Country of the World Pakistan

About the country Pakistan, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.




Lay of the Land: In southern Asia, in the northwest portion of the Indian subcontinent, Pakistan extends north from the Arabian Sea roughly 900 mi. to the lofty ranges of the Hindu Kush and the Himalayas.

Size: 310,402 sq. mi. (803,943 sq. km.), about an eighth again as large as Texas.

Population: 77 million.

Who Rules: Since July 5, 1977, Pakistan has been ruled by a four-man Martial Law Council, headed by army chief of staff Gen. Mohammad Zia ul-Haq. General Zia has promised an election in the future, but in the meantime the National Assembly has been dissolved and all political parties have been outlawed.

Who REALLY Rules: The U.S. has considerable say in Pakistani affairs. Between 1951 and 1974, the U.S. contributed close to $8 billion in aid to Pakistan, much of it for military expenditures and for the development of "private enterprise."

Between 1971 and 1976, the central figure in Pakistani politics was the charismatic and controversial Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, an alumnus of the University of California at Berkeley who came to power when Gen. Muhammad Yahya Khan resigned as president and commander in chief following the secession of Bengali (now Bangladesh) in 1971. Almost continually beleaguered during his tenure, Bhutto was finally brought down by the embittered and violent reaction of the opposition Pakistan National Alliance to the March, 1977, parliamentary elections, which the alliance claims Bhutto rigged. In a month of antigovernment demonstrations, including a general strike that paralyzed Karachi, more than 150 opposition supporters were killed in clashed with police, 1,500 were injured, and 25,000 were arrested. To end the disruption, the Pakistani army seized control of the government in a bloodless coup in July, 1977.

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