Kathmandu is the capital city and largest city of Nepal with a population of around 1 million. Kathmandu is the largest metropolis in the Himalayan hill region. Nepali is the most spoken language in the city, while English is understood; the City of Temples stands at an elevation of 1,400 metres above sea level in the bowl-shaped Kathmandu Valley of central Nepal. The valley is termed as "Nepal Mandala" and has been the home of Newar culture, a cosmopolitan urban civilisation in the Himalayan foothills; the city was the royal capital of the Kingdom of Nepal and hosts palaces and gardens of the Nepalese aristocracy. It has been home to the headquarters of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation since 1985. Today, it is the seat of government of the Nepalese republic established in 2008. Kathmandu is and has been for many years the centre of Nepal's history, art and economy, it has a multiethnic population within a Buddhist majority. It is the home of the Newars. Religious and cultural festivities form a major part of the lives of people residing in Kathmandu.
Tourism is an important part of the economy. The city is the gateway to the Nepalese Himalayas, home to seven world heritage sites: the Durbar Squares of Hanuman Dhoka and Bhaktapur. There are seven casinos in the city. Historic areas of Kathmandu were damaged by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 25 April 2015. Some of the buildings have been restored and some are in the process of reconstruction. NCP’s Bidya Sundar Shakya is the Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan city and Hari Prabha Khadgi of Nepali Congress is the deputy mayor. Indigenous Newari term for Kathmandu valley is Yei; the Pahari name Kathmandu comes from Kasthamandap temple. In Sanskrit, Kastha means "Wood" and Maṇḍapa means "Pavilion"; this public pavilion known as Maru Satta: in the Newar language, was rebuilt in 1596 by Biseth in the period of King Laxmi Narsingh Malla. The three-story structure was made of wood and used no iron nails nor supports. According to legend, all the timber used to build the pagoda was obtained from a single tree.
The structure collapsed during a major earthquake on 25 April 2015. The colophons of ancient manuscripts, dated as late as the 20th century, refer to Kathmandu as Kāṣṭhamaṇḍap Mahānagar in Nepal Mandala. Mahānagar means "great city"; the city is called "Kāṣṭhamaṇḍap" in a vow. Thus, Kathmandu is known as Kāṣṭhamaṇḍap. During medieval times, the city was sometimes called Kāntipur; this name is derived from two Sanskrit words -- pur. "Kānti" is a word that stands for "beauty" and is associated with light and "pur" means place. Thus, giving it a meaning as "City of light". Among the indigenous Newar people, Kathmandu is known as Yeṃ Deśa, Patan and Bhaktapur are known as Yala Deśa and Khwopa Deśa. "Yen" is the shorter form of Yambu, which referred to the northern half of Kathmandu. Archaeological excavations in parts of Kathmandu have found evidence of ancient civilisations; the oldest of these findings is a statue, found in Maligaon, dated at 185 AD. The excavation of Dhando Chaitya uncovered a brick with an inscription in Brahmi script.
Archaeologists believe. Stone inscriptions are a ubiquitous element at heritage sites and are key sources for the history of Nepal; the earliest Western reference to Kathmandu appears in an account of Jesuit Fathers Johann Grueber and Albert d'Orville. In 1661, they passed through Nepal on their way from Tibet to India, reported that they reached "Cadmendu", the capital of Nepal kingdom; the ancient history of Kathmandu is described in its traditional legends. According to Swayambhu Purana, present-day Kathmandu was once a huge and deep lake named "Nagdaha", as it was full of snakes; the lake was cut drained by Bodhisatwa Manjusri with his sword, the water was evacuated out from there. He established a city called Manjupattan, made Dharmakar the ruler of the valley land. After some time, a demon named Banasur closed the outlet, the valley again turned into a lake. Lord Krishna came to Nepal, killed Banasur, again drained out the water, he made Bhuktaman the king of Nepal. Kotirudra Samhita of Shiva Purana, Chapter 11, shloka 18 refers to the place as Nayapala city, famous for its Pashupati Shivalinga.
The name Nepal originates from this city Nayapala. Few historical record exists of the period before medieval Licchavis rulers. According to Gopalraj Vansawali, a genealogy of Nepali monarchy, the rulers of Kathmandu Valley before the Licchavis were Gopalas, Aabhirs and Somavanshi; the Kirata dynasty was established by Yalamber. During the Kirata era, a settlement called. In some of the Sino-Tibetan languages, Kathmandu is still called Yambu. Another smaller settlement called Yengal was present in the southern half of old Kathmandu, near Manjupattan. During the reign of the seventh Kirata ruler, Buddhist monks entered Kathmandu valley and established a forest monastery at Sankhu; the Licchavis from the Indo-Gangetic plain migrated north and defeated the Kiratas, establis
Shangla District is a district in Malakand Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan. The district headquarters are located at Alpuri, it was a subdivision of Swat District, but was upgraded to the status of a district on July 10, 1995. The total area of the district is 1,586 square kilometres. Shangla comprises three subdivisions, Alpuri and Besham tehsils. Shangla has the lowest Human Development Index in the province and second lowest in the country; the district is bounded in the north by Kohistan District, in the east by Battagram District and Torghar District, in the west by Swat District and in the south by Buner District. There are relics of the ancient Greek period at Pirsar and Daut. it is believed that Alexander the Great camped at Pirsar for a few days. There are relics of the Hindu Shahi in Olandar-Ajmair. Shangla district consists of small valleys, is situated between the hillocks and surrounded by high mountains full of forests comprising Pindrow Fir, Morinda Spruce, Blue Pine, Chir Pine and Deodar Cedar trees.
The average elevation of the district is 2000 to 3000 meters above sea level. The highest point is near Kuz Ganrshal in the north of the district. According to the 2017 census, the district had a population of 757,810 with population density of 480 persons per square kilometre. In the 1998 census, the district had a population of 435,563 with an average annual growth rate of 3.3% and population density of 274 persons per square kilometre. The total number of households is 64,391 with an average household size of 8.1. The entire population is Muslim with small numbers of Christians and Ahmadis; the major language is Pashto, spoken natively by 95.4% of the population. The district was hit by the 2015 Hindu Kush earthquake; this district is represented by one elected MNA in Pakistan National Assembly. Its constituency is NA-31; the district is represented by two elected MPAs in the provincial assembly who represent the following constituencies: PK-87 PK-88 1998 District Census report of Shangla. Census publication.
106. Islamabad: Population Census Organization, Statistics Division, Government of Pakistan. 2000
2005 Kashmir earthquake
The 2005 Kashmir earthquake occurred at 08:50:39 Pakistan Standard Time on 8 October in Pakistan-administered Azad Kashmir. It was centered near the city of Muzaffarabad, affected Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir, it registered a moment magnitude of 7.6 and had a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII. The earthquake affected countries in the surrounding region where tremors were felt in Afghanistan and Chinese Xinjiang; the severity of the damage caused by the earthquake is attributed to severe upthrust. It is considered the deadliest earthquake to hit South Asia since the 1935 Quetta earthquake. Kashmir lies in the area of collision of the Indian tectonic plates; the geological activity born out of this collision responsible for the birth of the Himalayan mountain range, is the cause of unstable seismicity in the region. The United States Geological Survey measured its magnitude as a minimum of 7.6 on the moment magnitude scale, with its epicentre about 19 km northeast of Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir, 100 km north-northeast of the national capital Islamabad.
Most of the devastation hit north Pakistan administered Kashmir. In Kashmir, the three main districts were badly affected and Muzaffarabad, the state capital of Pakistan administered Kashmir, was hardest hit in terms of casualties and destruction. Hospitals and rescue services including police and armed forces were paralysed. There was no infrastructure and communication was badly affected. More than 70% of all casualties were estimated to have occurred in Muzaffarabad. Bagh, the second-most-affected district, accounted for 15% of the total casualties; the Pakistani government's official death toll as of November 2005 stood at 87,350 although it is estimated that the death toll could reach over 100,000. 138,000 were injured and over 3.5 million rendered homeless. According to government figures, 19,000 children died in the earthquake, most of them in widespread collapses of school buildings; the earthquake affected more than 500,000 families. In addition 250,000 farm animals died due to collapse of stone barns, more than 500,000 large animals required immediate shelter from the harsh winter.
As Saturday is a normal school day in the region, most students were at schools when the earthquake struck. Many were buried under collapsed school buildings. Many people were trapped in their homes and, because it was the month of Ramadan, most people were taking a nap after their pre-dawn meal and did not have time to escape. Reports indicate that entire towns and villages were wiped out in northern Pakistan, with other surrounding areas suffering severe damage. "...a second, massive wave of death will happen if we do not step up our efforts now", Kofi Annan said on 20 October with reference to the thousand remote villages in which people are in need of medical attention, clean water and shelter and the 120,000 survivors that have not yet been reached."According to Pakistan's Interior Minister Aftab Ahmad Sherpao, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz "made the appeal to survivors" on 26 October to come down to valleys and cities for relief, because bad weather, mountainous terrain and blocked roads are making it difficult for relief workers to reach each house and the winter snows are imminent."
In Islamabad, the Margalla Towers, an apartment complex in sector F-10, collapsed and killed many of the residents. Four deaths were reported in Afghanistan, including a young girl who died in Jalalabad, after a wall collapsed on her; the quake was felt in Kabul. There were many secondary earthquakes in the region to the northwest of the original epicentre. A series of strong aftershocks occurred near Muzaffarabad; as of 27 October 2005 there had been more than 978 aftershocks with a magnitude of 4.0 and above that continued to occur daily. Since measurements from satellites have shown that mountain parts directly above the epicenter have risen by a few meters, giving ample proof that the rising of the Himalayas is still going on, that this earthquake was a consequence of that; the national and international humanitarian response to the crisis was extensive. In the initial phases of response, the Pakistan Medical corps, Corps of Engineers, Army aviation and a large number of infantry units played important roles.
Lt. Gen Afzal, Maj. Gen. Imtiaz, Maj. Gen Javid were the leaders of their formations. Maj. Gen Farrukh Seir was in charge of foreign relief co-ordination; the relief work in Jammu and Kashmir was led by IAS officers of the state administration, Bashir Runyal and Jaipal Singh. In early 2006, the Government of Pakistan organized a donors' conference to raise money for reconstruction and development of the area. A total of $6.2 billion was pledged and a large amount of the money was delivered in terms of services of international NGOs with high pay scales. The rest of the money pledged, given to the Government of Pakistan for reconstruction and development, was used by a reconstruction authority called Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority, made by military regime to accommodate retired high military officials and while keeping the command of the reconstruction and rehabilitation authority directly under the military; the basic infrastructure, including tertiary care, education, road networks, water supply, waste management and other basic needs, was still underdeveloped and had not reached pre-earthquake status in the region.
Well over US$5.4 billion in aid arrived from all around the world. US Marine and Army helicopters stationed in neighbouring Afghanistan flew aid into the devas
An earthquake is the shaking of the surface of the Earth, resulting from the sudden release of energy in the Earth's lithosphere that creates seismic waves. Earthquakes can range in size from those that are so weak that they cannot be felt to those violent enough to toss people around and destroy whole cities; the seismicity, or seismic activity, of an area is the frequency and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time. The word tremor is used for non-earthquake seismic rumbling. At the Earth's surface, earthquakes manifest themselves by shaking and displacing or disrupting the ground; when the epicenter of a large earthquake is located offshore, the seabed may be displaced sufficiently to cause a tsunami. Earthquakes can trigger landslides, volcanic activity. In its most general sense, the word earthquake is used to describe any seismic event—whether natural or caused by humans—that generates seismic waves. Earthquakes are caused by rupture of geological faults, but by other events such as volcanic activity, mine blasts, nuclear tests.
An earthquake's point of initial rupture is called its hypocenter. The epicenter is the point at ground level directly above the hypocenter. Tectonic earthquakes occur anywhere in the earth where there is sufficient stored elastic strain energy to drive fracture propagation along a fault plane; the sides of a fault move past each other smoothly and aseismically only if there are no irregularities or asperities along the fault surface that increase the frictional resistance. Most fault surfaces do have such asperities and this leads to a form of stick-slip behavior. Once the fault has locked, continued relative motion between the plates leads to increasing stress and therefore, stored strain energy in the volume around the fault surface; this continues until the stress has risen sufficiently to break through the asperity allowing sliding over the locked portion of the fault, releasing the stored energy. This energy is released as a combination of radiated elastic strain seismic waves, frictional heating of the fault surface, cracking of the rock, thus causing an earthquake.
This process of gradual build-up of strain and stress punctuated by occasional sudden earthquake failure is referred to as the elastic-rebound theory. It is estimated that only 10 percent or less of an earthquake's total energy is radiated as seismic energy. Most of the earthquake's energy is used to power the earthquake fracture growth or is converted into heat generated by friction. Therefore, earthquakes lower the Earth's available elastic potential energy and raise its temperature, though these changes are negligible compared to the conductive and convective flow of heat out from the Earth's deep interior. There are three main types of fault, all of which may cause an interplate earthquake: normal and strike-slip. Normal and reverse faulting are examples of dip-slip, where the displacement along the fault is in the direction of dip and movement on them involves a vertical component. Normal faults occur in areas where the crust is being extended such as a divergent boundary. Reverse faults occur in areas.
Strike-slip faults are steep structures where the two sides of the fault slip horizontally past each other. Many earthquakes are caused by movement on faults that have components of both dip-slip and strike-slip. Reverse faults those along convergent plate boundaries are associated with the most powerful earthquakes, megathrust earthquakes, including all of those of magnitude 8 or more. Strike-slip faults continental transforms, can produce major earthquakes up to about magnitude 8. Earthquakes associated with normal faults are less than magnitude 7. For every unit increase in magnitude, there is a thirtyfold increase in the energy released. For instance, an earthquake of magnitude 6.0 releases 30 times more energy than a 5.0 magnitude earthquake and a 7.0 magnitude earthquake releases 900 times more energy than a 5.0 magnitude of earthquake. An 8.6 magnitude earthquake releases the same amount of energy as 10,000 atomic bombs like those used in World War II. This is so because the energy released in an earthquake, thus its magnitude, is proportional to the area of the fault that ruptures and the stress drop.
Therefore, the longer the length and the wider the width of the faulted area, the larger the resulting magnitude. The topmost, brittle part of the Earth's crust, the cool slabs of the tectonic plates that are descending down into the hot mantle, are the only parts of our planet which can store elastic energy and release it in fault ruptures. Rocks hotter than about 300 °C flow in response to stress; the maximum observed lengths of ruptures and mapped faults are 1,000 km. Examples are the earthquakes in Chile, 1960; the longest earthquake ruptures on strike-slip faults, like the San Andreas Fault, the North Anatolian Fault in Turkey and the Denali Fault in Alaska, are about half to one third as long as the lengths along subducting plate margins, those along normal faults are shorter. The most important parameter controlling the maximum earthquake magnitude on a fault is however not the maximum available length, but the available width because the latter varies by a factor of 20. Along converging plate margins, the dip angle of the rupture plane is shallow about 10 de
Nepal the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas but includes parts of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. With an estimated population of 26.4 million, it is 48th largest country by population and 93rd largest country by area. It borders China in the north and India in the south and west while Bangladesh is located within only 27 km of its southeastern tip and Bhutan is separated from it by the Indian state of Sikkim. Nepal has a diverse geography, including fertile plains, subalpine forested hills, eight of the world's ten tallest mountains, including Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. Kathmandu is largest city. Nepal is a multiethnic nation with Nepali as the official language; the name "Nepal" is first recorded in texts from the Vedic period of the Indian subcontinent, the era in ancient India when Hinduism was founded, the predominant religion of the country. In the middle of the first millennium BCE, Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was born in Lumbini in southern Nepal.
Parts of northern Nepal were intertwined with the culture of Tibet. The centrally located Kathmandu Valley is intertwined with the culture of Indo-Aryans, was the seat of the prosperous Newar confederacy known as Nepal Mandala; the Himalayan branch of the ancient Silk Road was dominated by the valley's traders. The cosmopolitan region developed distinct traditional architecture. By the 18th century, the Gorkha Kingdom achieved the unification of Nepal; the Shah dynasty established the Kingdom of Nepal and formed an alliance with the British Empire, under its Rajput Rana dynasty of premiers. The country was never colonized but served as a buffer state between Imperial China and British India. Parliamentary democracy was introduced in 1951, but was twice suspended by Nepalese monarchs, in 1960 and 2005; the Nepalese Civil War in the 1990s and early 2000s resulted in the proclamation of a secular republic in 2008, ending the world's last Hindu monarchy. The Constitution of Nepal, adopted in 2015, establishes Nepal as a federal secular parliamentary republic divided into seven provinces.
Nepal was admitted to the United Nations in 1955, friendship treaties were signed with India in 1950 and the People's Republic of China in 1960. Nepal hosts the permanent secretariat of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, of which it is a founding member. Nepal is a member of the Non Aligned Movement and the Bay of Bengal Initiative; the military of Nepal is the fifth largest in South Asia. Local legends have it that a Hindu sage named "Ne" established himself in the valley of Kathmandu in prehistoric times, that the word "Nepal" came into existence as the place was protected by the sage "Nemi", it is mentioned in Vedic texts. According to the Skanda Purana, a rishi called. In the Pashupati Purana, he is mentioned as a protector, he is said to have taught there. The name of the country is identical in origin to the name of the Newar people; the terms "Nepāl", "Newār", "Newāl" and "Nepār" are phonetically different forms of the same word, instances of the various forms appear in texts in different times in history.
Nepal is the learned Sanskrit form and Newar is the colloquial Prakrit form. A Sanskrit inscription dated 512 CE found in Tistung, a valley to the west of Kathmandu, contains the phrase "greetings to the Nepals" indicating that the term "Nepal" was used to refer to both the country and the people, it has been suggested that "Nepal" may be a Sanskritization of "Newar", or "Newar" may be a form of "Nepal". According to another explanation, the words "Newar" and "Newari" are vulgarisms arising from the mutation of P to V, L to R. Neolithic tools found in the Kathmandu Valley indicate that people have been living in the Himalayan region for at least eleven thousand years. Nepal is first mentioned in the late Vedic Atharvaveda Pariśiṣṭa as a place exporting blankets, in the post-Vedic Atharvashirsha Upanishad. In Samudragupta's Allahabad Pillar it is mentioned as a border country; the Skanda Purana has a separate chapter, known as "Nepal Mahatmya", with more details. Nepal is mentioned in Hindu texts such as the Narayana Puja.
Legends and ancient texts that mention the region now known as Nepal reach back to the 30th century BC. The Gopal Bansa were one of the earliest inhabitants of Kathmandu valley; the earliest rulers of Nepal were the Kiratas, peoples mentioned in Hindu texts, who ruled Nepal for many centuries. Various sources mention up to 32 Kirati kings. Around 500 BCE, small kingdoms and confederations of clans arose in the southern regions of Nepal. From one of these, the Shakya polity, arose a prince who renounced his status to lead an ascetic life, founded Buddhism, came to be known as Gautama Buddha. By 250 BCE, the southern regions had come under the influence of the Maurya Empire of North India and became a vassal state under the Gupta Empire in the 4th century CE. There is a quite detailed description of the kingdom of Nepal in the account of the renowned Chinese Buddhist pilgrim monk Xuanzang, dating from about 645 CE. Stone inscriptions in the Kathmandu Valley are important sources for the history of Nepal.
The kings of the Lichhavi dynasty have been found to have r
The Himalayas, or Himalaya, form a mountain range in Asia, separating the plains of the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau. The range has many including the highest, Mount Everest; the Himalayas include over fifty mountains exceeding 7,200 m in elevation, including ten of the fourteen 8,000-metre peaks. By contrast, the highest peak outside Asia is 6,961 m tall. Lifted by the subduction of the Indian tectonic plate under the Eurasian Plate, the Himalayan mountain range runs west-northwest to east-southeast in an arc 2,400 km long, its western anchor, Nanga Parbat, lies just south of the northernmost bend of Indus river. Its eastern anchor, Namcha Barwa, is just west of the great bend of the Yarlung Tsangpo River; the Himalayan range is bordered on the northwest by the Hindu Kush ranges. To the north, the chain is separated from the Tibetan Plateau by a 50–60 km wide tectonic valley called the Indus-Tsangpo Suture. Towards the south the arc of the Himalaya is ringed by the low Indo-Gangetic Plain.
The range varies in width from 350 km in the west to 150 km in the east. The Himalayas are distinct from the other great ranges of central Asia, although sometimes the term'Himalaya' is loosely used to include the Karakoram and some of the other ranges; the Himalayas are inhabited by 52.7 million people, are spread across five countries: Nepal, Bhutan and Pakistan. Some of the world's major rivers – the Indus, the Ganges and the Tsangpo-Brahmaputra – rise in the Himalayas, their combined drainage basin is home to 600 million people; the Himalayas have a profound effect on the climate of the region, helping to keep the monsoon rains on the Indian plain and limiting rainfall on the Tibetan plateau. The Himalayas have profoundly shaped the cultures of the Indian subcontinent; the name of the range derives from himá and ā-laya. They are now known as the "Himalaya Mountains" shortened to the "Himalayas", they were described in the singular as the Himalaya. This was previously transcribed Himmaleh, as in Emily Dickinson's poetry and Henry David Thoreau's essays.
The mountains are known as the Himālaya in Nepali and Hindi, the Himalaya or'The Land of Snow' in Tibetan, the Hamaleh Mountain Range in Urdu and the Ximalaya Mountain Range in Chinese. In the middle of the great curve of the Himalayan mountains lie the 8,000 m peaks of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna in Nepal, separated by the Kali Gandaki Gorge; the gorge splits the Himalayas into Western and Eastern sections both ecologically and orographically – the pass at the head of the Kali Gandaki, the Kora La is the lowest point on the ridgeline between Everest and K2. To the east of Annapurna are the 8,000 m peaks of Manaslu and across the border in Tibet, Shishapangma. To the south of these lies Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal and the largest city in the Himalayas. East of the Kathmandu Valley lies valley of the Bhote/Sun Kosi river which rises in Tibet and provides the main overland route between Nepal and China – the Araniko Highway/China National Highway 318. Further east is the Mahalangur Himal with four of the world's six highest mountains, including the highest: Cho Oyu, Everest and Makalu.
The Khumbu region, popular for trekking, is found here on the south-western approaches to Everest. The Arun river drains the northern slopes of these mountains, before turning south and flowing through the range to the east of Makalu. In the far east of Nepal, the Himalayas rise to the Kanchenjunga massif on the border with India, the third highest mountain in the world, the most easterly 8,000 m summit and the highest point of India; the eastern side of Kanchenjunga is in the Indian state of Sikkim. An independent Kingdom, it lies on the main route from India to Lhasa, which passes over the Nathu La pass into Tibet. East of Sikkim lies the ancient Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan; the highest mountain in Bhutan is Gangkhar Puensum, a strong candidate for the highest unclimbed mountain in the world. The Himalayas here are becoming rugged with forested steep valleys; the Himalayas continue, turning northeast, through the Indian State of Arunachal Pradesh as well as Tibet, before reaching their easterly conclusion in the peak of Namche Barwa, situated in Tibet inside the great bend of the Yarlang Tsangpo river.
On the other side of the Tsangpo, to the east, are the Kangri Garpo mountains. The high mountains to the north of the Tsangpo including Gyala Peri, are sometimes included in the Himalayas. Going west from Dhaulagiri, Western Nepal is somewhat remote and lacks major high mountains, but is home to Rara Lake, the largest lake in Nepal; the Karnali River cuts through the center of the region. Further west, the border with India follows the Sarda River and provides a trade route into China, where on the Tibetan plateau lies the high peak of Gurla Mandhata. Just across Lake Manasarovar from this lies the sacred Mount Kailash, which stands close to the source of the four main rivers of Himalayas and is revered in Hinduism, Sufism and Bonpo. In the newly created Indian state of Uttarkhand, the Himalayas rise again as the Garhwal Himalayas with the high peaks of Nanda Devi and Kamet; the state is an important pilgrimage destination, with
Pakistan the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world’s sixth-most populous country with a population exceeding 212,742,631 people. In area, it is the 33rd-largest country. Pakistan has a 1,046-kilometre 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, China in the far northeast, it is separated narrowly from Tajikistan by Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor in the northwest, 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, was home to kingdoms ruled by people of different faiths and cultures, including Hindus, Indo-Greeks, Turco-Mongols 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 Gupta Empire, the Arab Umayyad Caliphate, the Delhi Sultanate, the Mongol Empire, the Mughal Empire, the Afghan Durrani Empire, the Sikh Empire and, most the British Empire.
Pakistan is the only country to have been created in the name of Islam. It is an ethnically and linguistically diverse country, with a diverse geography and wildlife. A dominion, Pakistan adopted a constitution in 1956, becoming an Islamic republic. An ethnic civil war and Indian military intervention in 1971 resulted in the secession of East Pakistan as the new country of Bangladesh. In 1973, Pakistan adopted a new constitution which stipulated that all laws are to conform to the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Quran and Sunnah. A regional and middle power, Pakistan has the sixth-largest standing armed forces in the world and is a nuclear power as well as a declared nuclear-weapons state, the second in South Asia and the only nation in the Muslim world to have that status. Pakistan has a semi-industrialised economy with a well-integrated agriculture sector and a growing services sector, it is ranked among the emerging and growth-leading economies of the world, is backed by one of the world's largest and fastest-growing middle class.
Pakistan's political history since independence has been characterized by periods of military rule, political instability and conflicts with India. The country continues to face challenging problems, including overpopulation, poverty and corruption. Pakistan is a member of the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the OIC, the Commonwealth of Nations, the SAARC and the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition; the name Pakistan means "land of the pure" in Urdu and Persian. It alludes to the word pāk meaning pure in Pashto; the suffix ـستان is a Persian word meaning the place of, recalls the synonymous Sanskrit word sthāna स्थान. The name of the country was coined in 1933 as Pakstan by Choudhry Rahmat Ali, a Pakistan Movement activist, who published it in his pamphlet Now or Never, using it as an acronym referring to the names of the five northern regions of British India: Punjab, Kashmir and Baluchistan; the letter i was incorporated to ease pronunciation. Some of the earliest ancient human civilisations in South Asia originated from areas encompassing present-day Pakistan.
The earliest known inhabitants in the region were Soanian during the Lower Paleolithic, of whom stone tools have been found in the Soan Valley of Punjab. The Indus region, which covers most of present day Pakistan, was the site of several successive ancient cultures including the Neolithic Mehrgarh and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro; the Vedic period was characterised by an Indo-Aryan culture. Multan was an important Hindu pilgrimage centre; the Vedic civilisation flourished in the ancient Gandhāran city of Takṣaśilā, now Taxila in the Punjab, founded around 1000 BCE. Successive ancient empires and kingdoms ruled the region: the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Alexander the Great's empire in 326 BCE and the Maurya Empire, founded by Chandragupta Maurya and extended by Ashoka the Great, until 185 BCE; the Indo-Greek Kingdom founded by Demetrius of Bactria included Gandhara and Punjab and reached its greatest extent under Menander, prospering the Greco-Buddhist culture in the region.
Taxila had one of the earliest universities and centres of higher education in the world, established during the late Vedic period in 6th century BCE. The school consisted of several monasteries without large dormitories or lecture halls where the religious instruction was provided on an individualistic basis; the ancient university was documented by the invading forces of Alexander the Great, "the like of which had not been seen in Greece," and was recorded by Chinese pilgrims in the 4th or 5th century CE. At its zenith, the Rai Dynasty of Sindh ruled the surrounding territories; the Pala Dynasty was the last Buddhist empire, under Dharmapala and Devapala, stretched across South Asia from what is now Bangladesh through Northern India to Pakistan. The Arab conqueror Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Sindh in 711 CE; the Pakistan government's official chronol