Pakistan, formally known as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a federal parliamentary republic situated at the crossroads of South and West Asia. It is the sixth-most populated nation in the world, with a population of more than 200 million people. It is the world’s 36th biggest nation in terms of land area, having a size of 881,913 km2 (340,509 sq mi). Pakistan has a 1,046-kilometer (650-mile) coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south, and is bounded to the east by India, to the west by Afghanistan, to the southwest by Iran, and to the far northeast by China. It is divided from Tajikistan in the north by Afghanistan’s narrow Wakhan Corridor, and it also has a sea border with Oman.
The territory that is now Pakistan is regarded as a cradle of civilization, having previously been home to several ancient cultures, including the Neolithic Mehrgarh and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation, and later being home to kingdoms ruled by people of various faiths and cultures, including Hindus, Indo-Greeks, Muslims, Turco-Mongols, Afghans, and Sikhs. The Indian Mauryan Empire, the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Alexander of Macedonia, the Arab Umayyad Caliphate, the Delhi Sultanate, the Mongol Empire, the Mughal Empire, the Durrani Empire, the Sikh Empire, and the British Empire have all reigned over the region.
Pakistan is unusual among Muslim nations in that it is the only one that was founded in the name of Islam. Pakistan was established in 1947 as an independent country for Muslims from the Subcontinent’s east and west, where there was a Muslim majority, as a consequence of the Pakistan Movement headed by Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the subcontinent’s fight for independence. Pakistan, which was formerly a dominion, adopted a new constitution in 1956, establishing an Islamic republic. A civil war in 1971 culminated in East Pakistan seceding to form the new nation of Bangladesh.
Pakistan is a federal parliamentary republic that is divided into four provinces and four federal areas. It is a nation with a varied ethnic and linguistic population, as well as a diverse landscape and fauna. Pakistan is a regional and medium power with the world’s seventh biggest standing military forces. It is also a nuclear power and a proclaimed nuclear-weapons state, the only one in the Muslim world and the second in South Asia. It has a semi-industrialized economy with a well-integrated agricultural sector; its economy is the world’s 26th biggest in terms of buying power and 45th largest in terms of nominal GDP; and it is also classified as one of the world’s rising and growth-leading countries.
Pakistan’s post-independence history has been marked by periods of military dictatorship, political instability, and wars with neighboring India. The nation is still dealing with difficult issues like as overpopulation, terrorism, poverty, illiteracy, and corruption. Despite these constraints, Pakistan has strategic assets and development potential, and it has achieved significant progress in decreasing poverty, ranking second in South Asia in terms of headcount poverty. The country’s affluent middle class, which is now the 18th biggest in the world, has lately expanded rapidly. Pakistan’s stock exchange is Asia’s best-performing stock market, and it is included in the MSCI’s developing markets index as of 2016. It is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Next Eleven Economies, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, ECO, UfC, D8, Cairns Group, Kyoto Protocol, ICCPR, RCD, UNCHR, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Group of Eleven, CPFTA, Group of 24, the G20 developing nations, ECOSOC, SAARC, and CERN.
In 2011 and 2012, 1.1 million international visitors visited Pakistan, providing $351 million and $369 million to the country’s GDP, respectively. Since the 1970s, when the nation attracted record numbers of foreign visitors thanks to the famous Hippie path, there has been a substantial decrease. Thousands of Europeans and Americans flocked to the route in the 1960s and 1970s, traveling by land via Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan to India. The Khyber Pass, Peshawar, Karachi, Lahore, Swat, and Rawalpindi were the most popular tourist attractions. After the Iranian Revolution and the Soviet–Afghan War, however, the path faded.
The nation, on the other hand, continues to draw an estimated half-million foreign visitors. The attractions of Pakistan vary from ancient civilisation ruins such as Mohenjo-daro, Harappa, and Taxila to Himalayan hill stations. Pakistan has a number of mountain summits that rise over 7000 meters. The Hunza and Chitral valleys, home to a tiny pre-Islamic AnimistKalashacommunity claiming lineage from Alexander the Great, are located in Pakistan’s northwestern region. The Badshahi Masjid, Shalimar Gardens, Tomb of Jahangir, and the Lahore Fort are all examples of Mughal architecture in Pakistan’s cultural capital, Lahore.
The Guardian published “The top five tourist attractions in Pakistan” in October 2006, only one year after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, in attempt to aid the country’s tourism sector. Taxila, Lahore, The Karakoram Highway, Karimabad, and Lake Saiful Muluk were among the five locations. To raise awareness of Pakistan’s diverse cultural heritage. Pakistan was rated in the top 25% of tourism destinations in the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report in 2009 for its World Heritage sites. From mangroves in the south to the 5,000-year-old towns of the Indus Valley Civilization, such as Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, tourist attractions abound.
Pakistan is bordered on three sides by the Arabian Sea: Afghanistan to the northwest, Iran to the southwest, India to the east, and China to the northeast. Pakistan has its own distinct personality, although it shares many characteristics with its neighbors, particularly Afghanistan and India.
Pakistan is one of the few nations on the planet with every geological formation imaginable. The sea, desert (Sindh & Punjab), green mountains (North West Province), arid mountains (Balochistan), snow-capped mountains, rivers, fertile land (Punjab & Sindh), water resources, waterfalls, and forests are all present. The Himalayan, Karakoram, and Hindu Kush mountain ranges are all found in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan. The highest point in Pakistan is K2, which is the world’s second highest mountain at 8,611 meters. Punjab is a flat, alluvial plain with rivers that ultimately join the Indus and travel south to the Arabian Sea. Sindh is bordered on the east by the Thar Desert and the Rann of Kutch, and on the west by the Kirthar range. The Balochistan Plateau is arid, with dry mountains around it. Pakistan is prone to earthquakes, which may be strong at times, particularly in the north and west.
Desert climate; moderate in the northwest; arctic in the north. Flooding along the Indus River as a result of severe rainfall (July and August). The Punjab area is fertile and has a sub-humid climate. The climate ranges from tropical to moderate, with dry conditions in the southernmost regions. There is a monsoon season, which is characterized by high rainfall and frequent floods, and a dry season, which has considerably less rainfall or none at all. A cold, dry winter lasts from December to February; a hot, dry spring lasts from March to May; the summer rainy season, or southwest monsoon period, lasts from June to September; and the retreating monsoon period lasts from October to November. Rainfall fluctuates dramatically from year to year, and alternating flood and drought cycles are frequent.
Pakistan is a democratic, parliamentary federal country with Islam as the official religion, modeled after the British Westminster system. The President is the Head of State and is indirectly elected, although his role is mainly ceremonial. The government is governed by the Prime Minister and his cabinet. The legislature is divided into two chambers. The lower house, the National Assembly, is directly elected by universal adult suffrage, while the upper house, the Senate, is indirectly elected. The National Assembly is the more powerful of the two, owing to the fact that it requires a majority in order to establish a government and approve budgets. Pakistan has a large number of political parties, and no party has been able to win a majority in the National Assembly in recent years, resulting in unstable administrations, short-lived political coalitions, and a tumultuous political environment. Pakistan has a free press and a powerful and independent judiciary.
Political instability, on the other hand, has resulted in (or, as some argue, has been partly created by) a high level of military authority in Pakistan. In key foreign policy choices, the head of the Pakistani secret police (ISI) and army have influenced the majority of prime ministers, and there have been times of outright military dictatorship in the past.
Pakistan, like the United States, is a federal republic split into provinces. Each has its own legislature, as well as a government led by a chief minister and his cabinet.
Demonstrations on the streets and political unrest are common in every democracy. Low-level violence occurs on occasion, although visitors have a vanishingly tiny chance of being caught up in it. Terrorism, on the other hand, is a far larger issue. It may happen anywhere, and certain regions of the nation are too hazardous to visit because to the high dangers.
Women are meant to have equal rights and privileges as males under Pakistani law, but in practice, Pakistan’s mainly male-dominated culture leads to situations that aren’t always in line with the law. Women are often abused, particularly in rural regions, and women’s access to school and work remains lower than men’s. Women’s position has increased in metropolitan areas, although it is still much behind that of males.
Women in the courts, like in many Muslim nations, receive an especially bad treatment. Sex outside of marriage is illegal, and according to international organizations, more than 80% of women who are imprisoned do so because they were unable to establish rape accusations, but their testimony as to the facts was used to accuse them of adultery or fornication while their abusers went free.
Nonetheless, women have played an important part in the country’s growth. Fatima Jinnah, the only sister of Pakistan’s founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was a pivotal role in the Pakistan movement and is regarded as one of the country’s main founders. Benzair Bhutto was Pakistan’s first female prime minister, serving from 1988 to 1990 and again from 1993 to 1996. Fehmida Mirza, the Speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly, and Hina Rabbani Khar, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, are two examples of notable women in politics. Fatima Jinnah is said to have been the first Muslim female leader in the Muslim world to head a democratic government if General Ayub Khan had conducted fair elections and subsequently become Pakistan’s 2nd President in 1958.
Aside from politics, Pakistani women have made strides and continue to do so in a variety of areas, including education, the economy, services, health, and the military. Pakistan’s Air Force has just begun to employ female jet pilots.
Not to mention Malala Yousafzai, who, at the age of 17, became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate and the first from Pakistan.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the country’s population was 199,085,847 (199.1 million) in 2015, accounting for 2.57 percent of the global population. It is the world’s sixth most populous country, with a growth rate of 2.03 percent, the highest among the SAARC countries, and an annual increase of 3.6 million people. By 2020, the population is expected to reach 210.13 million, and by 2045, it will have doubled.
Pakistan had a population of 32.5 million at the time of division in 1947, however between 1990 and 2009, the population grew by 57.2 percent. It is projected to overtake Indonesia as the world’s biggest Muslim-majority nation by 2030. Pakistan is a “young country,” with a median age of around 22 and 104 million inhabitants under 30 in 2010. Pakistan’s fertility rate is 3.07, which is greater than India’s (2.57). Around 35% of the population is under the age of 15. The vast majority of people in Southern Pakistan reside along the Indus River, with Karachi serving as the country’s most populated commercial hub. The cities of Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Islamabad, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Gujrat, Jhelum, Sheikhupura, Nowshera, Mardan, and Peshawar form an arc in the eastern, western, and northern parts of Pakistan. Between 1990 and 2008, city residents accounted for 36% of Pakistan’s population, making it the most urbanized country in South Asia. By 2013, that figure had risen to 38%. Furthermore, half of Pakistanis reside in towns with populations of 5,000 or more individuals.
In 2013, healthcare spending accounted for 2.8 percent of GDP. In 2013, females had a life expectancy of 67 years and men had a life expectancy of 65 years. Outpatient appointments in the private sector account for about 80% of all visits. Malnutrition affects about 19% of the population and 30% of children under the age of five. In 2012, the mortality rate for children under the age of five was 86 per 1,000 live births.
Punjabis, Pashtuns (Pathans), Sindhis, and Balochs comprise the majority of the population. According to 2009 estimates, the Punjabis have a population of 78.7 million (45 percent), whereas the Pashtuns have a population of 29.3 million (15.42 percent ). The Sindhis are believed to number 24.8 million (14.1%), with the Seraikis, a sub-group of Punjabis, numbering 14.8 million (8.4 percent ). The Urdu-speaking Muhajirs (Indian immigrants) number 13.3 million (7.57%), whereas the Balochs number 6.3 million (3.57%), making them the lowest group in terms of population. The remaining 11.1 million (4.66 percent) are Hazaras and other ethnic minorities. There is also a sizable Pakistani diaspora, with over seven million people living in other countries.
After Indonesia, Pakistan has the world’s second-largest Muslim population. Pakistanis are mostly Muslim, accounting for 97.0 percent of the population. Sunni Muslims make up the majority, with Shia Muslims accounting for 10–25% of the population. With a Shia population of about 42.5 million, Pakistan is believed to have the world’s third biggest Shia population after Iran and India. However, according to a PEW study from 2012, just 6% of Pakistani Muslims are Shia. The Ahmadis are a minority sect in Pakistan, although one with a considerably smaller population, who are legally classified as non-Muslims according to a constitutional amendment. There are a number of Quraniyoon communities as well. Sectarian violence among Muslim denominations has risen after the 9/11 attacks in the United States, with systematic targeted murders of both Sunnis and Shias. Both Shias and Sunnis protested throughout the nation in 2013, asking for an end to sectarian violence, a toughening of the law and order, and a call for Shia-Sunni unification. The Ahmadis have been oppressed in particular since 1974, when they were forbidden to call themselves Muslims. The term “mosque” was prohibited for Ahmadiyya houses of worship in 1984. Non-denominational Muslims account for 12 percent of Pakistani Muslims as of 2012.
According to the 1998 Census, Hinduism is Pakistan’s second most popular religion after Islam. Pakistan has the world’s fifth-largest Hindu population in 2010, and PEW estimates that by 2050, Pakistan would have the fourth-largest Hindu population. The Hindu (jati) population was 2,111,271 in the 1998 Census, while the Hindu (scheduled castes) population was 332.343. Hindus may be found in all of Pakistan’s provinces, although Sindh has the highest concentration. Sindhi, Seraiki, Aer, Dhatki, Gera, Goaria, Gurgula, Jandavra, Kabutra, Koli, Loarki, Marwari, Sansi, and Vaghri are some of the languages they speak.
According to the 1998 Census, Christians were the second-largest religious minority after Hindus, with a population of 2,092,902. They were followed by the Bahá’ Faith, which had 30,000 followers, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Zoroastrianism, all of which had 20,000 adherents at the time, and a tiny group of Jains. When Karachi’s infrastructure was being built by the British under colonial rule between World War I and World War II, a Roman Catholiccommunity was formed by Goan and Tamil migrants. Atheism has a little impact, with just 1.0 percent of the population identifying as atheist in 2005. According to Gallup, the percentage increased to 2.0 percent in 2012.
Islam, Pakistan’s primary religion, has absorbed pre-Islamic elements to some degree, resulting in a religion with certain traditions different from those of the Arab world. Ali Hajweri in Lahore (about 12th century) and Shahbaz Qalander in Sehwan, Sindh, are two Sufis whose shrines attract a lot of national attention (c. 12th century). Sufism, a mystical Islamic discipline, has a long history in Pakistan and a sizable following. Thursday night gatherings at shrines and yearly festivals featuring Sufi music and dance are central to popular Sufi culture. Contemporary Islamic fundamentalists criticize its popular nature, which they believe does not properly represent the Prophet’s and his companions’ teachings and practices.
According to economists, Pakistan has been part of the world’s richest area since the first millennium CE, with the biggest economy by GDP. In the 18th century, this advantage was lost as other areas, such as China and Western Europe, gained ground. Pakistan is a developing nation and one of the Next Eleven, a group of eleven countries that, like the BRICs, have a strong chance of becoming the world’s biggest economy in the twenty-first century. However, as of 2013, significant inadequacies in macromanagement and imbalanced macroeconomics have emerged in fundamental services like as rail transportation and electrical energy production, after decades of societal instability. The economy is classified as semi-industrial, with growth centers around the Indus River. Karachi’s and Punjab’s diverse economies coexist alongside less developed regions in other parts of the nation, especially in Balochistan. According to the Economic Complexity Index, Pakistan has the world’s 70th biggest export economy and the 89th most complicated economy (ECI). Pakistan exported $28.2 billion in 2013 and imported $44.8 billion, resulting in a $16.6 billion trade deficit.
Pakistan’s nominal GDP was projected to be US$271 billion in 2016, ranking it 41st in the world and second in South Asia, accounting for approximately 15.0 percent of regional GDP. PPP GDP is $838,164 million dollars. The nominal GDP per capita is projected to be US$1,197, GDP (PPP)/capita is US$4,602 (international dollars), and the debt-to-GDP ratio is 55.5 percent.   Pakistan, according to the World Bank, has significant strategic assets and growth potential. Pakistan’s growing young population offers both a demographic dividend and a problem in terms of providing sufficient services and jobs. 21.04 percent of the population lives on less than US$1.25 per day, the international poverty level. The unemployment rate among those aged 15 and above is 5.5 percent. Pakistan has a middle-class population of 40 million people, which is expected to grow to 100 million by 2050. Pakistan’s economy was ranked 24th in the world by purchasing power parity and 45th in absolute dollars by the World Bank in a 2013 study. It is the second biggest economy in South Asia, accounting for approximately 15.0 percent of regional GDP.
Pakistan’s economic development has been uneven from its beginning. Although the basis for sustained and fair development was not established during times of democratic transition, it was good throughout the three years of martial rule. The early to mid-2000s were a time of fast economic changes, with the government increasing development expenditure, which resulted in a 10% reduction in poverty and a 3% rise in GDP. Since 2007, the economy has slowed again. In 2008, Pakistan’s inflation reached 25.0 percent, forcing the country to rely on a fiscal strategy supported by the International Monetary Fund to escape bankruptcy. The Asian Development Bank stated a year later that Pakistan’s economic crisis was subsiding. For the fiscal year 2010–11, the inflation rate was 14.1 percent. Pakistan’s economic development has accelerated since 2013, thanks to a program run by the International Monetary Fund. In 2014, Goldman Sachs projected that Pakistan’s economy will expand 15 times in the following 35 years, to become the world’s 18th biggest by 2050. Ruchir Sharma, in his 2016 book The Rise and Fall of Nations, described Pakistan’s economy as being in the ‘take-off’ stage, with a ‘Very Good’ future prognosis until 2020. Pakistan may be transformed from a “low-income to a middle-income nation” in the next five years, according to Sharma.
Pakistan is one of the world’s biggest producers of natural resources, with the tenth largest labor market. In 2014–15, Pakistan’s 7-million-strong diaspora contributed an estimated US$15 billion to the economy. The UAE, the United Nations, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman), Australia, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, Norway, and Switzerland are the main sources of remittances to Pakistan. Pakistan’s proportion of global exports is decreasing, according to the World Trade Organization; in 2007, it contributed just 0.128 percent. In fiscal year 2010–11, the trade imbalance was US$11.217 billion.
Agriculture and primary sector
Pakistan’s economy has shifted from a mostly agrarian to a robust service-based economy. Agriculture contributes for just 21.2 percent of GDP in 2010. Despite this, Pakistan produced 21,591,400 metric tons of wheat in 2005, more than all of Africa (20,304,585 metric tons) and almost as much as all of South America, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (24,557,784 metric tons). This industry employs the majority of the people, either directly or indirectly. It employs half of the workforce and generates the majority of foreign currency profits.
A significant percentage of the country’s manufactured exports are reliant on agricultural raw materials like cotton and hides, and supply shortages and market disruptions in farm goods exacerbate inflationary pressures. The nation is also the world’s fifth biggest producer of cotton, with 14 million bales produced in 2014, up from 1.7 million bales in the early 1950s; it is self-sufficient in sugarcane; and it is the world’s fourth largest producer of milk. Land and water resources have not increased proportionally, but improvements in labor and agricultural productivity have accounted for the majority of the gains. The Green Revolution, which contributed significantly to acreage and productivity expansions of wheat and rice, was responsible for a major breakthrough in agricultural production in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Cropping intensity increased by 50% thanks to private tube wells, which were supplemented by tractor cultivation. While tube wells increased crop yields by 50%, High Yielding Varieties (HYVs) of wheat and rice increased yields by 50–60%. The meat sector contributes 1.4 percent of total GDP.
Manufacturing is the economy’s third biggest industry, accounting for 18.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and 13% of total employment. With 12.2 percent of GDP, large-scale manufacturing (LSM) leads the entire sector, accounting for 66 percent of the sectoral share, followed by small-scale manufacturing (4.9 percent of total GDP). The cement business in Pakistan is also booming, thanks to demand from Afghanistan and the local real development market. Pakistan exported 7,708,557 tons of cement in 2013. Pakistan has a cement capacity of 44,768,250 metric tons and a clinker capacity of 42,636,428 metric tons. Pakistan’s cement industry became the most lucrative sector of the economy in 2012 and 2013.
Pakistan’s textile industry plays a critical role in the country’s industrial economy. Pakistan is Asia’s eighth-largest exporter of textile goods, accounting for 9.5 percent of the country’s GDP and employing about 15 million people (some 30 percent of the 49 million people in the workforce). Pakistan is the world’s fourth-largest cotton grower, with the third-largest spinning capacity in Asia after China and India, accounting for 5% of worldwide spinning capacity. China is Pakistan’s second-largest textile importer, buying US$1.527 billion in the previous fiscal year. China buys solely cotton yarn and cotton fabric from Pakistan, unlike the United States, which imports mainly value-added textiles. Pakistani textile products accounted for 3.3 percent of all UK textile imports in 2012, 12.4 percent of total Chinese textile imports ($4.61 billion), 2.98 percent of all US textile imports ($2.98 billion), 1.6 percent of total German textile imports ($0.88 billion), and 0.7 percent of total Indian textile imports ($0.8888 billion).
The services sector accounts for 57.7% of GDP and has emerged as the primary source of economic growth. Pakistani society, like that of other developing nations, is characterized by a high marginal propensity to spend. The rate of expansion of the services sector is greater than that of agriculture and industry. In 2014, the services sector accounted for 54% of GDP and little over one-third of total employment. The services sector is tightly linked to the rest of the economy; it offers critical inputs to the agricultural and industrial sectors. Pakistan’s I.T. industry is one of the country’s fastest-growing industries. In its 2014 Global Information Technology report, the World Economic Forum placed Pakistan 111th out of 144 nations in terms of information and communication technology development.
Pakistan has over 20 million internet users as of 2011, making it one of the top nations with the fastest growing internet penetration rates. Overall, it has the world’s 27th biggest internet user population. During the 2012–2013 fiscal year. Pakistan’s Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector is expected to surpass $10 billion in revenue by 2020, based on current growth rates and employment trends. The industry employs 12,000 people and is one of the top five freelancing countries in the world. The country’s telecom, computer, and information services export performance has also improved, with their proportion of total exports increasing from 8.2 percent in 2005–06 to 12.6 percent in 2012–13. This is a far higher rate of development than China, which had a 3 percent and 7.7 percent share of services exports over the same time period.