Pakistan






History Overview

History of Pakistan spans about 60 years since it came into being in 1947 upon partition of British Raj into two sovereign states of India and Pakistan. However, the history of the geographical regions currently comprising Pakistan has an ancient history, which runs concurrently with the history of the ancient India, undivided India, Afghanistan, and Iran. The nation-state of Pakistan was established in 1947 as one of the two successor states of British India, and it has an independent history since then, albeit the land and its people possess an extensive and continuous history that can be traced back to very ancient times of 500,000 to 100,000 years, to verdict period and onward to the modern time until the creation of Pakistan as a nation. The history of Pakistan for times preceding 1947 sometimes partially overlaps with that of the history of India, Afghanistan, and Iran.

The modern state of Pakistan was created in 1947, but the region has an extensive ancient history that overlaps with the history of India, Iran and Afghanistan. The region was a crossroads of historic trade routes, including the Silk Road, and was settled over thousands of years by many groups including Dravidians, Persians, Greeks, Kushans, and Arabs. The earliest evidence of humans are pebble tools of the Soan Culture in the Punjab province between 500,000 to 100,000 years ago. The Indus region was the site of several ancient cultures including Mehrgarh, one of the world’s earliest towns, and the Indus Valley Civilisation at Harrappa and Mohenjo-Daro. The Indus Valley Civilisation collapsed in the middle of the second millennium BCE and was followed by the Vedic Civilisation which extended over much of northern India and Pakistan. Successive empires and kingdoms ruled the region from the Achaemenid Persian empire around 543 BCE, to Alexander the Great in 326 BCE and the Mauryan empire. The Indo-Greek Kingdom of Demetrius of Bactria included Gandhara and Punjab from 184 BCE, establishing the Greco-Buddhist period with advances in trade and culture and the city of Taxila (Takshashila) became a major centre of learning.

In 712 CE, the Arab general Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Sindh and Multan in southern Punjab, setting the stage for several successive Muslim empires including the Ghaznavid Empire, the Ghorid Kingdom, the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire. During this period Sufi missionaries played a pivotal role in converting a majority of the regional population to Islam. The gradual decline of the Mughal Empire in the early eighteenth century provided opportunities for the Afghans, Balochis and Sikhs to exercise control over large areas until the British East India Company gained ascendancy over the subcontinent.

Pakistan from 1947 to 1971The 1857 Indian War of Independence (“Sepoy Mutiny”) was the region’s last major armed struggle against the British, but it laid the foundations for the generally unarmed freedom struggle led by the Indian National Congress. However the All India Muslim League rose to popularity in the late 1930’s amid fears of under-representation and neglect of Muslims in politics. In 1930 Allama Iqbal called for a separate Muslim state in northwest and eastern India. Muhammad Ali Jinnah espoused the Two Nation Theory and led the Muslim League to adopt the Lahore Resolution of 1940, which led to the partition of India in 1947.

Pakistan was formed on August 14, 1947 with two Muslim-majority wings in the eastern and northwestern regions, separated by Hindu-majority India, and comprising the provinces of Baluchistan, East Bengal, the North-West Frontier Province, West Punjab and Sindh. Partition resulted in communal riots across India and Pakistan—millions of Muslims moved to Pakistan and millions of Hindus and Sikhs moved to India. Disputes arose over several princely states including Jammu and Kashmir which led to the First Kashmir War (1948) ending with Pakistan and India each occupying large parts of the state. From 1947 to 1956, Pakistan was a Dominion in the Commonwealth of Nations. The republic declared in 1958 was stalled by a coup d’etat by Ayub Khan (1958–69), who was president during a period of internal instability and a second war with India in 1965. His successor, Yahya Khan (1969–71) had to deal with the cyclone which caused 500,000 deaths in East Pakistan. Economic and political dissent in East Pakistan led to violent political repression and tensions escalating into civil war (Bangladesh Liberation War) and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and ultimately the secession of East Pakistan as the independent state of Bangladesh.

Civilian rule resumed from 1972 to 1977 under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, but he was deposed by General Zia-ul-Haq, who became the third military president. The secular policies of the past were replaced by Zia’s introduction of the Islamic Shariat legal code, and increased religious influences on the civil service and the military. Muhammad Khan Junejo was elected in 1985 as Prime Minister, but with the death of General Zia in a plane crash in 1988, Benazir Bhutto, daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was elected as the first female Prime Minister of Pakistan. Over the next decade, she alternated in power with Nawaz Sharif as the political and economic situation worsened. Military tensions in the Kargil conflict with India in 1999 were followed by a military coup in which General Pervez Musharraf assumed executive powers. In 2001, he became President after the resignation of Rafiq Tarar and after the 2002 parliamentary elections, transferred executive powers to newly elected Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali, who was succeeded in 2004 by Shaukat Aziz. On 8 October 2005, a powerful earthquake of magnitude of 7.6 on the Richter scale struck the northern mountains of Pakistan and neighbouring regions in India and Afghanistan with the official death toll on 8 November standing at 87,350 and an estimated 3.3 million left homeless in Pakistan.

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  Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, Prime Minister

Capital Islamabad

Area
Total     796,095 Sq. km.
Punjab     205,344 Sq. km.
Sindh     140,914  Sq. km.
Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa     74,521 Sq. km.
Balochistan     347,190 Sq. km.
Federally Administered Tribal Areas     27,220 Sq. km.
Islamabad (Capital)     906 Sq. km.

Population 165 million (estimated)-132 million (1998 census)

Pakistan is divided into four provinces viz., Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa, Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan. The tribal belt adjoining Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa 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.

Religion 95% Muslims, 5% others.

Annual per capita income US $1085 (For More Details)

GDP 5.8%

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).

The 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. (For more details click here)

National Anthem Approved in August, 1954
Verses Composed by: Abdul Asar Hafeez Jullundhri
Tune Composed by: Ahmed G. Chagla
Duration: 80 seconds

State Emblem The State Emblem consists of:
1. The crescent and star which are symbols of Islam
2. The shield in the centre shows four major crops
3. Wreath surrounding the shield represents cultural heritage and
4. Scroll contains Quaid’s motto: Faith, Unity, 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

4.1 % on the average for the last six years–1.5% in 2007-08

Total cropped area

25.01 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     22763 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  (See.http://www.pakrail.com/)
Pakistan International Airlines    Covers 38 international and 24 domestic stations with a fleet of 49 planes.(See.http://www.piac.com.pk/)
Major Airports    Eight (Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Quetta, Peshawar, Multan, Faisalabad and Gwadar) (See.http://www.caapakistan.com.pk/)

Seaports
International    Three (Karachi, Bin Qasim and Gwadar
Fish Harbours-Cum-Mini Ports    Three (Minora, Gawadar, and Keti Bandar)

Communications
Post Offices
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 (See.http://www.app.com.pk/)
Private    PPI, NNI, On Line and Sana.

Electronic Media
Television    Public Sector    Pakistan Television Corporation (See.http://ptv.com.pk)Five TV centres at Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi covering 88.58% population and 49 re-broadcasting stations. 6 channels: PTV Home, PTV News, PTV National (Regional programming in Balochi, Pashto, Punjabi, Sindhi), PTV Global (for U.S.A.), PTV Bolan (PTV Quetta) and AJK TV (Azad Jammu & Kashmir Television – Kashmiri channel for local viewers)
Private Sector    More than 50 channels {Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has issued licences to more than 81 applicants so far}(See.http://www.pemra.gov.pk/)
Radio    Public:    Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (Radio Pakistan)(See.http://www.radio.gov.pk/) has 31 radio stations throughout Pakistan besides eight FM stations at Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Hyderabad. Besides its World Service in English and Urdu, Radio Pakistan beams its external services in seven languages to different parts of the world.
Private:    PEMRA has issued licences for the establishment of more than 100 FM Radio stations including universities for educational purposes. A number of radio stations are already operational in major cities of Pakistan.(See.http://www.pemra.gov.pk/)
Cable Operators     More than 900 (See.http://www.pemra.gov.pk/)

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
Faysal Bank Limited
Bank Al-Habib Limited
Metropolitan Bank Limited
KASB Commercial Bank Limited
Prime Commercial Bank Limited
Soneri Bank Limited
Meezan Bank Limited
Silk Bank
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
Barclays
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
Royal Bank of Scotland
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 Pukhtoonkhwa
The Kurram Pass     FATA
The Tochi Pass     FATA
The Gomal Pass     Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa
The Bolan Pass     Balochistan
The Lowari Pass    Chitral (Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa)
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
Location/Province
Thar     Sindh
Cholistan     Punjab
Thal     Punjab

Lakes
Location/Province
Manchar    Sindh
Keenjar    Sindh
Hanna    Balochistan
Saif-ul-Maluk    Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa
Satpara    Northern Areas
Kachura    Northern Areas

Major Dams
Location/Province
Mangla Dam     Punjab
Tarbela Dam     Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa
Warsak Dam     Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa

Land and People

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, it has 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 human migration from the mountains to the plains in winter and from plains to the mountains in summer. The permanent settlers grow corn, maize, barley, 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 dozan 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 above 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 grave 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 western cyclonic distrubances originating in the Mediterranean.

It is appreciable in the western mountains and the immediate forelying area; here 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 4C° and 18C°, 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 40C° and beyond. The highest recorded temperature at Jaccobabad in June is 53C°. While the interior is blazing hot, the temperature along the sea coast ranges between 25C° to 35C°, 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 34C° to 37C° all over Pakistan, while the nights are fairly cool with the minimum temperature around 16C°. In the month of November, both the maximum and the mimimum temperatures fall by about 6C° and the weather becomes pleasant. October and November are by far the driest months all over the plains of Pakistan.

People and Population
PAKISTAN AT A GLANCE
1998-CENSUS
Area (Sq. Kms.)    796,096
Population (000)    132,352
Male    68,874
Female    63,478
Sex Ratio (Males per 100 Females)    108.5
Population Density
(Persons per Sq. Km)    166.3
Urban Proportion    32.50
Average Annual Growth Rate (1981-1998)    2.69
Literacy Ratio (10+)    43.92
Male    54.81
Female    32.02
Labour Force
Participation Rate (10+)    31.98
Average Household Size    6.8

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