sovereign state in South Asia

Pakistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Urdu: Islāmī Jumhūriyah Pākistān), is a country in South Asia. It shares its border with India, Iran, Afghanistan and China. Pakistan has the fifth largest population (243.4 million) in the world and has a total land area of 880,940 km2 (340,130 sq mi).or in simple words 881,000 km² This makes Pakistan the 34th largest country in the world by land area. It has a 1,365 km long coastline along the Arabian Sea in the south.[13] The capital of Pakistan is Islamabad, but before 1960, it was Karachi, which is now the country's largest city. While they were building Islamabad, Rawalpindi served as the temporary capital from 1959 to 1967.

Islamic Republic of Pakistan
  • اِسلامی جمہوریہ پاكِستان (Urdu)
  • Islāmī Jumhūriyah Pākistān[1]
Motto: Īmān, Ittihād, Nazam
ایمان، اتحاد، نظم (Urdu)
"Faith, Unity, Discipline"[2]
Anthem: Qaumī Tarānah
قَومی ترانہ
"The National Anthem"
Land controlled by Pakistan shown in dark green; land claimed but not controlled shown in light green
Land controlled by Pakistan shown in dark green; land claimed but not controlled shown in light green
33°41′30″N 73°03′00″E / 33.69167°N 73.05000°E / 33.69167; 73.05000
Largest cityKarachi
24°51′36″N 67°00′36″E / 24.86000°N 67.01000°E / 24.86000; 67.01000
Official languages
Recognised regional languagesPunjabiPashtoSindhiSaraikiBalochiHindkoPothwariBrahuiKashmiri
Other languagesBaltiBurushaskiDameliDomaakiGawar-BatiKalashaKhowarIndus KohistaniKutchiMemoniShinaWakhiYidghaKhowarHazaragi
Ethnic groups
  • 1.27% Christianity
  • 0.9% Ahmadiya
  • 0.02% Others
GovernmentFederal parliamentary constitutional republic
• President
Asif Ali Zardari
Shehbaz Sharif
Sadiq Sanjrani
Ayaz Sadiq
Qazi Faez Isa
National Assembly
• Dominion
14 August 1947
23 March 1956
12 January 1972
14 August 1973
• Total
1,030,000 km2 (400,000 sq mi)[a][7] (29th)
• Water (%)
• 2023 estimate
Neutral increase 270,800,000[8] (5th)
• 2023 census
Neutral increase 270.8 million
• Density
244.4/km2 (633.0/sq mi) (56th)
GDP (PPP)2023 estimate
• Total
Increase $2.0 trillion[9] (19th)
• Per capita
Increase $21,000[9] (87th)
GDP (nominal)2023 estimate
• Total
Increase $491.7 billion[9] (31st)
• Per capita
Increase $10,987[9] (98th)
Gini (2018)Positive decrease 31.6[10]
HDI (2023)Increase 0.697[11]
medium · 152nd
CurrencyPakistani rupee (₨) (PKR)
Time zoneUTC+05:00 (PKT)
DST is not observed
Date format
Mains electricity230 V–50 Hz
Driving sideleft[12]
Calling code+92
ISO 3166 codePK

Pakistan has a rich history with ancient cultures, such as the 8,500-year-old Neolithic site of Mehrgarh, the Bronze Age Indus Valley civilization, and the ancient Gandhara civilization. Over the years, various empires and dynasties, including the Achaemenid, Maurya, Kushan, Gupta, Macedonians, Mongols, Tibetans, Umayyad Caliphate, Samma, Hindu Shahis, Shah Miris, Ghaznavids, Delhi Sultanate, Mughals, and the British Raj, have influenced the region. Pakistan is also associated with the origins of major world religions like Hinduism and Sikhism, as well as the Mahayana and Vajrayana branches of Buddhism, rooted in the Gandhara region.

Pakistan is a middle power nation with the world's sixth-largest standing armed forces. It is a nuclear-weapons state and is considered among the emerging and growth-leading economies, boasting a large and rapidly-growing middle class. Pakistan's political history has seen periods of substantial economic and military growth, along with times of political and economic instability. The country is ethnically and linguistically diverse, with varied geography and wildlife. However, Pakistan also faces challenges like poverty, illiteracy, corruption, and terrorism.

The name Pakistan (English pronunciation: /ˈpækɪstæn/ ( listen) or /pɑːkiˈstɑːn/ ( listen); Urdu: پاکستان  [paːkɪˈst̪aːn]) means 'Land of (the) Spiritually Pure' in both Urdu and Persian languages. It was named on 28 January 1933 as Pakstan by Choudhary Rahmat Ali, a Pakistan Movement activist, in a pamphlet Now or Never.[14]Rahmat Ali explained said that it was named after "all our homelands Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, Sind, and Baluchistan".[15] The letter i was added to make it sound better.[16]


"Priest King" of Indus Valley Civilization

Pakistan became Independent in 1947 from the United Kingdom which was known as the British Raj. The first humans in Pakistan were the Soanian hunter-gatherers, who lived 50,000 years ago.[17] Three of the worlds oldest civilisations are in Pakistan, these include; Mehrgarh civilisation, the Indus Valley civilisation and the Gandhara civilisation. The first urban centre in South Asia was the Mehrgarh, a 11,000 year old site in Pakistan.[18] The first organised people in Ancient Pakistan were the ones who made the Indus Valley Civilization, they lived 9000 years ago.[19] After that, the Vedic period came. This also included parts of north-western Republic of India. Two of the worlds major religions Sikhism and Hinduism originated in modern Pakistan.[20][21] Mahayana and Vajrayana schools of Buddhism are said to have roots in Gandhara region of Pakistan.[22][23]

After the Muslim conquest, Pakistan began to be Islamized and it slowly turned into a Muslim majority region. The British Empire had effectively conquered the entire territories of modern day Pakistan by the year 1849 and after the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the region was officially absorbed into the British Crown and came under direct British rule. Pakistan gained independence from British rule in 1947 however the Monarch of the United Kingdom (King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II) remained the monarch of Pakistan up until it officially became a republic in 1956. Until 1971, Pakistan also included an area in the North-east India region. This is now called Bangladesh. It lost that area after a war with the Indian Army and the joint militant group of Indo-Bangladeshi alliance of Mitro Bahini of West Bengal. During recent times Pakistan has been in the centre of world politics. This is first because of its support to guerrillas in Afghanistan, following a Soviet invasion 1979, and later during the 1990s because of its cooperation with and support for the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. However, since 2000 Pakistan has supported the West in their war against fundamentalist terrorism, including the removal of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Despite not being part of the organization itself, Pakistan has developed close ties with and closely cooperated with the NATO organization assisting it in many of its military campaigns such as those in Bosnia and Somalia.[source?]

Pakistan is a member of the Commonwealth. However, after the war in East Pakistan the country was excluded (between 1972 and 1989). It was also a member between 1999 and 2007, it was excluded in 2007 for a time but again became a member in 2008.[24]

Geography and climate

K2 at 8,611 m (28,251 ft) is the second highest peak in the world

There are many earthquakes in the area. The earthquake in 2005 with its earthquake center in Kashmir is the strongest recorded so far. Over 100,000 people were killed or wounded on 8 October 2005.

Pakistan covers 880,940 km2 (340,130 sq mi),[25] roughly similar to the combined land areas of France and the UK. Its eastern regions are located on the Indian plate and the western and northern regions on the Iranian plateau and Eurasian landplate. Apart from the 1,046 km (650 mi) Arabian Sea coastline, Pakistan's land borders total 6,774 km (4,209 mi)—2,430 km (1,510 mi) with Afghanistan to the northwest, 523 km (325 mi) with China to the northeast, 2,912 km (1,809 mi) with India to the south and east, and 909 km (565 mi) with Iran to the southwest.[26]

The northern and western highlands of Pakistan contain the towering Karakoram and Pamir mountain ranges, which include some of the world's highest peaks, including K2 8,611 m (28,251 ft) and Nanga Parbat 8,126 m (26,660 ft). The Balochistan Plateau lies to the west, and the Thar Desert and an expanse of alluvial plains, the Punjab and Sindh, lie to the east. The 1,609 km (1,000 mi) Indus River and its tributaries flow through the country from the disputed territory of Occupied Kashmir to the Arabian Sea.[27]

Pakistan has four seasons: a cool, dry winter from December through February; a hot, dry spring from March through May; the summer rainy season, or southwest monsoon period, from June through September; and the retreating monsoon period of October and November. The beginning and length of these seasons vary somewhat according to location.[28] Rainfall can change radically from year to year, and consecutive patterns of flooding and drought are also not uncommon.[29]

International borders

Geographical location of Pakistan.

Pakistan's International borders are the external borders of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.



Pakistan's geosphere is geographically unique. It is located within Southcentral Asia. It is an integral part of Greater Middle East Region, with the Indus River and its tributaries as its main water supply or lifeline, the world's largest Irrigation system.

The nation is bordered by the Hindu Kush and Sulaiman Mountain ranges in the west, Karakoram mountain range in the north, Sutlej river and Thar desert in east, and Arabian Sea in the south.

Historical background


The country in its present form was created by the Pakistanis themselves out of the imperial colonial British Raj.

Surrounding nations


Pakistan borders the People's Republic of China in the north (Xinjiang Autonomous Türkic Region), and in the north-east Tibet Autonomous Region, the disputed territory of Occupied Kashmir which was part of the British Indian territory until 1948 is also included. Pakistan borders the entire eastern length of the country with the Republic of India and on the south towards the Arabian Sea, to the north-west Pakistan is separated by fourteen kilometres of a narrow strip of the Afghan-occupied Gorno-Badakhshan territory called the Wakhan Corridor which extends between Northern Pakistan and Tajikistan.[30]

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is to the west and north, and Iran (Ancient Persia) is to the southwest. Pakistan also shares to the extreme south-west a marine border with Oman.

Land borders of Pakistan


Land Border Country Length (m) and (m) Force Comments
  Afghanistan 2,640 km (1,640 mi)[31] Pakistan Army Also see Durand Line[32] As of January 2019, 900 km has been completed.[33]
  China 596 kilometres (370 mi) Gilgit Baltistan Scouts and Northern Light Infantry Depends on the Resolution of territorial conflicts between Islamabad and New Delhi. Article 6 of the 1963 Sino-Pakistan treaty provides for a renegotiation of the China-Pakistan boundary if the Kashmir dispute is resolved. However, with Indian relations have deteriorated with China, and poor-to-hostile with Pakistan, it is unlikely the boundary dispute will be resolved anytime soon.[34] Also see Kashmir conflict.
  Republic of India (Bharat) 3,323 km (2,065 mi)[35] Pakistan Rangers and Pakistan Army Also see Rann of Kutch, Operation Gibraltar and Kori Creek.
  Iran 909 kilometres (565 mi)[36] Pakistan Army Open border.
  Tajikistan (de jure) 350 kilometres (220 mi)[37] Pakistan Army and Gilgit Baltistan Scouts Tajikistan claims a border with Pakistan specifically via the Wakhan Corridor (under Afghan's control) with the disputed Gilgit-Baltistan (PAK) northern Pakistani region, which is currently under Pakistani administration (see Kashmir dispute).

Maritime borders of Pakistan


The Maritime borders of Pakistan are the maritime boundary recognized by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Government of Pakistan promulgated Territorial and Maritime Zones Act 1976. In 1997, Pakistan also declared a straight baseline along its coast. Now the territorial sea is measured 12 nautical miles into sea from the baseline. Using Unclos III, Pakistan has also demarcated its sea boundaries with both Iran and Oman.

Sea frontier with India in the East remains in dispute. Pakistan and India have held 12 rounds of discussions for deciding the exact sea frontier at Kori Creek and the un-demarcated Rann of Kachchh. At times, the negotiations appear promising. However, there has been no progress since June 2012. Pakistan's coastline is 1,146 Square kilometres² (712 Square miles²) long, with its claim of a 12-nautical-mile (22 km; 14 mi) territorial maritime zone and 200-nautical-mile (370 km; 230 mi) exclusive economic zone, has a more than 1,000-kilometre (620 mi) maritime border shared with the three nations namely;

Maritime Border Country Force Comments
  India Pakistan Navy and the Pakistan Coast Guard Kori Creek
  Iran Pakistan Navy Sea of Oman
  Oman Pakistan Navy Arabian Sea

Government and politics


Pakistan has a federal parliamentary system.[38] The head of state is an indirectly elected ceremonial President. The Electoral college of the country, (composed of the Senate, the National Assembly, and the four Provincial Assemblies) chooses a leadership representing the President of Pakistan for a five-year term. The president is also the Commander in Chief of the Joint Armed Forces. The head of government is the Prime Minister, who is also indirectly elected.[source?]

The President's appointment and term are constitutionally independent of the Prime Minister's term. The Prime Minister is usually the leader of the largest party in the National Assembly or of a coalition in the National Assembly.[source?]

The Prime Minister is the head of government. Pakistan's legislature is made of a 100-member Senate (upper house) and a 342-member National Assembly (lower house). The Chief Justice of Pakistan is the chief judge who oversees the judicature's court system at all levels of command.[source?]

On 17 August 2018 Ex-cricketer Imran Khan was elected as the New Prime Minister of Naya Pakistan. Because In 2018, Imran Khan (the chairman of PTI) Won the 2018 Pakistan general election with 116 general seats and so became the current 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan in election of National Assembly of Pakistan for Prime Minister by getting 176 votes against Shehbaz Sharif (the chairman of PMLN) who got 96 votes.[39] Pakistan is also headed by a "President", the Prime Minister Acts as the Leader of Pakistan.



Pakistan is officially a federal republic, but during a long period in its history it changed to a democratic state and a military dictatorship. Military dictators include Ayub Khan in the 1960s, General Zia-ul-Haq in the 1980s.

Pakistan's two largest political parties are the Pakistan People's Party and the government party Pakistan Muslim League (N).Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has also gained popularity in the past years.

On 27 December 2007, the leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party, Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated. The reason is yet to be determined.

Administrative divisions


Pakistan is made up of four provinces, two Federally administrated territories and two autonomous territories. Both special areas are in Kashmir. The provinces and territories are divided into 26 divisions with now 147 districts directly divided from the provinces. Each district is divided into several tehsils and each tehsil is divided into several union councils. There are around 596 tehsils and over 6,000 union councils in Pakistan.[source?]


  1.   Balochistan
  2.   Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly NWFP)
  3.   Punjab[40]
  4.   Sindh

Among the four provinces, Punjab has the most people but Balochistan is the largest province by area. (Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also have Provincially Administered Tribal Areas[41] (PATA) which are going to be regular districts.)


  1.   Islamabad Capital Territory
  2.   Federally Administered Tribal Areas

Autonomous Areas (Pakistan-administered Kashmir)

  1.   Azad Kashmir
  2. Gilgit Baltistan

India, Pakistan and China separately control parts of the Kashmir region. India and Pakistan's parts are divided by a Line of Control. The Pakistan–China border is internationally recognized. Trade is common between the 2 countries.[42]

National symbols

National symbols of Pakistan (Official)
National animal Markhor  
National bird Chukar  
National tree Cedrus deodara  
National flower Jasminum officinale  
National heritage state animal Snow Leopard  
National heritage state bird Shaheen Falcon  
National aquatic marine mammal Indus river dolphin  
National reptile Indus Crocodile  
National fish Tor putitora  
National amphibian Bufo stomaticus  
National butterfly Indian purple emperor  
National fruit Mango  
National staple crop Sugarcane  
National beverage Sugarcane juice  
National vegetable Okra  
National cuisine Pakistani Biryani (Beef)  
National sport Field hockey  
National dress Salwar kameez  
National mosque Faisal Mosque  
National mausoleum Mazar-e-Quaid  
National river Indus River  
National mountain K2  


ISE Towers in Islamabad

Pakistan has a semi-industrialized economy.[43][44] The growth poles of the Pakistani economy are situated along the Indus River.[44][45] Diversified economies of Karachi and Punjab's urban centres, coexist with less developed areas in other parts of the country.[44] Despite being a very poor country in 1947, Pakistan's economic growth rate has been better than the global average during the following four decades, but incautious policies led to a slowdown in the late 1990s.[46]

Recently, large economic reforms have resulted in a stronger economic outlook and sped up growth especially in the manufacturing and financial services sectors.[46] Since the 1990s, there has been great improvement in the foreign exchange market position and rapid growth in hard currency reserves.[46]

The 2005 estimate of foreign debt was close to US$40 billion. However, this decreased with help from the International Monetary Fund and significant debt-relief from the United States. Pakistan's gross domestic product, as measured by purchasing power parity, is estimated to be $475 billion[47] while its per capita income stands at $1,842.[47] The poverty rate in Pakistan is estimated to be between 23%[48] and 38%.[49]





There are dozens of languages spoken in Pakistan. Urdu and English are two official languages of the country.[50] English is still spoken among the Pakistani elite and in most government ministries.[26] Other major languages spoken in Pakistan include; Saraiki, Punjabi, Hindko, Pashto, Sindhi, Balochi, Brahui, Khowar, Balti and many others. Shina is also one of the regional languages of Pakistan. It is spoken in Gilgit-Baltistan.


Religion in Pakistan
Religion Percent
Sunni Islam
Shia Islam

Most (90-95%) of the people are Muslim.[51] Sunni Muslims constitute 70-75% of Pakistan's populations and Shia Muslims 20-25%. Many other religions are followed in Pakistan too, these are Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Baha'i Faith, Zikrism, Ahmadiyya, Judaism, Buddhism, Nanakpanthis and Animism.[52]

After the end British India, Hinduism had much less importance in the newly created state of Pakistan, but has played an important role in its culture and politics as well as the history of its regions. In fact, Pakistan has the 4th largest population of Hindus in the world.

The word Hindu comes from the Sindhu (Indus River) of Pakistan.[53] The Sindhu is one of the holy rivers of Hinduism. Thus, in many ways, the land which is today's heavily Muslim Pakistan has played an important part in the origin of Hinduism. There are about 4-10 million Hindus living in Pakistan.[54]



Pakistani society also has a number of problems.

  • Many people think the government is unstable
  • There are still many people who cannot read or write well enough to cope in their everyday life
  • There were many military regimes. Even if there is the concept of electing officials, the idea of democracy is still developing.
  • Many people see Pakistan as a fragile state. Things like freedom of the press or the rights of minorities are often not guaranteed
  • Pakistan sees itself as an Islamic state. After it became independent many laws were changed so that Islam had a bigger influence. Many people in East Pakistan preferred the laws that did not refer to religion. In 1971, East Pakistan became independent. It is called Bangladesh today.
  • There are clashes between different social and ethnic groups.
  • There are blasphemy laws. Very often, these laws are used against minorities.

Other problems are listed below



Poverty in Pakistan is a growing concern because of population growth in the country. Although the middle-class has grown in Pakistan, nearly 50% of the population is classified poor as of September 2023.[55]

Population growth


Pakistan has a high population growth. Between 1951 and 2017, the population increased by a factor of six. In 1951, there were 33.7 million people in Pakistan, in 2017, there were 207.7 million. Urbanization is ongoing. There are two megacities, Karachi and Lahore. Despite this, Pakistan has one of the lowest urbanization rates in the world. In 2017, over 130 million Pakistanis, or 65% of the population lived in rural areas.

Pakistan also has high fertility rate. Estimates of 2022 are that on average, there are 3.5 children per adult woman. As a consequence, the Pakistanis are young: 40.3% of the people are 15 years or younger, only 3.7% of the people are 65 or older. The median age in the country is 19. This means that half the population are 19 or younger, the other half are over 19.

There are also many refugees. The UNHCR estimated, that Pakistan has the forth-largest refugee population worldwide.



The national sport of Pakistan is field hockey, although cricket is the most popular game across the country.[56] The national cricket team has won the Cricket World Cup once (in 1992), were runners-up once (in 1999), and co-hosted the games twice (in 1987 and 1996). Pakistan were runners-up in the inaugural 2007 ICC World Twenty20 held in South Africa and were the champions at the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 held in England. The team also won two Asia Cups in 2000 and 2012. Lately however, Pakistani cricket has suffered heavily due to teams refusing to tour Pakistan after militants attacked the touring Sri Lankan team in March 2009, after which no international cricket was played until May 2015, when the Zimbabwean team agreed to tour. However, now, with increased security, the Sri Lankan cricket team came for a tour as recently as 2019.[source?]

In addition to sports like field hockey, cricket, squash rackets, football and others, Pakistanis are also very keen on equestrianism of various types,and equestrian sports such as Polo and the traditional Tent pegging are played by many. Other traditional rural sports include two types of Wrestling, Kabbadi and a martial art called Gatka.[source?]



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  1. "Includes data for Pakistani territories of Kashmir; Azad Kashmir (13,297 km2 or 5,134 sq mi) and Gilgit–Baltistan (72,520 km2 or 28,000 sq mi).[6] Excluding these territories would produce an area figure of 796,095 km2 (307,374 sq mi)."
  2. See Date and time notation in Pakistan.

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