Cruising to Pakistan
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.
Location: Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea, between India on
the east and Iran and Afghanistan on the west and China in the north
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Mostly hot, dry desert; temperate in northwest; arctic in north
Flat Indus plain in east; mountains in north and northwest; Balochistan plateau in west
Lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
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.
Airports: 134 (2005)
Total: 14 ships (1000 GRT or over) 343,630 GRT/570,518 DWT
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