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, and India and Pakistan fought two wars – in 1947-48 and 1965 – over the disputed Kashmir territory. A third war between these countries in 1971 – in which India capitalized on Islamabad’s marginalization of Bengalis in Pakistani politics – resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. In response to Indian nuclear weapons testing, Pakistan conducted its own tests in 1998. The dispute over the state of Kashmir is ongoing, but discussions and confidence-building measures have led to decreased tensions since 2002.
» Geography
» People
» Government
» Economy
» Communications
» Transportation
» Military
» Transnational Issues


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

total: 803,940 sq km; land: 778,720 sq km; water: 25,220 sq km

Area Comparative
slightly less than twice the size of California

Land Boundaries
total: 6,774 km; border countries: Afghanistan 2,430 km, China 523 km, India 2,912 km, Iran 909 km

1,046 km

Maritime Claims
territorial sea: 12 nm; contiguous zone: 24 nm; exclusive economic zone: 200 nm; continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

mostly hot, dry desert; temperate in northwest; arctic in north

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: 24.44%; permanent crops: 0.84%; other: 74.72% (2005)

Irrigated Land
180,000 sq km (1998 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, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, 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

controls Khyber Pass and Bolan Pass, traditional invasion routes between Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent

Back to Top


165,803,560 (July 2006 est.)

Age Structure
0-14 years: 39% (male 33,293,428/female 31,434,314); 15-64 years: 56.9% (male 48,214,298/female 46,062,933); 65 years and over: 4.1% (male 3,256,065/female 3,542,522) (2006 est.)

Median Age
total: 19.8 years; male: 19.7 years; female: 20 years (2006 est.)

Population Growth Rate
2.09% (2006 est.)

Birth Rate
29.74 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death Rate
8.23 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net Migration Rate
-0.59 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex Ratio
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female; total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate
total: 70.45 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 70.84 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 70.04 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth
total population: 63.39 years; male: 62.4 years; female: 64.44 years (2006 est.)

Total Fertility Rate
4 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Adult Prevalence Rate
0.1% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS – People Living with HIV/AIDS
74,000 (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Deaths
4,900 (2003 est.)

Major Infectious Diseases
degree of risk: high; food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever; vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, and cutaneous leishmaniasis are high risks depending on location; animal contact disease: rabies (2005)

noun: Pakistani(s); adjective: Pakistani

Ethnic Groups
Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashtun (Pathan), Baloch, Muhajir (immigrants from India at the time of partition and their descendants)

Muslim 97% (Sunni 77%, Shi’a 20%), Christian, Hindu, and other 3%

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%

definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 48.7%; male: 61.7%; female: 35.2% (2004 est.)

Back to Top


Country Name
conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Pakistan; conventional short form: Pakistan; former: West Pakistan

Government Type
federal republic


Administrative Divisions
4 provinces, 1 territory*, and 1 capital territory**; Balochistan, Federally Administered Tribal Areas*, Islamabad Capital Territory**, North-West Frontier Province, Punjab, Sindh; note: the Pakistani-administered portion of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region consists of two administrative entities: Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas

14 August 1947 (from UK)

National Holiday
Republic Day, 23 March (1956)

12 April 1973; suspended 5 July 1977, restored with amendments 30 December 1985; suspended 15 October 1999, restored 31 December 2002; amended 31 December 2003

Legal System
based on English common law with provisions to accommodate Pakistan’s status as an Islamic state; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

18 years of age; universal; joint electorates and reserved parliamentary seats for women and non-Muslims

Executive Branch
note: following a military takeover on 12 October 1999, Chief of Army Staff and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Pervez MUSHARRAF, suspended Pakistan’s constitution and assumed the additional title of Chief Executive; on 12 May 2000, Pakistan’s Supreme Court unanimously validated the October 1999 coup and granted MUSHARRAF executive and legislative authority for three years from the coup date; on 20 June 2001, MUSHARRAF named himself as president and was sworn in, replacing Mohammad Rafiq TARAR; in a referendum held on 30 April 2002, MUSHARRAF’s presidency was extended by five more years; on 1 January 2004, MUSHARRAF won a vote of confidence in the Senate, National Assembly, and four provincial assemblies; chief of state: President General Pervez MUSHARRAF (since 20 June 2001); head of government: Prime Minister Shaukat AZIZ (since 28 August 2004); cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister; elections: the president is elected by Parliament for a five-year term; note – in a referendum held on 30 April 2002, MUSHARRAF’s presidency was extended by five more years (next to be held in 2007); the prime minister is selected by the National Assembly for a five-year term (next to be held in 2009); election results: AZIZ elected by the National Assembly on 27 August 2004 with 191 of the votes

Legislative Branch
bicameral Parliament or Majlis-e-Shoora consists of the Senate (100 seats – formerly 87; members indirectly elected by provincial assemblies to serve six-year terms – half the members retire after three years; and the National Assembly (342 seats – formerly 217; 60 seats represent women; 10 seats represent minorities; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms); elections: Senate – last held 24 and 27 February 2003 (next to be held in March 2006); National Assembly – last held 10 October 2002 (next to be held by October 2007); election results: Senate results – percent of vote by party – NA; seats by party – PML/Q 40, PPPP 11, MMA 21, MQM/A 6, PML/N 4, NA 3, PML/F 1, PkMAP 2, ANP 2, PPP/S 2, JWP 1, BNP-Awami 1, BNP-Mengal 1, BNM/H 1, independents 4; National Assembly results – percent of votes by party – NA; seats by party – PML/Q 126, PPPP 81, MMA 63, PML/N 19, MQM/A 17, NA 16, PML/F 5, PML/J 3, PPP/S 2, BNP 1, JWP 1, PAT 1, PML/Z 1, PTI 1, MQM/H 1, PkMAP 1, independents 3

Judicial Branch
Supreme Court (justices appointed by the president); Federal Islamic or Shari’a Court

Political Parties and Leaders
Awami National Party or ANP [Wali KHAN]; Balochistan National Movement/Hayee Group or BNM/H [Dr. Hayee BALUCH]; Baluch National Party/Awami or BNP/Awami [Moheem Khan BALOCH]; Baluch National Party-Mengal or BNP/M [Sardar Ataullah MENGAL]; Jamhoori Watan Party or JWP [Akbar Khan BUGTI]; Jamiat-al-Hadith or JAH [Sajid MIR]; Jamiat-i-Islami or JI [Qazi Hussain AHMED]; Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, Fazlur Rehman faction or JUI/F [Fazlur REHMAN]; Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, Sami ul-HAQ faction or JUI/S [Sami ul-HAQ]; Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan or JUP [Shah Faridul HAQ]; Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal Pakistan or MMA [Qazi Hussain AHMED]; Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Altaf faction or MQM/A [Altaf HUSSAIN]; Muttahida Quami Movement, Haqiqi faction or MQM/H [Afaq AHMAD]; National People’s Party or NPP [Ghulam Mustapha JATOI]; Pakhtun Khwa Milli Awami Party or PkMAP [Mahmood Khan ACHAKZAI]; Pakhtun Quami Party or PQP [Mohammed Afzal KHAN]; Pakistan Awami Tehrik or PAT [Tahir ul QADRI]; Pakistan Muslim League, Functional Group or PML/F [Pir PAGARO]; Pakistan Muslim League, Nawaz Sharif faction or PML/N [Nawaz SHARIF]; Pakistan Muslim League or PML [Chaudhry Shujaat HUSSAIN]; note – as of May 2004, the PML/Q changed its name to PML and absorbed the PML/J, PML/Z, and NA; Pakistan National Party or PNP [Hasil BIZENJO]; Pakistan People’s Party or PPP [Aftab Ahmed Khan SHERPAO]; Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians or PPPP [Benazir BHUTTO]; Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf or PTI [Imran KHAN]; Tehrik-i-Islami [Allama Sajid NAQVI]; note: political alliances in Pakistan can shift frequently

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders
military remains most important political force; ulema (clergy), landowners, industrialists, and small merchants also influential

International Organization Participation

Diplomatic Representation in the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Jehangir KARAMAT; chancery: 3517 International Court, Washington, DC 20008; telephone: [1] (202) 243-6500; FAX: [1] (202) 686-1534; consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York, Sunnyvale (California); consulate(s): Chicago, Houston

Diplomatic Representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Ryan CROCKER; embassy: Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5, Islamabad; mailing address: P. O. Box 1048, Unit 62200, APO AE 09812-2200; telephone: [92] (51) 2080-0000; FAX: [92] (51) 2276427; consulate(s): Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar

Flag Description
green with a vertical white band (symbolizing the role of religious minorities) on the hoist side; a large white crescent and star are centered in the green field; the crescent, star, and color green are traditional symbols of Islam

Back to Top


Pakistan, an impoverished and underdeveloped country, has suffered from decades of internal political disputes, low levels of foreign investment, and a costly, ongoing confrontation with neighboring India. However, IMF-approved government policies, bolstered by generous foreign assistance and renewed access to global markets since 2001, have generated solid macroeconomic recovery the last four years. The government has made substantial macroeconomic reforms since 2000, although progress on more politically sensitive reforms has slowed. For example, in the budget for fiscal year 2006, Islamabad did not impose taxes on the agriculture or real estate sectors, despite Pakistan’s chronically low tax-to-GDP ratio. While long-term prospects remain uncertain, given Pakistan’s low level of development, medium-term prospects for job creation and poverty reduction are the best in more than a decade. Islamabad has raised development spending from about 2% of GDP in the 1990s to 4% in 2003, a necessary step towards reversing the broad underdevelopment of its social sector. GDP growth, spurred by double-digit gains in industrial production over the past year, has become less dependent on agriculture, and remained above 7% in 2004 and 2005. Inflation remains the biggest threat to the economy, jumping to more than 9% in 2005. The World Bank and Asian Development Bank announced that they would provide US $1 billion each in aid to help Pakistan rebuild areas hit by the October 2005 earthquake in Kashmir. Foreign exchange reserves continued to reach new levels in 2005, supported by steady worker remittances. In the near term, growth probably cannot be sustained at the 7% level; however, massive international aid, increased government spending, lower taxes, and pay increases for government workers will help Pakistan maintain strong GDP growth over the longer term.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$384.9 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)
$89.79 billion (2005 est.)

GDP – real growth rate
7.8% (2005 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP)
$2,400 (2005 est.)

GDP – composition by sector
agriculture: 21.6%; industry: 25.1%; services: 53.3% (2005 est.)

Labor Force
46.84 million; note: extensive export of labor, mostly to the Middle East, and use of child labor (2005 est.)

Labor Force – By Occupation
agriculture 42%, industry 20%, services 38% (2004 est.)

Unemployment Rate
6.6% plus substantial underemployment (2005 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line
32% (FY00/01 est.)

Household Income or Consumption by Percentage Share
lowest 10%: 4.1%; highest 10%: 27.6% (FY96/97)

Distribution of Family Income – Gini Index
41 (FY98/99)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices)
9.2% (2005 est.)

Investment (gross fixed)
15.3% of GDP (2005 est.)

revenues: $15.45 billion; expenditures: $20.07 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)

Public Debt
54.3% of GDP (2005 est.)

Agriculture – Products
cotton, wheat, rice, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; milk, beef, mutton, eggs

textiles and apparel, food processing, pharmaceuticals, construction materials, paper products, fertilizer, shrimp

Industrial Production Growth Rate
10.7% (2005 est.)

Electricity – Production
76.92 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity – Consumption
71.54 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity – Exports
0 kWh (2003)

Electricity – Imports
0 kWh (2003)

Oil – Production
63,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil – Consumption
365,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil – Exports
NA bbl/day

Oil – Imports
NA bbl/day

Oil – Proved Reserves
341.8 million bbl (2005 est.)

Natural Gas – Production
23.8 billion cu m (2003 est.)

Natural Gas – Consumption
23.8 billion cu m (2003 est.)

Natural Gas – Exports
0 cu m (2001 est.)

Natural Gas – Imports
0 cu m (2001 est.)

Natural Gas – Proved Reserves
759.7 billion cu m (2005)

Current Account Balance
$-1.43 billion (2005 est.)

$14.85 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports – Commodities
textiles (garments, bed linen, cotton cloth, yarn), rice, leather goods, sports goods, chemicals, manufactures, carpets and rugs

Exports – Partners
US 23.5%, UAE 7.4%, UK 7.3%, Germany 5%, Hong Kong 4.4% (2004)

$21.26 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports – Commodities
petroleum, petroleum products, machinery, plastics, transportation equipment, edible oils, paper and paperboard, iron and steel, tea

Imports – Partners
Saudi Arabia 11.6%, UAE 10%, US 9.7%, China 8.4%, Japan 6.5%, Kuwait 5.6% (2004)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold
$11.71 billion (2005 est.)

Debt – External
$39.94 billion (2005 est.)

Economic Aid – Recipient
$2.4 billion (FY01/02)

Currency (Code)
Pakistani rupee (PKR)

Exchange Rates
Pakistani rupees per US dollar – 59.515 (2005), 58.258 (2004), 57.752 (2003), 59.724 (2002), 61.927 (2001)

Fiscal Year
1 July – 30 June

Back to Top


Telephones – Main Lines in Use
4,502,200 (2004)

Telephones – Mobile Cellular
5,022,900 (2004)

Telephone System
general assessment: the domestic system is mediocre, but improving; service is adequate for government and business use, in part because major businesses have established their own private systems; since 1988, the government has promoted investment in the national telecommunications system on a priority basis, significantly increasing network capacity; despite major improvements in trunk and urban systems, telecommunication services are still not readily available to the majority of the rural population; domestic: microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, fiber-optic cable, cellular, and satellite networks; international: country code – 92; satellite earth stations – 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean); 3 operational international gateway exchanges (1 at Karachi and 2 at Islamabad); microwave radio relay to neighboring countries (1999)

Radio Broadcast Stations
AM 27, FM 1, shortwave 21 (1998)

Television Broadcast Stations
22 (plus seven low-power repeaters) (1997)

Internet Country Code

Internet Hosts
38,309 (2005)

Internet Users
7.5 million (2005)

Back to Top


134 (2005)

Airports – With Paved Runways
total: 91; over 3,047 m: 13; 2,438 to 3,047 m: 22; 1,524 to 2,437 m: 32; 914 to 1,523 m: 16; under 914 m: 8 (2005)

Airports – With Unpaved Runways
total: 43; over 3,047 m: 1; 1,524 to 2,437 m: 9; 914 to 1,523 m: 12; under 914 m: 21 (2005)

18 (2005)

gas 9,945 km; oil 1,821 km (2004)

total: 8,163 km; broad gauge: 7,718 km 1.676-m gauge (293 km electrified); narrow gauge: 445 km 1.000-m gauge (2004)

total: 254,410 km; paved: 152,646 km (including 367 km of expressways); unpaved: 101,764 km (2003)

Merchant Marine
total: 14 ships (1000 GRT or over) 343,630 GRT/570,518 DWT; by type: cargo 10, petroleum tanker 4; registered in other countries: 12 (Belize 1, Comoros 2, North Korea 3, Malta 1, Nigeria 1, Panama 2, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2) (2005)

Ports and Terminals
Karachi, Port Muhammad Bin Qasim

Back to Top


Military Branches
Army (includes National Guard), Navy (includes Marines), Air Force (2006)

Military Service Age and Obligation
16 years of age for voluntary military service; soldiers cannot be deployed for combat until age of 18 (2001)

Manpower Available for Military Service
males age 16-49: 39,028,014 (2005 est.)

Manpower Fit for Military Service
males age 16-49: 29,428,747 (2005 est.)

Manpower Reaching Military Service Age Annually
males: 1,969,055 (2005 est.)

Military Expenditures – Dollar Figure
$4.26 billion (2005 est.)

Military Expenditures – Percent of GDP
3.9% (2005 est.)

Back to Top

Transnational Issues

Disputes – International
various talks and confidence-building measures cautiously have begun to defuse tensions over Kashmir, particularly since the October 2005 earthquake in the region; Kashmir nevertheless remains the site of the world’s largest and most militarized territorial dispute with portions under the de facto administration of China (Aksai Chin), India (Jammu and Kashmir), and Pakistan (Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas); UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) has maintained a small group of peacekeepers since 1949; India does not recognize Pakistan’s ceding historic Kashmir lands to China in 1964; in 2004, India and Pakistan instituted a cease-fire in the Kashmir, and in 2005 restored bus service across the highly militarized Line of Control; Pakistan has taken its dispute on the impact of India’s building the Baglihar Dam on the Chenab River in Jammu and Kashmir to the World Bank for arbitration and in general the two states still dispute Indus River water sharing; to defuse tensions and prepare discussions on a maritime boundary, in 2004, India and Pakistan resurveyed a portion of the disputed the Sir Creek estuary at the mouth of the Rann of Kutch; Pakistani maps continue to show the Junagadh claim in India’s Gujarat State; by 2005, Pakistan, with UN assistance, had repatriated 2.3 million Afghan refugees and had undertaken a census to count the remaining million or more, many of whom remain at their own choosing; Pakistan has sent troops into remote tribal areas to control the border with Afghanistan and stem organized terrorist or other illegal cross-border activities; regular meetings with Afghan and Coalition allies aim to resolve periodic claims of boundary encroachments

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons
refugees (country of origin): 960,041 (Afghanistan); IDPs: undetermined (government strikes on Islamic militants in South Waziristan); 3 million (October 2005 earthquake) (2005)

Illicit Drugs
opium poppy cultivation declined 58% to 3,147 hectares in 2005; federal and provincial authorities continue to conduct anti-poppy campaigns that force eradication – fines and arrests will take place if the ban on poppy cultivation is not observed; key transit point for Afghan drugs, including heroin, opium, morphine, and hashish, bound for Western markets, the Gulf States, and Africa; financial crimes related to drug trafficking, terrorism, corruption, and smuggling remain problems

Back to Top