Cruising to Pakistan

Background

The separation in 1947 of British India into the Muslim state of Pakistan (with two sections West and East) and largely Hindu India was never satisfactorily resolved, and India and Pakistan fought two wars - in 1947-48 and 1965 - over the disputed Kashmir territory.

A third war between these countries in 1971 - in which India capitalized on Islamabad's marginalization of Bengalis in Pakistani politics - resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. In response to Indian nuclear weapons testing, Pakistan conducted its own tests in 1998. The dispute over the state of Kashmir is ongoing, but discussions and confidence-building measures have led to decreased tensions since 2002.

Geography

Location: Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea, between India on the east and Iran and Afghanistan on the west and China in the north
Geographic coordinates: 30 00 N, 70 00 E
Map references: Asia
Area: total: 803,940 sq km

Coastline

1,046 km

Maritime claims

Territorial sea: 12 nm
Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

Climate

Mostly hot, dry desert; temperate in northwest; arctic in north

Terrain

Flat Indus plain in east; mountains in north and northwest; Balochistan plateau in west

Elevation extremes

Lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
Highest point: K2 (Mt. Godwin-Austen) 8,611 m

Economy

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. However, IMF-approved government policies, bolstered by generous foreign assistance and renewed access to global markets since 2001, have generated solid macroeconomic recovery the last four years.

The government has made substantial macroeconomic reforms since 2000, although progress on more politically sensitive reforms has slowed. For example, in the budget for fiscal year 2006, Islamabad did not impose taxes on the agriculture or real estate sectors, despite Pakistan's chronically low tax-to-GDP ratio. While long-term prospects remain uncertain, given Pakistan's low level of development, medium-term prospects for job creation and poverty reduction are the best in more than a decade. Islamabad has raised development spending from about 2% of GDP in the 1990s to 4% in 2003, a necessary step towards reversing the broad underdevelopment of its social sector.

GDP growth, spurred by double-digit gains in industrial production over the past year, has become less dependent on agriculture, and remained above 7% in 2004 and 2005. Inflation remains the biggest threat to the economy, jumping to more than 9% in 2005. The World Bank and Asian Development Bank announced that they would provide US $1 billion each in aid to help Pakistan rebuild areas hit by the October 2005 earthquake in Kashmir.

Foreign exchange reserves continued to reach new levels in 2005, supported by steady worker remittances. In the near term, growth probably cannot be sustained at the 7% level; however, massive international aid, increased government spending, lower taxes, and pay increases for government workers will help Pakistan maintain strong GDP growth over the longer term.

Transportation

Airports: 134 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 91
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 43
Heliports: 18 (2005)
Pipelines: gas 9,945 km; oil 1,821 km (2004)
Railways: total: 8,163 km 
Roadways: total: 254,410 km

Merchant marine

Total: 14 ships (1000 GRT or over) 343,630 GRT/570,518 DWT
By type: cargo 10, petroleum tanker 4
Registered in other countries: 12 (Belize 1, Comoros 2, North Korea 3, Malta 1, Nigeria 1, Panama 2, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2) (2005)

Sailing Specifics: Ports and terminals

Karachi, Port Muhammad Bin Qasim

Other Sailing Destinations in the Region

Bahrain - Christmas Islands - Cocos Keeling - Comoros - Djibouti - Eritrea - India - Jordan - Kenya - Kuwait - Madagascar - Maldives - Mauritius - Mayotte - Mozambique - Oman - Pakistan - Qatar - Reunion Island - Saudi Arabia - Seychelles - Somalia - Sri Lanka - Sudan - Tanzania - United Arab Emirates - Yemen

Further Reading

Back to "vacations"

 


sailingahead.com