Pakistan is a modern country located in Asia with a population of approx 200 million, bordering China, India, Iran and Afghanistan. Its new capital is the modern city of Islamabad but the largest place still remains its original capital, Karachi.
It is a beautiful country with a diverse landscape, wildlife, geographical climate, plant life, forests, birds, and natural resources. Its provinces are Punjab, KPK/Fata, Sindh, Baluchistan and Gilgit-Baltistan/Azad Kashmir.
The main religion practised is Islam (96.4%) and minority faiths such as Hinduism, Sikhism and Christianity comprising approx 3.6%.
The official language is Urdu with significant provincial languages and English, and the local currency is the Pakistani Rupee.
Pakistan is a member of numerous international organisations such as the OIC, NAM, BRIC, SARC, ECO, G20 and the UN.
Pakistan is based on a Parliamentary system evolved from its British colonialist legacy with a President, Prime Minister and Legislature, which sometimes has clearly contradicted with the values of the Muslim heritage of its population. It has the sixth largest military and is a recognised, responsible nuclear weapons state. Various politicians and some generals have tinkered and manipulated the existing system to suit their own personal benefits, even though the 1949 Objectives Resolution and the 1973 constitution clearly stated that political governance should be conducted in accordance with the principles and values espoused by the Islamic faith.
Its name was initially coined by Choudhry Rahmat Ali in 1933 as Pakstan, which evolved into Pakistan and referred to the names of the five regions at the time: Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, Sindh and Baluchistan. The local government system is comprised of 130+ districts then further sub-divided into numerous tehsils and union councils.
The country is a fast developing economy despite political instability since its creation on 14th August 1947 from the partition of India, into Pakistan (with a Muslim majority) and Hindustan (with a Hindu Majority), and the subsequent problems it inherited due to broken promises after its inception and the early death of their founder leader, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and their inspiration, the poet Muhammad Iqbal. The partition led to the largest mass migration in history of nearly 10 million people between the two new countries and also unfortunately much bloodshed. It continues to have many problems with India over the territory of Kashmir and their new right-wing BJP Hindu extremist Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, with a history of inciting violence against Muslims.
The country has a strong historical heritage which included the Vedic civilisation, the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Alexander the Great, Maurya Empire, Indo-Greek kingdom, Rai Dynasty, Pala Dynasty. Islam was brought by Muhammad Bin Qasim to Sindh initially in 711 CE, and then through the work of sufi muslims mainly, the faith spread throughout the vast area, which resulted famously in the Ghaznavid and the Mughal Empires. Eventually European and British colonialists began their domination through the infamous English East India Company, and gained control over the majority of India despite notable uprisings and massacres perpetuated by the new rulers.
The Mughals introduced Persian culture, art, architecture and literature into the region which further enhanced the society.
Pakistan is ranked amongst the emerging, growth-leading economies of the world with a partially industrialised economy, established agricultural sector, developing services and information technology sectors. The ICT industry is showing rapid growth. It is ranked 41st largest economy by nominal GDP (world bank). China is Pakistan’s largest trading partner, with mega projects outlined in Gwadar Port and CPEC.
Pakistan has a fast growing tourism industry, with visitors coming to Taxila, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, SWAT, Khyber Pass, Faislabad and Peshawar. The Shalimar Gardens, Badshahi Masjid, Lahore Fort, Faisal Masjid, Karakoram Highway and Centauras Mall are popular resorts.
The country has a fast developing infrastructure of road, motorways, airports, media and metrolinks to rival the best amongst the world, but the system of rail, schools, universities and hospitals are well developed for the middle-upper classes but under developed for the poorer citizens.
The country has a strong history of art, architecture, philosophy and literature with world renowned poets such as Allama Muhammad Iqbal, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Bulleh Shah, Mian Muhammad Baksh, Khawaja Farid.
The country has excellent natural food and drink cuisine, and are internationally acclaimed winners in sports such as Cricket, Hockey, Volleyball.
Pakistan is a dynamic vibrant place of unique culture and heritage with a friendly population and endless possibilities. Its a country to be explored, studied and full of adventure. It needs to be seen to be appreciated.
Dr Ghulam S Ashraf – Content Writer for www.mullk.com