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Tuesday 28th May
Pakistan Information - Page 1
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is in Southern Asia. It is bordered by Iran, Afghanistan, China, India and the Arabian Sea.

Pakistan is divided into the administrative regions of Balochistan, the North-West Frontier Province, Punjab, Sindh, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, and Islamabad Capital Territory. Islamabad is the capital city. Karachi, the former capital of Pakistan, is a major port and commercial centre; Lahore is an important centre of industry and tourism. Other cities include Faisalabad and Rawalpindi.

The terrain of Pakistan consists of the Indus plain in the east, the Balochistan plateau in the west and mountains in the north and northwest. The Indus is the main river.

The climate varies according to geographic region: mostly hot, but temperate in the northwest and cold in the north, depending on altitude.

Two of the largest protected areas in Pakistan are Hingol National Park in Balochistan and Kirthar National Park in Sindh. Other parks include Hazar Ganji Chiltan National Park, Lal Suhanra Biosphere Reserve and National Park, Margalla Hills National Park, Ayubia National Park, Deosai National Park, Chitral Gol National Park, and Khunjerab National Park. Khunjerab Park, on the Pakistan-Chinese border, is one of the highest altitude parks in the world.

Wildlife in Pakistan includes antelopes, bears, crocodiles, gazelles, wild goats, hyenas, leopards, snow leopards, snakes, lizards and chameleons. Birds living in Pakistan are doves, flycatchers, hoopoes, sandpipers, sparrow hawks, pelicans, eagles, falcons and kestrels. Whales, dolphins and turtles are found in the Arabian Sea.

A number of sites in Pakistan are on the World Heritage List. The earliest is Mohenjo Daro , the five thousand year old site in the Indus Valley. Mohenjo Daro is famous for its giant granaries, drainage systems, and the Great Bath which measured thirty-nine by twenty-three feet.

Taxila, dating from the sixth century BC, is an example of the development of urban evolution on the Indus. It was also a Buddhist centre of learning.

A third World Heritage site is the first-century Buddhist monastic complex of Takht-i-Bahi, and the Neighbouring [fortified] City Remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol.

The period of Moghul rule was marked by great achievements in architecture: The Fort, containing palaces and mosques, and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore became a World Heritage site in 1981.

Thatta, west of the Indus, a centre of Islamic arts, was also inscribed as a World Heritage site in 1981.

Another World Heritage site is Rohtas Fort, built in 1541, and described as an exceptional example of early Muslim military architecture in Central and South Asia.

The population of Pakistan was estimated at 197 million in 2018.

Urdu is the national language. English is widely used in government and commerce. Other languages spoken in Pakistan include Punjabi, Sindhi, Siraiki, derived from Punjabi, and Pashtu.

The majority the people in Pakistan are Muslims. There are minorities of Hindus and Christians.

Pakistani cuisine is hot and spicy. Spices such as cardamom, chilli, paprika, pepper and tumeric are used with coriander, bay leaves, ginger and garlic. Food is often fried in vegetable oil or ghee. Meat is also barbecued, and grilled in a tandoor.

Naan or roti bread often accompanies meals. Chapatis and parathas are also served. Rice is a staple food and eaten with chicken, beef, goat and fish. Biryani is a chicken or mutton dish with rice.

Lentils are often eaten. Vegetables feature prominently in Pakistani cuisine. Locally grown vegetables include aubergines, beans, cabbage, carrots, cauliflowers, cucumbers, onions, mushrooms, peas, peppers, potatoes, spinach and tomatoes.

Sweet dishes such as halva are popular. A variety of fresh fruit is available: apples, citrus fruits, grapes, mangoes, peaches and plums.

Lassi, made with yoghurt, is a popular drink. Tea is preferred sweet and strong and with milk. Muslims do not drink alcohol.

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