Pakistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (اسلامی جمہوریۂ پاکستان), is a country located in South Asia that overlaps with the Greater Middle East. It has a thousand-kilometre coastline along the Arabian Sea in the south and borders Afghanistan and Iran to the west, India to the east and the People's Republic of China in the far northeast. The Kashmir region is claimed by India and Pakistan. Both countries and China separately administer parts of the region with the Indian- and Pakistani-held areas defined by the Line of Control. The Pakistan–China border is not recognized by India.
Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world and is the second most populous Muslim country. It was established as a modern state in 1947, as one of the two parts of the partitioned British India, but the region has a long history of settlement and civilisation including the Indus Valley Civilisation. The region was invaded by Persians, Greeks, Arabs, Turks, Mongols, Afghans, and was incorporated into the British Raj in the nineteenth century. Since independence, Pakistan has experienced times of significant military and economic growth, and periods of instability, with the secession of East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh). Pakistan is a declared nuclear weapons state.
The name "Pakistan" means "Land of the Pure" in Urdu and Persian. It was coined in 1933 by Choudhary Rahmat Ali, who published it in the pamphlet Now or Never as an acronym of the names of the "Muslim homelands" of western India — P for Punjab, A for Afghania (the Afghan (Pashtun) areas in the Northwest Frontier Province), K for Kashmir, S for Sindh and tan for Balochistan. The i was later added to the name since in Urdu, the national language of Pakistan, "istan" refers to "land of" while "pak" means pure. Officially, the nation was founded as the Dominion of Pakistan in 1947, and was renamed as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in 1957.Last modified on 21 January 2011, at 02:29