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As we were walking around the invisible lake we heard today's first 'gun-shot', followed after the usual moment of tense silence followed by a terrific rumbling boom – the loudest we have heard  seeming to come from the far side of a mountain on the west shore of the lake. I looked at my watch: it was 11.58. It is quite extraordinary how the first avalanche each day is heard between 11.55 and 12.05.

Devla Murphy: 'Where the Indus is Young.' (1974)


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Profile: Pakistan


If drones were the visible tip of the complex relationship between Pakistan and the USA, that relationship could hardly be described as cast in stone. Some observers considered that Mr Sharif’s visit, and his public statements were in fact the third attempt at recalibrating the overall relationship. The first was engineered by former (unelected) Pakistani President Parvez Musharraf following the 9/11 terrorist attacks when Pakistan suddenly acquired a high profile role in President Bush’s ‘War Against Terror.’ On assuming the US Presidency at the end of 2008, the year in which President Musharraf was deposed,  Mr Obama struck up a cordial relationship with his successor, the civilian Asif Ali Hardari. On Obama’s watch drone operations mushroomed – as did the civilian casualties.

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Profile: Pakistan

- Timeline

- Political structure

- Population,

- Education  

- Health

- Welfare

- Main cities

- Languages spoken

- Media

- Economy

- Agriculture

- Industry and manufacturing

- Tourism

- Mining,

- Hydrocarbons

- Energy

- Financial markets

- Banking and insurance

- Time

- Geography

- Climate

- Dress codes

- Entry requirements

- Health (for visitors)

- Hotels

- Credit cards

- Public holidays

- Working hours

- Telecommunications

- Electricity

- Social customs and useful tips

- Security

- Getting there

- Getting about

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Key Facts

Key Facts:

Key Facts
Official name: Islami Jamhuriya e Pakistan (Islamic Republic of Pakistan)
Head of State: President Mamnoon Hussain (from 9 Sep 2013)
Head of government: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (PML-N) (from 9 Jun 2013)
Ruling party: Coalition led by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and 19 Independents (elected 11 May 2013)
Area: 803,943 square km
Population: 186.29 million (2014)*
Capital: Islamabad
Official language: Urdu (national language) and English
Currency: Rupee (Rp) = 100 paisa
Exchange rate: Rp104.28 per US$ (Sep 2015)
GDP per capita: US$1,343 (2014)*
GDP real growth: 4.14% (2014)
GDP: US$250.14 billion (2014)
Labour force: 53.78 million (2009)
Unemployment: 6.75% (2014)* (plus additional underemployment)
Inflation: 7.36% (2014)
Natural gas production: 42.00 billion cum (2014)
Balance of trade: -US$17.77 billion (2014)


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