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Pakistan (Urdu: پاکستان), officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country located in South Asia and converging with Central Asia and the Middle East . It has a 1,046 kilometer (650 mile) coastline along the Arabian Sea in the south, and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast.

The region forming modern Pakistan was home to the ancient Indus Valley Civilization and the Indo-Greek kingdom. The area has witnessed invasions and settlement by the Persians, Greeks, Arabs, Turks, Afghans and the Mongols. It was a part of British India until 1947, when the political agitation for a state for Muslims, led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the Muslim League resulted in the independence and the creation of the state of Pakistan from the provinces of Sind, Northwest Frontier Province , West Punjab, Baluchistan and East Bengal . With the adoption of its constitution in 1956, Pakistan became an Islamic republic. In 1971, a civil war in East Pakistan resulted in the independence of Bangladesh . Pakistan 's history has been characterized by periods of economic growth as well as military rule and political instability.

Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world and has the second largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia . Pakistan had an estimated population of 169,300,000 as of July 2007, placing it higher than Russia , and lower than Brazil . Pakistan is expected to have a population of around 208 million by the year 2020 because of the high growth rate. The country is listed among the "Next Eleven" economies. Pakistan is a founding member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Developing 8 Countries and the Economic Cooperation Organization. It is also a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, World Trade Organization, G33 developing countries, Group of 77 developing nations, major non-NATO ally of the United States and is a nuclear state.

Soure : Wikipedia 2008


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