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Pakistan-The Government of Nawaz Sharif

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Pakistan Index

When Mian Nawaz Sharif became prime minister in November 1990, his political coalition, the IJI, had more than a two- thirds majority in the National Assembly. The IJI alliance, a grouping of parties whose chief components were the PML and the JI, had been formed in 1988 to oppose the PPP in the elections of that year. In the 1988 elections, the PPP emerged as the single largest group in the National Assembly, and its leader, Benazir, became prime minister. At the same time, however, Nawaz Sharif emerged as the most powerful politician outside the PPP. Just two years later, the IJI under Nawaz Sharif's leadership achieved victory at the polls, and Nawaz Sharif took over in a peaceful, constitutional transfer of power--the third prime minister since Zia's death in 1988 ushered in a return to democracy. Nawaz Sharif's ascendancy also marked a transition in the political culture of Pakistan--a power shift from the traditional feudal aristocracy to a growing class of modern entrepreneurs. This transition mirrored the socioeconomic changes that had been at work in Pakistan, moving the country gradually from a feudal to an industrial society.

Nawaz Sharif, born in Lahore in 1949, belongs to a postindependence generation of politicians. Scion of a leading industrial family, he is a practicing Muslim, an ardent capitalist, and a political moderate. A graduate of Government College Lahore, with a degree from Punjab University Law College, also in Lahore, he rose to prominence representing an urban constituency seeking its own political identity. His family, along with other major industrial families, had suffered from the nationalization of large industrial enterprises during Bhutto's regime (1971-77). Nawaz Sharif had worked to build a political constituency that would favor private industrial and commercial entrepreneurship. He served in Punjab, first as finance minister and then as chief minister, before coming to national office. As finance minister, he presented development-oriented budgets. As chief minister, he stressed welfare and development activities and the maintenance of law and order.

In his first address to the nation after taking office as prime minister, Nawaz Sharif announced his government's comprehensive national reconstruction plan and said that its implementation would ensure the successful march of Pakistan into the twenty-first century. He stressed that proper use of the country's natural resources would be made, the pace of industrialization expedited, and the best use of talented manpower identified. Under his development policy, investment would be encouraged, and restrictions on setting up new industries would be lifted.

Early assessments of Nawaz Sharif and his government noted his initiative, youthful energy, and already proven ability and popularity in his home province, the country's power base. The newspaper Dawn pointed out, however, that his Punjab connection was both an asset and a liability and that "to acquire a genuinely all-Pakistan stature, he will have to have ingenuity, and acumen, magnanimity and vision, and the strength to take bold decisions."

Nawaz Sharif's cabinet initially included eighteen ministers: nine from Punjab, two from the Islamabad Capital Territory, six from Sindh, and one from Balochistan. His cabinet was later expanded to include representation from the North-West Frontier Province. Of paramount importance to the new government was implementation of Nawaz Sharif's program for strengthening the economy. Goals of the program included self-reliance, deregulation and denationalization, taxation reform, foreign- exchange and payment reform, administrative and law reform, and increases in agricultural productivity and exports. The government's economic strategy rested on streamlining the institutional framework for industrialization and on starting a new partnership with the private sector in order to promote common objectives. Nawaz Sharif regarded unemployment as Pakistan's major problem and believed it could be solved only by rapid industrialization. He said his government was considering special incentives for rural industrialization and agro-based industries and was fully committed to a policy of deregulation.

The IJI government was third in a line representing a dyarchical arrangement of shared power between Pakistan's civil- military and political forces. Nawaz Sharif and his predecessors, Junejo and Benazir, came to power under a constitutional framework in which, under the controversial Eighth Amendment introduced by Zia, the president was empowered to dissolve the parliament and dismiss the government. Both Junejo and Benazir had earlier been unceremoniously dismissed from office, and the constitutional framework limited Nawaz Sharif's ability to govern despite the support of a majority in the parliament. He, too, would be dismissed under the constitutional framework in 1993.

President Ishaq Khan had been credited with guiding Pakistan back to democracy after eleven years of autocracy and martial law under Zia. After Zia's death, Ishaq Khan, then chairman of the Senate, was next in the line of succession as stipulated in the constitution. The armed forces requested him to assume the presidency. As acting president, Ishaq Khan instituted an emergency council, and he and the council decided that general elections would be held in November 1988 and that political parties would be allowed to participate in them. When the PPP won these elections, Ishaq Khan called on Benazir to form a government, and she was sworn in as prime minister. Ishaq Khan was elected president by a combined sitting of the national and provincial assemblies, receiving 78 percent of the electoral votes. When Ishaq Khan dismissed Benazir and her government in 1990, he again called a general election. As a result, Nawaz Sharif was brought to power in 1990.

Pakistan's emerging two-party system was strengthened by the 1988 and 1990 elections and the constitutional transfer of power in 1990 from Benazir to Nawaz Sharif. In these elections, the two political alliances, the IJI and the PDA (headed by the PPP), became the main contenders for power. Although both alliances agreed on Pakistan's need for a liberal democracy and a market economy, the PDA opposition represented a real political challenge to the government, and Benazir conducted a relentless campaign to oust Nawaz Sharif.

From the outset, the Nawaz Sharif government's record was mixed. On the one hand, it achieved passage in May 1991 of the Shariat Bill, which declared the Quran and the sunna (see Glossary) to be the law of the land. Islamic fundamentalists, on the other hand, did not think the bill went far enough. The more secular-minded Pakistanis feared that a theocracy was being established. A working group was set up to monitor and make recommendations for enforcing Islamic laws in the country. The working group adopted a nineteen-point plan that included calls for the implementation of all Islamic legislation, especially the laws creating sharia courts; transformation of the education system to reflect Islamic teaching; controls on the print and electronic media designed to ensure Islamic moral values; uniform and enforced prayer schedules; and the establishment of an Islamic banking system and the total abolition of interest.

Additionally, in November 1991 the Federal Shariat Court, Pakistan's supreme religious court, declared the provisions of some twenty federal and provincial laws repugnant to Islam. A particular problem was the ruling that payment of interest (riba) was prohibited by Islam even if the loan involved was for productive purposes. Although the government had publicly committed itself to Islamization, its major domestic policy initiative was the liberalization of the economy. If the ruling on riba were fully implemented, this new economic policy likely would fail. With no consensus in Pakistan regarding either the content or the pace of Islamic reform, Nawaz Sharif sought to strike an acceptable balance to enable his government to remain in power.

The government also had to contend with rampant crime and terrorism, which continued to be a cause for alarm in the country, particularly in Sindh. Kidnappings, bombings, and murders persisted despite concerted efforts by the police and the military to stem lawlessness. Pakistanis called this state of affairs the Kalashnikov culture because the flood of available automatic weapons gave long-standing ethnic and political rivalries a deadly new significance (see Prospects for Social Cohesion , ch. 2). The arms were largely a legacy from the war in neighboring Afghanistan. The police were increasingly outgunned, and even foreigners were not immune from attack. In the summer of 1991, the prime minister was forced to cancel an important trip to Japan in quest of investment in order to calm a population shaken by a particularly savage string of murders in Punjab. In an effort to stem the violence, the government decreed that Pakistanis turn in their weapons, but, predictably, few of them did. The government also passed the Twelfth Amendment to the constitution, which provided for the further jurisdictional authority of Speedy Trial Courts to dispense summary justice. The opposition, however, criticized the law as suppressing fundamental rights.

Nawaz Sharif held to his conviction that the solution to Pakistan's political problems was free-market reform and economic growth, so he liberalized foreign-exchange regulations and denationalized public-sector industrial enterprises and financial institutions. Furthermore, government approval was no longer required for the establishment of new industrial enterprises (with some exceptions, particularly in relation to arms and explosives). A number of important industries such as electricity generation, shipping, airlines, highway construction, and telecommunications were opened up to the private sector. Although there was support for liberalizing and privatizing the economy, there was considerable criticism of the process of implementation. Some critics feared that moving too fast could produce turmoil, with the resultant demand for renationalization. Other critics asked for protection for the more vulnerable groups in society who would not be able to compete in a free market. The government's ability to focus effectively on and deal with these problems was weakened by its involvement with the Pakistan Cooperative Societies and the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) financial scandals (see Finance , ch. 3).

In keeping with his goals of consolidating economic growth and overcoming the country's regional divisions, Nawaz Sharif was convinced of the need for a modern national infrastructure, regardless of cost. As a result, he launched the construction of a US$1 billion superhighway project, which National Highway Authority chairman Hidayat Niazi described as a step toward building a nation (see Transportation , ch. 3).

Nawaz Sharif's government continued to be under pressure from within and without, and his ruling coalition, the IJI, was plagued by internal dissention. Tensions, disagreements, and political rivalries were present within the IJI's largest component, the Pakistan Muslim League. In May 1992, the fundamentalist JI, the second largest member of the coalition, formally left the IJI. Since its inception, the IJI had been an alliance of varied right-of-center and Islamic parties in a marriage of convenience to oppose the PPP. However, the PML and the JI had long been antagonists, and their disagreements mounted over a number of issues. The JI was unhappy with the IJI government's support of Saudi Arabia and the United States during the Persian Gulf crisis (1990-91), fearing that the defeat of Iraq would transform Shia (see Glossary) Iran into a major regional power. The JI also criticized the mainstream PML for what it perceived to be foot-dragging on Islamization, including the matter of riba, as well as its abandonment of support for the Afghan mujahidin in favor of efforts to establish a neutral, United Nations-sponsored government in Kabul. The JI also criticized the government's policy on Kashmir as not evidencing sufficient commitment to Islamic "freedom fighters" there.

The government's chief opposition, Benazir and the PPP, criticized Nawaz Sharif's efforts at privatization, calling them the "loot and plunder" of Pakistan and saying his plan favored large investors and ran roughshod over labor. Benazir was also critical of the government's Islamization policies and continued to allege that the 1990 elections, which brought Nawaz Sharif's government to power, were fraudulent. In late 1992, she tried to organize widespread protest marches against the government. In response, Nawaz Sharif banned Benazir from two of the country's largest cities and ordered police measures against her supporters.

Benazir ultimately did not muster enough demonstrators throughout the country to threaten the government. However, Nawaz Sharif's actions, in the eyes of some, made him appear too willing to espouse repressive measures rather than adhere to democratic principles. Subsequently, relations between Nawaz Sharif and Benazir appeared to soften somewhat. He reportedly ceased calling her an "enemy of Pakistan," and Benazir abandoned her demonstrations designed to topple Nawaz Sharif's government through street power.

The ruling coalition appeared to weaken by early 1993. The four major powers in Pakistan continued to be the president, the military, Nawaz Sharif's IJI government, and the PPP opposition led by Benazir. Reports of a growing rift between Nawaz Sharif and Ishaq Khan became more commonplace. The military--which never had an overt constitutional role in the government but which had historically been a key player in the formation and dismissal of governments--was closely and nervously monitored by observers.

Data as of April 1994

BackgroundThe Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world and dating back at least 5,000 years, spread over much of what is presently Pakistan. During the second millennium B.C., remnants of this culture fused with the migrating Indo-Aryan peoples. The area underwent successive invasions in subsequent centuries from the Persians, Greeks, Scythians, Arabs (who brought Islam), Afghans, and Turks. The Mughal Empire flourished in the 16th and 17th centuries; the British came to dominate the region in the 18th century. The separation in 1947 of British India into the Muslim state of Pakistan (with West and East sections) and largely Hindu India was never satisfactorily resolved, and India and Pakistan fought two wars - in 1947-48 and 1965 - over the disputed Kashmir territory. A third war between these countries in 1971 - in which India capitalized on Islamabad's marginalization of Bengalis in Pakistani politics - resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. In response to Indian nuclear weapons testing, Pakistan conducted its own tests in 1998. The dispute over the state of Kashmir is ongoing, but discussions and confidence-building measures have helped the two countries begin to work through their issues. In February 2008, Pakistan held parliamentary elections and in September 2008, after the resignation of former President MUSHARRAF, elected Asif Ali ZARDARI to the presidency. Pakistani government and military leaders are struggling to control domestic insurgents, many of whom are located in the tribal areas adjacent to the border with Afghanistan. India-Pakistan relations have been rocky since the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, but both countries are taking small steps to put relations back on track.
LocationSouthern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea, between India on the east and Iran and Afghanistan on the west and China in the north
Area(sq km)total: 796,095 sq km
land: 770,875 sq km
water: 25,220 sq km
Geographic coordinates30 00 N, 70 00 E
Land boundaries(km)total: 6,774 km
border countries: Afghanistan 2,430 km, China 523 km, India 2,912 km, Iran 909 km

Coastline(km)1,046 km

Climatemostly hot, dry desert; temperate in northwest; arctic in north

Elevation extremes(m)lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: K2 (Mt. Godwin-Austen) 8,611 m
Natural resourcesland, extensive natural gas reserves, limited petroleum, poor quality coal, iron ore, copper, salt, limestone
Land use(%)arable land: 24.44%
permanent crops: 0.84%
other: 74.72% (2005)

Irrigated land(sq km)182,300 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources(cu km)233.8 cu km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)total: 169.39 cu km/yr (2%/2%/96%)
per capita: 1,072 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazardsfrequent earthquakes, occasionally severe especially in north and west; flooding along the Indus after heavy rains (July and August)
Environment - current issueswater pollution from raw sewage, industrial wastes, and agricultural runoff; limited natural fresh water resources; most of the population does not have access to potable water; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
Geography - notecontrols Khyber Pass and Bolan Pass, traditional invasion routes between Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent
Population176,242,949 (July 2009 est.)
Age structure(%)0-14 years: 37.2% (male 33,739,547/female 31,868,065)
15-64 years: 58.6% (male 52,849,607/female 50,378,198)
65 years and over: 4.2% (male 3,475,927/female 3,931,605) (2009 est.)
Median age(years)total: 20.8 years
male: 20.6 years
female: 21 years (2009 est.)
Population growth rate(%)1.947% (2009 est.)
Birth rate(births/1,000 population)27.62 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Death rate(deaths/1,000 population)7.68 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)

Net migration rate(migrant(s)/1,000 population)-0.48 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Urbanization(%)urban population: 36% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio(male(s)/female)at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate(deaths/1,000 live births)total: 65.14 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 65.24 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 65.05 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

Life expectancy at birth(years)total population: 64.49 years
male: 63.4 years
female: 65.64 years (2009 est.)

Total fertility rate(children born/woman)3.6 children born/woman (2009 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Pakistani(s)
adjective: Pakistani
Ethnic groups(%)Punjabi 44.68%, Pashtun (Pathan) 15.42%, Sindhi 14.1%, Sariaki 8.38%, Muhagirs 7.57%, Balochi 3.57%, other 6.28%

Religions(%)Muslim 95% (Sunni 75%, Shia 20%), other (includes Christian and Hindu) 5%
Languages(%)Punjabi 48%, Sindhi 12%, Siraiki (a Punjabi variant) 10%, Pashtu 8%, Urdu (official) 8%, Balochi 3%, Hindko 2%, Brahui 1%, English (official; lingua franca of Pakistani elite and most government ministries), Burushaski, and other 8%

Country nameconventional long form: Islamic Republic of Pakistan
conventional short form: Pakistan
local long form: Jamhuryat Islami Pakistan
local short form: Pakistan
former: West Pakistan
Government typefederal republic
Capitalname: Islamabad
geographic coordinates: 33 42 N, 73 10 E
time difference: UTC+5 (10 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, in 2009 - begins third Wednesday in April; ends first Sunday in November; note - a new policy of daylight saving time was initiated by the government in 2008; the specific date of the start of DST has varied over the last two years
Administrative divisions4 provinces, 1 territory*, and 1 capital territory**; Balochistan, Federally Administered Tribal Areas*, Islamabad Capital Territory**, North-West Frontier Province, Punjab, Sindh
note: the Pakistani-administered portion of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region consists of two administrative entities: Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan
Constitution12 April 1973; suspended 5 July 1977, restored 30 December 1985; suspended 15 October 1999, restored in stages in 2002; amended 31 December 2003; suspended 3 November 2007; restored on 15 December 2007

Legal systembased on English common law with provisions to accommodate Pakistan's status as an Islamic state; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations

Suffrage18 years of age; universal; joint electorates and reserved parliamentary seats for women and non-Muslims
Executive branchchief of state: President Asif Ali ZARDARI (since 9 September 2008)
head of government: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza GILANI (since 25 March 2008)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president upon the advice of the prime minister
elections: the president is elected by secret ballot through an Electoral College comprising the members of the Senate, National Assembly, and the provincial assemblies for a five-year term; election last held on 6 September 2008 (next to be held not later than 2013); note - any person who is a Muslim and not less than 45 years of age and is qualified to be elected as a member of the National Assembly can contest the presidential election; the prime minister is selected by the National Assembly; election last held on 24 March 2008
election results: Asif Ali ZARDARI elected president; ZARDARI 481 votes, SIDDIQUE 153 votes, SYED 44 votes; Syed Yousuf Raza GILANI elected prime minister; GILANI 264 votes, Pervaiz ELAHI 42 votes; several abstentions

Legislative branchbicameral parliament or Majlis-e-Shoora consists of the Senate (100 seats; members indirectly elected by provincial assemblies and the territories' representatives in the National Assembly to serve six-year terms; one half are elected every three years) and the National Assembly (342 seats; 272 members elected by popular vote; 60 seats reserved for women; 10 seats reserved for non-Muslims; serve five-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 3 March 2009 (next to be held in March 2012); National Assembly - last held on 18 February 2008 with by-elections on 26 June 2008 (next to be held in 2013)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PPPP 27, PML-Q 21, MMA 9, PML-N 7, ANP 6, MQM 6, JUI-F 4, BNP-A 2, JWP 1, NPP 1, PKMAP 1, PML-F 1, PPP 1, independents 13; National Assembly - percent of votes by party - NA; seats by party - PPPP 124, PML-N 91, PML 54, MQM 25, ANP 13, MMA 7, PML-F 5, BNP-A 1, NPP 1, PPP-S 1, independents 17; note - 3 seats remain unfilled

Judicial branchSupreme Court (justices appointed by the president); Federal Islamic or Sharia Court

Political pressure groups and leadersother: military (most important political force); ulema (clergy); landowners; industrialists; small merchants
Flag descriptiongreen with a vertical white band (symbolizing the role of religious minorities) on the hoist side; a large white crescent and star are centered in the green field; the crescent, star, and color green are traditional symbols of Islam

Economy - overviewPakistan, an impoverished and underdeveloped country, has suffered from decades of internal political disputes, low levels of foreign investment, and declining exports of manufactures. Faced with untenable budgetary deficits, high inflation, and hemorrhaging foreign exchange reserves, the government agreed to an International Monetary Fund Standby Arrangement in November 2008. Between 2004-07, GDP growth in the 6-8% range was spurred by gains in the industrial and service sectors, despite severe electricity shortfalls. Poverty levels decreased by 10% since 2001, and Islamabad steadily raised development spending in recent years. In 2008 the fiscal deficit - a result of chronically low tax collection and increased spending - exceeded Islamabad's target of 4% of GDP. Inflation remains the top concern among the public, jumping from 7.7% in 2007 to 20.8% in 2008, primarily because of rising world fuel and commodity prices. In addition, the Pakistani rupee has depreciated significantly as a result of political and economic instability.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$431.2 billion (2008 est.)
$417 billion (2007 est.)
$393.4 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$164.6 billion (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate(%)3.4% (2008 est.)
6% (2007 est.)
6% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$2,500 (2008 est.)
$2,500 (2007 est.)
$2,400 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector(%)agriculture: 20.4%
industry: 26.6%
services: 53% (2008 est.)
Labor force50.58 million
note: extensive export of labor, mostly to the Middle East, and use of child labor (2008 est.)

Labor force - by occupation(%)agriculture: 43%
industry: 20.3%
services: 36.6% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate(%)13.6% (2008 est.)
5.6% (2007 est.)
note: substantial underemployment exists
Population below poverty line(%)24% (FY05/06 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share(%)lowest 10%: 3.9%
highest 10%: 26.5% (2005)
Distribution of family income - Gini index30.6 (FY07/08)
41 (FY98/99)
Investment (gross fixed)(% of GDP)20% of GDP (2008 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $22.3 billion
expenditures: $32.35 billion (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)(%)20.3% (2008 est.)
7.6% (2007 est.)

Stock of money$NA (31 December 2008)
$52.76 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money$NA (31 December 2008)
$18.42 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit$NA (31 December 2008)
$65.05 billion (31 December 2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares$23.49 billion (31 December 2008)
$70.26 billion (31 December 2007)
$45.52 billion (31 December 2006)
Economic aid - recipient$1.666 billion (2005)

Public debt(% of GDP)51.2% of GDP (2008 est.)
71.4% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - productscotton, wheat, rice, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; milk, beef, mutton, eggs
Industriestextiles and apparel, food processing, pharmaceuticals, construction materials, paper products, fertilizer, shrimp

Industrial production growth rate(%)4.6% (2008 est.)

Current account balance-$15.68 billion (2008 est.)
-$8.297 billion (2007 est.)
Exports$21.09 billion (2008 est.)
$18.12 billion (2007 est.)

Exports - commodities(%)textiles (garments, bed linen, cotton cloth, yarn), rice, leather goods, sports goods, chemicals, manufactures, carpets and rugs
Exports - partners(%)US 16%, UAE 11.7%, Afghanistan 8.6%, UK 4.5%, China 4.2% (2008)
Imports$38.19 billion (2008 est.)
$28.76 billion (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities(%)petroleum, petroleum products, machinery, plastics, transportation equipment, edible oils, paper and paperboard, iron and steel, tea
Imports - partners(%)China 14.1%, Saudi Arabia 12%, UAE 11.2%, Kuwait 5.4%, India 4.8%, US 4.7%, Malaysia 4.1% (2008)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$8.903 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$15.69 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external$46.39 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$38.8 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$25.44 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$20.01 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$1.017 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$982 million (31 December 2007 est.)
Exchange ratesPakistani rupees (PKR) per US dollar - 70.64 (2008 est.), 60.6295 (2007), 60.35 (2006), 59.515 (2005), 58.258 (2004)

Currency (code)Pakistani rupee (PKR)

Telephones - main lines in use4.546 million (2008)
Telephones - mobile cellular91.44 million (2009)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: the telecommunications infrastructure is improving dramatically with foreign and domestic investments in fixed-line and mobile networks; mobile-cellular subscribership has skyrocketed, reaching some 91 million in 2009, up from only about 300,000 in 2000; fiber systems are being constructed throughout the country to aid in network growth; main line availability has risen only marginally over the same period and there are still difficulties getting main line service to rural areas
domestic: microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, fiber-optic cable, cellular, and satellite networks
international: country code - 92; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3 and SEA-ME-WE-4 submarine cable systems that provide links to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean); 3 operational international gateway exchanges (1 at Karachi and 2 at Islamabad); microwave radio relay to neighboring countries (2009)
Internet country code.pk
Internet users18.5 million (2008)
Airports145 (2009)
Pipelines(km)gas 10,402 km; oil 2,076 km; refined products 792 km (2008)
Roadways(km)total: 259,197 km
paved: 172,827 km (includes 711 km of expressways)
unpaved: 86,370 km (2007)

Ports and terminalsKarachi, Port Muhammad Bin Qasim
Military branchesArmy (includes National Guard), Navy (includes Marines and Maritime Security Agency), Pakistan Air Force (Pakistan Fiza'ya) (2008)
Military service age and obligation(years of age)17-23 years of age for voluntary military service; soldiers cannot be deployed for combat until age 18; the Pakistani Air Force and Pakistani Navy have inducted their first female pilots and sailors (2009)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 16-49: 42,633,765
females age 16-49: 40,114,017 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 16-49: 33,690,322
females age 16-49: 32,602,910 (2009 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annuallymale: 2,089,936
female: 1,964,090 (2009 est.)
Military expenditures(% of GDP)3% of GDP (2007 est.)
Disputes - internationalvarious talks and confidence-building measures cautiously have begun to defuse tensions over Kashmir, particularly since the October 2005 earthquake in the region; Kashmir nevertheless remains the site of the world's largest and most militarized territorial dispute with portions under the de facto administration of China (Aksai Chin), India (Jammu and Kashmir), and Pakistan (Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas); UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) has maintained a small group of peacekeepers since 1949; India does not recognize Pakistan's ceding historic Kashmir lands to China in 1964; India and Pakistan have maintained their 2004 cease fire in Kashmir and initiated discussions on defusing the armed stand-off in the Siachen glacier region; Pakistan protests India's fencing the highly militarized Line of Control and construction of the Baglihar Dam on the Chenab River in Jammu and Kashmir, which is part of the larger dispute on water sharing of the Indus River and its tributaries; to defuse tensions and prepare for discussions on a maritime boundary, India and Pakistan seek technical resolution of the disputed boundary in Sir Creek estuary at the mouth of the Rann of Kutch in the Arabian Sea; Pakistani maps continue to show the Junagadh claim in India's Gujarat State; by 2005, Pakistan, with UN assistance, repatriated 2.3 million Afghan refugees leaving slightly more than a million, many of whom remain at their own choosing; Pakistan has proposed and Afghanistan protests construction of a fence and laying of mines along portions of their porous border; Pakistan has sent troops into remote tribal areas to monitor and control the border with Afghanistan and to stem terrorist or other illegal activities

Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 1,043,984 (Afghanistan)
IDPs: undetermined (government strikes on Islamic militants in South Waziristan); 34,000 (October 2005 earthquake; most of those displaced returned to their home villages in the spring of 2006) (2007)
Electricity - production(kWh)90.8 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - production by source(%)fossil fuel: 68.8%
hydro: 28.2%
nuclear: 3%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption(kWh)72.2 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - exports(kWh)0 kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - imports(kWh)0 kWh (2008 est.)
Oil - production(bbl/day)61,870 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - consumption(bbl/day)383,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - exports(bbl/day)30,090 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - imports(bbl/day)319,500 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - proved reserves(bbl)339 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
Natural gas - production(cu m)37.5 billion cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - consumption(cu m)37.5 billion cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - exports(cu m)0 cu m (2008)
Natural gas - proved reserves(cu m)885.3 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate(%)0.1% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS96,000 (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths5,100 (2007 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
animal contact disease: rabies
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)
Literacy(%)definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 49.9%
male: 63%
female: 36% (2005 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)(years)total: 7 years
male: 7 years
female: 6 years (2006)
Education expenditures(% of GDP)2.6% of GDP (2006)

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