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Country in Focus



  • Capital:Islamabad
  • Population:196,174,380
  • Languages:English, Urdu
  • Head of State:President Mamnoon Hussain


Pakistan gained its independence in 1947 after its separation from India. The country was in war with India over the disputed Kashmir territory and the separation of East Pakistan (Bangladesh) in 1971. Political instability marked the country, alternating civilian and military government. After General Yahya Khan’s resignation, the power was transferred to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1971 as president, becoming the first civilian head of government in nearly two decades. However, he was overthrown in a military coup by General Zia ul-Haq in which martial law was imposed. He lifted martial law in 1985, became president and reinstated the constitution. Benazir Bhutto became the first female Prime Minister after the death of General Zia in 1988. In 1999, Pakistan was again under military rule headed by General Pervez Musharraf. He was both Chief of Army and President until his resignation in 2008. He was replaced by Asif Ali Zardari as president. Nawaz Sharif became the Prime Minister of Pakistan after the 2013 general elections in which the Pakistan Muslim League (N) won majority....


Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea, between India on the east
and Iran and Afghanistan on the west and China in the north

30 00 N, 70 00 E

796,095 sq km

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

Flat Indus plain in east; mountains in north and northwest; Balochistan plateau in west


179.2 million (WB, 2012)

Federal republic


GDP (current US$)
$225.1 billion (WB, 2012)

GDP growth (annual %) 
4% (WB, 2012)

GNI per capita (current US$) 
$1,260 (WB, 2012)


With paved runways : 108
With unpaved runways : 43
Total : 151 (2013)

Total) : 262,256 km

Ports and terminals
Major seaport(s): Karachi, Port Muhammad Bin Qasim
Container port(s) (TEUs): Karachi (1,545,434)


Production :  94.65 billion kWh (2011 est.)
Consumption : 70.1 billion kWh (2011 est.)

Crude oil
Production : 61,660 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Imports : 151,200 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Proved reserves: 247.5 million bbl (1 January 2013 es)

Refined petroleum products
Production : 210,100 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Consumption : 426,700 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Exports : 34,660 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Imports  : 227,100 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Natural gas
Production  : 39.15 billion cu m (2011 est.)
Consumption  : 42.9 billion cu m (2011 est.)
Proved reserves : 679.6 billion cu m (1 January 2013 es)


Main lines in use : 5.803 million (2012)
Mobile cellular : 125 million (2013)


Military branches    
Pakistan Army (includes National Guard), Pakistan Navy (includes Marines and Maritime Security Agency), Pakistan Air Force (Pakistan Fiza'ya) (2013)
Military service age and obligation   
16-23 years of age for voluntary military service; soldiers cannot be deployed for combat until age 18; the Pakistani Air Force and Pakistani Navy have inducted their first female pilots and sailors; the Pakistan Air Force recruits aviation technicians at age 15; service obligation (Navy) 10-18 years; retirement required after 18-30 years service or age 40-52 (2012)
Manpower available for military service
Males age 16-49: 48,453,305
Females age 16-49: 44,898,096 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service   
Males age 16-49: 37,945,440
Females age 16-49: 37,381,549 (2010 est.)


International Disputes  
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 has maintained a small group of peacekeepers since 1949; India does not recognize Pakistan's ceding historic Kashmir lands to China in 1964; India and Pakistan have maintained their 2004 cease-fire in Kashmir and initiated discussions on defusing the armed standoff in the Siachen glacier region; Pakistan protests India's fencing the highly militarized Line of Control and construction of the Baglihar Dam on the Chenab River in Jammu and Kashmir, which is part of the larger dispute on water sharing of the Indus River and its tributaries; to defuse tensions and prepare for discussions on a maritime boundary, India and Pakistan seek technical resolution of the disputed boundary in Sir Creek estuary at the mouth of the Rann of Kutch in the Arabian Sea; Pakistani maps continue to show the Junagadh claim in India's Gujarat State; by 2005, Pakistan, with UN assistance, repatriated 2.3 million Afghan refugees leaving slightly more than a million, many of whom remain at their own choosing; Pakistan has sent troops across and built fences along some remote tribal areas of its treaty-defined Durand Line border with Afghanistan, which serve as bases for foreign terrorists and other illegal activities; Afghan, Coalition, and Pakistan military meet periodically to clarify the alignment of the boundary on the ground and on maps
Refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs)   

Refugees (country of origin): 2.6 million (1.6 million registered, 1 million undocumented ) (Afghanistan) (2014)

IDPs: More than 1 million (primarily includes IDPs who remain displaced by counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations and violent conflict between armed non-state groups in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber-Paktunkwa Province; individuals also have been displaced by repeated monsoon floods) (2014)
Illicit drugs   
Significant transit area for Afghan drugs, including heroin, opium, morphine, and hashish, bound for Iran, Western markets, the Gulf States, Africa, and Asia; financial crimes related to drug trafficking, terrorism, corruption, and smuggling remain problems; opium poppy cultivation estimated to be 2,300 hectares in 2007 with 600 of those hectares eradicated; federal and provincial authorities continue to conduct anti-poppy campaigns that utilizes forced eradication, fines, and arrests.

Complied by Gulf News Archives
Sources: The World Fact Book, World Bank