Careers, Jobs and Education Resources for: Pakistan


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. The dispute over the state of Kashmir is ongoing, but discussions and confidence-building measures have led to decreased tensions since 2002. Mounting public dissatisfaction with President MUSHARRAF, coupled with the assassination of the prominent and popular political leader, Benazir BHUTTO, in late 2007, and MUSHARRAF?s resignation in August 2008, led to the September presidential election of Asif ZARDARI, BHUTTO?s widower. Pakistani government and military leaders are struggling to control Islamist militants, many of whom are located in the tribal areas adjacent to the border with Afghanistan. The Pakistani government is also faced with a deteriorating economy as foreign exchange reserves decline, the currency depreciates, and the current account deficit widens. (from the CIA)
 
 

 

Economic Overview

Pakistan, an impoverished and underdeveloped country, has suffered from decades of internal political disputes, low levels of foreign investment, and a costly, ongoing confrontation with neighboring india. however, since 2001, imf-approved reforms - most notably, privatization of the banking sector - bolstered by generous foreign assistance and renewed access to global markets, have generated macroeconomic recovery. pakistan has experienced gdp growth in the 6-8% range in 2004-07, spurred by gains in the industrial and service sectors. poverty levels have decreased by 10% since 2001, and islamabad has steadily raised development spending in recent years, including a 52% real increase in the budget allocation for development in fy07. in 2007 the fiscal deficit - a result of chronically low tax collection and increased spending - exceeded islamabad's target of 4% of gdp. inflation remains the top concern among the public, jumping from 7.7% in 2007 to more than 11% during the first few months of 2008, primarily because of rising world commodity prices. the pakistani rupee has depreciated since the proclamation of emergency rule in november 2007.

Environmental Issues

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

Government Type

Federal republic

Population

172,800,048 (july 2008 est.)

Location

Southern asia, bordering the arabian sea, between india on the east and iran and afghanistan on the west and china in the north

Area

Total: 803,940 sq km land: 778,720 sq km water: 25,220 sq km

Slightly less than twice the size of california

Country Aliases

Conventional long form: islamic republic of pakistan conventional short form: pakistan local long form: jamhuryat islami pakistan local short form: pakistan former: west pakistan

Capital

Name: islamabad geographic coordinates: 33 42 n, 73 10 e time difference: utc+5 (10 hours ahead of washington, dc during standard time)

Military Service

16 years of age for voluntary military service; soldiers cannot be deployed for combat until age of 18; the pakistani air force and pakistani navy have inducted their first female pilots and sailors (2006)

International Disputes

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 (unmogip) 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 stand-off 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; by 2005, pakistan, with un assistance, repatriated 2.3 million afghan refugees leaving slightly more than a million, many of whom remain at their own choosing; pakistan has proposed and afghanistan protests construction of a fence and laying of mines along portions of their porous border; pakistan has sent troops into remote tribal areas to monitor and control the border with afghanistan and to stem terrorist or other illegal activities

Sources: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

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