As a result of the partition of British India into two sovereign Hindu and Muslim states, Pakistan emerged on the map of the world on August 14, 1947. The eastern wing of the country, now called Bangladesh, seceded in 1971. Pakistan stretches over 1,600 kilometers north to south and about 885 kilometers east to west, covering a total area of 796,095 square kilometers. It comprises four provinces: Baluchistan, North West Frontier Province, Punjab, and Sindh.
Pakistan is a land of diversified relief. In the north it is bounded by the Himalayan ranges, the Karakoram ranges, and the Hindu Kush beyond it. The Himalayas have an average elevation of 6,100 meters, with some of the highest peaks in the world. K2, at 8,611 meters, is the highest peak of the Karakoram range and the second-highest in the world.
Pakistan inherited an old and rich civilization. The areas now constituting Pakistan had a historical individuality of their own before the advent of Islam. Pakistan was constituted as a dominion under the provisions of the Indian Independence Act, 1947.
Pakistan has one of the most rapidly growing populations of the world. Since the inception of Pakistan, four censuses have been conducted. The fourth census was conducted in 1981, and the fifth is being carried out now. According to a report by the Population Census Organization, the total population in 1981 was 84,253,000, and the estimated population for the year 1988 was 105,400,000, which makes Pakistan the world's ninth most populous country. The total male population in 1981 was 44,232,000 (52.5 percent), and the female population was 40,021,000 (47.5 percent), with a sex ratio of 100 females to 111 males. The distribution of population by sex and urban/rural regions was 23,840,000