Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Area: 803,943 sq. km. (310,527 sq. mi.); almost twice the size of California.
Cities: Capital--The city of Islamabad (pop. 800,000) and adjacent Rawalpindi (1,406, 214) comprise the national capital area with a combined population of 3.7 million. Other cities--Karachi (11,624,219) (2005 est.), Lahore (6,310,888) (2005 est.), Faisalabad (1,977,246) and Hyderabad (1,151,274).
Pakistan has borders with Iran and Afghanistan in the west. In the east, it borders with India and the Arabian Sea is in the west. Great mountains of the world are in the north. These lofty mountains separate Pakistan from China and Afghanistan. It might be very interesting to know that eight of worlds ten highest peaks are found there. It includes Mount Godwin-Austin K2 which at 28250 ft (8610 meters) is next to the mighty Mount Everest. There are natural gateways through the mountains. These include, Kurrum, Tochi, Gomal, Bolan, and the Khyber Pass which connects Pakistan and Afghanistan. Indus River is another important geographical feature of Pakistan. It starts from Tibet and flows southwards through the heart of the country and enters the Arabian Sea near the city of Karachi.
The mighty Indus created a remarkable civilization.. About 6000 years ago, during the historical civilization of the Moenjodaro, people lived in brick houses and had well planned drainage systems. In many other parts of the world , at this same time, people lived in caves and dressed in animal skins.
Pakistan comprises of four provinces, Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan, and North Western Frontier.
A different language is spoken in each province but the official languages of the country are Urdu and English. Pakistan’s population is about 130 million with an area approximately 300,000 square miles.
The main crops of the country are wheat and rice. Cotton is the principle non-food crop that is planted over two million acres of land in Punjab. Textile production is the country’s most important industry.
Other industries include production of hydrogenated vegetable oil, refined sugar, fertilizers, cement and
hand woven carpets. There are also oil refineries and fields of natural gas in the Province of Baluchistan.
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Pakistan(i).
Population (July 2008 est.): 167,762,040.
Annual growth rate (2008 est.): 1.81%.
Ethnic groups: Punjabi, Sindhi, Pushtun, Baloch, Muhajir (i.e., Urdu-speaking immigrants from India and their descendants), Saraiki, and Hazara.
Religions: Muslim 97%; small minorities of Christians, Hindus, and others.
Languages: Urdu (national and official), English, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pushtu, Baloch, Hindko, Brahui, Saraiki (Punjabi variant).
Education: Literacy (2005 est.)--49.9%; male 63%; female 36%.
Health: Infant mortality rate (2008 est.)--66.95/1,000. Life expectancy (2008 est.)--men 63.07 yrs., women 65.24 yrs.
Work force (2004 est.): Agriculture--42%; services--38%; industry--20%.
The majority of Pakistan's population lives in the Indus River valley and in an arc formed by the cities of Faisalabad, Lahore, Rawalpindi/Islamabad, and Peshawar. Although Urdu is an official language of Pakistan, it is spoken as a first language by only 8% of the population; 48% speak Punjabi, 12% Sindhi, 10% Saraiki, 8% Pushtu, 3% Baloch, and 3% other. Urdu, Punjabi, Pushtu, and Baloch are Indo-European languages. English is the other official language, and is widely used in government, commerce, the officer ranks of the military, and in many institutions of higher learning.
Pakistan, along with parts of western India, contains the archeological remains of an urban civilization dating back 4,500 years. Alexander the Great included the Indus Valley in his empire in 326 B.C., and his successors founded the Indo-Greek kingdom of Bactria based in what is today Afghanistan and extending to Peshawar. Following the rise of the Central Asian Kushan Empire in later centuries, the Buddhist culture of Afghanistan and Pakistan, centered on the city of Taxila just west of Islamabad, experienced a cultural renaissance known as the Gandhara period.
Pakistan emerged as an independent nation on August 14th, 1947.