Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Pakistan is a state in South Asia. It shares borders with India and Afghanistan as well as China. Northern Pakistan is defined by high mountains. Most of the country is covered by steppes and deserts. The industrial lowlands are the most densely populated and economically important areas of Pakistan. Heat and drought determine the climate of most parts of the country. The southwest monsoon only affects the extreme southwest of the country. Towards the north the climate becomes increasingly continental.

Pakistan is one of the poorest countries in the world. The high population growth, the consequences of unprofitable planning and the emigration of skilled workers prevent positive economic development. Agriculture with complex irrigation systems employs every second worker. The country is poor in raw materials. The textile industry generates two thirds of the export volume.

In 1947 the states of Pakistan and India emerged from the crown colony of British India. Since then, there have been repeated conflicts and armed conflicts between Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan.

Short for PK on ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG, Pakistan is on the western edge of South Asia. It is the second largest country in the South Asian subcontinent. With an area of ​​around 800,000 km², Pakistan covers a little more than the area of ​​France and the Federal Republic combined. It is a transition area between the oriental and the south Asian cultural area. It is bordered by Iran to the southwest, and Afghanistan to the west, northwest and north. It shares a border with China in the Karakoram. India is Pakistan’s neighbor to the east and south-east and the Arabian Sea to the south-east.


The affiliation of the Jammu and Kashmir region in the northern Himalayas is disputed between India and Pakistan.

Important data about the country

Surface: 796 095 km²
Residents: 157.3 million
Population density: 198 residents / km²
Growth of population: 2.4% / year
Life expectancy: 64 years
State capital: Islamabad
Form of government: Islamic Republic
Languages: Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, Baluchi, Brahui, English
Religions: Muslims almost 100%, minorities of Christians, Hindus, Buddhists
Climate: extra-tropical-continental with monsoon influence
Land use: Arable land 26.3%, forest 3.8%, pasture land 6.4%
Economic sectors:
(share of employees):
Agriculture 48.4%, industry 18%, services 33.6%
Export goods: Cotton, food, leather, leather goods, carpets
Gross domestic product: $ 82,324 million (2003)
Gross National Product: US $ 520 / residents (2003)

Surface shape

Pakistan is part of the Alpine mountain system that frames the South Asian subcontinent. In the Hindu Kush the Tirich Mir is the highest mountain with a height of 7,690 m. In Kashmir and the adjacent areas, Pakistan protrudes into the Himalayas. The highest mountain in the country is the K2 with 8610 m in the Karakoram.

The desert-like Thar plain extends to the east of Pakistan.

With a third of its land area, Pakistan has a share of the flood plain formed by the Indus and its tributaries, the industrial lowlands. It is located in the Pakistani part of the Punjab and forms the actual habitat of the country.


The Indus has a total length of 3,200 km, the longest river in the Indian subcontinent. It flows through Pakistan over a length of 2200 km. The northern part of the industrial lowlands is mainly formed by the five-stream land of the Punjab. It is an extremely flat alluvial fan in which five Himalayan rivers are united. The southern part of the industrial lowlands is formed by the huge delta area of the river against the Arabian Sea.

Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Climate and vegetation

The climate is marginal tropical continental with monsoon influence. However, the typical South Asian monsoon climate has already weakened in Pakistan. Due to its proximity to the Near East dry belt, the climate is continentally influenced. Heat and drought are the hallmarks. The lower regions are particularly dry. In summer, an average of more than 30 °C is measured, but daytime temperatures of 40 °C are not uncommon. In the high mountains, temperatures drop below freezing point in winter (Fig. 3).

The precipitation from the summer southwest monsoons no longer reaches the extreme northwest of Pakistan. The annual average rainfall of less than 500 mm is low. The highest amounts of precipitation fall, as is typical for the monsoon climate in the north of India, in the entire industrial lowlands in the months of July and August. In the immediate foreland of the Himalayas, there is a second, less heavy precipitation period in winter. This so-called “Christmas rain” is an eastern branch of the Mediterranean winter rain. In the foothills of the Himalayas, precipitation reaches its maximum at around 1000-1200 mm; in the valleys of the high mountain regions, it quickly decreases again to 150 mm annual precipitation.

Pakistan is predominantly characterized by steppes and desert regions. The extreme arid areas such as B. the Thar desert and parts of the highlands of Balochistan are almost without vegetation. Dense forests grow in the mountains of the north. They take up about 3% of the country’s area. Mangroves are dominant in the Indus Delta. The industrial lowlands are mainly used as cultivated land.


Pakistan is one of the poorest countries in the world, although statistics have shown economic growth of 4 to 6% since the 1980’s.

The most important branch is agriculture. Farming is very costly and labor-intensive. Due to the dryness of the country, the installation of branched irrigation systems or the construction of deep wells is necessary. The largest artificial irrigation system on earth is located in the Indus plain. The main crops of irrigated agriculture are wheat on 60% of the cultivated area, as well as cotton, rice and sugar cane. In Balochistan and the north-western border areas, the nomads breed cattle, including cattle, sheep, goats and camels. Pakistan is poor in natural resources. Only in Balochistan and the Punjab are there rich oil deposits. The few natural resources, such as B. coal, uranium ore and copper and iron ore are only used imperfectly.

The hydropower plants in connection with the large irrigation dams in the Indus and its tributaries are of great importance for the energy supply. In 1972 a nuclear power plant was put into operation near Karachi. It was primarily used to deliver weapons-grade uranium. Pakistan carried out its first nuclear test in 1998.

The most important sector of the manufacturing industry is the textile industry. It processes domestic cotton and accounts for two thirds of the export volume. Other branches of production are leather processing, mechanical engineering, the food and beverage industry and the chemical industry.

Only about half of all roads in Pakistan are always drivable. The main mode of transport is the railroad; Pakistan has been connected to Sinkiang in China since 1978. Pakistan’s trade balance is negative, meaning that the country’s exports only bring in around two thirds of the foreign currency that Pakistan needs for its imports.


In the 18th century. Began with the founding of the East India Company to British rule in Pakistan.

On August 15, 1947, at the request of the Muslim League, Pakistan emerged from the predominantly Muslim areas of the British crown colony as a new state alongside India.

Until 1971 it also included what is now Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan.

Since then, there have been massive conflicts between Hindu-influenced India and Muslim Pakistan. Wars broke out between 1947 and 1948, 1965 to 1966 and 1971.

The dispute over the provinces of Jammu and Kashmir in the Himalayas led to frequent fighting, most recently in 1999. Since 1998, both powers have atomic weapons, the conflicts between India and Pakistan are of great explosiveness. The Taliban militias, which have been active in Afghanistan since 1996, are Afghanistan refugees who were trained in Pakistan. Thus, Pakistan is involved in both the 1978 Afghan War and the conflict between the Taliban and the United States since September 11, 2001.