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Country facts

Below you will find country facts for Pakistan.

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The Islamic Republic of Pakistan became an independent state on August  14, 1947, as a result of the division of former British India.

Pakistan shares borders with India, Afghanistan, Iran and China

Capital: Islamabad
Total area of Pakistan: 796,095 km2
Population: about 190 million people (2011)

Religion: 95% Muslim, 5% other

Languages: Urdu (national) and English (official and widely spoken). Other local languages like Punjabi, Pashto, Seraiki, Baluchi, Bruhui, Hindko, Kashmiri and Shina are spoken in different parts of Pakistan.

Pakistan is divided into five provinces:

* Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; provincial capital: Peshawar
* Punjab; provincial capital: Lahore

* Sindh, provincial capital: Karachi (also Pakistan’s largest city with around 20 Mio. inhabitants)
* Balochistan; provincial capital: Quetta

* Gilgit-Baltistan; provincial capital: Gilgit

The tribal areas adjoining Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are federally administered and in daily language called FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas). Azad Jammu Kashmir has a special status, as the area is disputed between Pakistan and India.




Annual per capita income: about USD1,100

GDP growth p.a.: about 2-3%

Currency:  Pakistani rupee (PKR)

In recent years economic growth has been 2-3 percent annually. It is estimated that growth should be around 6-8 percent annually in order to create sufficient jobs and real welfare improvements for a population growing by about 5 million a year. The inadequate infrastructure, not least the dire lack of energy, the declining level of education, the security situation, corruption levels and lack of economic liberalization are important reasons why Pakistan lacks internationally competitive private sector growth and why foreign direct and domestic private investment has been declining.

There is a large deficit in public finances as a consequence of low public revenue. Tax collection is less than 9% of GDP, due to an extremely small income tax base (less than 2% of the population pays income tax), due to low property taxes and non-taxation of the agricultural sector as well as an inadequate tax administration. Pakistan’s state-owned companies are very inefficient, e.g. the aviation, railways, steel and electricity sectors are all low efficiency sector. Not least the frequent power cuts are a significant problem.

The main stabilizer of the economy is remittances sent from Pakistanis abroad. In 2011 and 2012, the remittances from abroad were record high at around USD 10 billion. Despite the positive developments in transfers, the Pakistani currency could potentially come under pressure if the newly elected government (May 2013) does not manage to obtain new loans from the IMF. Pakistan currently has no agreement with the IMF because of non-complicity regarding economic reforms; however Pakistan does pay off its loans to IMF on schedule.

Denmark's trade with Pakistan - 2011:

Denmark’s export of goods and services to Pakistan: DKK 1.3 Billion
Pakistan’s export of good and services to Denmark: DKK 0.9 Billion
Total trade volume/2011: DKK 2.1 Billion



Head of State: President Mamnoon Hussain

Head of Government: Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif

Based on the 1973 Constitution, Parliament consists of the Presidential Office and two chambers: the National Assembly and the Senate. The National Assembly has 342 seats, incl. 60 seats reserved for women and 10 seats reserved for non-Muslims. The number of seats allocated to each of the five provinces and to the capital and FATA (Federally Administered Areas) are based on the size of the population of each area.

Parliamentary elections were held in Pakistan on May 11, 2013. The conservative party PLM-N won a landslide victory and the leader of PML-N, Nawaz Sharif, is Prime Minister of Pakistan. Presidential elections will be held in the autumn of 2013; until then Asif Ali Zardari from the opposition party -PPP - holds the Presidency in Pakistan.

PLM-N holds sway over a majority of seats in the National Assembly and may rule without coalition partners. However, PLM-N seems to prefer a policy of inclusion, especially when it comes to the party’s two most important election issues: revival of the economy and enhancement of the security situation in Pakistan. PPP and PTI form the major opposition in the National Assembly. PPP – the ruling party until May 2013 – still holds a majority of the seats in the Senate.


Domestic Political Situation

Since independence in 1947 Pakistan’s political development has been turbulent and chaotic, characterized by alternating periods of civilian and military rule and by the struggle between liberal and religious forces.

Since parliamentary elections in 2008 ousted Pervez Musharraf from almost 10 years of military backed rule over Pakistan, the country has moved back onto the path of democracy. However, the path is slippery and democratically elected Governments are facing major challenges.

Civilian institutions have developed since 2008, but are still weak and the army remains influential. The Government faces challenges in controlling the areas along the border with Afghanistan and towards India. The Government also faces development challenges, such as the provision of basic services - electricity supply, education, health care and security. There is a major need for social and economic development of Pakistan.

From 2007, Pakistan has been subjected to religious and sectarian militancy and strife that has cost the lives of thousands of its people. Militant attacks, including terrorist bombings against government institutions, mosques, markets, schools etc., have become a common menace. The security situation in Khyber Pakhtunkwa, FATA, Balochistan and Karachi is extremely poor compared to the rest of the country, however the threat of terrorism and militancy remains very high in Pakistan as a whole.

The Human Rights situation in Pakistan is deplorable. Marginalized groups, such as religious and ethnic minorities, economically and socially vulnerable groups and not least women, are subject to discrimination and other human rights abuse. The 2008-2013 Government did work continuously on signing and ratifying a number of international Human Rights instruments. However, implementation into national law has been slow and is in many instances still lagging behind.

Foreign Political Situation

Since independence, Pakistan’s foreign policy has been dominated by the tense relationship with India over the Kashmir region, leading to several wars, uncountable skirmishes and a nuclear arms race between the two countries. Pakistan’s relationship with India is basically a strained one, but has its ups and downs. From a down-period due to the Mumbai-attacks in 2008, the India-Pakistan relationship has been in a relatively positive phase since 2011. The Sharif Government has declared its intention of working hard for a positive development of the relationship.

Because of the long border (the Durand line, drawn up by the British, disputed by Afghanistan and accepted by Pakistan) between Afghanistan and Pakistan, the political and security developments in Pakistan holds crucial regional implications, not least for Afghanistan. Likewise, the political and security situation in Afghanistan affects Pakistan and especially the border areas. Pakistan seems intent on holding on to its recent and more positive role in the endgame leading up to the coalition forces leaving Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

Pakistan is one of the largest contributors to UN peacekeeping operations, with about 10,000 men”.

For more information you may visit:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan

Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of Pakistan

 Travel advisory:   Danish Travel Advisory for Pakistan

Pakistan: Fact Sheet


190 Million approx. (2012 est.)




$464.9 billion (2010 est.)



Tax Ratio

less than 10 % of GDP



PSDP (2012-13)

3.7 % of GDP



Population below poverty line




Overall literacy rate:

57.7% (69.5%for male & 45.2% for female)



Forex Reserves (Mar-11):

$17.62 billion



Inflation CPI% (Jul 10-Apr 11):




Exports (Jul 10-Mar 11):

$17.95 billion



Imports (Jul 10 - Mar 11):

$25.96 billion



Current A/C (Jul 10- Mar 11):

$99 million



Foreign Invest (Jul 10-Mar 11):

0.23 % of GDP



Foreign Debt (Mar 11):        

 12% of GDP



Domestic Debt (Mar 11):

12.6% of GDP



Per Capita Income FY10:




GDP growth rate

(%) 2.8



Budget Deficit 2012-13


4.7 % of GDP


Defence expenditure + subsidies + interest Payments + Pensions as a pct. of federal tax revenue





Pakistan Economic Survey (various issues)
Latest Annual Report of SBP
Federal Bureau of Statistics 2010

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