The Pakistan Portal
Pakistan (Urdu: پاکِستان), officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Urdu: اِسلامی
جمہوریہ پاکِستان), is a country in South Asia. It is the sixth-most populous country with a population exceeding 212,742,631 people. In area, it is the 33rd-largest country, spanning 881,913 square kilometres (340,509 square miles). Pakistan has a 1,046-kilometre (650-mile) coastline along the Arabian Sea and 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. It is separated narrowly from Tajikistan by Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor in the northwest, and also shares a maritime border with Oman.
The territory that now constitutes Pakistan was the site of several ancient cultures, including the Mehrgarh of the Neolithic and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation, and was 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 III of Macedon, the Seleucid Empire, the Indian Maurya Empire, the Gupta Empire, the Arab Umayyad Caliphate, the Delhi Sultanate, the Mongol Empire, the Mughal Empire, the Afghan Durrani Empire, the Sikh Empire (partially), and, most recently, the British Empire.
Pakistan 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 Indian subcontinent's struggle for independence, Pakistan was created in 1947 as an independent homeland for Indian 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 three federal territories. The new constitution also stipulated that all laws are 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, 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 class.
"The National Anthem"
Jinnah International Airport previously Quaid-e-Azam International Airport (IATA: KHI, ICAO: OPKC) is Pakistan's largest international and domestic airport. It is located in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan, and is also commonly known as the Jinnah Terminal. The airport is named after Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who was also known as Quaid-e-Azam ("Great Leader"). The existing capacity allows the airport to handle up to 30 aircraft at one time. The facility can handle up to 12 million passengers per year. The airport also provides primary hub for the flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) as well as other smaller airlines. The airport is equipped with aircraft engineering and overhauling facilities with Ispahani Hangar for wide-body aircraft. (More...)
Muslim girl wearing Shalwar kameez, c. 1870
Pakistan hosts the second largest refugee population globally after Turkey. An Afghan refugee girl near Tarbela Dam
Literacy rate of over-15 Pakistan population (1980–2015) by UNESCO Institute of Statistics
A Pakistani dish prepared using the tandoori method
Area controlled by Pakistan shown in dark green; claimed but uncontrolled region shown in light green
Pakistan produced 1,135 megawatts of renewable energy for the month of October 2016. Pakistan expects to produce 3,000 megawatts of renewable energy by the beginning of 2019.
Seekh kebab - one of the famous Pakistani food specialities
Truck art is a distinctive feature of Pakistani culture.
The 17th-century Badshahi Mosque built by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in Lahore
Tarbela Dam, the largest earth filled dam in the world, was constructed in 1968.
Government College University is one of the oldest universities in Pakistan as well as one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the Muslim world.
A satellite image showing the topography of Pakistan
The Kalash people maintain a unique identity and religion within Pakistan.
Pakistan Prime Minister Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai signing the Treaty of Friendship Between China and Pakistan. Pakistan is host to China's largest embassy.
The Pakistan Stock Exchange is one of the best-performing markets in the world. According to Forbes, PSX delivered a return of 400% between 2010 and 2015.
Minar-e-Pakistan is a national monument marking Pakistan's independence movement.
Quote of the Day
"People who have no hold over their process of thinking are likely to be ruined by liberty of thought. If thought is immature, liberty of thought becomes a method of converting men into animals."
Allama Iqbal (National Poet of Pakistan)
Did you know
- ... that Lahore Knowledge Park is an actualization of Triple Helix configuration; a framework to create synergies between government, academia and industry to operate into an interactive rather than linear model for the establishment of social formats and entities to promote commercial innovation and R&D.  (27 January, 2017)
- ... that Sialkot is the world's largest producer of hand-sewed footballs, with local factories manufacturing 40~60 million footballs a year, amounting to roughly 60% of world production. (4 December, 2017)
- ... that Hafiz Muhammad Fazal Azim Taha, the famous living Pakistani poet said about Iqbal's work that "He not only dreamed for Pakistan but also got the nation up for their rights". This famous saying is regarded as Iqbal's definition. (14 July, 2014)
- ... that The Edhi Foundation, founded by Edhi, runs the world's largest volunteer ambulance service operating 1,800 of them with upto 6,000 a day in Karachi alone. (4 December 2017)
This week in history
Things you can do
Provinces and Territories
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Wikipedias in Pakistan languages