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Pakistan :: South Asia



The Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world and dating back at least 5,000 years, spread over much of what is presently Pakistan. During the second millennium B.C., remnants of this culture fused with the migrating Indo-Aryan peoples. The area underwent successive invasions in subsequent centuries from the Persians, Greeks, Scythians, Arabs (who brought Islam), Afghans, and Turks. The Mughal Empire flourished in the 16th and 17th centuries; the British came to dominate the region in the 18th century. The separation in 1947 of British India into the Muslim state of Pakistan (with West and East sections) and largely Hindu India was never satisfactorily resolved, and India and Pakistan fought two wars and a limited conflict - in 1947-48, 1965, and 1999 respectively - over the disputed Kashmir territory. A third war between these countries in 1971 - in which India capitalized on Islamabad's marginalization of Bengalis in Pakistani politics - resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. In response to Indian nuclear weapons testing, Pakistan conducted its own tests in mid-1998. India-Pakistan relations improved in the mid-2000s but have been rocky since the November 2008 Mumbai attacks and have been further strained by attacks in India by militants suspected of being backed by Pakistan. Nawaz SHARIF took office as prime minister in 2013, marking the first time in Pakistani history that a democratically elected government completed a full term and transitioned to a successive democratically elected government. Following a series of bomb and suicide attacks by the Tehrik-e Pakistan Taliban (TTP) begun in 2007, the Pakistan Government and TTP representatives agreed to a cease-fire in early 2014. However, by mid-year 2014 the talks collapsed and the TTP resumed attack plotting against Pakistani targets.



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:

30 00 N, 70 00 E

Map references:



total: 796,095 sq km
land: 770,875 sq km
water: 25,220 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly more than five times the size of Georgia; slightly less than twice the size of California

Land boundaries:

total: 7,257 km
border countries (4): Afghanistan 2,670 km, China 438 km, India 3,190 km, Iran 959 km


1,046 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin


mostly hot, dry desert; temperate in northwest; arctic in north


divided into three major geographic areas: the northern highlands, the Indus River plain in the center and east, and the Balochistan Plateau in the south and west


mean elevation: 900 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: K2 (Mt. Godwin-Austen) 8,611 m

Natural resources:

arable land, extensive natural gas reserves, limited petroleum, poor quality coal, iron ore, copper, salt, limestone

Land use:

agricultural land: 35.2%
arable land 27.6%; permanent crops 1.1%; permanent pasture 6.5%
forest: 2.1%
other: 62.7% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land:

202,000 sq km (2012)

Population - distribution:

the Indus River and its tributaries attract most of the settlement, with Punjab province the most densely populated

Natural hazards:

frequent earthquakes, occasionally severe especially in north and west; flooding along the Indus after heavy rains (July and August)

Environment - current issues:

water pollution from raw sewage, industrial wastes, and agricultural runoff; limited natural freshwater resources; most of the population does not have access to potable water; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, 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

Geography - note:

controls Khyber Pass and Bolan Pass, traditional invasion routes between Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent

People and Society


201,995,540 (July 2016 est.)


noun: Pakistani(s)
adjective: Pakistani

Ethnic groups:

Punjabi 44.68%, Pashtun (Pathan) 15.42%, Sindhi 14.1%, Sariaki 8.38%, Muhajirs 7.57%, Balochi 3.57%, other 6.28%


Punjabi 48%, Sindhi 12%, Saraiki (a Punjabi variant) 10%, Pashto (alternate name, Pashtu) 8%, Urdu (official) 8%, Balochi 3%, Hindko 2%, Brahui 1%, English (official; lingua franca of Pakistani elite and most government ministries), Burushaski, and other 8%


Muslim (official) 96.4% (Sunni 85-90%, Shia 10-15%), other (includes Christian and Hindu) 3.6% (2010 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 31.99% (male 33,195,073/female 31,429,440)
15-24 years: 21.31% (male 22,194,064/female 20,845,816)
25-54 years: 36.87% (male 38,680,978/female 35,794,333)
55-64 years: 5.43% (male 5,498,126/female 5,463,453)
65 years and over: 4.4% (male 4,139,899/female 4,754,358) (2016 est.)

Dependency ratios:

total dependency ratio: 65.3%
youth dependency ratio: 57.9%
elderly dependency ratio: 7.4%
potential support ratio: 13.5% (2015 est.)

Median age:

total: 23.4 years
male: 23.3 years
female: 23.4 years (2016 est.)

Population growth rate:

1.45% (2016 est.)

Birth rate:

22.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Death rate:

6.4 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Net migration rate:

-1.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Population distribution:

the Indus River and its tributaries attract most of the settlement, with Punjab province the most densely populated


urban population: 38.8% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.81% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population:

Karachi 16.618 million; Lahore 8.741 million; Faisalabad 3.567 million; Rawalpindi 2.506 million; Multan 1.921 million; ISLAMABAD (capital) 1.365 million (2015)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth:

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2012/13 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:

178 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 53.9 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 57 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 50.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 67.7 years
male: 65.8 years
female: 69.8 years (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2.68 children born/woman (2016 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate:

35.4% (2012/13)

Health expenditures:

2.6% of GDP (2014)

Physicians density:

0.83 physicians/1,000 population (2010)

Hospital bed density:

0.6 beds/1,000 population (2012)

Drinking water source:

urban: 93.9% of population
rural: 89.9% of population
total: 91.4% of population
urban: 6.1% of population
rural: 10.1% of population
total: 8.6% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access:

urban: 83.1% of population
rural: 51.1% of population
total: 63.5% of population
urban: 16.9% of population
rural: 48.9% of population
total: 36.5% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.09% (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

102,000 (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

3,600 (2015 est.)

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:

4.8% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:

31.6% (2013)

Education expenditures:

2.7% of GDP (2015)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 57.9%
male: 69.5%
female: 45.8% (2015 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 8 years
male: 9 years
female: 7 years (2014)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:

total: 10.4%
male: 9.4%
female: 12.9% (2014 est.)


Country name:

conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Pakistan
conventional short form: Pakistan
local long form: Jamhuryat Islami Pakistan
local short form: Pakistan
former: West Pakistan
etymology: the word "pak" means "pure" in Persian or Pashto, while the Persian suffix "-stan" means "place of" or "country," so the word Pakistan literally means "Land of the pure"

Government type:

federal parliamentary republic


name: Islamabad
geographic coordinates: 33 41 N, 73 03 E
time difference: UTC+5 (10 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

4 provinces, 1 territory*, and 1 capital territory**; Balochistan, Federally Administered Tribal Areas*, Islamabad Capital Territory**, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly North-West Frontier Province), Punjab, Sindh
note: the Pakistani-administered portion of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region consists of 2 administrative entities: Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan


14 August 1947 (from British India)

National holiday:

Pakistan Day (also referred to as Pakistan Resolution Day or Republic Day), 23 March (1940); note - commemorates both the adoption of the Lahore Resolution by the All-India Muslim League during its 22-24 March 1940 session, which called for the creation of independent Muslim states, and the adoption of the first constitution of Pakistan on 23 March 1956 during the transition to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan


several previous; latest endorsed 12 April 1973, passed 19 April 1973, entered into force 14 August 1973 (suspended and restored several times); amended many times, last in 2015 (2016)

Legal system:

common law system with Islamic law influence

International law organization participation:

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; non-party state to the ICCt


citizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: at least one parent must be a citizen of Pakistan
dual citizenship recognized: yes, but limited to select countries
residency requirement for naturalization: 4 out of the previous 7 years and including the 12 months preceding application


18 years of age; universal; note - there are joint electorates and reserved parliamentary seats for women and non-Muslims

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Mamnoon HUSSAIN (since 9 September 2013)
head of government: Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz SHARIF (since 5 June 2013)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president upon the advice of the prime minister
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the Electoral College consisting of members of the Senate, National Assembly, and provincial assemblies for a 5-year term (eligible for reelection); election last held on 9 September 2013 (next to be held in 2018); prime minister selected by the National Assembly
election results: Mamnoon HUSSAIN elected president; Mamnoon HUSSAIN (PML-N) 432 votes, Wajihuddin AHMED (PTI) 77 votes

Legislative branch:

description: bicameral Parliament or Majlis-e-Shoora consists of the Senate (104 seats; members indirectly elected by the 4 provincial assemblies and the territories' representatives by proportional representation vote; members serve 6-year terms with one-half of the membership renewed every 3 years) and the National Assembly (342 seats; 272 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 70 members - 60 women and 10 non-Muslims - directly elected by proportional representation vote; all members serve 5-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 5 March 2015 (next to be held in March 2018); National Assembly - last held on 11 May 2013 (next to be held by 2018)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PPPP 27, PML-N 26, MQM 8, ANP 6, PTI 7, JUI-F 5, PML-Q 4, BNP-A 2, NP 1, PML-F 1, other 7, independent 10; National Assembly - percent of votes by party - NA; seats by party - PML-N 126, PPPP 31, PTI 28, MQM 18, JUI-F 10, PML-F 5, other 22, independent 25, unfilled seats 7; 60 seats reserved for women, 10 seats reserved for non-Muslims; seats by party as of July 2016 (includes women and non-Muslim seats) - PML-N 188, PPPP 46, PTI 33, MQM 24, JUI-F 13, PML-F 5, other 21, independent 12

Judicial branch:

highest court(s): Supreme Court of Pakistan (consists of the chief justice and 16 judges)
judge selection and term of office: justices nominated by an 8-member parliamentary committee upon the recommendation of the Judicial Commission (a 9-member body of judges and other judicial professionals), and appointed by the president of Pakistan; justices can serve until age 65
subordinate courts: High Courts; Federal Shariat Court; provincial and district civil and criminal courts; specialized courts for issues such as taxation, banking, customs, etc.

Political parties and leaders:

Awami National Party or ANP [Mian Iftikhar HUSSAIN]
Balochistan National Party-Awami or BNP-A [Mir Israr Ullah ZEHRI]
Balochistan National Party-Mengal or BNP-M [Sardar Akhtar Jan MENGAL]
Jamaat-i Islami or JI [Sirajul HAQ]
Jamiat-i Ulema-i Islam Fazl-ur Rehman or JUI-F [Fazlur REHMAN]
Muttahida Qaumi Movement or MQM [Farooq SATTAR]
Pakhtun khwa Milli Awami Party or PkMAP [Mahmood Khan ACHAKZAI]
Pakistan Muslim League-Functional or PML-F [Pir PAGARO or Syed Shah Mardan SHAH-II]
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz or PML-N [Nawaz SHARIF]
Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians or PPPP [Bilawal Bhutto ZARDARI and Asif Ali ZARDARI]
Pakistan Tehrik-e Insaaf or PTI [Imran KHAN]
Pak Sarzameen Party or PSP [Mustafa KAMAL]
Quami Watan Party or QWP [Aftab Ahmed Khan SHERPAO]
note: political alliances in Pakistan shift frequently

Political pressure groups and leaders:

other: military; ulema (clergy); landowners; industrialists; small merchants

International organization participation:


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Jalil Abbas JILANI (since 10 March 2014)
chancery: 3517 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 243-6500
FAX: [1] (202) 686-1534
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York
consulate(s): Louisville (KY), San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador David M. HALE (since 3 December 2015)
embassy: Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5, Islamabad
mailing address: 8100 Islamabad Place, Washington, DC 20521-8100
telephone: [92] (51) 208-0000/[92] (51) 201-4000
FAX: [92] (51) 233-8071
consulate(s) general: Karachi
consulate(s): Lahore, Peshawar

Flag description:

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

National symbol(s):

star and crescent, jasmine; national colors: green, white

National anthem:

name: "Qaumi Tarana" (National Anthem)
lyrics/music: Abu-Al-Asar Hafeez JULLANDHURI/Ahmed Ghulamali CHAGLA
note: adopted 1954; also known as "Pak sarzamin shad bad" (Blessed Be the Sacred Land)


Economy - overview:

Decades of internal political disputes and low levels of foreign investment have led to slow growth and underdevelopment in Pakistan. Pakistan has a large English-speaking population. Nevertheless, a challenging security environment, electricity shortages, and a burdensome investment climate have deterred investors. Agriculture accounts for more than one-fourth of output and two-fifths of employment. Textiles and apparel account for most of Pakistan's export earnings, and Pakistan's failure to diversify its exports has left the country vulnerable to shifts in world demand. Pakistan’s GDP growth has gradually increased since 2012. Official unemployment was 6.5% in 2015, but this fails to capture the true picture, because much of the economy is informal and underemployment remains high. Human development continues to lag behind most of the region.
In coordination with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Pakistan embarked on an economic reform program in 2013. While the reform process has been mixed, and issues like privatization of state-owned enterprises remain unresolved, Pakistan has restored macroeconomic stability, improved its credit rating, and boosted growth. The Pakistani rupee, after heavy depreciation, remained relatively stable against the US dollar in 2014-15. Remittances from overseas workers, averaging more than $1.5 billion a month, are a key revenue source for Pakistan, partly compensating for a lack of foreign investment and a slowdown in portfolio investment. Falling global oil prices in 2015 contributed to a narrowing current account deficit and lower inflation, despite weak export performance. Pakistan’s program with the IMF – a three-year, $6.7 billion Extended Fund Facility focusing on reducing energy shortages, stabilizing public finances, expanding revenue, and improving the external balance – is slated to conclude in September 2016. While passing most quantitative targets, Pakistan has missed targets on structural reforms and performance criteria throughout the program.
Pakistan remains stuck in a low-income, low-growth trap, with growth averaging about 3.5% per year from 2008 to 2013. Pakistan must address long-standing issues related to government revenues, with the tax base being narrow at 11% of GDP. Given demographic challenges, Pakistan’s leadership will be pressed to implement economic reforms, promote further development of the energy sector, and attract foreign investment to support sufficient economic growth necessary to employ its growing and rapidly urbanizing population, much of which is under the age of 25. Other long-term challenges include expanding investment in education and healthcare, adapting to the effects of climate change and natural disasters, improving the country’s business climate, and reducing dependence on foreign donors. Pakistan and China are implementing the “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor”, a $46 billion investment program targeted towards the energy sector and other infrastructure project that Islamabad and Beijing had agreed on in early 2014.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$988.2 billion (2016 est.)
$943.8 billion (2015 est.)
$907.2 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
data are for fiscal years

GDP (official exchange rate):

$271.1 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

4.7% (2016 est.)
4% (2015 est.)
4.1% (2014 est.)
note: data are for fiscal years

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$5,100 (2016 est.)
$5,000 (2015 est.)
$4,900 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
data are for fiscal years

Gross national saving:

14.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
14.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
13.4% of GDP (2014 est.)
note: data are for fiscal years

GDP - composition, by end use:

household consumption: 80.1%
government consumption: 11.8%
investment in fixed capital: 13.6%
investment in inventories: 1.6%
exports of goods and services: 8.7%
imports of goods and services: -15.8% (2016 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:

agriculture: 25.2%
industry: 19.2%
services: 55.6% (2016 est.)

Agriculture - products:

cotton, wheat, rice, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; milk, beef, mutton, eggs


textiles and apparel, food processing, pharmaceuticals, construction materials, paper products, fertilizer, shrimp

Industrial production growth rate:

6.8% (2016 est.)

Labor force:

65.1 million
note: extensive export of labor, mostly to the Middle East, and use of child labor (2016 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 43.7%
industry: 22.4%
services: 33.9% (FY2013 est.)

Unemployment rate:

6.7% (2016 est.)
6.4% (2015 est.)
note: substantial underemployment exists

Population below poverty line:

22.3% (FY2005 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 4.2%
highest 10%: 25.6% (FY2011)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

29.6 (FY2011)
31.4 (FY2008)


revenues: $41.77 billion
expenditures: $54.63 billion
note: data are for fiscal years (2016 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:

15.4% of GDP (2016 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

-4.7% of GDP (2016 est.)

Public debt:

58.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
57.3% of GDP (2015 est.)

Fiscal year:

1 July - 30 June

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

3.7% (2016 est.)
2.5% (2015 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

6% (15 November 2015)
9.5% (18 December 2014)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

6.9% (31 December 2016 est.)
8.37% (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$100.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$89.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of broad money:

$122.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$109.8 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$142.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$127.5 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$43.68 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$32.76 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$38.17 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance:

-$2.627 billion (2015 est.)
-$2.627 billion (2015 est.)


$20.96 billion (2016 est.)
$22.73 billion (2015 est.)

Exports - commodities:

textiles (garments, bed linen, cotton cloth, yarn), rice, leather goods, sporting goods, chemicals, manufactures, carpets and rugs

Exports - partners:

US 13.1%, UAE 9.1%, Afghanistan 9.1%, China 8.8%, UK 5.4%, Germany 4.9% (2015)


$38.25 billion (2016 est.)
$39.29 billion (2015 est.)

Imports - commodities:

petroleum, petroleum products, machinery, plastics, transportation equipment, edible oils, paper and paperboard, iron and steel, tea

Imports - partners:

China 28.1%, Saudi Arabia 10.9%, UAE 10.8%, Kuwait 5.6% (2015)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$20.53 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$20.05 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Debt - external:

$64.04 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$60.91 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$33.82 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$31.82 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$2.059 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.009 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Exchange rates:

Pakistani rupees (PKR) per US dollar -
105.1 (2016 est.)
102.769 (FY2015 est.)
102.769 (FY2014 est.)
101.1 (FY2013 est.)
93.4 (2012 est.)


Electricity - production:

100 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - consumption:

82 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports:

400 million kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity:

24 million kW (2014 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels:

67.1% of total installed capacity (FY2014 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:

3.2% of total installed capacity (FY2014 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:

29.2% of total installed capacity (FY2014 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources:

0.4% of total installed capacity (FY2014 est.)

Crude oil - production:

90,210 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - imports:

150,800 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves:

400 million bbl (1 January 2016 es)

Refined petroleum products - production:

235,300 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption:

450,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports:

17,120 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports:

228,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Natural gas - production:

39.07 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:

39.97 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:

669.4 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:

145 million Mt (2013 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines:

total subscriptions: 2,990,954
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2 (July 2015 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular:

total: 125.9 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 63 (July 2015 est.)

Telephone system:

general assessment: the telecommunications infrastructure is improving, with investments in mobile-cellular networks increasing, but fixed-line subscriptions declining; system consists of microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, fiber-optic cable, cellular, and satellite networ
domestic: mobile-cellular subscribership has skyrocketed; more than 90% of Pakistanis live within areas that have cell phone coverage; fiber-optic networks are being constructed throughout the country to increase broadband access, though broadband penetration in Pa
international: country code - 92; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3 and SEA-ME-WE-4 submarine cable systems that provide links to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean); 3 operational international (2015)

Broadcast media:

media is government regulated; 1 dominant state-owned TV broadcaster, Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV), operates a network consisting of 8 channels; private TV broadcasters are permitted; to date 69 foreign satellite channels are operational; the sta (2015)

Internet country code:


Internet users:

total: 35.835 million
percent of population: 18% (July 2015 est.)


National air transport system:

number of registered air carriers: 4
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 67
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 8,467,827
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 183,177,313 mt-km (2015)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:

AP (2016)


151 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 108
over 3,047 m: 15
2,438 to 3,047 m: 20
1,524 to 2,437 m: 43
914 to 1,523 m: 20
under 914 m: 10 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 43
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 24 (2013)


23 (2013)


gas 12,646 km; oil 2,576 km; refined products 1,087 km (2013)


total: 11,881 km
broad gauge: 11,492 km 1.676-m gauge (293 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 389 km 1.000-m gauge (2015)


total: 263,942 km
paved: 185,063 km (includes 708 km of expressways)
unpaved: 78,879 km (2014)

Merchant marine:

total: 11
by type: bulk carrier 5, cargo 3, petroleum tanker 3
registered in other countries: 11 (Comoros 5, Marshall Islands 1, Moldova 1, Panama 3, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

major seaport(s): Karachi, Port Muhammad Bin Qasim
container port(s) (TEUs): Karachi (1,545,434)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Port Qasim

Military and Security

Military branches:

Pakistan Army (includes National Guard), Pakistan Navy (includes Maritime Security Agency), Pakistan Air Force (Pakistan Fiza'ya) (2015)

Military service age and obligation:

16-23 years of age for voluntary military service; soldiers cannot be deployed for combat until age 18; the Pakistani Air Force and Pakistani Navy have inducted their first female pilots and sailors; the Pakistan Air Force recruits aviation technicians at age 15; service obligation (Navy) 10-18 years; retirement required after 18-30 years service or age 40-52 (2012)

Military expenditures:

3.5% of GDP (2013)
3.5% of GDP (2012)
3.2% of GDP (2011)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:

various talks and confidence-building measures cautiously have begun to defuse tensions over Kashmir, particularly since the October 2005 earthquake in the region; Kashmir nevertheless remains the site of the world's largest and most militarized territorial dispute with portions under the de facto administration of China (Aksai Chin), India (Jammu and Kashmir), and Pakistan (Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas); UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan has maintained a small group of peacekeepers since 1949; India does not recognize Pakistan's ceding historic Kashmir lands to China in 1964; India and Pakistan have maintained their 2004 cease-fire in Kashmir and initiated discussions on defusing the armed standoff in the Siachen glacier region; Pakistan protests India's fencing the highly militarized Line of Control and construction of the Baglihar Dam on the Chenab River in Jammu and Kashmir, which is part of the larger dispute on water sharing of the Indus River and its tributaries; to defuse tensions and prepare for discussions on a maritime boundary, India and Pakistan seek technical resolution of the disputed boundary in Sir Creek estuary at the mouth of the Rann of Kutch in the Arabian Sea; Pakistani maps continue to show the Junagadh claim in India's Gujarat State; since 2002, with UN assistance, Pakistan has repatriated 3.8 million Afghan refugees, leaving about 2.6 million; Pakistan has sent troops across and built fences along some remote tribal areas of its treaty-defined Durand Line border with Afghanistan, which serve as bases for foreign terrorists and other illegal activities; Afghan, Coalition, and Pakistan military meet periodically to clarify the alignment of the boundary on the ground and on maps

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 2.6 million (1.6 million registered, 1.0 million undocumented) (Afghanistan) (2015)
IDPs: 1.459 million (primarily those who remain displaced by counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations and violent conflict between armed non-state groups in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Khyber-Paktunkwa Province; more than 1 million displaced in Northern Waziristan in 2014; individuals also have been displaced by repeated monsoon floods) (2015)

Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Pakistan is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; the largest human trafficking problem is bonded labor in agriculture, brickmaking and, to a lesser extent, fishing, mining and carpet-making; children are bought, sold, rented, and placed in forced begging rings, domestic service, small shops, brick kilns, or prostitution; militant groups also force children to spy, fight, or die as suicide bombers, kidnapping the children or getting them from poor parents through sale or coercion; women and girls are forced into prostitution or marriages; Pakistani adults migrate to the Gulf States and African and European states for low-skilled jobs and sometimes become victims of forced labor, debt bondage, or prostitution; foreign adults and children, particularly from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, may be subject to forced labor, and foreign women may be sex trafficked in Pakistan, with refugees and ethnic minorities being most vulnerable
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Pakistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government lacks political will and capacity to fully address human trafficking, as evidenced by ineffective law enforcement efforts, official complicity, penalization of victims, and the continued conflation of migrant smuggling and human trafficking by many officials; not all forms of trafficking are prohibited; an anti-trafficking bill drafted in 2013 to address gaps in existing legislation remains pending, and a national action plan drafted in 2014 is not finalized; feudal landlords and brick kiln owners use their political influence to protect their involvement in bonded labor, while some police personnel have taken bribes to ignore prostitution that may have included sex trafficking; authorities began to use standard procedures for the identification and referral of trafficking victims, but it is not clear how widely these methods were practiced; in other instances, police were reluctant to assist NGOs with rescues and even punished victims for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked (2015)

Illicit drugs:

significant transit area for Afghan drugs, including heroin, opium, morphine, and hashish, bound for Iran, Western markets, the Gulf States, Africa, and Asia; financial crimes related to drug trafficking, terrorism, corruption, and smuggling remain problems; opium poppy cultivation estimated to be 2,300 hectares in 2007 with 600 of those hectares eradicated; federal and provincial authorities continue to conduct anti-poppy campaigns that utilizes forced eradication, fines, and arrests