Pakistan

Pakistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world’s fifth-most populous country with a population exceeding 212.2 million. It has the world’s second-largest Muslim population. It is the 33rd-largest country by area, spanning 881,913 square kilometres (340,509 square miles). Pakistan has a 1,046-kilometre (650-mile) coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west, Iran to the southwest, and China to the northeast. It is separated narrowly from Tajikistan by Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor in the northwest, and also shares a maritime border with Oman.

The territory that now constitutes Pakistan was the site of several ancient cultures and intertwined with the history of the broader Indian subcontinent. The ancient history involves the Neolithic site of Mehrgarh and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation, and was later home to kingdoms ruled by people of different faiths and cultures, including Hindus, Indo-Greeks, Muslims, Turco-Mongols, Afghans and Sikhs. The area has been ruled by numerous empires and dynasties, including the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Alexander III of Macedon, the Seleucid Empire, the Indian Maurya Empire, the Kushan Empire, the Gupta Empire, the Arab Umayyad Caliphate, the Ghurid Sultanate, the Ghaznavids Empire, the Delhi Sultanate, the Mongol Empire, theMughal Empire, the Sur Empire, the Afghan Durrani Empire, the Sikh Empire (partially) and, most recently, the British Indian Empire.