Location map of Pakistan
Pakistan in brief
Destination Pakistan, a Nations Online profile of the South Asian country.
The Islamic Republic is situated between the Karakoram mountain range, the Himalayas and China
in the northeast, Afghanistan
in the northwest, Iran
in the southwest, the Arabian Sea in the south, and India
in the east.
Formerly part of the British Empire in India,
Within Pakistan's landscape, there is the flat fertile Indus plain in the east, nurtured by the Indus, the country's longest river and a key water resource. Pakistan's north is mountainous. The nation's highest mountains are the K2 in the Karakoram Range and the Nanga Parbat, the 'Naked Mountain,' in the Himalayas in Gilgit-Baltistan. Pakistan's largest and least populated province is Balochistan in the southwest; the region includes the Balochistan Plateau and the Sulaiman Mountains.
The country occupies an area
of 796,095 km²; compared, it is somewhat larger than Turkey
(783,562 km²) or slightly less than twice the size of the U.S. state
The fifth most populous country in the world has a population
of more than 220 million people (in 2021).
Its capital is Islamabad
. The largest port, city and business capital is Karachi
. Pakistan's second-largest city is Lahore
. Other major Pakistani cities are Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Multan, Gujranwala, Hyderabad (Pakistan), Peshawar, and Quetta.
are Urdu (a form of Hindustani), English (both official), Punjabi, Sindhi, Dari, Balochi, and Pashto.
Main religion is Islam (96%).
What is Pakistan famous for?
The ceiling mosaic of the central dome in the Shah Jahan Mosque in Thatta. Nearby the mosque is Makli Necropolis, one of the largest funerary sites in the world.
Pakistan is home to the second-highest mountain on Earth, the K2
(8,611 m (28,251 ft)).
The country controls the Khyber Pass and the Bolan Pass, traditional invasion routes between Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent.
When in Pakistan, you should visit Punjab's capital, the country's most cosmopolitan city, Lahore
. The city features the 17th-century Mughal-era Wazir Khan Mosque
, the 16th century Lahore Fort
with gardens and the Minar-e-Pakistan, Pakistan's national tower.
450km southwest of Lahore, in the Cholistan Desert, is the impressive structure of the 9th Derawar Fort
Snow-capped mountains, lush forests and verdant alpine meadows can be found in the Swat Valley
in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and in the scenic Hunza
, a mountainous valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region, bordering the Pamir Mountains and the Chinese province of Xinjiang.
Looking for adventure? There is the Khyber Pass
on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, formerly part of the Silk Road and now a section on the Asian Highway 1.
100 km east of Karachi is the famous Shah Jahan Mosque
in Thatta (near Makli).
Other attractions in Pakistan
The lowering of the flags
ceremony at the Attari-Wagah is a famous tourist attraction. Colorful Pakistani truck-art; Jingle trucks, heavy-goods vehicles with bells and whistles.
Souvenirs: Multan Pottery
. Pink Himalayan salt
from the Punjab region (with unproven claims of health benefits). The huge Khewra Salt Mines
are a major tourist attraction.
The country was the site of the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilization
, one of the world's three earliest civilizations (2500–1700 BCE).
Pakistan is the home of the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Malala Yousafzai
The 1,300 km (800 mi) long Karakoram Highway
is one of the world's highest paved roads at a maximum elevation of 4,714 m. "Welcome to the Dungeon," Brain
, the first computer virus, was created in Pakistan.
The national sport of Pakistan is Hockey
, but Cricket
is the most popular sport in the country.