Pakistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country located in South Asia and is at a pivotal locationat the crossroads of South Asia, the Middle East, and Central Asia. It has a 1,046 kilometre (650 mile) coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south, and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, the Republic of India in the east and the People’s Republic of China in the far northeast. Tajikistan also lies adjacent to Pakistan but is separated by the narrow Wakhan Corridor. In recent times, Pakistan has been called part of the Greater Middle East.Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world and has the second largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia. It also has the second largest Shia Muslim population in the world. The country is listed among the Next Eleven economies, is a founding member of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, G20 developing nations, Asia Cooperation Dialogue and the Economic Cooperation Organisation. It is also a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, World Trade Organisation, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, G33 developing countries, Group of 77 developing nations, major non-NATO ally of the United States and is a nuclear state.
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan, and is the tenth largest city in Pakistan. The Rawalpindi/Islamabad metropolitan area is the third largest in Pakistan with a population of over 4.5 million inhabitants, 1,875,000 in Islamabad and three million in Rawalpindi. Islamabad is located in the Potohar Plateau in the north of the country, within the Islamabad Capital Territory. The region has historically been a part of the crossroads of Punjab and the North-West Frontier Province, Margalla pass being a gateway to the North-West Frontier Province. . Islamabad is one of the greenest and most well-planned cities of South Asia. The city is well-organized and divided into different sectors and zones. Islamabad is also home to the Faisal Masjid which is well known for its architectural beauty and immense size. Islamabad has been ranked as a Gamma world city, as of 2008.
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the financial capital of Pakistan and the capital of the province of Sindh. It is the 20th largest city of the world in terms of metropolitan population, and is Pakistan’s premier centre of banking, industry, and trade. Karachi is also the home of Pakistan’s largest corporations that are involved in textiles, shipping, automotive industry, entertainment, arts, fashion, advertising, publishing, software development and medical research. It also serves as a major hub of higher education in South Asia, and the wider Islamic World. Karachi has been ranked as a Beta world city, as of 2008. Karachi city is spread over 3,530 km² (2,193 sq mi) in area. It is locally known as the “City of Lights” for its liveliness, and the “City of the Quaid”, having been the birth and burial place of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, who also made the city his home after Pakistan’s independence.
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in Pakistan after Karachi. Historically the main city of the undivided Punjab, it is often called the Garden of Mughals because of its rich Mughal heritage. It successively served as the capital of the empires of the Shahi kingdoms in the 11th century, The Ghaznavids in the 12th century, the Ghurid State in the 12th and 13th century, the Mughal Empire in the 16th century, the Sikh Empire in the early 19th century, and it was the capital of the Punjab region under the British Raj in the mid 19th and early 20th century. Mughal structures such as the Badshahi Mosque, the Lahore Fort, Shalimar Gardens, and the mausolea of Jehangir and Nur Jehan are popular tourist attractions for the city. Lahore is also home to many British colonial structures built in the Mughal-Gothic style, such as the Lahore High Court, the General Post Office (GPO), the Lahore Museum, and many older universities including the University of the Punjab. Lahore is often referred to as the cultural heart of Pakistan, as it is the center of Pakistani arts, films and intelligentsia.
Pesh?war is the capital of the North-West Frontier Provinceand the administrative centre for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan, founded by the Kushan king Kanishka in the 2nd century AD. The name “Peshawar” derives from Sanskrit Purushapura (meaning “city of men”) and is known as Pekhawar or Peshawar in Pashto or Pukhto depending on the dialect and Pishor in the native Hindko language. The area of the city has been ruled by numerous empires including the Afghan, Persian, Shahi, Greek, Maurya, Scythian, Arab, Turk, Mongol, Mughal, Sikh and the British.
Quetta is the largest city and the provincial capital of the Balochistan Province of Pakistan. It is an important marketing and communications centre for Pakistan with neighbouring Iran and Afghanistan. It is situated at an average elevation of 1654 metres (5429 feet) metres above sea level.
PAKISTANI RUPEE (PKR)