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Bangladesh

pakistan republic east bengalis

Bangladesh, People's Republic of Bangladesh, republic in the northeast of the Indian subcontinent, on the Bay of Bengal; formerly East Pakistan. Bangladesh is a low-lying land centered on the alluvial Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta. A tropical monsoon climate prevails, and because of heavy rains and severe cyclones, most of the country is subject to flooding. Overpopulation accentuates periodic famines and epidemics among the mainly Muslim Bengalis who constitute the great majority of the population. Bangladesh produces a large portion of the world's jute; tea is the other main cash crop, and sugarcane is also grown. Rice and wheat are the major subsistence crops. Natural gas is the only important mineral resource, and manufacturing is largely limited to the proceessing of raw materials. The region was created as East Pakistan (Pakistan's eastern province) in 1947. The province sought greater independence, but West Pakistan refused autonomy and troops crushed large-scale opposition in the ensuing civil war (March-Dec. 1971). Guerrilla fighting continued, Bengalis exiled in India proclaimed a Bengali republic, and Indian invasion forces overran the West Pakistani forces. A Bangladesh government was established in Dhaka in Dec. 1971. At the end of the 1990s Bangladesh was still one of the poorest countries in the world.

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