General Information

AREA : 796,095 sq km (307,374 sq miles) excluding data for the disputed territories of Jammu and Kashmir.

POPULATION : 137,510,000 (official estimate 2000).

POPULATION DENSITY : 172.7 per sq km.

Capital : Islamabad. Population : 799,000 (1998).

GEOGRAPHY : Pakistan has borders to the north with Afghanistan, to the east with India and to the west with Iran; the Arabian Sea lies to the south. In the northeast is the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir, bounded by Afghanistan, China and India. Pakistan comprises distinct regions. The northern highlands - the Hindu Kush - are rugged and mountainous; the Indus Valley is a flat, alluvial plain with five major rivers dominating the upper region, eventually joining the Indus River and flowing south to the Makran coast; Sindh is bounded on the east by the Thar Desert and the Rann of Kutch, and on the west by the Kirthar Range; the Baluchistan Plateau is an arid tableland encircled by mountains.

GOVERNMENT : Federal Islamic Republic since 1973. Gained independence from the UK in 1947. Head of State: General Pervez Musharraf since 2001. Head of Government: Following a military coup in October 1999, General Pervez Musharraf took over as the leader of the new military regime. Prime Minister: Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali since 2002.

LANGUAGE : Urdu is the national language. English is widely spoken. Regional languages include Punjabi, which is spoken by 48 per cent of the population (1981), Pushto, Sindhi, Saraiki, and Baluchi. There are numerous local dialects.

RELIGION : Ninety-seven per cent Muslim, the remainder are Hindu or Christian.

TIME : GMT + 5.

ELECTRICITY : 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round two- or three-pin plugs are in use.


TELEPHONE : IDD is available. Country code: 92. Outgoing international code: 00.

GSM 900 networks available. Main network providers include Mobilink (website :, and from January 2001, Pak Telecom. Coverage is largely limited to main cities.

FAX : Services are operated by the Pakistan telephone and telegraph department.

Main ISPs include Pakistan Online (website :, and Pak Net (website : Internet cafes exist in main urban areas.

Telegram : There are services at post offices, telegraph offices and main hotels. The Central Telegraph Offices provide a 24-hour service.

POST : Airmail takes four to five days to reach Western Europe. There are poste restante facilities in Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi. General post offices in major cities offer 24-hour services. Important letters should be registered or insured.

PRESS : The English-language press enjoys a great deal of influence in business circles. Dailies include The Financial Post, The Leader, The Pakistan Observer, The Pakistan Times, The Star, The Nation, The News, The Frontier Post, The Muslim, The Business Recorder and Dawn.

BBC World Service (website : and Voice of America (website : can be received. From time to time the frequencies change and the most up-to-date can be found online.

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Information provided by Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.


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