Economic Cooperation Organization

Islamic Republic of Pakistan *

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is Asia's seventh largest country, occupying the northwestern portion of South Asia. It covers an area of 796,095 square km. The Country extends for more than 1,600 km from south to north and for about 880 km from west to east. It is bounded to the west by Iran, to the north by Afghanistan, to the northeast by China, to the east and southeast by India, and to the south by the Arabian Sea.

Pakistan's population is a complex mixture of indigenous peoples. The population's ethnic composition has been affected by successive waves of Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Pashtuns (Pathans), and Mughals coming from the northwest. Arabs have also left their mark on the population. Each of Pakistan's languages has a strong regional focus, and no single language can be said to be common to the whole population. The predominant linguistic group in Pakistan is Punjabi (more than one-half of the population); others include Pashtu (one-eighth), Sindhi (one-eighth), Saraiki (one-tenth), Urdu, and Baluchi. Urdu is the national language of the Country. About 97% of the population is Muslim. Hindus and Christians and others make up the remaining 3%of the population.

The President is the Head of State and is elected for a period of five years by the Federal Parliament and Provincial Assemblies. The current President is H.E. Dr. Arif Alvi. The Prime Minister is the Head of the Government and is elected by the National Assembly for a five year term. The current Prime Minister is H.E. Mr. Imran Khan.

Pakistan-s judicial system is headed by the Supreme Court, and each province has a high court. The Federal Shariat Court, a court of Islamic law (Shari-a) was set up in the 1980s.
Pakistan has a developing mixed economy based largely on agriculture, light industries, and services. The Government has placed special emphasis on the liberalization and privatization of the economy since 1990. The Gross National Product (GNP) is increasing more rapidly than the population, but the GNP per capita is among the lowest in Asia, albeit the highest in South Asia. Agriculture accounts for approximately one-fourth of the GDP. Wheat is the chief staple, and sugarcane is widely grown. Cotton and rice are major export crops. Manufacturing accounts for approximately one-fifth of the GDP. Textiles, particularly cotton textiles, are the chief manufacture and are a leading export. Mining, which is largely controlled by the government, accounts for about 0.4 percent of the GDP. Coal and iron ore (both of which are mostly low-grade), some petroleum, and substantial quantities of natural gas are extracted. Limestone, chromite, and gypsum are widely mined.

Pakistan has known deposits of coal, iron ore, chromites, gypsum, copper, rock salt, marble, and other mineral resources that remain largely unexploited. Natural gas is by far the most valuable resource.

* The data and statistics here are reproduced from the following UN source: