THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF Pakistan was born in 1947 in South Asia, when a section of Muslims broke from the Hindu-majority in British India to rule their own homeland. Located in the ancient Indus Valley, settlements in the region among the Khyber Pass, Himalayas and Arabian Sea are some of the oldest in the world and most heavily traveled in history.
Here are 10 interesting facts about Pakistan.
Two Pakistanis have won the Nobel Peace Prize: the late Abdus Salam, a theoretical physicist who in 1979 shared the Nobel Prize in physics for his contribution to electroweak unification theory, and Malala Yousafzai, a woman's education activist who in 2014 shared it with Kailash Satyarthi of India. Yousafzai was 17 when she was awarded the Nobel, making her the youngest-ever laureate.
The name Pakistan derives from two words, "Pak," which is Persian for holy, clean or pure, and "istan" derives from the Hindi word "isthan," which means a place.
Pakistan has six designated UNESCO World Heritage sites: the archeological ruins at Moenjodaro; the Buddhist ruins of Takht-i-Bahi and neighboring city remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol; the fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore; the monuments at Makli; Fort Rohtas; and the ancient ruins of Taxila.
Pakistan has the world's largest contiguous irrigation system, according to the United Nations.
If you play soccer – called football by most people around the world – it's likely you've put a boot into a product made in Pakistan. Workers in the country hand-sew many of the soccer balls distributed around the world, and as The Atlantic reports, roughly 40% of all soccer balls in the world are made in one Pakistani city: Sialkot.
The world's first PC virus was created by two Pakistani brothers. Basit Farooq Alvi and Amjad Farooq Alvi created "Brain," which was discovered in 1986 and targeted IBM PC platforms.
Some of the highest mountains in the world are located in Pakistan. The world's second-tallest mountain is in the country and has many names: Dapsang or Chogori locally, Mount Godwin-Austen in English and Qogir Fengin Chinese. But most people know it simply as K2, standing at 8,611 meters, or 28,251 feet.
The Karakoram Highway is the world's highest paved international road, according to Travel+Leisure magazine. The 800-mile highway connects Pakistan to western China, and reaches a maximum height of 15,300 feet.
Speaking of heights, the ATM at the world's highest elevation belongs to the National Bank of Pakistan and sits in the Khunjerab Pass, in Gilgit-Baltistan. It was established in November 2016 and is 15,397 feet above sea level.
The late Benazir Bhutto was the first woman to head a democratic government in a Muslim-majority country.