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The Mughal Empire flourished in the 16th and 17th centuries; the British came to dominate the region in the 18th century. The separation in 1947 of British India into the Muslim state of Pakistan (with West and East sections) and largely Hindu India was never satisfactorily resolved, and India and Pakistan fought two wars – in 1947-48 and 1965 – over the disputed Kashmir territory.
A third war between these countries in 1971 – in which India capitalized on Islamabad’s marginalization of Bengalis in Pakistani politics – resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. In response to Indian nuclear weapons testing, Pakistan conducted its own tests in 1998. The dispute over the state of Kashmir is on-going, but discussions and confidence-building measures have led to decreased tensions since 2002.
15-64 years: 60.4% (male 58,401,016/female 54,671,873)
65 years and over: 4.2% (male 3,739,647/female 4,157,870) (2011 est.)
conventional short form: Pakistan
local long form: JamhuryatIslami Pakistan
local short form: Pakistan
former: West Pakistan
over 3,047 m: 15
2,438 to 3,047 m: 20
1,524 to 2,437 m: 42
914 to 1,523 m: 20
under 914 m: 10 (2012)
Pakistan has experienced GDP growth in the 6-8% range in 2004-07, spurred by gains in the industrial and service sectors. Poverty levels have decreased by 10% since 2001, and Islamabad has steadily raised development spending in recent years, including a 52% real increase in the budget allocation for development in FY07.
In 2007 the fiscal deficit – a result of chronically low tax collection and increased spending – exceeded Islamabad’s target of 4% of GDP. Inflation remains the top concern among the public, jumping from 6.9% in 2007 to more than 11% during the first few months of 2008, primarily because of rising world commodity prices. The Pakistani rupee has depreciated since the proclamation of emergency rule in November 2007.
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