History of Pakistan (1947–present)
The history of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan began on 14 August 1947 when the country came into being in the form of Dominion of Pakistan within the British Commonwealth as the result of Pakistan Movement and the partition of India. While the history of the Pakistani Nation according to the Pakistan government’s official chronology started with the Islamic rule over Indian subcontinent by Muhammad bin Qasim which reached its zenith during Mughal Era. In 1947, Pakistan consisted of West Pakistan (today’s Pakistan) and East Pakistan (today’s Bangladesh). The President of All-India Muslim League and later the Pakistan Muslim League, Muhammad Ali Jinnah became Governor-General while the secretary general of the Muslim League, Liaquat Ali Khan became Prime Minister. The constitution of 1956 made Pakistan an Islamic democratic country.
Pakistan faced a civil war and Indian military intervention in 1971 resulting in the secession of East Pakistan as the new country of Bangladesh. The country has also unresolved territorial disputes with India, resulting in four conflicts. Pakistan was closely tied to the United States in Cold War. In the Afghan-Soviet War, it supported the Sunni Mujahideens and played a vital role in the defeat of Soviet Forces and forced them to withdraw from Afghanistan. The country continues to face challenging problems including terrorism, poverty, illiteracy, corruption and political instability. Terrorism due to War of Afghanistan damaged the country’s economy and infrastructure to a great extent from 2001 to 2009 but Pakistan is once again developing.
Pakistan is a nuclear power as well as a declared nuclear-weapon state, having conducted six nuclear tests in response to five nuclear tests of their rival Republic of India in May 1998. The first five tests were conducted on 28 May and the sixth one on 30 May. With this status, Pakistan is seventh in world, second in South Asia and the only country in the Islamic World. Pakistan also has the sixth-largest standing armed forces in the world and is spending a major amount of its budget on defense. Pakistan is the founding member of the OIC, the SAARC and the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition as well as a member of many international organisations including the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the Commonwealth of Nations, the ARF, the Economic Cooperation Organization and many more.
Pakistan is a regional and middle power which is ranked among the emerging and growth-leading economies of the world and is backed by one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing middle class. It has a semi-industrialized economy with a well-integrated agriculture sector. It is one of the Next Eleven, a group of eleven countries that, along with the BRICs, have a high potential to become the world’s largest economies in the 21st century. Many economists and think tanks suggested that until 2030 Pakistan become Asian Tiger and CPEC will play an important role in it. Geographically, Pakistan is also an important country and a source of contact between Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia and East Asia.