Pakistan

PAKISTAN

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Pakistan Wikipedia



This article is about the country. For other uses, see Pakistan (disambiguation).
Islamic Republic of Pakistan
اسلامی جمہوریۂ پاكستان (Urdu)


Islāmī Jumhūriyah-yi Pākistān
FlagEmblem
Motto: ایمان، اتحاد، نظم (Urdu)

Īmān, Ittiḥād, Naẓm


"Faith, Unity, Discipline" 
Anthem: Qaumī Tarānah

قومی ترانہ


"The National Anthem"
Area controlled by Pakistan shown in dark green; claimed but uncontrolled territory shown in light green.
Area controlled by Pakistan shown in dark green; claimed but uncontrolled territory shown in light green.
CapitalIslamabad


33°40′N 73°10′E / 33.667°N 73.167°E / 33.667; 73.167
Largest cityKarachi
Official languages
  • Englisha
  • Urdu
Regional languagesPunjabi, Pashto, Sindhi, Saraiki, Balochi, Kashmiri, Brahui, Dogri, Hindko, Shina, Balti, Khowar, Burushaski Yidgha, Dameli, Kalasha, Gawar-Bati, Domaaki
DemonymPakistani
GovernmentFederal parliamentary republic
 - PresidentMamnoon Hussain (PML-N)
 - Prime MinisterMian Nawaz Sharif (PML-N)
 - Chief JusticeTassaduq Hussain Jillani
 - Chairman SenateNayyar Hussain Bukhari (PPP)
 - Speaker National AssemblyAyaz Sadiq (PML-N)
LegislatureMajlis-e-Shoora
 - Upper houseSenate
 - Lower houseNational Assembly
Formation
 - Conception of Pakistan29 December 1930 
 - Pakistan Resolution23 March 1940 
 - Independence and Dominion14 August 1947 
 - Islamic Republic23 March 1956 
 - Breakup of East and West Pakistan16 December 1971 
 - Current constitution14 August 1973 
Area
 - Total796,095 km2[a] (36th)


307,374 sq mi
 - Water (%)3.1
Population
 - 2014 estimate186,693,907 (6th)
 - Density234.4/km2 (55th)


607.4/sq mi
GDP (PPP)2013 estimate
 - Total$574.068 billion (26th)
 - Per capita$3,144 (139th)
GDP (nominal)2013 estimate
 - Total$236.518 billion (45th)
 - Per capita$1,295 (147th)
Gini (2008)30.0


medium
HDI (2012)Increase 0.515


low · 146th
CurrencyPakistani rupee (₨) (PKR)
Time zonePKT (UTC+5)
 - Summer (DST) (UTC+6b)
Drives on theleft
Calling code+92
ISO 3166 codePK
Internet TLD.pk
a.See also Pakistani English.
b.Not always observed; see Daylight saving time in Pakistan.
Pakistan (Listeni/ˈpækɨstæn/ or Listeni/pɑːkiˈstɑːn/; Urdu: پاكستان‎ ALA-LC: Pākistān IPA: [pɑːkɪst̪ɑːn] ( listen)) officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, (Urdu: اسلامی جمہوریۂ پاكستان‎ ALA-LC: Islāmī Jumhūriyah-yi Pākistān) is a sovereign country in South Asia. With a population exceeding 180 million people, it is the sixth most populous country and with an area covering 796,095 km2 (307,374 sq mi), it is the 36th largest country in the world in terms of area. Pakistan has a 1,046-kilometre (650 mi) coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west and north, Iran to the southwest and China in the far northeast. It is separated from Tajikistan by Afghanistan's narrow Wakhan Corridor in the north, and also shares a marine border with Oman.

The territory that now constitutes Pakistan was previously home to several ancient cultures, including the Mehrgarh of the Neolithic and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation, and was later home to kingdoms ruled by people of different faiths and cultures, including Hindus, Indo-Greeks, Muslims, Turco-Mongols, Afghans and Sikhs. The area has been ruled by numerous empires and dynasties, including the Indian Mauryan Empire, the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Alexander of Macedonia, the Arab Umayyad Caliphate, the Mongol Empire, the Mughal Empire, the Durrani Empire, the Sikh Empire and the British Empire. 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 nation for Muslims from the regions in the east and west of Subcontinent where there was a Muslim majority. Initially a dominion, Pakistan adopted a new constitution in 1956, becoming an Islamic republic. A civil war in 1971 resulted in the secession of East Pakistan as the new country of Bangladesh.

Pakistan is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of four provinces and four federal territories. It is an ethnically and linguistically diverse country, with a similar variation in its geography and wildlife. A regional and middle power, Pakistan has the fourth largest standing armed forces in the world and is also a nuclear power as well as a declared nuclear-weapons state, being the only nation in the Muslim world, and the second in South Asia, to have that status. It has a semi-industrialised economy with a well-integrated agriculture sector, its economy is the 26th largest in the world in terms of purchasing power and 45th largest in terms of nominal GDP and is also characterized among the emerging and growth-leading economies of the world.

The post-independence history of Pakistan has been characterised by periods of military rule, political instability and conflicts with neighbouring India. The country continues to face challenging problems, including overpopulation, terrorism, poverty, illiteracy and corruption but regardless of that it ranks among the countries with the most income equality. It ranked 16th on the 2012 Happy Planet Index. It is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Next Eleven Economies, SAARC, ECO, UfC, D8, Cairns Group, Kyoto Protocol, ICCPR, RCD, UNCHR, Group of Eleven, CPFTA, Group of 24, the G20 developing nations, ECOSOC, founding member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (now the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation), and CERN.

Contents

              Etymology

              The name Pakistan literally means "Land of the Pure" in Urdu and Persian. It was coined in 1933 as Pakstan by Choudhry Rahmat Ali, a 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, North-West Frontier Province (Afghania Province), Kashmir, Sindh, and Baluchistan". The letter i was incorporated to ease pronunciation and form the linguistically correct and meaningful name.

              History

              Main articles: History of Pakistan and History of South Asia

              Early and medieval age




              Standing Buddha from Gandhara
              You may need rendering support to display the Urdu text in this article correctly.
              Some of the earliest ancient human civilisations in South Asia originated from areas encompassing present-day Pakistan. The earliest known inhabitants in the region were Soanian during the Lower Paleolithic, of whom stone tools have been found in the Soan Valley of Punjab. The Indus region, which covers most of Pakistan, was the site of several successive ancient cultures including the Neolithic Mehrgarh and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation (2800–1800 BCE) at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro.

              The Vedic Civilization (1500–500 BCE), characterised by Indo-Aryan culture, laid the foundations of Hinduism, which would become well established in the region. Multan was an important Hindu pilgrimage centre. The Vedic civilisation flourished in the ancient Gandhāran city of Takṣaśilā, now Taxila in Punjab. Successive ancient empires and kingdoms ruled the region: the Persian Achaemenid Empire around 519 BCE, Alexander the Great's empire in 326 BCE and the Maurya Empire founded by Chandragupta Maurya and extended by Ashoka the Great until 185 BCE. The Indo-Greek Kingdom founded by Demetrius of Bactria (180–165 BCE) included Gandhara and Punjab and reached its greatest extent under Menander (165–150 BCE), prospering the Greco-Buddhist culture in the region. Taxila had one of the earliest universities and centres of higher education in the world.



              Mughal emperor Aurangzeb
              The Medieval period (642–1219 CE) is defined by 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. The Rai Dynasty (489–632 CE) of Sindh, at its zenith, ruled this region and the surrounding territories. The Pala Dynasty was the last Buddhist empire that under Dharampala and Devapala stretched across South Asia from what is now Bangladesh through Northern India to Pakistan and later to Kamboj region in Afghanistan.

              The Arab general Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Indus valley from Sindh to Multan in southern Punjab in 711 CE. The Pakistan government's official chronology identifies this as the point where the "foundation" of Pakistan was laid. This conquest 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 Indo-Persian culture in the region.

              Colonial period

              Main articles: Pakistan Movement, Partition of India and British Raj
              The gradual decline of the Mughal Empire in the early eighteenth century enabled Sikh rulers to control large areas until the British East India Company gained ascendancy over South Asia. The Indian Rebellion of 1857, also known as the Sepoy Mutiny, was the region's major armed struggle against the British. The largely non-violent independence struggle led by the Indian National Congress engaged millions of protesters in mass campaigns of civil disobedience in the 1920s and 1930s.



              The 1940 Working Committee of the Muslim League in Lahore
              Image of the founder and first Governor General of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah


              Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder and first Governor General of Pakistan, delivering the opening address of the 1947 Constitutional Assembly, explaining the foundations for the new state of Pakistan.
              The All-India Muslim League rose to popularity in the late 1930s amid fears of under-representation and neglect of Muslims in politics. In his presidential address of 29 December 1930, Muhammad Iqbal called for "the formation of a consolidated North-West Indian Muslim State" consisting of Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, espoused the two-nation theory and led the Muslim League to adopt the Lahore Resolution of 1940, popularly known as the Pakistan Resolution. In early 1947, Britain announced the decision to end its rule in India. In June 1947, the nationalist leaders of British India—including Jawaharlal Nehru and Abul Kalam Azad representing the Congress, Jinnah representing the Muslim League, and Master Tara Singh 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 1366 in the Islamic Calendar) in the eastern and northwestern regions of British India, where there was a Muslim majority. It comprised the provinces of Balochistan, East Bengal, the North-West Frontier Province, West Punjab and Sindh. The partition of the Punjab and Bengal provinces led to communal riots across India and Pakistan; millions of Muslims moved to Pakistan and millions of Hindus and Sikhs moved to India. Dispute over Jammu and Kashmir led to the First Kashmir War.

              Independence and modern Pakistan

              Main article: Monarchy of Pakistan



              Pakistan's first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan with President Harry S. Truman of United States
              After independence, the President of the Muslim League, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, became the new nation's first Governor-General, and the Secretary General of the Muslim League, Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan became the first Prime Minister. From 1947 to 1956, Pakistan was a dominion in the Commonwealth of Nations under two monarchs. In 1947, George VI relinquished the title of Emperor of India and became King of Pakistan. He retained that title until his death on 6 February 1952, after which Queen Elizabeth II became Queen of Pakistan. She retained that title until Pakistan became an Islamic and Parliamentary republic in 1956, but civilian rule was stalled by a military coup led by the Army Commander-in-Chief, General Ayub Khan. The country experienced exceptional growth until a second war with India took place in 1965 and led to economic downfall and internal instability. Ayub Khan's successor, General Yahya Khan (President from 1969 to 1971), had to deal with a devastating cyclone which caused 500,000 deaths in East Pakistan.



              Empress of Iran Farah Pahlavi with former prime minister of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1972.
              In 1970, Pakistan held its first democratic elections since independence, that were meant to mark a transition from military rule to democracy, but after the East Pakistani Awami League won, Yahya Khan and the ruling elite in West Pakistan refused to hand over power. There was civil unrest in the East, and the Pakistan Army launched a military operation on 25 March 1971, aiming to regain control of the province. The genocide carried out during this operation led to a declaration of independence and to the waging of a war of liberation by the Bengali Mukti Bahini forces in East Pakistan, with support from India. However, in West Pakistan the conflict was described as a civil war as opposed to War of Liberation.

              Independent estimates of civilian deaths during this period range from 300,000 to 3 million. Attacks on Indian military bases by the Pakistan Air Force in December 1971 sparked the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, which ended with the formal secession of East Pakistan as the independent state of Bangladesh.

              With Pakistan's defeat in the war, Yahya Khan was replaced by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as Chief Martial Law Administrator. Civilian rule resumed from 1972 to 1977. During this period Pakistan began to build nuclear weapons; the country's first atomic power plant was inaugurated in 1972. Civilian rule ended with a military coup in 1977, and in 1979 General Zia-ul-Haq became the third military president. Military government lasted until 1988, during which Pakistan became one of the fastest-growing economies in South Asia. Zia consolidated nuclear development and increased Islamization of the state. During this period, Pakistan helped to subsidise and distribute US resources to factions of the Mujahideen movement against the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

              Zia died in a plane crash in 1988, and Benazir Bhutto, daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was elected as the first female Prime Minister of Pakistan. She was followed by Nawaz Sharif, and over the next decade the two leaders fought for power, alternating in office while the country's situation worsened; economic indicators fell sharply, in contrast to the 1980s. This period is marked by political instability, misgovernance and corruption. In May 1998, while Sharif was Prime Minister, India tested five nuclear weapons and tension with India heightened to an extreme: Pakistan detonated six nuclear weapons of its own in the Chagai-I and Chagai-II tests later in the same month. Military tension between the two countries in the Kargil district led to the Kargil War of 1999, after which General Pervez Musharraf took over through a bloodless coup d'état and assumed vast executive powers.



              Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan, Pervez Musharraf, former president of Pakistan and Fakhruddin Ahmed, Chief Adviser to the Interim Bangladesh Government.
              Musharraf ruled Pakistan as head of state from 1999 to 2001 and as President from 2001 to 2008, a period of extensive economic reform and Pakistan's involvement in the US-led war on terrorism. On 15 November 2007, Pakistan's National Assembly became the first to complete its full five-year term, and new elections were called. After the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December 2007, her Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) won the largest number of seats in the 2008 elections, and party member Yousaf Raza Gillani was sworn in as Prime Minister. Musharraf resigned from the presidency on 18 August 2008 when threatened with impeachment, and was succeeded by Asif Ali Zardari. Gillani was disqualified from membership of parliament and as prime minister by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in June 2012. By its own estimates, Pakistan's involvement in the war on terrorism has cost up to $67.93 billion, thousands of casualties and nearly 3 million displaced civilians. The Pakistani general election of 2013 saw the Pakistan Muslim League (N) achieve a majority, following which Nawaz Sharif became elected as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, returning to the post for the third time after fourteen years, in a democratic transition.

              Politics

              Main articles: Government of Pakistan, Politics of Pakistan, Foreign relations of Pakistan and Human rights in Pakistan
              Pakistan is a democratic parliamentary federal republic with Islam as the state religion. The first Constitution of Pakistan was adopted in 1956 but suspended by Ayub Khan in 1958. The Constitution of 1973—suspended by Zia-ul-Haq in 1977 but reinstated in 1985—is the country's most important document, laying the foundations of the current government. The Pakistani military establishment has played an influential role in mainstream politics throughout Pakistan's political history. Presidents brought in by military coups ruled in 1958–1971, 1977–1988 and 1999–2008. Pakistan today is a multi-party system parliamentry state with clear division of power and responsibilities between branches of government. The first successful demonstrative transaction was held in May 2013. As of 2013 elections, the three main political parties in the country are Pakistan Muslim League led by Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan Peoples Party led by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Pakistan Movement for Justice led by Imran Khan.
              • Head of State: The president who is elected by an electoral college is the ceremonial head of the state and is the civilian commander-in-chief of the Pakistan Armed Forces (with Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee as its principal military adviser), but military appointments and key confirmations in the armed forces are made by the prime minister after reviewing the reports on their merit and performances. Almost all appointed officers in the judicial branches, military chiefs, chairman and branches, and legislatures require the executive confirmation from the prime minister, whom the President must consult, by law. However, the powers to pardon and grant clemency vest with the President of Pakistan.
              • Legislative: The bicameral legislature comprises a 100-member Senate and a 342-member National Assembly. Members of the National Assembly are elected through the first-past-the-post system under universal adult suffrage, representing electoral districts known as National Assembly constituencies. According to the constitution, the 70 seats reserved for women and religious minorities are allocated to the political parties according to their proportional representation. Senate members are elected by provincial legislators, with all of provinces have equal representation.
              • Executive: The prime minister is usually the leader of the largest party or a coalition in the National Assembly. He serves as the head of government and is designated to exercise as the country's chief executive. The premier is responsible for appointing a cabinet consisting of ministers and advisors as well as running the government operations, taking and authorizing executive decisions, appointments and recommendations that require executive confirmation of the Prime Minister.
              • Provincial governments: Each of the four province has a similar system of government, with a directly elected Provincial Assembly in which the leader of the largest party or coalition is elected Chief Minister. Chief Ministers oversees the provincial government and head the provincial cabinet, it is common in Pakistan to have different ruling parties or coalitions in the provinces. The provincial assemblies have power to make laws and approve provincial budget which is commonly presented by the provincial finance minister every fiscal year.Provincial governors who play role as the ceremonial head of province are appointed by the President.
              • Judiciary: The judiciary of Pakistan is a hierarchical system with two classes of courts: the superior (or higher) judiciary and the subordinate (or lower) judiciary. The superior judiciary is composed of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the Federal Shariat Court and five High Courts, with the Supreme Court at the apex. The Constitution of Pakistan entrusts the superior judiciary with the obligation to preserve, protect and defend the constitution. Neither the Supreme Court nor a High Court may exercise jurisdiction in relation to Tribal Areas, except otherwise provided for. The disputed regions of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan have separate court systems
              Parliament House

              Prime Minister's Secretariat

              Supreme Court of Pakistan

              Foreign relations of Pakistan




              Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with President of the United States Barack Obama at the Oval Office.
              Pakistan is the second largest Muslim country (after Indonesia), and its status as a declared nuclear power, being the only Islamic nation to have that status, plays a part in its international role. Pakistan has a fierce independent foreign policy, especially when it comes to issues such as development of nuclear weapons, construction of nuclear reactors, foreign military purchases and other issues that are vital to its national interests. Pakistan has a strategic geo-political location at the corridor of world major maritime oil supply lines, and has proximity to the resource and oil rich central Asian countries. Pakistan is an important member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), is ranked by the US as a major non-NATO ally in the war against terrorism, and has a highly disciplined military, which is the world's eighth-largest standing military force.

              Pakistan's foreign policy focuses on security against threats to national identity and territorial integrity, and on the cultivation of close relations with Muslim countries. A 2004 briefing on foreign policy for Pakistani Parliamentarians says, "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." The country is an active member of the United Nations. It is a founding member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in which it has promoted Musharraf's concept of "Enlightened Moderation". Pakistan is also a member of Commonwealth of Nations, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) and the G20 developing nations. India's nuclear tests were seen as a threat to Pakistan and led it to establish itself as a nuclear power. Pakistan now maintains a policy of "credible minimum deterrence".



              Pakistan is often referred as China's closest ally, the construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is likely to strengthen the ties.
              Pakistan maintains good relations with all Arab and most other Muslim countries. Since the Sino-Indian War of 1962, Pakistan's closest strategic, military and economic ally has been China. The relationship has survived changes of governments and variations in the regional and global situation. Chinese cooperation with Pakistan has reached economic high points, with substantial Chinese investment in Pakistan's infrastructural expansion including the Pakistani deep-water port at Gwadar. Both countries have an ongoing free trade agreement. Pakistan has served as China's main bridge between Muslim countries. Pakistan also played an important role in bridging the communication gap between China and the West by facilitating the 1972 Nixon visit to China.

              Pakistan and India continue to be rivals. The Kashmir conflict remains the major point of rift; three of their four wars were over this territory. Pakistan has had mixed relations with the United States. As an anti-Soviet power in the 1950s and during Soviet-Afghan War in the 1980s, Pakistan was one of the closest allies of the US, but relations soured in the 1990s when the US imposed sanctions because of Pakistan's possession and testing of nuclear weapons. The US war on terrorism led initially to an improvement in the relationship, but it was strained by a divergence of interests and resulting mistrust during the war in Afghanistan and by issues related to terrorism. Since 1948, there has been an ongoing, and at times fluctuating, violent conflict in the southwestern province of Balochistan between various Baloch separatist groups, who seek greater political autonomy, and the central government of Pakistan.

              Administrative divisions

              Main articles: Administrative units of Pakistan and Districts of Pakistan
              Pakistan is a federation of four provinces: Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, as well as the Islamabad Capital Territory and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in the northwest, which include the Frontier Regions. The government of Pakistan exercises de facto jurisdiction over the western parts of the disputed Kashmir region, organised into the separate political entities Azad Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan (formerly Northern Areas). The Gilgit–Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order of 2009 assigned a province-like status to the latter, giving it self-government.

              Local government follows a three-tier system of districts, tehsils and union councils, with an elected body at each tier. There are about 130 districts altogether, of which Azad Kashmir has ten and Gilgit–Baltistan seven. The Tribal Areas comprise seven tribal agencies and six small frontier regions detached from neighbouring districts.
              Clickable map of the four provinces and four federal territories of Pakistan.


              A clickable map of Pakistan exhibiting its administrative units.
              About this image



              Law enforcement in Pakistan is carried out by federal and provincial police agencies. The four provinces and the Islamabad Capital Territory each have a civilian police force with jurisdiction limited to the relevant province or territory. At the federal level, there are a number of civilian agencies with nationwide jurisdictions; including the Federal Investigation Agency, the National Highways and Motorway Police, and several paramilitary forces such as the Pakistan Rangers and the Frontier Corps.

              The court system of Pakistan is organised as a hierarchy, with the Supreme Court at the apex, below which are High Courts, Federal Shariat Courts (one in each province and one in the federal capital), District Courts (one in each district), Judicial Magistrate Courts (in every town and city), Executive Magistrate Courts and Civil Courts. Pakistan's penal code has limited jurisdiction in the Tribal Areas, where law is largely derived from tribal customs.

              Military

              Main article: Pakistan Armed Forces
              JF-17 Thunder (left) is Pakistan's first indigenous multirole combat aircraft and AH-1 Cobra (right) are imported from the United States.
              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 in 2010. They came into existence after independence in 1947, and the military establishment has frequently been involved in the politics of Pakistan ever since. The Chairman joint chiefs (the current chairman is General Rashad Mahmood) is the highest principle officer in the armed forces, and the chief military adviser to the government though the chairman has no authority over the three branches of armed forces. The three main branches are the Army (headed by General Raheel Sharif), the Navy (headed by Admiral Asif Sandila), and the Air Force (headed by Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt), and they are supported by a number of paramilitary forces. The National Command Authority is responsible for employment, for control of the development of all strategic nuclear organisations and for Pakistan's nuclear doctrine under the nuclear defence theory. Pakistan's defence forces maintain close military relations with China and the United States and import military equipment mainly from them. The defence forces of China and Pakistan occasionally carry out joint military exercises. Conscription may be introduced in times of emergency, but it has never been imposed.

              Since independence, Pakistan has been involved in four wars with neighbouring India, beginning in 1947 with the First Kashmir War, when Pakistan gained control of present-day Azad Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan. The two countries were at war again in 1965 and in 1971, and most recently in the Kargil War of 1999. The Army has also been engaged in several skirmishes with Afghanistan on the western Durand Line border. In 1961, it repelled an Afghan incursion in the Bajaur Agency near the Durand Line border. During the Soviet war in Afghanistan, Pakistan's military provided support to the mujahideen rebels through its ISI agency. Pakistani forces also shot down several intruding Soviet/Afghan aircraft during the 1980s, one of which belonged to Alexander Rutskoy.

              Apart from its own conflicts, Pakistan has been an active participant in United Nations peacekeeping missions. It played a major role in rescuing trapped American soldiers from Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993 in Operation Gothic Serpent. Pakistani armed forces are the largest troop contributors to UN peacekeeping missions.
              Al-Zarrar (left) is a main battle tank's produced by Pakistan and M60 AVLB is a armored vehicle launched bridge.
              Pakistan maintained significant numbers of troops in some Arab countries in defence, training and advisory roles. During the Six-Day War in 1967 and the Yom Kippur War in October 1973, PAF pilots volunteered to go to the Middle East to support Egypt and Syria, which were in a state of war with Israel; they shot down ten Israeli planes in the Six-Day War. In 1979, at the request of the Saudi government, commandos of the Pakistani Special Service Group were rushed to assist Saudi forces in Mecca to lead the operation of the Grand Mosque Seizure. In 1991 Pakistan got involved with the Gulf War and sent 5,000 troops as part of a US-led coalition, specifically for the defence of Saudi Arabia.

              Pakistani armed forces have been engaged in a war in North-West Pakistan since 2001, mainly against the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan. Major operations undertaken by the Army include Operation Black Thunderstorm and Operation Rah-e-Nijat.

              Kashmir conflict

              Main article: Kashmir conflict
              The Kashmir conflict is a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir region, the most northwesterly region of South Asia. The two countries have fought at least three wars over Kashmir—the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999—and several skirmishes over the Siachen Glacier. India claims the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir and administers approximately 45.1% of the region, including most of Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, Ladakh, and the Siachen Glacier. India's claim is contested by Pakistan, which controls approximately 38.2% of Kashmir, consisting of Azad Kashmir and the northern areas of Gilgit and Baltistan.

              The conflict of Kashmir has its origin in 1947, when British India was separated into the two states of Pakistan and India. As part of the partition process, both countries had agreed that the rulers of princely states would be allowed to opt for membership of either Pakistan or India, or in special cases to remain independent. India claims Kashmir on the basis of the Instrument of Accession, a legal agreement with Kashmir's leaders executed by Maharaja Hari Singh, then ruler of Kashmir, agreeing to accede the area to India. Pakistan claims Kashmir on the basis of a Muslim majority and of geography, the same principles that were applied for the creation of the two independent states. India referred the dispute to the United Nations on 1 January 1948. In a resolution in 1948, the UN asked Pakistan to remove most of its troops. A plebiscite would then be held. However, Pakistan failed to vacate the region. A ceasefire was reached in 1949 and a Line of Control was established, dividing Kashmir between the two countries.

              Pakistan's position is that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have the right to determine their future through impartial elections as mandated by the United Nations. India has stated that it believes that Kashmir is an integral part of India, referring to the 1972 Simla Agreement and to the fact that elections take place regularly. Certain Kashmiri independence groups believe that Kashmir should be independent of both India and Pakistan.

              Law enforcement

              Elite Police official on left and a Pakistan Rangers commando on the right.
              Law enforcement in Pakistan is carried out by several federal and provincial police agencies. The four provinces and the Islamabad Capital Territory each have a civilian police force with jurisdiction extending only to the relevant province or territory. At the federal level, there are a number of civilian agencies with nationwide jurisdictions including the Federal Investigation Agency and the National Highways and Motorway Police, as well as several paramilitary forces including the Pakistan Rangers and the Frontier Corps. The most senior officers of all the civilian police forces also form part of the Police Service of Pakistan, which is a component of the civil service of Pakistan. The five regional policies are namely Balochistan Police, Capital Territory Police, Frontier Police, Punjab Police and Sindh Police. Pakistan also has a National Highways & Motorway Police which is responsible for enforcement of traffic and safety laws, security and recovery on Pakistan's National Highways and Motorway network. Regional police departments also maintain respective Elite Police which is specialized in counter-terrorist operations and VIP security duties. Pakistan Rangers are an internal security force with the prime objective to provide and maintain security in war zones and areas of conflict as well as maintaining law and order which includes providing assistance to the police.

              Geography and climate

              Main articles: Geography of Pakistan and Climate of Pakistan
              See also: Geology of Pakistan and Extreme points of Pakistan
              Pakistan covers an area of 796,095 km2 (307,374 sq mi), approximately equal to 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 is counted. Pakistan has a 1,046 km (650 mi) coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and land borders of 6,774 km (4,209 mi) in total: 2,430 km (1,510 mi) with Afghanistan, 523 km (325 mi) with China, 2,912 km (1,809 mi) with India and 909 km (565 mi) with Iran. It shares a marine border with Oman, and is separated from Tajikistan by the cold, narrow Wakhan Corridor. Pakistan occupies a geopolitically important location at the crossroads of South Asia, the Middle East and Central Asia.

              Geologically, Pakistan overlaps the Indian tectonic plate in its Sindh and Punjab provinces; Balochistan and most of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are within the Eurasian plate, mainly on the Iranian plateau. Gilgit–Baltistan and Azad Kashmir lie along the edge of the Indian plate and hence are prone to violent earthquakes. Ranging from the coastal areas of the south to the glaciated mountains of the north, Pakistan's landscapes vary from plains to deserts, forests, hills and plateaus .

              Pakistan is divided into three major geographic areas: the northern highlands, the Indus River plain and the Balochistan Plateau. The northern highlands contain the Karakoram, Hindu Kush and Pamir mountain ranges (see mountains of Pakistan), which contain some of the world's highest peaks, including five of the fourteen eight-thousanders (mountain peaks over 8,000 metres or 26,250 feet), which attract adventurers and mountaineers from all over the world, notably K2 (8,611 m or 28,251 ft) and Nanga Parbat (8,126 m or 26,660 ft). The Balochistan Plateau lies in the west and the Thar Desert in the east. The 1,609 km (1,000 mi) Indus River and its tributaries flow through the country from the Kashmir region to the Arabian Sea. There is an expanse of alluvial plains along it in Punjab and Sindh.

              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: 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 varies greatly from year to year, and patterns of alternate flooding and drought are common.
              Landscapes and climates of Pakistan
              K2 is the second-highest mountain on Earth. 
              Neelam Valley in Azad Kashmir. 
              Ghizer District of Gilgit–Baltistan. 
              Thar Desert is located between Pakistan and India 

              Flora and fauna

              Main articles: Flora of Pakistan and Fauna of Pakistan
              A deodar tree
              Cedrus deodara, (Urdu: دیودار‎ ALA-LC: Diyodār) Pakistan's national tree
              A jasmine flower
              Jasminum officinale, (Urdu: گل یاسمین‎ ALA-LC: Gul-i Yāsmīn) Pakistan’s national flower
              A Markhor goat
              Capra falconeri, (Urdu: مارخور‎ ALA-LC: Mārḵẖor) Pakistan's national animal
              A chukar bird
              Alectoris chukar, (Urdu: چکور‎ ALA-LC: Cikor) Pakistan’s national bird
              The diversity of landscapes and climates in Pakistan allows a wide variety of trees and plants to flourish. The forests range from coniferous alpine and subalpine trees such as spruce, pine and deodar cedar in the extreme northern mountains, through deciduous trees in most of the country (for example the mulberry-like shisham found in the Sulaiman Mountains), to palms such as coconut and date in southern Punjab, southern Balochistan and all of Sindh. The western hills are home to juniper, tamarisk, coarse grasses and scrub plants. Mangrove forests form much of the coastal wetlands along the coast in the south.

              Coniferous forests are found at altitudes ranging from 1,000 to 4,000 metres in most of the northern and northwestern highlands. In the xeric regions of Balochistan, date palm and Ephedra are common. 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 of mulberry, acacia, and eucalyptus. About 2.2% or 1,687,000 hectares (16,870 km2) of Pakistan was forested in 2010.

              The fauna of Pakistan reflects its varied climates too. Around 668 bird species are found there: crows, sparrows, mynas, hawks, falcons and eagles commonly occur. Palas, Kohistan, has a significant population of Western Tragopan. Many birds sighted in Pakistan are migratory, coming from Europe, Central Asia and India.

              The southern plains are home to mongooses, civets, hares, the Asiatic jackal, the Indian pangolin, the jungle cat and the desert cat. There are mugger crocodiles in the Indus, and wild boar, deer, porcupines and small rodents are common in the surrounding areas. The sandy scrublands of central Pakistan are home to Asiatic jackals, striped hyenas, wildcats and leopards. The lack of vegetative cover, the severe climate and the impact of grazing on the deserts have left wild animals in a precarious position. The chinkara is the only animal that can still be found in significant numbers in Cholistan. A small number of nilgai are found along the Pakistan-India border and in some parts of Cholistan. A wide variety of animals live in the mountainous north, including the Marco Polo sheep, the urial (a subspecies of wild sheep), Markhor and Ibex goats, the Asian black bear and the Himalayan brown bear. Among the rare animals found in the area are the snow leopard, the Asiatic cheetah and the blind Indus river dolphin, of which there are believed to be about 1,100 remaining, protected at the Indus River Dolphin Reserve in Sindh. In total, 174 mammals, 177 reptiles, 22 amphibians, 198 freshwater fish species and 5,000 species of invertebrates (including insects) have been recorded in Pakistan.

              The flora and fauna of Pakistan suffer from a number of problems. Pakistan has the second-highest rate of deforestation in the world. This, along with hunting and pollution, is causing adverse effects on the ecosystem. The government has established a large number of protected areas, wildlife sanctuaries, and game reserves to deal with these issues.

              Infrastructure

              Economy

              Main article: Economy of Pakistan
              See also: Textile industry in Pakistan and Agriculture in Pakistan
              View of Pakistan's capital Islamabad, the city is home to several of countries largest companies.
              Bahria Icon Tower in Karachi. Karachi is the financial and commercial capital of Pakistan.
              Pakistan is a rapidly developing country and is one of the Next Eleven, the eleven countries that, along with the BRICs, have a high potential to become the world's largest economies in the 21st century. However, after decades of war and social instability, as of 2013, serious deficiencies in basic services such as railway transportation and electric power generation had developed. The economy is semi-industrialized, with centres of growth along the Indus River. The diversified economies of Karachi and Punjab's urban centres coexist with less developed areas in other parts of the country. Pakistan's estimated nominal GDP as of 2011 is US$202 billion. The GDP by PPP is US$488.6 billion. The estimated nominal per capita GDP is US$1,197, GDP (PPP) per capita is US$2,851 (international dollars), and debt-to-GDP ratio is 55.5%. A 2010 report by RAD-AID positioned Pakistan's economy at 27th largest in the world by purchasing power and 45th largest in absolute dollars. It is South Asia's second largest economy, representing about 15 percent of regional GDP.

              Goldman Sachs economist expects that by 2050, Pakistan would become the 18th largest economy in the world with a GDP of US$ 3.33 trillion. Pakistan's economic growth since its inception has been varied. It has been slow during periods of civilian rule, but excellent during the three periods of military rule, although the foundation for sustainable and equitable growth was not formed. The early to middle 2000s was a period of rapid reform; the government raised development spending, which reduced poverty levels by 10% and increased GDP by 3%. The economy cooled again from 2007. Inflation reached 25% in 2008 and Pakistan had to depend on an aggressive fiscal policy backed by the International Monetary Fund to avoid possible bankruptcy. A year later, the Asian Development Bank reported that Pakistan's economic crisis was easing. The inflation rate for the fiscal year 2010–11 was 14.1%. On January 2014, a survey conducted by the Japan External Trade Organization placed Pakistan just behind Taiwan in terms of business generated by Japanese companies. Pakistan’s data was generated from 27 Japanese firms doing business here. The results found that 74.1% of the Japanese companies estimated operating profit in 2013.
              Left is a Pakistani textile market, Pakistan has the third largest spinning capacity in Asia. and Khewra Salt Mine on right is the world's second largest salt mine.
              Pakistan is one of the largest producers of natural commodities, and its labour market is the 10th largest in the world. The 7 million strong Pakistani diaspora, contributed US$11.2 billion to the economy in FY2011. The major source countries of remittances to Pakistan include UAE, USA, Saudi Arabia, GCC countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman), Australia, Canada, Japan, UK and EU countries like Norway, Switzerland, etc. . According to the World Trade Organization Pakistan's share of overall world exports is declining; it contributed only 0.128% in 2007. The trade deficit in the fiscal year 2010–11 was US$11.217 billion.

              The structure of the Pakistani economy has changed from a mainly agricultural to a strong service base. Agriculture now[when?] accounts for only 21.2% of the GDP. Even so, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Pakistan produced 21,591,400 metric tons of wheat in 2005, more than all of Africa (20,304,585 metric tons) and nearly as much as all of South America (24,557,784 metric tons). Between 2002 and 2007 there was substantial foreign investment in Pakistan's banking and energy sectors. Other important industries include clothing and textiles (accounting for nearly 60% of exports), food processing, chemicals manufacture, iron and steel. There is great potential for tourism in Pakistan, but it is severely affected by the country's instability. Pakistan's cement is also fast growing mainly because of demand from Afghanistan and countries boosting real estate sector, In 2013 Pakistan exported 7,708,557 metric tons of cement. Pakistan has installed capitcty of 44,768,250 metric tons of cement and 42,636,428 metric tons of clinker. In the 2012–2013 cement industry in Pakistan became the most profitable sector of economy.



              Pakistan is the worlds 4th largest producer of Mangoes, these mangoes are available in high end markets in many European, Far Eastern and American counties.
              Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Pakistan soared by 180.6 per cent year-on-year to US$2.22 billion and portfolio investment by 276 per cent to $407.4 million during the first nine months of fiscal year 2006, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported on April 24. During July–March 2005–06, FDI year-on-year increased to $2.224 billion from only $792.6 million and portfolio investment to $407.4 million, whereas it was $108.1 million in the corresponding period last year, according to the latest statistics released by the State Bank. Pakistan has achieved FDI of almost $8.4 billion in the financial year 06/07, surpassing the government target of $4 billion. Foreign investment had significantly declined by 2010, dropping by 54.6% due to Pakistan's political instability and weak law and order, according to the Bank of Pakistan.

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