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Country Profile


Pakistan is a parliamentary federal republic in South Asia, with a population of nearly 170 million people. Following successful elections in February 2008, Pakistan has a coalition government led by Prime Minister Yousef Gilani. Pakistan is a developing country, with some tourist facilities in major cities but limited in outlying areas. The infrastructure of areas of Kashmir and the Northwest Frontier Province was devastated as a result of the October 8, 2005 earthquake and is not yet recovered. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Pakistan for additional information.




Image of Pakistan
Country Name: Pakistan
Continent: Asia
Capital City: Islamabad
Boundary Countries:

Afghanistan, China, India, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

Recommended Hospitals in Capital:

Dr. Arshad Health Associates (Islamabad)Faisalabad: Shaffee Medical CenterHyderabad: Aga Khan Maternal & Child Care CenterIslamabad: Shifa International Hospitals, Ltd., Islamabad Private Hospital, KRL HospitalKarachi: Imam Clinic, New Clifton Clinic, Karachi Adventist Hospital, Naveed Clinic, Zainab Panjwani Memorial Hospital, Aga Khan University Hospital, Zehra Hospital, Shan Hospital, Medi Complex Hospital, Hafiz Hospital, Cromwell Hospital- Karachi, Baqai University HospitalKarimabad: Aga Khan Hospital for Women- KarimabadLahore: Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital, Aadil Hospital, Masood HospitalSialkot: Tariq Clinic, Memorial Christian Hospital.

Main Cities:

Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Hyderabad, Zhob, Nok Kundi, Gwadar, Bin Qasim, Port Muhammed, Peshawar, Gilgit, Rawalpindi, Multan, Sukkur, Jhang Sadr

Country Size: 803,940 sq km
Population: 164,741,924



Punjabi 48%, Sindhi 12%, Siraiki (a Punjabi variant) 10%, Pashtu 8%, Urdu (official) 8%, Balochi 3%, Hindko 2%, Brahui 1%, English (official; lingua franca of Pakistani elite and most government ministries), Burushaski and other 8%

Currency: Pakistani rupee (PKR)
Predominant Religions:

Muslim 97% (Sunni 77%, Shi'a 20%), other (includes Christian and Hindu) 3%


National Holidays: Republic Day, 23 March (1956)
Economic Status:

Pakistan, an impoverished and underdeveloped country, has suffered from decades of internal political disputes, low levels of foreign investment, and a costly, ongoing confrontation with neighboring India.



Army (includes National Guard), Navy (includes Marines and Maritime Security Agency), Pakistan Air Force (Pakistan Fiza'ya)

US Presence:
U.S. Embassy in Islamabad
Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5
Islamabad, Pakistan
Phone: (+92) 51-208-0000 / (+92) 051-201-4000
U.S. Consulate General Karachi
Plot 3, 4, 5, New TPX Area
Mai Kolachi Road, Karachi
Phone: (+92-21) 3527-5000
U.S. Consulate General Lahore
50, Shahrah-e-Abdul Hameed Bin Badees,
(Old Empress Road) near Shimla Hill, Lahore, Pakistan
Phone: (92-42) 3603-4000
U.S. Consulate General Peshawar
11, Hospital Road,
Peshawar, Pakistan
Phone: Tel: (+92-91) 5268800
Document Requirements:

All U.S. citizens traveling to Pakistan for any purpose are required to have valid U.S. passports and Pakistani-issued visas.  Further information on entry requirements can be obtained from the Embassy of Pakistan at 3517 International Court Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20008; telephone: 202-243-6500.  The Embassy of Pakistan may be contacted via e-mail .

Travelers may also contact one of the Consulates General of Pakistan in:

Boston: 20 Chestnut Street, Needham, MA 02492; telephone: (781) 455-8000; fax: (617) 266-6666

Chicago: 333 North Michigan Ave., Suite 728, Chicago, IL, 60601; telephone: (312) 781-1831; fax: (312) 781-1839

Houston: 11850 Jones Road, Houston, TX, 77070; telephone: (281) 890-2223; fax: (281) 890-1433

Los Angeles: 10850 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1100, Los Angeles, CA 90024; telephone: (310) 441-5114; fax: (310) 441-9256

New York: 12 East 65th St., New York, NY 10021; telephone: (212) 879-5800; fax: (212) 517-6987

If a traveler plans to stay longer than the time listed on the visa, he or she must extend the stay with the local passport office of the Ministry of Interior.  Visit the Embassy of Pakistan website for the most current visa information.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our web site.  For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information sheet.

Major Airports:

Airports: 146, Airports w/paved runways: 92

Islamabad - Benazir Bhutto International Airport (ISB/OPRN)Islamabad Airport, Pakistan, Civil Aviation Authority, Islamabad, PAKISTANE-mail: infoiiap@caapakistan.com.pkCustoms, hours: 24 hours

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

US Dept of State Travel Warning Updated 12 June 2009

The Department of State warns US citizens against non-essential travel to Pakistan in light of the threat of terrorist activity. This replaces the Travel Warning dated February 25, 2009, updates information on security incidents and reminds US citizens of ongoing security concerns in Pakistan.
Pakistani military forces are currently engaged in a campaign against extremist elements across many areas of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and parts of the Northwest Frontier Province, including the Swat Valley. In response to this campaign, militants have vowed to step up attacks against both civilian and government targets in Pakistan's cities.
The presence of Al-Qaida, Taliban elements, and indigenous militant sectarian groups poses a potential danger to American citizens throughout Pakistan, especially in the western border regions of the country. Continuing tensions in the Middle East also increase the possibility of violence against Westerners. Terrorists and their sympathizers have successfully attacked civilian and government targets. The Pakistan government has heightened security measures, particularly in the major cities. Threat reporting indicates terrorist groups continue to seek opportunities to attack locations where Americans and Westerners are known to congregate or visit, such as shopping areas, hotels, clubs and restaurants, places of worship, schools, or outdoor recreation events.
Visits by US government personnel to Peshawar and Karachi are limited and movements by US government personnel assigned to the Consulates in those cities are severely restricted. American officials in Lahore and Islamabad are instructed to restrict the frequency and to minimize the duration of trips to public markets, restaurants, and other locations. Only a limited number of official visitors are placed in hotels, for limited stays. Depending on ongoing security assessments, the US Embassy places areas such as hotels, markets, and/or restaurants off limits to official personnel. American citizens in Pakistan are strongly urged to avoid hotels that do not apply stringent security measures and to maintain good situational awareness, particularly when visiting locations frequented by Westerners.
Access to many areas of Pakistan, including the FATA along the Afghan border, and the area adjacent to the Line of Control (LOC) in the disputed territory of Kashmir, is restricted by local government authorities for non-Pakistanis. Travel to any restricted region requires official permission by the Government of Pakistan. Failure to obtain such permission in advance can result in arrest and detention by Pakistani authorities. Due to security concerns the US Government currently allows only essential travel within the FATA by American officials. Travel to much of the Northwest Frontier Province and Balochistan is also restricted.
US citizens who travel to or remain in Pakistan despite this Travel Warning are encouraged to register with the Embassy in Islamabad or the Consulates in Karachi, Lahore, or Peshawar. This registration can be completed online through the Department of State's travel registration website. Alternatively, Americans without Internet access should contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate for information on registering in person.  Registration enables citizens to obtain updated information on travel and security within Pakistan via the emergency alert system (Warden network).
Americans in country should take measures for their safety and security. These measures include maintaining good situational awareness, avoiding crowds and demonstrations and keeping a low profile. Avoid setting patterns by varying times and routes for all required travel. Ensure that travel documents and visas are valid at all times. Official Americans are instructed to avoid use of public transportation and restrict their use of personal vehicles in response to security concerns.
Security threats may on short notice temporarily restrict the ability of US Missions, particularly in Peshawar, to provide routine consular services. All American citizens are encouraged to apply for renewal of travel documents at least three months prior to expiration.
The US Embassy in Islamabad is located at Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5; telephone: (92-51) 208-0000, including after hours emergency assistance; Consular Section telephone: (92-51) 208-2700; fax: (92-51) 282-2632; website: http://islamabad.usembassy.gov.
For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where the Worldwide Caution and the Pakistan Country Specific Information can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the US and Canada, or, for callers outside the US and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00a to 8:00p Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except US federal holidays).

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total: 68.84 deaths/1,000 live birthsLife expectancy at birth: TOTAL 63.75 years (male 62.73/female 64.83)


Immunization Indicators:

Required: None
Recommended: Malaria, Hep A & B, Typhoid, Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis, Polio
Boosters: MMR, DPT, as needed

Infectious Disease Concerns:

Malaria risk area in Pakistan: Risk in all areas (including all cities) at altitudes below 2,000 m (<6,562 ft).

Dengue fever has caused epidemics in most South Asian countries. In 2005-2006, an outbreak of chikungunya affected thousands of persons in India. Filariasis is common. A sharp rise in the incidence of visceral leishmaniasis has been observed in several South Asian countries. Japanese encephalitis occurs widely except in mountainous areas of South Asia.

Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection often contracted through recreational water activities in contaminated water, is common in tropical areas of the South Asia region.

Indigenous wild polio was present in 2005-2006 in India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan; cases from Bangladesh and Nepal were confirmed in 2005-2006.

Measles occurs in the South Asia region and can be a source of infection for unvaccinated travelers.


Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Adequate medical care is available in major Pakistani cities, but is limited in rural areas. Facilities in the cities vary in level and range of services, resources, and cleanliness, and Americans may find them below US standards; facilities in rural areas are consistently below US standards. Medical facilities require prepayment and do not accept credit cards.


Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 9
Referrals: 119
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) continues to cause outbreaks in domestic and wild bird populations and has caused human cases in several South Asian countries. Avoid all direct contact with birds, including domestic poultry (such as chickens and ducks) and wild birds, and avoid places such as poultry farms and bird markets where live birds are raised or kept. For a current list of countries reporting outbreaks of H5N1 among poultry and/or wild birds, view updates from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and for total numbers of confirmed human cases of H5N1 virus by country see the World Health Organization (WHO) Avian Influenza website.


Communications Info:

Country Code: +92
Internet Code: .pk


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