Pakistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a federal parliamentary republic in South Asia on the crossroads of Central and Western Asia. It is the sixth-most populous country with a population exceeding 201 million people. In terms of area, it is the 33rd-largest country spanning. Pakistan has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and its Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west, Iran to the southwest, and China in the far northeast, respectively. It is separated from Tajikistan by Afghanistans narrow Wakhan Corridor in the north, and also shares a maritime border with Oman. The territory that now constitutes Pakistan is considered a cradle of civilisation that was previously home to several ancient cultures, including the Mehrgarh of the Neolithic and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation, and later home to kingdoms ruled by people of different faiths and cultures, including Hindus, Indo-Greeks, Muslims, Turco-Mongols, Afghans, and Sikhs. The area has been ruled by numerous empires and dynasties, including the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Alexander of Macedonia, the Indian Mauryan Empire, the Arab Umayyad Caliphate, the Delhi Sultanate, the Mongol Empire, the Mughal Empire, the Durrani Empire, the Sikh Empire, and most recently, the British Empire. Pakistan is unique among Muslim countries in that it is the only country to have been created in the name of Islam. A regional and middle power, The post-independence history of Pakistan has been characterised by periods of military rule, and since 2008 a transition to democracy, amid conflicts with neighbouring India. The country continues to face challenging problems such as illiteracy, healthcare, and corruption, but has substantially reduced poverty and terrorism and expanded per capita income. Pakistan is a member of the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Economic Cooperation Organisation, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, the Developing Eight, and the G20 developing nations, Group of 24, Group of 77, and ECOSOC. It is also an associate member of CERN. Pakistan is a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.