The Islamic Republic of Pakistan (اسلامی جمحوریہ پاکستان, or Islami Jamhooriya-e-Pakistan, in Urdu), or Pakistan, is a country located in South Asia and is part of the Greater Middle East. Pakistan borders India, Iran, Afghanistan, China and the Arabian Sea. With just under 160 million inhabitants it is the sixth most populous country in the world. It is the second largest Muslim country in the world, after Indonesia, and an important member of the OIC. Culturally and geographically rich, Pakistan has endless tourist attractions throughout its vast scenic lands and many of the highest mountains and mountain ranges in the world.
اسلامی جمحوریہ پاکستان
| National motto: Iman, Ittehad, Tanzeem|
(Urdu: Faith, unity, discipline)
| Official languages
|| Urdu, English, Panjabi, Pashto, Sindhi, and Baluchi
| Largest city
|| General Pervez Musharraf (via referendum)
| Prime Minister
|| Shaukat Aziz
- % water
| Ranked 34th|
- Total (2003)
| Ranked 6th|
|| August 14, 1947 (from the UK)
|| March 23, 1956
|| Pakistani Rupee
| Currency Code
| Time zone
|| UTC +5
| National anthem
|| Pak sarzamin shad bad|
(Blessed Be The Sacred Land)
| Internet TLD
| Calling Code
| National game
|| Field Hockey
Main articles: History of Pakistan, History of South Asia, History of Afghanistan, History of the Middle East, Prime Minister of Pakistan
Pakistan is a nation with an ancient past. Straddling the civilizations of South Asia and the Middle East, Pakistan has a historical past that overlaps into both India and the Iranian plateau and Central Asia. In ancient times, Pakistan was conquered or settled by many groups including the Aryans, Persians , Greeks, Greco-Bactrians, Kushans, White Huns, and Scythians, and various other more obscure groups that did not penetrate into India proper. Buddhism, although it had declined in most of India, remained the dominant religion in pre-Islamic Pakistan. Although Pakistan would remain culturally somewhat allied to adjacent regions in India, its interactions with Persian and Central Asian cultures increasingly differentiated it from the rest of India.
Pakistan in the Middle Ages
The advent of Islam saw the arrival of Muslim Arabs and Central Asian Turks. Qalandars (wandering Sufi saints) from Central Asia preached a mytical form of Islam that appealed to the Buddhist population of Pakistan, and the orders they established gradually converted the majority of the population to Islam. Later, Pakistan was an integral part of the Mughal empire, which for a while had its capital in the city of Lahore, now the capital of Punjab, Pakistan.
Most of the country that is now Pakistan was conquered by the British in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries and was part of British India until August 14, 1947. Late in the 19th Century, modernising leaders like Sir Syed had expressed despair about Hindu-Muslim relations, though he still took the position that Muslims should stay out of politics (which was his reaction at being invited to join the nascent Indian National Congress). The first proponents of an independent Muslim nation began to appear in the early 20th Century under the British Raj. Soon after Sir Syed's death, however, the All India Muslim League was founded on the sidelines of the 1905 conference of the Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental Conference (an organization he had founded). This party was not, right until 1940, separatist. The idea of a separate nation was mooted in humor, satire and on the fringes of the political milieu.
Among the first to make the demand for a separate state was the writer/philosopher Allama Iqbal, who, in his presidential address to the 1930 convention of the Muslim League said that he felt that a separate nation for Muslims was essential in an otherwise Hindu-dominated subcontinent. The Sindh Assembly passed a resolution making it a demand in 1935. Iqbal, Jauhar and others then worked hard to draft Mohammad Ali Jinnah to lead the movement for this new nation. By 1930, Jinnah had despaired of Indian politics, particularly getting mainstream parties like the Congress (of which he was a member much longer than the League) to be sensitive to minority priorities. He went on to become known as the Father of the Nation, with Pakistan officially giving him the title Quaid-e-Azam or "Great Leader". [See ]
As the British granted independence to their dominions in India in mid- August 1947, two nations joined the British Commonwealth as self-governing dominions. In the early days of independence, more than two million people migrated across the new border and more than one hundred thousand died.
Origin of Name
The name was coined by Cambridge student and Muslim nationalist Choudhary Rahmat Ali. He devised the word and first published it on January 28, 1933 in the pamphlet Now or Never . He saw it as an acronym formed from the names of the "homelands" of Muslims in South Asia. (P for Punjab, A for the Afghan areas of the region, K for Kashmir, S for Sindh and tan for Baluchistan, thus forming 'Pakstan.' An 'i' was later added to the English rendition of the name to ease pronunciation, producing Pakistan.) The word also captured in the Persian language the concepts of "Pak" meaning "Pure" and "stan" for "land" or "home" (as in the names of Central Asian countries in the region; Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, etc), thus giving it the meaning Land of the Pure.
Pakistan's independence was won through a democratic and constitutional struggle. Although the country's record with parliamentary democracy has been mixed, Pakistan, after lapses, has returned to this form of government. Pakistani political history is divided into alternating periods of authoritarian military government and democratic civilian/parliamentary rule.
Since independence, Pakistan has also been in constant dispute with India over the territory of Kashmir. The Kashmir dispute has complicated relations between Pakistan and India.
Military Rule (1958-1971)
Although dominion status ended in 1956 with the formation of a Constitution and a declaration of Pakistan as an Islamic Republic, the military took control in 1958 and held power for more than 10 years. Field Marshall Ayub Khan also started Basic Democracy in which the people elected electors who in turn voted to select the President. He nearly lost the national elections to Fatima Jinnah. During Ayub's rule, relations with the United States grew stronger. Pakistan engaged in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 with India over Kashmir and the Rann of Kutch. After a nationwide uprising in 1969, Ayub Khan stepped down and handed over power to General Yahya Khan who promised general elections to be held at the end of 1970.
1971 war and the secession of East Pakistan
From August 14, 1947, until 1971, the nation consisted of two parts, West Pakistan and East Pakistan, geographically separated by over a thousand miles, with India in between. More than 150,000 people died in the largest natural disaster of the twentieth century when a cyclone hit East Pakistan in 12 November, 1970. Despite the tragedy, elections went on, and the results showed a clear division between the Eastern and the Western provinces of the country. The Awami League led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman won a majority in the National Assembly, with 167 of the 169 East Pakistani seats, but with no seats from West Pakistan, where the Pakistan Peoples Party led by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, won 85 seats in the National Assembly. Yahya and Bhutto refused to hand over power to Sheikh Mujib. Meanwhile, Mujib initiated a civil disobedience movement, strongly supported by the general population of East Pakistan and most of its government workers. A round-table conference between Yahya, Bhutto and Mujib was convened in Dhaka, and after it ended without a solution, the Pakistani Army started "Operation Searchlight", an organized crackdown on the East Pakistani army, police, politicians and students in Dhaka. Mujib and many other Awami League leaders were arrested, while others fled to India. On March 27, 1971, Major Ziaur Rahman, a decorated Bengali war-veteran, declared the independence of Bangladesh on behalf of Mujib. The crackdown broadened and later escalated into a guerrilla warfare between the Pakistani Army and the Mukti Bahini-Bengali militants. Although the killing of Bengalis was mostly unsupported by the people of West Pakistan, it continued for 9 months. India supplied the Bengali militants with arms and training, and also hosted the millions of refugees who fled the turmoil. On December 6, 1971, the Indian Army officially joined the war, and launched a massive assault into East Pakistan, where, by that time, the Pakistani Army led by General A. A. K. Niazi, had been weakened and exhausted. Being greatly outnumbered by the Indian Army, and overwhelmed, it surrendered to the Indian Army-Mukti Bahini joint command on December 16, 1971.
Civilian rule and the 1973 Constitution
Civilian rule returned after the war when General Yahya Khan handed over power to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. In 1973, Parliament approved the 1973 Constitution. Elections were held in 1977, with Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto winning. Bhutto's victory was challenged by the opposition, which accused him of rigging the vote. General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq took power in a coup, Bhutto was later executed after being convicted of murdering a political opponent in a controversial 4-3 split decision by Pakistan's Supreme Court.
Front-line state in the anti-Soviet Afghan war
Pakistan had been a US ally for much of the Cold War, from the 1950s and as a member of CENTO and SEATO. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan renewed and deepened the US-Pakistan alliance. The Reagan administration in the United States helped supply and finance an anti-Soviet insurgency in Afghanistan, using Pakistan as a conduit. In retaliation, the KHAD, under Afghan leader Mohammad Najibullah, carried out (according to the Mitrokhin archives and other sources) a large number of terrorist operations against Pakistan, which also suffered from an influx of weaponry and drugs from Afghanistan. In the 1980s, as the front-line state in the anti-Soviet struggle, Pakistan received substantial aid from the United States and took in millions of Afghan (mostly Pashtun) refugees fleeing the Soviet occupation. The influx of so many refugees - the largest refugee population in the world - had a heavy impact on Pakistan and its effects continue to this day. The dictatorship of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq saw an expansion of Islamic law. In 1988, the general died in an aircraft crash and Pakistan returned to an elected government, ushered in with the election of Benazir Bhutto.
From 1988 to 1998, Pakistan was ruled by civilian governments, alternately headed by Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, who were each elected twice and removed from office on charges of corruption. Economic growth declined towards the end of this period, hurt by the Asian financial crisis, and economic sanctions imposed on Pakistan after its first tests of nuclear devices in 1998. The Pakistani testing came shortly after India tested nuclear devices and increased fears of a nuclear arms race in South Asia. The next year, the Kargil Conflict in Kashmir threatened to escalate to a full-scale war.
In the election that returned Nawaz Sharif as Prime Minister in 1997, his party received a heavy majority of the vote, obtaining enough seats in parliament to change the constitution, which Sharif amended to eliminate the formal checks and balances that restrained the Prime Minister's power. Institutional challenges to his authority, led by the civilian President Farooq Leghari, military chief Jehangir Karamat and Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah were put down and all three were forced to resign - the Chief Justice did so after the Supreme Court was stormed by Sharif partisans.
On October 12 1999, Sharif attempted to dismiss army chief Pervez Musharraf and install ISI director Khwaja Ziauddin in his place. Musharraf, who was out of the country, boarded a commercial airliner to return to Pakistan. Senior Army generals refused to accept Musharraf's dismissal. Sharif ordered the Karachi airport to prevent the landing of the airliner, which then circled the skies over Karachi. In a coup, the generals ousted Sharif's administration and took over the airport. The plane landed with only a few minutes of fuel to spare, and Musharraf assumed control of the government.
On May 12, 2000 the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered Musharraf to hold general elections by October 12, 2002. In an attempt to legitimize his presidency and assure its continuance after the impending elections, he held a national referendum on April 30, 2002, which extended his presidential term to a period ending five years after the October elections. However, the referendum was boycotted by the majority of Pakistani political groupings, and voter turnout was 30% or below by most estimates.
General elections were held in October 2002 and a pro-Musharraf party, the PML-Q, won a plurality of the seats in the Parliament. However, parties opposed to Musharraf effectively paralyzed the National Assembly for over a year, until, in accordance with a deal with the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal party, Musharraf agreed to leave the army on December 31, 2004. With that party's support, pro-Musharraf legislators were able to muster the two-thirds supermajority required to pass the Seventeenth Amendment, which retroactively legalized Musharraf's 1999 coup and many of his subsequent decrees. In a vote of confidence on January 1, 2004, Musharraf won 658 out of 1,170 votes in the Electoral College of Pakistan, and according to Article 41(8) of the Constitution of Pakistan, was "deemed to be elected" to the office of President. On September 15, 2004, Musharraf backed down from his commitment to step down as Army chief, citing circumstances of national necessity that he felt required him to keep both offices.
While economic reforms undertaken during his regime have yielded some results, social reform programmes appear to have met with resistance. Musharraf's power is threatened by extremists who have grown in strength since the September 11, 2001 attacks and who are particularly angered by Musharraf's close political and military alliance with the United States. Musharraf has survived assassination attempts by terrorist groups believed to be part of Al-Qaeda, including at least two instances where the terrorists had inside information from a member of his military security detail.
Main article: Politics of Pakistan
Pakistan's two largest mainstream parties are the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Muslim League (Q) (supported by the military establishment of Pakistan), which obtained a plurality in the October 2002 elections. In those elections, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), a coalition of six religious muslim parties, emerged as the third largest party, with 11% of the popular vote. In one province, NWFP, it obtained 48 out of 96 Provincial Assembly seats. It formed a government in that province and in the Balochistan, in coalition with other parties.
Form of Government
Officially a federal republic, Pakistan has had a long history of alternating periods of electoral democracy and authoritarian military government. Military presidents include General Ayub Khan in the 1960s, General Zia-ul-Haq in the 1980s, and General Pervez Musharraf from 1999. However, a majority of Pakistan's Heads of State and Heads of Government have been elected civilian leaders. General elections were held in October 2002. After monitoring the elections, the Commonwealth Observer Group stated in its report, "We believe that on election day this was a credible election: the will of the people was expressed and the results reflected their wishes." 
On May 22, 2004, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group re-admitted Pakistan into the Commonwealth, formally acknowledging its progress in returning to democracy.
Recent Political History
In October 1999, General Pervez Musharraf overthrew the civilian government after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif allegedly hijacked the commercial airliner on which Musharraf was travelling, and attempted to thwart its landing at Karachi. Musharraf assumed executive authority. Local government elections were held in 2000. Musharraf declared himself president in 2001. An April 2002 national referendum approved Musharraf's role as president but the vote was tainted by allegations of rigging and the opposition stridently questioned the legitimacy of Musharraf's presidency until his electoral college victory in January 2004.
Nation-wide parliamentary elections were held in 2002 with Zafarullah Khan Jamali of the Pakistan Muslim League party emerging as Prime Minister. After over a year of political wrangling in the bicameral legislature, Musharraf struck a compromise with some of his parliamentary opponents, giving his supporters the two-thirds majority vote required to amend the constitution in December 2003, retroactively legalizing his 1999 coup and permitting him to remain president if he met certain conditions. A parliamentary electoral college - consisting of the National Assembly and Senate and the provincial assemblies - gave Musharraf a vote of confidence on January 1, 2004, thereby legitimizing his presidency until 2007.
Prime Minister Jamali resigned on June 26, 2004. PML-Q leader Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain became interim PM, and was succeeded by Finance minister and former Citibank Vice President Shaukat Aziz, who became Prime Minister on August 28, 2004.
Shaukat Aziz was elected from Attock
Main article: Subdivisions of Pakistan, Districts of Pakistan
Pakistan has 4 provinces, 2 territories, and also administers parts of Kashmir. The provinces are further subdivided into a total of 105 districts.
Pakistani-administered portions of Jammu and Kashmir region:
Main article: Geography of Pakistan
Pakistan has a total area of 803,940 square kilometers (310,403 sq. mi.), slightly greater than France and the United Kingdom put together.
Pakistan is located in South Asia and is also sometimes considered part of the "Greater" Middle east. To the south is the Arabian Sea, with 1,046 km (650 mile) of Pakistani coastline. To Pakistan's east is India, which has a 2,912 km (1,809 mi.) border with Pakistan. To its west is Iran, which has a 909 km (565 mi.) border with Pakistan. To Pakistan's northwest lies Afghanistan, with a shared border of 2,430 km (1,510 mi.). China is towards the northeast and has a 523 km (325 mi.) border with Pakistan.
The main waterway of Pakistan is the Indus River that begins in China, and runs nearly the entire length of Pakistan, flowing through all of Pakistan's provinces except Balochistan. Several major rivers, interconnected by the world's largest system of agricultural canals, join the Indus before it discharges into the Arabian Sea.
The northern and western areas of Pakistan are mountainous. Pakistani administered areas of Kashmir contain some of the highest mountains in the world, including the second tallest, K-2. Northern Pakistan tends to receive more rainfall than the southern parts of the country, and has some areas of preserved moist temperate forest. In the southeast, Pakistan's border with India passes through a flat desert, called the Cholistan or Thar Desert. West-central Balochistan has a high desert plateau, bordered by low mountain ranges. Most of the Punjab, and parts of Sindh, are fertile plains where agriculture is of great importance.
Main article: Economy of Pakistan
Pakistan, a developing country, is the sixth most populous in the world and is faced with a number of challenges on the political and economic fronts. It came into existence in 1947 as a very poor country. In the twentieth century, its economic growth rate was better than the world average, but imprudent policies led to a slowdown in the 1990s. Since then, the Pakistani government has instituted wide-ranging reforms, and economic growth has accelerated in the current century. Pakistan's economic outlook has brightened and its manufacturing and financial services sectors have experienced rapid expansion. There has been a great improvement in its foreign exchange position and a rapid growth in hard currency reserves as a result of its current account surplus.
Macroeconomic reform and prospects
According to the CIA World Factbook, the government has made substantial inroads in macroeconomic reform since 2000, and medium-term prospects for job creation and poverty reduction are the best in nearly a decade. Islamabad has raised development spending from about 2% of GDP in the 1990s to 4% in 2003, a necessary step towards reversing the broad underdevelopment of its social sector. Reduced tensions with India and the ongoing peace process raise new hopes for a prosperous and stable South Asia.
Large middle class
Measured by purchasing power, Pakistan has a 30 million strong middle class enjoying per capita incomes of $8000-$10,000, according to Dr. Ishrat Husain, Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan. In addition, Pakistan has a growing upper class with relatively high per capita incomes. However, Pakistan has no (USD) billionaires, according to Forbes magazine, and has the distinction of being (by population) the largest nation to have none.
Pakistan's economy, once thought to be highly vulnerable to external and internal shocks, was unexpectedly resilient in the face of adverse events such as the Asian financial crisis, global recession, drought, the post-9/11 military action in Afghanistan, and military tensions with India. Pakistan's economy has also been somewhat resilient over the long term, and overall economic output (GDP) has grown every year since a 1951 recession.
In the first three years of the current century, Pakistan's KSE-100 stock exchange index was the best-performing major market index in the world, driven in part by profit growth, high dividend yields and greater transparency in publicly traded companies as a result of reforms enacted by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan .
The basic unit of currency is the Rupee, which is divided into 100 paisas. One US dollar is approximately equal to 60 rupees. A strengthening economy means the exchange rate is constantly appreciating. One pound sterling is about 108 PKR
Manufacturing and finance
Pakistan's manufacturing sector has experienced double-digit growth in recent years, with large-scale manufacturing growing by 18% in 2003. A reduction in the fiscal deficit has resulted in less government borrowing in the domestic money market, lower interest rates, and an expansion in private sector lending to businesses and consumers. Foreign exchange reserves continued to reach new levels in 2003, supported by robust export growth and steady worker remittances.
Tax incentives for IT industry
The Government of Pakistan has, over the last few years, granted numerous incentives to technology companies wishing to do business in Pakistan. A combination of decade-plus tax holidays, zero duties on computer imports, government incentives for venture capital and a variety of programs for subsidizing technical education, have lent great impetus to the fledgling Information Technology industry. Many of Pakistan's technology companies supply software and services to the world's largest corporations.
Main article: Demographics of Pakistan
Large population and decelerating population growth
Pakistan has the world's sixth largest population, more than Russia, but less than Brazil. Because of Pakistan's high growth rate, it is expected to overtake Brazil in population before 2025. Based on the high fertility rates of the 1980s, demographers had projected that Pakistan would be the third most populous nation by 2050. However, from 1988 onward, Pakistan's fertility rate has fallen more rapidly than in any other country except China (Feeney and Alam, 2003, PDF). It is now projected that its population will stabilize at a more sustainable level.
The overwhelming majority of the people of Pakistan are Muslim, with 97% of the population professing Islam to be their faith. Most muslims in Pakistan are Sunni (>75%) Shia (20%), although a number of smaller sects exist.
Pakistan has a small non-muslim population, mostly consisting of Christians, Hindus, and smaller groups of Buddhists, Parsis, Sikhss and animists in the remote Northern Areas. As in the rest of the subcontinent, Pakistan's religious demographics were altered by partition.
Urdu and English are both recognised as the official languages of Pakistan. Urdu is widely spoken in Pakistan, but is the mother tongue of only 8% of the population. English is used in government and corporate business and by the educated urban elite. Public universities use English as the medium of instruction. Urdu is the lingua franca of the people. Besides these, nearly all Pakistanis speak mutually related Indo-European languages, of which the most widely spoken is Punjabi, followed by Pashto, Sindhi, and Balochi.
Punjabis comprise the largest ethnic group in the country. Other important ethnic groups include: Pashtun, Sindhis, Balochis, Muhajirs and Seraikis. There are also sizeable numbers of other immigrant groups such as Afghans and Iranians who are found mainly in the NWFP and Baluchistan - in the 1980s, Pakistan accommodated over three million Afghan refugees - the largest refugee population in the world. Urdu-speaking Bengali immigrants, who identify with Pakistan, are mainly concentrated in Karachi.
Society and culture
Main article: Culture of Pakistan
Pakistan has a very rich cultural and traditional background going back to Indus Valley Civilization, 2800 BC–1800 BC. The region that is now Pakistan has in the past been invaded and occupied by many different peoples, including Greeks, White Huns, Persians, Arabs, Turks, Mongols and various Eurasian groups. Thus, modern Pakistani culture has its origins in the mixture of many cultures. There are differences in culture among the different ethnic groups in matters such as dress, food, and religion, especially where pre-Islamic customs differ from Islamic practices.
Film and television
Pakistan has had very popular shows on national television. Traditionally the bulk of TV shows have been plays---some of them critically acclaimed. Music is also very popular in Pakistan, and ranges from traditional styles (such as Qawwali) to more modern groups that try to fuse traditional Pakistani music with western music. Music has also been a significant part of TV. An indigenous movie industry exists in Pakistan, and is known as Lollywood as it is based in Lahore, producing over forty feature-length films a year. Pakistan's film industry, however, is in a very weak state. In contrast, Indian Cinema has a strong following in Pakistan, despite tense relations with India.
Increasing globalization has increased the influence of "Western culture" in Pakistan, especially among the affluent, who have easy access to Western products, television, media, and food. Pakistan ranks 46th in the world on the Kearney/FP Globalization index. Many Western restaurant chains have established themselves in Pakistan, and are found in the major cities. At the same time, there is also a reactionary movement within Pakistan that wants to turn away from Western influences, and this has manifested itself in a return to more traditional roots, often conflated with Islam.
A large Pakistani diaspora exists in the West. Whereas Pakistanis in the United States, Canada and Australia tend to be professionals, the majority of them in the United Kingdom, Germany and the Scandinavian nations comes from a rural background and belongs to the working class. A large number of Pakistani expatriates are also living in the Middle East. These emigrants and their children influence Pakistan culturally and economically, keeping close ties with their roots by travelling to Pakistan and especially by returning or investing there.
The most popular sport in Pakistan is cricket, and large numbers of Pakistanis gather around TV sets to watch the Pakistani team play in international competitions, especially against Pakistan's rival--India. Pakistan has one of the top teams in international cricket, one that won the World Cup in 1992. Hockey is also an important sport in Pakistan, Pakistan having won the gold medal at the Olympics a few times in the sport. Squash is another sport that has a large following. Football is played in Pakistan as well, but is not very popular. Polo is believed to have originated in the Northern parts of Pakistan, and continues to be an important sport there with large competitions throughout the year. The modern teams suffer in quality against international teams due to poor sporting culture and lack of infrastructure.
Shopping is a hugely popular pastime for many Pakistanis, especially among the well-to-do and the thirty-million strong middle class. The cities of Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Islamabad, Faisalabad and Quetta are especially known for the great contrast in shopping experiences - from burgeoning bazaars to modern multi-story shopping malls. In particular, Lahore and Karachi are peppered with colourful plazas that house hundreds of technology shops. Most of these are small stores, offering mind-boggling bargains and repair services for almost any computer or technology product. The tech enthusiast finds everything from the latest mobile phones, to extremely inexpensive CDs and DVDs.
Technology and the Internet
Pakistan's adoption of new technologies has often been early but muddled. Color television came to the country before surrounding countries. Paging and mobile (cellular) telephony were adopted early and freely. Long before the Internet, one of the earliest global viruses (spread by infection of diskettes), (c) Brain, was developed by two brothers in Lahore. Cellular phones and the Internet were adopted through a rather laissez-faire policy with a proliferation of private service providers that led to fast adoption. Both have taken off and penetrated society deeply in the last few years of the '90s and first few years of the 2000s. With a rapid increase in the number of internet users and ISPs, and a large English-speaking population, Pakistani society has seen major changes. The internet, some writers (see, for example 1) argue, has become an integral part of Pakistani culture. For example:
- One estimate is that today some 1300 cities and towns of Pakistan are connected to the World Wide Web (see 1).
- Almost all of the main government departments, organisations and institutions have their own websites.
- The use of search engines and messenger services is also booming. Pakistanis are some of the most ardent chatters on the internet, communicating with users all over the world. Recent years have seen a huge increase in the use of online marriage services, for example, leading to a major re-alignment of the tradition of arranged marriages.
Pakistani Government Links
Pakistani Publications & News
Maps of Major Cities
Other external links