The official name of Pakistan is The Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It is a South Asian country and the fifth most populous country in the world, with a population of more than 212.2 million. It is the 33rd largest country, by area covering 881,913 square km. Pakistan has a coastline of 1,046 kilometers along the Arab Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by India in the east, Afghanistan in the west, Iran in the southwest and China in the northeast. It is narrowly separated from Tajikistan by the northwest Afghan Wakhan Corridor and shares a maritime boundary with Oman as well.
This territory has been the site of several ancient cultures, intertwined with the history of the wider subcontinent of India. The ancient history includes the Mehrgarh Neolithic site and the Indus Valley Civilization of the Bronze Age, and was later home to kingdoms ruled by people of various faiths and cultures including Hindus, Indo-Greeks, Muslims, Turco-Mongols, Afghans, and Sikhs. Numerous empires and dynasties have ruled the region, including the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Alexander III of Macedonia, the Seleucid Empire, the Indian Maurya Empire, the Kushan Empire, the Gupta Empire, the Arab Umayyad Caliphate, the Ghurid Sultanate, the Ghaznavid Empire, the Delhi Sultanate, the Mongolian Empire, the Mughal Empire, the Afghan Durrani Empire, and the Sikh Empire (partially).
Pakistan was established as a Muslim-majority area when India was partitioned. It is a country that is ethnically and linguistically diverse, with equally diverse flora and fauna. Initially, a monarchy, in 1956 Pakistan ratified a constitution and became an Islamic republic. An ethnic civil war and military intervention by Indians in 1971 led to the secession of East Pakistan as Bangladesh’s new country. Pakistan adopted a new constitution in 1973 which stipulated that all laws would adhere to Islamic injunctions as set out in the Quran and Sunna.
A middle power, Pakistan has the world’s sixth-largest standing armed forces and is also both a nuclear power and a declared nuclear-weapon state. It ranks among the world ‘s developing and rising economies and is backed by one of the largest and fastest-growing middle-class populations in the world. Since independence Pakistan’s political history has been marked by periods of military rule, political instability, and conflict with India.
Pakistan is a member of the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the OIC, the Commonwealth of Nations, the SAARC, the Islamic Military Counter-Terrorism Alliance, and is a significant ally outside of NATO.
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