Pakistan officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a country in South Asia. It is the fifth-most populous country with a population exceeding 212,742,631 people. Pakistan has a 1,046-kilometre (650-mile) coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west, Iran to the southwest, and China in the far northeast.
Pakistan is the only country to have been created in the name of Islam. As a result of the Pakistan Movement led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the subcontinent's struggle for independence, Pakistan was created in 1947 as an independent homeland for Indian Muslims.
Pakistan adopted a constitution in 1956, becoming an Islamic republic. The new constitution also stipulated that all laws are to conform to the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Quran and Sunnah.
Pakistan has the forces in the world and is also a nuclear power as well as a declared nuclear-weapons state, the second in South Asia and the only nation in the Muslim world to have that status.
Pakistan has a semi-industrialized economy with a well-integrated agriculture sector and a growing services sector. The Pakistani economy is the 24th-largest in the world and is backed by one of the world's largest and fastest-growing middle class.
Pakistan is a member of the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Economic Cooperation Organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, the Developing Eight, and the G20 developing nations, Group of 24, Group of 77, and ECOSOC. It is also an associate member of CERN. Pakistan is a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The name Pakistan literally means "land of the pure" Pakistan Movement activist, who published it in his pamphlet Now or Never, using it as an acronym ("thirty million Muslim brethren who live in PAKSTAN") referring to the names of the five northern regions of the British Raj: Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, Sindh, and Baluchistan.
The Arab conqueror Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Sindh in 711 CE. The Pakistan government's official chronology claims this as the time when the foundation of Pakistan was laid but the concept of Pakistan came in 19th century. The Early Medieval period (642–1219 CE) witnessed the spread of Islam in the region. During this period, Sufi missionaries played a pivotal role in converting a majority of the regional Buddhist and Hindu population to Islam. These developments set the stage for the rule of several successive Muslim empires in the region, including the Ghaznavid Empire (975–1187 CE), the Ghorid Kingdom, and the Delhi Sultanate (1206–1526 CE). The Lodi dynasty, the last of the Delhi Sultanate, was replaced by the Mughal Empire (1526–1857 CE).
The Mughals introduced Persian literature and high culture, establishing the roots of culture in the region. From the region of modern-day Pakistan, key cities during the Mughal rule were Lahore and Thatta, both of which were chosen as the site of impressive Mughal buildings.
The English East India Company had established coastal outposts. Control over the seas, greater resources, technology, and British military protection led the Company to increasingly flex its military muscle, allowing the Company to gain control over the subcontinent by 1765.
The gradual decline of the Mughal Empire in the early 18th century enabled the Sikh Empire to control larger areas until the British East India Company gained ascendancy over the Indian subcontinent. Divergence in the relationship between Hinduism and Islam created a major rift in British India that led to racially motivated religious violence in India.
Some of the earliest ancient human civilizations in South Asia originated from areas encompassing present-day Pakistan.The Indus region, which covers most of present day Pakistan, was the site of several successive ancient cultures including the Neolithic Mehrgarh and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilization (2,800–1,800 BCE) at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro.
Taxila had one of the earliest universities and centers of higher education in the world, which was established during the late Vedic period in 6th century BCE. The school consisted of several monasteries without large dormitories or lecture halls where the religious instruction was provided on an individualistic basis. The ancient university was documented by the invading forces of Alexander the Great, "the like of which had not been seen in Greece," and was also recorded by Chinese pilgrims in the 4th or 5th century CE.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan to espouse the two-nation theory and led the Muslim League to adopt the Lahore Resolution of 1940, popularly known as the Pakistan Resolution. In World War II, Jinnah and British-educated founding fathers in the Muslim League supported the United Kingdom's war efforts, countering opposition against it whilst working towards Sir Syed's vision.
The 1946 elections resulted in the Muslim League winning 90 percent of the seats reserved for Muslims. Thus, the 1946 election was effectively a plebiscite in which the Indian Muslims were to vote on the creation of Pakistan, a plebiscite won by the Muslim League.
As the United Kingdom agreed to the partitioning of India in 1947, the modern state of Pakistan was established on 14 August 1947(27th of Ramadan in 1366 of the Islamic Calendar), amalgamating the Muslim-majority eastern and northwestern regions of British India
Climate and Environment
The climate varies from tropical to temperate, with arid conditions in the coastal south.There is a monsoon season with frequent flooding due to heavy rainfall and a dry season with significantly less rainfall or none at all. There are four distinct seasons in Pakistan: 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.
As the Muslim world's second most populous nation-state (after Indonesia) and its only nuclear power state, Pakistan has an important role in the international community. The foundation of our foreign policy is friendship with all nations across the globe.
Pakistan's foreign policy and geostrategic mainly focus on the economy and security against threats to its national identity and territorial integrity, and on the cultivation of close relations with other Muslim countries.
The Kashmir conflict remains the major point of contention between Pakistan and India; three of their four wars were fought over this territory.
Located in the strategic and geopolitical corridor of the world's major maritime oil supply lines and communication fiber optics, Pakistan has proximity to the natural resources of Central Asian countries
Pakistan highlights sovereign equality of states, bilateralism, mutuality of interests, and non-interference in each other's domestic affairs as the cardinal features of its foreign policy." Pakistan is an active member of the United Nations and has a Permanent Representative to represent Pakistan's positions in international politics. Pakistan has lobbied for the concept of "enlightened moderation" in the Muslim world. Pakistan is also a member of Commonwealth of Nations, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), and the G20 developing nations. A non-signatory party of the Treaty on Nuclear Non-Proliferation, Pakistan is an influential member of the IAEA.
Relation with China
Pakistan was the first country to have established formal diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, and the relationship continues to be warm since China's war with India in 1962.
China policy in Pakistan continues to be a dominant factor at all times. In return, China is Pakistan's largest trading partner, and economic co-operation has flourished, with substantial Chinese investment in Pakistan's infrastructural expansion such as the Pakistani deep-water port at Gwadar. Sino-Pakistani friendly relations touched new heights as both the countries signed 51 agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) in 2015 for co-operation in different areas.
Emphasis on Relations with Muslim world
Pakistan vigorously championed the right of self-determination for Muslims around the world. Pakistan's efforts for the independence movements of Indonesia, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, and Eritrea were significant and initially led to close ties between these countries and Pakistan.
Pakistan is an influential and founding member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Maintaining cultural, political, social, and economic relations with the Arab world and other countries in the Muslim world is a vital factor in Pakistan's foreign policy.
Pakistan's "premier" intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), was formed just within a year after the Independence of Pakistan in 1947. Pakistan's ISI was ranked as the top intelligence agency in the world in 2011 by the International Business Times UK. ABC News Point in 2014 also reported that the ISI was ranked as the top intelligence agency in the world while Zee News reported the ISI as ranking fifth among the world's most powerful intelligence agencies.
The armed forces of Pakistan are the eighth largest in the world in terms of numbers in full-time service, with about 617,000 personnel on active duty and 513,000 reservists, as of tentative estimates in 2010. They came into existence after independence in 1947.
Economists estimate that Pakistan was part of the wealthiest region of the world throughout the first millennium CE, with the largest economy by GDP. This advantage was lost in the 18th century as other regions such as China and Western Europe edged forward. Pakistan is considered a developing country and is one of the Next Eleven, a group of eleven countries that, along with the BRICs, have a high potential to become the world's largest economies in the 21st century.
The economy is considered to be semi-industrialized, with centers of growth along the Indus River. The diversified economies of Karachi and centre coexist with less-developed areas in other parts of the country, particularly in Baluchistan.
During the fiscal year 2015–16, Pakistan's exports stood at US$20.81 billion and imports at US$44.76 billion, resulting in a negative trade balance of US$23.96 billion. As of 2016 Pakistan's estimated nominal GDP is US$271 billion. The GDP by PPP is US$946,667 million.
According to the World Bank, Pakistan has important strategic endowments and development potential. The increasing proportion of Pakistan's youth provides the country with both a potential demographic dividend and a challenge to provide adequate services and employment. It is South Asia's second-largest economy, representing about 15.0% of regional GDP.
Agriculture and Primary Sector
The structure of the Pakistani economy has changed from a mainly agricultural to a strong service base. According to report by United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, “Pakistan produced 21,591,400 metric tons of wheat in 2005, more than all of Africa”
A large portion of the country's manufactured exports are dependent on raw materials such as cotton and hides that are part of the agriculture sector. The country is also the fifth-largest producer of cotton, with cotton production of 14 million bales from a modest beginning of 1.7 million bales in the early 1950s; is self sufficient in sugarcane; and is the fourth-largest producer in the world of milk. Land and water resources have not risen proportionately, but the increases have taken place mainly due to gains in labor and agriculture productivity.
The major breakthrough in crop production took place in the late 1960s and 1970s due to the Green Revolution that made a significant contribution to land and yield increases of wheat and rice. Private tube wells led to a 50 percent increase in the cropping intensity which was augmented by tractor cultivation. While the tube wells raised crop yields by 50 percent, the High Yielding Varieties. Meat industry accounts for 1.4 percent of overall GDP.
Industry is the third-largest sector of the economy, accounting for 20.3% of gross domestic product (GDP), and 13 percent of total employment. Large-scale manufacturing (LSM), at 12.2% of GDP, dominates the overall sector, accounting for 66% of the sectoral share, followed by small-scale manufacturing, which accounts for 4.9% of total GDP. Pakistan's cement industry is also fast growing mainly because of demand from Afghanistan and from the domestic real estate sector.
In 2013 Pakistan exported 7,708,557 tons of cement. Pakistan has an installed capacity of 44,768,250 metric tons of cement and 42,636,428 metric tons of clinker. In 2012 and 2013, the cement industry in Pakistan became the most profitable sector of the economy.
The textile industry has a pivotal position in the manufacturing sector of Pakistan. In Asia, Pakistan is the eighth-largest exporter of textile products, contributing 9.5% to the GDP and providing employment to around 15 million people
Services sector has 58.8% share in GDP and has emerged as the main driver of economic growth. Pakistani society like other developing countries is a consumption oriented society, having a high marginal propensity to consume. The growth rate of services sector is higher than the growth rate of agriculture and industrial sector. Services sector accounts for 54 percent of GDP in 2014 and little over one-third of total employment. Services sector has strong linkages with other sectors of economy; it provides essential inputs to agriculture sector and manufacturing sector. Pakistan's I.T sector is regarded as among the fastest growing sectors in Pakistan. The World Economic Forum, assessing the development of Information and Communication Technology in the country ranked Pakistan 110th among 139 countries on the ‘Networked Readiness Index 2016’.
As of 2016, Pakistan has over 35 million Internet users and is ranked as one of the top countries that have registered a high growth rate in Internet penetration. Overall, it has the 20th-largest population of Internet users in the world. The current growth rate and employment trend indicate that Pakistan's Information Communication Technology (ICT) industry will exceed the $10-billion mark by 2020.
This growth is much better than that of China, whose share in services exports was 3pc and 7.7pc for the same period respectively.
Nuclear Power and Energy
The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) is solely responsible for operating these power plants, while the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority regulates safe usage of the nuclear energy. The electricity generated by commercial nuclear power plants constitutes roughly 5.8% of Pakistan's electrical energy, compared to 64.2% from fossil fuels (crude oil and natural gas), 29.9% from hydroelectric power, and 0.1% from coal.
The KANUPP-I a Candu-type nuclear reactor, is the country's first commercial nuclear power plant. The Sino-Pakistani nuclear cooperation began in the early 1980's. After a Sino-Pakistani nuclear cooperation agreement in 1986, China provided Pakistan with a nuclear reactor dubbed CHASNUPP-I for energy and industrial growth of the country. In 2005 both countries proposed working on a joint energy security plan, calling for a huge increase in generation capacity to more than 160,000 MWe by 2030. Under its Nuclear Energy Vision 2050, the Pakistani government plans to increase nuclear power generation capacity to 40,000 MWe, 8,900 MWe of it by 2030.
In 2013 Pakistan established a second commercial nuclear complex in Karachi with plans of additional reactors, similar to the one in Chashma
With its diverse cultures, people, and landscapes, Pakistan attracted around 1 million foreign tourists in 2014, contributing PKR 94.8 billion to the country's economy,
The trail attracted thousands of Europeans and Americans in the 1960s and 1970s that travelled via land through Turkey and Iran into India through Pakistan. The main destinations of choice for these tourists were the Khyber Pass, Peshawar, Karachi, Lahore, Swat and Rawalpindi.
Pakistan's tourist attractions range from the mangroves in the south to the Himalayan hill stations in the north-east. The country's tourist destinations range from the Buddhist ruins of Takht-i-Bahi and Taxila, to the 5,000-year-old cities of the Indus Valley Civilization such as Mohenjo-daro and Harappa.
Pakistan is home to several mountain peaks over 7,000 metres (23,000 feet). The northern part of Pakistan has many old fortresses, examples of ancient architecture, and the Hunza and Chitral valleys, home to the small pre-Islamic animist Kalasha community claiming descent from Alexander the Great. Pakistan's cultural capital, Lahore, contains many examples of Mughal architecture such as the Badshahi Masjid, the Shalimar Gardens, the Tomb of Jahangir, and the Lahore Fort.
Kashmir, by The Guardian newspaper is "The top five tourist sites in Pakistan" The five sites included Taxila, Lahore, the Karakoram Highway, Karimabad, and Lake Saiful Muluk. Pakistan's unique cultural heritage, the government organizes various festivals throughout the year.
The transport industry accounts for ~10.5% of the nation's GDP. Pakistan's motorway infrastructure is better than those of India, Bangladesh, and Indonesia, but the train system is being modernized, and aviation infrastructure also needs improvement.
Highway form the backbone of Pakistan's transport system; a total road length of 263,942 kilometres (164,006 miles) accounts for 92% of passenger and 96% of inland freight traffic. Road transport services are largely in the hands of the private sector. The National Highway Authority is responsible for the maintenance of national highways and motorways. The highway and motorway system depends mainly on north–south links connecting the southern ports to the populous provinces of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa. Although this network only accounts for 4.59% of total road length, it carries 85% of the country's traffic.
The Pakistan Railways, operates the railroad system. From 1947 until the 1970s the train system was the primary means of transport until the nationwide constructions of the national highways and the economic boom of the automotive industry.
Pakistan expects to use the rail service to boost foreign trade with China, Iran, and Turkey.
There are an estimated 139 airports and airfields in Pakistan. Jinnah International Airport is the principal international gateway to Pakistan, the international airports in Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta, Faisalabad, Sialkot, and Multan also handle significant amounts of traffic.
The private airlines such as Air Blue, Shaheen Air International, and Air Indus, also provide similar services at a low cost.
Science and technology
Pakistani theoretical physicist Abdus Salam won a Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the electroweak interaction. In chemistry, Salimuzzaman Siddiqui was the first Pakistani scientist to bring the therapeutic constituents of the Neem tree to the attention of natural products chemists. Pakistani neurosurgeon Ayub Ommaya invented the Ommaya reservoir, a system for treatment of brain tumors and other brain conditions.
Abdul Qadeer Khan, regarded as the founder of the HEU-based gas-centrifuge uranium enrichment program for Pakistan's integrated atomic bomb project. He founded and established the Kahuta Research Laboratories (KRL) in 1976
The Pakistan Academy of Sciences, a strong scientific community, plays an influential and vital role in formulating recommendations regarding science policies for the government.
Pakistan has an active space program led by SUPARCO that produced advances in domestic rocketry, electronics, and aeronomy. Pakistan became the first Muslim country and second South Asian country to put a satellite into space.
Pakistan's decision to conduct underground nuclear tests in 1998, thus becoming the seventh country in the world to successfully develop nuclear weapons.
Pakistan is the first and only Muslim country that maintains an active research presence in Antarctica. Since 1991 Pakistan has maintained two summer research stations and one weather observatory on the continent and plans to open another full-fledged permanent base in Antarctica.
Energy consumption by computers and usage has grown since the 1990s when PCs were introduced; Pakistan has about 30 million Internet users and is ranked as one of the top countries that have registered a high growth rate in Internet penetration as of 2013. Key publications have been produced by Pakistan, and domestic software development has gained considerable international praise.
The Pakistan government reportedly spends 4.6 billion on information technology projects, with emphasis on e-government, human resources, and infrastructure development.
The constitution of Pakistan requires the state to provide free primary and secondary education. Education in Pakistan is divided into six main levels: nursery (preparatory classes); primary (grades one through five); middle (grades six through eight); matriculation (grades nine and ten, leading to the secondary certificate); intermediate (grades eleven and twelve, leading to a higher secondary certificate); and university programs leading to graduate and postgraduate degrees. There is a network of private schools that constitutes a parallel secondary education system based on a curriculum set and administered by the Cambridge International Examinations of the United Kingdom. Some students choose to take the O-level and A level exams conducted by the British Council. According to the International Schools Consultancy, Pakistan has 439 international schools.
All educational institutions in Sindh to begin offering Chinese language courses, reflecting China's growing role as a superpower and its increasing influence in Pakistan. The literacy rate of the population is ~58 %. The rate of male literacy is ~70.2% while the rate of female literacy is 46.3%.
Even after partition in 1947, Indian Muslims continued to migrate to Pakistan throughout the 1950s and 1960s, and these migrants settled mainly in Karachi and other towns of Sindh province. The Pakistan Census excludes the 1.41 million registered refugees from Afghanistan. In addition to Afghans, around 2 million Bangladeshis and half a million other undocumented people live in Pakistan.
Pakistan is a preferred country to stay for American, British, and Canadian this includes those with dual Nationality. Thousands of Uyghur Muslims have also migrated to the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, fleeing religious and cultural persecution in Xinjiang, China. There is increasing trend of Chinese coming to work and settle in Pakistan due to CPEC. Major cities attract Koreans, Philippines, Indonesian, Africans and Bangladeshis who want to settle in Pakistan.
the urbanization has increased exponentially, with cities of Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Sargodha, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Gujrat, Jhelum, Sheikhupura, Nowshera, Mardan, and Peshawar Gawader. Migration from other countries, mainly from those nearby, has further accelerated the process of urbanization in Pakistani cities. Inevitably, the rapid urbanization caused by these large population movements has also created new political and socio-economic challenges. In addition to immigration, economic trends such as the green revolution and political developments, among a host of other factors, are also important causes of urbanization.
Christianity and other Religions
Christians formed the next largest religious minority, after Hindus, with a population of 2,092,902, according to the 1998 census. They were followed by the Baha’i Faith, which had a following of 30,000, then Sikhism, Buddhism, and Zoroastrianism, each back then claiming 20,000 adherents, and a very small community of Jains. There is a Roman Catholic community in Karachi that was established by Goan and Tamil migrants when Karachi's infrastructure was being developed by the British during the colonial administration between World War I and World War II.
Culture and Society
Civil society in Pakistan is largely hierarchical, emphasizing local cultural etiquette and traditional Islamic values that govern personal and political life. The basic family unit is the extended family. The traditional dress for both men and women is the Shalwar Kameez; trousers, jeans, and shirts are also popular among men. In recent decades, the middle class has increased to around 35 million and the upper and upper-middle classes to around 17 million, and power is shifting from rural landowners to the urbanized elites. Pakistani festivals, including Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Azha, Ramazan, Christmas, Easter, Holi, and Diwali, are mostly religious in origin. Increasing globalization has resulted in Pakistan ranking 56th on the A.T. Kearney/FP Globalization Index.
Clothing, arts, and fashion
The Shalwar Kameez is the national dress of Pakistan and is worn by both men and women in all four provinces: Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan, and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa as well as in FATA and Azad Kashmir.
The fashion industry has flourished in the changing environment of the fashion world. Since Pakistan came into being, its fashion has evolved in different phases and developed a unique identity. Today, Pakistani fashion is a combination of traditional and modern dress and has become a mark of Pakistani culture. Despite modern trends, regional and traditional forms of dress have developed their own significance as a symbol of native tradition. This regional fashion continues to evolve into both more modern and purer forms. The Pakistan Fashion Design Council based in Lahore organizes PFDC Fashion Week and the Fashion Pakistan Council based in Karachi organizes Fashion Pakistan Week. Pakistan's first fashion week was held in November 2009.
Pakistan ranks 10th in the world for remittances sent home. The largest inflow of remittances, as of 2016, is from Saudi Arabia, amounting to $5.9 billion. The term Overseas Pakistani is officially recognized by the Government of Pakistan. The Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis was established in 2008 to deal exclusively with all matters of overseas Pakistanis such as attending to their needs and problems, developing projects for their welfare, and working for resolution of their problems and issues. Overseas Pakistanis are the second-largest source of foreign exchange remittances to Pakistan after exports. Over the last several years, home remittances have maintained a steadily rising trend, with a more than 100% increase from US$8.9 billion in 2009–10 to US$19.9 billion in 2015–16.
It has since recognized the importance of overseas Pakistanis and their contribution to the nation's economy. Together with Community Welfare Attaches (CWAs) and the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF), the OPD is making efforts to improve the welfare of Pakistanis who reside abroad.
Most sports played in Pakistan originated and were substantially developed by athletes and sports fans from the United Kingdom who introduced them during the British Raj. Field hockey is the national sport of Pakistan; it has won three gold medals in the Olympic Games held in 1960, 1968, and 1984. Pakistan has also won the Hockey World Cup a record four times, held in 1971, 1978, 1982, and 1994.
Cricket, however, is the most popular game across the country. The cricket team (known as Shaheen) won the Cricket World Cup held in 1992; it was runner-up once, in 1999. Pakistan was runner-up in the inaugural World Twenty20 (2007) in South Africa and won the World Twenty20 in England in 2009.
Pakistan formulated PSL (Pakistan Super League) to encourage more international players to play in Pakistan & promote soft Image of Pakistan as Peaceful vibrant nature.
Pakistan has hosted or co-hosted several international sporting events: the 1989 and 2004 South Asian Games; the 1984, 1993, 1996 and 2003 World Squash Championships; the 1987 and 1996 Cricket World Cup; and the 1990 Hockey World Cup.
Pakistan Philippines Business Forum is an autonomous body based in Karachi dedicated to promote Bilateral Trade between Philippines and Pakistan.