Difference Between Pakistan and Afghanistan

Pakistan and Afghanistan are two autonomous South Asian sovereign Islamic countries. They have a common border that spans around 2430 km on the southern and eastern sides of Afghanistan. Lamentably, both have witnessed a gruesome history at the hands of their socio-political situations. They are, however, drastically different from each other.

Pakistan vs Afghanistan

The main difference between Pakistan and Afghanistan is that Pakistan was formed when India gained its independence from British rule in 1947, after which the two countries were separated on the basis of religion. On the other hand, Afghanistan has a much lengthier historical background, with its origin that can be timestamped back in the 17th century.

Pakistan vs Afghanistan 1

The culmination of British rule in India resulted in the establishment of two separate countries. At that time, Pakistan was formed as a result of the partition. The bifurcation caused the Muslim majority to move to Pakistan while the Hindu majority inhabited India. The event was convoyed with extensive violence and bloodshed.

Meanwhile, prehistoric evaluation suggests that the land, which is now Afghanistan, was inhabited by people at least 50,000 years ago. However, the origin of Modern Afghanistan can only be dated back to 1709. Since then, its political situation evolved immensely. In the year 1747, the land was officially established as a country.

Comparison Table Between Pakistan and Afghanistan

Parameters of ComparisonPakistanAfghanistan
OriginThe country was formed as a result of its partition from India.The country was formed way before Pakistan in the 18th century.
AreaIt encompasses an area of 881,913  Km Sq.It encompasses an area of 652,864 Km Sq.
CapitalIslamabad is the capital city.Kabul is the capital city.
Official LanguageUrdu is its official language.Pashto is its official language.
EconomyThe country has a semi-industrialized and developing economy.The country is poor and has a major liquidity crisis.
CurrencyTheir official currency is the Pakistani Rupee which has the acronym PKR.Their official currency is ‘Afghani’ which has the acronym AFN.
AgricultureThe country is agriculturally prosperous due to favourable weather patterns and land quality.The country is not agriculturally prosperous due to a lofty amount of barren land.

What is Pakistan?

Pakistan is an Islamic country located to the east of its neighbour, Afghanistan. It has a population of more than 225.2 million and encompasses an area of 881,913 Km Sq, making it the 33rd largest country. Several ethnic groups including the Punjabis, Pashtuns, Sindhis, Balochs and others flourish here. The country has a diverse set of languages as well. The city of Islamabad is its capital.

Pakistan has a very rich ancient culture, being the bearer of the 5,800-year-old Neolithic community of Mehrgarh. This was also where the Indus Valley civilization in the Bronze Age hailed. Later, there were various empires and dynasties that ruled over the place. Some include the Achaemenid, the Kushan, the Gupta, the Mughals and even the realm of Alexander the Great.

However, Pakistan only got its statehood after the partition of the British Indian Empire in 1947. This was when India and Pakistan were divided based on religious lines, making India a Hindu majority state and Pakistan a Muslim majority one.

The constitution of Pakistan was officially drafted in 1956 when the country declared itself as the Islamic Republic. There was another subsequent partition of East Pakistan which created the new country of Bangladesh as well as western Punjab.

What is Afghanistan?

Afghanistan is a landlocked country located to the west of its neighbour, Pakistan. It is officially known as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The country encompasses an area of 652,864 Km Sq, with a population of over 31.4 million. Ethnics groups including the Pashtuns, Hazaras, Tajiks and Uzbeks flourish here. Its largest city, Kabul, is adorned as its capital.

The country has a lush ancient history that began way back in the Middle Paleolithic Era. It was also the frugal land situated along the course of the Silk Road. This resulted in the Middle East and other parts of Asia influencing the country’s culture extensively. Afghanistan is often called the ‘graveyard of empires.’ This is because of the fall of several military campaigns in the country, including that of Alexander the Great.

However, the creation of the modern state of Afghanistan can only be dated back to the 18th Century. This was when the Hotaki and Durrani dynasties took over the land. Since then, the socio-political situation of the country has been very volatile. The levels of terrorism, poverty and child malnutrition are at a staggering high. Moreover, the per-capita GDP is one of the lowest-ranked out of 186 countries across the world.

Main Differences Between Pakistan and Afghanistan

  1. Pakistan was formed as a result of its partition from India whereas Afghanistan was formed way before Pakistan in the 18th century.
  2. Pakistan encompasses an area of 881,913  Km Sq whereas Afghanistan encompasses an area of 652,864 Km Sq.
  3. The capital of Pakistan is Islamabad whereas the capital of Afghanistan is its largest city, Kabul.
  4. The official language of Pakistan is Urdu whereas that of Afghanistan is Pashto.
  5. Pakistan’s currency is the Pakistani Rupee (PKR) whereas Afghanistan’s currency is ‘Afghani’ (AFN).
  6. Pakistan is agriculturally prosperous due to favourable weather patterns and land quality whereas Afghanistan is not agriculture friendly due to too much barren land.


Pakistan and Afghanistan are neighbouring countries. However, they have features that are hugely different from each other. A major distinguishing factor between the two is that Pakistan was formed much after the formation of Afghanistan as a state. While Pakistan got its statehood in 1947, Afghanistan got it back in the 18th Century.

Moreover, Pakistan is much larger in terms of area and population than Afghanistan. While Pakistan is a semi-industrialized country that is agriculturally rich, Afghanistan is a poor country with a lot of barren land. However, both countries have a high level of terrorism. Their socio-political environment is very volatile as well.


  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/2755184
  2. https://ascelibrary.org/doi/abs/10.1061/%28ASCE%29WR.1943-5452.0001262
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