Pakistan in South Asia was formed at the
partition of British India in 1947. The country is a
Muslim republic with a fragile democracy and has been
ruled by the military for long periods. The nuclear
power of Pakistan is plagued by corruption, poverty and
militant political and religious extremism. The military
exploits violent Islamist groups in its fight against
the arch-enemy India. However, the tactics have struck
back against the country itself, which has been shaken
by many acts of terror. The economy is based on
agriculture, the textile industry and referrals.
Brief profiles of Pakistan, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
Pakistan forms the transition between Central
Asia and the Indian subcontinent. The land is almost
twice as large as Sweden. Pakistan is often hit by
earthquakes, the last really difficult one in October
At the top of the north are the Hindukush and
Karakoram mountain ranges, the westernmost foothills of
the Himalayas. Here are some of the world's highest
mountains. The border to the west of Afghanistan
consists of a series of mountain ranges with peaks over
3,000 meters. In the southwestern corner of the country
lies the dry Baluchistan Plateau.
From the Himalayas the rivers Indus, Jhelum, Chenab,
Ravi and Sutlej flow down through the province of Punjab
(five-river country). They coalesce in central Pakistan
under the name of Indus and form a lowland delta at the
outlet in the Arabian Sea. The area south-east of Indus
is a continuation of the Indian Thar Desert.
Pakistan is divided into the provinces of Punjab,
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan and Sindh and the
capital Islamabad. In addition, in the northwest there
are areas that until 2018 were controlled by almost
self-governing clans (see the Pashtun clan areas). At
the top of the north, Gilgit-Baltistan has been
self-governing with a people-elected parliament since
2009. A special position occupies Azad Kashmir, which is
administered by Pakistan but does not formally belong to
the country. Historically, Gilgit-Baltistan has also
been considered as Kashmir.
Pakistan has for the most part a dry inland climate
with three seasons. During the dry winter from November
to February, the average temperature is only 12-14
degrees on the Indus plain, slightly higher on the coast
and significantly lower, down to 20 minus degrees, among
the mountains in the north.
From March, the temperature starts to rise. In
May-July, in the central lowlands it can be up to 50
degrees on the days. The southwest monsoon during July –
October lowers the temperature and produces much needed
Because Pakistan is in the monsoon's outermost
region, it rarely rains as much as in India. But some
years (for example, 2010 and 2014) cause heavy rain
devastating flooding. In Baluchistan and in the plain of
Sindh and Punjab, the annual rainfall is between 150 and
500 millimeters, while in the mountains in the north it
amounts to 1,500 millimeters.
FACTS - GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
796 095 km2 (2018) 1
Swedish +4 hours
Adjacent country (s)
Iran, Afghanistan, China, India
Capital with number of inhabitants
Islamabad 1 014 800 (2017) 2
Other major cities
Karachi (14 900 000), Lahore (11 100 000), Faisalabad
(3 200 000), Rawalpindi (2 100 000) (2017) 3
K2 (Mount Godwin Austen) (8,611 m asl)
Average Precipitation / month
Islamabad 258 mm (Aug), 12 mm (Nov)
Average / day
Islamabad 32 °C (July), 10 °C (Jan)
- Azad Kashmir is not counted
Courts: "Turkish teachers should not be expelled"
Courts in Lahore and Peshawar order a halt to the expulsions of the more than
100 Turkish teachers accused by Turkey of having links to the Gulen movement
(see below). The teachers, who are employed at 28 so-called PakTurk schools,
deny contact with the Gulen movement.
Sharif: "Turkish teachers to be expelled"
Pakistani authorities give Turkish teachers with alleged ties to Fethullah
Gulen (a US-based Muslim priest accused by Turkey's President Recep Erdogan of
backing a coup attempt in Turkey earlier this fall) to leave Pakistan for a few
days. During a visit to Pakistan, Erdogan thanks Prime Minister Sharif for
taking a "clear position" against Gulen.
Over 50 dead in bomb attack against Sufis temple
At least 52 people are killed and more than 100 injured when a blast attack
is aimed at a Sufis temple 75 miles south of Quetta. The temple is used by both
Shi'a Muslims and Sunnis, but Islamic extremists perceive Sufism (Islamic
mysticism) as deviating from the right doctrine. The terrorist group IS takes on
Diplomatic conflict with India deepens
India accuses six Pakistani diplomats of joining a spy network, forcing the
Islamabad government to call home the accused from Delhi. A few days later,
Pakistan contradicts indicting eight Indian embassy officials in Islamabad for
involvement in espionage and terrorist crimes, but the eight are not expelled.
The diplomatic tensions follow increased violence at the Kashmir border
following an attack on an Indian army base when 19 people were killed (see
Violent in Islamabad
Police clash with people trying to enter Islamabad to demonstrate, despite
demonstration ban prevailing (see October 2016). However, PTI
backs away from its call for mass demonstrations in the capital since the
country's highest court announced that Sharif's tax affairs will be investigated
(see October 2016).
Demonstration ban in Islamabad
The opposition party PTI, with leader Imran Khan, calls for demonstrations in
Islamabad in protest of revelations that close relatives of Prime Minister
Sharif have placed money in accounts in tax havens. The revelations appeared in
the so-called Panama Papers. The police bans public gatherings in Islamabad for
two months and strikes against a meeting organized by PTI. Around 1,500 PTI
supporters are arrested when they break the ban and conduct a demonstration.
Information Minister dismissed for leaks
Prime Minister Sharif dismisses his Information Minister Pervez Rashid,
accused of leaking information to a journalist about how civilian civil servants
should have warned the military to by proxy support jihadist groups abroad.
Publishing sensitive information about the military is taboo in Pakistan. The
journalist published the information in the English-language newspaper Dawn, and
the article was widely circulated. Sharif appoints an investigation of the tours
around the article.
Diplomatic dispute between India and Pakistan
India detains a Pakistani official in the consular department of the Pakistan
Embassy in Delhi. The official is accused of espionage, declared persona non
grata and expelled from the country. Later that day, Pakistan does the same with
an Indian embassy official in Islamabad.
More than 60 dead in terrorist attack against police university in Quetta
More than 60 people are killed and over 100 injured when three armed
perpetrators enter the dorms at a police college outside Quetta and shoot around
them. The majority of victims are police and security guards. Both IS and a
fraction of the Pakistani Taliban movement are taking on the deed, while the
police investigation points out the banned Sunni extremist group
Lashkar-e-jhangvi as guilty of the attack.
Explosion attacks against trains
At least six people are killed and 19 injured when two explosive charges
explode on a passenger train in Baluchistan, a few miles east of Quetta. The
Separatist Movement Baluchistan's army of liberation takes on the attack and
claims it was aimed at soldiers on board the train.
"Honor killings" cannot be forgiven
Both parliament's chambers adopt a law that a person who committed an "honor
killing" cannot go free if a relative of the victim forgives him. Henceforth,
the sentence becomes mandatory life imprisonment. The law is adopted after a
series of notable cases during the year when famous women were murdered by close
relatives. At the same time, Parliament adopts a law allowing DNA evidence to be
used in rape cases. So far, almost no convictions have been handed down in rape
cases since the evidence has been almost entirely based on testimony by
eyewitnesses - which is usually missing. The penalty for rape against children
or the disabled is increased to life imprisonment or the death penalty.
Indian raids into Pakistan
India's army states that it has made "surgical intervention" a few kilometers
into Pakistani soil to "neutralize the terrorists" who have attacked targets in
Indian Kashmir "and those who are trying to protect them". Pakistan condemns
"the naked violence" but denies that there has been anything other than shooting
across the border with light weapons. Two Pakistani army soldiers have been
killed and nine wounded.
Regional summit in danger
The Government of India announces that it does not intend to participate in
the Saarc regional summit in Pakistan in November. A government spokesman
justifies the dismissal of "ever more border violations by terrorists and a
country's increased involvement in other countries' internal affairs", aimed at
Pakistan but without mentioning the neighboring country by name. Shortly
afterwards, Afghanistan, Bhutan and Bangladesh also announce that they will be
absent from the meeting.
HRW criticism of the police
Human Rights Watch (HRW) accuses Pakistani police of torture, arbitrary
arrests and murder of suspects. The human rights organization calls on the
government to provide the police with better resources and reform its working
methods. The report is based on interviews with police officers and witnesses
throughout the country. Among other things, the police are suspected of having
killed more than 2,000 people in 2015 and blamed them for acting in
UNHCR: "100,000 Afghans have returned home"
According to a UNHCR official, more than 100,000 Afghan refugees have
returned to their home country since July. Not since 2002, when the Taliban
regime fell, has the relocation been so great. One reason for this is that
Pakistan has warned that border control will be tightened, and in addition,
raids have been carried out against paperless refugees in Pakistan. About 1.5
million Afghans are in Pakistan with residence permits, while an estimated
number of them are in the country illegally.
Twelve are killed in suicide
Dozens of people are killed when a suicide bomber attacks a court building in
the city of Mardan in northern Pakistan. A group within the Pakistani Taliban
movement is taking action.
The military recognizes IS presence
For the first time, the military is officially marking the Islamic extremist
group Islamic State (IS) in Pakistan, and the army has seized hundreds of IS
fighters and prevented them from carrying out major terrorist attacks, including
against foreign embassies and Islamabad's airport.
Military offensive at the Afghan border
The government army goes on strike against suspected opponents in the Rajgal
valley near the border with Afghanistan. The military says it has killed at
least 40 rebels in the area over the past week.
Massages at hospitals
Over 70 people are killed and more than 100 injured when a suicide bomber
unleashes their explosive charge in a crowd at a hospital in Quetta. Many of
those killed are lawyers gathered at the hospital to mourn a dead colleague.
Both a Taliban group and the Islamic State (IS) announce that they are behind
Taliban behind school massacre killed
Taliban leader Umar Narai is killed in a US drone attack in Afghanistan.
Narai was wanted in Pakistan for participation in the school massacre in
Peshawar 2014, when 150 people, the majority of children, were killed.
Fatwa for trans people's defense
The jurists in Lahore state that Islamic law recognizes marriages,
inheritance rights and the right concerning burials for transgender people and
that it is a crime to offend transgender people. Fatwan is welcomed by LGBT
activists. Recently, two murders of transgender people have received attention
Fatwa against honor killings
An influential Sunni Muslim group of scholars, the Sunni Ittehad Council,
issues a fatwa (religious statement) against honor killings. Fatwan is issued
after Pakistan suffered a series of noteworthy murders of women who chose to
Defense spending is rising
For the second consecutive year, Pakistan increases its defense budget by 11
percent over the previous year. The budget for 2016/2017 is $ 8.6 billion. It is
primarily the fight against Islamist as well as separatist insurgency in the
country that demands increased spending.
Taliban leader killed by US
Taliban movement leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour is killed in a US flight attack
in Baluchistan. Pakistan, in harsh terms, condemns the US attack and calls it a
violation of Pakistan's sovereignty.
Success in North Waziristan
The Pakistani army announces that the last resistance in the North Waziristan
clan area has now been wiped out.
Murder of human rights activist
Unknown perpetrators shoot to death a human rights activist in Karachi who,
through his website, fights for religious tolerance, against extremism. It is
the third murder of a prominent human rights activist in Karachi since 2013.
Sharif is pulled into the Panama scandal
When the so-called Panama Papers, which reveal several politicians and
business leaders in the world with connections or accounts in offshore
companies, three figures of Prime Minister Sharif's children are published among
the names. Money must have been channeled through offshore accounts to buy
expensive apartments in London. There are suspicions that Sharif has not
accounted for all its assets. The Supreme Court appoints an independent inquiry
with both military and civilian representatives.
Demonstration in support of the Governor's assassin
A demonstration is being held outside the parliament building in Islamabad in
support of Mumtaz Qadri, who was executed by hanging for the assassination of
the governor of Punjab (see February 2016). Around 700
protesters have been arrested since they got into trouble with police.
About 70 dead in attacks against Christians
More than 70 people, including several children, are killed in a suicide
attack in a park in Lahore. In the park, many Christians had gathered to
celebrate Easter. Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, an outbreak group from the Taliban movement,
takes on the deed and says it was aimed at the country's Christian minority.
President Musharraf leaves the country
The Supreme Court cancels the ban on President Musharraf, who flies to Dubai
just a few days later for treatment.
Nearly 20 dead in revenge attack
At least 17 people are killed in a suicide attack outside a court in
northwestern Pakistan. A Pakistani Taliban group takes on the blame for the deed
and says it was taken in revenge for the execution of Mumtaz Qadri.
Executed for governor murder
Mumtaz Qadri is executed by hanging for the 2011 assassination of Punjab's
then Governor Salman Tasir (see January 2011). The governor was
an open opponent of the country's strict laws against blasphemy. Qadri, who is
hailed as a hero in some Islamist groups, was Tasir's bodyguard when he carried
out the murder and had previously been a member of an elite police command. In
connection with the execution, protest demonstrations are held in several of the
country's major cities.
Opposition to Islamist network
Karachi police have blasted a network of militant Islamists, including
members of al-Qaeda's South Asian branch, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi group and the
Pakistani Taliban movement TTP. Nearly 100 people are arrested at the strike.
Pakistan buys Qatari gas
An agreement on the purchase of natural gas from Qatar is estimated to be
worth $ 16 billion. The gas from Qatar will cover one fifth of Pakistan's energy
needs, according to the country's energy department.
Lashkar-e-Taiba received ISI assistance
During a Mumbai trial on the terrorist attacks in the city in 2008, US David
Headley, sentenced to 35 years in prison for participation in the Mumbai
killing, said Pakistani intelligence service ISI provided financial and military
support to Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Islamic extremist group that India says is
behind the attack.
Sharif is trying to mediate in the Middle East
Prime Minister Sharif travels to Iran and Saudi Arabia to try to mediate
between the two countries. Tensions between these countries escalated after the
Saudis executed a Shiite religious leader, leading to attacks on Saudi
consulates in Iran.
Many dead in attack on universities
More than 20 casualties are required and around 50 people are injured when a
group of armed perpetrators attack Bacha Khan University in Charsadda in the
northwest. It is unclear who or who is behind the act and whether it was carried
out with grenades or was a suicide attack.
The arrest after deed against Indian airbase
Pakistani security forces seize 13 members of militant Islamist group
Jaish-e-Mohammad at the request of India, which was hit by a terrorist attack on
an air base near the Pakistan border (see India, calendar). India identifies
Jaish-e-Mohammad as the culprit and demands that Pakistan act. Authorities close
several of the group's religious schools.
Attacks against vaccination center
An explosion against a vaccination center in Quetta requires at least 14
deaths. The attack is believed to be directed at the police force guarding the
center, and 13 of the dead are police officers (one dead victim is a civilian).
The Pakistani Taliban movement TTP (Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan) is taking on the
Pakistan opens a stock exchange
A new national stock exchange, linking the local stock exchanges in Karachi,
Lahore and Islamabad, will be opened.