Goverment : Federal Islamic Republic since 1973. Gained independence from the UK in 1947. Head of State: General Pervez Musharraf since 2001.
Head of Government: Following a military coup in October 1999, General Pervez Musharraf took over as the leader of the new military regime. Prime Minister; Shoukat Aziz.
Language : Urdu is the national language. English is widely spoken. Regional languages include Punjabi, which is spoken by 48 per cent of the population (1981), Pushto, Sindhi, Saraiki, and Baluchi. There are numerous local dialects.
Religion : Ninety-seven per cent Muslim, the remainder are Hindu or Christian.
Time : GMT + 5.
Electricity : 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round two- or three-pin plugs are in use.
Telephone : IDD is available. Country code: 92. Outgoing international code: 00.
Mobile Telephone : GSM 900 networks available. Main network providers include Warid, Telenor, Ufone, Paktel, Mobilink and Pak Telecom. Coverage is largely limited to cities.
Fax : Services are operated by the Pakistan telephone and telegraph department.
Telegram: There are services at post offices, telegraph offices and main hotels. The Central Telegraph Offices provide a 24-hour service.
Banks: ANZ Grindlays Bank, Citi Bank, Bank Alfalah, Standard Chartered Bank, American Express Bank, Muslim Commercial Bank, Habib Bank, United Bank, Union Bank
ATM: Visa Electron, MasterCard
Post : Airmail takes four to five days to reach Western Europe. There are poste restante facilities in Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi. General post offices in major cities offer 24-hour services. Important letters should be registered or insured. Major cities have Fedex and DHL services.
Press : Dailies include The Financial Post, The Leader, The Pakistan Observer, The Pakistan Times, The Star, The Nation, The News, The Frontier Post, The Muslim, The Business Recorder and Dawn.
Radio : BBC World Service (website: www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice) and Voice of America (website : http://www.voa.gov) can be received. From time to time the frequencies change and the most up-to-date can be found online.