South Asia :: Pakistan

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The Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world and dating back at least 5,000 years, spread over much of what is presently Pakistan. During the second millennium B.C., remnants of this culture fused with the migrating Indo-Aryan peoples. The area underwent successive invasions in subsequent centuries from the Persians, Greeks, Scythians, Arabs (who brought Islam), Afghans, and Turks. The Mughal Empire flourished in the 16th and 17th centuries; the British came to dominate the region in the 18th century. The separation in 1947 of British India into the Muslim state of Pakistan (with West and East sections) and largely Hindu India was never satisfactorily resolved, and India and Pakistan fought two wars - in 1947-48 and 1965 - over the disputed Kashmir territory. A third war between these countries in 1971 - in which India capitalized on Islamabad's marginalization of Bengalis in Pakistani politics - resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. In response to Indian nuclear weapons testing, Pakistan conducted its own tests in 1998. India-Pakistan relations have been rocky since the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, but both countries are taking small steps to put relations back on track. In February 2008, Pakistan held parliamentary elections and in September 2008, after the resignation of former President MUSHARRAF, elected Asif Ali ZARDARI to the presidency. Pakistani government and military leaders are struggling to control domestic insurgents, many of whom are located in the tribal areas adjacent to the border with Afghanistan.


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

Geographic coordinates:
30 00 N, 70 00 E

Map references:

Total: 796,095 sq km
Country comparison to the world: 36
Land: 770,875 sq km
Water: 25,220 sq km

Area - comparative:
Total: 6,774 km
Border countries: Afghanistan 2,430 km, China 523 km, India 2,912 km, Iran 909 km

Land boundaries:
Total: 6,774 km
Border countries: Afghanistan 2,430 km, China 523 km, India 2,912 km, Iran 909 km

1,046 km

Maritime claims:
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

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

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

Elevation extremes:
Lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
Highest point: K2 (Mt. Godwin-Austen) 8,611 m

Natural resources:
land, extensive natural gas reserves, limited petroleum, poor quality coal, iron ore, copper, salt, limestone

Land use:
Arable land: 26.02%
Permanent crops: 1.05%
Other: 72.93% (2011)

Irrigated land:
199,900 sq km (2008)

Total renewable water resources:
246.8 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Total: 183.5 cu km/yr (5%/1%/94%)
Per capita: 1,038 cu m/yr (2008)

Natural hazards:
frequent earthquakes, occasionally severe especially in north and west; flooding along the Indus after heavy rains (July and August)

Environment - current issues:
water pollution from raw sewage, industrial wastes, and agricultural runoff; limited natural freshwater resources; most of the population does not have access to potable water; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification

Environment - international agreements:
Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
Signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation

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

People and Society

Noun: Pakistani(s)
Adjective: Pakistani

Ethnic groups:
Punjabi 44.68%, Pashtun (Pathan) 15.42%, Sindhi 14.1%, Sariaki 8.38%, Muhajirs 7.57%, Balochi 3.57%, other 6.28%

Punjabi 48%, Sindhi 12%, Saraiki (a Punjabi variant) 10%, Pashto (alternate name, Pashtu) 8%, Urdu (official) 8%, Balochi 3%, Hindko 2%, Brahui 1%, English (official; lingua franca of Pakistani elite and most government ministries), Burushaski, and other 8%

Muslim (official) 96.4% (Sunni 85-90%, Shia 10-15%), other (includes Christian and Hindu) 3.6% (2010 est.)

196,174,380 (July 2014 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 7

Age structure:
0-14 years: 33.3% (male 33,595,949/female 31,797,766)
15-24 years: 21.5% (male 21,803,617/female 20,463,184)
25-54 years: 35.7% (male 36,390,119/female 33,632,395)
55-64 years: 5.1% (male 5,008,681/female 5,041,434)
65 years and over: 4.3% (male 3,951,190/female 4,490,045) (2014 est.)
Population pyramid:

Dependency ratios:
Total dependency ratio: 60.4 %
Youth dependency ratio: 53.4 %
Elderly dependency ratio: 7.1 %
Potential support ratio: 14.2 (2014 est.)

Median age:
Total: 22.6 years
Male: 22.6 years
Female: 22.6 years (2014 est.)

Population growth rate:
1.49% (2014 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 80

Birth rate:
23.19 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 71

Death rate:
6.58 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 146

Net migration rate:
-1.69 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 160

Urban population: 36.2% of total population (2011)
Rate of urbanization: 2.68% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population:
Karachi 13.876 million; Lahore 7.566 million; Faisalabad 3.038 million; Rawalpindi 2.164 million; Multan 1.775 million; ISLAMABAD (capital) 919,000 (2011)

Sex ratio:
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2014 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth:
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2012-13 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:
260 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 44

Infant mortality rate:
Total: 57.48 deaths/1,000 live births
Country comparison to the world: 25
Male: 60.67 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 54.13 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
Total population: 67.05 years
Country comparison to the world: 167
Male: 65.16 years
Female: 69.03 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate:
2.86 children born/woman (2014 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 63

Contraceptive prevalence rate:
27% (2007/08)

Health expenditures:
2.5% of GDP (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 185

Physicians density:
0.81 physicians/1,000 population (2009)

Hospital bed density:
0.6 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Drinking water source:
urban: 95.7% of population
rural: 89% of population
total: 91.4% of population
urban: 4.3% of population
rural: 11% of population
total: 8.6% of population (2012 est.)

Sanitation facility access:
urban: 71.8% of population
rural: 33.6% of population
total: 47.4% of population
urban: 28.2% of population
rural: 66.4% of population
total: 52.4% of population (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 166

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
86,700 (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 47

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
3,500 (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 48

Major infectious diseases:
Degree of risk: high
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
Animal contact disease: rabies
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2013)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
5.5% (2008)
Country comparison to the world: 153

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
30.9% (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 14

Education expenditures:
2.1% of GDP (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 164

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 54.9%
Male: 68.6%
Female: 40.3% (2009 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Total: 8 years
Male: 8 years
Female: 7 years (2012)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
Total: 7.7%
Country comparison to the world: 124
Male: 7%
Female: 10.5% (2008)


Country name:
Conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Conventional short form: Pakistan
Local long form: Jamhuryat Islami Pakistan
Local short form: Pakistan
Former: West Pakistan

Government type:
federal republic

Name: Islamabad
Geographic coordinates: 33 41 N, 73 03 E
Time difference: UTC+5 (10 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

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

14 August 1947 (from British India)

National holiday:
Pakistan Day (also referred to as Pakistan Resolution Day or Republic Day), 23 March (1940); note - commemorates both the adoption of the Lahore Resolution by the All-India Muslim League during its 22-24 March 1940 session, which called for the creation of independent Muslim states, and the adoption of the first constitution of Pakistan on 23 March 1956 during the transition to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

several previous; latest endorsed 12 April 1973, passed 19 April 1973, entered into force 14 August 1973 (suspended and restored several times); amended many times, last in 2012 (2012)

Legal system:
common law system with Islamic law influence

International law organization participation:
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; non-party state to the ICCt

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

Executive branch:
Chief of state: President Mamnoon HUSSAIN (since 9 September 2013)
Head of government: Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz SHARIF (since 5 June 2013)
Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president upon the advice of the prime minister
Elections: president elected by secret ballot through an Electoral College comprising the members of the Senate, National Assembly, and provincial assemblies for a five-year term; election last held on 9 September 2013 (next to be held in 2018); prime minister selected by the National Assembly
Election results: Mamnoon HUSSAIN elected president; Mamnoon HUSSAIN 432 votes, Wajihuddin AHMED 77 votes

Legislative branch:
bicameral parliament or Majlis-e-Shoora consists of the Senate (104 seats; members indirectly elected by provincial assemblies and the territories' representatives in the National Assembly to serve six-year terms; one half are elected every three years) and the National Assembly (342 seats; 272 members elected by popular vote; 60 seats reserved for women; 10 seats reserved for non-Muslims; members serve five-year terms)
Elections: Senate - last held on 2 March 2012 (next to be held in March 2015); National Assembly - last held on 11 May 2013 (next to be held in 2018)
Election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PPPP 41, PML-N 14, ANP 12, JUI-F 7, MQM 7, PML-Q 5, BNP-A 4, NPP 1, PML-F 1, independents 12; National Assembly - percent of votes by party - NA; seats by party as of June 2013) - PML-N 126, PPPP 31, PTI 28, MQM 18, JUI-F 10, PML-F 5, other 22, independents 25, unfilled seats 7; 60 seats reserved for women, 10 seats reserved for non-Muslims

Judicial branch:
Highest court(s): Supreme Court of Pakistan (consists of the chief justice and 16 judges)
Judge selection and term of office: justices nominated by an 8-member Majlis-e-Shoora (parliamentary) Committee upon the recommendation of the Judicial Commission (a 9-member body of several judges and other judicial professionals), and appointed by the president of Pakistan; justices can serve until age 65
Subordinate courts: High Courts; Federal Shariat Court; provincial and district civil and criminal courts; specialized courts for issues such as taxation, banking, customs, etc.

Political parties and leaders:
Awami National Party or ANP [Asfandyar Wali KHAN]
Balochistan National Party-Awami or BNP-A
Balochistan National Party-Hayee Group or BNP-H [Dr. Hayee BALOCH]
Balochistan National Party-Mengal or BNP-M
Jamaat-i Islami or JI [Syed Munawar HASAN]
Jamhoori Watan Party or JWP
Jamiat Ahle Hadith or JAH [Sajid MIR]
Jamiat-i Ulema-i Islam Fazl-ur Rehman or JUI-F [Fazl-ur REHMAN]
Jamiat-i Ulema-i Islam Sami-ul HAQ or JUI-S [Sami ul-HAQ]
Jamiat-i Ulema-i Pakistan or JUP [Abul Khair ZUBAIR]
Millat-e-Jafferia [Allama Sajid NAQVI]
Muttahida Qaumi Movement or MQM [Altaf HUSSAIN]
National Peoples Party or NPP
Pakhtun-khwa Milli Awami Party or PKMAP [Mahmood Khan ACHAKZAI]
Pakistan Awami Tehrik or PAT [Tahir ul QADRI]
Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-i Azam or PML-Q [Chaudhry Shujaat HUSSAIN]
Pakistan Muslim League-Functional or PML-F [Pir PAGARO]
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz or PML-N [Nawaz SHARIF]
Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians or PPPP [Bilawal Bhutto ZARDARI, chairman; Asif Ali ZARDARI, co-chairman]
Pakistan Peoples Party-S [Aftab Ahmad SHERPAO]
Quami Watan Party or QWP [Aftab Ahmed Khan SHERPAO]
Pakistan Tehrik-e Insaaf or PTI [Imran KHAN]

note: political alliances in Pakistan can shift frequently

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Other: military (most important political force); ulema (clergy); landowners; industrialists; small merchants

International organization participation:

Diplomatic representation in the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Jalil Abbas JILANI (since 10 March 2014)
Chancery: 3517 International Court, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone: [1] (202) 243-6500
FAX: [1] (202) 686-1534
Consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Sunnyvale (CA)
Consulate(s): Chicago, Houston

Diplomatic representation from the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Richard OLSON (since 24 September 2012)
Embassy: Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5, Islamabad
Mailing address: 8100 Islamabad Pl., Washington, DC 20521-8100
Telephone: [92] (51) 208-0000
FAX: [92] (51) 227-6427
Consulate(s) general: Karachi
Consulate(s): Lahore, Peshawar

National symbol(s):
star and crescent

National anthem:
Name: "Qaumi Tarana" (National Anthem)

Lyrics/music: Abu-Al-Asar Hafeez JULLANDHURI/Ahmed Ghulamali CHAGLA
note: adopted 1954; the anthem is also known as "Pak sarzamin shad bad" (Blessed Be the Sacred Land)


Economy - overview:
Decades of internal political disputes and low levels of foreign investment have led to slow growth and underdevelopment in Pakistan. Agriculture accounts for more than one-fifth of output and two-fifths of employment. Textiles account for most of Pakistan's export earnings, and Pakistan's failure to expand a viable export base for other manufactures has left the country vulnerable to shifts in world demand. Official unemployment was 6.6% in 2013, but this fails to capture the true picture, because much of the economy is informal and underemployment remains high. Over the past few years, low growth and high inflation, led by a spurt in food prices, have increased the amount of poverty. As a result of political and economic instability, the Pakistani rupee has depreciated more than 40% since 2007. The government agreed to an International Monetary Fund Standby Arrangement in November 2008 in response to a balance of payments crisis. Although the economy has stabilized since the crisis, it has failed to recover. Foreign investment has not returned, due to investor concerns related to governance, energy, security, and a slow-down in the global economy. Remittances from overseas workers, averaging about $1 billion a month since March 2011, remain a bright spot for Pakistan. However, after a small current account surplus in fiscal year 2011 (July 2010/June 2011), Pakistan's current account turned to deficit in the following two years, spurred by higher prices for imported oil and lower prices for exported cotton. Pakistan remains stuck in a low-income, low-growth trap, with growth averaging about 3.5% per year from 2008 to 2013. Pakistan must address long standing issues related to government revenues and energy production in order to spur the amount of economic growth that will be necessary to employ its growing and rapidly urbanizing population, more than half of which is under 22. Other long term challenges include expanding investment in education and healthcare, adapting to the effects of climate change and natural disasters, and reducing dependence on foreign donors.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$574.1 billion (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 27
$554.2 billion (2012 est.)
$531 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$236.5 billion (2013 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
3.6% (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 88
4.4% (2012 est.)
3.7% (2011 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$3,100 (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 177
$3,100 (2012 est.)
$3,000 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

Gross national saving:
12.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 120
13.3% of GDP (2012 est.)
12.9% of GDP (2011 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:
Household consumption: 81%
Government consumption: 10.8%
Investment in fixed capital: 12.6%
Investment in inventories: 1.6%
Exports of goods and services: 12.7%
Imports of goods and services: -18.8%
(2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
Agriculture: 25.3%
Industry: 21.6%
Services: 53.1% (2013 est.)

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

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

Industrial production growth rate:
3.5% (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 86

Labor force:
59.21 million
Country comparison to the world: 10
note: extensive export of labor, mostly to the Middle East, and use of child labor (2012 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
Agriculture: 45.1%
Industry: 20.7%
Services: 34.2% (2010 est.)

Unemployment rate:
6.6% (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 68
6% (2012 est.)
note: substantial underemployment exists

Population below poverty line:
22.3% (FY05/06 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Lowest 10%: 3.9%
Highest 10%: 39.3% (FY05/06)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
30.6 (FY07/08)
Country comparison to the world: 119
41 (FY98/99)

Revenues: $29.71 billion
Expenditures: $47.97 billion (2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
12.6% of GDP (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 202

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-7.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 191

Public debt:
54.6% of GDP (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 57
52.1% of GDP (2012 est.)

Fiscal year:
1 July - 30 June

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
7.7% (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 194
9.7% (2012 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
12% (31 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 13
14% (31 December 2010 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
11.5% (31 December 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 60
12.41% (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of narrow money:
$71.96 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 42
$62.29 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of broad money:
$93.11 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 55
$82.63 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$106.8 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 50
$94.65 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA (31 December 2012 est.)
$NA (31 December 2011)
$38.17 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance:
-$2.36 billion (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 147
-$2.072 billion (2012 est.)

$25.05 billion (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 70
$24.71 billion (2012 est.)

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

Exports - partners:
US 13.6%, China 11.1%, UAE 8.5%, Afghanistan 7.8% (2012)

$39.27 billion (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 61
$40.07 billion (2012 est.)

Imports - commodities:
petroleum, petroleum products, machinery, plastics, transportation equipment, edible oils, paper and paperboard, iron and steel, tea

Imports - partners:
China 19.7%, Saudi Arabia 12.3%, UAE 12.1%, Kuwait 6.3% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$11.18 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 73
$13.8 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Debt - external:
$52.43 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 61
$54.5 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$24.33 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 68
$22.73 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$1.569 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 74
$1.519 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Exchange rates:
Pakistani rupees (PKR) per US dollar -
100.4 (2013 est.)
93.3952 (2012 est.)
85.194 (2010 est.)
81.71 (2009)
70.64 (2008)


Electricity - production:
94.65 billion kWh (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 35

Electricity - consumption:
70.1 billion kWh (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 39

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 182

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 186

Electricity - installed generating capacity:
22.27 million kW (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 35

Electricity - from fossil fuels:
68.3% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 111

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
2.1% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 27

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
29.6% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 80

Electricity - from other renewable sources:
0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 112

Crude oil - production:
61,660 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 58

Crude oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 167

Crude oil - imports:
151,200 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 41

Crude oil - proved reserves:
247.5 million bbl (1 January 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 57

Refined petroleum products - production:
210,100 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 52

Refined petroleum products - consumption:
426,700 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 34

Refined petroleum products - exports:
34,660 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 67

Refined petroleum products - imports:
227,100 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 25

Natural gas - production:
39.15 billion cu m (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 23

Natural gas - consumption:
42.9 billion cu m (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 23

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 164

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 115

Natural gas - proved reserves:
679.6 billion cu m (1 January 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 31

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
139.7 million Mt (2011 est.)


Telephones - main lines in use:
5.803 million (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 29

Telephones - mobile cellular:
125 million (2013)
Country comparison to the world: 9

Telephone system:
General assessment: the telecommunications infrastructure is improving dramatically with foreign and domestic investments in fixed-line and mobile-cellular networks; system consists of microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, fiber-optic cable, cellular, and satellite networks;
Domestic: mobile-cellular subscribership has skyrocketed, exceeding 110 million by the end of 2011, up from only about 300,000 in 2000; more than 90 percent of Pakistanis live within areas that have cell phone coverage and more than half of all Pakistanis have access to a cell phone; fiber systems are being constructed throughout the country to aid in network growth; fixed line availability has risen only marginally over the same period and there are still difficulties getting fixed-line service to rural areas
International: country code - 92; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3 and SEA-ME-WE-4 submarine cable systems that provide links to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean); 3 operational international gateway exchanges (1 at Karachi and 2 at Islamabad); microwave radio relay to neighboring countries (2011)

Broadcast media:
media is government regulated; 1 dominant state-owned TV broadcaster, Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV), operates a network consisting of 5 channels; private TV broadcasters are permitted; to date 69 foreign satellite channels are operational; the state-owned radio network operates more than 40 stations; nearly 100 commercially licensed privately owned radio stations provide programming mostly limited to music and talk shows (2007)

Internet country code:

Internet hosts:
365,813 (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 57

Internet users:
20.431 million (2009)
Country comparison to the world: 20


151 (2013)
Country comparison to the world: 37

Airports - with paved runways:
Total: 108
Over 3,047 m: 15
2,438 to 3,047 m: 20
1,524 to 2,437 m: 43
914 to 1,523 m: 20
Under 914 m: 10 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
Total: 43
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 9
Under 914 m:
24 (2013)

23 (2013)

gas 12,646 km; oil 2,576 km; refined products 1,087 km (2013)

Total: 7,791 km
Country comparison to the world: 27
Broad gauge: 7,479 km 1.676-m gauge (293 km electrified)
Narrow gauge: 312 km 1.000-m gauge (2007)

Total: 262,256 km
Country comparison to the world: 20
Paved: 189,218 km (includes 708 km of expressways)
Unpaved: 73,038 km (2010)

Merchant marine:
Total: 11
Country comparison to the world: 110
By type: bulk carrier 5, cargo 3, petroleum tanker 3
Registered in other countries: 11 (Comoros 5, Marshall Islands 1, Moldova 1, Panama 3, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1) (2010)

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


Military branches:
Pakistan Army (includes National Guard), Pakistan Navy (includes Marines and Maritime Security Agency), Pakistan Air Force (Pakistan Fiza'ya) (2013)

Military service age and obligation:
16-23 years of age for voluntary military service; soldiers cannot be deployed for combat until age 18; the Pakistani Air Force and Pakistani Navy have inducted their first female pilots and sailors; the Pakistan Air Force recruits aviation technicians at age 15; service obligation (Navy) 10-18 years; retirement required after 18-30 years service or age 40-52 (2012)

Manpower available for military service:
Males age 16-49: 48,453,305
Females age 16-49: 44,898,096 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
Males age 16-49: 37,945,440
Females age 16-49: 37,381,549 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Male: 2,237,723
Female: 2,104,906 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
3.04% of GDP (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 20
3.13% of GDP (2011)
3.04% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:
various talks and confidence-building measures cautiously have begun to defuse tensions over Kashmir, particularly since the October 2005 earthquake in the region; Kashmir nevertheless remains the site of the world's largest and most militarized territorial dispute with portions under the de facto administration of China (Aksai Chin), India (Jammu and Kashmir), and Pakistan (Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas); UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan has maintained a small group of peacekeepers since 1949; India does not recognize Pakistan's ceding historic Kashmir lands to China in 1964; India and Pakistan have maintained their 2004 cease-fire in Kashmir and initiated discussions on defusing the armed standoff in the Siachen glacier region; Pakistan protests India's fencing the highly militarized Line of Control and construction of the Baglihar Dam on the Chenab River in Jammu and Kashmir, which is part of the larger dispute on water sharing of the Indus River and its tributaries; to defuse tensions and prepare for discussions on a maritime boundary, India and Pakistan seek technical resolution of the disputed boundary in Sir Creek estuary at the mouth of the Rann of Kutch in the Arabian Sea; Pakistani maps continue to show the Junagadh claim in India's Gujarat State; since 2002, with UN assistance, Pakistan has repatriated 3.8 million Afghan refugees, leaving about 2.6 million; Pakistan has sent troops across and built fences along some remote tribal areas of its treaty-defined Durand Line border with Afghanistan, which serve as bases for foreign terrorists and other illegal activities; Afghan, Coalition, and Pakistan military meet periodically to clarify the alignment of the boundary on the ground and on maps

Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Refugees (country of origin): 2.6 million (1.6 million registered, 1 million undocumented ) (Afghanistan) (2014)
IDPs: 930,000 (primarily those who remain displaced by counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations and violent conflict between armed non-state groups in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber-Paktunkwa Province; individuals also have been displaced by repeated monsoon floods) (2014)

Illicit drugs:
significant transit area for Afghan drugs, including heroin, opium, morphine, and hashish, bound for Iran, Western markets, the Gulf States, Africa, and Asia; financial crimes related to drug trafficking, terrorism, corruption, and smuggling remain problems; opium poppy cultivation estimated to be 2,300 hectares in 2007 with 600 of those hectares eradicated; federal and provincial authorities continue to conduct anti-poppy campaigns that utilizes forced eradication, fines, and arrests

Flag of Pakistan

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