The name Pakistan (means Land of (the) Spiritually Pure in both Urdu and Persian languages. Many South-central Asian states and regions end with the element –stan, such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Baluchistan, Kurdistan, and Turkistan. This –stan is formed from the Iranian root *STA “to stand, stay,” and means “place (where one stays), home, country”. Iranian peoples have been the principal inhabitants of the various geographical region of the Ancient Persian Empires now occupied by the states for over a thousand years. The names are compounds of –stan and the name of the peoples living there. Pakistan is a bit of an exception; its name was coined on the 28th January 1933 as Pakstan by Choudhary Rahmat Ali, a Pakistan Movement activist, who published it in his paper Now or Never. by using the suffix –istan from Baluchistan preceded by the initial letters of Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir and Sindh. The name is actually an acronym that stands for the “thirty million Muslim brethren who lived in Pakistan—by which we mean the Five Northern units of India viz: Punjab, (Afghan Province), Kashmir, Sind, and Baluchistan“. The letter i was incorporated to ease pronunciation and forms the linguistically correct and meaningful name. Most notably interestingly, a word almost identical in form, etymology, and meaning to the Iranian suffix –stan is found in Polish, which has a word stan meaning “state” (in the senses of both polity and condition). It can be found in the example of a Polish name for the “United States of America,” Stany Zjednoczone Ameryki (literally “States United of America”).
Pakistan has a federal parliamentary system. The head of state is an indirectly-elected ceremonial President. The Electoral collegeof the country, (composed of the Senate, the National Assembly, and the four Provincial Assemblies) chooses a leadership representing the President of Pakistan for a five-year term. The president is also the Commander in Chief of the Joint Armed Forces. The head of government is the Prime Minister, who is also indirectly elected.
The President’s appointment and term are constitutionally independent of the Prime Minister’s term. The Prime Minister is usually the leader of the largest party in the National Assembly or of a coalition in the National Assembly.
The Prime Minister is the head of government. Pakistan’s legislature is made of a 100-member Senate (upper house) and a 342-member National Assembly (lower house). The Chief Justice of Pakistan is the chief judge who oversees the judicature’s court system at all levels of command.
Pakistan is officially a federal republic, but during a long period in its history it changed to a democratic state and a military dictatorship. Military dictators include Ayub Khan in the 1960s, General Zia-ul-Haq in the 1980s.
Pakistan’s two largest political parties are the Pakistan People’s Party and the government party Pakistan Muslim League (N). The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has also gained prominence in the past years.