The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a parliamentary federal democratic republic founded in 1947. Pakistan shares borders with Afghanistan, China, India, and Iran, and has a 1,046-kilometre (650 mi) coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the South. With over 174 million citizens, Pakistan is the sixth most populous nation in the world.
The structure of Pakistan’s government is defined by its Constitution, which was originally adopted in 1956. That constitution was suspended in 1958 by General Ayub Khan. The current constitution was adopted in 1973 suspended by General Zia-ul-Haq in 1977, and re-instated in 1985. The constitution has been amended eighteen times, most recently in 2010.
Pakistan’s parliament comprises a 100-member Senate and a 342-member National Assembly.
The executive branch of government is lead by the President, who serves as Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. The President is elected by an electoral college. The prime minister is typically the leader of the largest party in the National Assembly, currently the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N).
Each of Pakistan’s four provinces has a system of government that mirrors that at the national level, including a directly elected Provincial Assembly in which the leader of the largest party or alliance becomes Chief Minister. Provincial Governors are appointed by the President.
Pakistan’s economy struggles against several serious obstacles including being under regular attack from terrorist groups, as well as being set back by decades of economic mismanagement by corrupt dictators. Pakistan suffers an unemployment rate over 15%, and nearly a quarter of the population lives in poverty. Pakistan’s GDP was approximately $449.3 billion in 2009, growing at an estimated annual rate of 2.7%