Pakistan
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Pakistan profile
controls Khyber Pass and Bolan Pass, traditional invasion routes between Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent
Pakistan history
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. In January 2012, Pakistan assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2012-13 term.
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Conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Conventional short form: Pakistan
Local long form: Jamhuryat Islami Pakistan
Local short form: Pakistan
former: West Pakistan
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Pakistan's capital city is Islamabad
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Pakistan Constitution:

12 April 1973; suspended 5 July 1977, restored 30 December 1985; suspended 15 October 1999, restored in stages in 2002; amended 31 December 2003; suspended 3 November 2007; restored 15 December 2007; last amended 28 February 2012
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Pakistan population growth rate: 1.52%
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Pakistan highest point: K2 (Mt. Godwin-Austen) 8,611 m
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Pakistan lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
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About 26% of Pakistan's land is arable.
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Indus River is the Longest River in Pakistan
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Pakistan birth rate is 24 births/1,000 population
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Pakistan infant mortality rate is 59 deaths/1,000 live births
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Pakistan fertility rate is 2.96 children born/woman
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Pakistan climate:

mostly hot, dry desert; temperate in northwest; arctic in north
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Top 10 cities of Pakistan with populations (2012 est.) are:
1. Karachi: 11,136,886
2. Lahore: 6,658,393
3. Faisalabad: 2,600,525
4. Rawalpindi: 1,824,983
5. Multan: 1,550,046
6. Gujranwala: 1,466,063
7. Hyderabad: 1,391,534
8. Peshawar: 1,303,351
9. Islamabad: 1,082,262
10. Quetta: 842,410
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Pakistan ethnic groups:

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

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

petroleum, petroleum products, machinery, plastics, transportation equipment, edible oils, paper and paperboard, iron and steel, tea
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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)

Administrative Divisions:
4 provinces
1. Balochistan
2. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
(formerly North-West Frontier Province)
3. Punjab
4. Sindh

1 territory:
1. Federally Administered Tribal Areas

1 capital territory:
1. Islamabad Capital Territory
Political parties and leaders:
Awami National Party (ANP) - Asfandyar Wali KHAN

Balochistan National Party-Awami (BNP-A)

Balochistan National Party-Hayee Group (BNP-H) - Dr. Hayee BALOCH

Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M)

Jamaat-i Islami (JI) - Syed Munawar HASAN

Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP)

Jamiat Ahle Hadith (JAH) - Sajid MIR

Jamiat-i Ulema-i Islam Fazl-ur Rehman (JUI-F) - Fazl-ur REHMAN

Jamiat-i Ulema-i Islam Sami-ul HAQ (JUI-S) - Sami ul-HAQ

Jamiat-i Ulema-i Pakistan (JUP) - Abul Khair ZUBAIR

Millat-e-Jafferia - Allama Sajid NAQVI

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) - Altaf HUSSAIN

National Peoples Party (NPP)

Pakhtun-khwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) - Mahmood Khan ACHAKZAI

Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) - Tahir ul QADRI

Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-i Azam (PML-Q) - Chaudhry Shujaat HUSSAIN

Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) - Pir PAGARO

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) - Nawaz SHARIF

Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) - Bilawal Bhutto ZARDARI, chairman; Asif Ali ZARDARI, co-chairman

Pakistan Peoples Party-S - Aftab Ahmad SHERPAO

Quami Watan Party (QWP) - Aftab Ahmed Khan SHERPAO

Pakistan Tehrik-e Insaaf (PTI) - Imran KHAN

note:
political alliances in Pakistan can shift frequently