south Asian nation formed 1947 by division of British India, the name apparently proposed 1930s by Muslim students at Cambridge University, first element said to be an acronym from Punjab, Afghanistan and Kashmir, three regions envisioned as forming the new state, which also made a play on Iranian pak "pure." For second element, see -stan. Related: Pakistani (1941).
Note: Pakistan became part of British India in 1857. When India gained its independence in 1947, Muslim leaders demanded a separate Muslim state, and the nation of Pakistan was established. Originally, Pakistan consisted of two regions, West Pakistan (now Pakistan) and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).
Note: In 1998, Pakistan successfully conducted tests of nuclear weapons.
Note: In 2001, Pakistan's president allowed the United States to use his country as a base to attack Afghanistan for harboring Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda members.