by Waqar Arshad
Pakistan is an Islamic Republic (Official name: Islamic Republic of Pakistan) and its capital is Islamabad. Pakistan has four provinces: Baluchistan, North West Frontier Province (NWFP), Punjab and Sindh. Their respective capitals are: Quetta, Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi. In addition to these provinces is the Federally Administered Northern Area (FANA), which is divided into the districts of Diamer, Ghanche, Ghizer, Gilgit and Skardu. There are also seven Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
Pakistan has a federal structure. Parliament consists of the Lower House (National Assembly) and the Upper House (Senate). Members of the National Assembly are directly elected and their term of office is five years. The National Assembly determines the major policy issues and passes an annual budget and legislation. It elects the Prime Minister from among its members.
The Prime Minister forms the cabinet from among members of the Assembly and the Senate. Provinces have their own elected legislative assemblies and Chief Ministers. The Provincial Assemblies elect the majority of the members of the Upper House.
The national language is Urdu, while the official language is English. Some of the main regional languages include Sindhi, Baluchi, Punjabi and Pashto.
Pakistan has a Population of over 130 million. At present, the growth rate is 2.8 percent per annum. The major cities are Karachi (10 million), Lahore (5.5 million), Faisalabad (2 million), Rawalpindi (928,000), and Islamabad (340,286). Other cities include Peshawar, Quetta, Rawalpindi, Hyderabad, Multan and Sialkot. Major religions are Muslim (97%), Hindu (1.5%), Christian (1%) and several other minorities.
- Total Area: 796,095 Sq. Km
- Punjab Province: 205,344 Sq. Km
- Sindh Province: 140,914 Sq. Km
- North West Frontier Province (NWFP): 74,521 Sq. Km
- Balochistan Province: 347,190 Sq. Km
- Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA): 27,220 Sq. Km
- Islamabad (Capital): 906 Sq. Km
Literacy rate is about 55.1% (2004). Some facts about educational institutes are:
- Primary schools: 150,963
- Middle schools: 14,595
- High schools: 9,808
- Arts & science colleges: 798
- Professional colleges: 161
- Universities: 35 (10 in Private sector)
Some basic facts about health facilities are:
- Hospitals: 830
- Beds: 86,921
- Doctors (registered): 74,229
- Dentists (registered): 2,938
- Nurses (registered): 22,810
Flora and Fauna
National Flower is Jasmine, other trees include Pine, Oak, Poplar, Deodar, Maple, Mulberry. Some popular animal species are The Pheasant, Leopard, Deer, Ibex, Chinkara, Black buk, Neelgai, Markhor, Marcopolo sheep, Green turtles, River & Sea fish, Crocodile, Water Fowls.
Pakistan has large number of beautiful places and attractions to visit. Popular tourist destinations during holiday seasons are like Murree, Quetta, Swat Valley, Hunza, Ziarat, Kaghan, Chitral and Gilgit.
Pakistan also has a long history of different cultures and traditions. Some of the popular and well-known archaeological sites are Mohenjo Daro, Harappa, Taxila, Kot Diji and Mehr Garh.
Central Bank is State Bank of Pakistan. Other Banks include National Bank of Pakistan, Habib Bank Ltd,. Muslim Commercial Bank Ltd., Allied Bank of Pakistan Ltd., First Woman Bank, Mehran Bank and the Bank of Punjab. Agricultural Development Bank of Pakistan, Federal Bank for Co-operatives, Industrial Development Bank of Pakistan, The Punjab Provincial Co-operative Bank, Banker’s Equity and National Development Finance Corporation.
From agriculture Pakistan produces different varieties of crops. Some of the major crops are cotton, wheat, rice and sugarcane. Total cropped area constitutes around 22.14 million hectares of the total area. The average per capita income is $460 (approx).
Major exports include raw cotton and cotton products, rice, fish and fish products, carpets and rugs, leather and leather goods, sports and surgical goods. Major imports include tea, petroleum and its products, edible oils, chemical fertilizers, milk and milk foods, agricultural machinery, transport equipment, medicines, iron and steel. Major trading partners are the USA, Japan, Germany, UK, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia and China.
Northern areas of Pakistan are blessed with some of the tallest peaks and mountains in the world in the Great Himalyians. The most popular and renowned peak is K-2 as known also Mt. Godwin Austin. Its height is about 28,250 ft. or 8611 meters which makes its 2nd highest peak in the World after Mount Everest. Other mountains include well-known Nanga Parbat of about 26,660 ft./8126 meters (8th in World) and Gasherbrum about 26,470 ft./8068 meters (11th in World).
Some of the famous mountain passes are The Khyber Pass, The Kurram Pass, The Tochi Pass, The Gomal Pass, The Bolan Pass, The Lowari Pass, and The Khunjrab Pass. five major rivers are Indus (2896 km), Jhelum (825 km), Chenab (1242 km), Ravi (901 km) and Sutlej (1551 km). Some of the famous lakes are Manchar, Keenjar, Saif-ul-Maluk, Hanna. Major dams include Tarbela Dam (largest mud built dam is the world), Mangla Dam, Warsak Dam.
Following media statistics can be observed for the coverage of the information and events across the country.
- Daily: 42
- Weekly: 718
- Fortnightly: 107
- Monthly: 553News Agencies
- APP (official)
- PPI & NNI (Pvt)
Pakistan Television: Five TV centers at Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi, covering 87% of the population.
- Registered TV sets: 2,823,800*
- Viewership: 115 million*
Radio stations: Total 23, Home services in 20 languages. External services cover 70 countries in 15 languages. Private TV/Radio: Radio stations: 3, TV transmitter channels: 4, Private News Agencies: 2
* All figures are approximate
* According to 2004