Pakistan, officially known as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country located in South Asia. It was born out of the partition of the Indian sub-continent in 1947. With an area of 881,913 sq km and a population of 242.9 million, it is a diverse nation with languages such as Urdu, English, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, and Balochi being spoken.
Ruling Political Parties
The political landscape of Pakistan is dominated by three major parties: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PML (N)), and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). The current Prime Minister is Shehbaz Sharif from PML (N), who ousted former cricket star Imran Khan in April 2022.
Pakistan’s economy is under severe stress with low foreign reserves, a depreciating currency, and high inflation. The country is currently running on foreign loans taken on high rates of interest and will have to repay $80 billion in the coming three years.
The annual inflation rate in Pakistan slowed for the third straight month to 27.4% in August 2023. This has led to a rise in the cost of food and other necessities, impacting the masses.
The standard of living in Pakistan varies between different classes of society. Despite having a growing middle class numbering over 70 million, a large portion of the country’s population remains poor. The cost of living is significantly lower than in the United States.
Military Intervention in Politics
The military’s intervention in Pakistan’s politics has been a long-standing tradition. On four occasions, the military intervened overtly and imposed martial law throughout the country: October 1958, March 1969, July 1977 and October 1999.
Relations with Western Countries
Pakistan has had fluctuating relations with western countries. It has maintained strong bilateral relations with Afghanistan and China while its ties with India are strained because of disputes over Kashmir.
Relations with China
Pakistan and China have enjoyed close and friendly relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations on May 21, 1951. Over the years, the relationship has blossomed into an “All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership”, with China providing economic, technical, and military assistance to Pakistan.
Countries that border pakistan
Pakistan is located in South Asia and shares its borders with four countries:
- India: The border between India and Pakistan, known as the Line of Control, separates Indian Kashmir from Pakistan Kashmir. The border begins at the Line of Control and ends in Wagah. The border is approximately 1,800 miles long.
- Afghanistan: The border separating Afghanistan from Pakistan is officially known as the Durand Line. The border is approximately 1,510 miles long.
- Iran: The Iran-Pakistan border separates Sistan and Baluchistan province in Iran from Balochistan province in Pakistan and is approximately 564.8 miles long.
- China: The border between China and Pakistan is approximately 363.5 miles long. The Karakoram Highway in Pakistan crosses into China and becomes the China National Highway 314
Some major cities in Pakistan
Pakistan is home to several major cities. Here are some of them:
Karachi: With a population of over 14.9 million, Karachi is the largest city in Pakistan. It is the capital of Sindh Province and serves as the economic hub of the country.
Lahore: Lahore is the second-largest city with a population of over 11.1 million. It is the capital of Punjab Province and is considered a cultural, educational, arts, and sports center in Pakistan.
Faisalabad: Faisalabad, located in the province of Punjab, has a population of over 3.2 million. It has long been a community of villages and became an urban center under British rule.
Rawalpindi: Rawalpindi, with a population of over 2 million, is a city in the Punjab province.
Multan: Multan is another major city in the Punjab province with a significant population.
Hyderabad: Located in Sindh province, Hyderabad is one of the major cities in Pakistan.
Peshawar: Peshawar, with a population of nearly 2 million, is located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Gujranwala: Gujranwala is another populous city located in Punjab province.
These cities are significant for their cultural, economic, and historical contributions to Pakistan.