Pakistan, officially Islamic Republic of Pakistan, republic in South Asia, marking the area where South Asia converges with Southwest Asia and Central Asia. The capital of Pakistan is Islamabad; Karachi is the country's largest city.
The area of present-day Pakistan was the cradle of the earliest known civilization of South Asia, the Indus Valley civilization (2500?-1700 bc). The territory was part of the Mughal Empire from 1526 until the 1700s, when it came under British rule. Pakistan gained independence in August 1947. It initially comprised two parts, West Pakistan and East Pakistan, which were separated by about 1,600 km (1,000 mi) of territory within India. In December 1971 East Pakistan seceded and became the independent republic of Bangladesh.
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