Principal languages: Urdu (official), English
Ethnicity/race: Punjabis, Pashtuns, Sindhis
Religions: Islam 98%, Christianity, Hinduism and other 2%
National Holiday: Independence Day, August 14
Literacy rate: 54.9%
Economic summary: GDP/PPP $574.1 billion (2013 est.) Real growth rate: 4.4%. Inflation: 7.7%. Unemployment: 6%. Arable land: 27.5%. Agriculture: wheat, cotton, rice, sugarcane, maize, . Labor force: the total number of Pakistan's labour force is 57.2 million, making it the ninth largest country by available human workforce. About 43% of this labour is involved in agriculture, 20.3% in industry and the remaining 36.6% in other services. Industries: Cotton textile production and apparel manufacturing are Pakistan's largest industries, accounting for about 66% of the merchandise exports and almost 40% of the employed labour force. Natural resources: fairly sizable reserves of gypsum, limestone, chromites, iron ore, rock salt, silver, gold, precious stones, gems, marbles, tiles, copper, sulfur, fire clay and silica sand. Exports: $30.414 billion (2013-14 est.), Goods $25.157 billion, Services $5.256 billion Imports: $41.668 billion (2013-14 est.) Major trading partners: China, European Union, UAE, Saudi Arabia, USA, Kuwait, India, Malaysia, Japan, Iran, Afghanistan, Singapore
Member of Commonwealth of Nations
Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 831,000 (2004); mobile cellular: 2,781,600 (2004). Radio broadcast stations: AM 15, FM 13, shortwave 2 (2006) Television broadcast stations: 15 (1999). Internet hosts: 266 (2005). Internet users: 300,000 (2005).
Transportation: Railways: total: 8,163 km. Highways: total: 257,683 km; Paved: 152,033 km; Unpaved: 105,650 km (2001) Waterways: 8,372 km; note: includes 2,635 km main cargo routes (2005). Ports and harbors: Karachi Port. Airports: 13.
Since independence, the Pakistani military has fought three wars against India, several border skirmishes with Afghanistan, and an extended border skirmish with India in 1999 and is currently conducting military operations against armed groups along the border areas of Pakistan. There have also been occasional reports of skirmishes between Pakistani and Afghan forces patrolling their respective borders, which could reach the status of an international armed conflict.
There have been non-international armed conflicts and internal disturbances and tensions in Pakistan for many years. According to the ploughshares report, conflicts in several areas were said to have killed upwards of 1,650 people in 2006, 1,300 in 2007 and between 11,000 and 12,000 in 2009, when the operation in the Swat Valley began (see below). These took place between Sunni and Shi'a Muslims; between the military and armed groups seeking autonomy in the province of Baluchistan; and between the military and Islamic militants along the porous Afghan border.
Tourism in Pakistan has been stated by the Lonely Planet as being "tourism's ‘next big thing’ for more years than we care to remember. [But] world media headlines [always] send things off the rails". Pakistan, with its diverse cultures, people and landscapes attracted 1 million tourists in 2012
Pakistan's tourism industry was in its heyday during the 1970s when the country received unprecedented amounts of foreign tourists, thanks to the Hippie Trail. The main destinations of choice for these tourists were the Khyber pass, Peshawar, Karachi, Lahore, Swat and Rawalpindi.
In October 2006, just one year after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, The Guardian released what it described as "The top five tourist sites in Pakistan" in order to help the country's tourism industry. The five sites included Taxila, Lahore, The Karakoram Highway, Karimabad and Lake Saiful Muluk. To promote Pakistan's unique and various cultural heritage, the Prime Minister launched the "Visit Pakistan" marketing campaign in 2007. This campaign involved various events throughout the year including fairs and religious festivals, regional sporting events, various arts and craft shows, folk festivals and several openings of historical museums.