Pakistan: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About the location, size, population, and government of the country Pakistan.



Location--In South Asia, the southern border of Pakistan is the Arabian Sea. On the west lies Iran. Afghanistan is to the northwest and north, with China on the northeast. To the east is India and the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir.

How Created--British colonial rule over the subcontinent ended in 1947 with the proclamation of 2 independent States, Pakistan and India. Pakistan was constituted from several provinces in which the majority population was Muslim. The decision was determined by a plebiscite in each province. As a result, Pakistan's territory was not contiguous, since the provinces of Punjab, Sind, Baluchistan, and North West Frontier (the present provinces of Pakistan) were divided by 1,000 mi. of India from East Bengal (now Bangladesh). Kashmir, with a Muslim majority, is still occupied by India.

In 1971, East Bengal declared independence from West Pakistan after denial of autonomy had become intolerable. The central Government in West Pakistan sent in troops to control East Bengal, but India intervened, defeated the Pakistani Army, and promoted the declaration of an independent Bangladesh.

Size--307,374 sq. mi. (796,095 sq. km.).

Population--65 million: Punjabi, 66.4%; Sindhi, 12.6%; Pashto, 8.5%; Urdu, 7.6%; Baluchi, 2.5%; Brahui, 0.9%; Gujarati, 0.6%; other, 0.9%. 97.2% Muslim, 1.4% Christian, 1.4% Hindu.

Who Rules--Pakistan has a parliamentary system. Regional governments exist in each province, but the central Government has taken direct control of the regions of Baluchistan and North West Frontier, negating the results of elections there.

Who REALLY Rules--The emerging Punjabi bourgeoisie in conjunction with the older elites: the government bureaucracy, the military, and the monopolist capitalists. But all these elites are strongly tied to the U.S., and such heavy dependence gives the U.S. Government a significant say in Pakistan's policies and economic development, as it has had since 1951.

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