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Countries > Pakistan Pakistan Flag

Languages   8 languages are spoken in Pakistan. We have 166 products available for those languages.

Capital: Islamabad
Population: 140,497,000
Click to Listen Play the National Anthem
Pakistan Map


Location: Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea, between India on the east and Iran and Afghanistan on the west

Geographic coordinates: 30 00 N, 70 00 E

Map references: Asia

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

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% (1998 est.)

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, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Desertification, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note: controls Khyber Pass and Bolan Pass, traditional invasion routes between Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent


Population: 147,663,429 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 39.9% (male 30,321,217; female 28,581,334)
15-64 years:56% (male 42,254,996; female 40,392,092)
65 years and over : 4.1% (male 2,984,391; female 3,129,399) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.06% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 30.4 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 9.02 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.79 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 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: 0.95 male(s)/female
total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 78.52 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 61.82 years
male: 60.96 years
female : 62.73 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.25 children born/woman (2002 est.)

noun : Pakistani(s)
adjective: Pakistani

Ethnic groups: Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashtun (Pathan), Baloch, Muhajir (immigrants from India 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%

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population : 42.7%
female: 29% (1998)


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

Data code: PK

Government type: federal republic

National capital: Islamabad

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

Independence: 14 August 1947 (from UK)

National holiday: Pakistan Day, 23 March (1956) (proclamation of the republic)

Constitution: 10 April 1973, suspended 5 July 1977, restored with amendments 30 December 1985

Legal system: based on English common law with provisions to accommodate Pakistan's stature as an Islamic state; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal; separate electorates and reserved parliamentary seats for 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; exercising the powers of the head of the government, he appointed an eight-member National Security Council to function as Pakistan's supreme governing body; 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 and was sworn in as president, replacing Mohammad Rafiq TARAR; in a referendum held on 30 April 2002, MUSHARRAF won an overwhelming majority of votes, extending his rule for five more years
chief of state: President Pervez MUSHARRAF (since 20 June 2001)
head of government : Chief Executive Pervez MUSHARRAF (since 12 May 2000)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister
elections:prior to the military takeover, Pakistan had an elected president and prime minister; the president was elected by Parliament for a five-year term; election last held 31 December 1997 (next election to be held NA); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition was usually elected prime minister by the National Assembly; election last held 3 February 1997 (next to be held NA)
election results: results are for the last elections for prime minister and president prior to the military takeover - Mohammad Nawaz SHARIF elected prime minister; percent of National Assembly vote - NA%; Rafiq TARAR elected president; percent of Parliament vote - NA%

note - Gen. Pervez MUSHARRAF dissolved Parliament following the military takeover of 12 October 1999; bicameral Parliament or Majlis-e-Shoora consists of the Senate (87 seats; members indirectly elected by provincial assemblies to serve six-year terms; one-third of the members up for election every two years) and the National Assembly (217 seats - 10 represent non-Muslims; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: SSenate - last held 12 March 1997 (next to be held by October 2002); National Assembly - last held 3 February 1997 (next to be held by October 2002)
election results: results are for the last elections prior to the military takeover; Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - PML/N 30, PPP 17, ANP 7, MQM/A 6, JWP 5, BNP 4, JUI/F 2, PML/J 2, BNM/H 1, PKMAP 1, TJP 1, independents 6, vacant 5; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - PML/N 137, PPP 18, MQM/A 12, ANP 10, BNP 3, JWP 2, JUI/F 2, PPP/SB 1, NPP 1, independents 21, minorities 10; note - Gen. Pervez MUSHARRAF dismissed Parliament 15 October 1999

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judicial chiefs are appointed by the president; Federal Islamic (Shari'at) Court

Political parties and leaders:
note: Gen. Pervez MUSHARRAF dissolved Parliament following the military takeover of 12 October 1999, however, political parties have been allowed to operate within limits; Awami National Party or ANP [Wali KHAN]; Balochistan National Movement/Hayee Group or BNM/H [Dr. HAYEE Baluch]; Baluch National Party or BNP [Sardar Akhtar MENGAL]; Jamhoori Watan Party or JWP [Akbar Khan BUGTI]; Jamiat-al-Hadith or JAH [Sajid MIR]; Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, Fazlur Rehman faction or JUI/F [Fazlur REHMAN]; Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan, Niazi faction or JUP/NI [Abdul Sattar Khan NIAZI]; Millat Party [Farooq LEGHARI]; Milli Yakjheti Council or MYC is an umbrella organization which includes Jamaat-i-Islami or JI [Qazi Hussain AHMED], Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, Sami-ul-Haq faction or JUI/S [Sami ul-HAQ], Tehrik-I-Jafria Pakistan or TJP [Allama Sajid NAQVI], and Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan, Noorani faction or JUP/NO [Shah Ahmad NOORANI]; Mutahida Qaumi Movement, Altaf faction or MQM/A [Altaf HUSSAIN]; 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, Junejo faction or PML/J [Hamid Nasir CHATTHA]; Pakistan Muslim League, Nawaz Sharif faction or PML/N [Nawaz SHARIF]; Pakistan Muslim League, Quaid-l-Azam faction [Mian AZHAR]; Pakistan National Party or PNP [Hasil BIZENJO]; Pakistan People's Party or PPP [Benazir BHUTTO]; Pakistan People's Party/Shaheed Bhutto or PPP/SB [Ghinva BHUTTO]; Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf or PTI [Imran KHAN]
note: political alliances in Pakistan can shift frequently

Political pressure groups and leaders: military remains important political force; ulema (clergy), landowners, industrialists, and small merchants also influential


Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Ashraf Jehangir QAZI
chancery: 2315 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 939-6200
FAX: [1] (202) 387-0484
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles and New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Wendy J. CHAMBERLIN (since Aug. 2001)
embassy : Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5, Islamabad
mailing address: P. O. Box 1048, Unit 62200, APO AE 09812-2200
telephone: [92] (51) 826161 through 826179
FAX: [92] (51) 214222
consulate(s) general : Karachi, Lahore
consulate(s): 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


Economy - overview: Pakistan, an impoverished and underdeveloped country, suffers from internal political disputes, lack of foreign investment, and a costly confrontation with neighboring India. Pakistan's economic prospects, marred by poor human development indicators, low levels of foreign investment, and reliance on international creditors for hard currency inflows, were nonetheless on an upswing through most of 2001. The MUSHARRAF government made significant inroads in macroeconomic reform - it completed an IMF short-term loan program for the first time and improved its standing with international creditors by increasing revenue collection and restraining the fiscal deficit in the 2001/02 budget. While Pakistan has capitalized on its international standing after the 11 September terrorist attacks on the US by garnering substantial assistance from abroad - including $1.3 billion in IMF Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility aid and $12.5 billion in Paris Club debt rescheduling - long-term prospects remain uncertain. GDP growth will continue to hinge on crop performance; dependence on foreign oil leaves the import bill vulnerable to fluctuating oil prices; and foreign and domestic investors remain wary of committing to projects in Pakistan. Pakistani trade levels - already in decline due to the global economic downturn - worsened in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $299 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 3.3% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $2,100 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
industry: 24%
services: 50% (2001 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 4% (2001 est.)

Labor force:
total: 40.4 million
by occupation: agriculture 44%, industry 17%, services 39% (1999 est.)
note : extensive export of labor, mostly to the Middle East, and use of child labor

Unemployment rate:7% (2001 est.)

revenues : $8.9 billion
expenditures: $$11.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY00/01 est.)

Industries: textiles, food processing, beverages, construction materials, clothing, paper products, shrimp

Industrial production growth rate: 7% (2001 est.)

Electricity - capacity: 13.17 million kW (1994)

Electricity - production: 62.687 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 58.299 billion kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products: cotton, wheat, rice, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; milk, beef, mutton, eggs

total value: $8.8 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
commodities: cotton, textiles, clothing, rice, leather, carpets
partners: US 24.8%, UK 6.5%, UAE 6.2%, Hong Kong 5.9%, Germany 5.6%, (2000)

total value: $9.2 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
commodities : petroleum, petroleum products, machinery, transportation equipment, vegetable oils, animal fats, chemicals
partners: Kuwait 11.7%, UAE 10.7%, Saudi Arabia 10.5%, US 6%, Japan 5.6% (2000)

Debt - external: $31.5 billion (2001 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient:$2 billion (FY99/00)

Currency: 1 Pakistani rupee (PKR) = 100 paisa

Exchange rates: Pakistani rupees per US dollar - 60.719 (January 2002), 61.927 (2001), 53.648 (2000), 49.118 (1999), 44.943 (1998), 40.918 (1997)

Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June


Telephones: 2.861 million (March 1999)

Telephone system: 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: 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)

Radios: 13.5 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 22 (plus seven low-power repeaters) (1997)

Televisions: 3.1 million (1997)


total: 8,163 km
broad gauge: 7,718 km 1.676-m gauge (293 km electrified; 1,037 km double track)
narrow gauge: 445 km 1.000-m gauge (2001)

total : 247,811 km
paved: 141,252 km (including 339 km of expressways)
unpaved: 106,559 km (1998)

Pipelines: crude oil 250 km; petroleum products 885 km; natural gas 4,044 km (1987)

Ports and harbors: Karachi, Port Muhammad bin Qasim

Merchant marine:
total: 17 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 241,832 GRT/367,093 DWT
ships by type :cargo 13, container 3, petroleum tanker 1 (2002 est.)

Airports: 120 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 85
over 3,047 m : 12
2,438 to 3,047 m: 22
1,524 to 2,437 m: 31
914 to 1,523 m:17
under 914 m: 3 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total : 35
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m:18 (2001)

Heliports:9 (2001)


Military branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Civil Armed Forces, National Guard

Military manpower - military age: 17 years of age (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 36,941,592 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 22,606,576 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 1,657,724 (2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $2,545,500,000 (FY01)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 4.6% (FY01)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: armed stand-off with India over the status and sovereignty of Kashmir continues; dispute with India over the terminus of Rann of Kutch prevents extension of a maritime boundary; water-sharing problems with India persist over the Indus River (Wular Barrage); close ties with Pashtuns in Afghanistan make long border difficult to control

Illicit drugs: illicit producer of opium and hashish for the international drug trade (produced 75 metric tons in 1996, down from 155 metric tons in 1995); major center for processing Afghan heroin and key transit area for Southwest Asian heroin moving to Western markets

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