The name Pakistan means 'land of the pure' in Persian and Urdu. Home to over 183 million people Pakistan has the sixth-largest population in the world.
Pakistan is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of four provinces and four federal territories. It joined the Commonwealth in 1947 and re-joined it again in 1989 after leaving in 1972. In 1988 Benazir Bhutto was the first woman Prime Minister in Pakistan as well as the first woman ever elected to lead a Muslim state.
Within Pakistan, cuisine varies greatly from region to region, reflecting the country's ethnic and cultural diversity. The same is true for the Shalwar Kameez – the national dress of Pakistan. Each province has its own style of wearing the Shalwar Kameez.
As well as having the world's second highest mountain, K2, Pakistan is also home to the world's highest polo ground. It is located at Shandur Top and stands at 3,700 metres high. An annual traditional polo tournament between the local teams of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral has been held there since 1936.
The national sport of Pakistan is hockey. They have won the Hockey World Cup four times. Cricket, however, is the most popular game across the country.
Pakistan made its debut in the 1954 Commonwealth Games and at the 2010 Games in Delhi they won five medals including two Gold medals in the Wrestling competition.