Country - Pakistan
Pakistan Country Information
Pakistan is a country that lies to the northwest of India in Asian continent. Iran is at its southwestern frontier and Afghanistan shares Pakistan’s northwestern border. The southern coastline of Pakistan is in contiguity with the Arabian Sea. Islamabad is the present capital which has replaced the city of Karachi. Prior to Karachi, the city of Rawalpindi had been chosen as the capital designated in 1958. Islamabad and Rawalpindi are so close to each other that they are considered as twin cities. Karachi is the largest city and a commercial centre in Pakistan.
Islam is the main religion in Pakistan with over 93% of its population being Muslims. English and Urdu are the official languages and Urdu is the national language. Pakistan had been a part of India till 1947 when India gained independence from the British rule. Pakistan claimed and got separated itself from India immediately on getting independence. There were two geographically separated regions of Pakistan straddling on both northeastern and northwestern sides of Indian subcontinent, known previously as East Pakistan and West Pakistan. Following the civil war in 1971, East Pakistan became an independent sovereign state, today known as Bangladesh. West Pakistan has since then come to be called Islamic Republic of Pakistan or simply Pakistan.
Pakistan has a total population of 212,742,631 as per the census of 2017 and the population density is about 244 per square kilometer. The per capita GDP was US$ 1629 and the middle class population is found to be rapidly growing. Ever since independence in 1947, there has been considerable political instability marking alternate change of power between the hands of elected political leaders and military rulers. Pakistan has been at loggerheads with India over claiming ownership of the state of Kashmir for more than seven decades. There is a region referred to as POK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) in the northwestern part of Kashmir. There has always been a never-ending territorial dispute over Kashmir, eroding the diplomatic relations between the two countries. While the country still faces the challenges of excessive population, poverty, illiteracy, corruption and terrorism Pakistan has been under criticism of overspending on defence and nuclear arsenal.
The major imports of Pakistan are refined petroleum, crude petroleum, palm oil, petrol gas, scrap iron and machinery. The chief exports are mineral fuels, manufactured goods, beverages and tobacco, carpets, rugs, iron ore and steel, chemicals and textile products. As of 2016, the total value of exports was US$24.2 billion and that of imports was US$ 48.1 billion.
The world famous archaeological site Mohenjo Daro pertaining to Indus Valley civilization of 2500 B.C., is in the Sindh Province of Pakistan. The civilization was contemporaneous with that of Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Minoan Crete and Norte Chico. The most surprising feature is the existence of know-how about systematic rectilinear patterns of structures in a period of the most ancient times. The area spread in about 750 acres was much deservingly included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites on account of its supreme archaeological importance.
Other tourist destinations include Derawar Fort, Khwera Salt Mines, Chaukhandi Tombs in Karachi, Middle East Tombs at Makhli Hills in Thatta, Hingol National Park in Lasbela district, Lahore Elephant Path in Lahore, Shangri-la Lake, Hiran Minar in Ranikay and Ranikot Fort in Jamshoro district which prop up the reputation of the country in international tourism.