Punjab (Urdu: صوبہ پنجاب) is a province in Pakistan. The capital of Punjab is Lahore. Punjab has a population of 80 million people and an area of 79,284 mi² or (205,344 km²) in terms of area the province of Punjab is greater in area than Kyrgyzstan but smaller than Belarus.
Etymology[change | change source]
The word Punjab is a combination of the Indo-Iranian words panj (five) and āb (water), and thus the (land of) five rivers. The five rivers are the Indus, Chenab, Jhelum, Ravi and Sutlej. Sometimes, in English, there can be a definite article before the name i.e. the Punjab. The name is also sometimes spelled as Panjab or Panjaab or Punjaab. The name Punjab was given to the region by Turkic Muslim conquerors and popularized during the reign of the Mughal Empire in the 17th century CE.
History[change | change source]
Before 1947 both Pakistan and the Republic of India were ruled by the British. The Punjab province used to be a part of British Punjab. In 1947 the Muslim majority voted yes, Sikh minority voted yes, Hindu minority voted no to Partition thereon, the British province of Punjab was split between Pakistan and Bharat via the Radcliffe Line and the Ferozpur District and the sub-district of Gurdaspur awards were originally meant to go to the Pakistanis, however it was decided on August 18th to allocate them to East Punjab. Today India has a state called Punjab since 1966. A bus service was launched in 2006 connecting Lahore in Pakistani Punjab with Amritsar in the Republic of India, through the Wagah international border. This was the first bus service between the two Punjabs for almost 60 years.
Overview[change | change source]
Wagah, named Wahga in Pakistan, is a village through which the controversial Radcliffe Line, the boundary permanent Demarcation line dividing the Indian Punjab from Pakistani Punjab upon the Partition of India, was drawn. The village was divided by independence in 1947. Today, the eastern half of the village remains in the Republic of India while the western half is in Pakistan.
It is particularly known for the elaborate Wagah border ceremony that happens at the International border gate before 5PM each day.
Since the 1950s, Punjab industrialized rapidly. New factories were established in Lahore, Multan, Sialkot and Wah. In the 1960s the new city of Islamabad was built near Rawalpindi.
Agriculture continues to be the largest sector of Punjab's economy. The province is the breadbasket of the country as well as home to the largest ethnic group in Pakistan, the Punjabis. Unlike neighbouring India, there was no large-scale redistribution of agricultural land. As a result most rural areas are dominated by a small set of feudalistic Zamindaror the land-owning families.
In the 1950s there was tension between the eastern and western halves of Pakistan. In order to address the situation, a new formula resulted in the abolition of the province status for Punjab in 1955. It was merged into a single province West Pakistan. In 1972, after East Pakistan seceded and became Bangladesh, Punjab again became a province.
Punjab witnessed major battles between the armies of India and Pakistan in the wars of 1965 and 1971. Since the 1990s Punjab hosted several key sites of Pakistan's nuclear program such as Kahuta. It also hosts major military bases such as at Sargodha and Rawalpindi. The peace process between India and Pakistan, which began in earnest in 2004, has helped pacify the situation. Trade and people-to-people contacts through the Wagah border are now starting to become common. Indian Sikh pilgrims visit holy sites such as Nankana Sahib.
Starting in the 1980s, large numbers of Punjabis migrated to the Middle East, Britain, Spain, Canada and the United States for economic opportunities, forming the large Punjabidiaspora. Business and cultural ties between the United States and Punjab are growing.
Geography[change | change source]
Punjab is Pakistan's second largest province at 205,344 km2 (79,284 sq mi) after Balochistan and is located at the northwestern edge of the geologic Indian plate in South-central Asia. The capital and largest city is Lahore which was the historical capital of the wider Punjab region. Other important district cities include Multan, Faisalabad, Sheikhupura, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Jhelum and Rawalpindi. Undivided Punjab is home to six rivers, of which five flow through Pakistani Punjab. From west to east, these are: the Indus, Jhelum, Beas, Chenab, Ravi and Sutlej. Nearly 60% of Pakistan's population lives in the Punjab. It is the nation's only province that touches every other province; it also surrounds the federal enclave of the national capital city at Islamabad.This geographical position and a large multi-ethnic population strongly influence Punjab's outlook on National affairs and induces in Punjab a keen awareness of the problems of the Pakistan's other important provinces and territories. In the acronymP-A-K-I-S-T-A-N, the P is for PUNJAB.
The province is a mainly a fertile region along the river valleys, while sparse deserts can be found near the border with Rajasthan and the Sulaiman Range. The region contains the Thar and Cholistan deserts. The Indus River and its many tributaries traverse the Punjab from north to south.
The landscape is amongst the most heavily irrigated on earth and canals can be found throughout the province. Weather extremes are notable from the hot and barren south to the cool hills of the north. The foothills of the Himalayas are found in the extreme north as well.
Districts of Punjab (Pakistan)[change | change source]
Main article: Districts of Punjab (Pakistan)
Related pages[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
|Islamic Republic of Pakistan|
اسلامی جمہوریۂ پاکستان
Motto: Unity, Discipline, Faith
Anthem: Qaumī Tarāna
Area controlled by Pakistan in dark red; claimed and disputed but uncontrolled territory marked in light red
|Official languages||Urdu (National)|
|Recognised regional languages||Balochi, Pashto, Punjabi, Saraiki, Sindhi|
|Mamnoon Hussain (PML N)|
• Prime Minister
|Shahid Khaqan Abbasi (PML N)|
• Chief Justice
|Nasir ul Mulk|
• Chair of Senate
|Raza Rabani (PPP)|
• House Speaker
|Ayaz Sadiq (PML-N)|
• Upper house
• Lower house
• Pakistan Declaration
|28 January 1933|
• Pakistan Resolution
|23 March 1940|
|from the United Kingdom|
|14 August 1947|
• Islamic Republic
|23 March 1956|
|796,095 km2 (307,374 sq mi) (36th)|
• Water (%)
• 2014 estimate
• 1998 census
|214.3/km2 (555.0/sq mi) (55th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2011 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2011 estimate|
• Per capita
|HDI (2011)|| 0.504|
low · 145th
|Currency||Pakistani Rupee (Rs.) (PKR)|
• Summer (DST)
|Drives on the||left|
|ISO 3166 code||PK|
Pakistan is a country in southern Asia. It is next to India, Iran, Afghanistan, and China. It is officially called the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It has a long coastline along the Arabian Sea in the south. Pakistan has the fifth largest population (207.77 million) in the world. Pakistan has a total land area of 880,940 km2 (340,130 sq mi) (including the Pakistani-administered territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan). This makes Pakistan the 34th largest country in the world. Pakistan has the seventh largest army in the world. The capital of Pakistan is Islamabad. Before 1960, it was Karachi, which is now the country's largest city.
The name Pākistān means Land of the Pure in Persian and Urdu.
Name of Pakistan[change | change source]
The name Pakistan (English pronunciation: ( listen) or ( listen); Urdu: پاکستان [paːkɪˈst̪aːn]) means Land of (the) Spiritually Pure in both Urdu and Persian languages. Many South-central Asian states and regions end with the element -stan, such as Afghanistan,PAKISTAN,Baluchistan,Kurdistan, and Turkistan. This -stan is formed from the Iranian root *STA "to stand, stay," and means "place (where one stays), home, country". Iranian peoples have been the principal inhabitants of the various geographical region of the Ancient Persian Empires now occupied by the states for over a thousand years. The names are compounds of -stan and the name of the peoples living there. Pakistan is a bit of an exception; its name was coined on the 28th January 1933 as Pakstan by Choudhary Rahmat Ali, a Pakistan Movement activist, who published it in his paper Now or Never. by using the suffix -istan from Baluchistan preceded by the initial letters of Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir and Sindh. The name is actually an acronym that stands for the "thirty million Muslim brethren who lived in PAKSTAN—by which we mean the Five Northern units of India viz: Punjab, (Afghan Province), Kashmir, Sind, and Baluchistan". The letter i was incorporated to ease pronunciation and forms the linguistically correct and meaningful name. Most notably interestingly, a word almost identical in form, etymology, and meaning to the Iranian suffix -stan is found in Polish, which has a word stan meaning "state" (in the senses of both polity and condition). It can be found in the example of a Polish name for the "United States of America," Stany Zjednoczone Ameryki (literally "States United of America").
Government and politics[change | change source]
Main articles: Government of Pakistan and Politics of Pakistan
Pakistan has a federal parliamentary system. The head of state is an indirectly-elected President. The president is also the Commander in Chief of the Joint Armed Forces. The head of government is the Prime Minister, who is also indirectly elected.
The President's appointment and term are constitutionally independent of the Prime Minister’s term. The Electoral college of the country, (composed of the Senate, the National Assembly, and the four Provincial Assemblies) chooses a leadership representing the President of Pakistan for a five-year term. The Prime Minister is usually the leader of the largest party in the National Assembly and is assisted by a cabinet of ministers drawn from both chambers of the federal legislature.
Politics[change | change source]
Pakistan is officially a federal republic, but during a long period in its history it changed to a democratic state and a military dictatorship. Military dictators include Ayub Khan in the 1960s, General Zia-ul-Haq in the 1980s.
Pakistan's two largest political parties are the Pakistan People's Party and the government party Muslim League (Pakistan), which have military support. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has also gained prominence in the past years.
On 27 December 2007, the leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party, Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated. The reason is yet to be determined.
Administrative divisions[change | change source]
Main articles: Administrative units of Pakistan and Districts of Pakistan
Pakistan is made up of four provinces, two territories and two special areas. Both special areas are in Kashmir. The provinces and territories were divided into 26 divisions with now 147 districts directly divided from the provinces. Each district is divided into several tehsils and each tehsil is divided into several union councils. There are around 596 tehsils and over 6,000 union councils in Pakistan.
- Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly NWFP)
Among the four provinces, Punjab has the most people but Balochistan is the largest province by area. (Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also have Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) which are going to be regular districts.)
- Islamabad Capital Territory
- Federally Administered Tribal Areas
Administrative Areas (Pakistan-administered Kashmir)
- Azad Kashmir
- Gilgit Baltistan
India, Pakistan and China separately control parts of the Kashmir region. India and Pakistan's parts are divided by a Line of Control. The Pakistan–China border is internationally recognised. Trade is common between the 2 countries.
National symbols[change | change source]
Main article: National symbols of Pakistan
Economy[change | change source]
Main article: Economy of Pakistan
Pakistan has a semi-industrialized economy. The growth poles of the Pakistani economy are situated along the Indus River. Diversified economies of Karachi and Punjab's urban centres, coexist with less developed areas in other parts of the country. Despite being a very poor country in 1947, Pakistan's economic growth rate has been better than the global average during the subsequent four decades, but imprudent policies led to a slowdown in the late 1990s.
Recently, wide-ranging economic reforms have resulted in a stronger economic outlook and accelerated growth especially in the manufacturing and financial services sectors. Since the 1990s, there has been great improvement in the foreign exchange market position and rapid growth in hard currency reserves.
The 2005 estimate of foreign debt was close to US$40 billion. However, this decreased with help from the International Monetary Fund and significant debt-relief from the United States. Pakistan's gross domestic product, as measured by purchasing power parity, is estimated to be $475.4 billion while its per capita income stands at $2,942. The poverty rate in Pakistan is estimated to be between 23% and 28%.
History[change | change source]
Pakistan became Independent in 1946 from the Indian empire of British Raj. The first people in Ancient Pakistan lived 9000 years ago. These people were the ones who made up the Indus Valley Civilization, which is one of the oldest civilizations on Earth. After that, the Vedic period came. This also included parts of north-western Republic of India. Until 1971, Pakistan also included an area in the North-east India region. This is now called Bangladesh. It lost that area after a war with the Indian Army and the joint militant group of Indo-Bangladeshi alliance of Mitro Bahini of West Bengal. During recent times Pakistan has been in the centre of world politics. This is first because of its support to guerillas in Afghanistan, following Sovietinvasion 1979, and later during the 1990s because of its cooperation with and support for the Talibanregime in Afghanistan. However, since 2000 Pakistan has basically supported the West in their war against fundamentalist terrorism, including the removal of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
Pakistan is a member of the Commonwealth. However, after the war in East Pakistan the country was excluded (between 1972-1989). It was also a member between 1999 and 2007, it was excluded in 2007 for a time but again became a member in 2008.
Geography and climate[change | change source]
Main article: Geography of Pakistan
There are many earthquakes in the area. The earthquake in 2005 with its earthquake center in Kashmir is the strongest so far. Over 100,000 people were killed or wounded on October 8, 2005.
Pakistan covers 880,940 km2 (340,130 sq mi), approximately equalling the combined land areas of France and the United Kingdom. Its eastern regions are located on the Indian plate and the western and northern regions on the Iranian plateau and Eurasian landplate. Apart from the 1,046 km (650 mi) Arabian Sea coastline, Pakistan's land borders total 6,774 km (4,209 mi) — 2,430 km (1,510 mi) with Afghanistan to the northwest, 523 km (325 mi) with China to the northeast, 2,912 km (1,809 mi) with India to the south and east, and 909 km (565 mi) with Iran to the southwest.
The northern and western highlands of Pakistan contain the towering Karakoram and Pamir mountain ranges, which incorporate some of the world's highest peaks, including K2 8,611 m (28,251 ft) and Nanga Parbat 8,126 m (26,660 ft). The Balochistan Plateau lies to the west, and the Thar Desert and an expanse of alluvial plains, the Punjab and Sindh, lie to the east. The 1,609 km (1,000 mi) Indus River and its tributaries flow through the country from the disputed territory of Occupied Kashmir to the Arabian Sea.
Pakistan has four seasons: a cool, dry winter from December through February; a hot, dry spring from March through May; the summer rainy season, or southwest monsoon period, from June through September; and the retreating monsoon period of October and November. The beginning and length of these seasons vary somewhat according to location. Rainfall can vary radically from year to year, and successive patterns of flooding and drought are also not uncommon.
People[change | change source]
Languages[change | change source]
Main article: Languages of Pakistan
Urdu is replacing English as the national language of the country. English is still spoken among the Pakistani elite and in most government ministries. Many people also speak Saraiki, Punjabi, Hindko, Pashto, Sindhi , Balochi, Brahui and Khowar.
Shina is also one of the regional languages of Pakistan. It is spoken in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Religion[change | change source]
Main article: Islam in Pakistan
Pakistan is a muslim country which means the religion is Islam
Most (97%) of the people are Muslim. Most of the Muslims in Pakistan are Sunni Muslims (>75%) and some are Shia Muslims (20%). However a few minority groups exist. Pakistan also has some Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Zoroastrians and animist minority groups in the northern parts of the country.
After the separation from British India, Hinduism had much less importance in the newly created state of Pakistan, but has played an important role in its culture and politics as well as the history of its regions. In fact, Pakistan has the 5th largest population of Hindus, after Sri Lanka.
The word Hindu comes from the Sindhu (Indus River) of Pakistan. The Sindhu is one of the holy rivers of Hinduism. Thus, in many ways, the land which is today's heavily Muslim Pakistan has played an important part in the origin of Hinduism. There are about 3 million Hindus living in Pakistan.
Poverty[change | change source]
Poverty in Pakistan is a growing concern. Although the middle-class has grown in Pakistan, nearly one-quarter of the population is classified poor as of October 2006.
Sports[change | change source]
For more details, see Pakistan at the Olympics, Pakistan national field hockey team, and Pakistan national football team
The national sport of Pakistan is field hockey, although cricket is the most popular game across the country. The national cricket team has won the Cricket World Cup once (in 1992), were runners-up once (in 1999), and co-hosted the games twice (in 1987 and 1996). Pakistan were runners-up in the inaugural 2007 ICC World Twenty20 held in South Africa and were the champions at the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 held in England. The team also won two Asia Cups in 2000 and 2012. Lately however, Pakistani cricket has suffered heavily due to teams refusing to tour Pakistan after militants attacked the touring Sri Lankan team in March 2009, after which no international cricket was played until May 2015, when the Zimbabwean team agreed to tour.
In addition to sports like field hockey, cricket, squash rackets, football and others, Pakistanis are also very keen on equestrianism of various types,and equestrian sports such as Polo and the traditional Tent pegging are played by many. Other traditional rural sports include two types of Wrestling, Kabbadi and a martial art called Gatka. Pakistan won ICC Champions trophy against India in 2017.