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|Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Area controlled by Pakistan shown in dark green; claimed but uncontrolled region shown in light green.
|Recognised regional languages|
|Ethnic groups (2016)||44.68% Punjabis
|Religion||96.4% Islam (Official)
|Government||Federal parliamentary constitutional republic|
|Sardar Ayaz Sadiq|
|Mian Saqib Nisar|
|Independence from the United Kingdom|
|29 December 1930|
|28 January 1933|
|23 March 1940|
|14 August 1947|
|23 March 1956|
|881,913 km2 (340,509 sq mi)[a] (33rd)|
• Water (%)
• 2017 estimate
|244.4/km2 (633.0/sq mi) (56th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2017 estimate|
|$1.060 trillion (25th)|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2016 estimate|
|$284.185 billion (43rd)|
• Per capita
|HDI (2015)|| 0.550
medium · 147th
|Currency||Pakistani rupee (₨) (PKR)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+5b)|
|Drives on the||left|
|ISO 3166 code||PK|
Pakistan (i// or i//; Urdu: پاکستان), officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Urdu: اسلامی جمہوریہ پاکستان), is a federal parliamentary republic in South Asia on the crossroads of Central Asia and Western Asia. It is the sixth-most populous country with a population exceeding 197 million people. In terms of area, it is the 33rd-largest country in the world with an area covering 881,913 square kilometres (340,509 square miles). Pakistan has a 1,046-kilometre-long (650-mile) coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west, Iran to the southwest, and China in the far northeast, respectively. It is separated from Tajikistan by Afghanistan's narrow Wakhan Corridor in the north, and also shares a maritime border with Oman.
The territory that now constitutes Pakistan is considered a cradle of civilisation that was previously home to several ancient cultures, including the Mehrgarh of the Neolithic and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation, and later home to kingdoms ruled by people of different faiths and cultures, including Hindus, Indo-Greeks, Muslims, Turco-Mongols, Afghans, and Sikhs. The area has been ruled by numerous empires and dynasties, including the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Alexander of Macedonia, the Indian Mauryan Empire, the Arab Umayyad Caliphate, the Delhi Sultanate, the Mongol Empire, the Mughal Empire, the Durrani Empire, the Sikh Empire, and most recently, the British Empire.
Pakistan is unique among Muslim countries in that it is the only country to have been created in the name of Islam. As a result of the Pakistan Movement led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the subcontinent's struggle for independence, Pakistan was created in 1947 as an independent homeland for South Asian Muslims. It is an ethnically and linguistically diverse country, with a similarly diverse geography and wildlife. Initially a dominion, Pakistan adopted a constitution in 1956, becoming an Islamic republic. An ethnic civil war in 1971 resulted in the secession of East Pakistan as the new country of Bangladesh. In 1973 Pakistan adopted a new constitution establishing, alongside its pre-existing parliamentary republic status, a federal government based in Islamabad consisting of four provinces and four federal territories. The new constitution also stipulated that all laws were to conform to the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Quran and Sunnah.
A regional and middle power, Pakistan has the sixth-largest standing armed forces in the world and is also a nuclear power as well as a declared nuclear-weapons state, being the second in South Asia and the only nation in the Muslim world to have that status. Pakistan has a semi-industrialised economy with a well-integrated agriculture sector, and a growing services sector. The Pakistani economy is the 24th-largest in the world in terms of purchasing power and the 41st-largest in terms of nominal GDP (World Bank). It is ranked among the emerging and growth-leading economies of the world, and is backed by one of the world's largest and fastest-growing middle classes.
The post-independence history of Pakistan has been characterised by periods of military rule, and since 2008 a transition to democracy, amid conflicts with neighbouring India. The country continues to face challenging problems such as illiteracy, healthcare, and corruption, but has substantially reduced poverty and terrorism and expanded per capita income. Pakistan is a member of the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Commonwealth of Nations, the ECO, the SAARC, the Developing Eight, and the G20 developing nations, Group of 24, Group of 77, and ECOSOC. It is also an associate member of CERN. Pakistan is a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The name Pakistan literally means "land of the pure" in Urdu and Persian. It is a play on the word pāk meaning pure in Persian and Pashto; the suffix -stān is a Persian word meaning place of, cognate with the Sanskrit word sthāna (Devanagari: स्थान [st̪ʰaːnə]).
The name of the country was coined in 1933 as Pakstan by Choudhry Rahmat Ali, a Pakistan Movement activist, who published it in his pamphlet Now or Never, using it as an acronym ("thirty million Muslim brethren who live in PAKSTAN") referring to the names of the five northern regions of the British Raj: Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, Sindh, and Baluchistan. The letter i was incorporated to ease pronunciation and form the linguistically correct and meaningful name.
Some of the earliest ancient human civilisations in South Asia originated from areas encompassing present-day Pakistan. The earliest known inhabitants in the region were Soanian during the Lower Paleolithic, of whom stone tools have been found in the Soan Valley of Punjab. The Indus region, which covers most of present day Pakistan, was the site of several successive ancient cultures including the Neolithic Mehrgarh and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation (2,800–1,800 BC) at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro.
The Vedic Civilisation (1500–500 BC), characterised by Indo-Aryan culture, laid the foundations of Hinduism, which later became well established in the region. Multan was an important Hindu pilgrimage centre. The Vedic civilisation flourished in the ancient Gandhāran city of Takṣaśilā, now Taxila in the Punjab. Successive ancient empires and kingdoms ruled the region: the Persian Achaemenid Empire around 519 BC), Alexander the Great's empire in 326 BC and the Maurya Empire, founded by Chandragupta Maurya and extended by Ashoka the Great, until 185 BC. The Indo-Greek Kingdom founded by Demetrius of Bactria (180–165 BC) included Gandhara and Punjab and reached its greatest extent under Menander (165–150 BC), prospering the Greco-Buddhist culture in the region. Taxila had one of the earliest universities and centres of higher education in the world.
At its zenith, the Rai Dynasty (489–632 AD) of Sindh ruled this region and the surrounding territories. The Pala Dynasty was the last Buddhist empire, which, under Dharmapala and Devapala, stretched across South Asia from what is now Bangladesh through Northern India to Pakistan.
The Arab conqueror Muhammad bin Qasim conquered the Indus valley from Sindh to Multan in southern Punjab in 711 AD. The Pakistan government's official chronology identifies this as the time when the foundation of Pakistan was laid. The Early Medieval period (642–1219 AD) witnessed the spread of Islam in the region. During this period, Sufi missionaries played a pivotal role in converting a majority of the regional Buddhist and Hindu population to Islam. These developments set the stage for the rule of several successive Muslim empires in the region, including the Ghaznavid Empire (975–1187 AD), the Ghorid Kingdom, and the Delhi Sultanate (1206–1526 AD). The Lodi dynasty, the last of the Delhi Sultanate, was replaced by the Mughal Empire (1526–1857 AD). The Mughals introduced Persian literature and high culture, establishing the roots of Indo-Persian culture in the region. From the region of modern-day Pakistan, key cities during the Mughal rule were Lahore and Thatta, both of which were chosen as the site of impressive Mughal buildings. In the early 16th century, the region remained under the Mughal Empire ruled by Muslim emperors. By the early 18th century, increasing European influence contributed to the slow disintegration of the empire as the lines between commercial and political dominance became increasingly blurred.
During this time, the English East India Company had established coastal outposts. Control over the seas, greater resources, technology, and British military protection led the Company to increasingly flex its military muscle, allowing the Company to gain control over the subcontinent by 1765 and sideline European competitors. Expanding access beyond Bengal and the subsequent increased strength and size of its army enabled it to annex or subdue most of region by the 1820s. Many historians see this as the start of the region's colonial period. By this time, with its economic power severely curtailed by the British parliament and itself effectively made an arm of British administration, the Company began more deliberately to enter non-economic arenas such as education, social reform, and culture. Such reforms included the enforcement of the English Education Act in 1835 and the introduction of the Indian Civil Service (ICS). Traditional madrasahs – primary institutions of higher learning for Muslims in the subcontinent – were no longer supported by the English Crown, and nearly all of the madrasahs lost their financial endowment.
The gradual decline of the Mughal Empire in the early 18th century enabled the Sikh Empire to control larger areas until the British East-India Company gained ascendancy over the Indian subcontinent. A rebellion in 1857 called the Sepoy mutiny was the region's major armed struggle against the British Empire and Queen Victoria. Divergence in the relationship between Hinduism and Islam created a major rift in British India that led to racially motivated religious violence in India. The language controversy further escalated the tensions between Hindus and Muslims. The Hindu renaissance witnessed an awakening of intellectualism in traditional Hinduism and saw the emergence of more assertive influence in the social and political spheres in British India. An intellectual movement to counter the Hindu renaissance was led by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, who helped found the All-India Muslim League in 1901 and envisioned, as well as advocated for, the two-nation theory. In contrast to the Indian Congress's anti-British efforts, the Muslim League was a pro-British movement whose political program inherited the British values that would shape Pakistan's future civil society. In events during World War I, British Intelligence foiled an anti-English conspiracy involving the nexus of Congress and the German Empire. The largely non-violent independence struggle led by the Indian Congress engaged millions of protesters in mass campaigns of civil disobedience in the 1920s and 1930s against the British Empire.
The Muslim League slowly rose to mass popularity in the 1930s amid fears of under-representation and neglect of Muslims in politics. In his presidential address of 29 December 1930, Allama Iqbal called for "the amalgamation of North-West Muslim-majority Indian states" consisting of Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sindh, and Balochistan. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, greatly espoused the two-nation theory and led the Muslim League to adopt the Lahore Resolution of 1940, popularly known as the Pakistan Resolution. In World War II, Jinnah and British-educated founding fathers in the Muslim League supported the United Kingdom's war efforts, countering opposition against it whilst working towards Sir Syed's vision.
The 1946 elections resulted in the Muslim League winning 90 percent of the seats reserved for Muslims. Thus, the 1946 election was effectively a plebiscite in which the Indian Muslims were to vote on the creation of Pakistan, a plebiscite won by the Muslim League. This victory was assisted by the support given to the Muslim League by the rural peasantry of Bengal as well as the support of the landowners of Sindh and Punjab. The Congress, which initially denied the Muslim League's claim of being the sole representative of Indian Muslims, was now forced to recognise the fact. The British had no alternative except to take Jinnah's views into account as he had emerged as the sole spokesperson of India's Muslims. However, the British did not want India to be partitioned, and in one last effort to prevent it they devised the Cabinet Mission plan.
As the cabinet mission failed, the British government announced its intention to end the British Raj in India in 1946–47. Nationalists in British India – including Jawaharlal Nehru and Abul Kalam Azad of Congress, Jinnah of the All-India Muslim League, and Master Tara Singh representing the Sikhs – agreed to the proposed terms of transfer of power and independence in June 1947 with the Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten of Burma. As the United Kingdom agreed to the partitioning of India in 1947, the modern state of Pakistan was established on 14 August 1947 (27th of Ramadan in 1366 of the Islamic Calendar), amalgamating the Muslim-majority eastern and northwestern regions of British India. It comprised the provinces of Balochistan, East Bengal, the North-West Frontier Province, West Punjab, and Sindh.
In the riots that accompanied the partition in Punjab Province, it is believed that between 200,000 and 2,000,000 people were killed in what some have described as a retributive genocide between the religions while 50,000 Muslim women were abducted and raped by Hindu and Sikh men and 33,000 Hindu and Sikh women also experienced the same fate at the hands of Muslims. Around 6.5 million Muslims moved from India to West Pakistan and 4.7 million Hindus and Sikhs moved from West Pakistan to India. It was the largest mass migration in human history. Dispute over Jammu and Kashmir led to the First Kashmir War in 1948.
After independence in 1947, Jinnah, the President of the Muslim League, became the nation's first Governor-General as well as the first President-Speaker of the Parliament, but he died of tuberculosis on 11 September 1948. Meanwhile, Pakistan's founding fathers agreed to appoint Liaquat Ali Khan, the secretary-general of the party, the nation's first Prime Minister. With dominion status in the Commonwealth of Nations, independent Pakistan had two British monarchs before it became a republic.
The creation of Pakistan was never fully accepted by many British leaders, among them Lord Mountbatten. Mountbatten clearly expressed his lack of support and faith in the Muslim League's idea of Pakistan. Jinnah refused Mountbatten's offer to serve as Governor-General of Pakistan. When Mountbatten was asked by Collins and Lapierre if he would have sabotaged Pakistan had he known that Jinnah was dying of tuberculosis, he replied 'most probably'.
Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, a respected Deobandi alim (scholar) who occupied the position of Shaykh al-Islam in Pakistan in 1949, and Maulana Mawdudi of Jamaat-i-Islami played a pivotal role in the demand for an Islamic constitution. Mawdudi demanded that the Constituent Assembly make an explicit declaration affirming the "supreme sovereignty of God" and the supremacy of the shariah in Pakistan.
A significant result of the efforts of the Jamaat-i-Islami and the ulama was the passage of the Objectives Resolution in March 1949. The Objectives Resolution, which Liaquat Ali Khan called the second most important step in Pakistan's history, declared that "sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to God Almighty alone and the authority which He has delegated to the State of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust". The Objectives Resolution has been incorporated as a preamble to the constitutions of 1956, 1962, and 1973.
Democracy was stalled by the martial law that had been enforced by President Iskander Mirza, who was replaced by army chief, General Ayub Khan. After adopting a presidential system in 1962, the country experienced exceptional growth until a second war with India in 1965 that led to an economic downturn and wide-scale public disapproval in 1967. Consolidating control from Ayub Khan in 1969, President Yahya Khan had to deal with a devastating cyclone that caused 500,000 deaths in East Pakistan.
In 1970 Pakistan held its first democratic elections since independence, meant to mark a transition from military rule to democracy, but after the East Pakistani Awami League won against the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Yahya Khan and the military establishment refused to hand over power. Operation Searchlight, a military crackdown on the Bengali nationalist movement, led to a declaration of independence and the waging of a war of liberation by the Bengali Mukti Bahini forces in East Pakistan, with support from India. However, in West Pakistan the conflict was described as a civil war as opposed to a war of liberation.
Independent researchers estimate that between 300,000 and 500,000 civilians died during this period while the Bangladesh government puts the number of dead at three million, a figure that is now nearly universally regarded as excessively inflated. Some academics such as Rudolph Rummel and Rounaq Jahan say both sides committed genocide; others such as Richard Sisson and Leo E. Rose believe there was no genocide. In response to India's support for the insurgency in East Pakistan, preemptive strikes on India by Pakistan's air force, navy, and marines sparked a conventional war in 1971 that resulted in an Indian victory and East Pakistan gaining independence as Bangladesh.
With Pakistan surrendering in the war, Yahya Khan was replaced by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as president; the country worked towards promulgating its constitution and putting the country on the road to democracy. Democratic rule resumed from 1972 to 1977 – an era of self-consciousness, intellectual leftism, nationalism, and nationwide reconstruction. In 1972 Pakistan embarked on an ambitious plan to develop its nuclear deterrence capability with the goal of preventing any foreign invasion; the country's first nuclear power plant was inaugurated in that same year. Accelerated in response to India's first nuclear test in 1974, this crash program was completed in 1979. Democracy ended with a military coup in 1977 against the leftist PPP, which saw General Zia-ul-Haq become the president in 1978. From 1977 to 1988, President Zia's corporatisation and economic Islamisation initiatives led to Pakistan becoming one of the fastest-growing economies in South Asia. While building up the country's nuclear program, increasing Islamisation, and the rise of a homegrown conservative philosophy, Pakistan helped subsidise and distribute US resources to factions of the mujahideen against the USSR's intervention in communist Afghanistan. Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province became a base for the anti-Soviet Afghan fighters, with the province's influential Deobandi ulama playing a significant role in encouraging and organising the 'jihad'.
President Zia died in a plane crash in 1988, and Benazir Bhutto, daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was elected as the country's first female Prime Minister. The PPP was followed by conservative Pakistan Muslim League (N), and over the next decade the leaders of the two parties fought for power, alternating in office while the country's situation worsened; economic indicators fell sharply, in contrast to the 1980s. This period is marked by prolonged stagflation, instability, corruption, nationalism, geopolitical rivalry with India, and the clash of left wing-right wing ideologies. As PML(N) secured a supermajority in elections in 1997, Sharif authorised nuclear testings (See:Chagai-I and Chagai-II), as a retaliation to the second nuclear tests ordered by India, led by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in May 1998.
Military tension between the two countries in the Kargil district led to the Kargil War of 1999, and turmoil in civic-military relations allowed General Pervez Musharraf to take over through a bloodless coup d'état. Musharraf governed Pakistan as chief executive from 1999 to 2001 and as President from 2001 to 2008 – a period of enlightenment, social liberalism, extensive economic reforms, and direct involvement in the US-led war on terrorism. When the National Assembly historically completed its first full five-year term on 15 November 2007, the new elections were called by the Election Commission. After the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in 2007, the PPP secured the most votes in the elections of 2008, appointing party member Yousaf Raza Gillani as Prime Minister. Threatened with impeachment, President Musharraf resigned on 18 August 2008, and was succeeded by Asif Ali Zardari. Clashes with the judicature prompted Gillani's disqualification from the Parliament and as the Prime Minister in June 2012. By its own financial calculations, Pakistan's involvement in the war on terrorism has cost up to ~$118 billion, sixty thousand casualties and more than 1.8 million displaced civilians. The general election held in 2013 saw the PML(N) almost achieve a supermajority, following which Nawaz Sharif was elected as the Prime Minister, returning to the post for the third time in fourteen years, in a democratic transition.
The geography and climate of Pakistan are extremely diverse, and the country is home to a wide variety of wildlife. Pakistan covers an area of 881,913 km2 (340,509 sq mi), approximately equal to the combined land areas of France and the United Kingdom. It is the 33rd-largest nation by total area, although this ranking varies depending on how the disputed territory of Kashmir is counted. Pakistan has a 1,046 km (650 mi) coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and land borders of 6,774 km (4,209 mi) in total: 2,430 km (1,510 mi) with Afghanistan, 523 km (325 mi) with China, 2,912 km (1,809 mi) with India and 909 km (565 mi) with Iran. It shares a marine border with Oman, and is separated from Tajikistan by the cold, narrow Wakhan Corridor. Pakistan occupies a geopolitically important location at the crossroads of South Asia, the Middle East, and Central Asia.
Geologically, Pakistan is located in the Indus–Tsangpo Suture Zone and overlaps the Indian tectonic plate in its Sindh and Punjab provinces; Balochistan and most of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are within the Eurasian plate, mainly on the Iranian plateau. Gilgit–Baltistan and Azad Kashmir lie along the edge of the Indian plate and hence are prone to violent earthquakes. This region has the highest rates of seismicity and largest earthquakes in the Himalaya region. Ranging from the coastal areas of the south to the glaciated mountains of the north, Pakistan's landscapes vary from plains to deserts, forests, hills, and plateaus.
Pakistan is divided into three major geographic areas: the northern highlands, the Indus River plain, and the Balochistan Plateau. The northern highlands contain the Karakoram, Hindu Kush, and Pamir mountain ranges (see mountains of Pakistan), which contain some of the world's highest peaks, including five of the fourteen eight-thousanders (mountain peaks over 8,000 metres or 26,250 feet), which attract adventurers and mountaineers from all over the world, notably K2 (8,611 m or 28,251 ft) and Nanga Parbat (8,126 m or 26,660 ft). The Balochistan Plateau lies in the west and the Thar Desert in the east. The 1,609 km (1,000 mi) Indus River and its tributaries flow through the country from the Kashmir region to the Arabian Sea. There is an expanse of alluvial plains along it in the Punjab and Sindh.
The climate varies from tropical to temperate, with arid conditions in the coastal south. There is a monsoon season with frequent flooding due to heavy rainfall, and a dry season with significantly less rainfall or none at all. There are four distinct seasons: a cool, dry winter from December through February; a hot, dry spring from March through May; the summer rainy season, or southwest monsoon period, from June through September; and the retreating monsoon period of October and November. Rainfall varies greatly from year to year, and patterns of alternate flooding and drought are common.
The diversity of the landscape and climate in Pakistan allows a wide variety of trees and plants to flourish. The forests range from coniferous alpine and subalpine trees such as spruce, pine, and deodar cedar in the extreme northern mountains to deciduous trees in most of the country (for example, the mulberry-like shisham found in the Sulaiman Mountains), to palms such as coconut and date in the southern Punjab, southern Balochistan, and all of Sindh. The western hills are home to juniper, tamarisk, coarse grasses, and scrub plants. Mangrove forests form much of the coastal wetlands along the coast in the south.
Coniferous forests are found at altitudes ranging from 1,000 to 4,000 metres (3,300 to 13,100 feet) in most of the northern and northwestern highlands. In the xeric regions of Balochistan, date palm and Ephedra are common. In most of the Punjab and Sindh, the Indus plains support tropical and subtropical dry and moist broadleaf forest as well as tropical and xeric shrublands. These forests are mostly of mulberry, acacia, and eucalyptus. About 2.2% or 1,687,000 hectares (16,870 km2) of Pakistan was forested in 2010.
|Bear, Tibetan wolf, and snow leopard, respectively|
The fauna of Pakistan also reflects the country's varied climate. Around 668 bird species are found there, including crows, sparrows, mynas, hawks, falcons, and eagles. Palas, Kohistan, has a significant population of western tragopan. Many birds sighted in Pakistan are migratory, coming from Europe, Central Asia, and India.
The southern plains are home to mongooses, civets, hares, the Asiatic jackal, the Indian pangolin, the jungle cat, and the desert cat. There are mugger crocodiles in the Indus, and wild boar, deer, porcupines, and small rodents in the surrounding areas. The sandy scrublands of central Pakistan are home to Asiatic jackals, striped hyenas, wildcats, and leopards. The lack of vegetative cover, the severe climate, and the impact of grazing on the deserts have left wild animals in a precarious position. The chinkara is the only animal that can still be found in significant numbers in Cholistan. A small number of nilgai are found along the Pakistan–India border and in some parts of Cholistan. A wide variety of animals live in the mountainous north, including the Marco Polo sheep, the urial (a subspecies of wild sheep), the markhor goat, the ibex goat, the Asian black bear, and the Himalayan brown bear. Among the rare animals found in the area are the snow leopard and the blind Indus river dolphin, of which there are believed to be about 1,100 remaining, protected at the Indus River Dolphin Reserve in Sindh. In total, 174 mammals, 177 reptiles, 22 amphibians, 198 freshwater fish species and 5,000 species of invertebrates (including insects) have been recorded in Pakistan.
The flora and fauna of Pakistan suffer from a number of problems. Pakistan has the second-highest rate of deforestation in the world, which, along with hunting and pollution, has had adverse effects on the ecosystem. The government has established a large number of protected areas, wildlife sanctuaries, and game reserves to address these issues.
At present, there are around 157 protected areas in Pakistan that are recognised by the IUCN. According to the 'Modern Protected Areas' legislation, a national park is a protected area set aside by the government for the protection and conservation of its outstanding scenery and wildlife in a natural state. The oldest national park is Lal Suhanra in Bahawalpur District, established in 1972. It is one of the only two biosphere reserves of Pakistan; the other is the Ziarat Juniper Forest, which is the largest contiguous natural juniper forest in Pakistan. It is also the second oldest, after the one in California. Central Karakoram in Gilgit Baltistan is currently the largest national park in the country, encompassing a total approximate area of 1,390,100 hectares (3,435,011.9 acres). The smallest national park is the Ayub, covering a total approximate area of 931 hectares (2,300.6 acres).
Pakistan's political experience is essentially related to the struggle of Indian Muslims to regain the power they lost to British colonisation. Pakistan is a democratic parliamentary federal republic, with Islam as the state religion. The first constitution was adopted in 1956 but suspended by Ayub Khan in 1958, who replaced it with the second constitution in 1962. A complete and comprehensive constitution was adopted in 1973 – it was suspended by Zia-ul-Haq in 1977 but reinstated in 1985 – is the country's most important document, laying the foundations of the current government. The Pakistani military establishment has played an influential role in mainstream politics throughout Pakistan's political history. The periods 1958–1971, 1977–1988, and 1999–2008 saw military coups that resulted in the imposition of martial law and military commanders who governed as de facto presidents. Today Pakistan has a multi-party parliamentary system with clear division of powers and checks and balances among the branches of government. The first successful democratic transition occurred in May 2013. Politics in Pakistan is centred on, and dominated by, a homegrown social philosophy comprising a blend of ideas from socialism, conservatism, and the third way. As of the general elections held in 2013, the three main political parties in the country are: the centre-right conservative Pakistan Muslim League-N; the centre-left socialist PPP; and the centrist and third-way Pakistan Movement for Justice (PTI).
As the Muslim world's second most populous nation-state (after Indonesia) and its only nuclear power state, Pakistan has an important role in the international community. With a semi-agricultural and semi-industrialized economy, its foreign policy determines its standard of interactions for its organisations, corporations, and individual citizens. Its geostrategic intentions were explained by Jinnah in a broadcast message in 1947, which is featured in a prominent quotation on the homepage of Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs website: "The foundation of our foreign policy is friendship with all nations across the globe."
After Independence, Pakistan vigorously pursued bilateral relations with other Muslim countries and made an active bid for leadership of the Muslim world, or at least for leadership in efforts to achieve unity. The Ali brothers had sought to project Pakistan as the natural leader of the Islamic world, in part due to its large manpower and military strength. A top-ranking Muslim League leader, Khaliquzzaman, declared that Pakistan would bring together all Muslim countries into Islamistan – a pan-Islamic entity.
Such developments (along with Pakistan's creation) did not get American approval, and British Prime Minister Clement Attlee voiced international opinion at the time by stating that he wished that India and Pakistan would re-unite. Since most of the Arab world was undergoing a nationalist awakening at the time, there was little attraction to Pakistan's Pan-Islamic aspirations. Some of the Arab countries saw the 'Islamistan' project as a Pakistani attempt to dominate other Muslim states.
Pakistan vigorously championed the right of self-determination for Muslims around the world. Pakistan's efforts for the independence movements of Indonesia, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, and Eritrea were significant and initially led to close ties between these countries and Pakistan. However, Pakistan also masterminded an attack on the Afghan city of Jalalabad during the Afghan Civil War to establish an Islamic government there. Pakistan had wished to foment an 'Islamic Revolution' that would transcend national borders, covering Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia.
On the other hand, Pakistan's relations with Iran have been strained at times due to sectarian tensions. Iran and Saudi Arabia used Pakistan as a battleground for their proxy sectarian war, and by the 1990s Pakistan's support for the Sunni Taliban organisation in Afghanistan became a problem for Shia Iran, which opposed a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Tensions between Iran and Pakistan intensified in 1998 when Iran accused Pakistan of war crimes after Pakistani warplanes had bombarded Afghanistan's last Shia stronghold in support of the Taliban.
Since Independence, Pakistan has attempted to balance its relations with foreign nations. Pakistan is an influential and founding member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and is a major non-NATO ally of the United States in the war against terrorism – a status achieved in 2004. Pakistan's foreign policy and geostrategy mainly focus on the economy and security against threats to its national identity and territorial integrity, and on the cultivation of close relations with other Muslim countries. Maintaining cultural, political, social, and economic relations with the Arab world and other countries in the Muslim world is a vital factor in Pakistan's foreign policy.
The Kashmir conflict remains the major point of contention between Pakistan and India; three of their four wars were fought over this territory. Due partly to difficulties in relations with its geopolitical rival India, Pakistan maintains close political relations with Turkey and Iran, and both countries have been a focal point in Pakistan's foreign policy. Saudi Arabia also maintains a respected position in Pakistan's foreign policy.
A non-signatory party of the Treaty on Nuclear Non-Proliferation, Pakistan is an influential member of the IAEA. In recent events, Pakistan has blocked an international treaty to limit fissile material, arguing that the "treaty would target Pakistan specifically". In the 20th century, Pakistan's nuclear deterrence program focused on countering India's nuclear ambitions in the region, and nuclear tests by India eventually led Pakistan to reciprocate to maintain a geopolitical balance as becoming a nuclear power. Currently, Pakistan maintains a policy of credible minimum deterrence, calling its program vital nuclear deterrence against foreign aggression.
Located in the strategic and geopolitical corridor of the world's major maritime oil supply lines and communication fibre optics, Pakistan has proximity to the natural resources of Central Asian countries. Briefing on the country's foreign policy in 2004, a Pakistani senator[clarification needed] reportedly explained: "Pakistan highlights sovereign equality of states, bilateralism, mutuality of interests, and non-interference in each other's domestic affairs as the cardinal features of its foreign policy." Pakistan is an active member of the United Nations and has a Permanent Representative to represent Pakistan's positions in international politics. Pakistan has lobbied for the concept of "enlightened moderation" in the Muslim world. Pakistan is also a member of Commonwealth of Nations, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO), and the G20 developing nations.
Pakistan does not have diplomatic relations with Israel; nonetheless, some Israeli citizens have visited the country on tourist visas. However, an exchange took place between the two countries using Turkey as a communication conduit. Despite Pakistan being the only country in the world that has not established diplomatic relations with Armenia, an Armenian community still resides in Pakistan. Pakistan had warm relations with Bangladesh despite initial strains in their relationship, but the relationship has soured recently.
Because of ideological differences, Pakistan opposed the Soviet Union in the 1950s, and during the Soviet-Afghan War in the 1980s, Pakistan was one of the closest allies of the United States. Relations between Pakistan and Russia have greatly improved since 1999, and co-operation in various sectors has increased. Pakistan has had an "on-and-off" relationship with the United States. A close ally of the United States during the Cold war, Pakistan's relationship with the United States soured in the 1990s when the US imposed sanctions because of Pakistan's secretive nuclear development. Since 9/11, Pakistan has been a close ally of the United States on the issue of counter-terrorism in the regions of the Middle East and South Asia, with the US supporting Pakistan with aid money and weapons. Initially, the United States-led war on terrorism led to an improvement in the relationship, but it was strained by a divergence of interests and resulting mistrust during the war in Afghanistan and by issues related to terrorism.
Pakistan was the first country to have established diplomatic relations with China, and the relationship continues to be warm since China's war with India in 1962. In the 1960s to 1980s, Pakistan greatly helped China in reaching out to the world's major countries and helped facilitate US President Nixon's state visit to China. Despite the change of governments in Pakistan and fluctuations in the regional and global situation, China policy in Pakistan continues to be a dominant factor at all times. In return, China is Pakistan's largest trading partner, and economic co-operation has flourished, with substantial Chinese investment in Pakistan's infrastructural expansion such as the Pakistani deep-water port at Gwadar. Sino-Pakistani friendly relations touched new heights as both the countries signed 51 agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) in 2015 for co-operation in different areas. Both countries signed a Free Trade Agreement in the 2000s, and Pakistan continues to serve as China's communication bridge to the Muslim world. In 2016 China announced that it will set up an anti-terrorism alliance with Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan.
|Islamabad Capital Territory||Islamabad||1,151,868|
A federal parliamentary republic state, Pakistan is a federation that comprises four provinces: Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, and Balochistan and four territories: the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Islamabad Capital Territory Gilgit–Baltistan, and Azad Kashmir. The Government of Pakistan exercises the de facto jurisdiction over the Frontier Regions and the western parts of the Kashmir Regions, which are organised into the separate political entities Azad Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan (formerly Northern Areas). In 2009, the constitutional assignment (the Gilgit–Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order) awarded the Gilgit–Baltistan a semi-provincial status, giving it self-government. The population of Gilgit-Baltistan wants to be merged into Pakistan as a separate fifth province and opposes integration with Kashmir while the people of Azad Kashmir have also always wanted to be a part of Pakistan, despite Pakistan's having imposed its will on their region. The populations of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan also wanted to join Pakistan during Independence.
Since 1948 there has been an ongoing, and at times fluctuating, violent conflict in the south-western province of Balochistan between various Baloch separatist groups, who seek greater political autonomy, and the central government of Pakistan. Most Balochs want autonomy but do not want independence from Pakistan.
The local government system consists of a three-tier system of districts, tehsils, and union councils, with an elected body at each tier. There are about 130 districts altogether, of which Azad Kashmir has ten and Gilgit–Baltistan seven. The Tribal Areas comprise seven tribal agencies and six small frontier regions detached from neighbouring districts.
Law enforcement is carried out by a joint network of the intelligence community with jurisdiction limited to the relevant province or territory. The National Intelligence Directorate coordinates the information intelligence at both federal and provincial level; including the FIA, IB, Motorway Police, and paramilitary forces such as the Pakistan Rangers and the Frontier Corps.
Pakistan's "premier" intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), was formed just within a year after the Independence of Pakistan in 1947. Pakistan's ISI was ranked as the top intelligence agency in the world in 2011 by the International Business Times UK. ABC News Point in 2014 also reported that the ISI was ranked as the top intelligence agency in the world while Zee News reported the ISI as ranking fifth among the world's most powerful intelligence agencies.
The court system is organised as a hierarchy, with the Supreme Court at the apex, below which are High Courts, Federal Shariat Courts (one in each province and one in the federal capital), District Courts (one in each district), Judicial Magistrate Courts (in every town and city), Executive Magistrate Courts, and civil courts. The Penal code has limited jurisdiction in the Tribal Areas, where law is largely derived from tribal customs.
The Kashmir – the most northwesterly region of South Asia – is a major territorial dispute that has hindered relations between India and Pakistan. The two nations have fought at least three large-scale conventional wars in successive years in 1947, 1965, and 1971. The conflict in 1971 witnessed Pakistan's unconditional surrender and a treaty that subsequently led to the independence of Bangladesh. Other serious military engagements and skirmishes have included the armed contacts in Siachen Glacier (1984) and Kargil (1999). Approximately 45.1% of the Kashmir region is controlled by India, which also claims the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir, including most of Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, Ladakh, and the Siachen. The claim is contested by Pakistan, which controls approximately 38.2% of the Kashmir region, an area known as the Azad Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan.
India claims the Kashmir on the basis of the Instrument of Accession – a legal agreement with Kashmir's leaders executed by Maharaja Hari Singh, who agreed to accede the area to India. Pakistan claims Kashmir on the basis of a Muslim majority and of geography, the same principles that were applied for the creation of the two independent states. India referred the dispute to the United Nations on 1 January 1948. In a resolution passed in 1948, the UN's General Assembly asked Pakistan to remove most of its troops as a plebiscite would then be held. However, Pakistan failed to vacate the region and a ceasefire was reached in 1949 establishing a Line of Control (LoC) that divided Kashmir between the two nations. India, fearful that the Muslim majority populace of Kashmir would secede from India, did not allow a plebiscite to take place in the region. This was confirmed in a statement by India's Defense Minister, Krishna Menon, who said: "Kashmir would vote to join Pakistan and no Indian Government responsible for agreeing to plebiscite would survive."
Pakistan claims that its position is for the right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to determine their future through impartial elections as mandated by the United Nations, while India has stated that Kashmir is an integral part of India, referring to the Simla Agreement (1972) and to the fact that elections take place regularly. In recent developments, certain Kashmiri independence groups believe that Kashmir should be independent of both India and Pakistan.
The law enforcement in Pakistan is carried out by joint network of several federal and provincial police agencies. The four provinces and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) each have a civilian police force with jurisdiction extending only to the relevant province or territory. At the federal level, there are a number of civilian intelligence agencies with nationwide jurisdictions including the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Intelligence Bureau (IB), and the Motorway Patrol, as well as several paramilitary forces such as the National Guards (Northern Areas), the Rangers (Punjab and Sindh), and the Frontier Corps (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan).
The most senior officers of all the civilian police forces also form part of the Police Service, which is a component of the civil service of Pakistan. Namely, there are four provincial police service including the Punjab Police, Sindh Police, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Police, and the Balochistan Police; all headed by the appointed senior Inspector-Generals. The ICT has its own police component, the Capital Police, to maintain law and order in the capital. The CID bureaus are the crime investigation unit and forms a vital part in each provincial police service.
The law enforcement in Pakistan also has a Motorway Patrol which is responsible for enforcement of traffic and safety laws, security and recovery on Pakistan's inter-provincial motorway network. In each of provincial Police Service, it also maintains a respective Elite Police units led by the NACTA – a counter-terrorism police unit as well as providing VIP escorts. In the Punjab and Sindh, the Pakistan Rangers are an internal security force with the prime objective to provide and maintain security in war zones and areas of conflict as well as maintaining law and order which includes providing assistance to the police. The Frontier Corps serves the similar purpose in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and the Balochistan.
Pakistan was created in the name of Islam. The idea of Pakistan had received overwhelming popular support among Indian Muslims, especially those in the provinces of British India where Muslims were in a minority such as U.P. The Muslim League leadership, ulama (Islamic clergy) and Jinnah had articulated their vision of Pakistan in terms of an Islamic state. Jinnah had developed a close association with the ulama. When Jinnah died, Islamic scholar Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani described Jinnah as the greatest Muslim after the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and also compared Jinnah's death to the Prophet's passing. Usmani asked Pakistanis to remember Jinnah's message of Unity, Faith and Discipline and work to fulfil his dream:
to create a solid bloc of all Muslim states from Karachi to Ankara, from Pakistan to Morocco. He [Jinnah] wanted to see the Muslims of the world united under the banner of Islam as an effective check against the aggressive designs of their enemies.
The first formal step taken to transform Pakistan into an ideological Islamic state was in March 1949 when the country's first Prime Minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, introduced the Objectives Resolution in the Constituent Assembly. The Objectives Resolution declared that sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to God Almighty. The president of the Muslim League, Chaudhry Khaliquzzaman, announced that Pakistan would bring together all Muslim countries into Islamistan-a pan-Islamic entity. Khaliq believed that Pakistan was only a Muslim state and was not yet an Islamic state, but that it could certainly become an Islamic state after bringing all believers of Islam into a single political unit. Keith Callard, one of the earliest scholars on Pakistani politics, observed that Pakistanis believed in the essential unity of purpose and outlook in the Muslim world:
Pakistan was founded to advance the cause of Muslims. Other Muslims might have been expected to be sympathetic, even enthusiastic. But this assumed that other Muslim states would take the same view of the relation between religion and nationality.
However, Pakistan's pan-Islamist sentiments were not shared by other Muslim governments at the time. Nationalism in other parts of the Muslim world was based on ethnicity, language and culture. Although Muslim governments were unsympathetic with Pakistan's pan-Islamic aspirations, Islamists from all over the world were drawn to Pakistan. Figures such as the Grand Mufti of Palestine, Al-Haj Amin al-Husseini, and leaders of Islamist political movements, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, became frequent visitors to the country. Pakistan's desire for an international organization of Muslim countries was fulfilled in the 1970s when the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) was formed.
The strongest opposition to the Islamist ideological paradigm being imposed on the state came from the Bengali Muslims of East Pakistan. A survey in 1969 found that most educated East Pakistanis preferred a secular identity and placed more emphasis on ethnicity than religion. Most educated West Pakistanis were the reverse of this and preferred an Islamic identity and placed more emphasis on Islam than ethnicity. The Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami considered Pakistan to be an Islamic state and believed Bengali nationalism to be unacceptable. In the 1971 conflict over East Pakistan the Jamaat-e-Islami fought the Bengali nationalists on the Pakistan Army's side.
After Pakistan's first ever general elections the 1973 Constitution was created by an elected Parliament. The Constitution declared Pakistan an Islamic Republic and Islam as the state religion. It also stated that all laws would have to be brought into accordance with the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Quran and Sunnah and that no law repugnant to such injunctions could be enacted. The 1973 Constitution also created certain institutions such as the Shariat Court and the Council of Islamic Ideology to channel the interpretation and application of Islam.
In the 1970s, leftist Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto faced vigorous opposition which coalesced into a movement united under the revivalist banner of Nizam-e-Mustafa ("Rule of the prophet"). According to supporters of the movement, establishing an Islamic state based on sharia law would mean a return to the justice and success of the early days of Islam when the Islamic prophet Muhammad ruled the Muslims. In an effort to stem the tide of street Islamisation Bhutto agreed to several demands and banned the drinking and selling of wine by Muslims, nightclubs and horse racing.
On 5 July 1977, General Zia-ul-Haq led a coup d'etat against Bhutto. Zia-ul-Haq committed himself to establishing an Islamic state and enforcing sharia law. Zia established separate Shariat judicial courts and court benches to judge legal cases using Islamic doctrine. New criminal offences (of adultery, fornication, and types of blasphemy), and new punishments (of whipping, amputation, and stoning to death), were added to Pakistani law. Interest payments for bank accounts were replaced by "profit and loss" payments. Zakat charitable donations became a 2.5% annual tax. School textbooks and libraries were overhauled to remove un-Islamic material. Offices, schools, and factories were required to offer praying space. Zia bolstered the influence of the ulama (Islamic clergy) and the Islamic parties, whilst conservative scholars became fixtures on television. 10,000s of activists from the Jamaat-e-Islami party were appointed to government posts to ensure the continuation of his agenda after his passing. Conservative ulama (Islamic scholars) were added to the Council of Islamic Ideology. Separate electorates for Hindus and Christians were established in 1985 even though Christian and Hindu leaders complained that they felt excluded from the county's political process.
Zia's state sponsored Islamization increased sectarian divisions in Pakistan between Sunnis and Shias (due to Zia's anti-Shia policies) and also between Deobandis and Barelvis. A solid majority of Barelvis had supported the creation of Pakistan, and Barelvi ulama had also issued fatwas in support of the Pakistan Movement during the 1946 elections, but ironically Islamic state politics in Pakistan was mostly in favour of Deobandi (and later Ahl-e-Hadith/Salafi) institutions. This was despite the fact that only a few (although influential) Deobandi clerics had supported the Pakistan Movement. Zia-ul-Haq forged a strong alliance between the military and Deobandi institutions.
Possible motivations for the Islamization programme included Zia's personal piety (most accounts agree that he came from a religious family), desire to gain political allies, to "fulfill Pakistan's raison d'être" as a Muslim state, and/or the political need to legitimise what was seen by some Pakistanis as his "repressive, un-representative martial law regime".
According to Shajeel Zaidi a million people attended Zia ul Haq's funeral because he had given them what they wanted: more religion. A PEW opinion poll found that 84% of Pakistanis favoured making Sharia the official law of the land. According to the 2013 Pew Research Center report, the majority of Pakistani Muslims also support the death penalty for those who leave Islam (62%). In contrast, support for the death penalty for those who leave Islam was only 36% in fellow South Asian Muslim country Bangladesh (which shared heritage with Pakistan). A 2010 opinion poll by PEW Research Centre also found that 87% of Pakistanis considered themselves 'Muslims first' rather than a member of their nationality. This was the highest figure amongst all Muslim populations surveyed. In contrast only 67% in Jordan, 59% in Egypt, 51% in Turkey, 36% in Indonesia and 71% in Nigeria considered themselves as 'Muslim first' rather than a member of their own nationality.
The armed forces of Pakistan are the eighth largest in the world in terms of numbers in full-time service, with about 617,000 personnel on active duty and 513,000 reservists, as of tentative estimates in 2010. They came into existence after independence in 1947, and the military establishment has frequently influenced in the national politics ever since. Chain of command of the military is kept under the control of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee; all of the branches joint works, co-ordination, military logistics, and joint missions are under the Joint Staff HQ. The Joint Staff HQ is composed of the Air HQ, Navy HQ, and Army GHQ in the vicinity of the Rawalpindi Military District.
The Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee is the highest principle staff officer in the armed forces, and the chief military adviser to the civilian government though the chairman has no authority over the three branches of armed forces. The Chairman joint chiefs controls the military from the JS HQ and maintains strategic communications between the military and the civilian government. As of 2017, the CJCSC is General Zubair Hayat alongside chief of army staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, chief of naval staff Admiral Muhammad Zaka, and chief of air staff Air Chief Marshal Suhail Aman. The main branches are the Army–Air Force–Navy–Marines, which are supported by the number of paramilitary forces in the country. Control over the strategic arsenals, deployment, employment, development, military computers and command and control is a responsibility vested under the National Command Authority which oversaw the work on the nuclear policy as part of the credible minimum deterrence.
The United States, Turkey, and China maintain close military relations and regularly export military equipment and technology transfer to Pakistan. Joint logistics and major war games are occasionally carried out by the militaries of China and Turkey. Philosophical basis for the military draft is introduced by the Constitution in times of emergency, but it has never been imposed. Since 1947 Pakistan has been involved in four conventional wars, the first war occurred in Kashmir with Pakistan gaining control of Western Kashmir, (Azad Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan), and India capturing Eastern Kashmir (Jammu and Kashmir). Territorial problems eventually led to another conventional war in 1965; over the issue of Bengali refugees that led to another war in 1971 which resulted in Pakistan's unconditional surrender of East Pakistan. Tensions in Kargil brought the two countries at the brink of war. Since 1947 the unresolved territorial problems with Afghanistan saw border skirmishes which was kept mostly at the mountainous border. In 1961, the military and intelligence community repelled the Afghan incursion in the Bajaur Agency near the Durand Line border. Rising tensions with neighbouring USSR in their involvement in Afghanistan, Pakistani intelligence community, mostly the ISI, systematically coordinated the US resources to the Afghan mujahideen and foreign fighters against the Soviet Union's presence in the region. Military reports indicated that the PAF was in engagement with the Soviet Air Force, supported by the Afghan Air Force during the course of the conflict; one of which belonged to Alexander Rutskoy. Apart from its own conflicts, Pakistan has been an active participant in United Nations peacekeeping missions. It played a major role in rescuing trapped American soldiers from Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993 in Operation Gothic Serpent. According to UN reports, the Pakistani military are the third largest troop contributors to UN peacekeeping missions after Ethiopia and India.
Pakistan sent UN Peacekeeping forces to the former Yugoslavia during the Yugoslav wars. During the war, Pakistan supported Bosnia while providing technical and military support. The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) allegedly ran an active military intelligence program during the Bosnian War which started in 1992 lasting until 1995 under General Javed Nasir. The ISI Bosnian contingent was organised with financial assistance provided by Saudi Arabia, according to the British historian Mark Curtis. Despite the UN arms embargo on Bosnia, Nasir later confessed that the ISI airlifted anti-tank weapons and missiles to Bosnian mujahideen which turned the tide in favour of Bosnian Muslims and forced the Serbs to lift the siege. Under Nasir's leadership the ISI was also involved in supporting Chinese Muslims in Xinjiang Province, rebel Muslim groups in the Philippines, and some religious groups in Central Asia.
Pakistan has deployed its military in some Arab countries, providing defence, training, and playing advisory roles. The PAF and Navy's fighter pilots have voluntarily served in Arab nations' militaries against Israel in the Six-Day War (1967) and in the Yom Kippur War (1973). Pakistan's fighter pilots shot down ten Israeli planes in the Six-Day War. In the 1973 war one of the PAF pilots, Flt. Lt. Sattar Alvi (flying a MiG-21), shot down an Israeli Air Force Mirage and was honoured by the Syrian government. Requested by the Saudi monarchy in 1979, Pakistan's special forces units, operatives, and commandos were rushed to assist Saudi forces in Mecca to lead the operation of the Grand Mosque. For almost two weeks Saudi Special Forces and Pakistani commandos fought the insurgents who had occupied the Grand Mosque's compound. In 1991 Pakistan got involved with the Gulf War and sent 5,000 troops as part of a US-led coalition, specifically for the defence of Saudi Arabia.
Since 2004 the military has been engaged in a war in North-West Pakistan, mainly against the homegrown Taliban factions. Major operations undertaken by the army include Operation Black Thunderstorm, Operation Rah-e-Nijat and Operation Zarb-e-Azb.
|Pakistan's key economic statistics|
|Pakistan's GDP composition by sector|||
|Labour force||61.04 million|
|People employed||57.42 million|
|Copper||12.3 million tonnes|
|Gold||20.9 million ounces|
|Coal||175 billion tonnes|
|Shale Gas||105 trillion cubic feet|
|Shale Oil||9 billion barrels|
|Gas production||4.2 billion cubic feet/day|
|Oil production||70,000 barrels/day|
|Iron ore||500 million|
Economists estimate that Pakistan was part of the wealthiest region of the world throughout the first millennium CE, with the largest economy by GDP. This advantage was lost in the 18th century as other regions such as China and Western Europe edged forward. Pakistan is considered a developing country and is one of the Next Eleven, a group of eleven countries that, along with the BRICs, have a high potential to become the world's largest economies in the 21st century.
In recent years, after decades of social instability, as of 2013[update], serious deficiencies in macromanagement and unbalanced macroeconomics in basic services such as rail transportation and electrical energy generation have developed. The economy is considered to be semi-industrialized, with centres of growth along the Indus River. The diversified economies of Karachi and Punjab's urban centres coexist with less-developed areas in other parts of the country, particularly in Balochistan. According to the Economic complexity index, Pakistan is the 67th-largest export economy in the world and the 106th most complex economy. During the fiscal year 2015–16, Pakistan's exports stood at US$20.81 billion and imports at US$44.76 billion, resulting in a negative trade balance of US$23.96 billion.
As of 2016 Pakistan's estimated nominal GDP is US$271 billion. The GDP by PPP is US$946,667 million. The estimated nominal per capita GDP is US$1,561, the GDP (PPP)/capita is US$5,010 (international dollars), and the debt-to-GDP ratio is 66.50%. According to the World Bank, Pakistan has important strategic endowments and development potential. The increasing proportion of Pakistan's youth provides the country with both a potential demographic dividend and a challenge to provide adequate services and employment. 21.04% of the population live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day. The unemployment rate among the aged 15 and over population is 5.5%. Pakistan has an estimated 40 million middle class citizens, projected to increase to 100 million by 2050. A 2015 report published by the World Bank ranked Pakistan's economy at 24th-largest in the world by purchasing power and 41st-largest in absolute terms. It is South Asia's second-largest economy, representing about 15.0% of regional GDP.
|Fiscal Year||GDP growth||Inflation rate|
Pakistan's economic growth since its inception has been varied. It has been slow during periods of democratic transition, but robust during the three periods of martial law, although the foundation for sustainable and equitable growth was not formed. The early to middle 2000s was a period of rapid economic reforms; the government raised development spending, which reduced poverty levels by 10% and increased GDP by 3%. The economy cooled again from 2007. Inflation reached 25.0% in 2008, and Pakistan had to depend on a fiscal policy backed by the International Monetary Fund to avoid possible bankruptcy. A year later, the Asian Development Bank reported that Pakistan's economic crisis was easing. The inflation rate for the fiscal year 2010–11 was 14.1%. Since 2013, as part of an International Monetary Fund program, Pakistan's economic growth has picked up. In 2014 Goldman Sachs predicted that Pakistan's economy would grow 15 times in the next 35 years to become the 18th-largest economy in the world by 2050. In his 2016 book, The Rise and Fall of Nations, Ruchir Sharma termed Pakistan's economy as at a 'take-off' stage and the future outlook until 2020 has been termed 'Very Good'. Sharma termed it possible to transform Pakistan from a "low-income to a middle-income country during the next five years".
Pakistan is one of the largest producers of natural commodities, and its labour market is the 10th-largest in the world. The 7-million–strong Pakistani diaspora contributed US$19.9 billion to the economy in 2015–16. The major source countries of remittances to Pakistan are: the UAE; the United States; Saudi Arabia; the Gulf states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman); Australia; Canada; Japan; the United Kingdom; Norway; and Switzerland. According to the World Trade Organization, Pakistan's share of overall world exports is declining; it contributed only 0.128% in 2007.
The structure of the Pakistani economy has changed from a mainly agricultural to a strong service base. Agriculture as of 2015[update] accounts for only 20.9% of the GDP. Even so, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Pakistan produced 21,591,400 metric tons of wheat in 2005, more than all of Africa (20,304,585 metric tons) and nearly as much as all of South America (24,557,784 metric tons). Majority of the population, directly or indirectly, is dependent on this sector. It accounts for 43.5% of employed labour force and is the largest source of foreign exchange earnings.
A large portion of the country's manufactured exports are dependent on raw materials such as cotton and hides that are part of the agriculture sector, while supply shortages and market disruptions in farm products do push up inflationary pressures. The country is also the fifth-largest producer of cotton, with cotton production of 14 million bales from a modest beginning of 1.7 million bales in the early 1950s; is self sufficient in sugarcane; and is the fourth-largest producer in the world of milk. Land and water resources have not risen proportionately, but the increases have taken place mainly due to gains in labour and agriculture productivity. The major breakthrough in crop production took place in the late 1960s and 1970s due to the Green Revolution that made a significant contribution to land and yield increases of wheat and rice. Private tube wells led to a 50 percent increase in the cropping intensity which was augmented by tractor cultivation. While the tube wells raised crop yields by 50 percent, the High Yielding Varieties (HYVs) of wheat and rice led to a 50–60 percent higher yield. Meat industry accounts for 1.4 percent of overall GDP.
Industry is the third-largest sector of the economy, accounting for 20.3% of gross domestic product (GDP), and 13 percent of total employment. Large-scale manufacturing (LSM), at 12.2% of GDP, dominates the overall sector, accounting for 66% of the sectoral share, followed by small-scale manufacturing, which accounts for 4.9% of total GDP. Pakistan's cement industry is also fast growing mainly because of demand from Afghanistan and from the domestic real estate sector. In 2013 Pakistan exported 7,708,557 metric tons of cement. Pakistan has an installed capacity of 44,768,250 metric tons of cement and 42,636,428 metric tons of clinker. In 2012 and 2013, the cement industry in Pakistan became the most profitable sector of the economy.
The textile industry has a pivotal position in the manufacturing sector of Pakistan. In Asia, Pakistan is the eighth-largest exporter of textile products, contributing 9.5% to the GDP and providing employment to around 15 million people (some 30% of the 49 million people in the workforce). Pakistan is the fourth-largest producer of cotton with the third-largest spinning capacity in Asia after China and India, contributing 5% to the global spinning capacity. China is the second largest buyer of Pakistani textiles, importing US$1.527 billion of textiles last fiscal. Unlike the US, where mostly value-added textiles are imported, China buys only cotton yarn and cotton fabric from Pakistan. In 2012, Pakistani textile products accounted for 3.3% or US$1.07bn of all UK textile imports, 12.4% or $4.61bn of total Chinese textile imports, 2.98% or $2.98b of all US textile imports, 1.6% or $0.88bn of total German textile imports and 0.7% or $0.888bn of total Indian textile imports.
Services sector has 58.8% share in GDP and has emerged as the main driver of economic growth. Pakistani society like other developing countries is a consumption oriented society, having a high marginal propensity to consume. The growth rate of services sector is higher than the growth rate of agriculture and industrial sector. Services sector accounts for 54 percent of GDP in 2014 and little over one-third of total employment. Services sector has strong linkages with other sectors of economy; it provides essential inputs to agriculture sector and manufacturing sector. Pakistan's I.T sector is regarded as among the fastest growing sector's in Pakistan. The World Economic Forum, assessing the development of Information and Communication Technology in the country ranked Pakistan 110th among 139 countries on the 'Networked Readiness Index 2016'.
As of 2016[update], Pakistan has over 35 million internet users and is ranked as one of the top countries that have registered a high growth rate in internet penetration. Overall, it has the 20th-largest population of internet users in the world. The current growth rate and employment trend indicate that Pakistan's Information Communication Technology (ICT) industry will exceed the $10-billion mark by 2020. The sector employees 12,000 and count's among top five freelancing nations. The country has also improved its export performance in telecom, computer and information services, as the share of their exports surged from 8.2pc in 2005–06 to 12.6pc in 2012–13. This growth is much better than that of China, whose share in services exports was 3pc and 7.7pc for the same period respectively.
|Pakistan State Oil||Karachi||11,570||Petroleum and Gas|
|Pak-Arab Refinery||Qasba Gujrat||3,000||Oil and refineries|
|Sui Northern Gas Pipelines||Lahore||2,520||Natural gas|
|Oil and Gas Development Co.||Islamabad||2,230||Petroleum and Gas|
|National Refinery||Karachi||1,970||Oil refinery|
|Hub Power Co.||Hub, Balochistan||1,970||Energy|
|Attock Refinery||Rawalpindi||1,740||Oil refinery|
|Lahore Electric Supply Co.||Lahore||1,490||Energy|
|Pakistan Refinery||Karachi||1,440||Petroleum and Gas|
|Sui Southern Gas Pipelines||Karachi||1,380||Natural gas|
|Pakistan International Airlines||Karachi||1,360||Aviation|
|Engro Corporation||Karachi||1,290||Food and Wholesale|
By the end of 2016, nuclear power was provided by four licensed commercial nuclear power plants. The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) is solely responsible for operating these power plants, while the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority regulates safe usage of the nuclear energy. The electricity generated by commercial nuclear power plants constitutes roughly 5.8% of Pakistan's electrical energy, compared to 64.2% from fossil fuels (crude oil and natural gas), 29.9% from hydroelectric power, and 0.1% from coal. Pakistan is one of the four nuclear armed states (along with India, Israel, and North Korea) that is not a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but it is a member in good standing of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The KANUPP-I, a Candu-type nuclear reactor, was supplied by Canada in 1971 – the country's first commercial nuclear power plant. The Sino-Pakistani nuclear cooperation began in the early 1980's. After a Sino-Pakistani nuclear cooperation agreement in 1986, China provided Pakistan with a nuclear reactor dubbed CHASNUPP-I for energy and industrial growth of the country. In 2005 both countries proposed working on a joint energy security plan, calling for a huge increase in generation capacity to more than 160,000 MWe by 2030. Under its Nuclear Energy Vision 2050, the Pakistani government plans to increase nuclear power generation capacity to 40,000 MWe, 8,900 MWe of it by 2030.
In June 2008 the nuclear commercial complex was expanded with the ground work of installing and operationalising the Chashma-III and Chashma–IV reactors at Chashma, Punjab Province, each with 325–340 MWe and costing ₨. 129 billion,; from which the ₨. 80 billion came from international sources, principally China. A further agreement for China's help with the project was signed in October 2008, and given prominence as a counter to the US–India agreement that shortly preceded it. The cost quoted then was US$1.7 billion, with a foreign loan component of $1.07 billion. In 2013 Pakistan established a second commercial nuclear complex in [[Karachi] with plans of additional reactors, similar to the one in Chashma. The electrical energy is generated by various energy corporations and evenly distributed by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) among the four provinces. However, the Karachi-based K-Electric and the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) generates much of the electrical energy used in Pakistan in addition to gathering revenue nationwide. As of 2014 Pakistan has an installed electricity generation capacity of ~22,797MWt.
With its diverse cultures, people, and landscapes, Pakistan attracted around 1 million foreign tourists in 2014, contributing PKR 94.8 billion to the country's economy, which represented a significant decline since the 1970s when the country received unprecedented numbers of foreign tourists due to the popular Hippie trail. The trail attracted thousands of Europeans and Americans in the 1960s and 1970s who travelled via land through Turkey and Iran into India through Pakistan. The main destinations of choice for these tourists were the Khyber Pass, Peshawar, Karachi, Lahore, Swat and Rawalpindi. The numbers following the trail declined after the Iranian Revolution and the Soviet–Afghan War.
The country continues to attract an estimated 500,000 foreign tourists annually. Pakistan's tourist attractions range from the mangroves in the south to the Himalayan hill stations in the north-east. The country's tourist destinations range from the Buddhist ruins of Takht-i-Bahi and Taxila, to the 5,000-year-old cities of the Indus Valley Civilization such as Mohenjo-daro and Harappa. Pakistan is home to several mountain peaks over 7,000 metres (23,000 feet). The northern part of Pakistan has many old fortresses, examples of ancient architecture, and the Hunza and Chitral valleys, home to the small pre-Islamic animist Kalasha community claiming descent from Alexander the Great. Pakistan's cultural capital, Lahore, contains many examples of Mughal architecture such as the Badshahi Masjid, the Shalimar Gardens, the Tomb of Jahangir, and the Lahore Fort.
In October 2006, just one year after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, The Guardian released what it described as "The top five tourist sites in Pakistan" in order to help the country's tourism industry. The five sites included Taxila, Lahore, the Karakoram Highway, Karimabad, and Lake Saiful Muluk. To promote Pakistan's unique cultural heritage, the government organizes various festivals throughout the year. In 2015 the World Economic Forum's Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report ranked Pakistan 125 out of 141 countries.
The transport industry accounts for ~10.5% of the nation's GDP. Pakistan's motorway infrastructure is better than those of India, Bangladesh, and Indonesia, but the train system lags behind those of India and China, and aviation infrastructure also needs improvement. There is scarcely any inland water transportation system, and coastal shipping only meets minor local requirements.
Highways form the backbone of Pakistan's transport system; a total road length of 263,942 kilometres (164,006 miles) accounts for 92% of passenger and 96% of inland freight traffic. Road transport services are largely in the hands of the private sector. The National Highway Authority is responsible for the maintenance of national highways and motorways. The highway and motorway system depends mainly on north–south links connecting the southern ports to the populous provinces of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Although this network only accounts for 4.59% of total road length, it carries 85% of the country's traffic.
The Pakistan Railways, under the Ministry of Railways (MoR), operates the railroad system. From 1947 until the 1970s the train system was the primary means of transport until the nationwide constructions of the national highways and the economic boom of the automotive industry. Beginning in the 1990s there was a marked shift in traffic from rail to highways; dependence grew on roads after the introduction of vehicles in the country. Now the railway's share of inland traffic is below 8% for passengers and 4% for freight traffic. As personal transportation began to be dominated by the automobile, total rail track decreased from 8,775 kilometres (5,453 miles) in 1990–91 to 7,791 kilometres (4,841 miles) in 2011. Pakistan expects to use the rail service to boost foreign trade with China, Iran, and Turkey.
There are an estimated 139 airports and airfields in Pakistan – including both the military and the mostly publicly owned civilian airports. Though Jinnah International Airport is the principal international gateway to Pakistan, the international airports in Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta, Faisalabad, Sialkot, and Multan also handle significant amounts of traffic. The civil aviation industry is mixed with public and private sectors, which was deregulated in 1993. While the state-owned Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is the major and dominant air carrier that carries about 73% of domestic passengers and all domestic freight, the private airlines such as airBlue, Shaheen Air International, and Air Indus, also provide similar services at a low cost. Major seaports are in Karachi, Sindh (the Karachi port, and Port Qasim). Since the 1990s some seaport operations have been moved to Balochistan with the construction of Gwadar Port and Gadani Port. According to the WEF's Global Competiveness Report, quality ratings of Pakistan's port infrastructure increased from 3.7 to 4.1 between 2007 and 2016.
Developments in science and technology have played an important role in Pakistan's infrastructure and helped the country connect to the rest of the world. Every year, scientists from around the world are invited by the Pakistan Academy of Sciences and the Pakistan Government to participate in the International Nathiagali Summer College on Physics. Pakistan hosted an international seminar on "Physics in Developing Countries" for the International Year of Physics 2005. Pakistani theoretical physicist Abdus Salam won a Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the electroweak interaction. Influential publications and critical scientific work in the advancement of mathematics, biology, economics, computer science, and genetics have been produced by Pakistani scientists at both the domestic and international levels.
In chemistry, Salimuzzaman Siddiqui was the first Pakistani scientist to bring the therapeutic constituents of the neem tree to the attention of natural products chemists. Pakistani neurosurgeon Ayub Ommaya invented the Ommaya reservoir, a system for treatment of brain tumours and other brain conditions. Scientific research and development plays a pivotal role in Pakistani universities, government- sponsored national laboratories, science parks, and the industry. Abdul Qadeer Khan, regarded as the founder of the HEU-based gas-centrifuge uranium enrichment program for Pakistan's integrated atomic bomb project. He founded and established the Kahuta Research Laboratories (KRL) in 1976, serving as both its senior scientist and the Director-General until his retirement in 2001, and he was an early and vital figure in other science projects. Apart from participating in Pakistan's atomic bomb project, he made major contributions in molecular morphology, physical martensite, and its integrated applications in condensed and material physics.
In 2010 Pakistan was ranked 43rd in the world in terms of published scientific papers. The Pakistan Academy of Sciences, a strong scientific community, plays an influential and vital role in formulating recommendations regarding science policies for the government.
The 1960s saw the emergence of an active space program led by SUPARCO that produced advances in domestic rocketry, electronics, and aeronomy. The space program recorded a few notable feats and achievements. The successful launch of its first rocket into space made Pakistan the first South Asian country to have achieved such a task. Successfully producing and launching the nation's first space satellite in 1990, Pakistan became the first Muslim country and second South Asian country to put a satellite into space.
As an aftermath of the 1971 war with India, the clandestine crash program developed atomic weapons partly motivated by fear and to prevent any foreign intervention, while ushering in the atomic age in the post cold war era. Competition with India and tensions eventually led to Pakistan's decision to conduct underground nuclear tests in 1998, thus becoming the seventh country in the world to successfully develop nuclear weapons.
Pakistan is the first and only Muslim country that maintains an active research presence in Antarctica. Since 1991 Pakistan has maintained two summer research stations and one weather observatory on the continent and plans to open another full-fledged permanent base in Antarctica.
Energy consumption by computers and usage has grown since the 1990s when PCs were introduced; Pakistan has about 30 million internet users and is ranked as one of the top countries that have registered a high growth rate in internet penetration as of 2013[update]. Key publications have been produced by Pakistan, and domestic software development has gained considerable international praise.
Overall, it has the 20th-largest population of internet users in the world. Since the 2000s Pakistan has made a significant amount of progress in supercomputing, and various institutions offer research opportunities in parallel computing. The Pakistan government reportedly spends ₨. 4.6 billion on information technology projects, with emphasis on e-government, human resources, and infrastructure development.
|Prominent Pakistani Inventions||Detail|
|Ommaya reservoir||System for the delivery of drugs into the cerebrospinal fluid for treatment of patients with brain tumours.|
|(c)Brain||One of the first computer viruses in history|
|Electroweak interaction||Discovery led to the Muslim world's first Nobel Prize in Physics.|
|Plastic magnet||World's first workable plastic magnet at room temperature|
|Non-lethal fertilizer||A formula to make fertilizers that cannot be converted into bomb-making materials|
|Non-Kink Catheter Mount||An essential instrument used in anesthesiology|
|Human Development Index||Devised by Pakistan's former finance minister, Mahbub ul Haq.|
|Standard Model||Particle physics theory devised in part by Pakistan scientist Abdus Salam|
At the time of the establishment of Pakistan as a state, the country had only one university, Punjab University in Lahore. Very soon the Pakistan government established public universities in each of the four provinces, including Sindh University (1949), Peshawar University (1950), Karachi University (1953), and Balochistan University (1970). Pakistan has a large network of both public and private universities, which includes collaboration between the universities aimed at providing research and higher education opportunities in the country, although there is concern about the low quality of teaching in many of the newer schools. It is estimated that there are 3,193 technical and vocational institutions in Pakistan, and there are also madrassahs that provide free Islamic education and offer free board and lodging to students, who come mainly from the poorer strata of society. Strong public pressure and popular criticism over extremists' usage of madrassahs for recruitment, the Pakistan government has made repeated efforts to regulate and monitor the quality of education in the madrassahs.
Education in Pakistan is divided into six main levels: nursery (preparatory classes); primary (grades one through five); middle (grades six through eight); matriculation (grades nine and ten, leading to the secondary certificate); intermediate (grades eleven and twelve, leading to a higher secondary certificate); and university programmes leading to graduate and postgraduate degrees. There is a network of private schools that constitutes a parallel secondary education system based on a curriculum set and administered by the Cambridge International Examinations of the United Kingdom. Some students choose to take the O-level and A level exams conducted by the British Council. According to the International Schools Consultancy, Pakistan has 439 international schools.
As a result of initiatives taken in 2007, the English medium education has been made compulsory in all schools across the country. Additional reforms enacted in 2013 required all educational institutions in Sindh to begin offering Chinese language courses, reflecting China's growing role as a superpower and its increasing influence in Pakistan. The literacy rate of the population is ~58 %. The rate of male literacy is ~70.2% while the rate of female literacy is 46.3%. Literacy rates vary by region and particularly by sex; as one example, female literacy in tribal areas is 3.0%. With the advent of computer literacy in 1995, the government launched a nationwide initiative in 1998 with the aim of eradicating illiteracy and providing a basic education to all children. Through various educational reforms, by 2015 the Ministry of Education expected to attain 100.00% enrolment levels among children of primary school age and a literacy rate of ~86% among people aged over 10. Pakistan is currently spending 2.2 percent of its GDP on education; which according to the Institute of Social and Policy Sciences is one of the lowest in South Asia.
After earning their HSC, students may study in a professional college or university in the bachelorate program such as those in science and engineering (BEng, BS/BSc, BTech) surgery and medicine (MBBS, MD), dentistry (BDS), veterinary medicine (DVM), criminal justice and law (LLB, LLM, JD), architecture (BArch), pharmacy, (Pharm D.) and nursing (BNurs). Students can also attend a university for a bachelor's degree in business administration, literature, and management including the BA, BCom, BBA, and a master's degree in the MBA program. Higher education is mainly supervised by the Higher Education Commission (HEC), which sets the policies and issues rankings of the country's universities. In October 2014 education activist Malala Yousafzai became by far the youngest person ever in the world to receive the Nobel peace prize.
Despite high population growth, the country has increased the share of the population with access to an improved water source from 85% in 1990 to 92% in 2010, although this does not necessarily mean that the water from these sources is safe to drink. The share with access to improved sanitation increased from 27% to 48% during the same period, according to the Joint Monitoring Program for Water Supply and Sanitation. There has also been considerable innovation at the grassroots level, in particular concerning sanitation. The Orangi Pilot Project in Karachi and community-led total sanitation in rural areas are two examples of such innovation.
Water and sanitation services still face major challenges. The quality of the services is poor, as evidenced by an intermittent water supply in urban areas and limited wastewater treatment. Poor drinking water quality and sanitation have led to major outbreaks of waterborne diseases such as those that swept the cities of Faisalabad, Karachi, Lahore, and Peshawar in 2006. Estimates indicate that each year more than three million Pakistanis become infected with waterborne diseases. In addition, many service providers do not even cover the costs of and maintenance due to low tariffs and poor efficiency.[clarification needed] Consequently, the service providers strongly depend on government subsidies and external funding. National sanitation and drinking water initiatives were approved in 2006 and 2009, respectively, with the objective of improving sanitation services and access to clean water, but the level of annual investment (US$4 per capita) still remains much below what would be necessary to achieve a significant improvement.
According to an estimate by the United States Census Bureau, Pakistan's population is around 199,085,847 (199.1 million) as of 2015[update], which is equivalent to 2.57% of the world population. Noted as the sixth most populated country in the world, its growth rate in 2016 was reported to be 1.45%, which is the highest of the SAARC nations, though this growth rate has been decreasing in recent years. The population is projected to reach 210.13 million by 2020.
At the time of the partition in 1947, Pakistan had a population of 32.5 million; the population increased by ~57.2% between the years 1990 and 2009. By 2030 Pakistan is expected to surpass Indonesia as the largest Muslim-majority country in the world. Pakistan is classified as a "young nation", with a median age of 23.4 in 2016; about 104 million people were under the age of 30 in 2010. In 2016 Pakistan's fertility rate was estimated to be 2.68, higher than its neighbour India (2.45). Around 35% of the people are under 15. The vast majority of those residing in southern Pakistan live along the Indus River, with Karachi being the most populous commercial city in the south. In eastern, western, and northern Pakistan, most of the population lives in an arc formed by the cities of Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Islamabad, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Gujrat, Jhelum, Sheikhupura, Nowshera, Mardan, and Peshawar. During 1990–2008, city dwellers made up 36% of Pakistan's population, making it the most urbanised nation in South Asia, which increased to 38% by 2013. Furthermore, 50% of Pakistanis live in towns of 5,000 people or more.
Expenditure on healthcare was ~2.8% of GDP in 2013. Life expectancy at birth was 67 years for females and 65 years for males in 2013. The private sector accounts for about 80% of outpatient visits. Approximately 19% of the population and 30% of children under five are malnourished. Mortality of the under-fives was 86 per 1,000 live births in 2012.
More than sixty languages are spoken in Pakistan, including a number of provincial languages. Urdu – the lingua franca and a symbol of Muslim identity and national unity – is the national language understood by over 75% of Pakistanis. It is the main medium of communication in the country but the primary language of only 8% of Pakistan's population. Urdu and English are the official languages of Pakistan, with English primarily used in official business and government, and in legal contracts; the local variety is known as Pakistani English. The Punjabi language, the most common in Pakistan and the first language of 44% of Pakistan's population, is mostly spoken in the Punjab. Saraiki, mainly spoken in South Punjab and Hindko, is predominant in the Hazara region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Pashto is the provincial language of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and is well understood in Sindh and Balochistan. The Sindhi language is commonly spoken in Sindh while the Balochi language is dominant in Balochistan. Brahui, a Dravidian language, is spoken by the Brahui people who live in Balochistan. Gujarati community leaders in Pakistan claim that there are 3 million Gujarati speakers in Karachi. Marwari, a Rajasthani language, is also spoken in parts of Sindh. Various languages such as Shina, Balti, and Burushaski are spoken in Gilgit-Baltistan, whilst languages such as Pahari, Gojri, and Kashmiri are spoken by many in Azad Kashmir.
Even after partition in 1947, Indian Muslims continued to migrate to Pakistan throughout the 1950s and 1960s, and these migrants settled mainly in Karachi and other towns of Sindh province. The wars in neighboring Afghanistan during the 1980s and 90s also forced millions of Afghan refugees into Pakistan. The Pakistan Census excludes the 1.41 million registered refugees from Afghanistan, who are found mainly in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and tribal belt, with small numbers residing in Karachi and Quetta. Pakistan is home to one of the world's largest refugee populations. In addition to Afghans, around 2 million Bangladeshis and half a million other undocumented people live in Pakistan. They are claimed to be from other areas such as Myanmar, Iran, Iraq, and Africa.
Experts say that the migration of both Bengalis and Burmese (Rohingya) to Pakistan started in the 1980s and continued until 1998. Shaikh Muhammad Feroze, the chairman of the Pakistani Bengali Action Committee, claims that there are 200 settlements of Bengali-speaking people in Pakistan, of which 132 are in Karachi. They are also found in various other areas of Pakistan such as Thatta, Badin, Hyderabad, Tando Adam, and Lahore. Large-scale Rohingya migration to Karachi made that city one of the largest population centres of Rohingyas in the world after Myanmar. The Burmese community of Karachi is spread out over 60 of the city's slums such as the Burmi Colony in Korangi, Arakanabad, Machchar colony, Bilal colony, Ziaul Haq Colony, and Godhra Camp.
Thousands of Uyghur Muslims have also migrated to the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, fleeing religious and cultural persecution in Xinjiang, China. Since 1989 thousands of Kashmiri Muslim refugees have sought refuge in Pakistan, complaining that many of the refugee women had been raped by Indian soldiers and that they were forced out of their homes by the soldiers.
The population is dominated by four main ethnic groups: Punjabis, Pashtuns (Pathans), Sindhis, and Balochs. Rough accounts from 2009 indicate that the Punjabis dominate with 78.7 million (~45%) while the Pashtuns are the second-largest group with ~29.3 million (15.42%). The number of Sindhis is estimated at 24.8 million (14.1%), with the number of Seraikis (a sub-group of Punjabis) estimated at 14.8 million (8.4%). The number of Urdu-speaking Muhajirs (the Indian emigrants) stands at ~13.3 million (7.57%) while the number of Balochs is estimated at 6.3 million (3.57%) – the smallest group in terms of population. The remaining 11.1 million (4.66%) consist of various ethnic minorities such as the Brahuis, the Hindkowans, the various peoples of Gilgit-Baltistan, the Kashmiris, the Sheedis (who are of African descent), and the Hazaras. There is also a large Pakistani diaspora worldwide, numbering over seven million, which has been recorded as the sixth largest diaspora in the world.
Since achieving independence as a result of the partition of India, the urbanisation has increased exponentially, with several different causes. The majority of the population in the south resides along the Indus River, with Karachi the most populous commercial city. In the east, west, and north, most of the population lives in an arc formed by the cities of Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Sargodha, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Gujrat, Jhelum, Sheikhupura, Nowshera, Mardan, and Peshawar. During the period 1990–2008, city dwellers made up 36.0% of Pakistan's population, making it the most urbanised nation in South Asia. Furthermore, more than 50% of Pakistanis live in towns of 5,000 people or more. Immigration, from both within and outside the country, is regarded as one of the main factors contributing to urbanisation in Pakistan. One analysis of the 1998 national census highlighted the significance of the partition of India in the 1940s as it relates to urban change in Pakistan.
During and after the independence period, Muslim Muhajirs from India migrated in large numbers to Pakistan, especially to the port city of Karachi, which is today the largest metropolis in Pakistan. Migration from other countries, mainly from those nearby, has further accelerated the process of urbanisation in Pakistani cities. Inevitably, the rapid urbanisation caused by these large population movements has also created new political and socio-economic challenges. In addition to immigration, economic trends such as the green revolution and political developments, among a host of other factors, are also important causes of urbanisation.
Largest cities or towns in Pakistan
|8||Peshawar||Khyber Pakhtunkhwa||1,981,087||18||Mardan||Khyber Pakhtunkhwa||730,320|
|10||Sargodha||Punjab||1,550,014||20||Dera Ghazi Khan||Punjab||783,200|
About 97.0% of Pakistanis are Muslim. Pakistan has the second-largest number of Muslims in the world after Indonesia. The majority of them are Sunni (estimated between 75 and 95%) while Shias represent between 5–20%. Pakistan, like India, is said to have at least 16 million Shias. A PEW survey in 2012 found that only 6% of Pakistani Muslims were Shia.
Pakistan's founder, Jinnah, had been born in a Shia family but some sources maintain that Jinnah became a firm Sunni Muslim later in life. Shias have alleged discrimination by the Pakistani government since 1948, claiming that Sunnis are given preference in business, official positions, and administration of justice. Attacks on Shias increased during the presidency of Zia-ul-Haq, with the first major sectarian riots in Pakistan breaking out in 1983 in Karachi and later spreading to Lahore and Balochistan. Sectarian violence became a recurring feature of the Muharram month every year, with sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shias taking place in 1986 in Parachinar. In one notable incident, the 1988 Gilgit Massacre, Osama bin Laden-led Sunni tribal members assaulted, massacred, and raped Shia civilians in Gilgit after being inducted by the Pakistan Army to quell a Shia uprising in Gilgit. After the 9/11 attacks in the United States, sectarian violence among Muslim denominations had increased with systematic targeted killings of both sects, Sunnis and Shias. In 2013 there were country-wide protests by both Shias and Sunnis calling for an end to sectarian violence in the country.
The Ahmadis, a small minority representing 0.22–2% of Pakistan's population, are officially considered non-Muslims by virtue of the constitutional amendment. The Ahmadis are particularly persecuted, especially since 1974 when they were banned from calling themselves Muslims. In 1984, Ahmadiyya places of worship were banned from being called "mosques". As of 2012[update], 12% of Pakistani Muslims self-identify as non-denominational Muslims. There are also several Quraniyoon communities.
Islam has to some extent syncretised with pre-Islamic influences, resulting in a religion with some traditions distinct from those of the Arab world. Sufism, a mystical Islamic tradition, has a long history and a large popular following in Pakistan. Popular Sufi culture is centred on Thursday night gatherings at shrines and annual festivals that feature Sufi music and dance. Two Sufis whose shrines receive much national attention are Ali Hajweri in Lahore (c. 12th century) and Shahbaz Qalander in Sehwan, Sindh (c. 12th century).
There are two levels of Sufism in Pakistan. The first is the 'populist' Sufism of the rural population. This level of Sufism involves belief in intercession through saints, veneration of their shrines, and forming bonds with a pir (saint). Many rural Pakistani Muslims associate with pirs and seek their intercession. The second level of Sufism in Pakistan is 'intellectual Sufism', which is growing among the urban and educated population. They are influenced by the writings of Sufis such as the medieval theologian al-Ghazali, the Sufi reformer Shaykh Aḥmad Sirhindi, and Shah Wali Allah. Contemporary Islamic fundamentalists criticise Sufism's popular character, which in their view does not accurately reflect the teachings and practice of the Prophet and his companions.
Hinduism is the second-largest religion in Pakistan after Islam, according to the 1998 census. As of 2010[update], Pakistan had the fifth-largest Hindu population in the world, and PEW predicts that by 2050 Pakistan will have the fourth-largest Hindu population in the world. In the 1998 census the Hindu (jati) population was found to be 2,111,271 while the Hindu (scheduled castes) numbered an additional 332,343. Hindus are found in all provinces of Pakistan but are mostly concentrated in Sindh. They speak a variety of languages such as Sindhi, Seraiki, Aer, Dhatki, Gera, Goaria, Gurgula, Jandavra, Kabutra, Koli, Loarki, Marwari, Sansi, Vaghri,  and Gujarati. At the time of Pakistan's creation the 'hostage theory' gained currency. According to this theory, the Hindu minority in Pakistan was to be given a fair deal in Pakistan in order to ensure the protection of the Muslim minority in India. However, Khawaja Nazimuddin, the second Prime Minister of Pakistan, stated:
I do not agree that religion is a private affair of the individual nor do I agree that in an Islamic state every citizen has identical rights, no matter what his caste, creed or faith be.
Some Hindus in Pakistan feel that they are treated as second-class citizens and many have continued to migrate to India. Pakistani Hindus faced riots after the Babri Masjid demolition, endured a massacre (in 2005) by security forces in Balochistan, and have experienced other attacks, forced conversions, and abductions.
Christians formed the next largest religious minority, after Hindus, with a population of 2,092,902, according to the 1998 census. They were followed by the Bahá'í Faith, which had a following of 30,000, then Sikhism, Buddhism, and Zoroastrianism, each back then claiming 20,000 adherents, and a very small community of Jains. There is a Roman Catholic community in Karachi that was established by Goan and Tamil migrants when Karachi's infrastructure was being developed by the British during the colonial administration between World War I and World War II. The influence of atheism is very small, with 1.0% of the population identifying as atheist in 2005. However, the figure rose to 2.0% in 2012 according to Gallup.
Civil society in Pakistan is largely hierarchical, emphasising local cultural etiquette and traditional Islamic values that govern personal and political life. The basic family unit is the extended family, although for socio-economic reasons there has been a growing trend towards nuclear families. The traditional dress for both men and women is the Shalwar Kameez; trousers, jeans, and shirts are also popular among men. In recent decades, the middle class has increased to around 35 million and the upper and upper-middle classes to around 17 million, and power is shifting from rural landowners to the urbanised elites. Pakistani festivals, including Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Azha, Ramazan, Christmas, Easter, Holi, and Diwali, are mostly religious in origin. Increasing globalisation has resulted in Pakistan ranking 56th on the A.T. Kearney/FP Globalization Index.
The Shalwar Kameez is the national dress of Pakistan and is worn by both men and women in all four provinces: Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa as well as in FATA and Azad Kashmir. Each province has its own style of Shalwar Kameez. Pakistanis wear clothes in a range of exquisite colours and designs and in type of fabric (silk, chiffon, cotton, etc). Besides the national dress, domestically tailored suits and neckties are often worn by men, and are customary in offices, schools, and social gatherings.
The fashion industry has flourished in the changing environment of the fashion world. Since Pakistan came into being, its fashion has evolved in different phases and developed a unique identity. Today, Pakistani fashion is a combination of traditional and modern dress and has become a mark of Pakistani culture. Despite modern trends, regional and traditional forms of dress have developed their own significance as a symbol of native tradition. This regional fashion continues to evolve into both more modern and purer forms. The Pakistan Fashion Design Council based in Lahore organizes PFDC Fashion Week and the Fashion Pakistan Council based in Karachi organizes Fashion Pakistan Week. Pakistan's first fashion week was held in November 2009.
The social status of women in Pakistan varies and depends considerably on social class, upbringing, and region due to uneven socioeconomic development and the impact of social influences on women's lives in the country. Pakistan has had a long history of feminist activism since its birth. Since 1947 the APWA and Aurat Foundation, both influential feminist organisations, have played strong roles in raising awareness about women's rights in the country. Personalities such as Begum Rana'a, Benazir Bhutto, Malala Yousafzai and Kalsoom Nawaz have been influential in Pakistan's feminist movement. Overall, the status of women has improved due to enhanced religious and educational instruction. However, when looked at in a global perspective, the situation in Pakistan is quite alarming. In 2014 the World Economic Forum ranked Pakistan as the second-worst country in the world in terms of gender equality.
The relationship of women to the opposite gender is culturally that of gender subordination. Women are traditionally assigned, or assumed to have, certain roles related mainly to domestic chores while men are considered the breadwinners and professionals of the family. In urban areas of the country, more and more women are assuming professional roles and contributing to family economics, but the ratio of these women compared with those in traditional roles is small. The occupations most favoured by females and acceptable to society are teaching and tutoring. Due to heightened awareness among people, educational opportunities for Pakistani women have increased over the years. On 24 February 2016, the elected assembly of Pakistan's Punjab province passed a new law called "Punjab Protection of Women Against Violence Bill 2015", which provides women with protection against a multitude of crimes including cyber crime, domestic violence, and emotional, economic and psychological abuse.
The private print media, state-owned Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV), and Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) for radio were the dominant media outlets until the beginning of the 21st century. Pakistan now has a large network of domestic, privately-owned 24-hour news media and television channels. A 2016 report by the Reporters Without Borders ranked Pakistan 147th on the Press Freedom Index, while at the same time terming the Pakistani media "among the freest in Asia when it comes to covering the squabbling among politicians." BBC calls the Pakistani media "among the most outspoken in South Asia". Pakistani media has also played a vital role in exposing corruption.
The Lollywood, Kariwood, Punjabi, and Pashto film industry is based in Karachi, Lahore, and Peshawar. While Bollywood films were banned from public cinemas from 1965 until 2008, they have remained an important part of popular culture. In contrast to the ailing Pakistani film industry, Urdu televised dramas and theatrical performances continue to be popular, as many entertainment media outlets air them regularly. Urdu dramas dominate the television entertainment industry, which has launched critically acclaimed miniseries and featured popular actors and actresses since the 1990s. In the 1960s–1970s, pop music and disco (1970s) dominated the country's music industry. In the 1980s–1990s, British influenced rock music appeared and jolted the country's entertainment industry. In the 2000s, heavy metal music gained popular and critical acclaim.
Pakistani music ranges from diverse forms of provincial folk music and traditional styles such as Qawwali and Ghazal Gayaki to modern musical forms that fuse traditional and western music. Pakistan has many famous folk singers. The arrival of Afghan refugees in the western provinces has stimulated interest in Pashto music, although there has been intolerance of it in some places.
According to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Pakistan has the sixth-largest diaspora in the world. Statistics gathered by the Pakistani government show that there are around 7 million Pakistanis residing abroad, with the vast majority living in the Middle East, Europe, and North America. Pakistan ranks 10th in the world for remittances sent home. The largest inflow of remittances, as of 2016, is from Saudi Arabia, amounting to $5.9 billion. The term Overseas Pakistani is officially recognised by the Government of Pakistan. The Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis was established in 2008 to deal exclusively with all matters of overseas Pakistanis such as attending to their needs and problems, developing projects for their welfare, and working for resolution of their problems and issues. Overseas Pakistanis are the second-largest source of foreign exchange remittances to Pakistan after exports. Over the last several years, home remittances have maintained a steadily rising trend, with a more than 100% increase from US$8.9 billion in 2009–10 to US$19.9 billion in 2015–16.
The Overseas Pakistani Division (OPD) was created in September 2004 within the Ministry of Labour (MoL). It has since recognised the importance of overseas Pakistanis and their contribution to the nation's economy. Together with Community Welfare Attaches (CWAs) and the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF), the OPD is making efforts to improve the welfare of Pakistanis who reside abroad. The division aims to provide better services through improved facilities at airports, and suitable schemes for housing, education, and health care. It also facilitates the reintegration into society of returning overseas Pakistanis. Notable members of the Pakistani diaspora include London Mayor Sadiq Khan, UK Cabinet Member Sajid Javid, former UK Conservative Party Chair Baroness Warsi, singers Zayn Malik and Nadia Ali, MIT Physics Professor Dr. Nergis Mavalvala, actors Riz Ahmed and Kumail Nanjiani, businessmen Shahid Khan and Sir Anwar Pervez, Boston University professors Adil Najam and Hamid Nawab, Texas A&M Professor Muhammad Suhail Zubairy, Yale Professor Sara Suleri, UC San Diego Professor Farooq Azam, and historian Ayesha Jalal.
Pakistan has literature in Urdu, Sindhi, Punjabi, Pashto, Baluchi, Persian, English, and many other languages. The Pakistan Academy of Letters is a large literary community that promotes literature and poetry in Pakistan and abroad. The National Library publishes and promotes literature in the country. Before the 19th century, Pakistani literature consisted mainly of lyric and religious poetry and mystical and folkloric works. During the colonial period, native literary figures were influenced by western literary realism and took up increasingly varied topics and narrative forms. Prose fiction is now very popular.
The national poet of Pakistan, Muhammad Iqbal, wrote poetry in Urdu and Persian. He was a strong proponent of the political and spiritual revival of Islamic civilisation and encouraged Muslims all over the world to bring about a successful revolution.[clarification needed] Well-known figures in contemporary Pakistani Urdu literature include Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Saadat Hasan Manto. Sadequain and Gulgee are known for their calligraphy and paintings. The Sufi poets Shah Abdul Latif, Bulleh Shah, Mian Muhammad Bakhsh, and Khawaja Farid enjoy considerable popularity in Pakistan. Mirza Kalich Beg has been termed the father of modern Sindhi prose. Historically, philosophical development in the country was dominated by Muhammad Iqbal, Sir Syed, Muhammad Asad, Maududi, and Mohammad Ali Johar.
Ideas from British and American philosophy greatly shaped philosophical development in Pakistan. Analysts such as M. M. Sharif and Zafar Hassan established the first major Pakistani philosophical movement in 1947.[clarification needed] After the 1971 war, philosophers such as Jalaludin Abdur Rahim, Gianchandani, and Malik Khalid incorporated Marxism into Pakistan's philosophical thinking. Influential work by Manzoor Ahmad, Jon Elia, Hasan Askari Rizvi, and Abdul Khaliq brought mainstream social, political, and analytical philosophy to the fore in academia. Works by Noam Chomsky have influenced philosophical ideas in various fields of social and political philosophy.
Four periods are recognised in Pakistani architecture: pre-Islamic, Islamic, colonial, and post-colonial. With the beginning of the Indus civilisation around the middle of the 3rd millennium BC, an advanced urban culture developed for the first time in the region, with large buildings, some of which survive to this day. Mohenjo Daro, Harappa, and Kot Diji are among the pre-Islamic settlements that are now tourist attractions. The rise of Buddhism and the influence of Greek civilisation led to the development of a Greco-Buddhist style, starting from the 1st century AD. The high point of this era was the Gandhara style. An example of Buddhist architecture is the ruins of the Buddhist monastery Takht-i-Bahi in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
The arrival of Islam in what is today Pakistan meant the sudden end of Buddhist architecture in the area and a smooth transition to the predominantly pictureless Islamic architecture. The most important Indo-Islamic-style building still standing is the tomb of the Shah Rukn-i-Alam in Multan. During the Mughal era, design elements of Persian-Islamic architecture were fused with and often produced playful forms of Hindustani art. Lahore, as the occasional residence of Mughal rulers, contains many important buildings from the empire. Most prominent among them are the Badshahi Mosque, the fortress of Lahore with the famous Alamgiri Gate, the colourful, Mughal-style Wazir Khan Mosque, the Shalimar Gardens in Lahore, and the Shahjahan Mosque in Thatta. In the British colonial period, predominantly functional buildings of the Indo-European representative style developed from a mixture of European and Indian-Islamic components. Post-colonial national identity is expressed in modern structures such as the Faisal Mosque, the Minar-e-Pakistan, and the Mazar-e-Quaid. Several examples of architectural infrastructure demonstrating the influence of British design can be found in Lahore, Peshawar, and Karachi.
Pakistani cuisine is similar to that of other regions of South Asia, since much of it originated from the royal kitchens of 16th-century Mughal emperors. Pakistan has a greater variety of meat dishes compared to the rest of the sub-continent. Most of those dishes have their roots in British, Central Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Unlike Middle Eastern cuisine, Pakistani cooking uses large quantities of spices, herbs, and seasoning. Garlic, ginger, turmeric, red chili, and garam masala are used in most dishes, and home cooking regularly includes curry. Chapati, a thin flatbread made from wheat, is a staple food, usually served with curry, meat, vegetables, and lentils. Rice is also common; it is served plain, fried with spices, and in sweet dishes.
Lassi is a traditional drink in the Punjab region. Black tea with milk and sugar is popular throughout Pakistan and is consumed daily by most of the population. Sohan halwa is a popular sweet dish from the southern region of Punjab province and is enjoyed all over Pakistan.
Most sports played in Pakistan originated and were substantially developed by athletes and sports fans from the United Kingdom who introduced them during the British Raj. Field hockey is the national sport of Pakistan; it has won three gold medals in the Olympic Games held in 1960, 1968, and 1984. Pakistan has also won the Hockey World Cup a record four times, held in 1971, 1978, 1982, and 1994.
Cricket, however, is the most popular game across the country. The cricket team (known as Shaheen) won the Cricket World Cup held in 1992; it was runner-up once, in 1999. Pakistan was runner-up in the inaugural World Twenty20 (2007) in South Africa and won the World Twenty20 in England in 2009. In March 2009, militants attacked the touring Sri Lankan cricket team, after which no international cricket was played in Pakistan until May 2015, when the Zimbabwean team agreed to a tour.
In athletics, the country has a proud history with 14 gold medals at the Asian Games. Abdul Khaliq won the 100-metre gold medal in the 1954 and 1958 Asian Games. In squash, world-class players such as Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan have won the World Open Squash Championship a combined 14 times during their careers. Jahangir Khan also won the British Open a record ten times. In mountaineering, Nazir Sabir, Hassan Sadpara, and Samina Baig are the only Pakistanis to have climbed Mount Everest. Pakistan has competed many times at the Olympic Games in field hockey, boxing, athletics, swimming, and shooting. Pakistan's Olympics medal tally stands at ten, of which eight were earned in field hockey. As of 2016, Pakistan's Commonwealth Games and Asian Games medal tallies stand at 69 and 165, respectively. At the national level, polo is popular, with regular national events in different parts of the country. Boxing, billiards, snooker, rowing, canoeing, kayaking, caving, tennis, golf, and volleyball are also actively pursued, and Pakistan has produced regional and international champions in these sports. Basketball enjoys regional popularity, especially in Lahore and Karachi.
Pakistan has hosted or co-hosted several international sporting events: the 1989 and 2004 South Asian Games; the 1984, 1993, 1996 and 2003 World Squash Championships; the 1987 and 1996 Cricket World Cup; and the 1990 Hockey World Cup.
Pakistan is unique among Muslim countries in its relationship with Islam: it is the only country to have been established in the name of Islam.
As British rule there drew to an end, many Muslims demanded, in the name of Islam, the creation of a separate Pakistan state.
The constitution proclaims ... that all existing laws shall be brought in accordance with the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Quran and Sunnah, and no law shall be enacted which is repugnant to such injunctions.
In the framework of their regional security complex theory (RSCT), Barry Buzan and Ole Waever differentiate between superpowers and great powers which act and have an impact on the global level (or system level) and regional powers whose influence may be large in their regions but have less of an impact at the global level. This category of regional powers includes Brazil, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey.
The regional powers such as Israel or Pakistan are not simple bystanders of great power politics in their regions; they attempt to asymmetrically influence the major power system often in their own distinct ways.
Countries like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have enough influence to not be considered small, but not enough to be major powers. Within the limits of their regions, they play a significant political role. Thus instinctively, they would qualify as middle powers. While it is not the objective here to question the characteristics of Jordan's definition of middle powers, we argue that Pakistan is in fact a middle power despite its being nuclear-armed. When looking at the numbers, for instance, it appears that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan can be classified as middle powers (see in this regard Ping, 2007).
When the men of Alexander the Great came to Taxila in India in the fourth century BC they found a university there the like of which had not been seen in Greece, a university which taught the three Vedas and the eighteen accomplishments and was still existing when the Chinese pilgrim Fa-Hsien went there about AD 400.
In the early centuries the centre of Buddhist scholarship was the University of Taxila.
In the elections of 1946, the Muslim League won 90 percent of the legislative seats reserved for Muslims. It was the power of the big zamindars in Punjab and Sindh behind the Muslim League candidates, and the powerful campaign among the poor peasants of Bengal on economic issues of rural indebtedness and zamindari abolition, that led to this massive landslide victory (Alavi 2002, 14). Even Congress, which had always denied the League's claim to be the only true representative of Indian Muslims had to concede the truth of that claim. The 1946 election was, in effect, a plebiscite among Muslims on Pakistan.
Despite the League's victory in the elections, the British did not want the partition of India. As a last attempt to avoid it, Britain put forward the Cabinet Mission Plan, according to which India would become a federation of three large, self-governing provinces and the central government would be limited to power over foreign policy and defense, implying a weak center.
There are no exact numbers of people killed and displaced, but estimates range from a few hundred thousand to two million killed and more than 10 million displaced.
An estimated 12–15 million people were displaced, and some 2 million died. The legacy of Partition (never without a capital P) remains strong today ...
2,000,000 killed in the Hindu-Muslim holocaust during the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan
Estimates of the dead vary from 200,000 (the contemporary British figure) to 2 million (a subsequent Indian speculation). Today, however, it is widely accepted that nearly a million people died during Partition (Butalia, 1997).
In the event, largely but not exclusively as a consequence of their efforts, the entire Muslim population of the eastern Punjab districts migrated to West Punjab and the entire Sikh and Hindu populations moved to East Punjab in the midst of widespread intimidation, terror, violence, abduction, rape, and murder.
The official estimate of the number of abducted women during Partition was placed at 33,000 non-Muslim (Hindu or Sikh predominantly) women in Pakistan, and 50,000 Muslim women in India.
The horrific statistics that surround women refugees-between 75,000–100,000 Hindu, Muslim and Sikh women who were abducted by men of the other communities, subjected to multiple rapes, mutilations,and, for some, forced marriages and conversions-is matched by the treatment of the abducted women in the hands of the nation-state. In the Constituent Assembly in 1949 it was recorded that of the 50,000 Muslim women abducted in India, 8,000 of then were recovered, and of the 33,000 Hindu and Sikh women abducted, 12,000 were recovered.
In addition thousands of women on both sides of the newly formed borders (estimated range from 29,000 to 50,000 Muslim women and 15,000 to 35,000 Hindu and Sikh women) were abducted, raped, forced to convert, forced into marriage, forced back into what the two States defined as 'their proper homes,' torn apart from their families once during partition by those who abducted them, and again, after partition, by the State which tried to 'recover' and 'rehabilitate' them.
When the British Indian Empire was partitioned in 1947, 4.7 million Sikhs and Hindus left what is today Pakistan for India, and 6.5 million Muslims migrated from India to Pakistan.
Unfortunately, it was accompanied by the largest mass migration in human history of some 10 million.
Jinnah became the first governor general of Pakistan, but died of tuberculosis on 11 September 1948.
Undivided India, their magnificent imperial trophy, was besmirched by the creation of Pakistan, and the division of India was never emotionally accepted by many British leaders, Mountbatten among them.
Mountbatten's partiality was apparent in his own statements. He tilted openly and heavily towards Congress. While doing so he clearly expressed his lack of support and faith in the Muslim League and its Pakistan idea.
Mountbatten tried to convince Jinnah of the value of accepting him, Mountbatten, as Pakistan's first governor-general, but Jinnah refused to be moved from his determination to take that job himself.
When Mountbatten was asked by Collins and Lapierre if he would have sabotaged Pakistan if he had known that Jinnah was dying of tuberculosis, his answer was instructive. There was no doubt in his mind about the legality or morality of his position on Pakistan. 'Most probably,' he said (1982:39).
Mawlānā Shabbīr Ahmad Usmānī, a respected Deobandī ʿālim (scholar) who was appointed to the prestigious position of Shaykh al-Islām of Pakistan in 1949, was the first to demand that Pakistan become an Islamic state. But Mawdūdī and his Jamāʿat-i Islāmī played the central part in the demand for an Islamic constitution. Mawdūdī demanded that the Constituent Assembly make an unequivocal declaration affirming the "supreme sovereignty of God" and the supremacy of the sharīʿah as the basic law of Pakistan.
The first important result of the combined efforts of the Jamāʿat-i Islāmī and the ʿulamāʿ was the passage of the Objectives Resolution in March 1949, whose formulation reflected compromise between traditionalists and modernists. The resolution embodied "the main principles on which the constitution of Pakistan is to be based." It declared that "sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to God Almighty alone and the authority which He has delegated to the State of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust," that "the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam shall be fully observed," and that "the Muslims shall be enabled to order their lives in the individual and collective spheres in accord with the teaching and requirements of Islam as set out in the Holy Qurʿan and Sunna." The Objectives Resolution has been reproduced as a preamble to the constitutions of 1956, 1962, and 1973.
Hence, Pakistan's political experience is integrally related to the struggle of Indian Muslims to find an autonomous political center after their loss of power to the British in the early nineteenth century.
Pakistan's expression of solidarity was followed, after Independence, by a vigorous pursuit of bilateral relations with Muslim countries like Iran and Turkey.
Pakistan was making a wholehearted bid for the leadership of the Muslim world, or at least for the leadership in achieving its unity.
Following Khaliquzzaman, the Ali brothers had sought to project Pakistan, with its comparatively larger manpower and military strength, as the natural leader of the Islamic world.
As a top ranking ML leader Khaliquzzaman declared, 'Pakistan would bring all Muslim countries together into Islamistan – a pan-Islamic entity'.
Within a few years the president of the Muslim League, Chaudhry Khaliq-uz-Zaman, announced that Pakistan would bring all Muslim countries together into Islamistan – a pan-Islamic entity. None of these developments within the new country elicited approval among Americans for the idea of India's partition ... British Prime Minister Clement Attlee voiced the international consensus at the time when he told the House of Commons of his hope that 'this severance may not endure.' He hoped that the proposed dominions of India and Pakistan would in course of time, come together to form one great Member State of the British Commonwealth of Nations.
During this time most of the Arab world was going through a nationalist awakening. Pan-Islamic dreams involving the unification of Muslim countries, possibly under Pakistani leadership, had little attraction.
The following year, Choudhry Khaliquzzaman toured the Middle East, pleading for the formation of an alliance or confederation of Muslim states. The Arab states, often citing Pakistan's inability to solve its problems with Muslim neighbor Afghanistan, showed little enthusiasm ... Some saw the effort to form 'Islamistan' as a Pakistani attempt to dominate other Muslim states.
The belief that the creation of Pakistan made Pakistan the true leader of Muslim causes around the world led Pakistan's diplomats to vigorously champion the cause of self-determination for fellow Muslims at the United Nations. Pakistan's founders, including Jinnah, supported anti-colonial movements: "Our heart and soul go out in sympathy with those who are struggling for their freedom ... If subjugation and exploitation are carried on, there will be no peace and there will be no end to wars." Pakistani efforts on behalf of Indonesia (1948), Algeria (1948–1949), Tunisia (1948–1949), Morocco (1948–1956) and Eritrea (1960–1991) were significant and initially led to close ties between these countries and Pakistan.
His commitment to jihad – to an Islamic revolution transcending national boundaries, was such that he dreamed one day the "green Islamic flag" would flutter not just over Pakistan and Afghanistan, but also over territories represented by the (former Soviet Union) Central Asian republics. After the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, as the director-general of the Pakistan's intelligence organisation, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate, an impatient Gul wanted to establish a government of the so-called Mujahideen on Afghan soil. He then ordered an assault using non-state actors on Jalalabad, the first major urban centre across the Khyber Pass from Pakistan, with the aim capturing it and declaring it as the seat of the new administration.
Since then, Pakistan's sectarian tensions have been a major irritant in Iranian-Pakistan relations.
Both Saudi Arabia and Iran used Pakistan as a battleground for their proxy war for the 'hearts and minds' of Pakistani Sunnis and Shias with the resultant rise in sectarian tensions in Pakistan. The rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan in the 1990s further strained Pakistan-Iran relations. Pakistan's support of the Sunni Pashtun organization created problems for Shia Iran for whom a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan was a nightmare.
KARACHI, Pakistan – Iran, which has amassed 200,000 troops on the border with Afghanistan, accused Pakistan on Sunday of sending warplanes to strafe and bombard Afghanistan's last Shiite stronghold, which fell hours earlier to the Taliban, the Sunni militia now controlling the central Asian country.
Taliban officials accused Iran of providing military support to the opposition forces; Tehran radio accused Pakistan of sending its air force to bomb the city in support of the Taliban's advance and said Iran was holding Pakistan responsible for what it termed war crimes at Bamiyan. Pakistan has denied that accusation and previous allegations of direct involvement in the Afghan conflict. Also fueling the volatile situation are ethnic and religious rivalries between the Taliban, who are Sunni Muslims of Afghanistan's dominant Pashtun ethnic group, and the opposition factions, many of which represent other ethnic groups or include Shiite Muslims. Iran, a Shiite Muslim state, has a strong interest in promoting that sect; Pakistan, one of the Taliban's few international allies, is about 80 percent Sunni.
The trauma was extremely severe in Pakistan when the news of secession of East Pakistan as Bangladesh arrived—a psychological setback, complete and humiliating defeat that shattered the prestige of Pakistan Armed Forces.
But it falls short of the main demand of the people of Gilgit- Baltistan for a constitutional status to the region as a fifth province and for Pakistani citizenship to its people.
Many of the 1.5 million people of Gilgit-Baltistan oppose integration into Kashmir and want their area to be merged into Pakistan and declared a separate province.
Second, Azad Kashmiris had always wanted to be part of this nation.
Similarly, Muslims in Western Jammu Province, particularly in Poonch, many of whom had martial capabilities, and Muslims in the Frontier Districts Province strongly wanted J&K to join Pakistan.
Nearly 70 years ago, the people of the Gilgit Wazarat revolted and joined Pakistan of their own free will, as did those belonging to the territories of Chilas, Koh Ghizr, Ishkoman, Yasin and Punial; the princely states of Hunza and Nagar also acceded to Pakistan. Hence, the time has come to acknowledge and respect their choice of being full-fledged citizens of Pakistan.
The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan tops the list of intelligence agencies in the world in 2011, followed by the United States of America's CIA and United Kingdom's MI6. Russia's FSB, France's DGSE and Germany's BND are also on the list, followed by Israel's Mossad, India's RAW, Australia's ASIS and Canada's CSIS.
In December 1971, Pakistan lost half its country, and with over ~90,000 troops of its military becoming POWs, all its earlier myth could not survive this no longer ...
Former Indian Defense Minister Krishna Menon who for years influenced the decisions of late Prime Minister Nehru himself a Kashmiri-put it bluntly last March in an interview with an American newsman when he said India could never agree to a U.N. sponsored plebiscite because 'Kashmir would vote to join Pakistan, and no Indian government responsible for agreeing to the plebiscite could survive.'
The idea of Pakistan may have had its share of ambiguities, but its dismissal as a vague emotive symbol hardly illuminates the reasons as to why it received such overwhelmingly popular support among Indian Muslims, especially those in the 'minority provinces' of British India such as U.P.
As the book has demonstrated, local ML functionaries, (U.P.) ML leadership, Muslim modernists at Aligarh, the ulama and even Jinnah at times articulated their vision of Pakistan in terms of an Islamic state.
But what is undeniable is the close association he developed with the ulama, for when he died a little over a year after Pakistan was born, Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, in his funeral oration, described Jinnah as the greatest Muslim after the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
Similarly, Usmani asked Pakistanis to remember the Qaid's ceaseless message of Unity, Faith and Discipline and work to fulfil his dream to create a solid bloc of all Muslim states from Karachi to Ankara, from Pakistan to Morocco. He [Jinnah] wanted to see the Muslims of the world united under the banner of Islam as an effective check against the aggressive designs of their enemies
The first formal step toward transforming Pakistan into an Islamic ideological state was taken in March 1949 when the country's first prime minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, presented the Objectives Resolution in the constituent assembly.
The president of the Muslim League, Chaudhry Khaliq-uz-zaman announced that Pakistan would bring all Muslim countries together into Islamistan-a pan-Islamic entity.
Khaliq drew a sharp distinction between this Islamic state and a Muslim state. He claimed that as of now Pakistan was only a Muslim state in view of the majority of its population being Muslim, and indeed could never be an Islamic state by itself. It could certainly fulfill its promise and destiny by bringing together all the believers of Islam into one political unit and it is only then that an Islamic state would be achieved.
One of the earliest Western scholars of Pakistani politics, Keith Callard, observed that Pakistanis seemed to believe in the essential unity of purpose and outlook in the Muslim world: Pakistan was founded to advance the cause of Muslims. Other Muslims might have been expected to be sympathetic, even enthusiastic. But this assumed that other Muslim states would take the same view of the relation between religion and nationality.
Pakistan's pan-Islamic aspirations, however, were neither shared nor supported by the Muslim governments of the time. Nationalism in other parts of the Muslim world was based on ethnicity, language, or territory.
Although Muslim governments were initially unsympathetic to Pakistan's pan-Islamic aspirations, Islamists from the world over were drawn to Pakistan. Controversial figures such as the pro-Nazi former grand mufti of Palestine, Al-Haj Amin al-Husseini, and leaders of Islamist political movements like the Arab Muslim Brotherhood became frequent visitors to the country.
The social scientist, Nasim Ahmad Jawed has conducted a survey of nationalism in pre-divided Pakistan and identifies the links between religion, politics and nationalism in both wings of Pakistan. His findings are fascinating and go some way to explain the differing attitudes of West and East Pakistan to the relationship between Islam and Pakistani nationalism and how this affected the views of people in both wings, especially the views of the peoples of both wings towards each other. In 1969, Jawed conducted a survey on the type of national identity that was used by educated professional people. He found that just over 60% in the East wing professed to have a secular national identity. However, in the West wing, the same figure professed an Islamic and not a secular identity. Furthermore, the same figure in the East wing described their identity in terms of their ethnicity and not in terms of Islam. He found that the opposite was the case in the West wing where Islam was stated to be more important than ethnicity.
The Constitution of 1973 was created by a parliament that was elected in the 1970 elections. In this first ever general elections ...
The 1973 constitution also created certain institutions to channel the application and interpretation of Islam: the Council of Islamic Ideology and the Shariat Court.
The Shariat judicial courts were not present in the original Constitution of 1973 and were later inserted in 1979 by General Zia-ul Haq ...
Zia, however, tried to bolster the influence of Islamic parties and the ulama on government and society.
... Zia rewarded the only political party to offer him consistent support, Jamaat-e-Islami. Tens of thousands of Jamaat activists and sympathisers were given jobs in the judiciary, the civil service and other state institutions. These appointments meant Zia's Islamic agenda lived on long after he died.
General Zia became the patron of Islamization in Pakistan and for the first time in the country's history, opened the bureaucracy, the military, and various state institutions to Islamic parties
The grave impact of that legacy was compunded by the Iranian Revolution, and Zia-ul Haq's anti-Shia policies, which added the violence and regimentation of the organization.
The state sponsored process of Islamisation dramatically increased sectarian divisions not only between Sunnis and Shia over the issue of the 1979 Zakat Ordinance, but also between Deobandis and Barelvis.
In the 1940s a solid majority of the Barelvis were supporters of the Pakistan Movement and played a supporting role in its final phase (1940–7), mostly under the banner of the All-India Sunni Conference which had been founded in 1925.
For example, the Barelvi ulama supported the formation of the state of Pakistan and thought that any alliance with Hindus (such as that between the Indian National Congress and the Jamiat ulama-I-Hind [JUH]) was counterproductive.
During the 1946 election, Barelvi Ulama issued fatwas in favour of the Muslim League.
Ironically, Islamic state politics in Pakistan was mostly in favour of Deobandi, and more recently Ahl-e Hadith/Salafi, institutions. Only a few Deobandi clerics decided to support the Pakistan Movement, but they were highly influential.
... the military dictator Zia ul Haq (1977–1988) forged a strong alliance between the military and Deobani institutions and movements (e.g. the TJ).
Most accounts of Zia ul-Haq's life confirm that he came from a religious family and that religion played an important part in molding his personality.
A million people turned up at his funeral. It's because he gave the Pakistani masses exactly what they wanted: more religion.
Pakistan has contributed more than 160,000 troops to-date in 41 missions spread over 23 countries in almost all continents, it said. The country has remained one of the largest troop contributing countries consistently for many years.
Pakistan definitely defied the United Nations ban on supply of arms to the Bosnian Muslims and sophisticated anti-tank guided missiles were airlifted by the Pakistani intelligence agency, ISI, to help Bosnians fight the Serbs.
Javed Nasir confesses that despite the U.N. ban on supplying arms to the besieged Bosnians, he successfully airlifted sophisticated antitank guided missiles which turned the tide in favour of Bosnian Muslims and forced the Serbs to lift the siege. Under his leadership the ISI also got involved in supporting Chinese Muslims in Xinjiang Province, rebel Muslim groups in the Philippines, and some religious groups in Central Asia.
Pakistan's notorious Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, the supporters of the Afghan Mujahidin in the 1980s and the Taliban in the 1990s, violated the UN embargo and provided Bosnian Muslims with sophisticated antitank guided missiles.
NEW DELHI: In a startling revelation, a former ISI chief has claimed in his petition that Pakistan defied the United Nations ban on supply of arms to Bosnia and sophisticated anti-tank guided missiles were air lifted to them by the ISI. The petition, which was filed before the court against the country's largest newspaper group Jung by former ISI chief Lt Gen Javed Nasir, stated that the UN embargo was defied to help Bosnians fight the Serbs. The petition, downloaded from the website of US-based Pakistani web weekly South Asia Tribune, referred to his career, recounting his achievements and his credentials as a leading Islamic international figure and alleged that he had been defamed by a report in the English language newspaper The News. He said that despite the UN ban on supply of arms to the besieged Bosnians, he successfully air lifted sophisticated anti-tank guided missiles which turned the tide in favour of Bosnian Muslims and forced the Serbs to lift the siege, much to the annoyance of the US. The documents go on to give details of how the US threatened Pakistan, then ruled by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, to be declared as a terrorist state, if Sharif did not remove him from the post of the ISI chief.
Not since the tenth century had such a maverick crew occupied Islam's holiest sanctuary, and for nearly two weeks Saudi Special Forces assisted by Pakistani and French commandos fought pitched battles to reclaim the compound.
natural disasters and entrenched insurgencies, abject poverty and feudal kleptocrats, and an economy near meltdown
What this latest debt number also means is that over the first quarter (July–September) of this fiscal year, the government added to the debt by some Rs858 billion, taking the debt to GDP ratio to nearly 69.50%, which in June 2016 stood at around 66.50%.
"Pakistan is a long-standing and "very law-abiding" member of the IAEA, got no opposition from any side at all
Pakistan is home to 108 peaks above 7,000 metres and probably as many peaks above 6,000 m.
Headquartered in SUPARCO headquarters, Karachi, it has been responsible directly and indirectly for the fabrication, processing and launch of the Muslim Ummah's first experimental satellite, Badr-1. It was a historical event not only for the people of Pakistan but also for the entire Muslim Ummah as it was the first satellite built by any Islamic country based on indigenous resources and manpower.
Pakistan became the first Muslim country to send an official expedition to Antarctica. Pakistan in 1992, established its Jinnah Antarctic Research Station.
To a question Dr. Farah said, Pakistan was the first country to carry out research and establish its station at the same time in Antarctica.
Pakistan's presence in Antarctica also appears imperative as none of the Muslim countries seem to be in a position to undertake research there.
We have already taken the lead amongst the Muslim countries by launching our first expedition in 1990–1991 with an investment of large funds and national talent towards Antarctic research.
This makes Pakistan the first Muslim country to undertake Antarctic Expedition and to establish a research station in Antarctica.
Pakistan is maintaining two summer research stations and one weather observatory in the vicinity of SOR Rondane Mountain Range. Pakistan is also planning to build a full fledged permanent base at Antarctica.
Brahui, tribal confederacy of Balochistān, in western Pakistan. Its members are mostly nomadic goat herdsmen, distributed from the Bolān Pass through the Brāhui Hills to Cape Muarī on the Arabian Sea. The Brahui language is a far northwestern member of the Dravidian family of languages, all of whose other members are spoken in peninsular India; it has borrowed heavily from Sindhi but remains in unexplained isolation among the surrounding Indo-Iranian dialects, to which it bears no genetic relationship. The Brahui are estimated to number about 1,560,000. Physically the Brahui resemble their Baloch and Pashtun neighbours, for the confederacy has been highly absorptive. They are Muslim by creed and Sunnite by sect, though the Muslim rites overlie essentially Indian social customs. Women are not strictly secluded. The 29 tribes owe a loose allegiance to the Brahui khan of Kalāt, which has long been associated with the confederacy's destinies. A group of eight tribes forms what is believed to be the original Brahui nucleus and constitutes about one-eleventh of the Brahui population. To these nuclear tribes have been affiliated many indigenous and captive peoples. The Brahui rose to power in the 17th century, overthrowing a dynasty of Hindu rajas. Under Naṣīr Khān, the confederacy attained its zenith in the 18th century. Their subsequent history centred on the state of Kalāt, which joined Pakistan in 1948.
In Pakistan, the majority of Gujarati-speaking communities are in Karachi including Dawoodi Bohras, Ismaili Khojas, Memons, Kathiawaris, Katchhis, Parsis (Zoroastrians) and Hindus, said Gul Hasan Kalmati, a researcher who authored "Karachi, Sindh Jee Marvi", a book discussing the city and its indigenous communities. Although there are no official statistics available, community leaders claim that there are three million Gujarati-speakers in Karachi – roughly around 15 percent of the city's entire population.
Shaikh Muhammad Feroze, the chairman of the committee, said during a press conference on Friday that political parties and the government should acknowledge the sacrifices of their ancestors. 'We live in Sindh and feel proud to be called Sindhis rather than Bengalis. We appeal to Sindhi nationalists and Sindhis to help us in our struggle,' he added. He said that Bengali-speaking people were not given educational rights as they did not possess national identity cards. 'Our children can't get an education after matriculation because colleges ask for the identity cards but the National Database Registration Authority has never accepted us as Pakistani citizens.' Shaikh said that over three million Bengalis and Biharis were grateful to the government for accepting them as Pakistani citizens. 'We postponed a hunger strike planned for March 25 after the government made decisions,' he added. 'We can go on a hunger strike, if our rights are not given.' He claimed that there were 200 settlements of Bengali-speaking people across the country, including 132 in Karachi. They populate different parts of Pakistan, including Thatta, Badin, Hyderabad, Tando Adam and Lahore.
Their large-scale migration had made Karachi one of the largest Rohingya population centres outside Myanmar but afterwards the situation started turning against them.
Insa is one of a few thousand Uighur Muslims who live in Gilgit. The community is a mix of generations. Some left Xinjiang and the thriving trading town of Kashgar in 1949, while others are later arrivals. All say they were forced to leave as they were the victims of cultural and religious oppression in China.
The refugees claim that Indian soldiers forced them out of their homes ... For Kashmiri Muslims, Pakistan appeared safer than Indian-held Kashmir ... "She was also raped by the soldiers," Ahmad said. "Many of the other female refugees were also raped."
One of the Pakistan's smallest ethnic communities is made up of people of African origin, known as Sidi. The African-Pakistanis live in Karachi and other parts of the Sindh and Baluchistan provinces in abject poverty, but they rarely complain of discrimination. Although this small Muslim community is not on the verge of extinction, their growing concern is how to maintain their distinct African identity in the midst of the dominating South Asian cultures.
Pakistan has the second largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia.
Religion: The overwhelming majority of the population (96.3 percent) is Muslim, of whom approximately 95 percent are Sunni and 5 percent Shia.
On the other hand, in Pakistan, where 6% of the survey respondents identify as Shia, Sunni attitudes are more mixed: 50% say Shias are Muslims, while 41% say they are not.
Although born into a Khoja (from khwaja or 'noble') family who were disciples of the Ismaili Aga Khan, Jinnah moved towards the Sunni sect early in life. There is evidence later, given by his relatives and associates in court, to establish that he was firmly a Sunni Muslim by the end of his life (Merchant 1990).
Many Shias in the region feel that they have been discriminated against since 1948. They claim that the Pakistani government continually gives preferences to Sunnis in business, in official positions, and in the administration of justice ... The situation deteriorated sharply during the 1980s under the presidency of the tyrannical Zia-ul Haq when there were many attacks on the Shia population.
Pakistan's first major Shiite-Sunni riots erupted in 1983 in Karachi during the Shiite holiday of Muharram; at least 60 people were killed. More Muharram disturbances followed over the next three years, spreading to Lahore and the Baluchistan region and leaving hundreds more dead. Last July, Sunnis and Shiites, many of them armed with locally made automatic weapons, clashed in the northwestern town of Parachinar, where at least 200 died.
Many Shias in the region feel that they have been discriminated against since 1948. They claim that the Pakistani government continually gives preferences to Sunnis in business, in official positions, and in the administration of justice ... The situation deteriorated sharply during the 1980s under the presidency of the tyrannical Zia-ul Haq when there were many attacks on the Shia population. In one of the most notorious incidents, during May 1988 Sunni assailants destroyed Shia villages, forcing thousands of people to flee to Gilgit for refuge. Shia mosques were razed and about 100 people were killed
A revolt by the Shias of Gilgit was ruthlessly suppressed by the Zia-ul Haq regime in 1988, killing hundreds of Shias. An armed group of tribals from Afghanistan and the North-West Frontier Province, led by Osama bin Laden, was inducted by the Pakistan Army into Gilgit and adjoining areas to suppress the revolt.
This led to violent clashes between the two sects. In 1988, after a brief calm of nearly four days, the military regime allegedly used certain militants along with local Sunnis to 'teach a lesson' to Shias, which led to hundreds of Shias and Sunnis being killed.
Several hundred Shiite civilians in Gilgit, Pakistan, were massacred in 1988 by Osama Bin Laden and his Taliban fighters (Raman, 2004).
Shias in the district of Gilgit were assaulted, killed and raped by an invading Sunni lashkar-armed militia-comprising thousands of jihadis from the North West Frontier Province.
Sūfī Islam in Pakistan is represented at two levels. The first is the populist Sufism of the rural masses, associated with unorthodox religious rituals and practices, belief in the intercessory powers of saints, pilgrimage and veneration at their shrines, and a binding spiritual relationship between the shaykh or pir (master) and murīd (disciple). Many Muslims in rural areas of Pakistan, where orthodox Islam has yet to penetrate effectively, identify themselves with some pir, living or dead, and seek his intercession for the solution of their worldly problems and for salvation in the hereafter.
The other strain is that of scholastic or intellectual Sufism, a recent phenomenon based in urban areas and becoming increasingly popular in educated circles. Influenced by the writings of the medieval theologian al-Ghazālī (d. 1111), the Sūfī reformer Shaykh Aḥmad Sirhindī (d. 1624), and Shāh Walī Allāh (d. 1762), and by the spiritual experiences of the masters of the Suhrawardī and Naqshbandī orders, these modern Sūfīs are rearticulating Islamic metaphysics as an answer to Western materialism.
The logic of the hostage theory tied the treatment of Muslim minorities in India to the treatment meted out to Hindus in Pakistan.
Within the subcontinent, ML propaganda claimed that besides liberating the 'majority provinces' Muslims it would guarantee protection for Muslims who would be left behind in Hindu India. In this regard, it repeatedly stressed the hostage population theory that held that 'hostage' Hindu and Sikh minorities inside Pakistan would guarantee Hindu India's good behaviour towards its own Muslim minority.
Nazim-ud-Din favored an Islamic state not just out of political expediency but also because of his deep religious belief in its efficacy and practicality ... Nazim-ud-Din commented:'I do not agree that religion is a private affair of the individual nor do I agree that in an Islamic state every citizen has identical rights, no matter what his caste, creed or faith be'.
But many Hindu families who stayed in Pakistan after partition have already lost faith and migrated to India.
Muslims attacked more than 30 Hindu temples across Pakistan today, and the Government of this overwhelmingly Muslim nation closed offices and schools for a day to protest the destruction of a mosque in India.
The Hindu residential locality that is close to Mr Bugti's fortress-like house was particularly badly hit. Mr Bugti says 32 Hindus were killed by firing from the government side in exchanges that followed an attack on a government convoy last Thursday.
The majority of Muslims in the country are Sunni, with a Shi'a minority ranging between 10 to 20 percent.
Interestingly, and somewhat intriguingly, 2 per cent of the Pakistanis surveyed see themselves as atheists, up from 1pc in 2005.