Country Overview


Geographic Location: Pakistan is located in South Asia. To the south is the Arabian Sea, with Pakistani coastline. To Pakistan’s east is India. To its west is Iran. To Pakistan’s northwest lies Afghanistan. China is towards the northeast. (1)
Surface Area (km2): 796 095Sq. km. (2015)(2)
Land Boundaries: Pakistan India Border: 3323 km (3) (MHA)
Pakistan Afghanistan Border: 2430 km (Open Source)
Pakistan Iran Border: 909 km (Open Source)
Coastline: To the south of Pakistan is the Arabian Sea, with 1,046 km of Pakistani coastline. (4)
Climate: Pakistan’s north and north-western high mountain ranges are extremely cold in winter. Summer months from April to September are very pleasant. The vast plains of the Indus Valley are extremely hot in summer and have cold weather in winter. The coastal strip in the south has a temperate climate. There is general deficiency in rainfall. In the plains the annual average rainfall ranges from 13 cm in the northern parts of the lower Indus plains to 89 cm in the Himalayan region. Rains are monsoonal in origin and fall late in summer. Average rainfall is 76 cm per annum.(5)
Natural Hazards: Geographically, Pakistan is situated in hazard-prone region. It is exposed to erratic seasonal monsoons that bring rain and fertility. They also cause violent flash floods inflicting heavy damages to property and land. Floods are the most recurrent natural calamity in Pakistan, followed by earthquakes, cyclones and drought. However, drought is more damaging than floods in terms of food insecurity.(6)


Official Name: Islamic Republic of Pakistan[7]
Capital: Islamabad[8]
Independent Since: August 14, 1947[9]
National Days: National Day of Pakistan – March 23rd [10] Independence Day of Pakistan – August 14th[11]
Type of Government: Parliamentary form[12]
Head of the State: President Honorable Dr. Arif Alvi  (since 9 September 2018)[13]
Head of Government:  Prime Minister Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi (since 18 August 2018)[14]

Constitutions in Pakistan:

1956 –The constitution provided for Parliamentary form of government with all the executive powers in the hands of Prime Minister. It had a Unicameral legislature. President was Head of the State and was to be elected by all Members of the National and Provincial Assemblies. He was to hold office for 5 years. The President was to act on the advice of Prime Minister, except where he was empowered to act in his discretion like during emergency. It gave President the unlimited and the absolute power during the continuance of an emergency to issue an order suspending the Right to move to any court for enforcement of fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution. However, in the absence of any law to control the Political Parties and the problem of floor crossing, political instability perpetually ensued. Although the first general election were scheduled for early 1959, President Iskandar Mirza abrogated the Constitution.  

1962 – The Constitution Commission appointed (17th February 1960) by General Ayub Khan, Second President of Pakistan, framed the Constitution of Pakistan (1st March 1962). The Constitution of 1962 envisaged a Federal State with Presidential form of government, with National Assembly at the centre and the Provincial Assemblies in the Provinces. The Legislatures, both at centre and in provinces were unicameral.  All executive authority of the Republic of Pakistan, under the Constitution, vested in the office of the President. President appointed his Cabinet members who were directly responsible to him.    

1972 – Soon after the elections (20th December 1971), due to grave political differences, the Province of East Pakistan seceded from West Pakistan and became Bangladesh. On 17th April 1972 an Interim Constitution was adopted by the National Assembly, which provided for a Presidential form of Government. Under this Constitution, the National Assembly was not to be dissolved earlier than 14th August 1973.  The Constitution Committee, formed by the Assembly on 17th April 1972, prepared the draft Constitution on 31st December 1972, which was unanimously passed by the Assembly in its session in April 1973, authenticated by the President on 12th April 1973, and promulgated on 14th August 1973. .   

1973 – The Constitution provides for a parliamentary form of government where the executive authority of the state vests with the Prime Minister. The President, according to the Constitution, is at the apex, representing the unity of the Republic. Pakistan adopted bicameral system at the centre, called “The Parliament”, composing the President, the National Assembly and The Senate.[15]   The 1973 Constitution of Pakistan with 20th amendment as on 28th February 2012 [16] 21st amendment (7th January 2015) of 1973 Constitution[17]

Elections/Due:  National Assembly Election last held on 25 July 2018[18], elections due around July 2023.[19]   Senate Elections for 52 Seats are due in March 2021 and for 51 in March 2024 respectively.[20]
Parliament Party Position:

Parliament consists the Senate (Upper House) and the National Assembly (Lower House). The 100 members Senate is a permanent legislative body and symbolizes a process of continuity in the national affairs. The National Assembly has a total membership of 342 elected through adult suffrage (272 general seats, 60 women seats and 10 non-Muslim seats).[21] 

Political Party Position – 2018[22]

The Senate consists of 104 members. [23]
Party-wise Senators (As on 22 August, 2019) :[24]

Principal Political Parties and Leaders[25]:

• Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N): President Shehbaz Sharif[26]

• Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) : Chairman Imran Khan [27]

• Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPP): Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari [28]

• Awami National Party (ANP): Leader Asfandyar Wali Khan [29]

• Muttahida Qaumi Movement- London (MQM-London): Leader – Altaf Hussain

• Muttahida Qaumi Movement- Pakistan (MQM-Pakistan): Leader – Khalid Siddiqui

• Muttahida Majlis e Amal (MMA): JUI(F) Leader Fazl-ur-Rahman

• Pakistan Muslim League (PML): President Shujaat Hussain

• Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA): led by Pir Pagaro also known as Sibghatullah Shah Rashdi III, Pakistan Muslim League (Functional)

• Awami Muslim League Pakistan (AMLP): Leader Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed [30]

• Jamhoori Wattan Party (JWP): President Nawabzada Shahzain Bugti [31]

• Balochistan National Party (BNP): Chairman Muhammad Akhtar Mengal [32]

• Balochistan Awami Party (BAP): President and present Chief Minister of Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan [33]


Total Population:

200.814 Million (As per UN data of 2018) Projected estimate (medium fertility variant).[34]

Data of 2017 census of Pakistan is still awaited.

Density per Sq. Km: 275.289 people per sq. km of land area (As per World Bank Data) (2018)[35]
Ethnic Groups:  Punjabi 44.15%, Pashto 15.42%, Sindhi 14.1%, Saraiki 10.53%, Muhajirs 7.57%, Balochi 3.57%, other 4.66% (As per Pakistan Statistical Year Book 2017)[36]
Languages: Urdu (National) and English (Official) Without prejudice to the status of the National language, a Provincial Assembly may by law prescribe measures for the teaching, promotion and use of a provincial language in addition to the national language. [37]
Religion: Islam to be State Religion[38]
Population By Religion: 96.28%
Muslims, 3.72% others[39]
Literacy:  Literacy Rates (10 Yrs and Older) Overall: 62.3% (2017-2018) Male: 72.5% and Female: 51.8%[40]
Life Expectancy: Male: 65.0 yrs.
Female: 66.8 yrs.
(as per UN Data of 2015)[41]
Sex Ratio: 105.6 Male per 100 Female (as per UN Data, Projected estimate medium fertility variant)[42]
Health : Expenditure on Health (as % of GDP)[43]
Education: Expenditure on Education (as % of GDP)[44]
Employment: As per Pakistan’s Labour Force Survey 2017-18, the skilled agricultural, forestry & fishery workers constitute the largest group (31.6%) of the total employed in 2017-18 followed by elementary occupations (18.0%), service and sales workers (16.3%), craft & related trades workers (14.6%), plant/machine operators & assemblers (6.9%), professionals (5.1%), technicians & associate professionals (3.9%), managers (2.3%) and clerical support workers (1.4%).[45]


Official Currency: Pakistan rupees (PKR) [46]
GDP (Nominal): 
GDP (Growth Rate):                     3.29% in FY2018-19      
31,922,303 (Million Rupees) 2016 – 2017(Final):   304,952 (US $ Billions) (2017) 
34,618,576 (Million Rupees) 2017 – 2018 (Revised):   312,570 (US $ Billions) (2018) 
38,558,769 (Million Rupees) 2018 – 2019(Provisional):   278,019 (US $ Billions) (2019) (IMF staff estimates)  
GDP (Growth Rate):  3.29% in FY2018-19[49]
Per Capita GDP (PPP): US$1,462.0 – 2016[50]
Public Debt: 24,952.9 (Provisional, 2018)  (Rs in billion) [51] As per IMF Data, General government gross debt – 72.1% of GDP (2018, Provisional)[52] 
External Debt: 8,537 (Rs Million)(2018)[53]  
Rate of Inflation:   8.8 %  in April 2019[54] Headline CPI inflation (2007-08=100) is recorded at level of 8.9 percent on year-on-year basis in June 2019 as compared to 9.1 percent in the previous month and 5.2 percent during corresponding month of last year.[55]   As per World Bank data, annual percentage is 2.1 of GDP (2018) [56]
Foreign Exchange Reserves: Foreign exchange reserves stood at US$ 15.722 billion till end-April FY2019 [57]
 Rate of Savings:  The National Savings remained at 10.7 percent of GDP (FY2019) against the target of 13.1 percent.[58]   Gross domestic savings (% of GDP) (2018) : 5.5%[59]
Current Account Deficit: US$ 11.586 billion in Jul-April FY2019[60]
Foreign Trade (Export & Import): The export target for FY2019 was set at US$ 28 billion. Exports registered a decline of 1.9 percent growth during July-April FY2019. Import target for FY2019 was set to US$ 56.5 Billion. Imports stood at US$ 44.03 billion in July-April FY2019. [61]
Trade Balance: Trade balance contracted by 7.3 percent during Jul-Apr FY2019 to US$ 23.93 billion. [62]
Major Items of Export: Top 5 Products exports in 2017: Semi-milled or wholly milled rice;Men’s or boys’ ensembles of cotton;Uncombed single cotton yarn;Bed linen of cotton (excl. printed, knitted);Toilet linen and kitchen linen, of terry fabric[63]
Major Items of Import: Top 5 Products imports in 2017: Petroleum oils, etc, (excl. crude); preparation;Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous;Palm oil (excl. crude) and liquid fractions;Natural gas, liquefied;Transmission apparatus, for radioteleph incorpo[64]
Major Trading Partners: Pakistan top 5 Export and Import partners 2017[65] Export wise: United States, United Kingdom, China, Afghanistan, Germany Import wise: China,  United Arab Emirates, United States, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia
Agriculture: Agriculture Economy (Data classified according to ISIC Rev. 4)  (% of Gross Value Added): 25.2% (2016)[66] Forested Land Area: increase of 1.9% (2015)[67]


Chiefs of Military:

Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee – General Zubair Mahmood Hayat


Chief of Army Staff – General Qamar Javed Bajwa


Chief of Naval Staff – Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi


Chief of Air Staff – Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan

Military Expenditure: 

(2017) 11,376 (US$ Million) (Figures for current spending only [i.e. exclude capital spending])[68]


Military Expenditure (Percentage of GDP):


4.0% [Figures for current spending only (i.e. exclude capital spending)][69]

Disclaimer: Vivekananda International Foundation does not take any stance on the data presented above. The data sources are duly referenced.


Last updated on 30th August 2019


  19. Note: The National Assembly shall, unless sooner dissolved, continue for a term of five years from the day of its first meeting and shall stand dissolved at the expiration of its term.
  22. Party Wise Graph- National Assembly of Pakistan
  25. Party Wise Graph- National Assembly of Pakistan
  37. 251,National language, Chapter – 4 – General, The Constitution of The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, P-149,
  38. The Constitution of The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, P-3,
  45. Labour Force Survey (2017-2018), P-28
  51. CHAPTER – 9 – Public Debt, P – 137, Table-9.1: Pakistan’s Debt and Liabilities, Pakistan Economic Survey 2018-19
  53. CHAPTER – 9 – Public Debt, P – 138, Table-9.2: Year Wise Public Debt Position, Pakistan Economic Survey 2018-19
  54. Executive Summary, p – 9, Pakistan Economic Survey 2018-19
  55. Review, Inflation in Brief, State Bank of Pakistan, p – 1,
  57. Executive Summary, p – 9, Pakistan Economic Survey 2018-19
  58. Executive Summary, p – 2, Pakistan Economic Survey 2018-19
  60. Executive Summary, p – 10, Pakistan Economic Survey 2018-19
  61. Executive Summary, p – 10, Pakistan Economic Survey 2018-19
  62. Executive Summary, p – 10, Pakistan Economic Survey 2018-19
  64. Ibid.
  65. Ibid.
  67. Ibid.