Pakistan Travel Information

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Facts About Pakistan

Background: The separation in 1947 of British India into the Muslim state of Pakistan (with two sections West and East) and largely Hindu India was never satisfactorily resolved. A third war between these countries in 1971 resulted in East Pakistan seceding and becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. A dispute over the state of Kashmir is ongoing. In response to Indian nuclear weapons testing, Pakistan conducted its own tests in 1998.
Government type: federal republic
Capital: Islamabad
Currency: 1 Pakistani rupee (PRe) = 100 paisa

Geography of Pakistan

Location: Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea, between India on the east and Iran and Afghanistan on the west and China in the north
Geographic coordinates: 30 00 N, 70 00 E
Area:
total: 803,940 sq km
land: 778,720 sq km
water: 25,220 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 6,774 km
border countries: Afghanistan 2,430 km, China 523 km, India 2,912 km, Iran 909 km
Coastline: 1,046 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate: mostly hot, dry desert; temperate in northwest; arctic in north
Terrain: flat Indus plain in east; mountains in north and northwest; Balochistan plateau in west
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: K2 (Mt. Godwin-Austen) 8,611 m
Natural resources: land, extensive natural gas reserves, limited petroleum, poor quality coal, iron ore, copper, salt, limestone
Land use:
arable land: 27%
permanent crops: 1%
permanent pastures: 6%
forests and woodland: 5%
other: 61% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 171,100 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: frequent earthquakes, occasionally severe especially in north and west; flooding along the Indus after heavy rains (July and August)
Environment - current issues: water pollution from raw sewage, industrial wastes, and agricultural runoff; limited natural fresh water resources; a majority of the population does not have access to potable water; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification
Environment - international agreements:
party to:  Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban
Geography - note: controls Khyber Pass and Bolan Pass, traditional invasion routes between Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent

People of Pakistan

The majority of Pakistan's population lives along the Indus River valley and along an arc formed by the cities of Faisalabad, Lahore, Rawalpindi/Islamabad, and Peshawar.

Although the official language of Pakistan is Urdu, it is spoken as a first language by only 9% of the population; 65% speak Punjabi, 11% Sindhi, and 24% speak other languages (Pushtu, Saraiki, Baloch, Brahui). Urdu, Punjabi, Pushtu, and Baloch are Indo-European languages; Brahui is believed to have Dravidian (pre-Indo-European) origins. English is widely used within the government, the officer ranks of the military, and in many institutions of higher learning.

Population: 162,419,946 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  40.47% 
15-64 years:  55.42%
65 years and over:  4.11%
Population growth rate: 2.11% 
Birth rate: 31.21 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 9.26 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: -0.84 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 80.5 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  61.45 years
male:  60.61 years
female:  62.32 years 
Total fertility rate: 4.41 children born/woman 
Nationality:
noun: Pakistani(s)
adjective: Pakistani
Ethnic groups: Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashtun (Pathan), Baloch, Muhajir (immigrants from India at the time of partition and their descendants)
Religions: Muslim 97% (Sunni 77%, Shi'a 20%), Christian, Hindu, and other 3%
Languages: Punjabi 48%, Sindhi 12%, Siraiki (a Punjabi variant) 10%, Pashtu 8%, Urdu (official) 8%, Balochi 3%, Hindko 2%, Brahui 1%, English (official and lingua franca of Pakistani elite and most government ministries), Burushaski, and other 8%
Literacy:
definition:  age 15 and over can read and write
total population:  42.7%
male:  55.3%
female:  29% (1998)

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Pakistan > Map Economy History