+92 is the dialing code for Pakistan.
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.
- Abbreviationfinder: 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 2005.
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.
|Cultivated land||35.2 %|
|Land area||796095 km 2|
Population and health
|Population development||1.46 m|
|Urban population (Urbanization)||38.8 %|
|Death rate||6.49 per 1000 residents|
|Life expectancy: Women||69.4 years|
|Life expectancy: Men||65.47 years|
|Birth rate||22.58 births per 1000 residents|
|Infant mortality||55.67 deaths / 1000 births|
Population Graph Source: Countryaah.com
|Electricity, production||97800 million kWh|
|Energy consumption per resident||483.4 kg. oil per resident|
|Natural gas, production||38550 million cubic meters|
|Crude oil, production||million tons|
|Internet users||10.8 per 100 residents|
|Mobile subscriptions||69 per 100 residents|
|Passenger cars||18 per 1000 residents|
Business and economics
|Unemployment||6.5% of the workforce|
|GDP||5000 per resident|
|Primary occupations||45.1 %|
|Secondary profession||20.7 %|
|Tertiary professions||34.2 %|
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 rain.
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 residents
Islamabad 1 014 800
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 the deed.
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 India, calendar).
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 self-defense.
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 the deed.
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 in Pakistan.
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 marry relatives.
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 deed.
Pakistan opens a stock exchange
A new national stock exchange, linking the local stock exchanges in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, will be opened.