The Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world and dating back at least 5,000 years, spread over much of what is presently Pakistan. During the second millennium B.C., remnants of this culture fused with the migrating Indo-Aryan peoples. The area underwent successive invasions in subsequent centuries from the Persians, Greeks, Scythians, Arabs (who brought Islam), Afghans, and Turks. The Mughal Empire flourished in the 16th and 17th centuries; the British came to dominate the region in the 18th century. The separation in 1947 of British India into the Muslim state of Pakistan (with West and East sections) and largely Hindu India was never satisfactorily resolved, and India and Pakistan fought two wars - in 1947-48 and 1965 - over the disputed Kashmir territory. A third war between these countries in 1971 - in which India capitalized on Islamabad's marginalization of Bengalis in Pakistani politics - resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. In response to Indian nuclear weapons testing, Pakistan conducted its own tests in 1998. The dispute over the state of Kashmir is ongoing, but discussions and confidence-building measures have helped the two countries begin to work through their issues. In February 2008, Pakistan held parliamentary elections and in September 2008, after the resignation of former President MUSHARRAF, elected Asif Ali ZARDARI to the presidency. Pakistani government and military leaders are struggling to control domestic insurgents, many of whom are located in the tribal areas adjacent to the border with Afghanistan. India-Pakistan relations have been rocky since the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, but both countries are taking small steps to put relations back on track. (CIA)

1. Young people are a major subject for prayer since 36% of the population in Pakistan is under 15 and 50% are under 24. School enrollment is low (only 40% in public schools).

2. Young people in Rural areas make up 2/3 of all young people, poverty must be dealt with and the perpetuation of medieval practices such as child labor, bonded labor (often lasting multiple generations) and forced marriages (often of children to repay debts) must be seized. They usually have little chance of advancement in life and little opportunity to hear the Gospel.

3. Young people in Cities face endemic corruption in education and employment practices as well as disillusionment with politics and the system in general. The future holds grave danger if these issues are not addressed; eager recruiters for militant groups easily prey on such youths.


1. Christians who converted from Islam are being threatened with the application of the Sharia Law.

2. Pakistan is ranked number 13 on the Open Doors World Watch List 2009 of worst persecutors of Christians. Pray for an improved environment for the proclamation of the gospel.