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Pakistan Country Guide

Explore Pakistan in Asia

Travel warning information is updated daily: The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's advisory service suggests to reconsider your need to travel to this country. Take this advice seriously - check with your local authorities whether your exact destination is safe.

Pakistan with the capital city Islamabad is located in Asia (Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea). It covers some 803,941 square kilometres (slightly less than twice the size of California) with 167,762,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Pakistan

The landscape offers flat Indus plain in east with mountains in north and northwest and Balochistan plateau in west. The average density of population is approximately 209 per km². The notable climate conditions in Pakistan can be described as mostly hot, dry desert with temperate in northwest, arctic in north. Potential threats by nature are frequent earthquakes, occasionally severe especially in north and west or flooding along the Indus after heavy rains (July and August).

To reach someone in Pakistan dial +92 prior to a number. There are 4,058,000 installed telephones. And there are 103,000,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900, 1800 Mhz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".pk". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 230V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Pakistan

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.

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 - in 1947-48 and 1965 - 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 1998. India-Pakistan relations have been rocky since the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, but both countries are taking small steps to put relations back on track. In February 2008, Pakistan held parliamentary elections and in September 2008, after the resignation of former President MUSHARRAF, elected Asif Ali ZARDARI to the presidency. Pakistani government and military leaders are struggling to control domestic insurgents, many of whom are located in the tribal areas adjacent to the border with Afghanistan. In January 2012, Pakistan assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2012-13 term.

Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: Asia
Neighbours: China, Afghanistan, Iran, India
Capital: Islamabad
Size 803,940 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 310,403 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly less than twice the size of California
Population 167,762,000
Currency Name: Rupee, Currency Code: PKR
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .pk
Telephone Country Prefix +92
Mobile Phone Connections 103,000,000
Landline Phone Connections 4,058,000

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value name Value World Rank
Area 796,095 (sq km) 36

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 193,238,868 6
Population growth rate 1.52 (%) 76
Birth rate 23.76 (births/1,000 population) 68
Death rate 6.69 (deaths/1,000 population) 141
Net migration rate -1.84 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 159
Maternal mortality rate 260.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 43
Infant mortality rate 59.35 (deaths/1,000 live births) 25
Life expectancy at birth 66.71 (years) 167
Total fertility rate 2.96 (children born/woman) 62
Health expenditures 2.20 (% of GDP) 188
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.10 (%) 152
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 98,000 42
HIV/AIDS - deaths 5,800 35
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 5.50 (%) 153
Children under the age of 5 years underweight 30.90 (%) 14
Education expenditures 2.40 (% of GDP) 161
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 7.7 (%) 121


Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 523,900,000,000 28
GDP - real growth rate 3.70 (%) 92
GDP - per capita (PPP) 2,900 178
Labor force 60,360,000 10
Unemployment rate 5.60 (%) 52
Distribution of family income - Gini index 31 113
Investment (gross fixed) 10.90 (% of GDP) 145
Taxes and other revenues 12.7 (% of GDP) 201
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -6.30 (% of GDP) 180
Public debt 50.40 (% of GDP) 63
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 11.30 (%) 203
Central bank discount rate 14.00 (%) 13
Commercial bank prime lending rate 14.12 (%) 55
Stock of narrow money 60,680,000,000 44
Stock of broad money 76,160,000,000 58
Stock of domestic credit 92,060,000,000 55
Market value of publicly traded shares 38,170,000,000 55
Industrial production growth rate 3.00 (%) 95
Current account balance -4,632,000,000 163
Exports 24,660,000,000 71
Imports 40,820,000,000 61
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 13,500,000,000 69
Debt - external 55,980,000,000 58
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 22,380,000,000 68
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 1,482,000,000 73


Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 94,650,000,000 (kWh) 35
Electricity - consumption 70,100,000,000 (kWh) 39
Electricity - installed generating capacity 20200000 (kW) 37
Electricity - from fossil fuels 65.2 (% of total installed capacity) 127
Electricity - from nuclear fuels 2.3 (% of total installed capacity) 27
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 32.5 (% of total installed capacity) 67
Crude oil - production 63,080 (bbl/day) 56
Crude oil - imports 183,000 (bbl/day) 36
Crude oil - proved reserves 480900000 (bbl) 52
Refined petroleum products - production 215,900 (bbl/day) 53
Refined petroleum products - consumption 426,700 (bbl/day) 35
Refined petroleum products - exports 26,830 (bbl/day) 70
Refined petroleum products - imports 195,700 (bbl/day) 26
Natural gas - production 42,900,000,000 (cu m) 24
Natural gas - consumption 42,900,000,000 (cu m) 24
Natural gas - proved reserves 753,800,000,000 (cu m) 30
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 151,600,000 (Mt) 34


Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 5,722,000 30
Telephones - mobile cellular 111,000,000 9
Internet hosts 365,813 57
Internet users 20,431,000 20


Value name Value World Rank
Airports 151 37
Railways 7,791 (km) 27
Roadways 260,760 (km) 20
Merchant marine 11 112


Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 3.10 (% of GDP) 38

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Name Since
Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro
The ruins of the huge city of Moenjodaro – built entirely of unbaked brick in the 3rd millennium B.C. – lie in the Indus valley. The acropolis, set on high embankments, the ramparts, and the lower town, which is laid out according to strict rules ...
Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi and Neighbouring City Remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol
The Buddhist monastic complex of Takht-i-Bahi (Throne of Origins) was founded in the early 1st century. Owing to its location on the crest of a high hill, it escaped successive invasions and is still exceptionally well preserved. Nearby are the ruins ...
Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore
These are two masterpieces from the time of the brilliant Mughal civilization, which reached its height during the reign of the Emperor Shah Jahan. The fort contains marble palaces and mosques decorated with mosaics and gilt. The elegance of these sp ...
Historical Monuments at Makli, Thatta
The capital of three successive dynasties and later ruled by the Mughal emperors of Delhi, Thatta was constantly embellished from the 14th to the 18th century. The remains of the city and its necropolis provide a unique view of civilization in Sind. ...
Rohtas Fort
Following his defeat of the Mughal emperor Humayun in 1541, Sher Shah Suri built a strong fortified complex at Rohtas, a strategic site in the north of what is now Pakistan. It was never taken by storm and has survived intact to the present day. The ...
From the ancient Neolithic tumulus of Saraikala to the ramparts of Sirkap (2nd century B.C.) and the city of Sirsukh (1st century A.D.), Taxila illustrates the different stages in the development of a city on the Indus that was alternately influenced ...