Located in South Asia, Pakistan shares an eastern border with India and a northeastern border with China. Iran makes up the country’s southwest border, and Afghanistan runs along its western and northern edge. The Arabian Sea is Pakistan’s southern boundary with 1,064 km of coastline. The country has a total area of 803,940 sq. km with a land area of 796,095 Sq. km and is nearly four times the size of the United Kingdom. From Gwadar Bay in it’s southeastern corner, the country extends more than 1,800 km to the Khunjerab Pass on China’s border.

Textiles, food processing, beverages, construction materials, clothing, paper products, shrimp, cotton, wheat, rice, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables, milk, beef, mutton, eggs.

EU, US, Hong Kong, Japan, China.

Pakistan’s neighbours are an eclectic and ornery bunch: Iran to the southwest; Afghanistan to the west and north; China to the northeast; and India stretching down its eastern side. The southern coast abuts the Arabian Sea. The country is composed of towering peaks in the north (including the second-highest mountain in the world, 8611m/28,245 ft K2), dry and scrubby mountains in the west, an inhospitable plateau in the southwest, barren deserts in the southeast and alluvial plains everywhere else. These plains, constituting about a third of the country, are Pakistan’s ‘heart’, where most of its people live and most of its food is grown. Coursing through all this tumult is the Indus River, which falls from Tibet then travels 2500 km (1550 mi) south before emptying through an immense delta into the Arabian Sea. Natural fauna in Pakistan’s lowlands is patchy – mostly scattered clumps of grass and stunted woodlands. However, as the landscape rises, there are quite large coniferous forests and carpeted slopes of multicoloured flowers in the northern mountains. Fauna includes bear, snow leopard, deer and jackal. Pakistan’s 800 km (500 mi) of coastline teems with shark, shellfish and sea turtle, while the Indus delta is home to the marsh crocodile.

796,095 sq km (307,374 sq miles) excluding data for the disputed territories of Jammu and Kashmir.

137,510,000 (official estimate 2000).

172.7 per sq km.

Capital : Islamabad. Population :
799,000 (1998).

Pakistan has borders to the north with Afghanistan, to the east with India and to the west with Iran; the Arabian Sea lies to the south. In the northeast is the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir, bounded by Afghanistan, China and India. Pakistan comprises distinct regions. The northern highlands – the Hindu Kush – are rugged and mountainous; the Indus Valley is a flat, alluvial plain with five major rivers dominating the upper region, eventually joining the Indus River and flowing south to the Makran coast; Sindh is bounded on the east by the Thar Desert and the Rann of Kutch, and on the west by the Kirthar Range; the Baluchistan Plateau is an arid tableland encircled by mountains.


Federal Islamic Republic since 1973. Gained independence from the UK in 1947. Head of State: General Pervez Musharraf since 2001. Head of Government: Following a military coup in October 1999, General Pervez Musharraf took over as the leader of the new military regime. Prime Minister: Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali since 2002.

Urdu is the national language. English is widely spoken. Regional languages include Punjabi, which is spoken by 48 per cent of the population (1981), Pushto, Sindhi, Saraiki, and Baluchi. There are numerous local dialects.

Ninety-seven per cent Muslim, the remainder are Hindu or Christian.

GMT + 5.

220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round two- or three-pin plugs are in use.


TELEPHONE : IDD is available. Country code: 92. Outgoing international code: 00.

MOBILE TELEPHONE : GSM 900 networks available. Main network providers include Mobilink (website : http://www.mobilinkgsm.com), and from January 2001, Pak Telecom. Coverage is largely limited to main cities.

Services are operated by the Pakistan telephone and telegraph department.

Main ISPs include Pakistan Online (website : http://www.pol.com.pk), and Pak Net (website : http://www.paknet.com.pk). Internet cafes exist in main urban areas.

There are services at post offices, telegraph offices and main hotels. The Central Telegraph Offices provide a 24-hour service.

Airmail takes four to five days to reach Western Europe. There are poste restante facilities in Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi. General post offices in major cities offer 24-hour services. Important letters should be registered or insured.

The English-language press enjoys a great deal of influence in business circles. Dailies include The Financial Post, The Leader, The Pakistan Observer, The Pakistan Times, The Star, The Nation, The News, The Frontier Post, The Muslim, The Business Recorder and Dawn.


BBC World Service (website: www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice) and Voice of America (website : http://www.voa.gov) can be received. From time to time the frequencies change and the most up-to-date can be found online.

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