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  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

Map of Pakistan

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Pakistan
Definition Field Listing
The separation in 1947 of British India into the Muslim state of Pakistan (with two sections West and East) and largely Hindu India was never satisfactorily resolved. A third war between these countries in 1971 resulted in East Pakistan seceding and becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. A dispute over the state of Kashmir is ongoing. In response to Indian nuclear weapons testing, Pakistan conducted its own tests in 1998.
   Geography    Pakistan
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
30 00 N, 70 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
total: 803,940 sq km
land: 778,720 sq km
water: 25,220 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly less than twice the size of California
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 6,774 km
border countries: Afghanistan 2,430 km, China 523 km, India 2,912 km, Iran 909 km
Definition Field Listing
1,046 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
contiguous zone: 24 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
Definition Field Listing
mostly hot, dry desert; temperate in northwest; arctic in north
Definition Field Listing
flat Indus plain in east; mountains in north and northwest; Balochistan plateau in west
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: K2 (Mt. Godwin-Austen) 8,611 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
land, extensive natural gas reserves, limited petroleum, poor quality coal, iron ore, copper, salt, limestone
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 27.81%
permanent crops: 0.79%
other: 71.4% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
180,000 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
frequent earthquakes, occasionally severe especially in north and west; flooding along the Indus after heavy rains (July and August)
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
water pollution from raw sewage, industrial wastes, and agricultural runoff; limited natural fresh water resources; a majority of the population does not have access to potable water; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, 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, Nuclear Test Ban
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
controls Khyber Pass and Bolan Pass, traditional invasion routes between Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent
   People    Pakistan
Definition Field Listing
147,663,429 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 39.9% (male 30,321,217; female 28,581,334)
15-64 years: 56% (male 42,254,996; female 40,392,092)
65 years and over: 4.1% (male 2,984,391; female 3,129,399) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.06% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
30.4 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
9.02 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-0.79 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.95 male(s)/female
total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
78.52 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 61.82 years
female: 62.73 years (2002 est.)
male: 60.96 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
4.25 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.1% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
74,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
6,500 (1999 est.)
Definition Field Listing
noun: Pakistani(s)
adjective: Pakistani
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashtun (Pathan), Baloch, Muhajir (immigrants from India at the time of partition and their descendants)
Definition Field Listing
Muslim 97% (Sunni 77%, Shi'a 20%), Christian, Hindu, and other 3%
Definition Field Listing
Punjabi 48%, Sindhi 12%, Siraiki (a Punjabi variant) 10%, Pashtu 8%, Urdu (official) 8%, Balochi 3%, Hindko 2%, Brahui 1%, English (official and lingua franca of Pakistani elite and most government ministries), Burushaski, and other 8%
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 42.7%
male: 55.3%
female: 29% (1998)
   Government    Pakistan
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Pakistan
conventional short form: Pakistan
former: West Pakistan
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
federal republic
Definition Field Listing
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
4 provinces, 1 territory*, and 1 capital territory**; Balochistan, Federally Administered Tribal Areas*, Islamabad Capital Territory**, North-West Frontier Province, Punjab, Sindh
note: the Pakistani-administered portion of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region includes Azad Kashmir and the Northern Areas
Definition Field Listing
14 August 1947 (from UK)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Republic Day, 23 March (1956)
Definition Field Listing
10 April 1973, suspended 5 July 1977, restored with amendments 30 December 1985; suspended 15 October 1999
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on English common law with provisions to accommodate Pakistan's status as an Islamic state; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Definition Field Listing
21 years of age; universal; separate electorates and reserved parliamentary seats for non-Muslims
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
note: following a military takeover on 12 October 1999, Chief of Army Staff and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Pervez MUSHARRAF, suspended Pakistan's constitution and assumed the additional title of Chief Executive; exercising the powers of the head of the government, he appointed an eight-member National Security Council to function as Pakistan's supreme governing body; on 12 May 2000, Pakistan's Supreme Court unanimously validated the October 1999 coup and granted MUSHARRAF executive and legislative authority for three years from the coup date; on 20 June 2001, MUSHARRAF named himself as president and was sworn in, replacing Mohammad Rafiq TARAR; in a referendum held on 30 April 2002, MUSHARRAF's presidency was extended by five more years
chief of state: President Pervez MUSHARRAF (since 20 June 2001) note - MUSHARRAF is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: Chief Executive Pervez MUSHARRAF (since 12 May 2000) note - MUSHARRAF is both chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the chief executive
election results: results are for the 10 October 2002 election for prime minister - Mir Zafarullah Khan JAMALI elected prime minister (not a position of real power)
elections: legislative election last held 10 October 2002 (next to be held NA 2007); prior to the military takeover, Pakistan had an elected president and prime minister; the president was elected by Parliament for a five-year term; election last held 31 December 1997; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition was usually elected prime minister by the National Assembly
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral Parliament or Majlis-e-Shoora consists of the Senate (100 seats - formerly 87; members indirectly elected by provincial assemblies to serve six-year terms; one-third of the members up for election every two years) and the National Assembly (342 seats - formerly 217; 10 seats represent minorities; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
election results: Senate results are for the last election prior to the military takeover; - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - PML/N 30, PPP 17, ANP 7, MQM 6, JWP 5, BNP 4, JUI/F 2, PML/J 2, BNM/H 1, PKMAP 1, TJP 1, independents 6, vacant 5; National Assembly results are for the 10 October 2002 election - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - PPP 71, PML/Q 69, MMA 53, PML/N 14, MQM 13, MP 12, PML/F 4, PML/J 2, PPP/SB 2, female elected members 60, independents 21, minorities 10, others 11
note: Gen. Pervez MUSHARRAF dismissed Parliament 15 October 1999
elections: Senate - last held 12 March 1997 (next to be held by October 2002); National Assembly - last held 10 October 2002 (next to be held by October 2007)
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court (justices appointed by the president); Federal Islamic or Shari'a Court
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Awami National Party or ANP [Wali KHAN]; Balochistan National Movement/Hayee Group or BNM/H [Dr. HAYEE Baluch]; Baluch National Party or BNP [Sardar Akhtar MENGAL]; Jamhoori Watan Party or JWP [Akbar Khan BUGTI]; Jamiat-al-Hadith or JAH [Sajid MIR]; Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, Fazlur Rehman faction or JUI/F [Fazlur REHMAN]; Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan, Niazi faction or JUP/NI [Abdul Sattar Khan NIAZI]; Millat Party or MP [Farooq LEGHARI]; Milli Yakjheti Council or MYC is an umbrella organization which includes Jamaat-i-Islami or JI [Qazi Hussain AHMED], Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, Sami-ul-Haq faction or JUI/S [Sami ul-HAQ], Tehrik-I-Jafria Pakistan or TJP [Allama Sajid NAQVI], and Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan, Noorani faction or JUP/NO [Shah Ahmad NOORANI]; Mutahida Qaumi Movement, Altaf faction or MQM [Altaf HUSSAIN]; Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal Pakistan or MMA [NA leader]; National People's Party or NPP [Ghulam Mustapha JATOI]; Pakhtun Khwa Milli Awami Party or PKMAP [Mahmood Khan ACHAKZAI]; Pakhtun Quami Party or PQP [Mohammed AFZAL Khan]; Pakistan Awami Tehrik or PAT [Tahir ul QADRI]; Pakistan Democratic Party or PDP [Nawabadzada KHAN]; Pakistan Muslim League, Functional Group or PML/F [Pir PAGARO]; Pakistan Muslim League, Junejo faction or PML/J [Hamid Nasir CHATTHA]; Pakistan Muslim League, Nawaz Sharif faction or PML/N [Nawaz SHARIF]; Pakistan Muslim League, Quaid-l-Azam faction or PML/Q [Mian AZHAR]; Pakistan National Party or PNP [Hasil BIZENJO]; Pakistan People's Party or PPP [Benazir BHUTTO]; Pakistan People's Party/Shaheed Bhutto or PPP/SB [Ghinva BHUTTO]; Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf or PTI [Imran KHAN]
note: political alliances in Pakistan can shift frequently
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
military remains most important political force; ulema (clergy), landowners, industrialists, and small merchants also influential
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Ashraf Jehangir QAZI
FAX: [1] (202) 387-0484
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York, and Sunnyvale (California)
telephone: [1] (202) 939-6205
chancery: 2315 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Nancy J. POWELL
embassy: Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5, Islamabad
mailing address: P. O. Box 1048, Unit 62200, APO AE 09812-2200
telephone: [92] (51) 2080-0000
FAX: [92] (51) 2276427
consulate(s): Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
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
   Economy    Pakistan
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Pakistan, an impoverished and underdeveloped country, suffers from internal political disputes, lack of foreign investment, and a costly confrontation with neighboring India. Pakistan's economic prospects, marred by poor human development indicators, low levels of foreign investment, and reliance on international creditors for hard currency inflows, were nonetheless on an upswing through most of 2001. The MUSHARRAF government made significant inroads in macroeconomic reform - it completed an IMF short-term loan program for the first time and improved its standing with international creditors by increasing revenue collection and restraining the fiscal deficit in the 2001/02 budget. While Pakistan has capitalized on its international standing after the 11 September terrorist attacks on the US by garnering substantial assistance from abroad - including $1.3 billion in IMF Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility aid and $12.5 billion in Paris Club debt rescheduling - long-term prospects remain uncertain. GDP growth will continue to hinge on crop performance; dependence on foreign oil leaves the import bill vulnerable to fluctuating oil prices; and foreign and domestic investors remain wary of committing to projects in Pakistan. Pakistani trade levels - already in decline due to the global economic downturn - worsened in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $299 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
3.3% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $2,100 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 26%
industry: 24%
services: 50% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
35% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 4%
highest 10%: 28% (1997) (1997)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
31 (1996-97 )
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing
4% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
40.4 million
note: extensive export of labor, mostly to the Middle East, and use of child labor (2000)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 44%, industry 17%, services 39% (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
6.3% (2001 est.)
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $8.9 billion
expenditures: $11.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY00/01 est.)
Definition Field Listing
textiles, food processing, beverages, construction materials, clothing, paper products, shrimp
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
7% (2001 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
62.687 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 64%
hydro: 35%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 1%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
58.299 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
cotton, wheat, rice, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; milk, beef, mutton, eggs
Definition Field Listing
$8.8 billion f.o.b. (2001)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
textiles (garments, cotton cloth, and yarn), rice, other agricultural products
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 24.8%, UK 6.5%, UAE 6.2%, Hong Kong 5.9%, Germany 5.6%, (2000)
Definition Field Listing
$9.2 billion f.o.b. (2001)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery, petroleum, petroleum products, chemicals, transportation equipment, edible oils, grains, pulses, flour
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Kuwait 11.7%, UAE 10.7%, Saudi Arabia 10.5%, US 6%, Japan 5.6% (2000)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$31.5 billion (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$2 billion (FY99/00)
Definition Field Listing
Pakistani rupee (PKR)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Pakistani rupees per US dollar - 60.719 (January 2002), 61.927 (2001), 53.648 (2000), 49.118 (1999), 44.943 (1998), 40.918 (1997)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 July - 30 June
   Communications    Pakistan
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
2.861 million (March 1999)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
158,000 (1998)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: the domestic system is mediocre, but improving; service is adequate for government and business use, in part because major businesses have established their own private systems; since 1988, the government has promoted investment in the national telecommunications system on a priority basis, significantly increasing network capacity; despite major improvements in trunk and urban systems, telecommunication services are still not readily available to the majority of the rural population
domestic: microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, fiber-optic cable, cellular, and satellite networks
international: 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 (1999)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 27, FM 1, shortwave 21 (1998)
Definition Field Listing
13.5 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
22 (plus seven low-power repeaters) (1997)
Definition Field Listing
3.1 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
30 (2000)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
1.2 million (2000)
   Transportation    Pakistan
Definition Field Listing
total: 8,163 km
broad gauge: 7,718 km 1.676-m gauge (293 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 445 km 1.000-m gauge (2001)
Definition Field Listing
total: 247,811 km
paved: 141,252 km (including 339 km of expressways)
unpaved: 106,559 km (1998)
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
crude oil 250 km; petroleum products 885 km; natural gas 4,044 km (1987)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Karachi, Port Muhammad bin Qasim
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 17 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 241,832 GRT/367,093 DWT
ships by type: cargo 13, container 3, petroleum tanker 1 (2002 est.)
Definition Field Listing
120 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 87
over 3,047 m: 14
2,438 to 3,047 m: 21
914 to 1,523 m: 17
under 914 m: 3 (2002)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 32
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 38
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 19 (2002)
Definition Field Listing
13 (2002)
   Military    Pakistan
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army, Navy, Air Force, Civil Armed Forces, National Guard
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
17 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 36,941,592 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 22,606,576 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 1,657,724 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$2,545.5 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
4.6% (FY01)
   Transnational Issues    Pakistan
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
armed stand-off with India over the status and sovereignty of Kashmir continues; dispute with India over the terminus of Rann of Kutch prevents extension of a maritime boundary; water-sharing problems with India persist over the Indus River (Wular Barrage); close ties with Pashtuns in Afghanistan make long border difficult to control
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
opium poppy cultivation practically eliminated; key transit point for Southwest Asian heroin bound for Western markets; Afghan narcotics continue to transit Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Balochistan Province, and Karachi; financial crimes related to drug trafficking, terrorism, corruption, and smuggling remain problems

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

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