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Pakistan in brief


GENERAL INFORMATION

Official Name

Islami Jamhuriya-e-Pakistan
(Islamic Republic of Pakistan)

Capital

Islamabad

Flag

Pakistan's flag is based largely upon the flag of the All-Indian Muslim League, which led the country's independence movement. The crescent, star, and green background represent the country's Islamic majority. Shortly before independence in 1947, a white stripe was added to symbolize tolerance of other faiths.

Anthem

"Qaumi Tarana"
("National Anthem")

LAND

Area

796,095 sq km
(307,374 sq mi)

Highest Point

K2
(also called Mount Godwin-Austen)

8611 m (28,250 ft) above sea level

Lowest Point

Sea level

CLIMATE

Average Temperatures

Islamabad
  January   9C      49F
  July     31C      87F

Karachi
  January  19C      66F
  July     30C      86F

Average Annual Precipitation

Islamabad 960mm (40in)
Karachi 200mm (8in)

POPULATION

Population

134,974,000
(1995 estimate)

Population Density

170 persons/sq km
(439 persons/sq mi)
(1995 estimate)

Urban/Rural Breakdown

35% Urban
65% Rural
(1995 estimate)

Largest Cities

Karachi 5,180,562
Lahore 2,952,689
Faisalabad 1,104,209
(1981 census)

Largest Metropolitan Areas

Karachi 6,500,000
Lahore 3,500,000
Faisalabad 1,104,209
(1981 census)

Ethnic Groups

48% Punjabi
13% Pashto
12% Sindhi
10% Saraiki
8% Urdu
9% Other
including Baluchi and Afghans

Languages

Official Language
Urdu, English
Other Languages
Punjabi, Pashto, Sindhi, Saraiki, Baluchi

Religions

97% Islam
3% Other including Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism

ECONOMY

Gross Domestic Product

$52 billion (1994 estimate)

Chief Economic Products

Agriculture

Cotton, wheat, rice, maize, sugarcane

Fishing

Sardines, shrimp, sharks, anchovies, other fish

Mining

Petroleum, limestone, rock salt, gypsum, silica sand, natural gas, coal

Manufacturing

Textiles, food products, petroleum products, consumer goods

Employment Breakdown

54% Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing
33% Services
13% Industry

Major Exports

Textile goods, cotton yarn and thread, cotton fabrics, raw cotton, rice, carpets and rugs, leather products, sports goods, medical instruments

Major Imports

Machinery, electrical goods, petroleum products, transportation equipment, iron and steel and iron and steel manufactures

Major Trading Partners

China, Iran, Japan, Germany, Great Britain, Saudi Arabia, France, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Korea, Turkey, United States, former Soviet States

Currency

Pakistani rupee
40.12 rupees = U.S.$1 (1997)

GOVERNMENT

Form of Government

Parliamentary republic

Head of State

President
Elected by the legislature to a five-year term

Head of Government

Prime minister
Appointed by the president

Legislature

Bicameral legislature
National Assembly
217 members

Senate

87 senators

Voting Qualifications

Universal suffrage for all citizens age 21 and older

Highest Court

Supreme Court

Armed Services

Army, Navy, Air Force 575,000 troops; voluntary service

Political Divisions

4 provinces, 6 federally administered tribal areas, and the Federal Capital Territory (Islamabad)

EDUCATION

Major Universities and Colleges

IMPORTANT DATES

About 3500 BC
Civilization developed in the Indus River valley.

530 BC
The Persian emperor Cyrus the Great conquered part of the Punjab.

332 BC
Alexander the Great conquered most of what is now Pakistan before his own troops forced him to turn back.

AD 100s
Peshawar became an important trading center of the Kushan Empire.

711
Arab Muslims crossed the Arabian Sea and invaded Sind, introducing Islam to Pakistan.

1000s
Lahore became an important center of Islamic culture after Turkish Muslims from Persia conquered the Indus River valley.

1206

Much of Pakistan became part of the Delhi Sultanate.

1526
Pakistan became part of the Mughal Empire. The Mughals introduced Sikhism and the Urdu language to Pakistan.

1740s
The Mughal Empire began to decline. Its power and influence were gradually assumed by the British East India Company.

1800s
Sikh kingdoms gained power in the Punjab. They were eventually conquered by the British during the 1840s.

1858
The British government assumed direct control of India and much of Pakistan. By 1900 the territory had been expanded to include all of modern Pakistan.

1906
The All-Indian Muslim League was founded to campaign for greater self-rule for India's Muslims.

1940
Fearing Hindu dominance of India, the Muslim League demanded the partition of India into Hindu and Muslim nations. The name Pakistan, meaning land of the pure in Urdu, was introduced to refer to the Muslim nation.

1947
Pakistan gained its independence. The eastern and western parts of the country were separated by more than 1600 km (1000 mi) of Indian territory.

1948-1949
Pakistan and India fought a war over control of the Kashmir region.

1956
Pakistan became a republic.

1965
India and Pakistan again went to war over Kashmir.

1971
East Pakistan proclaimed its independence from Pakistan as the state of Bangladesh. More than 1 million people died in the ensuing civil war, which ended when India and Bangladesh defeated Pakistani forces.

1977
The military, led by General Muhammad Zia Ul-Haq, took control of the government.

1988
Zia died in a plane crash. Benazir Bhutto was elected prime minister, becoming the first woman to lead an Islamic nation.

1990
President Ghulman Ishaq Khan removed Bhutto from office, citing her government with corruption.

1993
The military intervened to resolve a dispute between the president and the prime minister. New elections were held, and Bhutto was returned to office.

1994
Tensions over Kashmir soared again. Prime Minister Bhutto announced plans to continue Pakistan's nuclear weapons development program.

1996
United States lifted some military and economic sanctions against Pakistan.

1997
With the introduction of 13th Amendment in the constitution, President is abstained from dissolving Parliament.

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