Sunday, July 13, 2008

Knowing Pakistan

Knowing Pakistan:Major(R)Khalid Nasr
Introduction: Pakistan is the land of the Indus River, which flows through the country for 2,880 km. from the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges to the Arabian sea. It is located between 23 and 37 degrees north latitude and 61 and 76 degrees east longitude. It is a land of snow covered peaks and burning deserts, of fertile mountain valleys and irrigated plains. Created in 1947 as a homeland for the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent, it is inhabited by some 128 million people (1995) belonging to many ethnic groups speaking over 20 different languages and wearing distinctive costumes, but all united by the Islamic faith. The Land of Pure (as the Urdu name Pakistan translates into English) is strategically placed at the crossroads of Asia, where the road from China to the Mediterranean meets the route from India to Central Asia. For thousands of years, this junction has been a melting pot of diverse cultures, attracting traders and adventurers, pilgrims and holy men. For any visitor, Pakistan has a wealth of attractions: its 4,000-year history is richly illustrated by archaeological sites and imposing monuments scattered the length and breadth of the country. Brick cities from the Indus Civilization, which flourished around 2000 BC, stand beside Buddhist ruins contemporaneous with the birth of Christianity. Magnificent Muslim tombs from the 12th century vie with palaces, mosques and forts of the Mughal emperors of the 16th and 17th centuries. The country's main cities reflect the many influences, both historical and modern, that have made Pakistan what it is today. Lahore is the cultural center of the country, with an elegant core of Mughal architecture embellished by the flowery exuberance of the British Raj. Islamabad, the capital, is a modern garden city. Finally bustling Karachi is a huge international port, industrial and financial center. In the north of the country, four great mountain ranges meet, offering some of the most challenging and scenic mountaineering, trekking and jeep safaris in the world. Five huge rivers flow south to the sea, forming the flight paths for migrating birds and providing exciting white water rafting and boating. To the spirit hungry for exploration and adventure, Pakistan beckons.
Basic Facts About Pakistan
Official Name :Islamic Republic of Pakistan . Father of the Nation:Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah . Capital Is lamabad . Area796,096 Sq. km. Population :135.28 million . Ethnic composition:95% Muslims, 5% others Per capita income:US$ 460 . Currency:Rupee . Exports:Cotton, textile goods, rice, leather items, carpets, sports goods, fruits, handicrafts Sea Food (Fisheries) . Imports:Industrial equipment, vehicles, iron ore, petroleum, edible oil . Languages:Urdu (National language) . English (Official) . Literacy rate:39% Government:Parliamentary form . 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 87 members. The four Provincial Assemblies, Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Federal Capital form its electoral college. The National Assembly has a total membership of 217 elected through adult suffrage (Muslim 207 and Minorities 10). Pakistan National Flag:Dark green with a white vertical bar, a white crescent and a five-pointed star in the middle. The Flag symbolises Pakistan's profound commitment to Islam and Islamic world. National Anthem:Approved in June, 1954 Verses Composed by: Abul Asar Hafeez Jullundhri Tune Composed by: Ahmed G. Chagla State Emblem:The State Emblem consists of: 1. The crescent and star which is symbol of Islam 2. The shield in the centre shows four major crops 3. Wreath surrounding the shield represents cultural heritage 4. Scroll contains Quaid's motto: Unity Faith, Discipline National Flower:Jasmine Popular games:Cricket, Hockey, Football Tourist's resorts:Murree, Quetta, Hunza, Ziarat, Swat, Kaghan, Chitral and Gilgit Archaeological sites:Moenjo Daro, Harappa, Taxila, Kot Diji, Mehr Garh Major Cities:Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Rawalpindi, Hyderabad, Multan, Sialkot and Faisalabad Agriculture:Major crops are cotton, wheat, rice and sugarcane Total cropped area: 22.14 million hectares Industry:Textiles, cement, fertiliser, steel, sugar, electric goods, shipbuilding EnergyMajor sources: Oil, Coal, Hydel, Thermal, Nuclear and Liquid Petroleum Gas Transport & Communication:Total length of roads: 228,206 km Pakistan Railway network: 8,775 km Railway stations: 781 Pakistan International Airlines: Covers 55 international and 38 domestic stations Major Airports: 6 - Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Quetta, Peshawar and Gwadar Seaports International : 2 - Karachi and Bin Qasim Famous Mountain PeaksK-2 (Mt. Godwin Austin): 28,250 ft./8611 m (2nd in World) Nanga Parbat : 26,660 ft./8125 m (8th in World) Gasherbrum-I: 26,470 ft./8068 m (11th in World) Famous Mountain Passes:The Khyber Pass The Kurram Pass The Tochi Pass The Gomal Pass The Bolan Pass The Lowari Pass The Khunjrab Pass Rivers:The Indus 2880 km Jhelum 825 km Chenab 1242 km Ravi 901 km Sutlej 1551 km Beas (tributary of Sutlej) 398 km Famous GlaciersSiachin 75 km Batura 55 km Baltoro 62 km Deserts:Thar: Sindh Cholistan: Punjab Thal: Punjab Major Dams: Tarbela Dam- North West Frontier Province Mangla Dam- Punjab Warsak Dam- North West Frontier Province

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