Bordering the Arabian Sea, between India on the east and Iran and
Afghanistan on the west and China in the north.
northeast is the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir, bounded by
Afghanistan, China and India. Pakistan comprises distinct regions. The
northern highlands – the Hindu Kush – are rugged and mountainous; the Indus
Valley is a flat, alluvial plain with five major rivers dominating the upper
region, eventually joining the Indus River and flowing south to the Makran
coast; Sindh is bounded on the east by the Thar Desert and the Rann of Kutch,
and on the west by the Kirthar Range; the Baluchistan Plateau is an arid
tableland encircled by mountains.
796,096 sq km (307,374 sq miles)
land: 778,720 sq km
water: 25,220 sq km
total: 6,774 km
Afghanistan 2,430 km, China 523 km, India 2,912 km, Iran 909 km
30 00 N, 70 00 E
150,694,740 (July 2003 est.)
NWFP 13.54 (in million)
NATA / FATA 2.30
187.2 per sq km.
Population: 724,500 (2006).
At the junction of Central, East and South Asia.
Northern Areas of Pakistan:
The Northern Areas border the Wakhan corridor of Afghanistan to the
northwest, the Xinjiang territory of China to the northeast, the
Indian-controlled state of Jammu and Kashmir to the southeast, the region of
Pakistani-administered Azad Kashmir to the southeast and the North-West
Frontier Province to the west. The harsh beauty of the high valleys in
northern Pakistan evokes strong emotion in visitors. Bright green meadows
high up on mountain slopes look from a distance like mossy pillows. Stone
and clay houses sit on the rises. Alleys of tall poplars and crowds of
apricot trees separate the houses.Villages are like hanging gardens in the
middle of a jagged mountain landscape.
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 and Nanga Parbat, one of the
most feared mountains in the world.The population consists of many diverse
linguistic, ethnic and religious groups due in part to the many isolated
valleys separated by some of the world's highest mountains. Urdu is the
lingua franca of the region, understood by most inhabitants. The Shina
language (with several dialects) is the language of 40% of the population,
spoken mainly in Gilgit, throughout Diamer, and some parts of Ghizer. The
Balti language, a sub-dialect of Ladakhi and part of Tibetan language group
is spoken by the population of Baltistan. Minor languages spoken in the area
include Wakhi spoken in upper Hunza, and some villages in Ghizer, while
Khowar is the major language of Ghizer. Burushaski is an isolated language
spoken in Hunza, Nagar, Yasin (where Khowar is also spoken), some parts of
Gilgit and some villages of Punyal. Another interesting language is Domaaki,
spoken by the musician clans of the region.
The Northern Areas are divided into six districts in two regions: the two
Baltistan districts of Skardu and Ghangche, and the four Gilgit districts of
Astore, Diamer, Ghizer and Gilgit. The main political centres are the towns
of Gilgit, and Skardu.
The province of Balochistan (or Balochistan) of Pakistan contains roughly
the part of Balochistan that falls within the borders of present-day
Pakistan. Neighboring regions are Iranian Balochistan to the west,
Afghanistan and Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Pakistan to the north
and Punjab and Sindh to the east. To the south is the Arabian Sea.
Balochistan is geographically the largest of the four provinces at 347,190
km˛, but has the smallest population: approximately 6.3 million in 1994. The
population density is very low due to the mountainous terrain and scarcity
The southern region is known as Makran. A region in the centre of the
province is known as Kalat.
The capital city is Quetta, located in the most densly populated district in
the northeast of the province. Quetta is situated in a river valley near the
border with Afghanistan, with a road to Kandahar in the northwest.
Balochistan was the site of the earliest known farming settlements in south
Asia, the earliest of which was Mehrgarh dated at 6500 BC. Parts of
Balochistan were held by Oman as late as the 1950s, but they were eventually
turned over to Pakistan. Included in these areas is the coastal city of
Gwadar where the Pakistani government is undertaking a large project with
Chinese help to build a large port. This is being done partially to provide
the Pakistani Navy with another base, and to reduce Pakistan's reliance on
Karachi, which currently is the only major port.
To the north of the Punjab is the NWFP (North West Frontier Province) and
the Federal capital area of Islamabad. To the north east is the Azad
Kashmir. To its east and south is India (Indian Punjab & Rajasthan). To the
south west is the province of Sindh. To the west is Balochistan Province and
the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan. According to 1998 census,
the population of the Province is 7, 25, 85,000. The population density is
353 persons per square kilometer as compared to the national figure of 164.
The Province of Punjab comprises eight Administrative Divisions and 34
districts. It extends over an area of 2,05,345 square kilometers (97,192
square miles) which is 25.8 percent of the total area of Pakistan. It
contains several major cities of the country: Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi,
Multan and Gujranwala.
The province is predominantly on level plain. There are, however, some
mountainous and hilly areas in the northwest and extreme southwest. There is
also a plateau adjacent to the mountains known as the Potohar plateau and a
desert belt in the south eastern part known as Cholistan.
All the major rivers of the country namely Indus, Jhelum, Chanab, Ravi, &
Sutlaj flow through this province. They originate from the Himalayas and
pass from North West to south west. They are primeval in nature and the
volume of water increases in summer after monsoon rains, resulting sometimes
In religion, the province is almost entirely Muslim, with a small Christian
minority. Punjabi is the mother tongue of 90 percent of the population. The
main language used in writing is Urdu, followed by English. The major ethnic
groups are the Jat, Rajput, Arain, Gujar and Awan.
The North-West Frontier Province (NWFP):
commonly known as Sarhad, is the smallest in size of the four provinces of
Pakistan and is home to the Pashtuns and various other groups. Neighbouring
regions include Afghanistan to the west and north, and the Northern Areas
and Kashmir to the northeast and east. The Federally Administered Tribal
Areas form a buffer between the NWFP and Afghanistan. Punjab and Islamabad
Capital Territory are to the south and east. The principal language is
Pashto and the provincial capital is Peshawar. Some Pashtuns refer to the
province as Pakhtunkhwa which means 'Land of the Pashtuns' in Pashto.
It covers an area of 74,521 sq. km. According to the 1998 census, the total
population of N.W.F.P. was approximately 14 million out of whom 52% are
males and 48% females. The density of population is 187 per sq. km and the
intercensal change of population is of about 30 percent. Geographically the
province could be divided into two zones: the northern one extending from
the ranges of the Hindukush 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 raid with hot summers and
relatively cold winters and scantly rainfall. Its climate varies from very
cold (Chitral in the north) to very hot in places like D.I. Khan.
Its snow-capped peaks and lush green valleys of unusual beauty attract
tourists and mountaineers from far and wide while its art and architecture
no less known than the historic Khyber Pass. Once the cradle of Gandhara
civilization, the area is now known for its devout Muslims who jealously
guard their religion and culture and the way of life which they have been
following for centuries.
Sindh is located on the western corner of South Asia, bordering the Iranian
plateau in the west. Geographically it is the third largest province of
Pakistan, stretching about 579 km from north to south and 442 km (extreme)
or 281 km (average) from east to west, with an area of 140,915 km˛. Sindh is
bounded by the Thar Desert to the east, the Kirthar Mountains to the west,
and the Arabian Sea in the south. In the centre is a fertile plain around
the Indus river.
Karachi became capital of Sindh in 1936, in place of the traditional
capitals of Hyderabad and Thatta. Other important cities include Sukkur,
Mirpurkhas, ShahdadKot,Kamber Khan,,Dadu,Sehwan,MirPur Khas,Warah,Larkano,
Shikarpur,Khairpur,Nawabshah,Kashmor,Gudu,UmerKot,Thar, and Khairpur.