The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is located the area where South Asia converges with Middle East and Central Asia. The country has a 1,046 kilometre (650 miles) coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south, and is bordered by Iran and Afghanistan in the west, India in the east and China in the northeast.
Pakistan’s people and traditions reflect a mixture of many varied cultural influences. Although the modern Pakistani state was founded in 1947, it is home to one of the earliest known human civilizations, the Indus Valley civilization, dating back at least 5000 years.
Pakistan’s economic lifeline and main source of water is the Indus River. Since as far back Indus Valley civilization, the people of this area have settled near the river and used it for agricultural and transportation purposes. The agricultural sector still dominates Pakistan’s economy. The country is one of the world’s largest cotton producers, with cotton being one of its primary export earners. Other significant exports include rice, leather goods, sports goods, chemicals, manufactures, carpets and rugs.
Pakistan is administratively divided into four provinces: Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Baluchistan. the federal capital of Islamabad and seven Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). In addition, Pakistan administers one part of the disputed territory of Kashmir, known as Pakistan Administer Kashmir (PAK) and the Northern Areas. Punjab is Pakistan’s most populous province and produces a significant proportion of agricultural output. NWFP produces many varieties of citrus and dry fruits, as well as timber. To the south, Sindh is also known for its agricultural output and its capital Karachi is Pakistan’s largest city and port, and it’s industrial and financial hub. Baluchistan is the largest province in terms of size but is the least populated. Although largely covered by desert, Baluchistan is rich in natural resources and contains Pakistan’s largest natural gas reserves.
Pakistan’s Human Development Index (HDI) value for 2012 is 0.515—in the low human development category—positioning the country at 146 out of 187 countries and territories. The rank is shared with Bangladesh. Between 1980 and 2012, Pakistan’s HDI value increased from 0.337 to 0.515, an increase of 53 percent or average annual increase of about 1.3 percent.
The rank of Pakistan’s HDI for 2011 based on data available in 2012 and methods used in 2012 was– 146 out of 187 countries. In the 2011 HDR, Pakistan was ranked 145 out of 187 countries. However, it is misleading to compare values and rankings with those of previously published reports, because the underlying data and methods have changed. Pakistan’s 2012 HDI of 0.515 is above the average of 0.466 for countries in the low human development group and below the average of 0.558 for countries in South Asia. From South Asia, countries which are close to Pakistan in 2012 HDI rank and population size are India and Bangladesh, which have HDIs ranked 136 and 146 respectively.
The Gender Inequality Index (GII) reflects gender-based inequalities in three dimensions – reproductive health, empowerment, and economic activity. Pakistan has a GII value of 0.567, ranking it 123 out of 148 countries in the 2012 index. In Pakistan, 21.1 percent of parliamentary seats are held by women, and 18.3 percent of adult women have reached a secondary or higher level of education compared to 43.1 percent of their male counterparts. For every 100,000 live births, 260 women die from pregnancy related causes; and the adolescent fertility rate is 28.1 births per 1000 live births. Female participation in the labour market is 22.7 percent compared to 83.3 for men. In comparison India and Bangladesh are ranked at 132 and 111 respectively on this index.