If you hear about Pakistan in the news but are too embarrassed to admit you don't know much about it, here are some basics. A good starting point is understanding that Pakistan lies at the intersection of the Middle East and India, in an area known as the Indus Valley. It was home to some of the earliest human societies.
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Modern-day Pakistan has around 199 million people, which means it has the seventh largest population in the world. The majority of the population is Muslim and the most common language is Punjabi. Urdu and English are official languages but are uncommonly the first language of most Pakistanis. In area, Pakistan is slightly less than twice the size of California and its terrain varies from flat plains to incredible mountain ranges, including K2, the second highest mountain in the world.
In the 20th and 21st centuries, Pakistan has been turbulent. The government is often unstable and several conflicts have broken out between Pakistan and India over the Kashmir region. Pakistan has also had an unusual role in the "War on Terrorism." Famously, it was where Osama bin Laden was finally located and killed but it has also been an important ally of the United States.
Read more about what Pakistan is really like:
National Geographic: Pakistan Facts
The World Factbook: Pakistan