A short summary on Pakistan
by Waqar Arshad
Pakistan’s official name is “Islamic Republic of Pakistan”. Islamabad is the capital. Pakistan achieved its independence from the United Kingdom on August 14, 1947. Pakistan is located in the southwest region of Asia comprised of 796,095 km2. Pakistan is sandwiched mainly between India to the east and Afghanistan to the west with China sharing a small section of the north boarder and Iran sharing the southwest boarder. Pakistan also has 814 km of coastline from the Arabian Sea located along the southern border between Iran and India. The evolution of Pakistan began as a result of the reorganization in 1947 of British India into two different regions, East and West Pakistan. The third Pakistan war in 1971 caused East Pakistan to bow out and become a separate nation named Bangladesh.
A country which has several problems and current issues to resolve related to a wide range of subjects. These problems range from, but not limited to, political unrest, increasing crime, economic and terrorism. The country survived a political coup in October 1999. The government and people of Pakistan have endured the existence of terrorism for several years. The government made a deal with the Taliban terrorist group requesting the Taliban terminate training camps for Pakistani jihadists in Afghanistan.
Currently endures is estimated (2001) to be $31.5 billion dollars. It is estimated that 50% of the national budget is set aside for debt servicing and only an estimated 1.2 million people paid taxes. The economy of Pakistan has spiraled out of control to the point that one third of the population lives below the poverty level. Major export products are agriculture (wheat, cotton, rice, milk and sugar cane), mining (petroleum and natural gas), manufacturing (cotton textiles, clothing, food products, fertilizer).
Climate varies from different seasons, elevations and regions of the country. It is hot and dry by the coast and the temperature drops in the further northeast regions. The winter season is generally cold and dry. The hottest time of the year generally begins in April and the temperature can easily reach 120 degrees by the end of June. The months of July through September are the wettest months of the year and are known as the Monsoon. The monsoon provides an average rainfall of 15” in the river basin areas and upwards of 60” in the northern regions. The land is comprised of several different elevations. The Himalaya Mountains are partially located in northern Pakistan ranging from the east to west. The Karakoram and Hindukush mountains are also partially located in Pakistan. There are 33 major mountain peaks in Pakistan that have peaks higher than 24,000 feet. Several of the peaks are in excess of 26,000 feet high and one named K-2 Mt. Godwin Austin is 28,250 feet tall. The mountain passes that are carved into these extremely tall mountains have been labeled as the highest trade route in the world.
People of Pakistan
The people of Pakistan are very unique through their heritage and beliefs. It is estimated that 2/3 of the population belongs to the ethnic group named, Punjabi. The official language of Pakistan is Urdu and is only spoken by an estimated ½ of the population. English used to have official status in Pakistan and is still used in the business world, government and places of higher education. The religion of choice in Pakistan is Muslim. It is estimated that 95% of the Pakistan population are Muslims. The life expectancy estimate in 2002 for males in Pakistan is 60.96 years and 62.73 for females.
The military consist of an Army, Navy, Air Force, Civil Armed Forces and National Guard. The minimum age to be available for military service is 15 years old and the minimum age to be enlisted into the military is 17 years old while the maximum age is 49 years old. Pakistan spends 4.6% of its GDP towards military support and a total military expense of $2,545.5 million. Interestingly enough, Pakistan has a total of only 87 paved runways and 38 unpaved runways.