Pakistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, located in South Asia has 650 miles of coastline on the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman. The west is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran. India is to the east and China in the far northeast. The country is strategically located between South Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East. Land is a valuable natural resource.
Other natural resources include an extensive natural gas supply, some oil, hydro power potential, coal (although not high quality), iron ore, copper, salt, and limestone. Agricultural products are wheat, cotton, rice, sugarcane, eggs, fruit, vegetables, milk, beef, and mutton. Primary industry includes textiles, food processing, pharmaceuticals, construction materials, shrimp, fertilizer, and paper products. Major exports are textiles, rice, leather goods, sports goods, carpets, rugs, and chemicals. Pakistan imports petroleum, machinery, plastic, edible oil, iron, steel, tea, and paper.
Pakistan recently discovered one low and four low-to-medium quality coal seams in the Punjab. Low sulfur coal was recently reported at the Baluchistan and near Islamabad. Bituminous, sub-bituminous, and lignite coal have been found in Pakistan.
Coal reserves are estimated at 175 billion tons. This would equate to 618 billion barrels of crude oil. When compared to oil reserves his is more than twice the amount of the top four countries. If At KSA’s current usage, the reserves would last more than 200 years.
Oil and Gas
Natural gas production is at a high level in Pakistan. Estimated reserves are 885.3 billion cubic meters (as of January 2009). Gas fields are expected to last for another 20 years. The Sui gas field is the largest, accounting for 26% of Pakistan’s gas production. Daily production is 19 million cubic meters a day. Under the barren mountains of Balochistan and the sands of Sindh, there are untouched oil and gas reserves.
Forests are limited to 4% of Pakistan’s land; nonetheless the forests are a main source of food, lumber, paper, fuel wood, latex, and medicine. The forests are also used for wildlife conversation and ecotourism.
Pakistan has large gold/copper ore deposits at Saindak. There are large deposits of rock salt in the Pothohar Plateau. Pakistan’s mineral resources include reserves of gypsum, limestone, chromites, iron ore, rock salt, silver, precious stones, gems, marbles, tiles, sulfur, fire clay, and silica sand.
About 28% of Pakistan’s total land area is under cultivation. Pakistan boasts one of the largest irrigation systems in the world. According to Wikipedia, “the most important crops are cotton, wheat, rice, sugarcane, maize, sorghum, millets, pulses, oil seeds, barley, fruits and vegetables, which together account for more than 75% of the value of total crop output.” The fertile lands of Punjab are ready to feed a population twice that of current Pakistan.
Pakistan has a long history of exporting small amounts of uranium. In 2006 Pakistan produced about 45 tons of uranium.
Fresh Fish by Asim Bijarani via Flickr
The fishing industry plays a role in the national economy of Pakistan. The coastline is 814km and fishery resources still have room to grow. Fishing in Pakistan is a major source of export earnings.
Pakistan is rich in diverse natural resources. Pakistan’s human resources include a population of intelligent young people and a burgeoning urban middle class. The culture, knowledge, wealth, and infrastructure are sure to grow and improve in the near future. This combined with its prime location will lead to long-term success for the nation.