Pakistan: Fact file Pakistan, land of beauty, rich in culture and history. The mighty Indus river (from which India derives its name) runs from the Himalayas in northern Pakistan and spills into the Arabian Sea east of Karachi.
From the high snow of the mountains in the north, the river passes through rugged hills that were mined by Alexander the Great 300 years before Christ through well water. Through rice fields of Punjab and on to the sandy deserts of the south. On its way, it passes the ruins of Moenjodaro, relics of a great civilization from 5000 years ago whose descendants still populate the land.
Waves of invaders left their mark on the land of deserts, mountains, and rich agricultural plains of Punjab; the Indo-European Aryans in 1500 BC, followed by the Muslim conquerors of the 13 century, and the British traders who began their imperial conquest 300 years ago.
Independent and free.
In 1947, Pakistan was born as a proud and independent homeland for Muslims of the British Indian Empire. The vision of Pakistan founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, was of a land where all peoples from every religion and caste could live in freedom and peace.
Land of trouble, land of pain.
Those early ideals did not last long. Since her birth in 1947, Pakistan suffered:
Three major wars with India and the loss of half the country (Bangladesh in 1971) • A catastrophic earthquake (70,000 died in 2005) and the major floods in 2010 and 2011. • An unstainable population explosion (from 32 million in 1950 to 187 million in 2011) • A refugee crisis spilling over from Afghanistan.