Pakistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Urdu: اسلامی جمہوریۂ پاکستان), is a country located in South Asia that overlaps with the Greater Middle East. It has a thousand-kilometre coastline along the Arabian Sea in the south and borders Afghanistan and Iran to the west, India to the east and the People's Republic of China in the far northeast.
Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world and the second most populous Muslim country. It was established as a modern state in 1947, as one of the two parts of the partitioned British India, but the region has a long history of settlement and civilisation including the Indus Valley Civilisation. The region was invaded by Afghans, Greeks, Persians, Arabs, and was incorporated into the British Raj in the nineteenth century.
Pakistan is a federation of four provinces, a capital territory and federally administered tribal areas. Pakistan exercises de facto jurisdiction over the western parts of the Kashmir region, organised as two separate political entities (Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas), which are also claimed by India. In 2001 the federal government abolished the third tier of government (administrative divisions) in favour of the former fourth tier districts. The provinces and the capital territory are subdivided into a total of 107 districts which contain numerous tehsils and local governments. The tribal areas comprise seven tribal agencies and six small frontier regions detached from neighbouring districts whilst Azad Kashmir comprises seven districts and Northern Areas comprises six districts. Provinces:
- Khyber PakhtunKhwa, FATA and Northern areas formerly known as NWFP
Balochistan and KPK also have Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) which are being developed into regular districts.
- Islamabad Capital Territory
- Federally Administered Tribal Areas
- Pakistani-administered portions of the Kashmir region:
- Azad Kashmir
Pakistan' Economy, is a rapidly developing country which has faced a number of challenges on both political and economic fronts. Despite being a very poor country in 1947, Pakistan's economic growth rate was better than the global average during the subsequent four decades, but imprudent policies led to a slowdown in the late 1990s. Recently, wide-ranging economic reforms have resulted in a stronger economic outlook and accelerated growth especially in the manufacturing and financial services sectors. However, inflationary pressures and a below par savings rate, among other economic factors, would make it difficult to sustain a high growth rate. The growth of non-agricultural sectors has changed the structure of the economy, and agriculture now only accounts for roughly 20% of the GDP. The service sector accounts for 53% of the country's GDP with wholesale and retail trade forming 30% of this sector.
Pakistan has an estimated population of 165,803,560, as of April 2006. Pakistan has the world's sixth largest population, more than Russia, but less than Brazil; because of Pakistan's high growth rate, it is expected to surpass Brazil in population in the year 2020. Population projections for Pakistan are relatively difficult because of the apparent differences in the accuracy of each census and the inconsistencies between various surveys related to fertility rate, but it is likely that the rate of growth peaked in 1980s. The population was estimated at 162,400,000 on July 1, 2005, with a fertility rate of 34 per thousand, a death rate of 10 per thousand and the rate of natural increase was 2.4%. Pakistan also had a high infant mortality rate of 85 per thousand births.Non-governmental and international sources report that Pakistans current population is estimated to be 170 to 190 million.
Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan, but English is the official language used in the Constitution and widely used by corporate businesses, the educated urban elite and most universities. Punjabi is spoken by over 60 million people, but has no official recognition in the country. indicates that 96% of the population are Muslims of whom nearly 80% are Sunni Muslims and 19% are Shi'a Muslims. Pakistan has the second highest Shia population in the world, after Iran, and more than India or Iraq. Census data The remainder comprises of Christians and Hindus, Jews, Sikhs, Zoroastrians, Ahmadis, and Animists (mainly the Kalasha of Chitral). A few Buddhists are included in Pakistani statistics; however, these live in Indian administered Ladakh which Pakistan claims along with the rest of Kashmir.
The demographics of Pakistan were significantly influenced in 1947 by the movement of Muslims to Pakistan, and Hindus and Sikhs to India. As of 2005, over three million refugees (approximately 81.5% being ethnic Pashtuns) remain in Pakistan as a result of the wars in Afghanistan, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, with 83% of the refugees reporting their intent to permanently settle in Pakistan.
History of the Church of Pakistan
The Church of Pakistan was formally inaugurated on All Saints Day, 1970 by official delegates from the following Churches of Pakistan:
CIPBC (Anglican Communion in Pakistan), Diocese of Dacca, Karachi and Lahore;
UMCP (United Methodists in Pakistan), Conferences; Indus River Annual Conference, Karachi Provisional An. Conf;
UCNIP (United Church of Pakistan), Church Councils : Rajshahi and Sialkot; and
PLC (Pakistani Lutheran Church).
The Church of Pakistan was formally declared to be the legal and spiritual heir and successor of each and all of the Churches. This act of covenant was declared to be irrevocable, and the Union was considered indissoluble.
The Inauguration of the Church of Pakistan was made on the basis of the Plan of Union finalized in March 1965, which was the fourth revision, the previous editions of the Plan having been issued in 1951, 1954 and 1957. Work on these Plans was begun at the Round-Table Conference in the year 1929, but its sources can be traced to the movement of the Holy Spirit in the Churches that found expression in the Edinburgh Conference, 1910, the meeting in Traquebar in 1919, and the appeal of the Lambeth Conference in 1920, This Plan profited from the experience of the Church of South India (Inaugurated In 1947) and from the work on schemes of union in Lanka and West Africa.
The Churches that contributed in the Plan are the Baptists, Brethren, Disciples, Anglicans, non-Episcopal Methodists, and Episcopal Methodists, and the United Church (mainly Presbyterian and Congregational). The Lutherans accepted the Constitution without having participated in the negotiations.
Officers of the Church of Pakistan
- The Rt. Rev. Samuel Azariah, Moderator (The President Bishop)
- The Rt. Rev. Sadiq Daniel, Deputy Moderator
- Lt. Col. (Rtd) Kanwal Issacs, General Secretary
- Mr Arshad Nawab, Treasurer
Bishops of the Church of Pakistan
- The Rt. Rev. Samuel Azariah, Bishop of the Diocese of Raiwind
- The Rt. Rev. Sadiq Daniel, Bishop of the Diocese of Karachi (including Baluchistan)
- The Rt. Rev. John Samuel, Bishop of the Diocese of Faisalabad
- The Rt. Rev. Humphrey S. Peters, Bishop of the Diocese of Peshawar (covering Afghanistan)
- The Rt. Rev. Leo Roderick Paul, Bishop of Multan
- The Rt. Rev. Kaleem John, Bishop of the Diocese of Hyderabad
- The Rt. Rev. Irfan Jamil, Bishop of the Diocese of Lahore
- The Rt. Rev. Alvin Samuel, Bishop of the Diocese of Sialkot