Also found in: Thesaurus, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
A country of South Asia. Occupying land crisscrossed by ancient invasion paths, Pakistan was the home of the prehistoric Indus Valley civilization, which flourished until overrun by Aryans c. 1500 bc. After being conquered by numerous rulers and powers, it passed to the British as part of India and became a separate Muslim state in 1947. The country originally included the Bengalese territory of East Pakistan, which achieved its separate independence in 1971 as Bangladesh. Pakistan became a republic in 1956. Islamabad is the capital and Karachi the largest city.
Pak′i·stan′i (-stăn′ē, -stä′nē) adj. & n.
Word History: The names of many Central and South Asian states, such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, end with the element -stan, a suffix of Iranian origin. The suffix is derived from the Iranian root *stā-, "to stand, stay," and means "place (where one stays), home, country." It can be added to the names of peoples to form the names of the countries where they live. The name Pakistan contains the same suffix and was coined—originally in the form Pakstan—by Choudhary Rahmat Ali (1897-1951), a Muslim Indian Nationalist who devoted himself to the creation of separate countries for Muslims in South Asia in anticipation of the end of British rule there. Pakstan first appears in a pamphlet that Rahmat Ali published in 1933 "on behalf of the thirty million Muslims of PAKSTAN, who live in the five Northern Units of India, viz.: Punjab, North-West Frontier Province (Afghan Province), Kashmir, Sind, and Baluchistan." The new name was meant to incorporate letters from names of all these areas, with the P representing Punjab, the A representing the Afghans (Afghān being a Persian word meaning "Pashtun"), and so forth. In Persian and Urdu, the sound of the name Pākstan also suggests an interpretation like "Land of the Pure," as if the name were derived from the Persian word pāk, "pure." Rahmat Ali's name for the region caught on quickly, and its spelling was soon changed to Pakistan, probably in order to break up the difficult consonant cluster kst and bring the word in line with other geographical names like Afghanistan and Baluchistan. Pakistan was chosen as the name of the country when it became independent in 1947.
1. (Placename) a republic in S Asia, on the Arabian Sea: the Union of Pakistan, formed in 1947, comprised West and East Pakistan; East Pakistan gained independence as Bangladesh in 1971 and West Pakistan became Pakistan; a member of the Commonwealth from 1947, it withdrew from 1972 until 1989; contains the fertile plains of the Indus valley rising to mountains in the north and west Official language: Urdu. Official religion: Muslim. Currency: rupee. Capital: Islamabad. Pop: 193 238 868 (2013 est). Area: 801 508 sq km (309 463 sq miles)
2. (Placename) a former republic in S Asia consisting of the provinces of West Pakistan and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), 1500 km (900 miles) apart: formed in 1947 from the predominantly Muslim parts of India
Pak•i•stan(ˈpæk əˌstæn, ˌpɑ kəˈstɑn)
Islamic Republic of, a republic in S Asia, between India and Afghanistan: formerly part of British India; known as West Pakistan from 1947–71 to distinguish it from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). 138,123,359; 307,293 sq. mi. (796,095 sq. km). Cap.: Islamabad.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||Pakistan - a Muslim republic that occupies the heartland of ancient south Asian civilization in the Indus River valley; formerly part of India; achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1947|
al-Qaeda, al-Qaida, al-Qa'ida, Qaeda, Base - a terrorist network intensely opposed to the United States that dispenses money and logistical support and training to a wide variety of radical Islamic terrorist groups; has cells in more than 50 countries
al-Rashid Trust - a terrorist group organized in 1996 after the Taliban took over Afghanistan and part of Osama bin Laden's international system; provides financial support for the Taliban and al-Qaeda and Jaish-i-Mohammed and assists Muslim militants around the world; established a network of madrasas and mosques in Afghanistan
Al Faran, Harkat ul-Ansar, Harkat ul-Mujahedeen, Harkat-ul-Mujahidin, HUA, Movement of Holy Warriors, HUM - an Islamic fundamentalist group in Pakistan that fought the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s; now operates as a terrorist organization primarily in Kashmir and seeks Kashmir's accession by Pakistan
Army of Muhammad, Jaish-e-Muhammad, Jaish-i-Mohammed, JEM - a terrorist organization founded in 2000; a militant Islamic group active in Kashmir and closely aligned with al-Rashid Trust; seeks to secure release of imprisoned fellow militants by kidnappings
Fuqra, Jamaat ul-Fuqra, Tanzimul Fuqra - an Islamic terrorist group organized in the 1980s; seeks to purify Islam through violence; the cells in North America and the Caribbean insulate themselves from Western culture and will even attack other Muslims who they regard as heretics
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi - a Sunni Muslim extremist group in Pakistan that collaborates with al-Qaeda; the armed wing of Sipah-e-Sahaba
Al Qanoon, Lashkar-e-Omar - a terrorist organization formed in Pakistan in 2002 as a coalition of extremist Islamic militant groups including Lashkar-e-Taiba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Jaish-e-Muhammad and elements of al-Qaeda
Army of the Pure, Army of the Righteous, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Lashkar-e-Toiba, LET - a brutal terrorist group active in Kashmir; fights against India with the goal of restoring Islamic rule of India; "Lashkar-e-Toiba has committed mass murders of civilian Hindus"
Sipah-e-Sahaba - a vicious sectarian organization in Pakistan that persecutes Shiite Muslims and collaborates with al-Qaeda to attack foreigners and to disrupt the government of Pakistan
Markaz-ud-Dawa-wal-Irshad, MDI - a Sunni organization formed in 1989 and based in Pakistan; opposes missionary groups from the United States; has Lashkar-e-Tayyiba as its armed wing
Umma Tameer-e-Nau, UTN - a nongovernmental organization of Pakistani scientists that has been a supporter of terrorism; has provided information about chemical and biological and nuclear warfare to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda and the Taliban
madrasa, madrasah - Muslim schools in Bangladesh and Pakistan; "the Pakistan government decided to close down madrasas that provided military training for their students"; "many madrasas in Bangladesh are supported with money from Saudi Arabia"
Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Inter-Services Intelligence, ISI - the Pakistan intelligence agency; a powerful and almost autonomous political and military force; has procured nuclear technology and delivery capabilities; has had strong ties with the Taliban and other militant Islamic groups
Punjab - a historical region on northwestern India and northern Pakistan
Jammu and Kashmir, Kashmir, Cashmere - an area in southwestern Asia whose sovereignty is disputed between Pakistan and India
Hyderabad - a city in southern Pakistan on the Indus River
capital of Pakistan, Islamabad - the capital of Pakistan in the north on a plateau; the site was chosen in 1959
Karachi - the largest city in Pakistan; located in southeastern Pakistan; an industrial center and seaport on the Arabian Sea; former capital of Pakistan
Lahore - city in northeast Pakistan
Peshawar - city in northern Pakistan at the eastern end of the Khyber Pass
Rawalpindi - an ancient city in northeastern Pakistan; served as capital of Pakistan while Islamabad was being built
Sind - a region of southeastern Pakistan
Great Indian Desert, Thar Desert - a desert to the east of the Indus River in northwestern India and southeastern Pakistan
Asia - the largest continent with 60% of the earth's population; it is joined to Europe on the west to form Eurasia; it is the site of some of the world's earliest civilizations
Pakistan[ˌpɑːkɪsˈtɑːn] N → Pakistán m, Paquistán m
n → Pakistan nt