Pakistan Topography




Administrative Units of Pakistan and Districts of Pakistan

Pakistan is a federation of four provinces; Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, as well as a capital territory and a group of federally administered tribal areas in the northwest including the Frontier Regions. The government of Pakistan exercises de facto jurisdiction over the western parts of the disputed Kashmir region, organised as separate political entities; Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan (formerly Northern Areas). The latter has been given a province-like status for self government by the Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order, 2009.

The local government has a three-tier system of districts, tehsils and union councils with an elected body at each tier. There are 113 districts in Pakistan-proper, each with several tehsils and union councils. The tribal areas comprise seven tribal agencies and six small frontier regions detached from neighboring districts while Azad Kashmir comprises ten[94] and Gilgit-Baltistan seven districts respectively.

Law enforcement in Pakistan is carried out by federal and provincial police agencies. The four provinces and the Islamabad Capital Territory each have a civilian police force with jurisdiction limited to the relevant province or territory. At the federal level, there are a number of civilian agencies with nationwide jurisdictions; including the Federal Investigation Agency, the National Highways and Motorway Police, and several paramilitary forces including the Pakistan Rangers and the Frontier Corps.

The court system of Pakistan is distributed per hierarchy; Supreme Court is the apex court followed by, High Court, Federal Shariat Court (one in each province and in federal capital), District Courts (one in each district), Judicial Magistrate Courts (in every town and city), Executive Magistrate Courts and Courts of Civil Judge. Pakistan’s penal code has limited jurisdiction in tribal areas, where law is largely derived from tribal customs.

Geography and Climate of Pakistan

K2 in Gilgit-Baltistan is the second-highest mountain on Earth, with a peak elevation of 8,611 metres (28,251 ft). It is part of the Karakoram range.Pakistan covers an area of 796,095 km2 (307,374 sq mi), approximately equaling the combined land areas of France and the United Kingdom. It is the 36th largest nation by total area, although this ranking varies depending on how the disputed territory of Kashmir is counted. Apart from the 1,046 km (650 mi) coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south, Pakistan’s land borders a total of 6,774 km (4,209 mi)—2,430 km (1,510 mi) with Afghanistan, 523 km (325 mi) with China, 2,912 km (1,809 mi) with India and 909 km (565 mi) with Iran. Pakistan shares a marine border with Oman, and is separated from Tajikistan by the frigid, narrow Wakhan Corridor.[132] Located at the crossroads of South Asia, Middle East and Central Asia, Pakistan has an important geopolitical position in the world.

Geologically, Pakistan overlaps with the Indian tectonic plate in its Sindh and Punjab provinces, while Balochistan and most of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa lie within the Eurasian plate which mainly comprises the Iranian plateau. Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir lie mainly in Central Asia along the edge of the Indian plate and are hence prone to violent earthquakes. Pakistan’s geography is a mix of landscape varying from plains to deserts, forests, hills and plateaus ranging from the coastal areas of the south to the glaciated mountains of the north.

A lake view in Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Pakistan is divided into three major geographic areas: the northern highlands; the Indus River plain; and the Balochistan Plateau. The northern highlands of Pakistan contain the Karakoram, Hindu Kush and Pamir mountain ranges, which incorporate some of the world’s highest peaks including five out of fourteen mountain peaks of height over 8,000 metres (26,250 ft), that attract adventurers and mountaineers from all over the world. These notably include K2 (8,611 m or 28,251 ft) and Nanga Parbat (8,126 m or 26,660 ft).[136] The Balochistan Plateau lies to the West, and the Thar Desert in the East. An expanse of alluvial plains lies in Punjab and Sindh along the Indus river. The 1,609 km (1,000 mi) Indus River and its tributaries flow through the country from the Kashmir region to the Arabian Sea.

Pakistan’s climate varies from tropical to temperate with arid conditions existing in the coastal south, characterised by a monsoon season with frequent flooding rainfall and a dry season with significantly lesser to no rainfall. There are four distinct 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. Rainfall can vary radically from year to year, and successive patterns of flooding and drought are common.


With 177.1 million residents reported in 2011, Pakistan is the sixth most populated country in the world, behind Brazil and ahead of Bangladesh. At 2.03% it has the highest population growth rate among the SAARC countries, resulting in an annual addition of 3.6 million people. The population is projected to reach 210.13 million by the year 2020 and is estimated to double in the next 34 years. In 1947, Pakistan had a population of 32.5 million. From 1990 to 2009 it increased at a rate of 57.2%. By 2030 the country is expected to overtake Indonesia as the largest Muslim country in the world. Pakistan is a ‘young’ nation with a median age of about 20 and 104 million people under 30 years of age in 2010.

The majority of southern Pakistan’s population live along the Indus River. By population size, Karachi is the largest city of Pakistan. In the northern half, most of the population lives in an arc formed by the cities of Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Gujrat, Jhelum, Sargodha, Sheikhupura, Nowshera, Mardan and Peshawar. During 1990–2008, Pakistan sustained its historical lead as the most urbanised nation in South Asia, with city dwellers making up 36% of its population. Furthermore, 50% of Pakistanis reside in towns of 5,000 people or more.

Expenditure on health was 2.6% of the GDP in 2009. The 2010 statistics show life expectancy at birth at 65.4 years for females and 63.6 years for males. Private sector accounts for about 80% of all outpatient visits. Approximately 19% of the population and 30% of children under age of five are malnourished. The mortality below 5 was at 87 per 1,000 live births in 2009. About 20% of the population live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day.

Pakistan is a multilingual country with more than sixty languages being spoken, including a number of provincial languages. Urdu, being the lingua franca, a symbol of Muslim identity and national unity, is the national language of Pakistan. English is the official language of Pakistan and used in official business, government, and legal contracts; the local dialect is known as Pakistani English. Punjabi is the provincial language of Punjab and has a plurality of native speakers. Saraiki is mainly spoken in the southern area of Punjab province. Pashto is the provincial language of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Sindhi is the provincial language of Sindh and Balochi is the provincial language of Balochistan.

The population comprises several main ethnic groups. As of 2009, Punjabi population dominates with 78.7 million (44.15%), followed by 27.2 million (15.42%) Pashtuns, 24.8 million (14.1%) Sindhis, 14.8 million (10.53%) Seraikis, 13.3 million (7.57%) Muhajirs and 6.3 million (3.57%) Balochs. The remaining 11.1 million (4.66%) are various ethnic minorities. There is also a large worldwide overseas Pakistani diaspora, numbering over seven million.

Pakistan’s census does not include immigrant groups such as the registered 1.7 million Afghan refugees from neighbouring Afghanistan, who are mainly found in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) areas, with small numbers in the cities of Karachi and Quetta. As of 1995, there were more than 1.6 million Bengalis, 650,000 Afghans, 200,000 Burmese, 2,320 Iranians and Filipinos and hundreds of Nepalese, Sri Lankans and Indians living in Karachi. Pakistan hosts more refugees than any other country in the world.

 Image of Faisal Mosque in modern Pakistan

Faisal Mosque, in Islamabad, is Pakistan’s largest mosque. Pakistan is the second-most populous Muslim-majority country and also has the second-largest Shi’a population in the world. About 97% of the Pakistanis are Muslim. The majority are Sunni, with an estimated 5–20% Shi’a. 2.3% are Ahmadis, who are officially considered non-Muslims since a 1974 constitutional amendment. There are also several Quraniyoon communities. Although the groups of Muslims usually coexist peacefully, sectarian violence occurs sporadically.

After Islam, Hinduism and Christianity are the largest religions in Pakistan, each with 2,800,000 (1.6%) adherents in 2005. They are followed by Bahá’í with 30,000 and Sikhism, Buddhism and Parsi’s claiming 20,000 adherents each.

Pakistan is Administratively & Culturally Divided into following States/Provinces:



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