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The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a nation in south-central Asia bordering Iran, Afghanistan, China, India, and the Arabian Sea. Pakistan is home to around 140 million people, most of whom are Muslim, which is the state religion. Although the port city of Karachi was capital, the current capital of Pakistan is the city of Islamabad.

Pakistan is an Urdu term meaning land of the pure, but the name was also selected for the country because it formed an acronym of the chief geographical and ethnic components of multi-ethnic Western Pakistan (but not Eastern Pakistan, which seceded to form Bangladesh): the P represents the Punjab; the A stands for the Afghan tribes of the North-West Frontier Province; K represents Kashmir; S is for Sind; and TAN is the last part of Baluchistan, the region along the southern border with Iran.

Although officially a federal republic, Pakistan has experienced some instability lately. In October 1999, General Pervez Musharraf overthrew the civilian government and assumed executive authority, although he did not declare himself president until 2001. Because of the government's dependence on foreign aid and the nation's desperate need of foreign investment, Musharraf is probably reluctant to risk offending world opinion by becoming a permanent dictator. A new parliament has been elected and Zafarullah Khan Jamali[?], a loyal follower of Musharraf, has been appointed Prime Minister.

Much of the information in these articles originally came from the CIA World Factbook 2000 and the 2003 U.S. Department of State website.

see also: Pakistan News, News Searches, and Reference (http://www.HavenWorks.com/world/pakistan/)

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