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Pakistan: the Indus valley and its millenary civilization

Pakistan (Islāmi Jamhūrìya-e-Pakistān) is a presidential Islamic republic, with capital Islamabad. The country which is located in south-central Asia is located immediately north of the Tropic of Cancer. It borders China to the north-east to which it is connected by the Karakorum Road via the spectacular Khunjerab Pass. The Khunjerab Pass is the highest international border crossing in the world. To the east and south-east the country borders India, to the west with Iran, to the north and north-west to Afghanistan, to the south it faces the Arabian Sea.

Pakistan administratively includes 4 provinces (Balochistan, North-West Frontier, Punjab, Sind), 2 territories (Islamabad Capital Territory, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Khyber, Kurram, Malakand, Mohmand, North and South Waziristan)) Pakistan also administers two regions of the province of Jammu and Kashmir (Azad Kashmir (Muzaffarabad) and the Northern Areas).

The capital of the country is Islamabad, the most important city is Karachi, other major cities are Lahore, Faisalabad, Hyderabad, Quetta, Peshawar, Multan and Rawalpindi.

THE GEOGRAPHY OF PAKISTAN

The territory of Pakistan is crossed by the River Indus (3,180 km long, 1,165,000 sq km of the basin), which represents for the country what the Nile is for Egypt. The river flows from north-east to south-west to merge into the Arabian Sea along its course collects the water of numerous tributaries including Kabul river, which collects the Afghan Hindu Kush waters; the most fertile area of the country the Punjab, is formed from the valleys of the Indus river and its left tributaries, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej and Jhelum carrying the water coming from Himalaya.

Along the border with India, south of Punjab, extends the sandy and stony desert of Thar. The western area of the country is formed from arid (Balochistan, which extends from the Indus valley to the border with Iran, it is a semi-desert plateau crossed by mountain ranges of Tobakakar, Siahan, Sulaiman and Kirthar, which in some places exceeding 3,000 meters high, along the south coast of the Arabian Sea is the semi-desert area of Makran. In the Indus delta is the fertile valley of Sindh at the heart of which lies the city of Hyderabad.

THE MOUNTAIN CHAINS OF KARAKORUM AND HIMALAYA

The northern and western areas of the country are mountainous, at the north-east, in the Himalaya and Karakoram chains, are some of the highest mountains of the world, within the boundaries of Pakistan are five of the fourteen mountains exceeding the 8000 meters in the planet Earth.

Among them, the K2 (the second mountain on the planet, Karakoram, China-Pakistan, 8,611 meters), Nanga Parbat (ninth mountain on the planet, Himalaya, Pakistan, 8,126 metres), Gasherbrum I (K5, eleventh mountain on the planet, Karakoram, China-Pakistan, 8,080 meters), Faichan Kangri (K3 or Broad Peak, the twelfth mountain on the planet, Karakoram, China-Pakistan, 8,047 metres), Gasherbrum II (K4 , the thirteenth mountain on the planet, Karakoram, China-Pakistan, 8,035 meters).

In the north-west of Pakistan along the border with Afghanistan is the Hindu Kush chain, with peaks that exceed largely the 7,000 meters, the Tirich Mir (7,708 metres), the highest peak in the Hindu Kush chain lies in Pakistan.

THE ECONOMY OF PAKISTAN

The Pakistani economy is based on agriculture. Wheat, cotton, rice, potatoes, sesame, flax, castor, rapeseed, peanuts, hemp, tobacco, sugar cane, citrus fruits, bananas, dates are grown in the country.

A certain importance has also the breeding of cattle, goats, sheep, chickens and buffaloes. Fishing is quite relevant. While among the subsoil reserves we find copper, natural gas, oil, salt, chromium, coal, ferrous minerals, clay, graphite. Among the industrial activities, the most important are those related to the transformation of agricultural products and the processing of fabrics.

The official website of the Government of Pakistan.

  • Area: 880,940 sqkm. (Arable 27%, Pastures 6%, Forests and Woodlands 4%, Uncultivated and Unproductive 63%).
  • Population: 162,500,000 (2007 data) (Punjabis 45%, Pashtuns 16%, Sindhis 14%, Seraikis 11%, Muhajirs 8%, Balochis 4%).
  • State Capital: Islamabad.
  • Languages: The official languages are Urdu and English. Regional languages are Balochi, Pashto, Punjabi, Siraiki and Sindhi.
  • Religion: Muslim 96% (Sunni 76%, Shi’a 20%), Hinduist 1,85%, Christian 1,6%.
  • Currency: Rupee (PKR)
  • Time: UTC +5 hours.

This post is also available in: German

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