||803,940 Sq Km
||Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Quetta, Peshawer
||Pakistani rupee (PKR)
||Urdu, Punjabi, Sindi, Balochi, Pushto etc
||95% Muslims, 5% others
||Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Allama Muhammad Iqbal
History: Pakistan emerged on the world map as an independent sovereign state in August 1947, as a result of the division of the British Indian Empire. With a land area of 796,095 sq. km. [including FATA (Federal Administered Tribal Areas) and FANA (Federal Administered Northern Areas)], its population stands at nearly 130.60 million, according to the 1998 Census. Historically, this is one of the most ancient lands known to man. Its cities flourished before Babylon was built; its people practiced the art of good living and citizenship before the celebrated ancient Greeks.
The region traces its history back to at least 2,500 years before Christ, when a highly developed civilization flourished in the Indus Valley. Excavations at Harappa, Mohenjodaro and Kot Diji have brought to light evidence of an advanced civilization flourishing here even in most ancient times. Around 1,500 B.C. the Aryans conquered this region and slowly pushed the Hindu inhabitants further east, towards the Ganges Valley. Later, the Persians occupied the northern regions in 5th century B.C. The Greeks came in 327 B.C., under Alexander of Macedonia, and ran through the region like a meteor. In 712 A.D. the Arabs, led by Mohammed Bin Qasim, landed somewhere near what is now Karachi, and ruled the lower half of Pakistan for two hundred years. During this time Islam took root and influenced the life, culture and traditions of the inhabitants of the region.
People: Predominantly Muslims, the people of Pakistan are culturally homogeneous. Other religious groups include the Christians, Buddhist, Hindus and Parsees. All belong to a composite racial stock although the majority belongs to an Aryan extraction. While Urdu, the national language, is spoken throughout Pakistan, English is extensively used in official and commercial circles, and in the cities. The regional languages are Sindhi in Sindh, Balochi in Balochistan, Punjabi in Punjab and Pushto in the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP).
Tourism Pakistan: A trip through Pakistan is a face to face encounter with a fascinating land that has withstood countless invasions and preserved the essence of its conquerors in the form of present day monuments and archaeological heritage. See for yourself the excavated sites at Mohenjodaro and Taxila - seats of the ancient Indus Valley and Gandhara civilizations; the architectural monuments of the Moghuls; the Khyber Pass - the historic inlet to South Asia - or the ancient unchanging traditions of the Kafir Kalash of the Chitral Valley.
For those with an intrinsic love of mountains, Pakistan offers the unique pleasure of its northern mountain ranges, the Himalayas, the Hindukush and the Karakorams - a mountain wonderland unrivalled in the entire world with such formidable peaks as the K-2, the Nanga Parbat, the Rakaposhi, and the Trichmir. These ranges present an awesome challenge for those looking for trekking, mountaineering, angling, or jeep safaris. The resorts in these remote valleys make for an ideal summer get-away.