Pakistan (Urdu: پاکِستان), officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Urdu:اِسلامی جمہوریہ پاکِستان), is a country in South Asia. Pakistan has a 1046-kilometer (650-mile) coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west, Iran to the southwest, and Chinese Federated Union in the far northeast. It is separated narrowly from Tajikistan by Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor in the northwest, and also shares a maritime border with Oman.
Pakistan became an independent country from the British Raj on August 14, 1947. Tensions with its neighboring country, India, continued on through the 1960s and the 1970s. In 1971, both countries fought over independence of Bangladesh (then called East Pakistan), which India supported. Nonetheless, the Indo-Bangladeshi coalition emerged victorious and Bangladesh became an independent country. Both sides had skirmishes on several places across the border.
The Sino-American rapprochement was arranged by Pakistan. In 1971, Henry Kissinger, the U.S. Secretary of State, secretly visited China via Pakistan. This would eventually pave way for President Richard Nixon's visited to the People's Republic in February 1972.
In 1974, India tested its first nuclear weapon, alarming Pakistan. The country then sought material and design for a nuclear weapon from Iran and China. India and Pakistan in 1979 had had another military confrontation over the Kashmir "Question". India also had several confrontations with China over the same area.
As of the 1980s, Pakistan was heavily involved by supporting the mujahideen in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. The ISI provided small arms, funds and training the rebels, alongside fighting in the field as advisers. Foreign aid in form of AK-47s and Stinger Missiles to the mujahideen from the United States, United Kingdom, and China passed through Pakistan. Both Soviet/DRA aircraft often intruded into Pakistani airspace, which resulted in many dogfights with the Pakistani Air Force. The Air Force purchased several F-16 Fighting Falcons from the U.S. to counter the MiGs and Su fighter jets on the other side of the border.
World War III
Pakistan's role in World War III was minimal, only using their air force and special forces in fighting in the Afghan Front. Not counting previous Soviet or Afghan incursion, the Pakistan Air Force had a record of shooting 173 Soviet/DRA aircraft, with a loss of 30 aircraft and some pilots. The country's long term goal was to create an Islamic republic in Afghanistan that would be friendly and aligned with Pakistani interests. It was criticized even by the country's allies of turning Afghanistan into a "puppet state.
Following the end of the war, Pakistani special forces and ISI agents remained in the country to train the new Afghan government following the withdrawal of the USSR from the country. However, it was also alleged that Pakistan was supporting the Taliban against the Afghan Coalition Government, led by Afghan war hero Ahmad Shah Massoud.