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A Quick Introduction
Pakistan, officially Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a country situated in the south of Asia. In its north lies China, the Central Asian states and the Russian Federation, to the west, the country is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran while to the east is India. A federal parliamentary republic state, Pakistan is a federation that comprises of four provinces: Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, and Balochistan, and four territories: the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Islamabad Capital Territory, Gilgit–Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.
Pakistan came into being as the result of the partition of British India in 1947. The capital city of Pakistan is Islamabad which was built during the 1960s to replace Karachi as the country’s capital.
It is one of the most diversified countries of the world in terms of its culture, landscape, and climate. To the north of Pakistan is the highest mountain system of the world, having its harsh climate impacting the whole region. To the east are the fertile plains of Indus valley. While to the western and southern part exist the steaming deserts. Within its borders situate the warm waters of the Arabian Sea which moderates the climate of its southern parts.
The area of Pakistan is 881,913 square kilometres (340,509 square miles), with its population exceeding 201 million people. Pakistan is an agricultural country. Its major exports include the agricultural products like cotton, sugar, rice and textile. The literacy rate of the country is nearly 58%. Urdu is the national language of Pakistan where as English is used for education, trade and other purposes along with Urdu. Pakistan’s cultural heritage is very rich and is shaped and influenced by cultures of the thousands of years old Indus and Ghandara civilizations and later the Islamic customs mainly inspired by the Mughal Empire.
Azad Kashmir is an Administrative region of Pakistan situated in Northern part of the country. The northern part of Azad Jammu and Kashmir encompasses the lower part of the Himalayas. Fertile, green, mountainous valleys are characteristic of Azad Kashmir’s geography, making it one of the most beautiful regions in the world.
Azad Kashmir is part of the greater Kashmir region. The territory shares a border with Gilgit–Baltistan in the north, Punjab province to the south and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province to the west. To the east, Azad Kashmir is separated from the Indian-controlled state of Jammu and Kashmir by the Line of Control, the de facto border between India and Pakistan.
Balochistan is Pakistan’s largest province by area. Its provincial capital and largest city is Quetta. It has borders with Punjab and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas to the northeast, Sindh to the east and southeast, the Arabian Sea to the south, Iran to the west and Afghanistan to the north and northwest.
The capital city Quetta is located in a densely populated portion of the Sulaiman Mountains in the north-east of the province. It is situated in a river valley near the Bolan Pass, which has been used as the route of choice from the coast to Central Asia, entering through Afghanistan’s Kandahar region. The British and other historic empires have crossed the region to invade Afghanistan by this route.
Balochistan is rich in exhaustible and renewable resources; it is the second major supplier of natural gas in Pakistan.
A part of the former Princely State of Kashmir and Jammu, the Aksai Chin region in the east of Indian Occupied Kashmir, bordering Tibet, has been under Chinese control since 1962.
The Federally Administered Tribal Areas is a semi-autonomous tribal region in northwestern Pakistan, consisting of seven tribal agencies (districts) and six frontier regions, and are directly governed by Pakistan’s federal government. It borders Pakistan’s provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan to the east and south, and Afghanistan to the west and north
Gilgit-Baltistan is an administrative unit of Pakistan situated in the Northern Part of the country.
Gilgit-Baltistan borders the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west, a small portion of the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan to the north, Xinjiang, China to the northeast, the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir to the southeast, and the Pakistani-administered state of Azad Kashmir to the south.
Gilgit-Baltistan is home to five of the “eight-thousanders” and to more than fifty peaks above 7,000 metres (23,000 ft). Gilgit and Skardu are the two main hubs for expeditions to those mountains. The region is home to some of the world’s highest mountain ranges. The main ranges are the Karakoram and the western Himalayas. The Pamir Mountains are to the north, and the Hindu Kush lies to the west. Amongst the highest mountains are K2 (Mount Godwin-Austen), the world’s second tallest, Nanga Parbat, Gasherbrum 1, Broad Peak and Gasherbrum 2.
Three of the world’s longest glaciers outside the Polar Regions are found in Gilgit-Baltistan: the Biafo Glacier, the Baltoro Glacier, and the Batura Glacier along with several high-altitude lakes to be found anywhere on the planet.
A part of the former Princely State of Kashmir and Jammu, the region is the subject of a territorial conflict among Pakistan, India and China. The western districts of the region known as Azad Kashmir and the northern territories known as Gilgit-Baltistan have been under Pakistani control since its independence. Pakistan claims Kashmir on the basis of a Muslim majority and of geography, the same principles that were applied for the creation of the two independent states.
The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) is one of the four federal territories of Pakistan. It includes Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan. Punjab is located to the south of the ICT, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is located to the north west. Islamabad nestles against the backdrop of the Margalla Hills at the northern end of Potohar Plateau. Its climate is healthy, relatively pollution free, plentiful in water resources and lush green. It is a modern and carefully planned residential city with wide roads and avenues and many public buildings.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is Pakistan fourth largest province located in the northwestern region of the country along the international border with Afghanistan. It was officially known as North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) until 2010.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s provincial capital and largest city is Peshawar. The province shares borders with the Federally Administered Tribal Areas to the west; Gilgit–Baltistan to the northeast; Azad Kashmir, Islamabad and Punjab to the east and southeast. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa does not officially share a border with Balochistan, which instead borders FATA. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also shares an international border with Afghanistan, to which the province is linked via the historic Khyber Pass.
Geographically the province could be divided into two zones: the northern one extending from the ranges of the Hindu Kush to the borders of Peshawar basin and the southern one extending from Peshawar to the Derajat basin.
The northern zone is cold and snowy in winters with heavy rainfall and pleasant summers with the exception of Peshawar basin, which is hot in summer and cold in winter. It has moderate rainfall. The southern zone is arid with hot summers and relatively cold winters and very little rainfall.
The region’s snow-capped peaks and lush green valleys of unusual beauty have enormous potential for tourism.
The land of the five rivers or the Punjab is Pakistan’s second largest province by area and the largest by the population. It is bordered by Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as well as the regions of Islamabad Capital Territory and the Azad Kashmir. It also shares borders with the Indian states of Punjab, Rajasthan, and Jammu and Kashmir. The provincial capital of Punjab is the city of Lahore which is also considered as the cultural hub of Pakistan.
Punjab’s landscape mostly consists of fertile plains of the Indus River and its four major tributaries in Pakistan, the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, and Sutlej rivers which traverse Punjab north to south. The landscape is amongst the most heavily irrigated on earth and canals can be found throughout the province. Punjab also includes several mountainous regions, including the Sulaiman Mountains in the southwest part of the province, the Margalla Hills in the north near Islamabad, and the Salt Range which divides the most northerly portion of Punjab, the Pothohar Plateau, from the rest of the province. Sparse deserts can be found in southern Punjab near the border with Rajasthan and near the Sulaiman Range. Punjab also contains part of the Thal and Cholistan deserts.
Sindh also known as Waadi-e-Mehran is Pakistan’s third largest province by area and second largest by population. The word Sindh is derived from the Sanskrit term Sindhu (literally meaning “river”), which is a reference to Indus River.
Sindh is bordered by Balochistan province to the west, and Punjab province to the north. Sindh also borders the Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan to the east, and Arabian Sea to the south. The provincial capital of Sindh is Pakistan’s largest city and financial hub, Karachi.
Sindh’s landscape consists mostly of sediment plains by the Indus River, the Thar desert in the eastern portion of the province closest to the border with India, and the Kirthar Mountains in the western part of Sindh. Sindh’s climate is noted for hot summers and mild winters. Sindh is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Historical Monuments at Makli, and the Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro.
The Karakoram Club is a social
media based club and is promoting
tourism in Pakistan with core
objective of eco-friendly activities.
This website brings first
interactive tourism portal