Pakistan

Pakistan

Overview
Pakistan (paːkɪˈst̪aːn), officially the Islamic Republic
Islamic republic
Islamic republic is the name given to several states in the Muslim world including the Islamic Republics of Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, and Mauritania. Pakistan adopted the title under the constitution of 1956. Mauritania adopted it on 28 November 1958. Iran adopted it after the 1979 Iranian...

 of Pakistan
is a sovereign state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 in South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

. It has a 1046 kilometres (650 mi) coastline along the Arabian Sea
Arabian Sea
The Arabian Sea is a region of the Indian Ocean bounded on the east by India, on the north by Pakistan and Iran, on the west by the Arabian Peninsula, on the south, approximately, by a line between Cape Guardafui in northeastern Somalia and Kanyakumari in India...

 and the Gulf of Oman
Gulf of Oman
The Gulf of Oman or Sea of Oman is a strait that connects the Arabian Sea with the Strait of Hormuz, which then runs to the Persian Gulf. It is generally included as a branch of the Persian Gulf, not as an arm of the Arabian Sea. On the north coast is Pakistan and Iran...

 in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 and Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 in the west, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 in the east and China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan
Tajikistan
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

 lies adjacent to Pakistan but is separated by the narrow Wakhan Corridor
Wakhan Corridor
Wakhan Corridor is commonly used as a synonym for Wakhan, an area of far north-eastern Afghanistan which forms a land link or "corridor" between Afghanistan and China. The Corridor is a long and slender panhandle or salient, roughly long and between wide. It separates Tajikistan in the north...

. In addition, Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

 is also located in maritime vicinity and shares a marine border with Pakistan.
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Timeline

1887   The founder of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, joins Sindh-Madrasa-tul-Islam, Karachi.

1893   The treaty of the Durand Line is signed between present day Pakistan and fghanistan

1906   The All India Muslim League is founded in Dacca, East Bengal, British India Empire, which later laid down the foundations of Pakistan.

1930   Sir Muhammad Iqbal's presidential address in Allahabad introduces the Two-Nation Theory and outlines a vision for the creation of Pakistan.

1933   The name Pakistan is coined by Choudhary Rehmat Ali Khan and is accepted by the Indian Muslims who then thereby adopted it further for the Pakistan Movement seeking independence.

1935   A 7.7 Mw earthquake destroys Quetta in modern-day Pakistan: 40,000 dead.

1947   The "Indian Independence Bill" is presented before British House of Commons, suggesting bifurcation of British India into two sovereign countries – India and Pakistan.

1947   The Viceroy of India says the people of the North-West Frontier Province overwhelmingly voted the previous day to join Pakistan rather than India.

1947   Pakistan gains Independence from the British Indian Empire and joins the Commonwealth of Nations.

1947   Founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah is sworn in as first Governor General of Pakistan in Karachi.

 
Encyclopedia
Pakistan (paːkɪˈst̪aːn), officially the Islamic Republic
Islamic republic
Islamic republic is the name given to several states in the Muslim world including the Islamic Republics of Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, and Mauritania. Pakistan adopted the title under the constitution of 1956. Mauritania adopted it on 28 November 1958. Iran adopted it after the 1979 Iranian...

 of Pakistan
is a sovereign state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 in South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

. It has a 1046 kilometres (650 mi) coastline along the Arabian Sea
Arabian Sea
The Arabian Sea is a region of the Indian Ocean bounded on the east by India, on the north by Pakistan and Iran, on the west by the Arabian Peninsula, on the south, approximately, by a line between Cape Guardafui in northeastern Somalia and Kanyakumari in India...

 and the Gulf of Oman
Gulf of Oman
The Gulf of Oman or Sea of Oman is a strait that connects the Arabian Sea with the Strait of Hormuz, which then runs to the Persian Gulf. It is generally included as a branch of the Persian Gulf, not as an arm of the Arabian Sea. On the north coast is Pakistan and Iran...

 in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 and Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 in the west, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 in the east and China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan
Tajikistan
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

 lies adjacent to Pakistan but is separated by the narrow Wakhan Corridor
Wakhan Corridor
Wakhan Corridor is commonly used as a synonym for Wakhan, an area of far north-eastern Afghanistan which forms a land link or "corridor" between Afghanistan and China. The Corridor is a long and slender panhandle or salient, roughly long and between wide. It separates Tajikistan in the north...

. In addition, Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

 is also located in maritime vicinity and shares a marine border with Pakistan. Strategically, Pakistan is located in a position between the important regions of South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

, Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

 and the greater Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

.

The region forming modern Pakistan was the site of several ancient cultures including the neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 Mehrgarh
Mehrgarh
Mehrgarh , one of the most important Neolithic sites in archaeology, lies on the "Kachi plain" of Balochistan, Pakistan...

 and the bronze era
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

 Indus Valley Civilisation. Subsequently it was the recipient of Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

, Persian
Iranian peoples
The Iranian peoples are an Indo-European ethnic-linguistic group, consisting of the speakers of Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, as such forming a branch of Indo-European-speaking peoples...

, Indo-Greek, Islamic, Turco-Mongol
Timurid Dynasty
The Timurids , self-designated Gurkānī , were a Persianate, Central Asian Sunni Muslim dynasty of Turko-Mongol descent whose empire included the whole of Iran, modern Afghanistan, and modern Uzbekistan, as well as large parts of contemporary Pakistan, North India, Mesopotamia, Anatolia and the...

, Afghan
Afghan
Afghan may refer to:* The country of Afghanistan, as abbreviated in reports as Afghan, or Afg.* Someone or something related to Afghanistan, see also Demography of Afghanistan* Afghan cuisine...

 and Sikh
Sikh
A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit term शिष्य , meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष , meaning "instruction"...

 cultures through several invasions and/or settlements. As a result the area has remained a part of numerous empires and dynasties including the Indian empires, Persian empires
Achaemenid Empire
The Achaemenid Empire , sometimes known as First Persian Empire and/or Persian Empire, was founded in the 6th century BCE by Cyrus the Great who overthrew the Median confederation...

, Arab caliphates, Mongol
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

, Mughal
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

, Durrani Empire
Durrani Empire
The Durrani Empire was a Pashtun dynasty centered in Afghanistan and included northeastern Iran, the Kashmir region, the modern state of Pakistan, and northwestern India. It was established at Kandahar in 1747 by Ahmad Shah Durrani, an Afghan military commander under Nader Shah of Persia and chief...

 (Afghan Empire), Sikh and British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

. Pakistan gained independence from the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 in 1947, after a struggle for independence
Pakistan Movement
The Pakistan Movement or Tehrik-e-Pakistan refers to the historical movement to have an independent Muslim state named Pakistan created from the separation of the north-western region of the Indian subcontinent, partitioned within or outside the British Indian Empire. It had its origins in the...

 led by Mohammad Ali Jinnah that sought the partition of British India and a new independent state for the Muslim majority populations of the eastern and western regions of India. Initially a dominion
Dominion
A dominion, often Dominion, refers to one of a group of autonomous polities that were nominally under British sovereignty, constituting the British Empire and British Commonwealth, beginning in the latter part of the 19th century. They have included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland,...

, with the adoption of its constitution
Constitution of Pakistan
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is the supreme law of Pakistan. Known as the Constitution of 1973, it was drafted by the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and, following additions by the opposition parties, was approved by the legislative assembly on April 10, 1973...

 in 1956 Pakistan became an Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic republic. In 1971, an armed conflict
Bangladesh Liberation War
The Bangladesh Liberation War was an armed conflict pitting East Pakistan and India against West Pakistan. The war resulted in the secession of East Pakistan, which became the independent nation of Bangladesh....

 in East Pakistan
East Pakistan
East Pakistan was a provincial state of Pakistan established in 14 August 1947. The provincial state existed until its declaration of independence on 26 March 1971 as the independent nation of Bangladesh. Pakistan recognized the new nation on 16 December 1971. East Pakistan was created from Bengal...

 resulted in the creation of Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

.

Pakistan is a federal
Federation
A federation , also known as a federal state, is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central government...

 parliamentary republic
Parliamentary republic
A parliamentary republic or parliamentary constitutional republic is a type of republic which operates under a parliamentary system of government - meaning a system with no clear-cut separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches. There are a number of variations of...

 consisting of four provinces and four federal territories. With a population exceeding 170 million people
Demographics of Pakistan
This article is about the demographic features of the population of Pakistan, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population....

, it is the sixth most populous country in the world and has the second largest Muslim population
Islam by country
Islam is the world's second largest religion after Christianity. According to a 2009 demographic study, Islam has 1.57 billion adherents, making up 23% of the world population....

 after Indonesia. It is an ethnically
Ethnic groups in Pakistan
About 98% of languages spoken in Pakistan are Indo-Iranian , a branch of Indo-European family of languages. Most languages of Pakistan are written in the Perso-Arabic script, with significant vocabulary derived from Arabic and Persian. Punjabi , Seraiki, Sindhi, Pashto, Urdu, Balochi, Kashmiri , etc...

 and linguistically
Languages of Pakistan
Languages of Pakistan include two official languages: Urdu, which is also Pakistan's national language and lingua franca, and English. Additionally, Pakistan has four major provincial languages: Punjabi, Pashto, Sindhi, Farsi and Balochi, as well as three major regional languages: Saraiki, Hindko...

 diverse country, with a similar variation in its geography
Geography of Pakistan
The geography of Pakistan is a profound blend of landscapes varying from plains to deserts, forests, hills, and plateaus ranging from the coastal areas of the Arabian Sea in the south to the mountains of the Karakoram range in the north...

 and wildlife
Fauna of Pakistan
Pakistan's native fauna reflect its varied climatic zones.-Distribution:For explanation on habitats, see Habitats of flora and fauna and Forestry in Pakistan.Northern highlands and plains...

. Its semi-industrialized economy
Economy of Pakistan
The economy of Pakistan is the 47th largest in the world in nominal terms and 27th largest in the world in terms of purchasing power parity . Pakistan has a semi-industrialized economy, which mainly encompasses textiles, chemicals, food processing, agriculture and other industries...

 is the 27th largest in the world in terms of purchasing power. Since gaining independence, Pakistan's history has been characterised by periods of military rule
Military dictatorship
A military dictatorship is a form of government where in the political power resides with the military. It is similar but not identical to a stratocracy, a state ruled directly by the military....

, political instability
Political corruption
Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...

 and conflicts with neighbouring India
Indo-Pakistani Wars
Since the partition of British India in 1947 and creation of India and Pakistan, the two South Asian countries have been involved in four wars, including one undeclared war, as well as many border skirmishes and military stand-offs...

. The country faces challenging problems including terrorism
Terrorism in Pakistan
Terrorism in Pakistan has become a major and highly destructive phenomenon in recent years. The annual death toll from terrorist attacks has risen from 164 in 2003 to 3318 in 2009, with a total of 35,000 Pakistanis killed as of 2010. According to the government of Pakistan, the direct and indirect...

, poverty
Poverty in Pakistan
Poverty in Pakistan is a continued source of concern. Although the middle-class has grown in Pakistan to 40 million nearly one-quarter of the population is classified poor as of October 2006. As of 2007-08, 17.2% of the total population lived below the poverty line, which is the lowest figure in...

, illiteracy and corruption
Corruption Perceptions Index
Since 1995, Transparency International publishes the Corruption Perceptions Index annually ranking countries "by their perceived levels of corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys." The CPI generally defines corruption as "the misuse of public power for private...

.

Pakistan has the eighth largest standing armed force and is the only Muslim-majority nation to possess nuclear weapons. Pakistan is the first nuclear power
Nuclear power in Pakistan
As of 2009, nuclear power in Pakistan is provided by 3 licensed-commercial nuclear power plants. Pakistan is the first Muslim country in the world to construct and operate civil nuclear power plants. The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission , the scientific and nuclear governmental agency, is solely...

 country in the Muslim world
Muslim world
The term Muslim world has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization...

, and the second in the South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

, the first being India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. It is designated as a major non-NATO ally
Major non-NATO ally
Major non-NATO ally is a designation given by the United States government to close allies who have strategic working relationships with US armed forces but are not members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization...

 of the United States and a strategic ally of China. It is a founding member of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (now the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) and a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

, Next Eleven economies
Next Eleven
The Next Eleven are eleven countries—Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Turkey, and Vietnam — identified by Goldman Sachs investment bank and Jim O'Neill as having a high potential of becoming, along with the BRICS, the world's largest...

 and the G20 developing nations
G20 developing nations
The G20 is a bloc of developing nations established on 20 August 2003. Distinct and separate from the G-20 major economies, the group emerged at the 5th Ministerial WTO conference, held in Cancún, Mexico, from 10 September to 14 September 2003...

.

Etymology


The name Pakistan means Land of
-stan
The suffix -stan is Persian for "place of", a cognate to Pashto -tun and to Indo-Aryan -sthāna , a Sanskrit suffix with a similar meaning...

 (the) Pure
in Urdu
Urdu
Urdu is a register of the Hindustani language that is identified with Muslims in South Asia. It belongs to the Indo-European family. Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. It is also widely spoken in some regions of India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an...

 and Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

. It was coined in 1933 as Pakstan by Choudhary Rahmat Ali
Choudhary Rahmat Ali
Choudhry Rahmat Ali was a Pakistani Muslim nationalist who was one of the earliest proponents of the creation of the state of Pakistan. He is credited with creating the name "Pakistan" for a separate Muslim homeland in South Asia and is generally known as the founder of the movement for its...

, a Pakistan movement activist, who published it in his pamphlet Now or Never
Pakistan Declaration
The Pakistan Declaration was a pamphlet published on 28 January 1933 by Choudhary Rahmat Ali, and was supported by Muhammad Aslam Khan Khattak, Sahibzada Sheikh Mohd Sadiq, Inayat Ullah Khan in which the word Pakistan was used for the first time and was presented in the round table conference in...

. The name is an acronym representing the "thirty million Muslim brethren who live in PAKSTAN—by which we mean the five Northern units of India viz: Punjab
Punjab (Pakistan)
Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

, North-West Frontier Province (Afghan Province), Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

, Sind
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

, and Baluchistan". The letter 'i' was added to ease pronunciation and form the linguistically correct name.

Early period






The Indus region
Indus River
The Indus River is a major river which flows through Pakistan. It also has courses through China and India.Originating in the Tibetan plateau of western China in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar in Tibet Autonomous Region, the river runs a course through the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir and...

, which covers a considerable amount of Pakistan, was the site of several ancient cultures including the Neolithic era's Mehrgarh
Mehrgarh
Mehrgarh , one of the most important Neolithic sites in archaeology, lies on the "Kachi plain" of Balochistan, Pakistan...

 and the bronze era Indus Valley Civilisation (2500–1500 BCE) at Harappa
Harappa
Harappa is an archaeological site in Punjab, northeast Pakistan, about west of Sahiwal. The site takes its name from a modern village located near the former course of the Ravi River. The current village of Harappa is from the ancient site. Although modern Harappa has a train station left from...

 and Mohenjo-Daro
Mohenjo-daro
Mohenjo-daro is an archeological site situated in what is now the province of Sindh, Pakistan. Built around 2600 BC, it was one of the largest settlements of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, and one of the world's earliest major urban settlements, existing at the same time as the...

.

The Vedic Civilization
Vedic period
The Vedic period was a period in history during which the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, were composed. The time span of the period is uncertain. Philological and linguistic evidence indicates that the Rigveda, the oldest of the Vedas, was composed roughly between 1700–1100 BCE, also...

, dating from around 1700-1400 BCE flourished in the ancient Gandhāran
Gandhara
Gandhāra , is the name of an ancient kingdom , located in northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan. Gandhara was located mainly in the vale of Peshawar, the Potohar plateau and on the Kabul River...

 city of Takṣaśilā, now Taxila
Taxila
Taxila is a Tehsil in the Rawalpindi District of Punjab province of Pakistan. It is an important archaeological site.Taxila is situated about northwest of Islamabad Capital Territory and Rawalpindi in Panjab; just off the Grand Trunk Road...

 in Punjab. The extent of the Swat and Cemetery H culture
Cemetery H culture
The Cemetery H culture developed out of the northern part of the Indus Valley Civilization around 1900 BCE, in and around western Punjab region located in present-day India and Pakistan...

 of the Rig Vedic people
Rigvedic tribes
The Indo-Aryan tribes mentioned in the Rigveda are described as semi-nomadic pastoralists; when not on the move, they were subdivided into temporary settlements . They were headed by a tribal chief assisted by a priestly caste...

 was in the Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
The Hindu Kush is an mountain range that stretches between central Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. The highest point in the Hindu Kush is Tirich Mir in the Chitral region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.It is the westernmost extension of the Pamir Mountains, the Karakoram Range, and is a...

 to Punjab region
Punjab region
The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

 and the upper gangetic plains. The territory of the present-day Pakistan was once the seat of the ancient Hindu civilization, and the place of origin of the Rig Veda. Much of the area in which Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 originated is now in Pakistan, and the religion was well established in the region before the arrival of Islam in the 8th century AD. The city of Multan
Multan
Multan , is a city in the Punjab Province of Pakistan and capital of Multan District. It is located in the southern part of the province on the east bank of the Chenab River, more or less in the geographic centre of the country and about from Islamabad, from Lahore and from Karachi...

, which was once considered an important Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 pilgrimage centre, was known to have had Hindu shrines.

Successive ancient empires and kingdoms ruled the region: the Achaemenid Persian empire around 543 BCE, the Greek empire founded by Alexander the Great in 326 BCE and the Mauryan empire founded by Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya , was the founder of the Maurya Empire. Chandragupta succeeded in conquering most of the Indian subcontinent. Chandragupta is considered the first unifier of India and its first genuine emperor...

 and extended by Ashoka the Great, until 185 BCE.

The Indo-Greek Kingdom
Indo-Greek Kingdom
The Indo-Greek Kingdom or Graeco-Indian Kingdom covered various parts of the northwest regions of the Indian subcontinent during the last two centuries BC, and was ruled by more than 30 Hellenistic kings, often in conflict with each other...

 founded by Demetrius of Bactria
Demetrius I of Bactria
Demetrius I was a Buddhist Greco-Bactrian king . He was the son of Euthydemus and succeeded him around 200 BC, after which he conquered extensive areas in what now is eastern Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan thus creating an Indo-Greek kingdom far from Hellenistic Greece...

 included Gandhara
Gandhara
Gandhāra , is the name of an ancient kingdom , located in northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan. Gandhara was located mainly in the vale of Peshawar, the Potohar plateau and on the Kabul River...

 and Punjab
Punjab region
The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

 from 184 BCE, and reached its greatest extent under Menander
Menander I
Menander I Soter "The Saviour" was one of the rulers of the Indo-Greek Kingdom from either 165 or 155 BC to 130 BC ....

, establishing the Greco-Buddhist
Greco-Buddhism
Greco-Buddhism, sometimes spelled Graeco-Buddhism, refers to the cultural syncretism between Hellenistic culture and Buddhism, which developed between the 4th century BCE and the 5th century CE in the area covered by the Indian sub-continent, and modern Afghanistan, Pakistan and north-western...

 period with advances in trade and culture. The city of Taxila
Taxila
Taxila is a Tehsil in the Rawalpindi District of Punjab province of Pakistan. It is an important archaeological site.Taxila is situated about northwest of Islamabad Capital Territory and Rawalpindi in Panjab; just off the Grand Trunk Road...

 (Takshashila) became a major centre of learning in ancient times—the remains of the city, located to the west of Islamabad
Islamabad
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. Located within the Islamabad Capital Territory , the population of the city has grown from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.7 million in 2011...

, are one of the country's major archaeological site
Archaeological site
An archaeological site is a place in which evidence of past activity is preserved , and which has been, or may be, investigated using the discipline of archaeology and represents a part of the archaeological record.Beyond this, the definition and geographical extent of a 'site' can vary widely,...

s. Taxila
Taxila
Taxila is a Tehsil in the Rawalpindi District of Punjab province of Pakistan. It is an important archaeological site.Taxila is situated about northwest of Islamabad Capital Territory and Rawalpindi in Panjab; just off the Grand Trunk Road...

 is considered to be amongst the earliest universities and centers of higher education in the world.

Medieval age


The Rai Dynasty
Rai Dynasty
The Rai Dynasty was an Aryan dynasty of Sindh, from c. 489–690 AD. The influence of the Rai empire extended from Kashmir in the east, Makran and Debal port in the west, Surat port in south, Kandahar, Sistan, Suleyman, Ferdan and Kikanan hills in the north, ruling an area of over 600,000...

 (c.489–632) of Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

, at its zenith, ruled this region and the surrounding territories. In 712 CE
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...

, the Arab general Muhammad bin Qasim
Muhammad bin Qasim
Muhammad bin Qasim Al-Thaqafi was a Umayyad general who, at the age of 17, began the conquest of the Sindh and Punjab regions along the Indus River for the Umayyad Caliphate. He was born in the city of Taif...

 conquered Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 and Multan
Multan
Multan , is a city in the Punjab Province of Pakistan and capital of Multan District. It is located in the southern part of the province on the east bank of the Chenab River, more or less in the geographic centre of the country and about from Islamabad, from Lahore and from Karachi...

 in southern Punjab
Punjab (Pakistan)
Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

. The Pakistan government's official chronology states that "its foundation was laid" as a result of this conquest. This Arab and Islamic victory would set the stage for several successive Muslim empires in South Asia, including the Ghaznavid Empire
Ghaznavid Empire
The Ghaznavids were a Persianate Muslim dynasty of Turkic slave origin which existed from 975 to 1187 and ruled much of Persia, Transoxania, and the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent. The Ghaznavid state was centered in Ghazni, a city in modern-day Afghanistan...

, the Ghorid
Muhammad of Ghor
Sultan Shahāb-ud-Din Muhammad Ghori , originally called Mu'izzuddīn Muḥammad Bin Sām , was a ruler of the Ghurid dynasty who reigned over a territory spanning present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India.Shahabuddin Ghori reconquered the city of Ghazna Sultan Shahāb-ud-Din Muhammad Ghori...

 Kingdom, the Delhi Sultanate
Delhi Sultanate
The Delhi Sultanate is a term used to cover five short-lived, Delhi based kingdoms or sultanates, of Turkic origin in medieval India. The sultanates ruled from Delhi between 1206 and 1526, when the last was replaced by the Mughal dynasty...

 and the Mughal Empire
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

. During this period, Sufi missionaries played a pivotal role in converting a majority of the regional Buddhist and Hindu population to Islam.

British colony


The gradual decline of the Mughal Empire in the early eighteenth century provided opportunities for the Afghans
Durrani Empire
The Durrani Empire was a Pashtun dynasty centered in Afghanistan and included northeastern Iran, the Kashmir region, the modern state of Pakistan, and northwestern India. It was established at Kandahar in 1747 by Ahmad Shah Durrani, an Afghan military commander under Nader Shah of Persia and chief...

, Balochis and Sikh
Sikh
A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit term शिष्य , meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष , meaning "instruction"...

s to exercise control over large areas until the British East India Company
British East India Company
The East India Company was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China...

 gained ascendancy over South Asia. The Indian Rebellion of 1857
Indian Rebellion of 1857
The Indian Rebellion of 1857 began as a mutiny of sepoys of the British East India Company's army on 10 May 1857, in the town of Meerut, and soon escalated into other mutinies and civilian rebellions largely in the upper Gangetic plain and central India, with the major hostilities confined to...

, also known as the Sepoy Mutiny, was the region's last major armed struggle against the British Raj, and it laid the foundations for the largely non-violent freedom struggle led by the Indian National Congress
Indian National Congress
The Indian National Congress is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Bharatiya Janata Party. It is the largest and one of the oldest democratic political parties in the world. The party's modern liberal platform is largely considered center-left in the Indian...

 in the twentieth century. In the 1920s and 1930s, a movement led by Congress leader Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi , pronounced . 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement...

 engaged millions of protesters in mass campaigns of civil disobedience
Civil disobedience
Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government, or of an occupying international power. Civil disobedience is commonly, though not always, defined as being nonviolent resistance. It is one form of civil resistance...

.

The All India Muslim League rose to popularity in the late 1930s amid fears of under-representation and neglect of Muslims in politics. On 29 December 1930, Allama Iqbal's presidential address called for an autonomous "state in northwestern India for Indian Muslims, within the body politic of India." Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a Muslim lawyer, politician, statesman and the founder of Pakistan. He is popularly and officially known in Pakistan as Quaid-e-Azam and Baba-e-Qaum ....

 espoused the Two Nation Theory and led the Muslim League to adopt the Lahore Resolution
Lahore Resolution
The Lahore Resolution , commonly known as the Pakistan Resolution , was a formal political statement adopted by the Muslim League at the occasion of its three-day general session on 22–24 March 1940 that called for greater Muslim autonomy in British India...

of 1940, popularly known as the Pakistan Resolution. In early 1947, Britain announced the decision to end its rule in India
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

. In June 1947, the nationalist leaders of British India—including Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru , often referred to with the epithet of Panditji, was an Indian statesman who became the first Prime Minister of independent India and became noted for his “neutralist” policies in foreign affairs. He was also one of the principal leaders of India’s independence movement in the...

 and Abul Kalam Azad on behalf of the Congress, Jinnah representing the Muslim League, and Master Tara Singh
Master Tara Singh
Master Tara Singh Malhotra was a prominent Sikh political and religious leader in the first half of the 20th century...

 representing the Sikhs—agreed to the proposed terms of transfer of power and independence.

The modern state of Pakistan was established on 14 August 1947 (27 Ramadan
Ramadan
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29 or 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and...

 1366 in the Islamic Calendar
Islamic calendar
The Hijri calendar , also known as the Muslim calendar or Islamic calendar , is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days. It is used to date events in many Muslim countries , and used by Muslims everywhere to determine the proper day on which to celebrate Islamic...

), carved out of the two Muslim-majority wings in the eastern and northwestern regions of British India and comprising the provinces of Balochistan
Balochistan (Pakistan)
Balochistan is one of the four provinces or federating units of Pakistan. With an area of 134,051 mi2 or , it is the largest province of Pakistan, constituting approximately 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan. According to the 1998 population census, Balochistan had a population of...

, East Bengal
East Bengal
East Bengal was the name used during two periods in the 20th century for a territory that roughly corresponded to the modern state of Bangladesh. Both instances involved a violent partition of Bengal....

, the North-West Frontier Province
North-West Frontier Province
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa , formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province and various other names, is one of the four provinces of Pakistan, located in the north-west of the country...

, West Punjab
Punjab (Pakistan)
Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

 and Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

. The controversial, and ill-timed, division of the provinces
Partition of India
The Partition of India was the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India on 14 and 15...

 of Punjab and Bengal caused communal riots across India and Pakistan—millions of Muslims moved to Pakistan and millions of Hindus and Sikhs moved to India.

Disputes arose over several princely state
Princely state
A Princely State was a nominally sovereign entitity of British rule in India that was not directly governed by the British, but rather by an Indian ruler under a form of indirect rule such as suzerainty or paramountcy.-British relationship with the Princely States:India under the British Raj ...

s including in the Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir, whose Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 ruler had acceded to India following an invasion by Pashtun tribal militias, leading to the First Kashmir War in 1948.


Modern


From 1947 to 1956, Pakistan was a Dominion of Pakistan
Dominion of Pakistan
The Dominion of Pakistan was an independent federal Commonwealth realm in South Asia that was established in 1947 on the partition of British India into two sovereign dominions . The Dominion of Pakistan, which included modern-day Pakistan and Bangladesh, was intended to be a homeland for the...

 in the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

, as West-Pakistan
West Pakistan
West Pakistan , common name West-Pakistan , in the period between its establishment on 22 November 1955 to disintegration on December 16, 1971. This period, during which, Pakistan was divided, ended when East-Pakistan was disintegrated and succeeded to become which is now what is known as Bangladesh...

 claimed an exclusive mandate
Exclusive Mandate
An exclusive mandate is a government's assertion of its legitimate authority over a certain territory, part of which another government controls with stable, de facto sovereignty...

 for all of Pakistan, considering itself to be the reorganized continuation of the country in the United Nations. It became a Parliamentary Republic in 1956, but the civilian rule was stalled by a coup d’état
1958 Pakistani coup d'état
The 1958 Pakistani coup d'état refers to the events between October 7, when the President of Pakistan Iskander Mirza abrogated the Constitution of Pakistan and declared martial law, and October 27, when Mirza himself was deposed by Gen. Ayub Khan, the Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistani Army...

 by then-Army Commander-in-Chief General Ayub Khan, who was the first Chief Martial Law Administrator and also the President
President of Pakistan
The President of Pakistan is the head of state, as well as figurehead, of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Recently passed an XVIII Amendment , Pakistan has a parliamentary democratic system of government. According to the Constitution, the President is chosen by the Electoral College to serve a...

 during 1958–69, a period of internal instability and a second war
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 was a culmination of skirmishes that took place between April 1965 and September 1965 between Pakistan and India. This conflict became known as the Second Kashmir War fought by India and Pakistan over the disputed region of Kashmir, the first having been fought in 1947...

 with India in 1965. His successor, General Yahya Khan
Yahya Khan
General Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan Qizilbash, H.Pk, HJ, S.Pk, psc was the third President of Pakistan from 1969 to 1971, following the resignation of Ayub Khan...

 (1969–71), also an Army Commander, had to deal with a devastating cyclone
1970 Bhola cyclone
The 1970 Bhola cyclone was a devastating tropical cyclone that struck East Pakistan and India's West Bengal on November 12, 1970. It was the deadliest tropical cyclone ever recorded, and one of the deadliest natural disasters in modern times...

—which caused 500,000 deaths in East-Pakistan
East Pakistan
East Pakistan was a provincial state of Pakistan established in 14 August 1947. The provincial state existed until its declaration of independence on 26 March 1971 as the independent nation of Bangladesh. Pakistan recognized the new nation on 16 December 1971. East Pakistan was created from Bengal...

—and also face a bitter civil war
Bangladesh Liberation War
The Bangladesh Liberation War was an armed conflict pitting East Pakistan and India against West Pakistan. The war resulted in the secession of East Pakistan, which became the independent nation of Bangladesh....

 in 1971. Economic grievances and political dissent in East Pakistan
East Pakistan
East Pakistan was a provincial state of Pakistan established in 14 August 1947. The provincial state existed until its declaration of independence on 26 March 1971 as the independent nation of Bangladesh. Pakistan recognized the new nation on 16 December 1971. East Pakistan was created from Bengal...

 led to violent political tension and military repression
1971 Bangladesh atrocities
Beginning with the start of Operation Searchlight on 25 March 1971 and continuing throughout the Bangladesh Liberation War, there were widespread violations of human rights in East Pakistan perpetrated by the Pakistan Army, with support from local political and religious militias, especially...

 that escalated into a civil war
Bangladesh Liberation War
The Bangladesh Liberation War was an armed conflict pitting East Pakistan and India against West Pakistan. The war resulted in the secession of East Pakistan, which became the independent nation of Bangladesh....

. After nine months of guerrilla warfare between the Pakistan Armed Forces and the Indian backed Bengali Mukti Bahini
Mukti Bahini
Mukti Bahini , also termed as the "Freedom Fighters" or FFs, collectively refers to the armed organizations who fought against the Pakistan Army during the Bangladesh Liberation War. It was dynamically formed by Bengali regulars and civilians after the proclamation of Bangladesh's independence on...

 militia, Indian intervention escalated into the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 was a military conflict between India and Pakistan. Indian, Bangladeshi and international sources consider the beginning of the war to be Operation Chengiz Khan, Pakistan's December 3, 1971 pre-emptive strike on 11 Indian airbases...

, and ultimately to the secession of East Pakistan as the independent state of Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

.

Isolated and devastated, General Yahya Khan immediately surrendered his executive powers to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was 9th Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1973 to 1977, and prior to that, 4th President of Pakistan from 1971 to 1973. Bhutto was the founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party — the largest and most influential political party in Pakistan— and served as its chairman until his...

 who became the first and to-date only civilian Chief Martial Law Administrator. Civilian rule resumed in Pakistan from 1972 to 1977 under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was 9th Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1973 to 1977, and prior to that, 4th President of Pakistan from 1971 to 1973. Bhutto was the founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party — the largest and most influential political party in Pakistan— and served as its chairman until his...

, until he was deposed and later sentenced to death in 1979 by General Zia-ul-Haq, who became the country's third military president and fourth Chief Martial Law Administrator. From the period of 1971 to 1977, Bhutto worked on uniting the remaining part of the country and taking initiatives to stabilizing the economy. As part of this policy, Bhutto inaugurated the country's first atomic power plant in Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

, Sindh Province in 1972. Under Bhutto, Pakistan became first nuclear power country in the Muslim world
Muslim world
The term Muslim world has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization...

, and also authorized the integrated nuclear weapons
Pakistan and weapons of mass destruction
Pakistan began focusing on nuclear weapons development in January 1972 under the leadership of Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who delegated the program to the Chairman of PAEC Munir Ahmad Khan...

 development the same year. After Smiling Buddha
Smiling Buddha
The Smiling Buddha, formally designated as Pokhran-I, was the codename given to Republic of India's first nuclear test explosion that took place at the long-constructed Indian Army base, Pokhran Test Range at Pokhran municipality, Rajasthan state on 18 May 1974 at 8:05 a.m....

 in 1974, India's first nuclear test, Bhutto intensified and accelerated the scientific research on nuclear weapons. By the 1978, this crash program had fully became mature, and Pakistan conducted a cold-test of a nuclear device (see Kirana-I) in Kirana Hills in 1983, followed by another cold test (see Kahuta Test) in 1984.

However, another serious liberation movement
Balochistan conflict
The Balochistan conflict is an ongoing conflict between Baloch nationalists and the Government of Pakistan over Balochistan, the country's largest province...

 took place in Balochistan Province in 1974. In response, Bhutto launched an armed operation in the province and the rebellion was successfully quelled by the Pakistan Armed Forces in 1978. Bhutto was removed in a coup d'état
Operation Fair Play
Operation Fairplay was the code-name for the coup d'etat conducted at midnight on July 4, 1977 by the Pakistan Army's 111th Infantry Brigade led by Chief of Army Staff General Zia-ul-Haq against the elected civilian government of then-Prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.-1977 election:The coup was...

 led by General Zia-ul-Haq, Chief of Army Staff, in 1977. The Supreme Court of Pakistan
Supreme Court of Pakistan
The Supreme Court is the apex court in Pakistan's judicial hierarchy, the final arbiter of legal and constitutional disputes. The Supreme Court has a permanent seat in Islamabad. It has number of Branch Registries where cases are heard. It has a number of de jure powers which are outlined in the...

 ordered the execution of Bhutto after he allegedly approved the murder of political opponent. In 1979, Bhutto was executed and General Zia-ul-Haq became the Chief Martial Law Administrator and President after Bhutto's execution. General Zia's martial law and military government lasted until 1988 when he died in a plane crash in 1988.

As military president, General Zia introduced the Islamic Sharia
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

 legal code
Hudood Ordinance
The Hudood Ordinance was a law in Pakistan that was enacted in 1979 as part of then-military ruler Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq's Islamization and replaced or revised in 2006 by the Women's Protection Bill....

, which increased religious influences on the civil service and the military. With the death of President Zia in a plane crash in 1988, Benazir Bhutto
Benazir Bhutto
Benazir Bhutto was a democratic socialist who served as the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan in two non-consecutive terms from 1988 until 1990 and 1993 until 1996....

, daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was elected as the first female Prime Minister of Pakistan. Over the next decade, she fought for power with conservative leader Nawaz Sharif
Nawaz Sharif
Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif is a Pakistani conservative politician and steel magnate who served as 12th Prime Minister of Pakistan in two non-consecutive terms from November 1990 to July 1993, and from February 1997 to October 12, 1999...

 as the country's political and economic situation worsened. Pakistan got involved in the 1991 Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 and sent 5,000 troops as part of a U.S.-led coalition, specifically for the defence of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

.

Recent elections


Navaz Sharif secured an overwhelming victory over Benazir Bhutto in the 1997 parliamentary elections
Pakistani general election, 1997
A general election was held in Pakistan on 3 February 1997 to elect the National Assembly of Pakistan and the four provincial assemblies. The election took place after the previous Pakistan Peoples Party government of Benazir Bhutto was dismissed by President Farooq Leghari for alleged corruption...

 and sworned as Prime minister of Pakistan. Navaz Sharif became the second politically strongest Prime minister, only after Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, to have claimed and have achieved the exclusive mandate of all over the Pakistan, defeating Benazir Bhutto on a large scale margin. In 1998, tensions with India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 heightened, as Navaz Sharif ordered the nuclear tests in Balochistan in May of 1998 (see Chagai-I
Chagai-I
The Chagai-I was a codename referring to the five underground nuclear tests conducted by Pakistan at 15:15hrs in 28th May of 1998. It was named Chagai-I, as the tests were conducted in the Chagai District...

 and Chagai-II) as a reaction to that of Indian nuclear tests (Pokhran-II
Pokhran-II
Pokharan-II refers to test explosions of five nuclear devices, three on 11 May and two on 13 May 1998, conducted by India at the Pokhran test range. These nuclear tests resulted in a variety of sanctions against India by a number of major states....

). Military tensions in the Kargil conflict
Kargil War
The Kargil War ,, also known as the Kargil conflict, was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan that took place between May and July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir and elsewhere along the Line of Control...

 with India were followed by a Pakistani military coup d'état in 1999 in which General Pervez Musharraf
Pervez Musharraf
Pervez Musharraf , is a retired four-star general who served as the 13th Chief of Army Staff and tenth President of Pakistan as well as tenth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. Musharraf headed and led an administrative military government from October 1999 till August 2007. He ruled...

 assumed vast executive powers. In 2001, Musharraf became President
President of Pakistan
The President of Pakistan is the head of state, as well as figurehead, of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Recently passed an XVIII Amendment , Pakistan has a parliamentary democratic system of government. According to the Constitution, the President is chosen by the Electoral College to serve a...

 after the controversial resignation of Rafiq Tarar. After the 2002 parliamentary elections, Musharraf transferred executive powers to the newly elected Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali
Zafarullah Khan Jamali
Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali was the 13th Prime Minister of Pakistan and former Chairman of the Pakistan Hockey Federation.-Early life:Born in Baluchistan, Jamali was the second Baluch Prime Minister of Pakistan...

, who was succeeded in the 2004 prime-ministerial election by Shaukat Aziz
Shaukat Aziz
Shaukat Aziz is a world acclaimed Pakistani economist who was the 15th Prime Minister of Pakistan from May 20, 2004 to 15 November 2007 in a joint military government led by General Pervez Musharraf. A Citibank executive, Aziz returned to Pakistan from the United States to be became Finance...

. On 15 November 2007, the National Assembly, for the first time in Pakistan's history, completed its tenure and new elections were called. The exiled political leaders Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif were permitted to return to Pakistan. However, the assassination of Benazir Bhutto
Assassination of Benazir Bhutto
The assassination of Benazir Bhutto occurred on 27 December 2007 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Bhutto, twice Prime Minister of Pakistan and then-leader of the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party, had been campaigning ahead of elections due in January 2008...

 during the election campaign in December led to postponement of elections and nationwide riots. Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party
Pakistan Peoples Party
The Pakistan Peoples Party , is a democratic socialist political party in Pakistan affiliated with Socialist International. Pakistan People's Party is the largest political party of Pakistan...

 (PPP) won the largest number of seats in the elections held in February 2008 and its member Yousaf Raza Gillani
Yousaf Raza Gillani
Yousuf Raza Gilani is the current prime minister of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. He was nominated as Prime Minister by the PPP, with the support of its coalition partners, Pakistan Muslim League , Awami National Party, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam and Muttahida Qaumi Movement, on 22 March 2008...

 was sworn in as Prime Minister. On 18 August 2008, Pervez Musharraf resigned from the presidency when threatened with impeachment
Impeachment
Impeachment is a formal process in which an official is accused of unlawful activity, the outcome of which, depending on the country, may include the removal of that official from office as well as other punishment....

, and was succeeded by current president Asif Ali Zardari
Asif Ali Zardari
Asif Ali Zardari is the 11th and current President of Pakistan and the Co-Chairman of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party . He is also the widower of Benazir Bhutto, who served two nonconsecutive terms as Prime Minister....

. By the end of 2009, more than 3 million Pakistani civilians have been displaced by the on going conflict in North-West Pakistan
War in North-West Pakistan
The War in North-West Pakistan is an armed conflict between the Pakistan Armed Forces and armed religious groups such as the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan , Lashkar-e-Islam, TSNM, Arab and Central Asian militants including Al-Qaeda, regional armed movements and elements of organized crime.The armed...

 between the government and Taliban militants.

Politics


Pakistan is a democratic parliamentary
Parliamentary republic
A parliamentary republic or parliamentary constitutional republic is a type of republic which operates under a parliamentary system of government - meaning a system with no clear-cut separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches. There are a number of variations of...

 federal republic with Islam as the state religion.
The first Constitution of Pakistan
Constitution of Pakistan
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is the supreme law of Pakistan. Known as the Constitution of 1973, it was drafted by the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and, following additions by the opposition parties, was approved by the legislative assembly on April 10, 1973...

 was adopted in 1956, but was suspended in 1958 by General Ayub Khan. The Constitution of 1973 – suspended in 1977, by Zia-ul-Haq, but re-instated in 1985  – is the country's most important document, laying the foundations of the current government.

The bicameral legislature comprises a 100-member Senate
Senate of Pakistan
The Senate of Pakistan is the upper house of the bicameral Parliament of Pakistan. Elections are held every three years for one half of the senate and each senator has a term of six years...

 and a 342-member National Assembly
National Assembly of Pakistan
The National Assembly of Pakistan is the lower house of the bicameral Majlis-e-Shura, which also compromises the President of Pakistan and Senate . The National Assembly and the Senate both convene at Parliament House in Islamabad...

. The President
President of Pakistan
The President of Pakistan is the head of state, as well as figurehead, of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Recently passed an XVIII Amendment , Pakistan has a parliamentary democratic system of government. According to the Constitution, the President is chosen by the Electoral College to serve a...

 is the Head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 and the Commander-in-chief
Commander-in-Chief
A commander-in-chief is the commander of a nation's military forces or significant element of those forces. In the latter case, the force element may be defined as those forces within a particular region or those forces which are associated by function. As a practical term it refers to the military...

 of the Armed Forces and is elected by an electoral college
Electoral College of Pakistan
The President of Pakistan is chosen by an electoral college, in Pakistan. According to article 41 of the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan, this electoral college consists of the Senate, the National Assembly of Pakistan, and the Members of the Provincial Assemblies. Members of the National Assembly...

. The prime minister
Prime Minister of Pakistan
The Prime Minister of Pakistan , is the Head of Government of Pakistan who is designated to exercise as the country's Chief Executive. By the Constitution of Pakistan, Pakistan has the parliamentary democratic system of government...

 is usually the leader of the largest party in the National Assembly. Each province has a similar system of government with a directly elected Provincial Assembly in which the leader of the largest party or alliance becomes Chief Minister. Provincial Governors are appointed by the President.

The Pakistani military has played an influential role in mainstream politics
Politics of Pakistan
Politics of Pakistan have taken place in the framework of a federal republic, where the system of government has at times been parliamentary, presidential, or semi-presidential. In the current parliamentary system, the President of Pakistan is the largely ceremonial head of state, the Prime...

 throughout Pakistan's history, with military presidents ruling from 1958–71, 1977–88 and from 1999–2008. The leftist Pakistan Peoples Party
Pakistan Peoples Party
The Pakistan Peoples Party , is a democratic socialist political party in Pakistan affiliated with Socialist International. Pakistan People's Party is the largest political party of Pakistan...

, led by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was 9th Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1973 to 1977, and prior to that, 4th President of Pakistan from 1971 to 1973. Bhutto was the founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party — the largest and most influential political party in Pakistan— and served as its chairman until his...

, won support after the loss of East Pakistan but was overthrown amidst riots in 1977. Under the military rule of Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq
Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq
General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq , was the 4th Chief Martial Law Administrator and the sixth President of Pakistan from July 1977 to his death in August 1988...

, a politically nationalist insurgency in Balochistan was also bloodlessly quelled by military governor
Governor of Balochistan
The Governor of Balochistan is the appointed Head of State of the provincial government in Balochistan, Pakistan. The governor is designated by the Prime Minister and is normally regarded a ceremonial post...

 Rahimuddin.
The 1990s were characterised by coalition politics dominated by the Pakistan Peoples Party and a rejuvenated Muslim League.
Pakistan is an active member of the United Nations (UN) and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the latter of which Pakistan has used as a forum for Enlightened Moderation, a plan to promote a renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 and enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

 in the Muslim world. Pakistan is also a member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation is an organisation of South Asian nations, founded in December 1985 by Ziaur Rahman and dedicated to economic, technological, social, and cultural development emphasising collective self-reliance. Its seven founding members are Bangladesh,...

 (SAARC) and the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO). In the past, Pakistan has had mixed relations with the United States; in the early 1950s, Pakistan was the United States' "most allied ally in Asia" and a member of both the Central Treaty Organisation (CENTO) and the Southeast Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO). After Sino-Indian War
Sino-Indian War
The Sino-Indian War , also known as the Sino-Indian Border Conflict , was a war between China and India that occurred in 1962. A disputed Himalayan border was the main pretext for war, but other issues played a role. There had been a series of violent border incidents after the 1959 Tibetan...

 in 1962 Pakistan's closest strategic, military and economic ally is China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

.

During the Soviet-Afghan War in the 1980s, Pakistan was a major U.S. ally. But relations soured in the 1990s, when sanctions were imposed by the U.S. over Pakistan's refusal to abandon its nuclear activities. However, the American War on Terrorism
War on Terrorism
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

, as an aftermath of 11 September 2001 attacks in New York, led to an improvement in US–Pakistan ties, especially after Pakistan ended its support of the Taliban regime in Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

. Its positive side was evidenced by a major increase in American military aid, providing Pakistan $4 billion more in three years after the 9/11 attacks than before. On the other hand, Pakistan is presently burdened with nearly 3 million displaced civilians due to the ongoing Afghan war. , in contexts of the War on Terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

, Pakistan was being referred to as part of the Greater Middle East
Greater Middle East
The Greater Middle East is a political term coined by the Bush administration to group together together various countries, pertaining to the Muslim world, specifically Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Various Central Asian countries are sometimes also included. Some speakers may use the...

 by the US under the Bush administration.

On 18 February 2008, Pakistan held its general elections
Pakistani general election, 2008
A general election was held in Pakistan on 18 February 2008, after being postponed from 8 January 2008. The original date was intended to elect members of the National Assembly of Pakistan, the lower house of the Majlis-e-Shoora...

 after Benazir Bhutto's assassination
Benazir Bhutto
Benazir Bhutto was a democratic socialist who served as the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan in two non-consecutive terms from 1988 until 1990 and 1993 until 1996....

 postponed the original date of 8 January 2008. The Pakistan Peoples Party won the majority of the votes and formed an alliance with the Pakistan Muslim League (N)
Pakistan Muslim League (N)
The Pakistan Muslim League is a conservative political party in Pakistan, affiliated with Western conservatism...

. They nominated and elected Yousaf Raza Gilani as Prime Minister. On 18 August 2008, Pervez Musharraf resigned as President of Pakistan amidst increasing calls for his impeachment
Movement to impeach Pervez Musharraf
The movement to impeach Pervez Musharraf was an August 2008 attempt by the Pakistan Peoples Party , the Pakistan Muslim League , Awami National Party , and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam to force Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf out of office....

. In the presidential election that followed, Asif Ali Zardari
Asif Ali Zardari
Asif Ali Zardari is the 11th and current President of Pakistan and the Co-Chairman of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party . He is also the widower of Benazir Bhutto, who served two nonconsecutive terms as Prime Minister....

 of Pakistan People's Party won a landslide majority and became President of Pakistan.

Administrative divisions


Pakistan is a federation of four provinces, Punjab, Sind
Sind
Sind or Sindh can refer to:*Sindh, a province of Pakistan established in 1970, renamed from Sind province in 1990*Sind Province , of British India 1936−1947 and West Pakistan 1947−1955...

, Balochistan
Balochistan
Balochistan or Baluchistan is a region which covers parts of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. It can also refer to one of several modern and historical territories within that region:...

, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a capital territory and a group of federally administered tribal areas. The government of Pakistan exercises de facto jurisdiction over the western parts of the disputed Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

 region, organised as separate political entities; Azad Kashmir
Azad Kashmir
Azad Jammu and Kashmir or Azad Kashmir for short, is the southernmost political entity within the Pakistani-administered part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir...

 and Gilgit-Baltistan. The latter has been given a province-like status for self government by the Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order, 2009.
Prior to 2001, the sub-provincial tier of government was composed of 26 divisions
Divisions of Pakistan
Divisions are the third tier of government in Pakistan, between the provinces and districts. They were abolished in 2000 by the government of former president Pervez Musharraf to make way for local governance via district governments...

 with two further tiers (districts
Districts of Pakistan
The Districts of Pakistan are the second order administrative divisions of Pakistan. Districts were the third order of administrative divisions, below provinces and "divisions", until the reforms of August 2000, when "divisions" were abolished...

 and tehsil
Tehsil
A Tehsil or Tahsil/Tahasil , also known as Taluk and Mandal, is an administrative division of some country/countries of South Asia....

s) administered directly from the provincial level. The divisions were abolished in 2001 and a new three-tiered system of local government came into effect comprising districts, tehsils and union councils
Union Councils of Pakistan
A sherwan or village council in Pakistan is an elected local government body consisting of 21 councillors, and headed by a nazim and a naib nazim...

 with an elected body at each tier.

There are currently 113 districts in Pakistan-proper, each with several tehsils and union councils. The tribal areas comprise seven tribal agencies and six small frontier regions detached from neighbouring districts while Azad Kashmir comprises ten and Gilgit-Baltistan seven districts respectively.
Provinces Territories
Balochistan
Balochistan (Pakistan)
Balochistan is one of the four provinces or federating units of Pakistan. With an area of 134,051 mi2 or , it is the largest province of Pakistan, constituting approximately 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan. According to the 1998 population census, Balochistan had a population of...

 
Islamabad Capital Territory
Islamabad Capital Territory
The Islamabad Capital Territory is one of the two federal territories of Pakistan. It includes Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan, and covers an area of 1,165.5 km² of which 906 km² is Islamabad proper...

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa  Federally Administered Tribal Areas
Federally Administered Tribal Areas
The Federally Administered Tribal Areas are a semi-autonomous tribal region in the northwest of Pakistan, lying between the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and the neighboring country of Afghanistan. The FATA comprise seven Agencies and six FRs...

 including the Frontier Regions
Frontier Regions
The Frontier Regions of Pakistan are a group of small administrative units in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas , lying immediately to the east of the seven main tribal agencies and west of the settled districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa...

Punjab
Punjab (Pakistan)
Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

 
Azad Jammu and Kashmir
Azad Kashmir
Azad Jammu and Kashmir or Azad Kashmir for short, is the southernmost political entity within the Pakistani-administered part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir...

Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 
Gilgit-Baltistan

Military



The armed forces of Pakistan are the eighth-largest in the world. The three main services are the Army
Pakistan Army
The Pakistan Army is the branch of the Pakistani Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. The Pakistan Army came into existence after the Partition of India and the resulting independence of Pakistan in 1947. It is currently headed by General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The Pakistan...

, Navy
Pakistan Navy
The Pakistan Navy is the naval warfare/service branch of the Pakistan Armed Forces. Pakistan's Navy is responsible for Pakistan's coastline along the Arabian Sea and the defense of important civilian harbors and military bases...

 and the Air Force
Pakistan Air Force
The Pakistan Air Force is the leading air arm of the Pakistan Armed Forces and is primarily tasked with the aerial defence of Pakistan with a secondary role of providing air support to the Pakistan Army and the Pakistan Navy. The PAF also has a tertiary role of providing strategic air transport...

, supported by a number of paramilitary forces which carry out internal security roles and border patrols. The National Command Authority
Pakistan National Command Authority
The National Command Authority of Pakistan is a Pakistan government organization tasked with the command and control of Pakistan's strategic nuclear forces and strategic organizations....

 is responsible for exercising employment and development control of all strategic nuclear
Nuclear weapon
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first fission bomb test released the same amount...

 forces and organisations, and for Pakistan's nuclear doctrine
Nuclear Doctrine of Pakistan
The nuclear doctrine of Pakistan is the nuclear strategy policy stated by Pakistan to be used in the event of a war, particularly against India....

. Pakistani defence forces has had close military relation with China and United States
Pakistan – United States relations
Pakistan – United States relations refers to the bilateral relationship between the Pakistan and the United States. The United States first established diplomatic relations with Pakistan on 20 October 1947. The relationship since then was based primarily on U.S. economic and military assistance to...

 and predominantly imports military equipments from these two countries. The defence forces of China and Pakistan also organise joint military exercises.

The Pakistan Army came into existence after independence
Pakistan Movement
The Pakistan Movement or Tehrik-e-Pakistan refers to the historical movement to have an independent Muslim state named Pakistan created from the separation of the north-western region of the Indian subcontinent, partitioned within or outside the British Indian Empire. It had its origins in the...

 in 1947 and is currently headed by General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani
Ashfaq Parvez Kayani
General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, NI, HI is a four-star general in the Pakistan Army, and the current Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army. He replaced General Pervez Musharraf as the Chief of Army Staff and the commandant of the army on November 29, 2007...

. The Pakistan Army is "the heart of power" in Pakistan who "consistently meddled in politics," as well as "run secretive industrial conglomerates". It has an active force of 612,000 personnel and 513,000 men in reserve. Conscription
Conscription
Conscription is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of national service, most often military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names...

 may be introduced in times of emergency, but it has never been imposed.

Since independence, the Army has been involved in four wars with neighbouring India and several border skirmishes with Afghanistan. It maintained division and brigade strength presences in some of the Arab countries during the past Arab–Israeli Wars
Arab–Israeli conflict
The Arab–Israeli conflict refers to political tensions and open hostilities between the Arab peoples and the Jewish community of the Middle East. The modern Arab-Israeli conflict began with the rise of Zionism and Arab Nationalism towards the end of the nineteenth century, and intensified with the...

, and aided the Coalition in the first Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

. Other major operations undertaken by the Army include Operation Black Thunderstorm
Operation Black Thunderstorm
Operation Black Thunderstorm was an aggressive military operation that commenced on April 26, 2009 conducted by the Pakistan Army, with the aim of retaking Buner, Lower Dir, Swat and Shangla districts from the Taliban after the militants took control of them since the start of the year.- Background...

 and Operation Rah-e-Nijat
Operation Rah-e-Nijat
The Operation Rah-e-Nijat was a Pakistani military operation against the Taliban and other Islamist rebels in the South Waziristan area of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas that began on June 19, 2009; a major ground offensive was subsequently launched on October 17...

. Apart from conflicts, the Army has been an active participant in United Nations peacekeeping missions and played a major role in rescuing trapped American soldiers from Mogadishu
Mogadishu
Mogadishu , popularly known as Xamar, is the largest city in Somalia and the nation's capital. Located in the coastal Benadir region on the Indian Ocean, the city has served as an important port for centuries....

, Somalia in 1993 in Operation Gothic Serpent
Operation Gothic Serpent
Operation Gothic Serpent was a military operation conducted by special operations forces of the United States with the primary mission of capturing warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid...

.

The Pakistan military first saw combat in the First Kashmir War
Indo-Pakistani War of 1947
The India-Pakistan War of 1947-48, sometimes known as the First Kashmir War, was fought between India and Pakistan over the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu from 1947 to 1948. It was the first of four wars fought between the two newly independent nations...

, gaining control of what is now Pakistan-administered Kashmir
Pakistan-administered Kashmir
Azad Kashmir borders the Pakistani provinces of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west, the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan to the north west, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of People's Republic of China to the north and the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir, to the east.A...

. In 1961, the army repelled a major Afghan incursion on Pakistan's western border. Pakistan and India were at war again in 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 was a culmination of skirmishes that took place between April 1965 and September 1965 between Pakistan and India. This conflict became known as the Second Kashmir War fought by India and Pakistan over the disputed region of Kashmir, the first having been fought in 1947...

 and in 1971
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 was a military conflict between India and Pakistan. Indian, Bangladeshi and international sources consider the beginning of the war to be Operation Chengiz Khan, Pakistan's December 3, 1971 pre-emptive strike on 11 Indian airbases...

. In 1973, the military quelled a Baloch nationalist uprising.

In the past, Pakistani personnel have volunteered to serve alongside Arab forces in conflicts with Israel. During the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

 in 1967 and Yom Kippur War
Yom Kippur War
The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War or October War , also known as the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, was fought from October 6 to 25, 1973, between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria...

 in October 1973 PAF pilots volunteered to go to the Middle East to support Egypt and Syria in a state of war against Israel, Air Force pilots shot down ten Israeli planes in the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

. During the Yom Kippur War
Yom Kippur War
The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War or October War , also known as the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, was fought from October 6 to 25, 1973, between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria...

 16 PAF pilots volunteered to leave for the Middle East in order to support Egypt and Syria but by the time they arrived Egypt had already agreed on a cease-fire.

During the Soviet–Afghan war
Soviet war in Afghanistan
The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving the Soviet Union, supporting the Marxist-Leninist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan against the Afghan Mujahideen and foreign "Arab–Afghan" volunteers...

, Pakistan shot down several intruding pro-Soviet Afghan aircraft and provided covert support to the Afghan mujahideen through the Inter-Services Intelligence
Inter-Services Intelligence
The Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence , is Pakistan's premier intelligence agency, responsible for providing critical national security intelligence assessment to the Government of Pakistan...

 agency.

In 1999, Pakistan was involved in the Kargil War
Kargil War
The Kargil War ,, also known as the Kargil conflict, was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan that took place between May and July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir and elsewhere along the Line of Control...

. Currently, the military is engaged in an armed conflict with extremist Islamic militants in the north-west of the country. Since 2004, Pakistani armed forces have engaged in fighting against Pakistani Taliban groups
Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan
Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan , alternatively referred to as the Pakistani Taliban, is an umbrella organization of various Islamist militant groups based in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas along the Afghan border in Pakistan. Most, but not all, Pakistani Taliban groups coalesce under the TTP...

. Militant groups have engaged in suicide bombings in Pakistani cities, killing more than 3,000 civilians and armed personnel in 2009 alone.

Internationally the Pakistani armed forces contributed to United Nations peacekeeping efforts, with more than 10,700 personnel deployed in 2009, and are presently the largest contributor. Pakistan provided a military contingent to the UN-backed coalition in the first Gulf War. Pakistani troops were rushed to Makkah on the Saudi Government's request and Pakistani SSG commandos led the operation of the Grand Mosque Seizure
Grand Mosque Seizure
The Grand Mosque Seizure on November 20, 1979, was an armed attack and takeover by Islamist dissidents of the Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest place in Islam...

.

Kashmir conflict



The Kashmir conflict is a territorial dispute
Territorial dispute
A territorial dispute is a disagreement over the possession/control of land between two or more states or over the possession or control of land by a new state and occupying power after it has conquered the land from a former state no longer currently recognized by the new state.-Context and...

 between India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 over the Kashmir region, the northwesternmost region of South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

.

India claims the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir and as of 2010, administers approximately 43% of the region, including most of Jammu
Jammu
Jammu , also known as Duggar, is one of the three administrative divisions within Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state in India.Jammu city is the largest city in Jammu and the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir...

, the Kashmir Valley, Ladakh
Ladakh
Ladakh is a region of Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state of the Republic of India. It lies between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south, inhabited by people of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan descent...

, and the Siachen Glacier
Siachen Glacier
The Siachen Glacier is located in the eastern Karakoram range in the Himalaya Mountains at about , just east of the Line of Control between India-Pakistan. India controls all of the Siachen Glacier itself, including all tributary glaciers. At long, it is the longest glacier in the Karakoram and...

. India's claim is contested by Pakistan, which controls approximately 37% of Kashmir, namely Azad Kashmir
Azad Kashmir
Azad Jammu and Kashmir or Azad Kashmir for short, is the southernmost political entity within the Pakistani-administered part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir...

 and the northern areas of Gilgit
Gilgit
Gilgit is a city in northern PakistanGilgit may refer to other terms related with the area of the city:* Gilgit River* Gilgit Valley* Gilgit District* Gilgit Agency * Gilgit Airport...

 and Baltistan
Baltistan
Baltistan , also known as بلتیول བལིུལ་ in the Balti language, is a region in northern Pakistan which forms Gilgit-Baltistan, bordering the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China. In addition, a part of Baltistan also falls into Jammu and Kashmir of India. It is situated in the Karakoram mountains...

. China controls 20% of Kashmir, including Aksai Chin
Aksai Chin
Aksai Chin is one of the two main disputed border areas between China and India, and the other is South Tibet, which comprises most of India's Arunachal Pradesh. It is administered by China as part of Hotan County in the Hotan Prefecture of Xinjiang Autonomous Region, but is also claimed by India...

, which it occupied following the brief Sino-Indian War
Sino-Indian War
The Sino-Indian War , also known as the Sino-Indian Border Conflict , was a war between China and India that occurred in 1962. A disputed Himalayan border was the main pretext for war, but other issues played a role. There had been a series of violent border incidents after the 1959 Tibetan...

 of 1962, and the Trans-Karakoram Tract
Trans-Karakoram Tract
The Trans-Karakoram Tract is an area of nearly along both sides of the Shaksgam River, is entirely administered by the People's Republic of China as a part of Kargilik County and Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County in the Kashgar Prefecture of Xinjiang Autonomous Region, but claimed by Pakistan...

 (also known as the Shaksam Valley), which was ceded by Pakistan in 1963.

India has officially stated that it believes that Kashmir is an integral part of India, though the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh
Manmohan Singh
Manmohan Singh is the 13th and current Prime Minister of India. He is the only Prime Minister since Jawaharlal Nehru to return to power after completing a full five-year term. A Sikh, he is the first non-Hindu to occupy the office. Singh is also the 7th Prime Minister belonging to the Indian...

, stated after the 2010 Kashmir Unrest
2010 Kashmir unrest
The 2010 Kashmir unrest was a series of protests in the Muslim majority Kashmir Valley in Indian Administered Kashmir which started in June 2010...

 that his government is willing to grant autonomy within the purview of Indian constitution to Kashmir if there is consensus on this issue. Pakistan says that Kashmir is a disputed territory whose final status must be determined by the people of Kashmir. China states that Aksai Chin is a part of China and does not recognize the addition of Aksai Chin to the Kashmir region. Certain Kashmiri independence groups believe that Kashmir should be independent of both India and Pakistan.

India and Pakistan have fought at least three wars over Kashmir, including the Indo-Pakistani Wars of 1947
Indo-Pakistani War of 1947
The India-Pakistan War of 1947-48, sometimes known as the First Kashmir War, was fought between India and Pakistan over the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu from 1947 to 1948. It was the first of four wars fought between the two newly independent nations...

, 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 was a culmination of skirmishes that took place between April 1965 and September 1965 between Pakistan and India. This conflict became known as the Second Kashmir War fought by India and Pakistan over the disputed region of Kashmir, the first having been fought in 1947...

 and 1999. India and Pakistan have also been involved in several skirmishes over the Siachen Glacier
Siachen conflict
The Siachen Conflict, sometimes referred to as the Siachen War, is a military conflict between India and Pakistan over the disputed Siachen Glacier region in Kashmir. The conflict began in 1984 with India's successful Operation Meghdoot during which it wrested control of the Siachen Glacier from...

.

Geography


Pakistan covers an area of 796095 km² (307,374 sq mi), approximately equalling the combined land areas of France and the United Kingdom. It is the 36th largest nation by total area although this ranking varies depending on how the disputed territory of Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

 is counted. Apart from the 1046 km (650 mi) coastline along the Arabian Sea, Pakistan's land borders a total of 6774 km (4,209.2 mi)—2430 km (1,509.9 mi) with Afghanistan, 523 km (325 mi) with China, 2912 km (1,809.4 mi) with India and 909 km (564.8 mi) with Iran. The territory it controls mostly lies between latitudes 23°
23rd parallel north
The 23rd parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 23 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, North America, the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean....

 and 37° N
37th parallel north
The 37th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 37 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, Africa, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

 (a small area is north of 37°), and longitudes 61°
61st meridian east
The meridian 61° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 and 78° E
78th meridian east
The meridian 78° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 (a small area is west of 61°).

Geologically, Pakistan overlaps with the Indian tectonic plate in its Sindh and Punjab provinces, while Balochistan and most of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa lie within the Eurasian plate
Eurasian Plate
The Eurasian Plate is a tectonic plate which includes most of the continent of Eurasia , with the notable exceptions of the Indian subcontinent, the Arabian subcontinent, and the area east of the Chersky Range in East Siberia...

 which mainly comprises the Iranian plateau
Iranian plateau
The Iranian plateau, or Iranic plateau, is a geological formation in Southwest Asia. It is the part of the Eurasian Plate wedged between the Arabian and Indian plates, situated between the Zagros mountains to the west, the Caspian Sea and the Kopet Dag to the north, the Hormuz Strait and Persian...

. Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir lie mainly in Central Asia along the edge of the Indian plate and are hence prone to violent earthquakes.

The geography of Pakistan is a blend of landscapes varying from plains to deserts, forests, hills, and plateaus ranging from the coastal areas of the Arabian Sea in the south to the mountains of the Karakoram
Karakoram
The Karakoram, or Karakorum , is a large mountain range spanning the borders between Pakistan, India and China, located in the regions of Gilgit-Baltistan , Ladakh , and Xinjiang region,...

 range in the north. Pakistan is divided into three major geographic areas: the northern highlands; the Indus River plain; and the Balochistan Plateau. The northern highlands of Pakistan contain the Karakoram, Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
The Hindu Kush is an mountain range that stretches between central Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. The highest point in the Hindu Kush is Tirich Mir in the Chitral region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.It is the westernmost extension of the Pamir Mountains, the Karakoram Range, and is a...

 and Pamir
Pamir Mountains
The Pamir Mountains are a mountain range in Central Asia formed by the junction or knot of the Himalayas, Tian Shan, Karakoram, Kunlun, and Hindu Kush ranges. They are among the world’s highest mountains and since Victorian times they have been known as the "Roof of the World" a probable...

 mountain ranges, which incorporate some of the world's highest peaks, including K2
K2
K2 is the second-highest mountain on Earth, after Mount Everest...

 (8611 m or 28,251.3 ft) and Nanga Parbat
Nanga Parbat
Nanga Parbat is the ninth highest mountain on Earth, the second highest mountain in Pakistan and among the eight-thousanders with a summit elevation of 8,126 meters...

 (8126 m or 26,660.1 ft). The Balochistan Plateau lies to the West, and the Thar Desert
Thar Desert
The Thar Desert |Punjab]] province. The Cholistan Desert adjoins the Thar desert spreading into Pakistani Punjab province.-Location and description:...

 in the East. An expanse of alluvial plains lies in Punjab and Sindh along the Indus river. The 1609 km (999.8 mi) Indus River
Indus River
The Indus River is a major river which flows through Pakistan. It also has courses through China and India.Originating in the Tibetan plateau of western China in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar in Tibet Autonomous Region, the river runs a course through the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir and...

 and its tributaries flow through the country from the Kashmir region to the Arabian Sea.

Climate


Pakistan's climate varies from tropical to temperate with arid conditions existing in the coastal south, characterised by a monsoon
Monsoon
Monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation, but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea...

 season with frequent flooding rainfall and a dry season with significantly lesser to no rainfall. There are four distinct 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. Rainfall can vary radically from year to year, and successive patterns of flooding and drought are common.

Flora and fauna


The diversity of landscapes and climates in Pakistan allows for a wide variety of trees and plants to flourish in this region. The forests range from coniferous alpine
Alpine climate
Alpine climate is the average weather for a region above the tree line. This climate is also referred to as mountain climate or highland climate....

 and subalpine
Subalpine
The subalpine zone is the biotic zone immediately below tree line around the world. Species that occur in this zone depend on the location of the zone on the Earth, for example, Snow Gum in Australia, or Subalpine Larch, Mountain Hemlock and Subalpine Fir in western North America.Trees in the...

 trees such as spruce
Spruce
A spruce is a tree of the genus Picea , a genus of about 35 species of coniferous evergreen trees in the Family Pinaceae, found in the northern temperate and boreal regions of the earth. Spruces are large trees, from tall when mature, and can be distinguished by their whorled branches and conical...

, pine
Pine
Pines are trees in the genus Pinus ,in the family Pinaceae. They make up the monotypic subfamily Pinoideae. There are about 115 species of pine, although different authorities accept between 105 and 125 species.-Etymology:...

, and deodar cedar
Deodar Cedar
Cedrus deodara is a species of cedar native to the western Himalayas in eastern Afghanistan, northern Pakistan, north-central India , southwesternmost Tibet and western Nepal, occurring at 1500–3200 m altitude...

 in the extreme northern mountains, to deciduous
Deciduous
Deciduous means "falling off at maturity" or "tending to fall off", and is typically used in reference to trees or shrubs that lose their leaves seasonally, and to the shedding of other plant structures such as petals after flowering or fruit when ripe...

 trees such as the mulberry-type Shisham
Dalbergia sissoo
Dalbergia sissoo, known as Shisham, is an erect deciduous tree, native to the Indian Subcontinent. It is also called sissoo, sisu, sheesham, tahli and sometimes referred to as Indian Rosewood. It is state tree of Punjab state and provincial tree of Punjab province...

 in the Sulaiman range
Sulaiman Mountains
The Sulaiman Mountains are a major geological feature of southeastern Afghanistan and northern Balochistan province of Pakistan. In Pakistan, it forms the eastern edge of the Iranian plateau where the Indus River separates it from the Asian Subcontient...

 in the majority of the country, to palms such coconut
Coconut
The coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, is a member of the family Arecaceae . It is the only accepted species in the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which is not a botanical nut. The spelling cocoanut is an old-fashioned form of the word...

 and date in South Punjab and Balochistan
Balochistan
Balochistan or Baluchistan is a region which covers parts of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. It can also refer to one of several modern and historical territories within that region:...

 and all of Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

. The western hills are home to juniper
Juniper
Junipers are coniferous plants in the genus Juniperus of the cypress family Cupressaceae. Depending on taxonomic viewpoint, there are between 50-67 species of juniper, widely distributed throughout the northern hemisphere, from the Arctic, south to tropical Africa in the Old World, and to the...

 and tamarisk as well as coarse grasses and scrub plants. Mangrove
Mangrove
Mangroves are various kinds of trees up to medium height and shrubs that grow in saline coastal sediment habitats in the tropics and subtropics – mainly between latitudes N and S...

 forests form much of the coastal wetlands along the coast in the south.

Coniferous forests in most of the northern and north-western highlands are found at altitudes ranging from 1,000m to 4,000m. In the xeric regions of Balochistan, date palm
Date Palm
The date palm is a palm in the genus Phoenix, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit. Although its place of origin is unknown because of long cultivation, it probably originated from lands around the Persian Gulf. It is a medium-sized plant, 15–25 m tall, growing singly or forming a clump with...

s and ephedra
Ephedra
Ephedra refers to the plant Ephedra sinica. E. sinica, known in Chinese as ma huang , has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for 5,000 years for the treatment of asthma and hay fever, as well as for the common cold...

 are common floral varieties. In most of Punjab and Sindh, the Indus plains support tropical and subtropical dry and moist broadleaf forestry as well as tropical and xeric shrublands. These forests are mostly mulberry
Mulberry
Morus is a genus of flowering plants in the family Moraceae. The 10–16 species of deciduous trees it contains are commonly known as Mulberries....

, acacia
Acacia
Acacia is a genus of shrubs and trees belonging to the subfamily Mimosoideae of the family Fabaceae, first described in Africa by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1773. Many non-Australian species tend to be thorny, whereas the majority of Australian acacias are not...

, and Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus is a diverse genus of flowering trees in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. Members of the genus dominate the tree flora of Australia...

.

According to statistics, 2.5% or about 1902000 hectares (19,020 km²) of Pakistan was forested in 2000.

Similar to the vegetation, the animal life in Pakistan reflects the varied climatic regions of the land. The southern plains are home to crocodiles
Mugger Crocodile
The mugger crocodile , also called the Indian, Indus, Persian, or marsh crocodile, is found throughout the Indian subcontinent and the surrounding countries...

 in the Indus while boars, deer
Deer
Deer are the ruminant mammals forming the family Cervidae. Species in the Cervidae family include white-tailed deer, elk, moose, red deer, reindeer, fallow deer, roe deer and chital. Male deer of all species and female reindeer grow and shed new antlers each year...

, porcupine
Porcupine
Porcupines are rodents with a coat of sharp spines, or quills, that defend or camouflage them from predators. They are indigenous to the Americas, southern Asia, and Africa. Porcupines are the third largest of the rodents, behind the capybara and the beaver. Most porcupines are about long, with...

s, and small rodents are found more commonly in the surrounding areas. The sandy scrublands of central Pakistan are home to a jackals, hyenas, wild cats, panthers
Panthera
Panthera is a genus of the family Felidae , which contains four well-known living species: the tiger, the lion, the jaguar, and the leopard. The genus comprises about half of the Pantherinae subfamily, the big cats...

, and leopards.

In the north, a wide variety of animals have found home in the mountainous regions including the Marco Polo sheep
Marco Polo sheep
The Marco Polo sheep is a subspecies of argali sheep, named after Marco Polo. Their habitat is the mountainous regions of Central Asia. Marco Polo sheep are distinguishable mostly by their large size and spiraling horns. Their conservation status is "near threatened" and efforts have been made to...

, Urial sheep
Urial
The Urial , also known as the Arkars or Shapo, is a subspecies group of the wild sheep Ovis orientalis. Noticeable features are the reddish-brown long fur that fades during winter; males are characterized by a black ruff stretching from the neck to the chest and large horns. It is found in western...

, Markhor
Markhor
The Markhor is a large species of wild goat that is found in northeastern Afghanistan, Pakistan , India, southern Tajikistan and southern Uzbekistan...

 and Ibex goats, black
Asiatic Black Bear
The Asian black bear , also known as the moon bear or white-chested bear is a medium-sized species of bear, largely adapted for arboreal life, which occurs through much of southern Asia, Korea, northeastern China, the Russian far east and Honshū and Shikoku islands of Japan...

 and brown
Brown Bear
The brown bear is a large bear distributed across much of northern Eurasia and North America. It can weigh from and its largest subspecies, the Kodiak Bear, rivals the polar bear as the largest member of the bear family and as the largest land-based predator.There are several recognized...

 Himalayan bears, and the rare Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard
The snow leopard is a moderately large cat native to the mountain ranges of South Asia and Central Asia...

. Another rare species is the blind Indus River Dolphin
Indus River dolphin
The Indus River dolphin is a sub-species of freshwater or river dolphin found in the Indus River of Pakistan...

 of which there are believed to be about 1,100 remaining, protected at the Indus River Dolphin Reserve in Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

. There have been sightings of the rare Asiatic cheetahs
Asiatic Cheetah
The Asiatic Cheetah is now also known as the Iranian Cheetah, as the world's last few are known to survive mostly in Iran. Although recently presumed to be extinct in India, it is also known as the Indian Cheetah...

 in the southwestern deserts of Sindh and Balochistan.

Apart from crows
House Crow
thumb|300px|Bangalore, IndiaThe House Crow , also known as the Colombo Crow is a common bird of the Crow family that is of Asian origin but now found in many parts of the world, where they arrived assisted by shipping. It is between the Jackdaw and the Carrion Crow in size but is relatively...

, sparrow
Sparrow
The sparrows are a family of small passerine birds, Passeridae. They are also known as true sparrows, or Old World sparrows, names also used for a genus of the family, Passer...

s and myna
Common Myna
The Common Myna or Indian Myna also sometimes spelled Mynah, is a member of family Sturnidae native to Asia. An omnivorous open woodland bird with a strong territorial instinct, the Myna has adapted extremely well to urban environments...

, hawk
Hawk
The term hawk can be used in several ways:* In strict usage in Australia and Africa, to mean any of the species in the subfamily Accipitrinae, which comprises the genera Accipiter, Micronisus, Melierax, Urotriorchis and Megatriorchis. The large and widespread Accipiter genus includes goshawks,...

s, falcon
Falcon
A falcon is any species of raptor in the genus Falco. The genus contains 37 species, widely distributed throughout Europe, Asia, and North America....

s, and eagles
Eagles
The Eagles are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1971 by Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner.With five number one singles, six Grammys, five American Music Awards, and six number one albums, the Eagles were one of the most successful musical acts of the...

 are the more commonly found birds in Pakistan. A lot of birds sighted within Pakistan are migratory as they make their way from Europe, Central Asia and India.

In recent years, the number of wild animals being killed for fur and leather trading led to a new law banning the hunting of wild animals and birds as well as the establishment of several wildlife sanctuaries and game reserves. The number of hunters have greatly dwindled since then.

Vast sections of the Indus flood plains have been cleared of natural vegetation to grow crops. Only animals like the jackal
Jackal
Although the word jackal has been historically used to refer to many small- to medium-sized species of the wolf genus of mammals, Canis, today it most properly and commonly refers to three species: the black-backed jackal and the side-striped jackal of sub-Saharan Africa, and the golden jackal of...

, mongoose
Mongoose
Mongoose are a family of 33 living species of small carnivorans from southern Eurasia and mainland Africa. Four additional species from Madagascar in the subfamily Galidiinae, which were previously classified in this family, are also referred to as "mongooses" or "mongoose-like"...

, jungle cat, civet cat, scaly anteater
Anteater
Anteaters, also known as antbear, are the four mammal species of the suborder Vermilingua commonly known for eating ants and termites. Together with the sloths, they compose the order Pilosa...

, desert cat and the wild hare occur in these areas. Hog deer
Hog Deer
The Hog Deer is a small deer whose habitat ranges from Pakistan, through northern India, to mainland southeast Asia...

 are found in riveine tracts. The crop residues and wild growth support reasonable populations of black and grey partridge
Partridge
Partridges are birds in the pheasant family, Phasianidae. They are a non-migratory Old World group.These are medium-sized birds, intermediate between the larger pheasants and the smaller quails. Partridges are native to Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East...

s.

The lack of vegetative cover, severity of climatic conditions, and the impact of grazing animals on the deserts have left wild animals in a precarious position. Chinkara
Chinkara
The Chinkara is a species of gazelle found in south Asia.-Habitat and Distribution:It lives in grasslands and desert areas in India, Bangladesh and parts of Iran and Pakistan...

 is the only animal that can still be found in significant numbers in Cholistan. The blackbuck
Blackbuck
Blackbuck is a species of antelope native to the Indian subcontinent. Their range decreased sharply during the 20th century. Since 2003, the IUCN lists the species as near threatened....

, once plentiful in Cholistan, has now been eliminated; efforts are being made to reintroduce them into the country. A small number of blue bulls are found along the Pakistan-Indian border, and in some parts of Cholistan. Grey partridge
Grey Partridge
The Grey Partridge, Perdix perdix, also known as the English Partridge, Hungarian Partridge, or Hun, is a gamebird in the pheasant family Phasianidae of the order Galliformes, gallinaceous birds...

, species of sand grouse and the Indian courser
Indian Courser
The Indian Courser is a species of courser found in mainland South Asia, mainly in the plains bounded by the Ganges and Indus river system...

 are the main birds of the area. Peafowl
Peafowl
Peafowl are two Asiatic species of flying birds in the genus Pavo of the pheasant family, Phasianidae, best known for the male's extravagant eye-spotted tail, which it displays as part of courtship. The male is called a peacock, the female a peahen, and the offspring peachicks. The adult female...

 occur in some areas in Cholistan. The Kohistan region of Pakistan, Palas Velley, also has a significant population of Western Tragopan
Western Tragopan
The Western Tragopan or Western Horned Tragopan is a medium-sized brightly plumaged pheasant found along the Himalayas from Hazara in northern Pakistan in the west to Uttarakhand within India to the east...

.

Economy


Pakistan has a semi-industrialized economy. The growth poles of the Pakistani economy are situated along the Indus River
Indus River
The Indus River is a major river which flows through Pakistan. It also has courses through China and India.Originating in the Tibetan plateau of western China in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar in Tibet Autonomous Region, the river runs a course through the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir and...

. Diversified economies of Karachi and Punjab's urban centres, coexist with lesser developed areas in other parts of the country. Despite being a very poor country in 1947, Pakistan's economic growth rate has been better than the global average during the subsequent four decades, but imprudent policies led to a slowdown in the late 1990s.

Recently, wide-ranging economic reforms have resulted in a stronger economic outlook and accelerated growth especially in the manufacturing and financial services sectors. Since the 1990s, there has been great improvement in the foreign exchange
Foreign exchange market
The foreign exchange market is a global, worldwide decentralized financial market for trading currencies. Financial centers around the world function as anchors of trading between a wide range of different types of buyers and sellers around the clock, with the exception of weekends...

 position and rapid growth in hard currency
Hard currency
Hard currency , in economics, refers to a globally traded currency that is expected to serve as a reliable and stable store of value...

 reserves.

The 2005 estimate of foreign debt was close to US$40 billion. However, this has decreased in recent years with assistance from the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

 and significant debt-relief from the United States. Pakistan's gross domestic product, as measured by purchasing power parity
Purchasing power parity
In economics, purchasing power parity is a condition between countries where an amount of money has the same purchasing power in different countries. The prices of the goods between the countries would only reflect the exchange rates...

, is estimated to be $475.4 billion while its per capita income stands at $2,942. The poverty rate in Pakistan is estimated to be between 23% and 28%.

GDP growth was steady during the mid-2000s at a rate of 7%; however, slowed down during the Economic crisis of 2008 to 4.7%. A large inflation rate of 24.4% and a low savings rate, and other economic factors, continue to make it difficult to sustain a high growth rate. Pakistan's GDP is US$167 billions, which makes it the 48th-largest economy in the world or 27th largest by purchasing power adjusted exchange rates. Today, Pakistan is regarded as to having the second largest economy in South Asia.

The structure of the Pakistani economy has changed from a mainly agricultural base to a strong service base. Agriculture now only accounts for roughly 20% of the GDP, while the service sector accounts for 53% of the GDP. Significant foreign investments have been made in several areas including telecommunications
Communications in Pakistan
Telecommunications in Pakistan describes the overall environment for the growing mobile telecommunications, telephone, and Internet markets in Pakistan.In 2008 Pakistan was the world’s third fastest growing telecommunications market...

, real estate and energy. Other important industries include apparel and textiles (accounting for nearly 60% of exports), food processing, chemicals manufacture, and the iron and steel industries. Pakistan's exports in 2008 amounted to $20.62 billion (USD). Pakistan is a rapidly developing country.

However, the economic crisis of 2008 led Pakistan to seek more than $100 billion in aid in order to avoid possible bankruptcy. This was never given to Pakistan and it had to depend on a more aggressive fiscal policy, backed by the IMF. A year later, Asian Development Bank reported that the Pakistan economic crisis was easing. Furthermore it is projected that in 2010 Pakistan economy would grow at least 4% and could grow more with strong international economic recovery.

Tourism



Despite being once listed as one of the most dangerous countries in the world by The Economist, tourism is still a growing industry in Pakistan because of its diverse cultures, peoples and landscapes. The variety of attractions ranges from the ruins of ancient civilisations such as Mohenjo-daro
Mohenjo-daro
Mohenjo-daro is an archeological site situated in what is now the province of Sindh, Pakistan. Built around 2600 BC, it was one of the largest settlements of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, and one of the world's earliest major urban settlements, existing at the same time as the...

, Harappa
Harappa
Harappa is an archaeological site in Punjab, northeast Pakistan, about west of Sahiwal. The site takes its name from a modern village located near the former course of the Ravi River. The current village of Harappa is from the ancient site. Although modern Harappa has a train station left from...

 and Taxila
Taxila
Taxila is a Tehsil in the Rawalpindi District of Punjab province of Pakistan. It is an important archaeological site.Taxila is situated about northwest of Islamabad Capital Territory and Rawalpindi in Panjab; just off the Grand Trunk Road...

, to the Himalayan hill-stations, that attract those interested in field and winter sports. Pakistan also has five out of fourteen mountain peaks of height over 8000 metres (26,246.7 ft), that attract adventurers and mountaineers from around the world, especially to K2
K2
K2 is the second-highest mountain on Earth, after Mount Everest...

. From April to September, domestic and international visitors to these areas bring tourist income to the local people.
In Balochistan
Balochistan (Pakistan)
Balochistan is one of the four provinces or federating units of Pakistan. With an area of 134,051 mi2 or , it is the largest province of Pakistan, constituting approximately 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan. According to the 1998 population census, Balochistan had a population of...

 there are many caves for cavers and tourists to visit especially the Juniper Shaft Cave, the Murghagull Gharra cave, Mughall saa cave, and Pakistan's naturally decorated cave, the Mangocher Cave. Pakistan is a member country of the Union International de Spéléologie (UIS).

The northern parts of Pakistan are home to several historical fortresses, towers and other architecture including the Hunza
Hunza Valley
The Hunza Valley is a mountainous valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. The Hunza valley is situated to the north of the Hunza River, at an elevation of around . The territory of Hunza is about...

 and Chitral
Chitral District
Chitral is a district in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan that contains the town of Chitral. It has an area of 14,850 km² and a population of 318,689 at the 1998 Census, which had subsequently risen to about 378,000 people by 2004. It has one of the highest mountains of the world,...

 valleys, the latter being home to the Kalash, a small pre-Islamic Animist community. Punjab
Punjab (Pakistan)
Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

 is also the site of Alexander's battle
Battle of the Hydaspes River
The Battle of the Hydaspes River was fought by Alexander the Great in 326 BC against King Porus of the Hindu Paurava kingdom on the banks of the Hydaspes River in the Punjab near Bhera in what is now modern-day Pakistan...

 on the Jhelum River
Jhelum River
Jehlum River or Jhelum River , ) is a river that flows in India and Pakistan. It is the largest and most western of the five rivers of Punjab, and passes through Jhelum District...

. The historic city of Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

 is considered Pakistan's cultural centre and has many examples of Mughal
Mughal (tribe)
The term Mughal is simply a Turkic word and many groups in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh use the term Mughal to describe themselves...

 architecture such as the Badshahi Masjid, Shalimar Gardens
Shalimar Gardens (Lahore)
The Shalimar Gardens , sometimes written Shalamar Gardens, is a Persian garden and it was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in Lahore, modern day Pakistan. Construction began in 1641 CE and was completed the following year...

, Tomb of Jahangir
Tomb of Jahangir
Tomb of Jahangir, is the mausoleum built for the Mughal Emperor Jahangir who ruled from 1605 to 1627. The mausoleum is located near the town of Shahdara Bagh in Lahore, Pakistan. His son Shah Jahan built the mausoleum 10 years after his father's death. It is sited in an attractive walled garden....

 and the Lahore Fort
Lahore Fort
The Lahore Fort, locally referred to as Shahi Qila is citadel of the city of Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. It is located in the northwestern corner of the Walled City of Lahore...

. The Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) also helps promote tourism in the country. However, tourism is still limited because of the lack of proper infrastructure and the worsening security situation in the country. The recent militancy in Pakistan's scenic sites, including Swat in Khybar Pakhtoon Kawa province, have dealt a massive blow to the tourism industry. Many of the troubles in these tourist destinations are also blamed on the frail travel network, tourism regulatory framework, low prioritisation of the tourism industry by the government, low effectiveness of marketing and a constricted tourism perception. After these areas were being cleared off the militant groups in late 2009, the government, with financial support from the USAID, started a campaign to reintroduce tourism in Swat valley. Pakistan receives 500,000 tourists annually, with almost half of them heading to northern Pakistan.

Transport




Rail services in Pakistan are provided by the state-run Pakistan Railways
Pakistan Railways
This article is about the rail company in Pakistan. For technical details and operations see: Transport in Pakistan.Pakistan Railways is a national state-owned rail transport service of Pakistan, head-quartered in Lahore. It is administered by the federal government under the Ministry of Railways....

, under the supervision of the Ministry of Railways
Ministry of Railways (Pakistan)
The Ministry of Railway is responsible for overall control of Pakistan Railways as well as to guide the overall policy. There are four Directorates in this Division namely:* Administrative Directorate,* Technical Directorate,* Planning Directorate, and...

. Pakistan Railways provides an important mode of transportation in Pakistan, catering to the large-scale movement of people and freight. The railway network comprises 8,163 km of which 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) (broad gauge) forms 7,718 km including 293 km of electrified track. Pakistan Railways carry 65 million passengers annually and daily operates 228 mail, express and passenger trains. Pakistan Railways
Pakistan Railways
This article is about the rail company in Pakistan. For technical details and operations see: Transport in Pakistan.Pakistan Railways is a national state-owned rail transport service of Pakistan, head-quartered in Lahore. It is administered by the federal government under the Ministry of Railways....

 also operate special trains for various occasions. The Freight Business Unit with 12000 personnel operates over 200 freight stations on the railway network. Pakistan has also planned or had many Mass Transit Systems. The Karachi Circular Railway, which opened in the early 1940s, is the only functioning Mass Transit System in Pakistan . In 1976, Karachi was slated to begin work on an underground metro system, but plans have been put on hold since. The Lahore Metro
Lahore Metro
The Lahore Metro or Lahore Rapid Mass Transit System is a proposed rapid transit system for Lahore, the second largest city of Pakistan. The system will consist of 4 operational lines, with construction beginning sometime in 2012. The Punjab Minister of Transport stated that the government had...

 is another proposal still in planning and is scheduled to be completed by 2020. Pakistan has been successful in foreign trade by rail. Pakistan has successfully traded with countries such as Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, India, Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan , formerly also known as Turkmenia is one of the Turkic states in Central Asia. Until 1991, it was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic . Turkmenistan is one of the six independent Turkic states...

 and China.
During the 1990s, Pakistan began an ongoing project to rebuild all national highways throughout the country specifically to important financial, cargo and textile centres. The National Highway Authority or NHA is responsible for the maintenance of all national highways in Pakistan. The construction of motorways began in the early 1990s with the idea building a world class road network and to reduce the load off the heavily used national highways throughout the country. The first motorway to be completed was M2
M2 motorway (Pakistan)
The M-2 is a motorway in the Punjab province of Pakistan. It is 367 km long and connects Lahore with Islamabad. It passes through Kala Shah Kaku, Sheikhupura, Khanqah Dogran,Kot Sarwar, Pindi Bhattian, Salem, Lilla, Kot Momin, Kallar Kahar, Balksar, and Chakri before ending just outside the...

 in 1997 from Islamabad
Islamabad
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. Located within the Islamabad Capital Territory , the population of the city has grown from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.7 million in 2011...

 to Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

. Later on, highways such as M1
M1 motorway (Pakistan)
The M1 is a motorway in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. It is 155 km long, with 67 km in Punjab and the remaining 108 km in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. It has become a vital link to Afghanistan and Central Asia and is expected to take much traffic off the highly used N5...

 from Peshawar
Peshawar
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

 to Islamabad
Islamabad
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. Located within the Islamabad Capital Territory , the population of the city has grown from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.7 million in 2011...

, M3
M3 motorway (Pakistan)
The M3 is a motorway that links the city of Faisalabad with the M2 motorway. The M3 will eventually become an important link connecting southern Pakistan with the north. It is only 53 km long making it the shortest motorway of Pakistan. It has 2 junctions in between.-Route:The M3 starts at...

 from Pindi Bhattian to Faisalabad
Faisalabad
Faisalabad , formerly known as Lyallpur, is the third largest metropolis in Pakistan, the second largest in the province of Punjab after Lahore, and a major industrial center in the heart of Pakistan. Before the foundation of the city in 1880, the area was very thinly populated. The population has...

, M9 from Hyderabad
Hyderabad, Sindh
is the second largest city in the Sindh province of Pakistan. It is the seventh largest city in the country. The city was founded in 1768 by Mian Ghulam Shah Kalhoro upon the ruins of a Mauryan fishing village along the bank of the Indus known as Neroon Kot...

 to Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

, Karachi Northern Bypass
Karachi Northern Bypass
The M10 is a motorway located in Sindh province, Pakistan, however it is mostly referred to as the Karachi Northern Bypass. It is 57 km long and consists of 4 lanes .- Route :...

 from Hyderabad
Hyderabad, Sindh
is the second largest city in the Sindh province of Pakistan. It is the seventh largest city in the country. The city was founded in 1768 by Mian Ghulam Shah Kalhoro upon the ruins of a Mauryan fishing village along the bank of the Indus known as Neroon Kot...

 to Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

, and the Lahore Ring Road were completed.

The waterway network in Pakistan is in its infancy with Karachi being the only major city situated next to the Arabian Sea. Plans are being proposed for the development of the waterways in the country along the Indus River
Indus River
The Indus River is a major river which flows through Pakistan. It also has courses through China and India.Originating in the Tibetan plateau of western China in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar in Tibet Autonomous Region, the river runs a course through the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir and...

 and through the Punjab as it would boost employment opportunities and the economic and social development in Pakistan. Pakistan has an estimated 139 airports, 10 of them international.

Science and Technology



Research and development
Research and development
The phrase research and development , according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, refers to "creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this stock of...

 forms an integral part in Pakistan's economy. For the most of the 20th century, Scientific efforts were at the rising level in Pakistan, that brought international recognition in its achievements, and became a major component of Pakistan's foreign policy. Pakistan is the home of Professor Abdus Salam
Abdus Salam
Mohammad Abdus Salam, NI, SPk Mohammad Abdus Salam, NI, SPk Mohammad Abdus Salam, NI, SPk (Urdu: محمد عبد السلام, pronounced , (January 29, 1926– November 21, 1996) was a Pakistani theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate in Physics for his work on the electroweak unification of the...

— Pakistan's only Nobel laureate in Physics
Nobel Prize in Physics
The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded once a year by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895 and awarded since 1901; the others are the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Peace Prize, and...

, and pioneer of the electroweak theory
Electroweak interaction
In particle physics, the electroweak interaction is the unified description of two of the four known fundamental interactions of nature: electromagnetism and the weak interaction. Although these two forces appear very different at everyday low energies, the theory models them as two different...

 for which he received such honor. In modern time, the work of Pervez Hoodbhoy
Pervez Hoodbhoy
Dr. Prof. Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy , is a Pakistani nuclear physicist, essayist and political-defence analyst. He is the professor of nuclear and high-energy physics, and the head of the Physics Department at the Quaid-e-Azam University . He graduated and also received PhD from MIT and continues to...

, Ishfaq Ahmad
Ishfaq Ahmad
Ishfaq Ahmad , D.Sc., Minister of State, SI, HI, NI, FPAS, is a Pakistani nuclear physicist, and well-known educationist and academic from Pakistan...

, and Riazudding played a crucial development in particle and theoretical physics. Pakistan also produced the world class mathematicians such as Asghar Qadir
Asghar Qadir
Asghar Qadir , HI, SI, FPAS, is a renowned Pakistani mathematician and a prominent cosmologist, specialized in Mathematical physics and Physical cosmology. He is considered as one of the top mathematicians in Pakistan...

 and Raziuddin Siddiqui
Raziuddin Siddiqui
Dr. Professor Muhammad Raziuddin Siddiqui , , also known as Dr. Razi, was an eminent Pakistani theoretical physicist and a renowned mathematician who played an instrumental and an influential role in Pakistan's education system and Pakistan's integrated nuclear detterence development...

 where their research played a crucial advancement in mathematical physics. Munir Ahmad Rashid became the first Pakistani mathematician to provide the another theoretical proof of Fermat's Last Theorem
Fermat's Last Theorem
In number theory, Fermat's Last Theorem states that no three positive integers a, b, and c can satisfy the equation an + bn = cn for any integer value of n greater than two....

 in 2008. Dr. Salimuzzaman Siddiqui
Salimuzzaman Siddiqui
Salimuzzaman Siddiqui , HI, MBE, SI, D.Phil., FPAS, FRS. was a leading Pakistani scientist in Natural Product Chemistry. He is credited for pioneering the isolation of unique chemical compounds from the Neem , Rauwolfia, and various other flora. As the founder director of H.E.J...

 was the first Pakistani scientist to bring the anthelmintic
Anthelmintic
Anthelmintics or antihelminthics are drugs that expel parasitic worms from the body, by either stunning or killing them. They may also be called vermifuges or vermicides .-Pharmaceutical classes:...

, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral
Antiviral
Antiviral may refer to:*Antiviral drug*Antiviral protein*Antivirus software*Antiviral Therapy, an academic journal...

 constituents of the Neem
Neem
Azadirachta indica is a tree in the mahogany family Meliaceae. It is one of two species in the genus Azadirachta, and is native to India growing in tropical and semi-tropical regions. Its fruits and seeds are the source of neem oil...

 tree to the attention of natural products chemists. He was preceded by Atta ur Rahman
Atta ur Rahman
Atta-ur-Rahman, D.Phil., TI, SI HI, NI, is a leading scientist and scholar in the field of organic chemistry from Pakistan, especially renowned for his research in the various areas relating to natural product chemistry...

, UNESCO laureate
UNESCO Science Prize
The UNESCO Science Prize is a biennial scientific prize awarded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to "a person or group of persons for an outstanding contribution they have made to the technological development of a developing member state or region through...

, and Naveed Zaidi
Naveed Zaidi
Dr. Naveed Zaidi is a British Pakistani organic chemist and a scientist who developed the world's first workable plastic magnet at room temperature.-Biography:...

, organic chemist being the first scientist to developed first workable plastic magnet at room temperature. Each and every year, scientists from all over the world are invited by the Pakistan Academy of Sciences
Pakistan Academy of Sciences
The Pakistan Academy of Sciences The Pakistan Academy of Sciences The Pakistan Academy of Sciences (Urdu: پاکستان اكيڈ مى ﺁف سائس; shortened to PAS, is a learned society for science and technology based in Pakistan. The academy consisted and served as the network of science across the Pakistan as...

 and the Pakistan Government
Government of Pakistan
The Government of Pakistan is a federal parliamentary system, with an indirectly-elected President as the Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Pakistani Armed Forces, and an indirectly-elected Prime Minister as the Head of Government. The President’s appointment and term are...

 to participate in International Nathiagali Summer College on Physics, one of the largest seminar in Physics and Mathematics.

Medical scientists from Pakistan also pioneered in neuroscience
Neuroscience
Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system. Traditionally, neuroscience has been seen as a branch of biology. However, it is currently an interdisciplinary science that collaborates with other fields such as chemistry, computer science, engineering, linguistics, mathematics,...

. Dr. Ayub Ommaya
Ayub K. Ommaya
Ayub Khan Ommaya, MD, ScD , FRCS, FACS was a Pakistani neurosurgeon and the inventor of the Ommaya reservoir. The reservoir is used to provide chemotherapy directly to the tumor site for brain tumors. Ommaya was also a leading expert in traumatic brain injuries.-Professional history:Dr. Ommaya...

, the inventor of the Ommaya reservoir
Ommaya reservoir
An Ommaya reservoir is an intraventricular catheter system that can be used for the aspiration of cerebrospinal fluid or for the delivery of drugs into the cerebrospinal fluid. It consists of a catheter in one lateral ventricle attached to a reservoir implanted under the scalp...

, was one of the leading scientist in the field of Neurosciences. Another medical scientist, Naweed Syed
Naweed Syed
Dr. Naweed Syed is a Pakistani Canadian scientist. He is the first scientist who managed to "connect brain cells to a silicon chip" ....

 became the first scientist who managed to "connect brain cells to a silicon chip". Pakistan has produced prolific technologist such as dr. Umar Saif
Umar Saif
Umar Saif is a Pakistani computer scientist and entrepreneur, who is known for his work on using ICT solutions for developing-world problems. Saif holds a BSc. from the Lahore University of Management Sciences and PhD in Computer Science from University of Cambridge, where he was a Commonwealth...

, a pioneer in ICTD technology
Information and communication technologies for development
Information and Communication Technologies for Development is a general term referring to the application of Information and Communication Technologies within the fields of socioeconomic development, international development and human rights...

 and Munir A. Khan
Munir Ahmad Khan
Munir Ahmad Khan , HI, was a Pakistani nuclear engineer and a scientist who served as the Chairman of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission from 1972 to 1991...

, a leading figure in nuclear power technology. Aerospace engineer W. J. M. Turowicz developed and supervised the launch of the Rehbar-I
Rehbar-I
Rehbar-I or Rehbar-1 was a family member of Pakistan's space launch vehicles, Rehbar Sounding Rocket Program. Rehbar-I was the first rocket launched into outer space by the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission...

 rocket from Pakistan soil, making Pakistan first South Asian country to launch the rocket in space. In 1990, Pakistan launched its first and ingeniously satellite, Badr-I from PR China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, becoming first Muslim country and second South Asian country to have put the satellite in space. In 1972, with the opening inauguration of country's commercial nuclear power plant
Nuclear power plant
A nuclear power plant is a thermal power station in which the heat source is one or more nuclear reactors. As in a conventional thermal power station the heat is used to generate steam which drives a steam turbine connected to a generator which produces electricity.Nuclear power plants are usually...

 in Karachi, Pakistan became first nuclear power in the Islamic world, and second emerging nuclear power in South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

, while her neighbor India became the first. In 1998, due to amid domestic and international pressure, Pakistan became first Muslim majority and seventh country in the world to successfully develop and test
Chagai-I
The Chagai-I was a codename referring to the five underground nuclear tests conducted by Pakistan at 15:15hrs in 28th May of 1998. It was named Chagai-I, as the tests were conducted in the Chagai District...

 nuclear weapon
Nuclear weapon
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first fission bomb test released the same amount...

s. Pakistan's scientists have played an influential role in advancing the economical sciences such as Akhtar Hameed Khan
Akhtar Hameed Khan
Akhtar Hameed Khan was a Pakistani development activist and social scientist credited for pioneering microcredit and microfinance initiatives, farmers' cooperatives, and rural training programmes in the developing world. He promoted participatory rural development in Pakistan and other developing...

, pioneer of microcredit and microfinance initiatives in developing world; Mahbub-ul-Haq
Mahbub ul Haq
Mahbub ul Haq was an Pakistani economist who is known to be the pioneer of Human development theory and the founder of the Human Development Report...

, creator of the Human development theory and the founder of the Human Development Report; and Agha Hasan Abedi
Agha Hasan Abedi
Agha Hasan Abedi also known as Agha Sahab was a banker and philanthropist who founded the Bank of Credit and Commerce International in 1972...

, founder of the BCCI
Bank of Credit and Commerce International
The Bank of Credit and Commerce International was a major international bank founded in 1972 by Agha Hasan Abedi, a Pakistani financier. The Bank was registered in Luxembourg with head offices in Karachi and London. Within a decade BCCI touched its peak...

.

Demographics



Population in Pakistan
Year Million
1971 62.5
1980 82.7
1990 108.0
2000 138.1
2004 152.1
2008 166.0
Source: OECD/World Bank


Population in Pakistan increased from 1990 to 2008 with 58 million and 54 % growth in population. The estimated population of Pakistan in 2010 was over 170 million making it the world's sixth most-populous country, behind Brazil and ahead of Bangladesh. In 1951 Pakistan had a population of 34 million. The population growth rate now stands at 1.6%. It is expected that by 2030, Pakistan will overtake Indonesia as the largest Muslim country in the world.

The majority of southern Pakistan's population live along the Indus River
Indus River
The Indus River is a major river which flows through Pakistan. It also has courses through China and India.Originating in the Tibetan plateau of western China in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar in Tibet Autonomous Region, the river runs a course through the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir and...

. By population size, Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

 is the largest city of Pakistan. In the northern half, most of the population live in an arc formed by the cities of Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

, Faisalabad
Faisalabad
Faisalabad , formerly known as Lyallpur, is the third largest metropolis in Pakistan, the second largest in the province of Punjab after Lahore, and a major industrial center in the heart of Pakistan. Before the foundation of the city in 1880, the area was very thinly populated. The population has...

, Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi , locally known as Pindi, is a city in the Pothohar region of Pakistan near Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad, in the province of Punjab. Rawalpindi is the fourth largest city in Pakistan after Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad...

, Islamabad
Islamabad
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. Located within the Islamabad Capital Territory , the population of the city has grown from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.7 million in 2011...

, Gujranwala
Gujranwala
Gujranwala is a industrial city in the north-east of the Punjab province. It is the sixth largest city in Pakistan with a population of approximately 2,661,360 as on 24 June 2011...

, Sialkot
Sialkot
Sialkot is a city in Pakistan situated in the north-east of the Punjab province at the foothills of snow-covered peaks of Kashmir near the Chenab river. It is the capital of Sialkot District. The city is about north-west of Lahore and only a few kilometers from Indian-controlled Jammu.The...

, Gujrat
Gujrat
Gujrat is a city in Pakistan. It is the capital of Gujrat District and the Gujrat Tehsil subdivision in the Punjab Province. People living in Gujrat refer to themselves as Gujratis, which sometimes leads to confusion with people from the Indian state of Gujarat which adjoins Pakistan...

, Jhelum
Jhelum
Jhelum or Jehlum may refer to:* Jhelum, a city in Pakistan on the banks of the Jhelum River* Jhelum District, an administrative division in Punjab, Pakistan surrounding the city of Jhelum...

, Sargodha
Sargodha
Sargodha is a city in the Sargodha District of Punjab province, Pakistan.Sargodha is located in the northwest of Pakistan. It is the eleventh largest city of Pakistan and also known as Pakistan's best citrus-producing area. It is an agricultural trade centre with various industries...

, Sheikhupura
Sheikhupura
Sheikhupura or Shekhupur , formerly Kot Dayal Das or Singhpuria or Virkgarh , is an industrial city in the province of Punjab slightly northwest to Lahore in Pakistan. It is known for its historical places, and is commonly known locally as Qila Shaikhupura, because of the fort in the city,...

, Nowshera, Mardan
Mardan
Mardan , known as The city of hospitality, is a city and headquarters of Mardan District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan. It is the de facto headquarters of the Yousafzai tribe and the second most populous city in the province, located at 34°12'0N 72°1'60E and an altitude of in the south...

 and Peshawar
Peshawar
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

. About 20% of the population live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day .

Life expectancy at birth is 63 years for females and 62 years for males compared to the healthy life expectancy at birth which was 54 years for males and 52 years for females in 2003. Expenditure on health was at 2% of the GDP in 2006. The mortality below 5 was at 97 per 1,000 live births in 2006. During 1990–2003, Pakistan sustained its historical lead as the most urbanised nation in South Asia, with city dwellers making up 36% of its population. Furthermore, 50% of Pakistanis now reside in towns of 5,000 people or more.

Pakistan is a multilingual country with more than sixty languages being spoken. English is the official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

 of Pakistan and used in official business, government, and legal contracts, and Punjabi has a plurality of native speakers. Urdu is the lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

 and national language in Pakistan. Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

 is the provincial language of Punjab. Saraiki
Saraiki language
Saraiki , transliterated as Sirāikī and sometimes spelled Seraiki and Saraiki, is a standardized written language of Pakistan belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages. It is a language spoken in the heart of Pakistan...

 is also spoken in the larger area of Punjab province. Pashto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

 is the provincial language of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Sindhi
Sindhi language
Sindhi is the language of the Sindh region of Pakistan that is spoken by the Sindhi people. In India, it is among 22 constitutionally recognized languages, where Sindhis are a sizeable minority. It is spoken by 53,410,910 people in Pakistan, according to the national government's Statistics Division...

 is the provincial language of Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 and Balochi
Balochi language
Balochi is a Northwestern Iranian language. It is the principal language of the Baloch of Balochistan, Pakistan, eastern Iran and southern Afghanistan. It is also spoken as a second language by some Brahui. It is designated as one of nine official languages of Pakistan.-Vowels:The Balochi vowel...

 is the provincial language of Balochistan.

The population comprises several main ethnic groups (2009):
  1. Punjabis
    Punjabi people
    The Punjabi people , ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ), also Panjabi people, are an Indo-Aryan group from South Asia. They are the second largest of the many ethnic groups in South Asia. They originate in the Punjab region, which has been been the location of some of the oldest civilizations in the world including, the...

     (44.15%) 78.7 million
  2. Pashtuns
    Pashtun people
    Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

     (15.42%) 27.2 million
  3. Sindhis
    Sindhi people
    Sindhis are a Sindhi speaking socio-ethnic group of people originating from Sindh, a province Formerly of British India, now in Pakistan. Today Sindhis that live in Pakistan belong to various religious denominations including Islam, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Christianity...

     (14.1%) 24.8 million
  4. Seraikis
    Saraiki people
    The Saraiki people or Multani people are an ethnic group from the central and south-eastern areas of Pakistan, especially the former princely state of Bahawalpur and the districts of Multan, Lodhran, Vehari, Khanewal, Rahim Yar Khan, Rajanpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh,...

     (10.53%) 14.8 million
  5. Muhajirs (7.57%) 13.3 million
  6. Balochs
    Baloch people
    The Baloch or Baluch are an ethnic group that belong to the larger Iranian peoples. Baluch people mainly inhabit the Balochistan region and Sistan and Baluchestan Province in the southeast corner of the Iranian plateau in Western Asia....

     is (3.57%) 6.3 million
  7. Others (4.66%) 11.1 million


Smaller ethnic groups, such as Kashmiris
Kashmiri people
The Kashmiri people are a Dardic linguistic group living in Kashmir Valley in Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and parts of the Pakistani territory of Azad Kashmir who speak the Kashmiri language...

, Hindkowans
Hindkowans
Hindkowans or known locally as "Chachi's" are an Indo-Aryan ethno-linguistic group native to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces of Pakistan...

, Kalash, Burusho, Brahui
Brahui people
The Brahui or Brohi are ethnic Baloch group of about 2.2 million people with the majority found in Kalat, Baluchistan, Pakistan, but they are also found in smaller numbers in neighboring Afghanistan and Iran. The Brahuis are almost entirely Sunni Muslims.-Origins:The ethnonym "Brahui" is a very...

, Khowar, Ranghar
Ranghar
Ranghar are a Muslim ethnic group, which is found in Sindh and Punjab provinces of Pakistan and Haryana and Uttar Pradesh states of India. Ranghar were native to Indian state of Haryana and also found in the Doab region of Uttar Pradesh, as well as Delhi in India...

, Meo
Meo
Mayo or Meo or Mewati is a prominent Muslim Rajput tribe from North-Western India. A considerable number of Meos migrated to Pakistan after independence in 1947 and now they are estimated to be over 12 million. In Pakistan, Meos have lost their distinct group identity and cultural traditions and...

, Balti
Balti people
The Balti are an ethnic group of Tibetan descent with some Dardic admixture located in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan and Ladakh, a region in Jammu & Kashmir, India; as well as scattered in Pakistan's major urban centres of Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad/Rawalpindi. The Balti language belongs to the...

, Shina
Shina people
The Shina are the Dardic people originating in southern Gilgit Baltistan and western part of Kohistan district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, as well as Dras Valley and Gurais/ Kishenganga Valley region in northern Kashmir of India. They also live in some parts of Pakistani Kashmir....

, and Turwalis are mainly found in the northern parts of the country.

Pakistan's census does not include the registered 1.7 million Afghan refugees from neighbouring Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, who are mainly found in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)
Federally Administered Tribal Areas
The Federally Administered Tribal Areas are a semi-autonomous tribal region in the northwest of Pakistan, lying between the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and the neighboring country of Afghanistan. The FATA comprise seven Agencies and six FRs...

 areas, with small numbers in the cities of Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

 and Quetta
Quetta
is the largest city and the provincial capital of the Balochistan Province of Pakistan. Known as the "Fruit Garden of Pakistan" due to the diversity of its plant and animal wildlife, Quetta is home to the Hazarganji Chiltan National Park, which contains some of the rarest species of wildlife in the...

. Around 2 million refugees from Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

, Iran, Africa, and other places are also found in Pakistan.

Religion


Pakistan is the second-most populous Muslim-majority country and also has the second-largest Shi'a population in the world. About 97% of the Pakistanis are Muslim. The majority are Sunni
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

, with an estimated 5–20% Shi'a
Shi'a Islam in Pakistan
According to the Library of Congress, Pew Research Center, Oxford University, CIA World Factbook, U.S. State Department and many others, Shi'as make up 5-20% of the total Muslim population of Pakistan. The total number of Shias in Pakistan is approximately 17 million to as high as 30 million...

. 2.3% are Ahmadis
Ahmadiyya
Ahmadiyya is an Islamic religious revivalist movement founded in India near the end of the 19th century, originating with the life and teachings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad , who claimed to have fulfilled the prophecies about the world reformer of the end times, who was to herald the Eschaton as...

, who are officially considered non-Muslims since a 1974 "anti-Ahmadi" constitutional amendment. There are also several Sufi and Quraniyoon communities. Although the groups of Muslims usually coexist peacefully, sectarian violence occurs sporadically. The religious breakdown of the country is as follows:
  • Islam
    Islam in Pakistan
    Islam is the official religion of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which has a population of about 174,578,558. The overwhelming majority of the Pakistani people are Muslims while the remaining 3-5% are Christian, Hindu, and others. Pakistan has the second largest Muslim population in the world...

     173,000,000 (97%) (majority Sunni
    Sunni Islam
    Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

    , 5–20% Shi'a
    Shi'a Islam in Pakistan
    According to the Library of Congress, Pew Research Center, Oxford University, CIA World Factbook, U.S. State Department and many others, Shi'as make up 5-20% of the total Muslim population of Pakistan. The total number of Shias in Pakistan is approximately 17 million to as high as 30 million...

     and 2.3% Ahmadis, minority Sufi).
  • Hinduism
    Hinduism in Pakistan
    Hinduism is the indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent, including Pakistan. However since the independence of Pakistan in 1947 as a Muslim majority nation, Hindus have had a much smaller numerical presence there...

     2,800,000 (1.6%)
  • Christianity
    Christianity in Pakistan
    Christianity is the largest religious minority in Pakistan. The total number of Christians in Pakistan is approximately 2,800,000 in 2008, or 1.6% of the population. Of these, approximately half are Roman Catholic and half Protestant...

     2,800,000 (1.6%)
  • Sikhs
    Sikhism in Pakistan
    Sikhism in Pakistan has an extensive heritage and history, although Sikhs form a very small community in the Islamic Republic today. Most Sikhs live in the province of Punjab, where the religion was born in the middle ages...

     Around 20,000 (0.001%)
  • The remaining are Parsis, Buddhists, Jews
    History of the Jews in Pakistan
    Jews are a small religious group in Pakistan. Various estimates suggest that there were about 1,000 Jews living in Karachi at the beginning of the twentieth century. A smaller community of Jews also lived in Peshawar. Many of these are Baghdadi Jews, Bukharian Jews, Mizrahi Jews mainly from...

    , Bahá'ís
    Bahá'í Faith
    The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

     and Animists (mainly the Kalasha of Chitral).

Education



According to the constitution of Pakistan, it is the state’s responsibility to provide free primary education. At the time of independence Pakistan had only one university, the University of the Punjab, founded in 1882 in Lahore. Pakistan now has more than 132 universities of which 73 are public universities and 59 are private universities.

Education in Pakistan is divided into five levels: primary (grades one through five); middle
Middle school
Middle School and Junior High School are levels of schooling between elementary and high schools. Most school systems use one term or the other, not both. The terms are not interchangeable...

 (grades six through eight); high (grades nine and ten, leading to the Secondary School Certificate
Secondary School Certificate
The Secondary School Certificate, also known as SSC, is a public examination taken by students in Bangladesh, Pakistan and in the states of Tamilnadu, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Goa in India after successfully completing at least ten years of schooling. It is followed...

); intermediate
Secondary education
Secondary education is the stage of education following primary education. Secondary education includes the final stage of compulsory education and in many countries it is entirely compulsory. The next stage of education is usually college or university...

 (grades eleven and twelve, leading to a Higher Secondary School Certificate); and university programmes leading to graduate
Undergraduate education
Undergraduate education is an education level taken prior to gaining a first degree . Hence, in many subjects in many educational systems, undergraduate education is post-secondary education up to the level of a bachelor's degree, such as in the United States, where a university entry level is...

 and advanced
Postgraduate education
Postgraduate education involves learning and studying for degrees or other qualifications for which a first or Bachelor's degree generally is required, and is normally considered to be part of higher education...

 degrees.
Pakistan also has a parallel secondary school education system in private schools, which is based upon the curriculum set and administered by the Cambridge International Examinations
Cambridge International Examinations
University of Cambridge International Examinations is a provider of international qualifications for students between the ages of 14 and 19, offering examinations and qualifications in more than 150 countries. It is an Examination Board under Cambridge Assessment, founded in 1858 as a department...

, in place of government exams. Some students choose to take the O level
Ordinary Level
The O-level is a subject-based qualification conferred as part of the General Certificate of Education . It was introduced as part of British educational reform in the 1950s alongside the more in-depth and academically rigorous Advanced Level in England, Wales and Northern Ireland A-level...

 and A level
GCE Advanced Level
The Advanced Level General Certificate of Education, commonly referred to as an A-level, is a qualification offered by education institutions in England, Northern Ireland, Wales, Cameroon, and the Cayman Islands...

 exams through the British Council
British Council
The British Council is a United Kingdom-based organisation specialising in international educational and cultural opportunities. It is registered as a charity both in England and Wales, and in Scotland...

.

There are currently 730 technical & vocational institutions
Vocational education
Vocational education or vocational education and training is an education that prepares trainees for jobs that are based on manual or practical activities, traditionally non-academic, and totally related to a specific trade, occupation, or vocation...

 in Pakistan. The minimum qualifications to enter male vocational institutions, is the completion of grade 8, and for female is grade 5.

English medium education
English medium education
An English medium education system is one that uses English as the primary medium of instruction - in particular where English is not the mother tongue of the students....

 is to be extended, on a phased basis, to all schools across the country. Through various educational reforms, by the year 2015, the ministry of education expects to attain 100% enrolment levels amongst primary school aged children, and a literacy rate of 86% amongst people aged over 10.

Pakistan also has madrassahs that provide free Islamic education and also offer free boarding and lodging to students who come mainly from the poorer strata of society. After criticism over terrorists using them for recruiting purposes, efforts have been made to regulate them.

In 2004 only 46.6 percent of adult Pakistanis were literate. Male literacy was 60.6 percent, while female literacy was 31.5 percent. Literacy rates also vary regionally, and particularly by sex; for instance, in tribal areas female literacy is 3%. The government launched a nationwide initiative in 1998 with the aim of eradicating illiteracy and providing a basic education to all children. By 2013 all educational institutions in Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 province of Pakistan will have to provide Chinese language
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

 courses. This initiative reflects China's growing role as a Superpower
Superpower
A superpower is a state with a dominant position in the international system which has the ability to influence events and its own interests and project power on a worldwide scale to protect those interests...

 and Pakistan's close ties with China.

Culture



Pakistani society is largely hierarchical, with high regard for traditional Islamic values
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, although urban families have grown into a nuclear family
Nuclear family
Nuclear family is a term used to define a family group consisting of a father and mother and their children. This is in contrast to the smaller single-parent family, and to the larger extended family. Nuclear families typically center on a married couple, but not always; the nuclear family may have...

 system because of the socio-economic constraints imposed by the traditional joint family system. Recent decades have seen the emergence of a middle class in cities like Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

, Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

, Islamabad
Islamabad
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. Located within the Islamabad Capital Territory , the population of the city has grown from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.7 million in 2011...

, Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi , locally known as Pindi, is a city in the Pothohar region of Pakistan near Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad, in the province of Punjab. Rawalpindi is the fourth largest city in Pakistan after Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad...

, Hyderabad
Hyderabad, Sindh
is the second largest city in the Sindh province of Pakistan. It is the seventh largest city in the country. The city was founded in 1768 by Mian Ghulam Shah Kalhoro upon the ruins of a Mauryan fishing village along the bank of the Indus known as Neroon Kot...

, Faisalabad
Faisalabad
Faisalabad , formerly known as Lyallpur, is the third largest metropolis in Pakistan, the second largest in the province of Punjab after Lahore, and a major industrial center in the heart of Pakistan. Before the foundation of the city in 1880, the area was very thinly populated. The population has...

, Multan
Multan
Multan , is a city in the Punjab Province of Pakistan and capital of Multan District. It is located in the southern part of the province on the east bank of the Chenab River, more or less in the geographic centre of the country and about from Islamabad, from Lahore and from Karachi...

 and Peshawar
Peshawar
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

 (now numbering at 30 million, with an average annual income of US$10,000, with another 17 million belonging to the upper and upper-middle classes that wish to move in a more centrist direction, as opposed to the northwestern regions bordering Afghanistan that remain highly conservative and dominated by centuries-old regional tribal customs. Increasing globalisation has resulted in ranking 46th on the A.T. Kearney
A.T. Kearney
A.T. Kearney is a global management consulting firm, focusing on strategic and operational CEO-agenda concerns. It was founded in 1926, and its head office is in Chicago, Illinois...

/FP
Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy is a bimonthly American magazine founded in 1970 by Samuel P. Huntington and Warren Demian Manshel.Originally, the magazine was a quarterly...

 Globalization Index
Globalization Index
This article includes a list of countries of the world sorted by their globalization, the global connectivity, integration and interdependence in the economic, social, technological, cultural, political, and ecological spheres....

.
The variety of Pakistani music
Music of Pakistan
The music of Pakistan includes diverse elements ranging from music from various parts of South Asia as well as Central Asian, Persian, Turkish, Arabic and modern day Western popular music influences...

 ranges from diverse provincial folk music and traditional styles such as Qawwali
Qawwali
Qawwali is a form of Sufi devotional music popular in South Asia, particularly in the Punjab and Sindh regions of Pakistan, Hyderabad, Delhi, and other parts of northern India...

 and Ghazal Gayaki
Ghazal
The ghazal is a poetic form consisting of rhyming couplets and a refrain, with each line sharing the same meter. A ghazal may be understood as a poetic expression of both the pain of loss or separation and the beauty of love in spite of that pain. The form is ancient, originating in 6th century...

 to modern forms fusing traditional and western music, such as the synchronisation of Qawwali and western music by the world renowned Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. In addition Pakistan is home to many famous folk singers such as the late Alam Lohar
Alam Lohar
Muhammad Alam Lohar was a prominent Punjabi folk music singer of Pakistan.He died in 1979 in an accident. He is also credited with popularizing the term and song Jugni.-Early life:...

, who is also well known in Indian Punjab
Punjab (India)
Punjab ) is a state in the northwest of the Republic of India, forming part of the larger Punjab region. The state is bordered by the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh to the east, Haryana to the south and southeast and Rajasthan to the southwest as well as the Pakistani province of Punjab to the...

. However a majority of Pakistanis listen to Indian music produced by Bollywood
Bollywood
Bollywood is the informal term popularly used for the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai , Maharashtra, India. The term is often incorrectly used to refer to the whole of Indian cinema; it is only a part of the total Indian film industry, which includes other production centers producing...

 and other Indian film industries. The arrival of Afghan refugees in the western provinces has rekindled Pashto and Persian
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

 music and established Peshawar
Peshawar
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

 as a hub for Afghan musicians and a distribution center for Afghan music abroad.

State-owned Pakistan Television Corporation
Pakistan Television Corporation
The Pakistan Television Corporation is Pakistan's national television broadcaster. The first live transmission of PTV began on November 26, 1964, in Lahore...

 (PTV) and Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation
Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation
The Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation or Radio Pakistan is the state-run radio service of Pakistan.- History :The Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation, popularly called Radio Pakistan came into being as Pakistan Broadcasting Service on 14 August 1947 when Pakistan emerged on the world map as a new...

 were the dominant media outlets, but there are now numerous private television channels. Various American, European, and Asian television channels and films are available to the majority of the Pakistani population via private television networks, cable, and satellite television (43 million Pakistanis have satellite television). There are also small indigenous film industries based in Lahore and Peshawar (often referred to as Lollywood
Lollywood
Lollywood refers to the Pakistani film industry based in the city of Lahore. The word "Lollywood" was first coined in the summer of 1989 in the now defunct magazine "Glamour" published from Karachi by a gossip columnist Saleem Nasir. The film industry in Lahore started in 1929 with the opening of...

). While Bollywood
Bollywood
Bollywood is the informal term popularly used for the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai , Maharashtra, India. The term is often incorrectly used to refer to the whole of Indian cinema; it is only a part of the total Indian film industry, which includes other production centers producing...

 films were banned from being played in public cinemas from 1965 until 2008 they have remained in popular culture.

Literature


The literature of Pakistan covers the literatures of languages spread throughout the country, namely Urdu
Urdu
Urdu is a register of the Hindustani language that is identified with Muslims in South Asia. It belongs to the Indo-European family. Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. It is also widely spoken in some regions of India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an...

, Sindhi
Sindhi language
Sindhi is the language of the Sindh region of Pakistan that is spoken by the Sindhi people. In India, it is among 22 constitutionally recognized languages, where Sindhis are a sizeable minority. It is spoken by 53,410,910 people in Pakistan, according to the national government's Statistics Division...

, Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

, Pushto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

, Baluchi
Balochi language
Balochi is a Northwestern Iranian language. It is the principal language of the Baloch of Balochistan, Pakistan, eastern Iran and southern Afghanistan. It is also spoken as a second language by some Brahui. It is designated as one of nine official languages of Pakistan.-Vowels:The Balochi vowel...

 as well as English and Persian
Persian literature
Persian literature spans two-and-a-half millennia, though much of the pre-Islamic material has been lost. Its sources have been within historical Persia including present-day Iran as well as regions of Central Asia where the Persian language has historically been the national language...

 as well. Prior to the 19th century, the literature mainly consisted of lyric poetry
Lyric poetry
Lyric poetry is a genre of poetry that expresses personal and emotional feelings. In the ancient world, lyric poems were those which were sung to the lyre. Lyric poems do not have to rhyme, and today do not need to be set to music or a beat...

 and religious
Sufi poetry
Sufi poetry has been written in many languages, both for private devotional reading and as lyrics for music played during worship, or dhikr. Themes and styles established in Punjabi Poetry, Sindhi Poetry, Arabic poetry and mostly Persian poetry have had an enormous influence on Sufi poetry...

, mystical
Mysticism
Mysticism is the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, i.e. levels of being, beyond normal human perception, including experience and even communion with a supreme being.-Classical origins:...

 and popular materials. During the colonial age
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 the native literary figures, under the influence of the western literature
Western literature
Western literature refers to the literature written in the languages of Europe, including the ones belonging to the Indo-European language family as well as several geographically or historically related languages such as Basque, Hungarian, and so forth...

 of realism
Literary realism
Literary realism most often refers to the trend, beginning with certain works of nineteenth-century French literature and extending to late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century authors in various countries, towards depictions of contemporary life and society "as they were." In the spirit of...

, took up increasingly different topics and telling forms. Today, short stories enjoy a special popularity.

The national poet of Pakistan, Allama Muhammad Iqbal, suggested the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of India. However, Iqbal had also wrote the Tarana-e-Hind which stated the belief of a strong united India. His book The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam
The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam
The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam is a compilation of lectures delivered by Muhammad Iqbal on Islamic philosophy; it was published in 1930. These lectures were delivered by Iqbal in Madras, Hyderabad, and Aligarh...

 is a major work of modern Islamic philosophy. The most well-known representative of the contemporary Urdu literature of Pakistan is Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Faiz Ahmad Faiz was a Pakistani intellectual, poet, and one of the most famous poets of the Urdu language. He was a member of the Anjuman Tarraqi Pasand Mussanafin-e-Hind and an avowed Marxist. In 1962, he was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize by the Soviet Union...

. Sufi poets Shah Abdul Latif, Bulleh Shah
Bulleh Shah
Bulleh Shah was a Punjabi Sufi poet, a humanist and philosopher.-Early life:Bulleh Shah is believed to have been born in 1680, in the small village of Uch, Bahawalpur, Punjab, in present day Pakistan. His father, Shah Muhammad Darwaish, was a teacher and preacher in a village mosque...

, Mian Muhammad Bakhsh
Mian Muhammad Bakhsh
Mīān Muhammad Bakhsh was a Sufi saint and a Punjabi/Pahari poet; he belonged to the Qadiri tariqah. He is especially renowned as the author of a book of poetry called Saiful Malūk. He was born in a village called Khari Sharif, situated near Mirpur, Azad Kashmir.-Lineage:He belonged to the Gujjar...

 and Khawaja Farid are also very popular in Pakistan. Mirza Kalich Beg
Mirza Kalich Beg
Shams-ul-Ulema Mirza Kalich Beg is a renowned scholar hailed for his contributions to the Sindhi literature. He was born on October 7, 1853 in a small village named Tando Thoro that is at the banks of the Phuleli Canal in Hyderabad, Pakistan...

 has been termed the father of modern Sindhi prose.

Architecture



The Pakistani architecture of the areas now constituting Pakistan can be designated to four distinct periods—pre-Islamic, Islamic, colonial and post-colonial. With the beginning of the Indus civilisation around the middle of the 3rd millennium B.C., an advanced urban culture
Urban culture
Urban culture is the culture of towns and cities. In the United States, Urban culture may also sometimes be used as a euphemistic reference to contemporary African American culture.- African American culture :...

 developed for the first time in the region, with large structural facilities, some of which survive to this day. Mohenjo Daro, Harappa
Harappa
Harappa is an archaeological site in Punjab, northeast Pakistan, about west of Sahiwal. The site takes its name from a modern village located near the former course of the Ravi River. The current village of Harappa is from the ancient site. Although modern Harappa has a train station left from...

 and Kot Diji
Kot Diji
The ancient site at Kot Diji was the forerunner of the Indus Civilization. The people of this site lived about 3000 BCE. The remains consist of two parts; the citadel area on high ground , and outer area...

 belong to the pre-Islamic era settlements. The rise of Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 and the Persian
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

 and Greek
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 influence led to the development of the Greco-Buddhist
Greco-Buddhism
Greco-Buddhism, sometimes spelled Graeco-Buddhism, refers to the cultural syncretism between Hellenistic culture and Buddhism, which developed between the 4th century BCE and the 5th century CE in the area covered by the Indian sub-continent, and modern Afghanistan, Pakistan and north-western...

 style, starting from the 1st century CE. The high point of this era was reached with the culmination of the Gandhara
Gandhara
Gandhāra , is the name of an ancient kingdom , located in northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan. Gandhara was located mainly in the vale of Peshawar, the Potohar plateau and on the Kabul River...

 style.

An example of Buddhist architecture is the ruins of the Buddhist monastery Takht-i-Bahi
Takht Bhai
Takht Bhai is a Buddhist monastic complex dating to the 1st century BCE. The complex is regarded by archaeologists as being particularly representative of the architecture of Buddhist monastic centers from its era. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.The word Takht Bhai may...

 in the northwest province
North-West Frontier Province
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa , formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province and various other names, is one of the four provinces of Pakistan, located in the north-west of the country...

.

The arrival of Islam in today's Pakistan meant a sudden end of Buddhist architecture. However, a smooth transition to predominantly pictureless Islamic architecture
Islamic architecture
Islamic architecture encompasses a wide range of both secular and religious styles from the foundation of Islam to the present day, influencing the design and construction of buildings and structures in Islamic culture....

 occurred. The most important of the few completely discovered buildings of Persian style is the tomb of the Shah Rukn-i-Alam
Rukn-e-Alam
Sheikh Rukn-ud-Din Abul Fath commonly known by the title Rukn-e-Alam commonly called Shah Rukne Alam was among the eminent Sufi saints from Multan, Pakistan....

 in Multan
Multan
Multan , is a city in the Punjab Province of Pakistan and capital of Multan District. It is located in the southern part of the province on the east bank of the Chenab River, more or less in the geographic centre of the country and about from Islamabad, from Lahore and from Karachi...

. During the Mughal
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

 era design elements of Islamic-Persian architecture were fused with and often produced playful forms of the Hindustani art. Lahore, occasional residence of Mughal rulers, exhibits a multiplicity of important buildings from the empire, among them the Badshahi mosque
Badshahi Mosque
The Badshahi Mosque or the 'King's Mosque' in Lahore, commissioned by the sixth Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1671 and completed in 1673, is the second largest mosque in Pakistan and South Asia and the fifth largest mosque in the world...

, the fortress of Lahore
Lahore Fort
The Lahore Fort, locally referred to as Shahi Qila is citadel of the city of Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. It is located in the northwestern corner of the Walled City of Lahore...

 with the famous Alamgiri Gate
Alamgiri Gate
The Alamgiri Gate , built in 1673 A.D., is the main entrance to the Lahore Fort in present day Lahore, Pakistan. It was constructed to face west towards the Badshahi Mosque in the days of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb...

, the colourful, still strongly Persian seeming Wazir Khan Mosque
Wazir Khan Mosque
The Wazir Khan Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan, is famous for its extensive faience tile work. It has been described as ' a mole on the cheek of Lahore'. It was built in seven years, starting around 1634-1635 AD, during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan...

 as well as numerous other mosques and mausoleums. Also the Shahjahan Mosque
Shahjahan Mosque
The Shah Jahan Mosque was built in the reign of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. It is located in Thatta, Sindh province, Pakistan. It has been on the tentative UNESCO World Heritage list since 1993....

 of Thatta
Thatta
Thatta is a historic town of 220,000 inhabitants in the Sindh province of Pakistan, near Lake Keenjhar, the largest freshwater lake in the country. Thatta's major monuments especially its necropolis at Makli are listed among the World Heritage Sites. The Shah Jahan Mosque is also listed...

 in Sindh originates from the epoch of the Mughals. In the British colonial period, predominantly functional buildings of the Indo-European representative style developed from a mixture of European and Indian-Islamic components. Post-colonial national identity is expressed in modern structures like the Faisal Mosque
Faisal Mosque
The Faisal Mosque is the largest mosque in Pakistan and is located in the national capital city of Islamabad.Faisal Mosque is conceived as the National Mosque of Pakistan...

, the Minar-e-Pakistan
Minar-e-Pakistan
Minar-e-Pakistan is a tall minaret in Iqbal Park Lahore, built in commemoration of the Lahore Resolution. The minaret reflects a blend of Mughal and modern architecture, and is constructed on the site where on March 23, 1940, seven years before the formation of Pakistan, the Muslim League passed...

 and the Mazar-e-Quaid
Mazar-e-Quaid
Mazar-e-Quaid or the National Mausoleum refers to the tomb of the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. It is an iconic symbol of Karachi throughout the world. The mausoleum , completed in the 1960s, is situated at the heart of the city. it is white in colour.- External links :* * * *...

.

Cuisine





Known for its richness and flavour, Pakistani cuisine is a blend of cooking traditions from regions of the subcontinent. Although there are great variations from one area to another, dishes from Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 province, and the Punjab region
Punjab region
The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

 are identical to north Indian cuisine due to the strong similarity of culture and ethnicity. These can be highly seasoned and very spicy. Chinese migrants living in Pakistan have adopted a distinct style of Pakistani taste blend of both Chinese and Pakistani cuisine
Pakistani Chinese cuisine
Pakistani Chinese cuisine refers to the styles and variations of Chinese cuisine that are cooked and consumed in Pakistan. Chinese migrants to Pakistan have developed a distinct Pakistani-style Chinese cuisine.-History:...

. Some of the popular Pakistani-Chinese dishes include, chicken Manchurian, Chinese basmati rice, Chinese soup and chicken chowmein noodles.

Sports


The national sport of Pakistan is hockey
Field hockey
Field Hockey, or Hockey, is a team sport in which a team of players attempts to score goals by hitting, pushing or flicking a ball into an opposing team's goal using sticks...

, although cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

 is the most popular game across the country. The national cricket team has won the Cricket World Cup
Cricket World Cup
The ICC Cricket World Cup is the premier international championship of men's One Day International cricket. The event is organised by the sport's governing body, the International Cricket Council , with preliminary qualification rounds leading up to a finals tournament which is held every four years...

 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
2009 ICC World Twenty20
The 2009 ICC World Twenty20 was an international Twenty20 cricket tournament which took place in England in June 2009. It was the second ICC World Twenty20 tournament, following the inaugural event in South Africa in September 2007...

 held in England. Lately however, Pakistani cricket has suffered heavily due to teams refusing to tour Pakistan because of terrorism fears. No teams have toured Pakistan since March 2009, when militants attacked the touring Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

n cricket players.


Squash
Squash (sport)
Squash is a high-speed racquet sport played by two players in a four-walled court with a small, hollow rubber ball...

 is another sport that Pakistanis have excelled in. Successful world-class squash players such as Jahangir Khan
Jahangir Khan
Jahangir Khan, HI, is a former World No. 1 professional squash player from Pakistan, who is considered by many to be the greatest player in the history of the game. During his career he won the World Open six times and the British Open a record ten times...

 and Jansher Khan
Jansher Khan
Jansher Khan is a former World No. 1 professional squash player from Pakistan, who is widely considered to be one of the greatest squash players of all time. During his career he won the World Open a record eight times, and the British Open six times.Jansher is of Peshwari ethnicity. He came from...

 have won the World Open several times during their careers. Other international players are Kiran Khan
Kiran Khan
Kiran Khan . Kiran Khan is an Olympian Swimmer and national record-holder from Pakistan, and is one of the first international female swimmers for the country. She started her career in 2001. Kiran Khan first came to national attention at the 28th Pakistan National Games in 2001...

 in Swimming and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi
Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi
Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi is a professional tennis player from Pakistan. He is currently Pakistan's top player. A top 10 doubles player, his highest Singles Race ranking is 103rd and is the former Asian No. 3...

 in Tennis.

At international level, Pakistan has competed many times at the Olympics in field hockey, boxing, athletics, swimming, and shooting. Pakistan's Olympic medal tally stands at 10 (3 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze) while the Commonwealth Games
Commonwealth Games
The Commonwealth Games is an international, multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930 and takes place every four years....

 and Asian Games
Asian Games
The Asian Games, officially known as Asiad, is a multi-sport event held every four years among athletes from all over Asia. The Games were regulated by the Asian Games Federation from the first Games in New Delhi, India, until the 1978 Games. Since the 1982 Games they have been organised by the...

 medal tally stands at 61 and 182 respectively. Hockey is the sport in which Pakistan has been most successful at the Olympics, with three gold medals in (1960, 1968, and 1984). Pakistan has also won the Hockey World Cup
Hockey World Cup
The Hockey World Cup is an international field hockey competition organised by the International Hockey Federation . The tournament was started in 1971...

 a record four times (1971, 1978, 1982, 1994).

Among others, Association football and Polo
Polo
Polo is a team sport played on horseback in which the objective is to score goals against an opposing team. Sometimes called, "The Sport of Kings", it was highly popularized by the British. Players score by driving a small white plastic or wooden ball into the opposing team's goal using a...

 are the more prominent sports with regular national events held in different parts of the country. Boxing
Boxing
Boxing, also called pugilism, is a combat sport in which two people fight each other using their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee over a series of between one to three minute intervals called rounds...

, Billiards
English billiards
English billiards, called simply billiards in many former British colonies and in Great Britain where it originated, is a hybrid form of carom and pocket billiards played on a billiard table. Billiards is less well known as "the English game", "the all-in game" and "the common game".The game is for...

, Snooker
Snooker
Snooker is a cue sport that is played on a green baize-covered table with pockets in each of the four corners and in the middle of each of the long side cushions. A regular table is . It is played using a cue and snooker balls: one white , 15 worth one point each, and six balls of different :...

, Rowing
Rowing (sport)
Rowing is a sport in which athletes race against each other on rivers, on lakes or on the ocean, depending upon the type of race and the discipline. The boats are propelled by the reaction forces on the oar blades as they are pushed against the water...

, Kayaking
Kayaking
Kayaking is the use of a kayak for moving across water. Kayaking and canoeing are also known as paddling. Kayaking is distinguished from canoeing by the sitting position of the paddler and the number of blades on the paddle...

, Caving
Caving
Caving—also occasionally known as spelunking in the United States and potholing in the United Kingdom—is the recreational pastime of exploring wild cave systems...

, Tennis, Contract Bridge
Contract bridge
Contract bridge, usually known simply as bridge, is a trick-taking card game using a standard deck of 52 playing cards played by four players in two competing partnerships with partners sitting opposite each other around a small table...

, Golf and Volley Ball are also actively participated and Pakistan has produced notable champions in these sports at regional and international levels. In Tennis doubles, Pakistan's Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi and India's Rohan Bopanna play together in many International tournaments portraying Indo-Pak friendship.

See also


  • Commonwealth of Nations
    Commonwealth of Nations
    The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...



Further reading


  • Ayres, Robert (1998), Turning Point: The End of the Growth Paradigm. James & James publishers, ISBN 1-85383-439-4
  • Fair, C. Christine, The Militant Challenge in Pakistan (Asia Policy, January 2011)
  • Farndon, John (1999), Concise encyclopaedia, Dorling Kindersley Limited
    Dorling Kindersley
    Dorling Kindersley is an international publishing company specializing in illustrated reference books for adults and children in 51 languages. It is currently part of the Penguin Group....

    , ISBN 0-7513-5911-4
  • Ian, Talbot (1999). The Armed Forces of Pakistan. Macmillan publishers, ISBN 0-312-21606-8
  • Rubinstein, W. D. (2004). Genocide: a history. Pearson Longman Publishers, ISBN 0-582-50601-8
  • Spear, Percival (2007), India, Pakistan and the West. Read books publishers, ISBN 1-4067-1215-9
  • Wink, Andre, Al Hind the Making of the Indo Islamic World, Brill Academic Publishers, 1 January 1996, ISBN 90-04-09249-8
  • Wolpert, Stanley. Jinnah of Pakistan. Oxford University Press, USA. May 1984. ISBN 0-19-503412-0
  • Yasmeen Niaz Mohiuddin, Pakistan: a global studies handbook. ABC-CLIO publishers, 2007, ISBN 1-85109-801-1
  • Masood Ashraf Raja
    Masood Ashraf Raja
    Originally from Pakistan, Dr. Masood Ashraf Raja is an Assistant Professor of Postcolonial Literature and Theory at the University of North Texas and the editor of Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies, a journal that he founded in 2009...

    . Constructing Pakistan: Foundational Texts and the Rise of Muslim National Identity, 1857–1947, Oxford 2010, ISBN 978-0-19547811-2


External links