Pakistan is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of four provinces and four federal territories including a federal capital territory. Its history has been characterized by periods of military rule, political instability and conflicts with neighboring India. It is the sixth most populous country in the world and has the second largest Muslim population after Indonesia. Pakistan also has the second largest Shia Muslim population. It is the only Muslim-majority nuclear state and is classified as major non-NATO ally of the United States. Pakistan is one of the founders of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, Next Eleven economies and G20 developing nations.
"The Priest King" wearing Sindhi Ajruk, ca. 2500 BC. National Museum of Pakistan, Karachi
Menander I was one of the rulers of the Indo-Greek Kingdom which existed in the territory of modern Pakistan The Indus region, which covers a considerable amount of Pakistan, was the site of several ancient cultures including the Neolithic era's Mehrgarh and the bronze era Indus Valley Civilisation (2500 BCE – 1500 BCE) at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro.
17th Century Badshahi Masjid built during Mughal rule
The first Governor General Muhammad Ali Jinnah delivering the opening address on 11 August 1947 to the new state of Pakistan.
The MCB Tower in the foreground and downtown Karachi, view of I. I. Chundrigar Road in Karachi, the financial centre of Pakistan in the background.
GDP by Province
The structure of the Pakistani economy has changed from a mainly agricultural base to a strong service base. Agriculture now only accounts for roughly 20% of the GDP, while the service sector accounts for 53% of the GDP. Significant foreign investments have been made in several areas including telecommunications, real estate and energy. Other important industries include apparel and textiles (accounting for nearly 60% of exports), food processing, chemicals manufacture, and the iron and steel industries. Pakistan's exports in 2008 amounted to $20.62 billion (USD). Pakistan is a rapidly developing country.
The Old Campus of the University of the Punjab Old Campus
Education in Pakistan is divided into five levels: primary (grades one through five); middle (grades six through eight); high (grades nine and ten, leading to the Secondary School Certificate); intermediate (grades eleven and twelve, leading to a Higher Secondary School Certificate); and university programes leading to graduate and advanced degrees.
There are currently 730 technical & vocational institutions in Pakistan. The minimum qualifications to enter male vocational institutions, is the completion of grade 8.
The literacy rate in Pakistan
Sir Muhammad Iqbal was a key leader in the Pakistan Movement and is a popular poet in Pakistan
A sitar workshop in Islamabad
View of Food Street in Lahore
A Kalash man dances during the Uchau Festival
Pakistani society is largely hierarchical, with high regard for traditional Islamic values, although urban families have grown into a nuclear family system because of the socio-economic constraints imposed by the traditional joint family system. Recent decades have seen the emergence of a middle class in cities like Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Hyderabad, Faisalabad, Multan and Peshawar (now numbering at 30 million, with an average annual income of US$10,000, with another 17 million belonging to the upper and upper-middle classes) that wish to move in a more centrist direction, as opposed to the northwestern regions bordering Afghanistan that remain highly conservative and dominated by centuries-old regional tribal customs. Increasing globalization has resulted in ranking 46th on the A.T. Kearney/FP Globalization Index.
PTDC Motel at Malam Jabba Ski Resort
The 1872-built Noor Mahal (Diamond Palace), is one of several palaces in the city of Bahawalpur
The Deosai National Park is located in Skardu, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan.
K2 is the second-highest mountain on Earth after Mount Everest. The northern parts of Pakistan are home to several historical fortresses, towers and other architecture including the Hunza and Chitral valleys, the latter being home to the Kalash, a small pre-Islamic Animist community. Punjab is also the site of Alexander's battle on the Jhelum River. The historic city of Lahore is considered Pakistan's cultural centre and has many examples of Mughal architecture such as the Badshahi Masjid, Shalimar Gardens, Tomb of Jahangir and the Lahore Fort. The Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) also helps promote tourism in the country.