Pakistan (/?pæk?stæn/ (About this sound listen) or /p??k??st??n/ (About this sound listen); Urdu: ?????????), officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Urdu: ?????? ??????? ?????????), is a country in South Asia and on junction of West Asia, Central Asia and East Asia. It is the fifth-most populous country with a population exceeding 207.77 million people.17 In terms of area, it is the 33rd-largest country spanning 881,913 square kilometres (340,509 square miles). Pakistan has a 1,046-kilometre (650-mile) coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west, Iran to the southwest, and China in the far northeast, respectively. It is separated narrowly from Tajikistan by Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor in the north-west, and also shares a maritime border with Oman.
The territory that now constitutes Pakistan was the site of several ancient cultures, including the Mehrgarh of the Neolithic and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation, and was later home to kingdoms ruled by people of different faiths and cultures, including Hindus, Indo-Greeks, Muslims, Turco-Mongols, Afghans, and Sikhs. The area has been ruled by numerous empires and dynasties, including the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Alexander III of Macedon, the Indian Mauryan Empire, the Arab Umayyad Caliphate, the Delhi Sultanate, the Mongol Empire, the Mugha