Explore Pakistan

Introducing PakistanPakistan displays some of Asia’s most magnificent landscapes as it stretches from the Arabian Sea, its southern border, to some of the world’s most spectacular mountain ranges in the north. Pakistan is also home to sites that date back to word’s earliest settlements rivaling those of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.Location

Located in South Asia, Pakistan shares an eastern border with India and a north-eastern border with China. Iran makes up the country’s south-west border, and Afghanistan runes along its western and northern edge. The Arabian Sea is Pakistan’s southern boundary with 1,064 km of coastline.

The country has a total area of 796,095 sq km and is nearly four times the size of the United Kingdom. From Gwadar Bay in it’s south-eastern corner, the country extends more than 1,800 km to the Khunjerab Pass on China’s border.

Basic  Facts

Official Name Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Father of the Nation Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah (1876-1948)
National Poet Allama Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938)
Head of the State Mamnoon Hussain, President
Head of Government Nawaz Sharif,  Prime Minister
Capital Islamabad
Area
Total 796,095 Sq. km.
Punjab 205,344 Sq. km.
Sindh 140,914  Sq. km.
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 74,521 Sq. km.
Balochistan 347,190 Sq. km.
Federally Administered Tribal Areas 27,220 Sq. km.
Islamabad (Capital) 906 Sq. km.
Population 153.96 million (E)
Administrative Setup Pakistan is divided into four provinces viz., Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan. The tribal belt adjoining Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa is managed by the Federal Government and is named FATA i.e., Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas have their own respective political and administrative machinery, yet certain of their subjects are taken care of by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas. Provinces of Pakistan are further divided into Divisions and DistrictsBack to top

Divisions Districts
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 7 24
Punjab 8 34
Sindh 5 21
Balochistan 6 22

While FATA consist of 13 Areas/Agencies and Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas have 7 and 5 Districts respectively.

Religion 95% Muslims, 5% others.
Currency Pak. Rupee.
Imports Industrial equipment, chemicals, vehicles, steel, iron ore,  petroleum, edible oil, pulses, tea.
Exports Cotton, textile goods, rice, leather items  carpets, sports goods, handi-crafts, fish and fish prep. and fruit
Languages Urdu (National) and English (Official)
Literacy rate 53%
Government Parliamentary form
Parliament Parliament consists of two Houses i.e., the Senate (Upper House) and the National Assembly (Lower House).  Back to topThe Senate is a permanent legislative body and symbolises a process of continuity in the national affairs. It consists of 100 members. The four Provincial Assemblies, Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Federal Capital form its electoral college.The National Assembly has a total membership of 342 elected through adult suffrage (272 general seats, 60 women seats and 10 non-Muslim seats).
Pakistan National Flag Dark green with a white vertical bar, a white crescent and a five-pointed star in the middle. The Flag symbolizes Pakistan’s profound commitment to Islam, the Islamic world and the rights of religious minorities.
National Anthem Approved in August, 1954  Verses Composed by: Abdul Asar Hafeez JullundhriTune Composed by: Ahmed G. ChaglaDuration: 80 seconds
State Emblem The State Emblem consists of:  1. The crescent and star which are symbols of Islam2. The shield in the centre shows four major crops3. Wreath surrounding the shield represents cultural heritage and4. Scroll contains Quaid’s motto: Unity Faith, Discipline
Pakistan’s Official Map Drawn by Mian Mahmood Alam Suhrawardy (1920-1999)
National Flower Jasmine.
National Tree Deodar (Cedrus Deodara).
National Animal Markhor.
National Bird Chakor (Red-legged partridge)
Flora Pine, Oak, Poplar, Deodar, Maple, Mulberry
Fauna The Pheasant, Leopard, Deer, Ibex, Chinkara, Black buck, Neelgai, Markhor, Marco-Polo sheep, Green turtles, River & Sea fish, Crocodile, Waterfowls
Popular games Cricket, Hockey, Football, Squash.
Tourist’s resorts Murree, Quetta, Hunza, Ziarat, Swat, Kaghan, Chitral and Gilgit
Archaeological sites Moenjo Daro, Harappa, Taxila, Kot Diji, Mehr Garh, Takht Bhai.
Major Cities Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Rawalpindi, Hyderabad, Faisalabad, Multan and Sialkot
Major Crops Cotton, Wheat, Rice and Sugarcane
Agricultural Growth Rate 7.5% in 2004-05
Total cropped area 22.94 million hectares
Industry Textiles, Cement, Fertiliser, Steel, Sugar, Electric Goods, Shipbuilding
Energy
Major sources Electricity (Hydel, Thermal, Nuclear) Oil, Coal,  and Liquid Petroleum Gas
Power Generating Capacity 19,389 MW
Health
Hospitals 916
Dispensaries 4,600
Basic Health Units (BHUs) 5,301
Maternity & Child Health Centres 906
Rural Health Centres (RHCs) 552
Tuberculosis (TB) Centres 289
Hospital Beds 99,908
Doctors (registered) 113,206
Dentists (registered) 6,127
Nurses (registered 48,446
Paramedics 23,559
Lady Health Workers 6,741
Education
Primary Schools 155,000
Middle Schools 28,728
High Schools 16,100
Secondary Vocational Institutions 636
Arts & Science Colleges 1,066
Professional Colleges 382
Universities 51
Transport & Communication
Total length of roads 259, 758 km
Pakistan Railway network 7,791 km
Locomotives 580
Railway stations 781
Pakistan International Airlines Covers 38 international and 24 domestic stations with a fleet of 49 planes.
Major Airports 8 (Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Quetta, Peshawar, Multan, Faisalabad and Gwadar)
Seaports
International 3 (Karachi, Bin Qasim and Gwadar)
Fish Harbours-Cum-Mini Ports 3 (Minora, Gawadar, and Keti Bandar)
Communications
Post Offices 12,170
Telephone connections 5,052,000
Public Call Offices 217,597
Telegraph offices 299
Internet Connections 2 million
Mobile Phones 10,542,641
Employment
Total Labour force 46.84 million
Employed Labour
Force
43.22 million
Agriculture Sector 18.60 million
Manufacturing &
Mining sector
5.96 million
Construction 2.52 million
Trade 6.39 million
Transport 2.48 million
Others 6.98 million
Media
Print Media (In accordance with Central Media List)
Dailies 540
Weeklies 444
Fortnightlies 55
Monthlies 268
News Agencies
Official APP
Private PPI, NNI, On Line and Sana.
Electronic Media
TV Centres Five TV centres at Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi covering 88.58% population and 49 re-broadcasting stations.
Pakistan Television 4 channels (PTV-I, PTV-II (PTV World), PTV-III &  PTV National
Radio Stations Public: Total 25, Home services in 19 languages. External Services cover 81 countries in 15 languages
Private: Radio stations 22.Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority has so far awarded 72 FM Radio broadcast licenses including nine (9) specialized subject licenses for universities. Fifteen (15) licenses have been granted for the establishment of Satellite TV Channels. Nine Satellite TV channels have started their operation.
Cable Operators 900
Banks
Central Bank State Bank of Pakistan
Nationalized Scheduled Banks First Woman Bank Ltd.
National Bank of Pakistan
Specialized Banks Zari Taraqiati Bank (ZTBL)
Industrial Development Bank of Pakistan
Punjab Provincial Cooperative Bank Ltd
Private Scheduled Banks Askari Commercial Bank Limited
Bank Al-Falah Limited
Bolan Bank Limited
Faysal Bank Limited
Bank Al-Habib Limited
Metropolitan Bank Limited
KASB Commercial Bank Limited
Prime Commercial Bank Limited
PICIC Commercial Bank Limited
Soneri Bank Limited
Union Bank Limited
Meezan Bank Limited
Saudi-Pak Commercial Bank Limited
Crescent Commercial Bank Limited
Dawood Bank Limited
NDLC-IFIC Bank Limited (NIB)
Allied Bank of Pakistan Limited
United Bank Limited
Habib Bank Limited
SME Banks
Foreign Banks ABN Amro Bank N.V
Albaraka Islamic Bank BSC (EC)
American Expresss Bank Limited
Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi Limited
Citibank N.A
Deutsche Bank A.G.
Habib Bank A.G. Zurich
Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corp Limited
Oman International Bank S.O.A.G
Rupali Bank Limited
Standard Chartered Bank Limited
Development Financial Institutions Pakistan Industrial Credit and Investment Corp. Limited
Pak Kuwait Investment Company (Pvt) Limited
Pak Libya Holding Company (Pvt) Limited
Pak-Oman Investment Company (Pvt) Limited
Saudi Pak Industrial and Agricutural Investment Company (Pvt) Limited
Investment Banks Crescent Investment Bank Limited
First International Investment Bank Limited
Atlas Investment Bank Limited
Security Investment Bank Limited
Fidelity Investment Bank Limited
Prudential Investment Bank Limited
Islamic Investment Bank Limited
Asset Investment Bank Limited
Al-Towfeek Investment Bank Limited
Jahangir Siddiqui Investment Bank Limited
Franklin Investment Bank Limited
Orix Investment Bank (Pak) Limited
Famous Mountain Peaks
Height World Rating
K-2 (Chagori) 8616 m 2nd
Nanga Parbat 8125 m 8th
Gasherbrum-I 8068 m 11th
Broad Peak 8065 m 12th
Gasherbrum-II 8047 m 14th
Gasherbrum-III 7952 m 15th
Gasherbrum-IV 7925 m 16th
Disteghil Sar 7885 m 20th
Kunyang Kish 7852 m 22nd
Masherbrum (NE) 7821 m 24th
Rakaposhi 7788 m 27th
Batura I 7785 m 28th
Kanjut  Sar 7760 m 29th
Saltoro Kangri 7742 m 33rd
Trivor 7720 m 36th
Tirich Mir 7708 m 41st
Famous Mountain Passes
Location Province
The Khyber Pass Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
The Kurram Pass FATA
The Tochi Pass FATA
The Gomal Pass Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
The Bolan Pass Balochistan
The Lowari Pass Chitral (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa)
The Khunjrab Pass Northern Areas
Rivers
Length
The Indus 2,896 km
Jhelum 825 km
Chenab 1,242 km
Ravi 901 km
Sutlej 1,551 km
Beas (tributary
of Sutlej)
398 km
Famous Glaciers
Length
Siachin 75 km
Batura 55 km
Baltoro 65 km
Deserts
Name Location/Province
Thar Sindh
Cholistan Punjab
Thal Punjab
Lakes
Name Location/Province
Manchar Sindh
Keenjar Sindh
Hanna Balochistan
Saif-ul-Maluk Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
Satpara Northern Areas
Kachura Northern Areas
Major Dams
Name Location/Province
Mangla Dam Punjab
Tarbela Dam Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
Warsak Dam Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

Land  &  People

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Pakistan is a land of many splendours. The scenery changes northward from coastal beaches, lagoons and mangrove swamps in the south to sandy deserts, desolate plateaus, fertile plains, dissected upland in the middle and high mountains with beautiful valleys, snow-covered peaks and eternal glaciers in the north.  The variety of landscape divides Pakistan into six major regions:
the North High Mountainous Region, the Western Low Mountainous Region, the Balochistan Plateau, the Potohar Uplands, the Punjab and the Sindh Plains.High Mountain Region: Stretching in the North, from east to west, are a series of high mountain ranges which separate Pakistan from China, Russia and Afghanistan. They include the Himalayas, the Karakoram and the Hindukush. The Himalayas spread in the north-east and the Karakoram rises on the north-west of the Himalayas and extends eastward up to Gilgit. The Hindu Kush mountains lie to the north-west of the Karakoram, but extend eastward into Afghanistan. With the assemblage of 35 giant peaks over 24,000 ft. high (7,315m), the region is the climbers’ paradise. Many summits are even higher than 26,000 ft.(7,925 m) and the highest K-2(Mt.Godwin Austin) is exceeded only by Mt.Everest. Inhospitable and technically more difficult to climb than even Everest, they have taken the biggest toll of human lives in the annals of mountaineering.The passes are rarely lower than the summit of Mt. Blanc and several are over 18,000 ft. (5,485 m). The Karakoram Highway, that passes through the mountains, is the highest trade route in the world. Besides, the region abounds in vast glaciers, large lakes and green valleys which have combined at places to produce holiday resorts such as Gilgit, Hunza and Yasin in the west and the valleys of Chitral, Dir, Kaghan and Swat drained by rivers Chitral, Pankkora, Kunhar and Swat respectively in the east. Dotted profusely with scenic spots having numerous streams and rivulets, thick forests of pine and junipers and a vast variety of fauna and flora, the Chitral, Kaghan and Swat valleys have particularly earned the reputation of being the most enchanting tourist resorts of Pakistan.South of the high mountains, the ranges lose their height gradually and settle down finally in the Margalla hills (2,000-3,000 ft.) in the vicinity of Islamabad, the Capital of Pakistan, and Swat and Chitral hills, north of river Kabul. Although the climate of the region is extremely diverse, according to aspect and elevation, yet as a whole it remains under the grip of severe cold from November to April. May, June and July are pleasant months. The southeren slopes receive heavy rainfall and consequently are covered with forest of deodar, pine, poplar and willow trees. The more northerly ranges and north-facing slopes receive practically no rains and are, therefore, without trees.

There is a considerable trans-humane from the mountains to the plains in winter and from plains to the mountains in summer. The permanent settlers grow corn, maize, barely, wheat and rice on the terraced fields and also raise orchards of apples, apricots, peaches and grapes. Peaks and Glaciers Eric Shipton, a great mountainer who perished in Pakistan’s Northern Areas, wrote in his account. To describe this region is to indulge in superlatives, for everywhere you look are the highest, the longest and the largest mountains, glaciers and rivers in the world.

Making some allowance for Shipton’s tendency towards slight exaggeration, born out of awe and fascination, the fact remains that Pakistan boasts of the largest share of the highest mountain peaks in the world. Its own highest peak, the famed and dreaded K-2, is the second highest in the world, being just some `ropes’ short of the Everest in Nepal. With due respect to the Everest, K-2 is regarded as far more firmidable to climb than its relatively facile superior. Three of the mightiest mountain systems- the Hindukush, the Karakorams and the Himalayas- adorn the forehead of Pakistan. The second highest peak of Himalayas, as also of Pakistan, is the Nanga Parbat which literally means the “Naked Mountain”.

Pakistan has seven of the 16 tallest peaks in Asia. The statistics are simply baffling: 40 of the world’s 50 highest mountains are in Pakistan; in Baltistan over 45 peaks touch or cross the 20,000 foot mark; in Gilgit within a radius of 65 miles, there are over two dizens peaks ranging in height between 18,000 to 26,000 feet.

The awe-inspiring beauty provided inspiration to a Pakistani writer to observe lyrically, “in Pakistan’s lofty mountain regions, reaching for the sky doesn’t seem too ambitious”. Pakistan’s Eight Thousanders: There are a total of 14 main peaks soaring above 8000 metres in the world. Out of these, 8 are located in Nepal, 5 in Pakistan and 1 in China. It has become prestigious to make these peaks as targets by mountaineers every year. In fact, successful climb over these peaks is considered an enviable measure of their attainment. By far, the largest number of mountaineering expeditions visiting Pakistan has been coming from Japan.

K-2 (8611m) It is the second highest mountain the world. It was first attempted by Martin Conway’s expedition in 1902 which was composed of British, Austrian and Swiss climbers. Ashraf Aman was the first Pakistani climber to climb on top of K-2 with five other climbers of the Jap-Pak expedition in 1977, with Ichire Yoshizawa as its leader and Isao Shinkai as the technical leader.

Nanga Parbat (8125m) It is also known as the killer mountain. It claimed the life of AF Mummery, leader of an expedition and two porters in 1895. Since then Nanga Parbat has cost scores of lives, though quite a few have successfully scaled it. Harmann Buhl was the first to set foot on this formidable peak in 1953. In spite of its bloody past record, Nanga Parbat is still the most sought after target. Its dangerous challenge seems to add spurs to the determination of climbers.

Hidden Peak (8068m) This peak was first attempted in 1892 by Martin Conway’s expedition who gave it this name because it was hidden by the neighbouring peaks of Baltoro glacier. The peak was first conquered in 1958 by an American expedition. Nick clinch was the leader. The climbing leaders Peter Schoening and Kanfuran were the two summiters.

Broad Peak (8047m) This peak was also named by Martin Conway and was first attempted by a German expedition headed by Karl Herligk offer in 1954. The peak was climbed in 1957 when the entire team of four climbers with Marcus Schmuck scaled it.

In the far-north of Pakistan are valleys which are closed within the silent, brooding forts of these mountains and are almsot as high as the mountains themselves. Here dwell, from times immemorial, various tribes differing in race and culture. If one tribe has Mongol features, its neighbour is obviously Aryan. Separated by insurmountable obstacles, these tribes very often live a totally land-locked existence blissfully unaware of the world beyond. But, a traveller is simply wonderstruck by one common element – Islam.

Every-where you hear the familiar Assalam-o-Alaikum, the universal Muslim greeting and welcome. and no matter how small or poor the inhibtation, the same muezzin’s call to prayer “Allah-u-Akbar rings in the thin mountain air, issuing from the minarets of mosques hidden in the inaccessible fold of these ranges pulsates an infinite variety of life; animals reptiles, birds, insects and plants. There is, of course, the yak which is an enormous but docile beast, at once the beast of burden and food. It is notable in the wildlife of these regions, but, its hunting is strictly restricted and in many areas totally forbidden by law.

Glaciers:

Pakistan has more glaciers than any other land outside the North and South Poles. Pakistan’s glacial area covers some 13,680 sq.km which represents an average of 13 per cent of mountain regions of the upper Indus Basin. Pakistan’s glaciers can rightly claim to possess the greatest mass and collection of glaciated space on the face of earth. In fact, in the lap of the Karakoram of Pakistan alone there are glaciers whose total length would add up to abvoe 6,160 sq. km. To put it more precisely, as high as 37 per cent of the Karakoram area is under its glaciers against Himalayas’ 17 per cent and European Alps’ 22 per cent. The Karakorams have one more claim to proclaim; its souther flank (east and west of the enormous Biafo glacier) has a concentration of glaciers which works out to 59 per cent of its area.

There is a historical reason for the fact that we, and the world outside, are better acquainted with glaciers in the Nanga Parbat region. It is through this region, hazardous though it is, that man has trudged to and fro since the beginning of his civilized history of movement and migration. The Siachin glacier is 75 kms. The Hispar (53 kms) joins the Biafo at the Hispar La (5154.16 metres (16,910 ft) to form an ice corridor 116.87 kms (72 miles) long. The Batura, too is 58 kms in length. But, the most outstanding of these rivers of ice is the 62 kms Baltoro. This mighty glacier fed by some 30 tributaries constitues a surface of 1291.39 sq. kms. Western Low Mountains Region.

These western low mountains spread from the Swat and Chitral hills in a north-south direction (along which alexander the Great led his army in 327 B.C) and cover a large portion of the North-West Frontier Province. North of the river Kabul their altitude ranges from 5,000 to 6,000 ft. in Mohamand and Malakand hills. The aspect of these hills is exceedingly dreary and the eye is everywhere met by the dry rivers between long rows of rocky hills and crags, scantily covered with coarse grass, scrub wood and dwarf palm. South of the river Kabul spreads the Koh-e-Sofed Range with a general height of 10,000 ft. Its highest peak, Skaram, being 15,620 ft. South of Koh-e-Sofed are the Kohat and Waziristan hills (5,000 ft) which are traversed by the Kurram and Tochi rivers, and are bounded on south by Gomal River.

The whole area is a tangle of arid hills composed of limestone and sandstone. South of the Gomal River, the Sulaiman Mountains run for a distance of about 483 kilomaters in a north-south direction, Takht-e-Sulaiman (11,295 ft.) being its highest peak. At the southern end lie the low Marri and Bugti hills. The area shows an extraordinary landscape of innumerable scarps, small plateaus and steep craggy out-crops with terraced slopes and patches of alluvial basins which afford little cultivation.

Kirthar Range South of the Sulaiman Mountains is the Kirthar Range which forms a boundary between the Sindh plain and the Balochistan plateau. It consists of a series of ascending ridges running generally north to south with broad flat valleys in-between. The highgest peak named Kutte ji Kabar (dog’s grace is 6,878 ft. above sea level. Bleak, rugged and barren as these hills are, they afford some pasturage for flocks of sheep and goats. The valleys are green with grass and admit cultivation up to a highest of 4,000 ft. Historical Passes The western mountains have a number of passes, which are of special geographical and historical interest. For centuries, they have been watching numerous kings, generals and preachers passing through them and the events that followed brought about momentous changes in the annals of mankind.

Climate

Although the country is in the monsoon region, it is arid, except for the southern slopes of the Himalayas and the sub-Mountainous tract which have a rainfall from 76 to 127 cm. Balochistan is the driest part of the country with an average rainfall of 21 cm. On the southern ranges of the Himalayas, 127 cm. of precipitation takes place, while under the lee of these mountains (Gilgit and Baltistan) rainfall is hardly 16 cm. Rainfall also occurs from westerncyclonic distrubances originating in the Mediterranean.

It is appreciable in the western mountains and the immediate forelying area; hre the rainfall average ranges from 27 to 76 cm. The contribution of these western distrurbances to rainfall over the plains is about 4 cm. A large part of the precipitation in the northern mountain system is in the form of snow which feeds the rivers. The all-pervasive aridity over most of Pakistan, the predominant influence on the life and habitat of the people, coupled with the climatic rhythm, characteristic of a monsoon climate, are conducive to homogeneity of the land.

Seasons The four well-marked seasons in Pakistan are:-

(i) Cold season (December to March).

(ii) Hot season (April to June).

(iii) Monsoon season (July to September).

(iv) Post-Monsoon season (October and November).

The cold season sets in by the middle of December. This period is characterised by fine weather, bracing air-low humidity and large diurnal range of temperature. Winter distrubances in this season accordingly cause fairly widespread rain. Average mimimum and maximum temperatures are 4 oC and 18 oC, though on occasions the mercury falls well below freezing point. The winter sun is glorious. The hot season is usually dry. Relative humidity in May and June varies from 50 per cent in the morning to 25 per cent or less in the afternoon. The temperature soars to 40 oC and beyond. The highest recorded temperature at Jaccobabad in June is 53 oC. While the interior is blazing hot, the temperature along the sea coast ranges between 25 oC to 35 oC, but the humidity persists around 70 to 80 per cent.

The south-west monsoon reaches Pakistan towards the beginning of July and establishes itself by the middle of the month. The strength of the monsoon current increases form June to July; it then remains steady, and starts retreating towards the end of August, though occasionally, it continues to be active even in September when some of the highest floods of the Indus Basin have been recorded. From the middle of September to the middle of November is the transitory period which may be called the post-monsoon season.

In October, the maximum temperature is of the order of 34 oC to 37 oC all over Pakistan, while the nights are fairly cool with the minimum temperature around 16 oC. In the month of November, both the maximum and the mimimum temperatures fall by about 6 oC and the weather becomes pleasant. October and November are by far the driest months all over the plains of Pakistan.

People and Population

The population of the country as on 1st January, 1994, is estimated at about 124.45 million with its male/female ratio of 52.50:47.50 per cent. The current growth rate of 3.0 per cent is the highest among nine most populous countries of the world. The population is expected to reach 150 million by the year 2000. Density per square kilometre is 156 persons. Literacy rate is estimated to be 36.8 per cent. Of the four provinces, with 25.8 per cent of land area of the country, Punjab has 56.5 per cent of the total population; Sindh, with 17.7 per cent of land area, has 22.6 per cent: Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, (including FATA) with 12.8 per cent of land area, has 15.7 per cent; Balochistan, with 43.6 per cent of land area, has 5.1 per cent. Thus, Punjab is the most densely (240 persons per sq km) populated province, follwed by Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Balochistan is the least populated province, with 19 persons per square kilomatre. The overall population density of the country is 156 persons per square kilometre as estimated in 1994. Sindh is the urbainised province with 43 per cent of the people living in urban areas including Karachi City. The urban population of Punjab is 28 per cent followed by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 21 per cent, and Balochistan 16 per cent. About 67 per cent of the total urban population of the country lives in 28 cities with population of 100,000 and above, while 57 per cent of the total urban population lives in 12 cities with population lives in 12 cities with population of 200,000 and above. Age Composition According to the Labour Force Survey, 1990-91, 46.93 of the population is under 15 years of age; 49.66 per cent is between the age groups of 15 and 64 years, while 3.41 per cent comprises persons 65 years old and above.

Pakistan’s  Historical  Background

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HISTORY IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

Pakistan emerged on the world map on August 14,1947. It has its roots into the remote past. Its establishment was the culmination of the struggle by Muslims of the South-Asian subcontinent for a separate homeland of their own and its foundation was laid when Muhammad bin Qasim subdued Sindh in 711 A.D. as a reprisal against sea pirates that had taken refuge in Raja Dahir’s kingdom.

The advent of Islam further strengthened the historical individuality in the areas now constituting Pakistan and further beyond its boundaries. Stone Age Some of the earliest relics of Stone Age man in the subcontinent are found in the Soan Valley of the Potohar region near Rawalpindi, with a probable antiquity of about 500,000 years. No human skeleton of such antiquity has yet been discovered in the area, but the crude stone implements recovered from the terraces of the Soan carry the saga of human toil and labor in this part of the world to the inter-glacial period. These Stone Age men fashioned their implements in a sufficiently homogenous way to justify their grouping in terms of a culture called the Soan Culture. About 3000 B.C, amidst the rugged wind-swept valleys and foothills of Balochistan, small village communities developed and began to take the first hesitant steps towards civilization. Here, one finds a more continuous story of human activity, though still in the Stone Age.

These pre-historic men established their settlements, both as herdsmen and as farmers, in the valleys or on the outskirts of the plains with their cattle and cultivated barley and other crops. Red and buffer Cultures Careful excavations of the pre-historic mounds in these areas and the classification of their contents, layer by layer, have grouped them into two main categories of Red Ware Culture and Buff Ware Culture. The former is popularly known as the Zhob Culture of North Balochistan, while the latter comprises the Quetta, Amri Nal and Kulli Cultures of Sindh and South Balochistan. Some Amri Nal villages or towns had stone walls and bastions for defence purposes and their houses had stone foundations. At Nal, an extensive cemetery of this culture consists of about 100 graves. An important feature of this composite culture is that at Amri and certain other sites, it has been found below the very distinctive Indus Valley Culture. On the other hand, the steatite seals of Nal and the copper implements and certain types of pot decoration suggest a partial overlap between the two. It probably represents one of the local societies which constituted the environment for the growth of the Indus Valley Civilization.

The pre-historic site of Kot Diji in the Sindh province has provided information of high significance for the reconstruction of a connected story which pushes back the origin of this civilization by 300 to 500 years, from about 2500 B.C.. to at least 2800 B.C. Evidence of a new cultural elements of pre-Harappan era has been traced here. Pre-Harappan Civilization When the primitive village communities in the Balochistan area were still struggling against a difficult highland environment, a highly cultured people were trying to assert themselves at Kot Diji, one of the most developed urban civilizations of the ancient world which flourished between the years 2500 and 1500 B.C. in the Indus Valley sites of Moenjodaro and Harappa. These Indus Valley people possessed a high standard of art and craftsmanship and a well developed system of quasi pictographic writing, which despite continuing efforts still remains undeciphered. The imposing ruins of the beautifully planned Moenjodaro and Harappa towns present clear evidence of the unity of a people having the same mode of life and using the same kind of tools. Indeed, the brick buildings of the common people, the public baths, the roads and covered drainage system suggest the picture of a happy and contented people. Aryan Civilization In or about 1500 B.C., the Aryans descended upon the Punjab and settled in the Sapta Sindhu, which signifies the Indus plain. They developed a pastoral society that grew into the Rigvedic Civilization. The Rigveda is replete with hymns of praise for this region, which they describe as “God fashioned”. It is also clear that so long as the Sapta Sindhu remained the core of the Aryan Civilization, it remained free from the caste system. The caste institution and the ritual of complex sacrifices took shape in the Gangetic Valley. There can be no doubt that the Indus Civilization contributed much to the development of the Aryan civilization. Gandhara Culture The discovery of the Gandhara grave culture in Dir and Swat will go a long way in throwing light on the period of Pakistan’s cultural history between the end of the Indus Culture in 1500 B.C. and the beginning of the historic period under the Achaemenians in the sixth century B.C. Hindu mythology and Sanskrit literary traditions seem to attribute the destruction of the Indus civilization to the Aryans, but what really happened, remains a mystery. The Gandhara grave culture has opened up two periods in the cultural heritage of Pakistan: one of the Bronze Age and the other of the Iron Age. It is so named because it presents a peculiar pattern of living in hilly zones of the Gandhara region as evidenced in the graves. This culture is different from the Indus Culture and has little relations with the village culture of Balochistan. Stratigraphy as well as the artifacts discovered from this area suggest that the Aryans moved into this part of the world between 1,500 and 600 B.C. In the sixth century B.C., Buddha began his teachings, which later on spread throughout the northern part of the South-Asian subcontinent. It was towards the end of this century, too, that Darius I of Iran organized Sindh and Punjab as the twentieth satrapy of his empire.

There are remarkable similarities between the organizations of that great empire and the Mauryan empire of the third century B.C., while Kautilya’s Arthshastra also shows a strong Persian influence, Alexander of Macedonia after defeating Darius III in 330 B.C. had also marched through the South-Asian subcontinent up to the river Beas, but Greek influence on the region appears to have been limited to contributing a little to the establishment of the Mauryan empire. The great empire that Asoka, the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya, built in the subcontinent included only that part of the Indus basin which is now known as the northern Punjab. The rest of the areas astride the Indus were not subjugated by him. These areas, which now form a substantial part of Pakistan, were virtually independent from the time of the Guptas in the fourth century A.D. until the rise of the Delhi Sultanate in the thirteenth century. Gandhara Art Gandhara Art, one of the most prized possessions of Pakistan, flourished for a period of 500 years (from the first to the fifth century A.D.) in the present valley of Peshawar and the adjacent hilly regions of Swat, Buner and Bajaur. This art represents a separate phase of the cultural renaissance of the region. It was the product of a blending of Indian, Buddhist and Greco-Roman sculpture. Gandhara Art in its early stages received the patronage of Kanishka, the great Kushan ruler, during whose reign the Silk Route ran through Peshawar and the Indus Valley, bringing great prosperity to the whole area. Advent of Islam The first followers of prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), to set foot on the soil of the South-Asian subcontinent, were traders from the coast land of Arabia and the Persian Gulf, soon after the dawn of Islam in the early seventh century A.D.

DAWN OF ISLAM

The first permanent Muslim foothold in the subcontinent was achieved with Muhammad bin Qasim’s conquest of Sindh in 711 A.D. An autonomous Muslim state linked with the Umayyed, and later, the Abbassid Caliphate was established with jurisdiction extending over southern and central parts of present Pakistan. Quite a few new cities were established and Arabic was introduced as the official language. At the time of Mahmud of Ghazna’s invasion, Muslim rule still existed, though in a weakened form, in Multan and some other regions. The Ghaznavids (976-1148) and their successors, the Ghaurids (1148-1206), were Central Asian by origin and they ruled their territories, which covered mostly the regions of present Pakistan, from capitals outside India. It was in the early thirteenth century that the foundations of the Muslim rule in India were laid with extended boundaries and Delhi as the capital. From 1206 to 1526 A.D., five different dynasties held sway. Then followed the period of Mughal ascendancy (1526-1707) and their rule continued, though nominally, till 1857. From the time of the Ghaznavids, Persian more or less replaced Arabic as the official language. The economic, political and religious institutions developed by the Muslims bore their unique impression. The law of the State was based on Shariah and in principle the rulers were bound to enforce it. Any long period of laxity was generally followed by reinforcement of these laws under public pressure. The impact of Islam on the South-Asian subcontinent was deep and far-reaching. Islam introduced not only a new religion, but a new civilization, a new way of life and new set of values. Islamic traditions of art and literature, of culture and refinement, of social and welfare institution, were established by Muslim rulers throughout the subcontinent. A new language, Urdu, derived mainly from Arabic and Persian vocabulary and adopting indigenous words and idioms, came to be spoken and written by the Muslims and it gained currency among the rest of the Indian population.

URDU IS THE NATIONAL LANGUAGE OF PAKISTAN

Apart from religion, Urdu also enabled the Muslim community during the period of its ascendancy to preserve its separate identity in the subcontinent.

Muslim Identity — The question of Muslim identity, however assumed seriousness during the decline of Muslim power in South Asia. The first person to realize its acuteness was the scholar theologian, Shah Waliullah (1703-62). He laid the foundation of Islamic renaissance in the subcontinent and became a source of inspiration for almost all the subsequent social and religious reform movements of the nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. His immediate successors, inspired by his teachings, tried to establish a modest Islamic state in the north-west of India and they, under the leadership of Sayyed Ahmad Shaheed Barelvi (1786-1831), persevered in this direction. British Expansionism and Muslim Resistance Meanwhile, starting with the East India Company, the British had emerged as the dominant force in South Asia. Their rise to power was gradual extending over a period of nearly one hundred years. They replaced the Shariah by what they termed as the Anglo-Muhammadan law whereas Urdu was replaced by English as the official language. These and other developments had great social, economic and political impact especially on the Muslims of South Asia. The uprising of 1857, termed as the Indian Mutiny by the British and the War of Independence by the Muslims, was a desperate attempt to reverse the adverse course of events. Religious Institutions The failure of the 1857 War of Independence had disastrous consequences for the Muslims as the British placed all the responsibility for this event on them. Determined to stop such a recurrence in future, the British followed deliberately a repressive policy against the Muslims. Properties and estates of those even remotely associated with the freedom fighters were confiscated and conscious efforts were made to close all avenues of honest living for them. The Muslim response to this situation also aggravated their plight. Their religious leaders, who had been quite active, withdrew from the mainstream of the community life and devoted themselves exclusively to imparting religious education. Although the religious academies especially those of Deoband, Farangi Mahal and Rai Bareilly, established by the Ulema, did help the Muslims to preserve their identity, the training provided in these institutions hardly equipped them for the new challenges. Educational Reform The Muslims kept themselves aloof from western education as well as government service. But, their compatriots, the Hindus, did not do so and accepted the new rulers without reservation. They acquired western education, imbibed the new culture and captured positions hitherto filled in by the Muslims. If this situation had prolonged, it would have done the Muslims an irreparable damage. The man to realise the impending peril was Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (1817-1889), a witness to the tragic events of 1857. He exerted his utmost to harmonize British Muslim relations. His assessment was that the Muslims’ safety lay in the acquisition of western education and knowledge. He took several positive steps to achieve this objective. He founded a college at Aligarh to impart education on western lines. Of equal importance was the Anglo-Muhammadan Educational Conference, which he sponsored in 1886, to provide an intellectual forum to the Muslims for the dissemination of views in support of western education and social reform. Similar were the objectives of the Muhammadan Literary Society, founded by Nawab Adbul Latif (1828-93), active in Bengal, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s efforts transformed into a movement, known as the Aligarh Movement, and it left its imprint on the Muslims of every part of the South-Asian subcontinent. Under its inspiration, societies were founded throughout the subcontinent which established educational institutions for imparting education to the Muslims.

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was averse to the idea of participation by the Muslims in any organized political activity which, he feared, might revive British hostility towards them. He also disliked Hindu Muslim collaboration in any joint venture.His disillusionment in this regard stemmed basically from the Urdu Hindi controversy of the late 1860s when the Hindu enthusiasts vehemently championed the cause of Hindi to replace Urdu. He, therefore, opposed the Indian National Congress when it was founded in 1885 and advised the Muslims to abstain from its activities. His contemporary and a great scholar of Islam, Syed Ameer Ali (1849-1928), shared his views about the Congress, but, he was not opposed to Muslims organizing themselves politically. In fact, he organised the first significant political body of the Muslims, the Central National Muhammadan Association. Although, its membership was limited, it had more than 50 branches in different parts of the subcontinent and it accomplished some solid work for the educational and political advancement of the Muslims. But, its activities waned towards the end of the nineteenth century. The Muslim League At the dawn of the twentieth century, a number of factors convinced the Muslims of the need to have an effective political organization. Therefore, in October 1906, a deputation comprising 35 Muslim leaders met the Viceroy of the British at Simla and demanded separate electorates. Three months later, the All-India Muslim League was founded by Nawab Salimullah Khan at Dhaka, mainly with the objective of safeguarding the political rights and interests of the Muslims. The British conceded separate electorates in the Government of India Act of 1909 which confirmed the Muslim League’s position as an All-India party. Attempt for Hindu Muslim Unity The visible trend of the two major communities progressing in opposite directions caused deep concern to leaders of All-India stature. They struggled to bring the Congress and the Muslim League on one platform. Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah (1876-1948) was the leading figure among them. After the annulment of the partition of Bengal and the European Powers’ aggressive designs against the Ottoman Empire and North Africa, the Muslims were receptive to the idea of collaboration with the Hindus against the British rulers.

The Congress Muslim League rapprochement was achieved at the Lucknow sessions of the two parties in 1916 and a joint scheme of reforms was adopted. In the Lucknow Pact. as the scheme was commonly referred to, the Congress accepted the principle of separate electorates, and the Muslims, in return for `weightage’ to the Muslims of the Muslim minority provinces, agreed to surrender their thin majorities in the Punjab and Bengal. The post Lucknow Pact period witnessed Hindu Muslim amity and the two parties came to hold their annual sessions in the same city and passed resolutions of identical contents.

KHILAFAT MOVEMENT

The Hindu Muslim unity reached its climax during the Khilafat and the Non-cooperation Movements. The Muslims of soothsayer, under the leadership of the Ali Brothers, Maulana Muhammad Ali and Maulana Shaukat Ali, launched the historic Khilafat Movement after the First World War to protect the Ottoman Empire from dismemberment. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) linked the issue of Swaraj (self-government) with the Khilafat issue to associate the Hindus with the Movement. the ensuing Movement was the first countrywide popular movement.

Although the Movement failed in its objectives, it had a far-reaching impact on the Muslims of South Asia. After a long time, they took united action on a purely Islamic issue which momentarily forged solidarity among them. It also produced a class of Muslim leaders experienced in organizing and mobilizing the public. This experience was of immense value to the Muslims later during the Pakistan Movement The collapse of the Khilafat Movement was followed by a period of bitter Hindu Muslim antagonism. The Hindus organized two highly anti Muslim movements, the Shudhi and the Sangathan. The former movement was designed to convert Muslims to Hinduism and the latter was meant to create solidarity among the Hindus in the event of communal conflict. In retaliation, the Muslims sponsored the Tabligh and Tanzim organizations to counter the impact of the Shudhi and the Sangathan. In the 1920s, the frequency of communal riots was unprecedented. Several Hindu-Muslim unity conferences were held to remove the causes of conflict, but, it seemed nothing could mitigate the intensity of communalism. Muslim Demand Safeguards. In the light of this situation, the Muslims revised their constitutional demands. They now wanted preservation of their numerical majorities in the Punjab and Bengal, separation of Sindh from Bombay, constitution of Balochistan as a separate province and introduction of constitutional reforms in the North-West Frontier Province. It was partly to press these demands that one section of the All-India Muslim League cooperated with the Statutory commission sent by the British Government under the chairmanship of Sir John Simon in 1927.

SIMON COMMISSION

The other section of the League, which boycotted the Simon Commission for its all-White character, cooperated with the Nehru Committee, appointed by the All-Parties Conference, to draft a constitution for India. The Nehru Report had an extremely anti-Muslim bias and the Congress leadership’s refusal to amend it disillusioned even the moderate Muslims. Allama Muhammad Iqbal Several leaders and thinkers, having insight into the Hindu-Muslim question proposed separation of Muslim India. However, the most lucid exposition of the inner feeling of the Muslim community was given by Allama Muhammad Iqbal(1877-1938) in his Presidential Address at the All-India Muslim League Session at Allahabad in 1930. He suggested that for the healthy development of Islam in South-Asia, it was essential to have a separate Muslim state at least in the Muslim majority regions of the north-west. Later on, in his correspondence with Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, he included the Muslim majority areas in the north-east also in his proposed Muslim state. Three years after his Allahabad Address, a group of Muslim students at Cambridge, headed by Chaudhry Rehmat Ali, issued a pamphlet, Now or Never, in which drawing letters from the names of the Muslim majority regions, they gave the nomenclature of “Pakistan” to the proposed State. Very few even among the Muslim welcomed the idea at the time. It was to take a decade for the Muslims to embrace the demand for a separate Muslim state. Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah Meanwhile, three Round Table Conferences were convened in London during 1930-32, to resolve the Indian constitutional problem. The Hindu and Muslim leaders, who were invited to these conferences, could not draw up an agreed formula and the British Government had to announce a `Communal Award’ which was incorporated in the Government of India Act of 1935. Before the elections under this Act, the All-India Muslim League, which had remained dormant for some time, was reorganized by Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who had returned to India in 1934,after an absence of nearly five years in England. The Muslim League could not win a majority of Muslim seats since it had not yet been effectively reorganized. However, it had the satisfaction that the performance of the Indian National Congress in the Muslim constituencies was bad. After the elections, the attitude of the Congress leadership was arrogant and domineering. The classic example was its refusal to form a coalition government with the Muslim League in the United Provinces. Instead, it asked the League leaders to dissolve their parliamentary arty in the Provincial Assembly and join the Congress. Another important Congress move after the 1937 elections was its Muslim mass contact movement to persuade the Muslims to join the Congress and not the Muslim League. One of its leaders, Jawaharlal Nehru, even declared that there were only two forces in India, the British and the Congress. All this did not go unchallenged.

Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah countered that there was a third force in South-Asia constituting the Muslims. The All-India Muslim League, under his gifted leadership, gradually and skillfully started organising the Muslims on one platform. Towards a Separate Muslim Homeland. The 1930s witnessed awareness among the Muslims of their separate identity and their anxiety to preserve it within separate territorial boundaries. An important element that brought this simmering Muslim nationalism in the open was the character of the Congress rule in the Muslim minority provinces during 1937-39. The Congress policies in these provinces hurt Muslim susceptibilities. There were calculated aims to obliterate the Muslims as a separate cultural unit. The Muslims now stopped thinking in terms of seeking safeguards and began to consider seriously the demand for a separate Muslim state. During 1937-39, several Muslim leaders and thinkers, inspired by Allama Iqbal’s ideas, presented elaborate schemes for partitioning the subcontinent according to two-nation theory. Pakistan Resolution The All-India Muslim League soon took these schemes into consideration and finally, on March 23, 1940, the All-India Muslim League, in a resolution, at its historic Lahore Session, demanded a separate homeland for the Muslims in the Muslim majority regions of the subcontinent. The resolution was commonly referred to as the Pakistan Resolution. The Pakistan demand had a great appeal for the Muslims of every persuasion. It revived memories of their past greatness and promised future glory. They, therefore, responded to this demand immediately. Cripps Mission The British Government recognized the genuineness of the Pakistan demand indirectly in the proposals for the transfer of power after the Second World War which Sir Stafford Cripps brought to India in 1942. Both the Congress and the All-India Muslim League rejected these proposals for different reasons. The principles of secession of Muslim India as a separate Dominion was however, conceded in these proposals. After this failure, a prominent Congress leader, C. Rajgopalacharia, suggested a formula for a separate Muslim state in the Working Committee of the Indian National Congress, which was rejected at the time, but later on, in 1944, formed the basis of the Jinnah-Gandhi talks. Demand for Pakistan

PAKISTAN MOVEMENT

The Pakistan demand became popular during the Second World War Every section of the Muslim community-men , women, students, Ulema and businessmen-were organized under the banner of the All-India Muslim League. Branches of the party were opened even in the remote corners of the subcontinent. Literature in the form of pamphlets, books, magazines and newspapers was produced to explain the Pakistan demand and distributed widely. The support gained by the All-India Muslim League and its demand for Pakistan was tested after the failure of the Simla Conference, convened by the Viceroy, Lord Wavell, in 1945. Elections were called to determine the respective strength of the political parties. The All-India Muslim League election campaign was based on the Pakistan demand. The Muslim community responded to this call in an unprecedented way. Numerous Muslim parties were formed making united parliamentary board at the behest of the Congress to oppose the Muslim League. But the All-India Muslim League swept all the thirty seats in the Central Legislature and in the provincial elections also, its victory was outstanding. After the elections, on April 8-9,1946, the All-India Muslim League called a convention of the newly-elected League members in the Central and Provincial Legislatures at Delhi. This convention, which constituted virtually a representative assembly of the Muslims of South Asia, on a motion by the Chief Minister of Bengal, Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy, reiterated the Pakistan demand in clearer terms. Cabinet Plan In early 1946, the British Government sent a Cabinet Mission to the subcontinent to resolve the constitutional deadlock. The Mission conducted negotiations with various political parties, but failed to evolve an agreed formula. Finally, the Cabinet Mission announced its own Plan, which among other provisions, envisaged three federal groupings, two of them comprising the Muslim majority provinces, linked at the Centre in a loose federation with three subjects. The Muslim League accepted the plan, as a strategic move, expecting to achieve its objective in not-too-distant a future. The All-India Congress also agreed to the Plan, but, soon realising its implications, the Congress leaders began to interpret it in a way not visualized by the authorise of the Plan. This provided the All-India Muslim League an excuse to withdraw its acceptance of the Plan and the party observed August 16, as a `Direct Action Day’ to show Muslim solidarity in support of the Pakistan demand. Partition Scheme In October 1946, an Interim Government was formed. The Muslim League sent its representative under the leadership of its General Secretary, Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan, with the aim to fight for the party objective from within the Interim Government. After a short time, the situation inside the Interim Government and outside convinced the Congress leadership to accept Pakistan as the only solution of the communal problem. The British Government, after its last attempt to save the Cabinet Mission Plan in December 1946, also moved towards a scheme for the partition of India. The last British Viceroy, Lord Louis Mountbatten, came with a clear mandate to draft a plan for the transfer of power.

After holding talks with political leaders and parties, he prepared a Partition Plan for the transfer of power, which, after approval of the British Government, was announced on June 3,1947. Emergence of Pakistan Both the Congress and the Muslim League accepted the Plan. Two largest Muslim majority provinces, Bengal and Punjab, were partitioned. The Assemblies of West Punjab, East Bengal and Sindh and in Balochistan, the Quetta Municipality, and the Shahi Jirga voted for Pakistan. Referenda were held in the North-West Frontier Province and the District of Sylhet in Assam, which resulted in an overwhelming vote for Pakistan. As a result, on August 14,1947, the new state of Pakistan came into existence.

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