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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.
Facts and Figures
The national language is Urdu, while the official language is English. Some of the main regional languages include Sindhi, Baluchi, Punjabi and Pushto.
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), 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
Islamabad>Taxila>HassaAbdal>Attack>Noshahra>Mardan>TaKhatBhai>Malakand>Mangora>KhazaKhaila>Madian>Bahrain>Kalam>Ushu>MatalTan>MahooDang LakeSwat Valley
The Lush-green valley of Swat, with its rushing torrents, icy-cold lakes, fruit-laden orchards and flower-decked slopes is ideal for holiday-makers intent on relaxation. It has a rich historical past, too. This is "Udayana" (the "Garden") of the ancient Hindu epics; "the land of enthralling beauty" where Alexander of Macedonia fought and won some of his major battles before crossing over to the plains of Pakistan. This is "the valley of the hanging chains" described by the famous Chinese pilgrim-chroniclers, Huain Tsang and Fa-Hian in the fifth and sixth centuries.
Swat was once the cradle of Buddhism of all its schools- Little Vehicle, Great Vehicle and the Esoteric sects where once 1,400 monasteries flourished. It was the home of the famous Gandhara School of Sculpture which was an expression of Graeco-Roman form in the local Buddhist traditon.
Swat was also the historical land where the Muslim conquerors, Mahmud of Ghazni, Babur and Akbar fought their battles preparatory to the conquest of the South Asia. The ruins of great Buddhist stupas, monasteries and statues are found all over Swat.The valley of Swat sprawls over 10,360 sq. kms at an average elevation of 975 metres. The maximum temperature in July is 38 C and minimum (during January) is 1 C. The normal temperature is maximum 21 C and minimum 7 C. The tourist season is year-round.
Swat Valley is divided into 3 main areas, Saidu Sharif, Mingora and Kalam.
Headquarters of Swat Valley, Saidu Sharif houses the Swat Museum which contains one of the finest collections of Gandhara art in the world.
3 kms From Saidu Sharif, has yielded magnificent pieces of Buddhist sculpture and the ruins of great stupas. Other beauty spots worth visiting are Marghzar, 13kms from Saidu Sharif, famous for its "Sufed Mahal" or White Palace, the white marble palace of the former Wali (ruler) of Swat; Kabl, 16 kms from Saidu Sharif with its excellent golf course, Madyan, 55 kms from Saidu Sharif, Bahrain, Miandam and Kalam. Malam Jabba, at 2,636 metres above sea level and 45 kms north-east of Saidu Sharif is being developed as a ski-cum-summer resort.
Islamabad>Taxila>HassanAbdal>Haripura>Abbatabad>Mansahra>BalaKot>Kiwai>Mahandri>Kaghan> Naran>Lake Saif-ul-malook
Naran>Battakundi>LalaZar>Barawai>Besal> Lalu Sar Lake>Babusar Pass
Kaghan and Naran Valleys
A holiday in the Kaghan Valley, the Himalayan hide-away, north-east of the Hazara district of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province, is an unforgettable experience. Its mountains, dales, lakes, water-falls, streams and glaciers are still in unbelievable pristine state, and unspoiled paradise. That is why it can be such a deeply satisfying experience to spend a few days in Kaghan.
At Naran, 23 kms from Kaghan you reach the half-way point. Naran also serves as the base for the whole valley. From here you can ride a jeep or horse or hike in excursions to several picturesque lakes, valleys and peaks.
Lake Saiful Maluk
Lake Saiful Muluk has a touch of the unreal about it, nestling 3,200 metres high in the shadow of the Malika Parbat (Queen of the mountains) 5,291 metres high. You can go boating on the lake and hear the local legend about Prince Saiful Muluk who fell in love with a fairy. Further up are quaint woodland villages; Battakundi, Burawai, Besal Gittidas and Lalazar.
The Kaghan Valley is blocked at the end by high mountains but a pass lets the jeep-able road snake over into the Chilas Valley. This is the 4,173 metres high Babusar Pass which commands the whole Kaghan panorama as well as gives you, on a clear day, glimpses of the Nanga Parbat (The Naked Mountain) glistening at 8,126 metres.
Gilgit and Hunza Valleys
At an elevation of 1,454 metres lies the Gilgit Valley. The quaint little town of Gilgit has spectacular scenic beauty. The peak tourist season is from May to mid-October though the tourist season is round the year. The maximum temperature in May is 33 C and minimum 16 C. In September, Maximum 28 C and minimum 11C.
Places of Interests
10 kms from Gilgit town is a beautiful rock engraving of Buddha of 7th century A.D.at the mouth of the Kargah Nullah. A victory monument of Taj Mughal, built 700 years ago, is 30 kms. Jeep drive from Gilgit town.The bridge over the fast flowing Gilgit river is the largest suspension bridge in Asia (182 metres long and 2 metres wide) permitting enough room for one jeep at a time to cross.
Activities in the area
The favourite sport in Gilgit is polo which local folks claim originated here. It's more rugged, free-style version than the sedate variety known in the plains. The polo tournament held from 1st November to 7th November is a festive occasion and draws a large number of visitors. The streams and lakes of Gilgit are full of trout.
Trekking and hiking in the rugged mountains and verdant valleys of Gilgit are allowed only in the "open zone" which extends up to 16 kms. short of the control line on the Kashmir border and up to 50 kms. short of the Afghan border. Gilgit has direct route (about 600 km) from Islamabad/Rawalpindi by the Karakoram Highway. Rawalpindi to Gilgit via Swat is 750 kms and takes 20 hours by bus/van; Rawalpindi to Gilgit via Babusar Pass 592 kms 24 hours by jeep.
The visitors to Hunza are overwhelmed by the rugged charm, the fragrant breeze signing through graceful poplar trees and the velvet-like green carpet of wheat fields, set against the background of snow-covered mountains. Situated at an elevation of 2,438 metres, Hunza valley's tourist season is from May to October. The temperature in May is maximum 27 C and minimum 14 C. The October temperatures are: maximum 10 C and minimum 0 C.
Karimabad, the capital of Hunza, offers an awe-inspiring view of Rakaposhi Peak (7,788 metres). The snows of Rakaposhi glitter in the moonlight, producing an atmosphere at once ethereal and sublime. The fairy-tale like Castle of Baltit, above Karimabad, is a Hunza landmark built abut 600 years ago. Stilted on massive legs, its wooden bay windows look out over the valley. Hunza is ideal for mountaineering, trekking and hiking.
Chitral Valley and Kafiristan (Kalash Valley)
Over 3,000-strong Kafir-Kalash live in the valley of Birir, Bumburet and Rambur, south of Chitral. Bumburet, the largest and the most picturesque valley of the Kafir-Kalash , is 40 kms. from Chitral and is connected by a jeep-able road. Birir, 34 kms. away is accessible by a jeep-able road. Rambur is 32 kms from Chitral.
The Kalash women wear black gowns of coarse cloth in summer and hand-spun wool dyed in black in winter. Their picturesque headgear is made of woolen black material decked out with cowry shells, buttons and crowned with a large coloured feather.
The Kalash are fun loving people who love music and dancing particularly on occasion of their religious festival like Joshi Chilinjusht (14th & 15th May-spring), Phool (20th - 25th September) and Chomas (18th to 21st December for a week). Polo in Chitral is as popular as in Gilgit. Polo matches are great attractions at festive occasions. A regular Polo tournament is held every year (First week of July) at Shandur Pass.
Ziarat The hills around Ziarat are covered with juniper trees, thickest on the north, south and east sides. The valley has one of the richest and oldest juniper forest in the world, The juniper tracts along with its range lands, cover an area of approximately seven hundred thousand acres of which 2.30,000 acres are the State forest. Average age of the extremely slow growing juniper trees is 300 years. Juniper berries are used as flavor. Oil is aisc) extracted from these trees which has a nmnber of uses.
During winters Ziarat town is almost totally deserted with the shifting of the Government office to Sibi. Only chowkidars and a few tribesmell are left. Summer population ranges between 3,000 to 5,000, mostly tourists. The tribes of the area are Sarabgzais, Tarins, Syeds, Doomars and lsakhels - all Pashtoons. The people are generally sturdy and very hospitable. Once of the most popular summer retreat in Pakistan, Ziarut can proudly claim a unique position. lts healthy atmosphere and serene environments earned it the hollour of association with the Father of the Nation, Quaid-i- Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. He had great liking for Ziarat and he spent the last days of his life in this enchanting valley. It is because of this reason that the small double storey Ziarat Residency has won the position of a national monument. Because of his failing health caused due to his ceaseless work during the Pakistan Movement overwork for the newly born Islamic state, the Quaid stayed in this residency for about three months from June to September. 1948. Built in 1890/ 91 by the British, this beautiful residency is a two-storey building with a stone and wooden super structure. It has some of the loveliest lawns and beautiful flowers in the country, From the balcony of the upper floor, as well as from the lawns down below, the entire valley appears to be nicely laid down filr panoramic view. The Quaid stayed on the upper floor in the room on the left side and his illustrious sister, late Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah,just in front of his room on the right side. The bed, furniture, the cutlery etc. used by him are intact and placed in their original position. Ziarat literally means a place for pilgrimage. History tells us that this place existed much before the advent of thc British Rule in the Sub-continent. Its local name then was Gwuskhi or Kowashki and was changed to its present name of Ziarat in 1886. It derived its name from the neighbouring shrine of famous Muslim saint Mian Abdul Hakim, popularly known as Mulla Tahir and Kharwari Baba. The shrine is situated in the valley, below the "Prospcct Point", about 4+ 2 miles south of Ziarat Town. According to a legend, the Saint came here from Khandahar in Afghanistan, He opposed the highhandedness of Ghlzai King Hussain. He was forced to leave his native town and migrated to this place. On reaching this valley he took abode on a hill top and prayed for this place saying: "This place shall flourish". Thereafter water started Oozing from the spot which is still flowing and is regarded as holy and wholesome. There is a jeepable road which passes through the lofty hills and deep ravines overlooking the juniper valley. It is also an excellent picnic spot,
Ziarat was first selected as health resort by the British in 1883. The first pucca building to come up there was the Political Agent's residence which was constructed in 1891 at a total cost of Rs. 19,666. Piped water was provided to the town in 1898-99 at a cost of Rs, 38,000. A summer camp for European troops stationed at Quetta was first set up at Ziarat in 1885. At that time income of this tiny town stood at Rs. 38010 and expenditure at Rs. 2,689,
Pakistan - Baltistan
A land of Greatest Mountains & Colorful Culture - Baltistan, also known as Baltiyul in local (Balti) language, is a region in Pakistan to the north of Kashmir, bordering The Gilgit valley and the Kohistan district. It is situated in the Karakoram mountains just to the south of K2, the world's second highest mountain. It is dense mountainous region, with an average altitude of over 3,350 m (11,000 ft). Mountains below 6000 meters are not even considered high enough to name in this region as there are numerous 7 thousanders and 4 8 thounsander peaks in this region. Baltistan is inhabited principally by Balti Muslims of Tibetan descent who converted from Tibetan Buddhism earlier than 16th Century. Majority of them are Shia Muslims.
This article is largely based on the article in the out-of-copyright 11th edition of the EncyclopÃ¦dia Britannica, which was produced in 1911. It should be brought up to date to reflect subsequent history or scholarship (including the references, if any). When you have completed the review, replace this notice with a simple note on this article's talk page. Thanks!
Karakorum Highway and IndusBaltistan is often called "little Tibet". The adjoining territory of Baltistan forms the west extremity of Tibet, whose natural limits here are the Indus from its abrupt southward bend in 74 45 E., and the mountains to the north and west, separating a comparatively peaceful Tibetan population from the fiercer Aryan tribes beyond. Muslim writers about the 16th century speak of Baltistan as Little Tibet, and of Ladakh as Great Tibet, thus ignoring the really Great Tibet altogether. The Balti call Gilgit a Tibet, and Dr Leitner says that the Chilasi call themselves But or Tibetans; but, although these districts may have been overrun by the Tibetans, or have received rulers of that race, the ethnological frontier coincides with the geographical one given. Baltistan is a mass of lofty mountains, the prevailing formation being gneiss. In the north is the Baltoro glacier, the largest out of the arctic regions, 35 miles long, contained between two ridges whose highest peaks to the south are 25,000ft and to the north 28,265ft. The Indus, as in Lower Ladakh, runs in a narrow gorge, widening for nearly 20 m. after receiving the Shyok. The capital, Skardu, a scattered collection of houses, stands here, perched on a rock 7250 ft. above the sea. The house roofs are flat, occupied only in part by a second storey, the remaining space being devoted to drying apricots, the chief staple of the main valley, which supports little cultivation. But the rapid slope westwards is seen generally in the vegetation. Birch, plane, spruce and Pinus excelsa appear; the fruits are finer, including pomegranate, pear, peach, vine and melon, and where irrigation is available, as in the North Shigar, and at the deltas of the tributary valleys, the crops are more luxuriant and varied.
Baltistan consists of five valleys namely Kharmang (Kartakhsha), Khaplu, Skardu, Shigar and Rondu (Rongyul). Important villages include Kharmang, Tolti, Ghasing, Mehdi Abad (Parkuta) in Kharmang valley
Balti (بلتی) is a language spoken in Baltistan, in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Baltistan - before 1948 - was part of Ladakh province. The language is a sub-dialect of Ladakhi and an archaic dialect of the Tibetan language. Many of the consonants that are silent in most modern Tibetan dialects are pronounced in Balti.
The Soon Valley ( Urdu : وادئ سون ) or Soon Sakesar is located in Khushab District , Punjab , Pakistan .
The Soon Valley starts from Padhrar village and ends in Sakesar which is the highest peak of Salt Range . Sakesar is 5010 feet above sea level. The Soon Valley is situated in the north west of Khushab district. The length of Soon Valley is 35 miles and average width is 09 miles [ citation needed ] . There are some special features of this valley that distinguish it from other areas, without knowing about them it is very hard to understand its importance.Chitta, Sabhral, Khoora, Nowshera, Kufri, Anga, Ugali, Mardwal, Dhadhar, Uchali and Bagh Shams-ud-Din are important towns in soon valley. Kanhatti Garden, Sodhi Garden, Da'ep and Sakesar are resorts to visit. Awan tribe is settled in Soon Valley.
Well known personalities like late literary giant Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi and columnist Abdul Qadir Hassan, prominent scholar Syed Ahmad Saeed Hamadani, scholar and poet, Iqbal Dost from Khabakki who is well known at home and abroad due to his many books including Jam-e-Khudi and Aap-ke-Naam, and for his English Poems in UK.
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