Islamic Republic of Pakistan
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, or simply Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. Tajikistan also lies close to Pakistan but is separated by the narrow Wakhan Corridor. Pakistan occupies a crossroads position between South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. The region forming modern Pakistan was at the heart of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization . It has witnessed invasions or settlements by the Indo-Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Arabs, Turks, Afghans, Mongols and the British.
Pakistan's history has been characterized by periods of military rule, political instability and conflicts with neighboring India. It is the sixth most populous country in the world and has the second largest Muslim population after Indonesia. Pakistan also has the second largest Shi'ite Muslim population. It is the only Muslim-majority nuclear state and is classified as a major non-NATO ally of the United States. It is one of the founders of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, and G20 developing nations.
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