Pakistan

Pakistan

Once a part of British India, Pakistan was created in 1947 in response to demands for an independent Muslim state. In 1971, Bangladesh (former East Pakistan) became a separate state.

Geography: Indus floodplain across east and south. Hindu Kush mountains in north. Semi-desert plateau, mountains in west.

Climate: Temperatures can soar to 122°F (50°C) in south and west, and fall to –4°F (–20°C) in the Hindu Kush.

People and Society: Punjabis dominate government and the army. Tensions with minority groups, exacerbated by the vast gap between rich and poor. Strong family ties
permeate politics and business. Relations with India are tense over Kashmir. Islamist Taliban insurgency in tribal areas on Afghan border: in 2009, fighting displaced two million.

The Economy: Major cotton and rice producer, but unpredictable weather conditions
often affect crop. Textiles. Instability. Corruption. Aid to fight terrorism and for
earthquake reconstruction.

Insight: In 1988, Pakistan elected Benazir Bhutto as the first female prime minister in the Muslim world

Fact File:

Official Name: Islamic Rep. of Pakistan

Date of Formation: 1947

Capital: Islamabad

Population: 181 million

Total Area: 310,401 sq. miles (803,940 sq. km)

Density: 607 people per sq. mile

Languages: Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashtu, Urdu*, Baluchi, Brahui

Religions: Sunni Muslim 77%, Shi’a Muslim 20%, Hindu 2%, Christian 1%

Ethnic Mix: Punjabi 56%, Pathan 15%, Sindhi 14%, other 8%, Mohajir 7%

Government: Presidential system

Currency: Pakistani rupee = 100 paisa

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