3.57%, other 6.28%
Religions: Muslim 95% (Sunni 75%, Shia 20%), other (includes Christian and Hindu) 5%

Languages: Punjabi 48%, Sindhi 12%, Siraiki (a Punjabi variant) 10%, Pashtu 8%, Urdu (official) 8%, Balochi 3%, Hindko 2%, Brahui 1%, English (official; lingua franca of Pakistani elite and most government ministries), Burushaski, and other 8%
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 49.9%
male: 63%
female: 36% (2005 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 7 years
male: 8 years
female: 6 years (2008)
Education expenditures: 2.9% of GDP (2008)