1. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE COUNTRY 1.1 Socio-economic profile
Pakistan is a country with a rich and diverse cultural heritage, abundant natural and human resources and an important geopolitical position. Pakistan spans over an area of 796,095 sq. km and comprises four provinces: Punjab, Sindh, North Western Frontier Province (NWFP) and Balochistan. The country has a border on the east with India; the north and northwest with Afghanistan (known as the Durand line); on the west with the Islamic Republic of Iran and in the south with the Arabian Sea. Pakistan also shares a border of about 595 km. with China. The common wealth of independent states is separated from Pakistan by a narrow strip of Afghan territory called Wakhan. The total cultivated area of Pakistan is 22.17 million hectares. The total forest area is about 5 per cent, which places Pakistan as a forest deficit country. Though the forest resource is meager, it plays an important role in Pakistan’s economy by employing half a million of people, providing 3.5 million cubic meters of wood and one-third of the nation’s energy needs. It supports livestock, which contributes more than US$ 400 million to Pakistan’s annual export earning. Pakistan is the world’s seventh most populous country. With 146 million people, it is growing at a present rate of 2.16 per cent per annum. The total population of Pakistan has increased 5 times during the 55 years since independence (1947). In 1998, 90 million people lived in rural areas, accounting for 67 per cent of the total population. The urban population was 5 million in 1947 (15.4 per cent of the total population), 23.84 million in 1981 (28 per cent) and 42.44 million in 1998 (32.5 per cent). During the period 1981-1998 the urban and rural populations have increased by 60 and 40 per cent respectively. The high urban population increase has been caused... [continues]
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