n country bordering Iran
(with whom there is some some border dispute in the Kashmir
area). It became independent at the same time it was separated from India (formerly the United Kingdom
had ruled both) in 1947. Bangladesh
used to be part of Pakistan, despite their not being connected by land, because the two areas were the predominantly Muslim
parts of the British colony, but Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) became independent in 1971
after a war where India sent in troops to help the independence movement, causing a few weeks of Indian-Pakistani fighting in other areas.
The country's name actually started out as an abbreviation of "Punjab, Afghan border states, Kashmir, Sind, and Baluchistan," according to Gilda and Phil Feldman's Acronym Soup, and the name was created by Chaudhrie Rahmat Ali, a student from the area who was then at Cambridge University in England. "Pak" is also a Persian root that means "holy" or "pure" and "stan" is a common suffix in Urdu for "place" or "land" (hence, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and other countries in Central Asia).