With around 800,000 square kilometers, according to COUNTRYAAH, Pakistan is twice the size of Germany and Switzerland combined. The country is located in the northwest of the Indo-Pakistani subcontinent and extends from the mountain ranges of the Himalayas and Karakoram 1,600 km to the Indian Ocean. Pakistan shares borders with India, Iran, Afghanistan and China.
According to the Constitution promulgated on March 14, 1973 (amended several times and suspended in 1999), Pakistan is a parliamentary republic. Head of State is the President of the Republic (who is at the same time supreme head of the armed forces), elected by the Federal Parliament, who is responsible for exercising legislative power. The Parliament consists of two chambers: the National Assembly, whose members are elected by universal and direct suffrage, and the Senate, with a more consultative function and renewed every 6 years by the provincial assemblies. Executive power rests with the federal cabinet, headed by the prime minister. A Security Council was also established in 2004, endowed with a strong supervisory power and with a mandate to intervene in case of need. The country’s judicial system is based on British Common Law and Islamic law, which a 1998 constitutional amendment made the state fundamental law together with the Sūnnah (the Islamic tradition). The jurisdiction of the International Court is accepted with reservation. Justice is administered by the Supreme Court, whose judges are appointed by the president, and by the Islamic Federal Court or Shari’ah Court.. The death penalty is in effect. The defense of the state is organized according to the classic tripartition: army, navy and air force. Pakistan also holds nuclear warheads and tactical missiles. Military service is voluntary and can be performed from 16 years of age, although soldiers cannot be employed in combat before the age of 18. Since 2006, women have also entered the navy and aviation. The country has inherited the school system of the British administration: however, since independence (1947) the government has oriented the system according to the characteristics and needs of the country, giving it a more decisive Islamic imprint. However, one of the fundamental objectives is to reduce the illiteracy rate, which is still very high today (45.8% in 2006, although in recent years there has been a significant decrease). The official language of instruction is Urdu; regional languages such as pashtō, the pañjābī and the sindhī. Primary education has been compulsory and free since 1970 and lasts for 5 years. In religious schools, a two-year basic education is given, which has as its foundation the reading and commenting of the Koran. The three-year middle school prepares for the four-year secondary school, which is generally polyvalent, ie it includes some compulsory fundamental courses and others freely chosen by the students. Higher education is given in numerous universities, including those of Lahore, Punjab (1882, the oldest in the country), Karachi (1951), Peshāwar (1950), Hyderābādsi (1947) and of Islāmābād, more recently established (1996). The languages of instruction in university courses are generally Urdu and English.
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The climate of Pakistan is continental with dry and hot summers up to 54 ° C. Where there is enough water, e.g. in the five-stream country Punjab with the largest irrigation system in the world, there is lush fertility, which is in sharp contrast to the deserts of Sindh and the barren mountains and arid plateaus of Baluchistan. The province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa unites all the landscape zones of Pakistan, from the high mountains of the Hindu Kush in the north, over the alpine wooded valleys of Swat and the Hazara division, over the subtropical valley basins of Peshawar and Mardan to the moon-like karst landscapes in the south.
Climate diagrams for Pakistan’s various regions and cities offer an orientation with regard to the weather and climate diversity.