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The region forming modern Pakistan was home to the ancient Indus Valley Civilization and then, successively, recipient of ancient Vedic, Persian, Indo-Greek and Islamic cultures. The area has witnessed invasions and settlement by the Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Arabs, Turks, Afghans and the Mongols.
that comprised the provinces of Sindh, Northwest Frontier Province, West Punjab, Balochistan and East Bengal.
It was a part of British Raj from 1858 to 1947, when the "Pakistan Movement for a state for Muslims", led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah and "the Muslim League" resulted in the independence and creation of the state of Pakistan,
. Pakistan's history has been characterized by periods of economic growth, military rule and political instability.
With the adoption of its constitution in 1956, Pakistan became an Islamic republic. In 1971, a civil war in East Pakistan resulted in the independence of Bangladesh
Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world and has the second largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia.
The Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world and dating back at least 5,000 years, spread over much of what is presently Pakistan. During the second millennium B.C., remnants of this culture fused with the migrating Indo-Aryan peoples. The area underwent successive invasions in subsequent centuries from the Persians, Greeks, Scythians, Arabs (who brought Islam), Afghans, and Turks. The Mughal Empire flourished in the 16th and 17th centuries; the British came to dominate the region in the 18th century.
and largely Hindu India was never satisfactorily resolved, and India and Pakistan fought two wars - in 1947-48 and 1965 - over the disputed Kashmir territory. A third war between these countries in 1971 - in which India capitalized on Islamabad's marginalization of Bengalis in Pakistani politics - resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh.
The separation in 1947 of British India into the Muslim state of Pakistan (with West and East sections)
In response to Indian nuclear weapons testing, Pakistan conducted its own tests in 1998. The dispute over the state of Kashmir is ongoing, but discussions and confidence-building measures have led to decreased tensions since 2002.