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Explore Pakistan
 
ABOUT PAKISTAN - COUNTRY PROFILE
| The Best Tourist Attractions of Pakistan |
| Photo Galleries of Beautiful Pakistan |
| Weather Forecasts of Pakistan |
| About Pakistan | General Info | Society & Culture | (Art - Crafts) and Culture |
| Geography & Climate | Pakistan A Tourist Destination | Brief History | Pak Currency |
| Pak Economy | Flora & Fauna | People & Religions | Life & Health | Cuisines | Music |
| Sports | Government | Investment | Security | District Profiles |
| About FAQs |
| Welcome To Pakistan | Hotels In Pakistan | City Distances In Pakistan |
| Suggested Tours In Pakistan |
| See Advertising Banners |
About Pakistan

About Pakistan:
Pakistan: officially Islamic Republic of Pakistan, republic in south Asia, bordered on the north and north-west by Afghanistan, on the north-east by Jammu and Kashmir, on the east and south-east by India, on the south by the Arabian Sea, and on the west by Iran. The status of Jammu and Kashmir is a matter of dispute between India and Pakistan. Pakistan became an independent state in 1947. Until December 1971 it included the province of East Pakistan (previously East Bengal), which, after its secession from Pakistan, assumed the name Bangladesh. The area of Pakistan is 796,095 sq km (307,293 sq mi), excluding the section of Jammu and Kashmir under its control.

The capital of Pakistan is Islamabad; Karachi is the largest city. The Muslim-majority state of Pakistan occupies an area which was home to some of the earliest human settlements and where two of the world's major religions, Hinduism and Buddhism, were practiced. The modern state was born out of the partition of the Indian sub-continent in 1947 and has faced both domestic political upheavals and regional confrontations.

OVERVIEW:

Created to meet the demands of Indian Muslims for their own homeland, Pakistan was originally in two parts.
The east wing - present-day Bangladesh - is on the Bay of Bengal bordering India and Burma and the west wing - present-day Pakistan - stretches from the Himalayas down to the Arabian Sea.
War with India over the disputed northern territory of Kashmir came shortly after independence - the two countries fought again in 1965.
The break-up of the two wings came in 1971 when the predominantly Bengali-speaking east wing seceded with help from India.
Civilian politics in Pakistan in the last few decades has been tarnished by corruption, inefficiency and confrontations between various institutions.
Alternating periods of civilian and military rule have not helped to establish stability. During the 1980s, Pakistan received large amounts of outside aid in the struggle against Soviet forces in neighbouring Afghanistan.
But with the end of the Cold War, that assistance is not so generous and Pakistan now hosts a large Afghan refugee population.
Pakistan came under military rule again in October 1999 after the ousting of a civilian government which had lost a great deal of public support.
The coup leader, General Musharraf, has pledged to revive the country's fortunes - but must overcome economic backwardness, corruption, and law and order problems.
The latter are a major concern in the southern province of Sindh, beset by ethnic and sectarian strife.
Tension also persists with India over Kashmir. This has fuelled international fears of a regional arms race because both Pakistan and India have a nuclear capability.

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General Info - Pakistan at a Glance
Birth of Pakistan:
Date of Independence:

Lord Mountbatten after holding talks with political parties announced a Partition plan on June 3, 1947. Both the Congress and the Muslim League accepted the plan and on August 14, 1947 the new state of Pakistan came into existence.

Location: South Asia.
Time Zone:

Pakistan Standard Time is GMT plus 5 hours (GMT+5). It gets dark at about 05:00pm in winter and at 07:30pm in summer.

Country Name:

Official Name: Islamic Republic of Pakistan Local Short Name: Pakistan Local Name: Jamhuryat Islami Pakistan Former & Conventional Name: West Pakistan

Capital: Islamabad
Population:

Estimated Population of Pakistan 172.80 million (2008 Census)

Population Density: 202.36 per sq km.
Language:

Urdu (National language), English (Official) English is widely spoken. Regional languages include Punjabi, which is spoken by 48 per cent of the population (1981), Pushto, Sindhi, Saraiki, and Baluchi. There are numerous local dialects.

Currency: Pak Rupees
Per Capita Income: US $ 460
Total Area: Pakistan covers 803,940 square kilometers (310,403 square miles)
Photography:

Do not take photographs at military establishments, airports or of any infrastructure, including dams and bridges or from aircraft. The penalties can be severe.

Electricity:

220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round two- or three-pin plugs are in use.

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Society & Culture
Civil Society:

Pakistani society is largely multilingual and predominantly Muslim, with high regard for traditional family values, although urban families have grown into a nuclear family system due to the socio-economic constraints imposed by the traditional joint family system. Recent decades have seen the emergence of a middle class in cities like Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Hyderabad, Faisalabad, Sukkur and Peshawar that wish to move in a more liberal direction, as opposed to the northwestern regions bordering Afghanistan that remain highly conservative and dominated by centuries-old regional tribal customs. Increasing globalization has increased the influence of "Western culture" with Pakistan ranking 46th on the Kearney/FP Globalization Index. There are an approximated four million Pakistanis living abroad, with close to a half-million expatriates living in the United States and around a million living in Saudi Arabia. As well as nearly one million people of Pakistani descent in the United Kingdom, there are burgeoning cultural connections.

Growing Tourism Industry:

Tourism is a growing industry in Pakistan, based on its diverse cultures, peoples and landscapes. Ancient civilization ruins such as Mohenjo-daro, Harappa and Taxila, to the Himalayan hill stations attract those interested in field and winter sports. Pakistan is home to several mountain peaks over 7000m, which attracts adventurers and mountaineers from around the world, especially K2. The northern parts of Pakistan have many old fortresses, towers and other architecture as well as the Hunza and Chitral valleys, the latter being home to the small pre-Islamic Animist Kalasha community who claim descent from the army of Alexander the Great. Punjab is the site of Alexander's battle on the Jhelum River and the historic city Lahore, Pakistan's cultural capital with many examples of Mughal architecture such as the Badshahi Masjid, Shalimar Gardens, Tomb of Jahangir and the Lahore Fort.

Culture:

Pakistan has a rich and unique culture that has preserved established traditions throughout history[citation needed]. Many cultural practices, foods, monuments, and shrines were inherited from the rule of Muslim Mughal and Afghan emperors including the national dress of Shalwar Qameez. Women wear brightly coloured shalwar qameez, while men often wear solid-coloured ones, usually with a sherwani or achkan (long coat) that is worn over the garment.

Diverse Culture:

Modern Pakistanis are a blend of their Harappan, Indo-Aryan, Indo-Iranian, Saka, Parthian, Kushan, White Hun, Afghan, Arab, Turkic, and Mughal heritage. Waves of invaders and migrants settled down in Pakistan through out the centuries, influencing the locals and being absorbed among them. Thus the region encompassed by modern-day Pakistan is home to the oldest Asian civlization (and one of the oldest in the world after Mesopotamia and Egypt), Indus Valley Civilization (2500 BC - 1500 BC).
The modern state of Pakistan was established on 14 August 1947, but the region it encompasses has an extensive history that overlaps with the histories of Ancient India, Iran and Afghanistan. The region was a crossroads of historic trade routes, including the Silk Road, and was settled over thousands of years by many groups, including Dravidians, Indo-Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Scythians, Parthians Kushans, White Huns, Afghans, Arabs, Turks, and Mongols; the region is often referred to as "a museum of races." Historian and geographer de Blij Muller characterized the historical embodiment of the land when he said, "If, as is so often said, Egypt is the gift of the Nile, then Pakistan is the gift of the Indus." The earliest evidence of humans are pebble tools from the Soan Culture in the province of Punjab, dated from 100,000 to 500,000 years ago.
The Indus region was the site of several ancient cultures including Mehrgarh, one of the world's earliest known towns, and the Indus Valley Civilisation at Harrappa and Mohenjo-Daro.
The Indus Valley Civilisation collapsed in the middle of the second millennium BCE and was followed by the Vedic Civilisation, which extended over much of northern India and Pakistan. Successive empires and kingdoms ruled the region from the Achaemenid Persian empire around 543 BCE, to Alexander the Great in 326 BCE and the Mauryan empire. The Indo-Greek Kingdom founded by Demetrius of Bactria included Gandhara and Punjab from 184 BCE, and reached its greatest extent under Menander, establishing the Greco-Buddhist period with advances in trade and culture. The city of Taxila (Takshashila) became a major centre of learning in ancient times - the remains of the city, located to the west of Islamabad, are one of the country's major archaeological sites.

Variety of Pakistani Music:

The variety of Pakistani music ranges from diverse provincial folk music and traditional styles such as Qawwali and Ghazal Gayaki to modern forms fusing traditional and western music, such as the synchronisation of Qawwali and western music by the renowned Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Other major Ghazal singers include Mehdi Hassan, Ghulam Ali, Farida Khanum, Tahira Syed, Abida Parveen and Iqbal Bano. The arrival of Afghan refugees in the western provinces has rekindled Pashto and Persian music and established Peshawar as a hub for Afghan musicians and a distribution centre for Afghan music abroad. Until the 1990s, the state-owned Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) and Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation were the dominant media outlets, but there are now numerous private television channels such as Geo TV, Indus TV, Hum,ARY, KTN, Sindh TV and Kashish. Various American, European, and Asian television channels and movies are available to the majority of the Pakistani population via cable and satellite television. There are also small indigenous movie industries based in Lahore and Peshawar (often referred to as Lollywood and Pollywood). Although Bollywood movies are banned, Indian film stars are generally popular in Pakistan.

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(Art - Crafts) and Culture
Art:

Pakistan has every reason to be proud of the thousands of years old and rich tradition of its arts and crafts. In the post-independence period, the successive governments have been providing substantial state help and initiative for the uplift of arts and crafts in the country. A wider recognition of the accomplishments of crafts-people has been facilitated by the activities of the National Crafts Council and promotional plans of organizations such as the Export Promotion Bureau and Small Industries Corporations. Pakistani craftsmen are well reputed in producing quality products in clay, stone, fabrics, carpets, wood, metal, jewelry and leather.

Art on Wheels:

Just like the Billboard painting performed in Pakistan, there is another form of art  very popular in Pakistan and it is the Truck Painting. With its all colorful floral patterns, depiction of human heroes with creative aspect ratios, calligraphy of poetic verses and driver’s words of wisdom, this form of art is truly a part of Pakistani transport tradition. You can see this art on wheels in all major cities of Pakistan including Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Quetta. 

The vehicles are not only decorated from outside but all the interior also reflect the beauty of this art. Open the door of a vehcilce and veritable fairy-tale glitter meets the eye; the surface is richly patterned like good brocade, lights glow everywhere. It is absolute sensation!

Handicrafts:

Pakistan is a tourists heaven when it comes to handicrafts.
Be it intricately decorated metal craft or some marvelous marble inlay work or some exquisite paintings, Pakistani handicrafts are going places with their ethnic designs and flourishing textures. The metal crafts of Pakistan are the fine kaleidoscope of the craftsmanship and fine arts in shaping gold, silver, brass, copper into exquisite and intricately designed images, idols, jewellery and utility items leaving a unique appeal in everyone's mind. Pakistan's fame in precious and semi-precious stone jewellery is world famous. The timeless stone jewelley are proud with their classy royalty and at the same time narrating the saga of the hands that polished the rough stone and gave its present look. Another side of the Pakistani handicrafts is the excellent paintings that Pakistan has been producing since time immortal. 
Pakistan furniture, produced in cities like chiniot and gujrat is famous all over the world. Sialkot , the industrial hub of Pakistan produces some of the finest sports goods. Traditional Shawls and hand knotted Carpets are very popular and are exported all over the world.

Culture:

Pakistan has been the cradle of a civilization that dates back more than five millennium. Over the centuries, through successive waves of migrations from the north-west, as well as by internal migrations across the subcontinent, Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Arabs, and Mughals came and settled in this region. However, it was Islam and Islamic traditions that finally took roots and formed the mainspring of Pakistan's cultural heritage.

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Geography, Landscape & Climate
Geography Overview:

Pakistan covers 803,940 square kilometers (310,403 square miles), approximately the combined land areas of France and the United Kingdom, with its eastern regions located on the Indian tectonic plate and the western and northern regions on the Iranian plateau and Eurasian landplate. Apart from the 1,046 kilometer (650 mi) Arabian Sea coastline, Pakistan's land borders total 6,774 kilometers—2,430 kilometers (1,509 mi) with Afghanistan to the northwest, 523 kilometers (325 mi) with China to the northeast, 2,912 kilometers (1,809 mi) with India to the east and 909 kilometers (565 mi) with Iran to the southwest.

Location:

Latitude - 24o and 37o N, Longitude - 62o and 75o E, Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea, between India on the east and Iran and Afghanistan on the west and China in the north
The great mountain ranges of the Himalayas, the Karakorums and the Hindukush form Pakistan's northern highlands of the north-west frontier province and the Northern Area; Punjab province is a flat, alluvial plain with five major rivers dominating the upper region eventually joining the Indus river flowing south to the Arabian sea; Sindh is bounded on the east by the thar desert and the Rann of Kutch and on the west by the Kirthar range; the Balochistan plateau is an arid tableland, encircled by dry mountains.

Landscape:

The landscape of Pakistan ranges from lofty mountains in the north, the Karakoram and the Himalayas, through dissected plateaus to the rich alluvial plains of the Punjab. Then follows desolate barrenness of Balochistan and the hot dry deserts of Sindh blending into miles and miles of golden beaches of Mekran coast.

Total Area:

796,096-sq. km. [Punjab 205,344; Sindh 140,914; Northwest Frontier Province 74,521; Balochistan 347,190; Federally Administered Tribal Areas 27,220 and Islamabad (Capital) 906 sq. km.]

Area-wise Comparison:

Slightly less than twice the size of California.

Coastline: 1,046 km (646 miles)
Bordered Countries:

Afghanistan 2,430 km, China 523 km, India 2,912 km, Iran 909 km.
Total: 6,774 km

Topography:

Apart from the irrigated plains of Sindh and Punjab, Pakistan is largely barren mountains and arid plateaus. The three of the world’s greatest mighty mountain ranges, the Hindukush, the Himalayas and the Karakorums dominate in the North. The longest river is Indus (2,896 Kms), which enters into Pakistan through Ladakh and Kashmir.

Terrain:

Flat Indus plain in east; mountains in north and northwest; Balochistan plateau in west.

Irrigated Land: 182,300 sq km (2003)
Elevation Extremes:

Lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m.
Highest point: K2 (Mt. Godwin-Austen) 8,611 m

Natural Resources:

Land, extensive natural gas reserves, limited petroleum, Poor quality coal, iron ore, copper, salt, limestone, Precious & Semi Precious stones.

Natural Hazards:

Frequent earthquakes, occasionally severe especially in north and west; flooding along the Indus after heavy rains (July and August)

Ecology / Environment - Current Issues:

Drinking Water & Pollution from raw sewage, industrial wastes, and agricultural runoff; limited natural fresh water resources; a majority of the population does not have access to potable water; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification are the hot issues.

Environment - International Agreements:

Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation.

Provinces:

Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) former North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), Punjab, Sindh and Gilgit-Baltistan. 5 Provinces, 1 Territory*, and 1 Capital Territory**; Federally Administered Tribal Areas*, Islamabad Capital Territory**.

Major Archaeological Sites:

Moenjodaro, Harrappa, Taxila, Kot Diji, Mehar Garh, Takht e Bhai.

Major Cities:

Faisalabad, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Multan, Quetta & Rawalpindi.

See Details: Click to see the city details
Geography - Note:

Controls Khyber Pass and Bolan Pass, traditional invasion routes between Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent.

Natural Features:

The different types of natural features range from the sandy beaches, lagoons, and mangrove swamps of the southern coast to preserved beautiful moist temperate forests and the icy peaks of the Himalaya, Karakoram and Hindu Kush mountains in the north. There are an estimated 108 peaks above 7,000 meters (23,000 ft) high that are covered in snow and glaciers. Five of the mountains in Pakistan (including K2 and Nanga Parbat) are over 8,000 meters (26,000 ft). Indian-controlled Kashmir to the Northern Areas of Pakistan and running the length of the country is the Indus River with its many tributaries. Every year the northern parts of Pakistan attract a large number of foreign tourists . Climbers from all around the world have had Pakistan as their prime destination for over many decades now . To the west of the Indus are the dry, hilly deserts of Balochistan; to the east are the rolling sand dunes of the Thar Desert. The Tharparkar desert in the southern province of Sindh, is seventh largest desert in the world, and the only fertile desert in the world. Most areas of Punjab and parts of Sindh are fertile plains where agriculture is of great importance.

Climate:

Mostly hot, dry desert; temperate in northwest; arctic in north. The climate varies as much as the scenery, with cold winters and hot summers in the north and a mild climate in the south, moderated by the influence of the ocean. The central parts have extremely hot summers with temperatures rising to 45 C (113 F), followed by very cold winters, often falling below freezing. There is very little rainfall ranging from less than 250 millimeters to more than 1,250 millimeters (9.8–49.2 in), mostly brought by the unreliable south-westerly monsoon winds during the late summer. Water shortages have been eased by the construction of dams on the rivers and the drilling of water wells in many drier areas.
All four seasons can be enjoyed in Pakistan. Spring, March to April, is the rainy season with an average of 38 to 51 cm in the  plains region and 152 to 203 cm in the lower Himalayan valleys of Kashmir, Swat, Murree, Kaghan.  In summer, from May to September, temperatures can soar to 45 degrees C in the south, however in the Northern regions weather is very pleasant.  

In the winter months, from December to February, the jungles and forest pines are lush with greenery and autumn leaves fall in the northern forests from October to November.

Clothing:

Lightweight, cotton clothes suffice throughout most of Pakistan year round, a sweater   might be needed during the evenings in the winter months.  During the winter, northern 
areas require coats, mittens, scarves and boots.  Men wear suits for business meetings, and social events . Casual loose fitting long shirts with baggy pants called shalwar Kameez  are worn by men, women and children providing a comfortable modest dress. Loose fitting western jeans and shirts are acceptable.  It is preferred but not required that   women wear scarves to cover.

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Pakistan As A Tourist Destination

Pakistan As A Tourist Destination:
A trip through Pakistan is a face to face encounter with a fascinating land that has withstood countless invasions and preserved the essence of its conquerors in the form of present day monuments and archaeological heritage.
See for yourself the excavated sites at Mohenjodaro and Taxila - seats of the ancient Indus Valley and Gandhara civilizations; the architectural monuments of the Moghuls; the Khyber Pass - the historic inlet to South Asia - or the ancient unchanging traditions of the Kafir Kalash of the Chitral Valley.
For those with an intrinsic love of mountains, Pakistan offers the unique pleasure of its northern mountain ranges, the Himalayas, the Hindukush and the Karakorams - a mountain wonderland unrivalled in the entire world with such formidable peaks as the K-2, the Nanga Parbat, the Rakaposhi, and the Trichmir. These ranges present an awesome challenge for those looking for trekking, mountaineering, angling, or jeep safaris. The resorts in these remote valleys make for an ideal summer get-away.

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Brief History

Brief History:
Pakistan History
Pakistan traces its history back to 2,500 years B.C., when a highly developed civilization flourished in the Indus Valley. Excavations at Harrappa, Moenjodaro, Kot Diji and Mehr Garh have brought to light, the evidence of an advanced civilization existing even in more ancient times. Around 1,500 B.C., the Aryans overwhelmed this region and influenced the Hindu civilization, whose centre moved to Ganges valley, further east. Later, the Persians occupied the northern region in the 5th century B.C. up to the 2nd century AD. The Greeks came in 327 B.C., under Alexander of Macedonia, and passed away like a meteor. In 712 AD, the Arabs, led by Muhammad Bin Qasim, landed somewhere near modern Karachi and ruled the lower half of Pakistan for 200 years. During this time, Islam took roots in the soil and influenced the life, culture and traditions of the people.
In the 10th century AD, began the systematic conquest of South Asia by the Muslims from Central Asia, who ruled here up to the 18th century. Then the British came and ruled for nearly 100 years over what is Pakistan now.
Independence Movement
The Muslim revival began towards the end of the last century when Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, a renowned Muslim leader and educationist, launched a movement for intellectual renaissance of the Muslims of South Asia. In 1930, the well-known poet-philosopher, Allama Muhammad Iqbal, conceived the idea of a separate state for the Muslims of South Asia. In 1940, a resolution was adopted by the All-India Muslim League, demanding a separate independent home land for the Muslims. After 07 years of un-tiring struggle under the brilliant leadership of Quaid-e-Azam (the great leader) Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan emerged on the world map as a sovereign state, on 14th August, 1947.

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Pak Currency
Overview

The Pakistani rupee is no longer subdivided into 100 paisa (singular paisa), because State Bank has stopped minting it. Pakistani rupees starts from 1 rupee and goes up to 5000 rupees. As standard in Indian English, large values of Pakistani rupees as the system is the same are counted in terms of thousand, lakh (100 thousand, in digits 1,00,000), and crore (10 million, in digits 1,00,00,000).

Pakistan Rupee (PKR) = 100 paisa

The Pakistani rupee (PKR) is the official currency of Pakistan. The issuance of the currency is controlled by the State Bank of Pakistan. The most commonly used symbol for the rupee is Rs, it is used in receipts when purchasing goods and services. Under the ISO 4217 code for the Pakistani rupee the code is PKR. In Pakistan, the Pakistani rupee is referred to as the "rupees", "rupaya" or "rupaye".

History

The origin of the word "rupee" is found in the Sanskrit word rūp or rūpā, which means "silver" in many Indo-Aryan languages. The Sanskrit word rūpyakam means coin of silver. The derivative word Rūpaya was used to denote the coin introduced by Sher Shah Suri during his reign from 1540 to 1545 CE.
The Pakistani rupee was put into circulation after the country became independent from the British Raj in 1947. For the first few months of independence, Pakistan used Indian coins and notes with "Pakistan" stamped on them. New coins and banknotes were issued in 1948. Like the Indian rupee, it was originally divided into 16 annas, each of 4 pice or 12 pies. The currency was decimalized in 1961, with the rupee subdivided into 100 paise (singular paisa). However as paisa was becoming unpopular, the state bank took a decision to no longer mint them and start the currency from PKR 1 rupee, hence, ridding of the decimal point.

Coins
  • 1 anna (no longer minted)
  • 1 paisa (no longer minted)
  • 5 paise (no longer minted)
  • 10 paise (no longer minted)
  • 25 paise (no longer minted)
  • 50 paise (no longer minted)
  • 1 rupee
  • 2 rupee
  • 5 rupee
Currency

Pakistan Rupee (PKR) = 100 paisa. Notes are in denominations of PKR 5000,1000, 500, 100, 50, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of PKR2 and 1, and 50 and 25 paisa.

Credit / Debit Cards and ATM's

American Express is the most widely accepted card. MasterCard and Visa are also good, but Diners Club and other cards have more limited use.

Travellers Cheque Advice

Generally accepted at most banks, 4- and 5-star hotels and major shops. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller's cheques in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling.

Currency Restrictions

The import and export of local currency is limited to PKR100 in denominations of PKR10 or less (the import of banknotes in denominations of PKR50 and PKR100 or more is prohibited). The import and export of foreign currency are unlimited. Up to PKR500 may be reconverted into foreign currency, provided official exchange receipts are shown.

Banking Hours

Mon-Sat 0900-1330,1500-1700 Fri 0900-1300.

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Pak Economy
Overview:

Pakistan, an impoverished and underdeveloped country, has suffered from decades of internal political disputes and low levels of foreign investment. Between 2001-07, however, poverty levels decreased by 10%, as Islamabad steadily raised development spending. During 2004-07, GDP growth in the 5-8% range was spurred by gains in the industrial and service sectors - despite severe electricity shortfalls - but growth slowed in 2008-09 and unemployment rose. Inflation remains the top concern among the public, climbing from 7.7% in 2007 to more than 13% in 2010. In addition, the Pakistani rupee has depreciated since 2007 as a result of political and economic instability. The government agreed to an International Monetary Fund Standby Arrangement in November 2008 in response to a balance of payments crisis, but during 2009-10 its current account strengthened and foreign exchange reserves stabilized - largely because of lower oil prices and record remittances from workers abroad. Record floods in July-August 2010 lowered agricultural output and contributed to a jump in inflation, and reconstruction costs will strain the limited resources of the government. Textiles account for most of Pakistan's export earnings, but Pakistan's failure to expand a viable export base for other manufactures has left the country vulnerable to shifts in world demand. Other long term challenges include expanding investment in education, healthcare, and electricity production, and reducing dependence on foreign donors.
Pakistan has accomplished many engineering feats such as construction of the worlds largest earth filled dam Tarbela, the world's twelfth largest dam Mangla, as well as the highest international road on earth: the Karakorum Highway. There are also half a dozen additional dams planned such as Kalabagh Dam, Diamer-Bhasha Dam, Munda, Akhori and Sakurdu Katzara. If built these new dams will also be amongst the worlds largest and most technically challenging and will help cement Pakistan's position as becoming the World Leader in water management and hydroelectric power.

Budget:

Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
revenues: $24.72 billion
expenditures: $35.67 billion (2010 est.)

Unemployment Rate:

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15.4% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 152
14.4% (2009 est.)
note: substantial underemployment exists

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:

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total: 7.73%
male: 6.98%
female: 10.5% (2008)

Population below poverty line:

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24% (FY05/06 est.)

Inflation Rate (consumer prices):

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13.9% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 213
13.6% (2009 est.)

Agriculture - Products:

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cotton, wheat, rice, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; milk, beef, mutton, eggs

Industries:

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textiles and apparel, food processing, pharmaceuticals, construction materials, paper products, fertilizer, shrimp

Industrial production growth rate:

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4.6% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90

Electricity - Production:

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89.23 billion kWh (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34

Electricity - Consumption:

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68.55 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38

Exports - Commodities:

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textiles (garments, bed linen, cotton cloth, yarn), rice, leather goods, sports goods, chemicals, manufactures, carpets and rugs

Exports - Partners:

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US 15.8%, Afghanistan 8.1%, UAE 7.9%, China 7.3%, UK 4.3%, Germany 4.2% (2010)

Imports - Commodities:

Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
petroleum, petroleum products, machinery, plastics, transportation equipment, edible oils, paper and paperboard, iron and steel, tea

Imports - Partners:

Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
China 17.9%, Saudi Arabia 10.7%, UAE 10.6%, Kuwait 5.5%, US 4.9%, Malaysia 4.8% (2010)

Exchange Rates:

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Pakistani rupees (PKR) per US dollar -
87.42 (2011)
85.27 (2010)
81.71 (2009)
70.64 (2008)
60.6295 (2007)
60.35 (2006)

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PALANTS & ANIMAL (Flora & Fauna)
Plants (Crops):

In the early 1990s, most crops were grown for food. Wheat is by far the most valuable crop in Pakistan and is the staple food for the majority of the population. Wheat is eaten most often in unleavened bread called chapati. In FY 1992, wheat was planted on 7.8 million hectares, and production amounted to 14.7 million tons. Output in FY 1993 reached 16.4 million tons. Between FY 1961 and FY 1990, the area under wheat cultivation increased nearly 70 %, while yields increased 221 %. Wheat production is vulnerable to extreme weather, particularly in non irrigated areas. In the early and mid-1980s, Pakistan was self-sufficient in wheat, but in the early 1990s more than 2 million tons of wheat were imported annually.
Rice is the other major food grain. In FY 1992, about 2.1 million hectares were planted with rice, and production amounted to 3.2 million tons, with 1 million tons exported. Rice yields also have increased sharply since the 1960s following the introduction of new varieties. Nonetheless, the yield per hectare of around 1.5 tons in FY 1991 was low compared with many other Asian countries. Pakistan has emphasized the production of rice in order to increase exports to the Middle East and therefore concentrates on the high-quality basmati mixture, although other grades also are exported. The government increased procurement prices of basmati rice disproportionately to promote exports and has allowed private traders into the rice export business alongside the public-sector Rice Export Corporation.
Other valuable food grains are millet, sorghum, corn, and barley. Corn, although a minor crop, gradually increased in area and production after independence, partly at the expense of other minor food grains. Chickpeas, called gram in Pakistan, are the main non grain food crop in area and production. A number of other foods, including fruits and vegetables, are also grown.
In the early 1990s, Cotton was the most valuable commercial crop. The area planted in cotton increased from 1.1 million hectares in FY 1950 to 2.1 million hectares in FY 1981 and 2.8 million hectares in FY 1993. Yields increased substantially in the 1980s, partly as a result of the use of pesticides and the introduction in 1985 of a new high-yielding mixture of seed. During the 1980s, cotton yields moved from well below the world average to above the world average. Production in FY 1992 was 12.8 million bales, up from 4.4 million bales ten years earlier. Output fell sharply, to 9.3 million bales in FY 1993 because of the September 1992 floods and insect infestations.
Other cash crops include Tobacco, rapeseed, and, most valuable, sugarcane. In FY 1992 sugarcane was planted on 880,000 hectares, and production was 35.7 million tons. Except for some oil from cottonseeds, the nation is dependent on imported vegetable oil. By the 1980s, introduction and experimentation with oilseed cultivation was under way. Soybeans and sunflower seeds appear to be suitable crops given the nation's soil and climate, but production was still negligible in the early 1990s.

Animal (Livestock):

Livestock provides the draft power available to most farmers as well as food, fuel, manure, wool, and hides. Livestock contributed about 30 % of the value added by agriculture in FY 1993. In Balochistan raising sheep and goats on the arid rangeland is an valuable source of cash to a considerable part of the population, although many areas are overgrazed.
In FY 1993, the livestock population was approximately at 17.8 million Cattle, 18.7 million Water Buffalo, 27.7 million Sheep, 40.2 million Goats, and 5.4 million other animals, including Camels, Horses, and Mules. Production of animal products in FY 1993 was approximately to include 17 million tons of milk, 844,000 tons of beef, 763,000 tons of mutton, 50,500 tons of wool, and 42.6 million tons of hides and skins. Despite substantial increases in livestock production in the 1980s, the nation faces shortages because of the limited amount of feed and grazing areas. In the 1980s, the government increased the size of cross-breeding programs and took other measures to increase productivity, but production still fell short of demand.
Commercial Chicken farming is exceptional because production using modern methods has expanded rapidly since the 1960s. Although many farmers raise some poultry, the commercial chicken farms account for most of the increased availability of eggs and poultry. Poultry meat production increased from 14,000 tons in FY 1972 to 75,000 tons in FY 1983 and 188,000 tons in FY 1993. Egg production increased from 14 million in FY 1972 to 4.2 billion in FY 1983 and 5.4 billion in FY 1992.

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People Religions & Languages
People:

In early 1994, the population of Pakistan was approximately to be 126 million, making it the ninth most populous nation in the world. Its land area ranks thirty-second among nations. Thus Pakistan has about 2 % of the world's population living on less than 0.7 % of the world's land. The population growth rate is among the world's highest, officially approximately at 3.1 % per year, but privately thought to be closer to 3.3 % per year by many planners involved in population programs. Pakistan's population is expected to reach 150 million by 2000 and to account for 4 % of the world's population growth between 1994 and 2004. Pakistan's population is expected to double between 1994 and 2022.
These figures are estimates, because ethnic unrest led the government to postpone its decennial census in 1991. The government felt that tensions among Punjabis, Sindhis, muhajirs (immigrants or descendants of immigrants from India), Pakhtuns, and religious minorities were such that taking the census might provoke violent reactions from groups who felt they had been undercounted. The 1991 census had still not been carried out as of early 1994. The 1981 census enumerated 84.2 million persons.
Race as such plays little part in defining regional or group identity in Pakistan, and no ideal racial type is accepted by all Pakistanis. The population is a complex mixture of indigenous peoples, many racial types having been introduced by successive waves of migrations from the northwest, as well as by internal migrations across the subcontinent of India. Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Pathans (Pashtuns), and Mughals came from the northwest and spread across the Indo-Gangetic Plain, while the Arabs conquered Sindh. All left their mark on the population and culture of the land. During the long time of Muslim rule, immigrants from the Middle East were brought in and installed as members of the ruling oligarchy. It became prestigious to claim descent from them, and many members of the landed gentry and of upper-class families are either actually or putatively descended from such immigrants. In 1947, when Pakistan and India became independent, there was another massive migration, of a different character, when millions of Muslim refugees were uprooted from different parts of India and settled in Pakistan; an equal number of Hindus were uprooted from Pakistan and driven across to India. This development further complicated the racial mixture of the population of the various regions of Pakistan.
By the early 1990s Pakistan's population was separated into five ethnic groups, defined broadly. The Punjabis constitute the majority, with more than 55 % of the population; the Sindhis account for another 20 %, the Pathans and the mujahirs for about 10 % each, and the Balochs for about 5 %. There are subgroups within each of these five categories. The Arains, Rajputs, and Jats—all Punjabis—regard themselves as ethnically distinct. Some groups overlap the five categories: for instance, there are Punjabi Pathans as well as Hazarvi Pathans. Some smaller groups, such as the Brohis in Sindh and the Seraikis in Punjab, are also ethnically distinct.

Social Conventions:

The right hand is used both for shaking hands (the usual form of greeting) and for passing or receiving things. Mutual hospitality and courtesy are of great importance at all levels, whatever the social standing of the host. Visitors must remember that most Pakistanis are Muslim and should respect their customs and beliefs.

Smoking is prohibited in some public places and it is polite to ask permission before lighting a cigarette. It is common for visiting businesspeople to be entertained in hotels and restaurants. If invited to a private home, a gift or national souvenir is welcome. Informal dress is acceptable for most occasions. Women should avoid wearing tight clothing and both men and women should ensure that their arms and legs are covered. Pakistani society is divided into classes and within each group there is a subtle social grading. The Koran is the law for Muslims and it influences every aspect of daily life; see the World of Islam appendix for more information.

Total Population:

153 million (UN, 2003), 135.28 million in 1998, the ninth largest in the world and rising at 2.7% a year. The rural population is about 80% whereas rest of 20% is urban.
Density : 164 person / Sq. kms
Sex Ratio : 108 males to 100 females

Term of Citizens:

Nationality: Noun: Pakistani(s)
Adjective: Pakistani

Major Religion & Ethnic Composition:

Pakistan is important for many religions of the world. The Indus Valley gave rise to one of the first great civilizations. Mahayana Buddhism also developed here as did the Sikh religion under Guru Nanak. Pakistan was created in the Indus Valley specifically to provide the Muslims of South Asia with a state of their own, and there are very few countries where religion plays such an important role in the lives of people.
Being mostly Muslims, the people of Pakistan are culturally homogeneous. Islam; Muslims are about 95% (80% Sunni & 20% Shia); Christians are 02% of the total population whereas rest of the 03% covers Hindus, Sikhs, Parsees, Bahas, Buddhists and tiny group of Kalash living in Chitral Valley.Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashtun (Pathan), Baloch, Muhajir (immigrants from India at the time of partition and their descendants).
All are of composite racial stock although the majority are of Aryan’s extraction.
Mostly nomads living in the South account for less than 1%. In Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Quetta there are small communities of Buddhists and there are a tiny group of animist Kalash living in Chitral on the Afghan border.

National Language:

Urdu is National language is spoken throughout Pakistan whereas all the provinces have their regional languages as well.

Official Language:

English is extensively used in official and commercial circles, the military, and courts of Law and is the medium of instruction for higher education. English (official and lingua franca of Pakistani elite and most government ministries).

Other Regional Languages:

The main regional languages are Sindhi 12% in Sindh, Balochi 3% in Balochistan, Punjabi 48% in Punjab and 10%, Pashtu in NWFP.
Siraiki (a Punjabi variant) 8%, Urdu (official) 8%, Hindko 2%, Brahui 1 %,), Burushaski, and other 8%.

State Religion: Islam
Other Religions:

Muslim 97% (Sunni 77%, Shi'a 20%), Christian (1%), Hindu (1.5%), and several other minorities 3%.

Age Structure:

0-14 years: 39% (male 33,293,428/female 31,434,314),
15-64 years: 56.9% (male 48,214,298/female 46,062,933)
65 years and over: 4.1% (male 3,256,065/female 3,542,522) (2006 est.)

Population Growth Rate: 2.09% (2006 est.)
Net Migration Rate: -0.59 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
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LIFE & HEALTH
Gender Relations:

Gender relations in Pakistan rest on two basic perceptions: Those women are subordinate to men, and that a man's honor resides in the actions of the women of his family. Thus, as in other orthodox Muslim societies, women are responsible for maintaining the family honor. To ensure that they do not dishonor their families, society limits women's mobility, places restrictions on their behavior and activities, and permits them only limited contact with the opposite sex.
Poor rural women, particularly in Punjab and Sindh, where gender relations are generally somewhat more relaxed, have greater mobility because they are responsible for transplanting rice seedlings, weeding crops, raising chickens and selling eggs, and stuffing wool or cotton into comforters (Razais). When a family becomes more prosperous and begins to aspire to higher status, it commonly requires stricter purdah among its women as a first social change.

Traditional Living Style:

Space is allocated to and used differently by men and women. For their protection and respectability, women have orthodoxly been expected to live under the constraints of purdah (purdah is Persian for curtain), most obvious in veiling. By separating women from the activities of men, both physically and symbolically, purdah creates differentiated male and female spheres. Most women spend the major part of their lives physically within their homes and courtyards and go out only for serious and approved reasons. Outside the home, social life generally revolves around the activities of men. In most parts of the nation, except perhaps in Islamabad, Karachi, and wealthier parts of a few other cities, people consider a woman--and her family--to be shameless if no restrictions are placed on her mobility.
The shared understanding that women should remain within their homes so neighbors do not gossip about their respectability has valuable implications for their productive activities. As with public life in general, work appears to be the domain of men. Rural women work for consumption or for exchange at the subsistence level. Others, both rural and urban, do piecework for very low wages in their homes. Their earnings are generally recorded as part of the family income that is credited to men. Census data and other accounts of economic activity in urban areas support such conclusions. For example, the 1981 census reported that 5.6 % of all women were employed, as opposed to 72.4 % of men; less than 4 % of all urban women were engaged in some form of salaried work. By 1988 this figure had increased remarkablely, but still only 10.2 % of women were reported as participating in the labor force.

Veil ( Parda) of Women:

Purdah is practiced in various ways, depending on family tradition, region, class, and rural or urban residence, but nowhere do unrelated men and women mix freely. The most extreme restraints are found in parts of the North-West Frontier Province and Balochistan, where women almost never leave their homes except when they marry and almost never meet unrelated men. They may not be allowed contact with male cousins on their mother's side, for these men are not classed as relatives in a strongly patrilineal society. Similarly, they have only very formal relations with those men they are allowed to meet, such as the father-in-law, paternal uncles, and brothers-in-law.
Poor urban women in close-knit communities, such as the old cities of Lahore and Rawalpindi, generally wear either a burqa (fitted body veil) or a chador (loosely draped cotton cloth used as a head covering and body veil) when they leave their homes. In these localities, multistory dwellings (havelis) were constructed to accommodate large extended families. Many havelis have now been sectioned off into smaller living units to economize. It is common for one nuclear family (with an average of seven members) to live in one or two rooms on each small floor. In less densely populated areas, where people generally do not know their neighbors, there are fewer restrictions on women's mobility.
Among wealthier Pakistanis, urban or rural residence is less valuable than family tradition in influencing whether women observe strict purdah and the type of veil they wear. In some areas, women simply observe "eye purdah": they tend not to mix with men, but when they do, they avert their eyes when interacting with them. Bazaars in wealthier areas of Punjabi cities differ from those in poorer areas by having a greater proportion of unveiled women. In cities throughout the North-West Frontier Province, Balochistan, and the interior of Sindh, bazaars are markedly devoid of women, and when a woman does venture forth, she always wears some sort of veil.

Orthodox Division:

The orthodox division of space between the sexes is perpetuated in the broadcast media. Women's subservience is consistently shown on television and in films. And, although popular television dramas raise controversial issues such as women working, seeking divorce, or even having a say in family politics, the programs often suggest that the woman who strays from orthodox norms faces insurmountable problems and becomes alienated from her family.

Health:

Basic health facilities are free of charge in Government’s hospitals. Modern hospitals are also available in almost all the major towns.

Birth Rate:

29.74 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death Rate: 8.23 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex Ratio:

At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate:

Male: 70.84 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 70.04 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Total: 70.45 deaths/1,000 live births

Life Expectancy: Male: 62.4 years
Female: 64.44 years (2006 est.)
Total population: 63.39 years
Total Fertility Rate: 4 Children born/woman (2006 est.)
Major Infectious Diseases:

Degree of risk: High

Food or Waterborne Diseases:

bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, B and E, and typhoid fever

Vectorborne Diseases:

dengue fever, malaria, and cutaneous leishmaniasis are high risks depending on location.

Animal Contact Disease: Rabies (2005)
HIV / AIDS –
Adult Prevalence Rate:
0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV / AIDS –
People Living with HIV/AIDS:
74,000 (2001 est.)
HIV / AIDS - Deaths: 4,900 (2003 est.)
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Pak Cuisines
Overview:

Pakistani cuisine is generally similar to that of North India. Due to its proximity with Central and West Asia, however, it tends to be modified by significant influences from these regions. It also varies greatly from region to region within Pakistan itself.

People in the Northern Areas and Frontier province do not eat spicy food. There is much more focus on bread (wheat). After every meal, Qehwa or kehwa is served. This is usually served in small glass (shot glass-like) and tastes similar to jasmine tea. Nowhere in Pakistan is 'kehwa' more popular than in Peshawar, the capital of the North West Frontier Province. As a result, in Pakistan 'kehwa' is mostly called Peshawari Chai (Tea).

The Southern Cuisine in Sindh and some areas of Punjab province is quite spicy. Many of the popular dishes include Biryani (saffroned rice with spices), Korma and Pullao (non-spicy rice).

Urban Centers of Pakistan has become a source of new advancements in its cuisine. International and local cuisines are not only famous but are becoming a rich part of Pakistan's society. Many Pakwan centers (Ready made food centers) have developed new styles by intermixing recipes. Most people like to eat out and a restaurant culture has become a common factor, especially among the middle-upper class.

Although the generation that migrated with the creation of Pakistan brought with its the style of different region of India, the new generation is very interested in fast food and the modified recipes of Pakistani dishes, which in turn try to speed up the time needed to prepare one dish.

Karachi should be credited for coming up with industries for the preparation of ready made masalas (already mixed and prepared spices). Ready made Spice Brands that came out of this city have been an instant hit. They are now favourite in many parts of the world.

The most popular cuisine in almost all areas of Pakistan is Moghul food. This is mostly barbequed food with the most popular dishes including Chicken Tikka, Kebobs, Chops, etc. The spices used can vary. This is also similar to Indian cuisine.

Varieties of bread:

 Most Pakistanis eat flat round bread (roti) as a staple part of their daily diet. Basmati is the most popular type of rice consumed. Pakistan has a variety of breads, often prepared in a traditional clay oven called a tandoor.

  • Chapatis - Most common bread at home, made of whole wheat flour. They are thin and unleavened.
  • Naan - Unlike chapatis, naans are slightly thicker, typically leavened with yeast and mainly made with white flour. They may also be sprinkled with sesame seeds.
  • Roghni naan - Naan sprinkled with sesame seeds and covered with a minute amount of oil.
  • Sheermal - Prepared with milk and butter. It may be considered the most beloved and tasty bread, and is a vital part of food served in marriages, along with Taftan.
  • Taftan.
  • Kandahari naan - Long naan originally from Western Pakistan.
  • Paratha - A chapati with added ghee (clarified butter), originating from Punjab. Parathas are commonly eaten for breakfast and can also be served with a variety of stuffings.
  • Puri - Is typically eaten with Halwa or Bhujia (made out of chickpeas and potatoes).

Halwa Purian or Bhujia with Puri (now called commonly as Poorian) has also become a typical breakfast in Pakistan. They are sold sometimes on make shift carts or otherwise in breakfast stores.

Main Dishes:

Among the best known dishes are Biryani, Pullao and Nihari, Haleem, Chicken Karahi, Chicken Tikka, Kofta, Mutton Korma, Chicken Korma, Shab Degh, Chicken/Mutton Handi, chakna. Sajji is a Baluchi (Western Pakistan) dish made of lamb stuffed with rice that has become popular all over the country.

Pakistanis eat various kinds of lentils called Dal as part of their daily diet as well as different kinds of vegetables. One very famous and hearty dish made of lentils is called Haleem. It contains a variety of lentels along with meat. A batch of haleem will typically take over five hours to cook. This dish is known to have originated in Agra, where the Taj Mahal stands today.

All of the main dishes (expect those made with rice) are eaten alongside bread. To eat, a small fragment of bread is cut with the right hand and it is then used to attain pieces from the main dish. Pickles made out of mangoes, carrots, lemon etc. are also commonly used to further up spice up the food.

A favourite Pakistani curry is Karahi, either mutton or chicken cooked in a dry sauce. Lahori Karahi incorporates garlic, onions, spices and vinegar. Peshawari karahi is a simple dish made with just meat, salt, tomatoes and coriander.

Kebabs:

A Middle Eastern influence on Pakistani cuisine is the popularity of grilled meats such as kebobs or kebabs. Kababs from Balochistan and the NWFP tend to be identical to the Afghan style of barbecue, with salt and coriander being the only seasonings used. Lahore is famous for its kebobs and they are spicy and are often marinated in a mixture of spices, lemon juice and yoghurt.

Meat including beef, chicken, and lamb are prominent in Pakistani cuisine. Kababs made out of lamb and chicken such as Seekh kebab, Shami kebab and Chapli kebab (a speciality of Peshawar) are especially popular. Pork is virtually never eaten in Pakistan.

Types of kebabs (mainly made of Beef or Lamb) are:

  • Seekh Kebab
    A long skewer of Beef mixed with herbs and seasonings.
  • Shami Kabab
    A Shami Kabab is a small patty of minced beef or chicken and ground chickpeas and spices.
  • Chapli Kabab
    A spicy round kabab made of ground beef and cooked in animal fat which is a speciality of the North West Frontier Province.
  • Chicken Kabab
    A popular kabab that is found both with bone and without. Not so common as the traditional Kebabs.
  • Lamb Kabab
    The all lamb meat kabob is usually served as cubes.
  • Bihari Kabab
    Skewer of Beef mixed with herbs and seasonings. Although they may related to the area of Bihar, many Bihari people have also been surprised at the popularity of their normal cuisine.
  • Shishleek
    grilled baby lamb chops (usually from the leg), typically marinated

Alhamra Restaurant and Bundukhan Kebab House are famous through Pakistan for their taste and variety of Kebabs. Kebab House is the most profitable food business in Pakistan.

Desserts:

Popular desserts include Kulfi, Falooda, Kheer and Rasmalai. Pakistan has a long list of sweets. Some of the most popular are Gulab jamun, Barfi, Qalaqand and various kinds of Halva.

Pakistanis drink a great deal of Tea (chai). Both black and green tea (Sabz chai/ Qehwa) are popular. Kashmiri chai a pink milky tea with pistachios and cardamom is drunk primarily at weddings and during the winter when it is sold in many kiosks. In northern Pakistan (Chitral and the Northern Areas), salty buttered tea is consumed.

Drinks:

Also tea may be considered the most popular beverage in Pakistan, there are many other drinks that may be included as a part of Pakistani cuisine. All of them are non-alcoholic.

  • Lassi - Milk with yogurt, with an either sweet or salty taste
  • Rooh Afza - A traditional syrup mixed with water or milk, especially during Ramadhan
  • Gola Ganda - Different types of flavours over crushed ice
  • Sugar Cane Juice (Ganaay ka Ras)
  • Falooda - Ice cream, jelly, nuts and vermicelli
  • Lemonade
  • Sherbet
  • Kashmiri Tea

Murree Brewery make alcoholic beverages in Pakistan, though their products may not be available openly, except in clubs and select restaurants.

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Pakistani Music
Pakistani Music:

The music of Pakistan is probably one of the most diverse selection of music in the whole world within one country; being at the crossroads of Central Asia, Iran, the Middle East and India, Pakistan has developed a multitude of different types of music and sounds. Major influences of Pakistani music are Arabic, English, Indian, Persian and Portuguese. Pakistani genres like sufi rock and bhangra have become popular throughout the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and around the world. With the multiple influences, Pakistani music has emerged as a "fusion" of many other types of sounds together to form a distinctly Pakistani sound. Pakistani musicians now sell records not only in Pakistan but in many countries around the world. Although there are plenty of genres of Pakistani music, it can be divided under two main headings. Traditional and East meets West.

Classical Music:

Pakistani classical music developed in the northern Indian subcontinent in the 13th and 14th centuries AD from existing religious, folk, and theatrical performance practices which was influenced by Vedic philosophy and native Indian sounds. It was also influenced by the Persian performance practices of the Afghan Mughals. Today, classical music in Pakistan is not as popular as it once was, though it is still used in traditional settings, such as weddings, cultural gatherings etc. The main reason for the decline in popularity of classical music is due to increased globilization; the young generation in Pakistan are more influenced by the western generes such as pop, rock and hip hop, which are currently flourishing in Pakistan. However, it can be said that if Pakistani music were to be represented by a pyramid, classical music would be the base holding it up. Almost all musicians young or old are taught under classical music first, before they can go ahead and move into other types of music.

Musical instruments which are used in classical music are:

  • Sitar
  • Tabla
  • Harmonium
  • sarangi
  • Santoor

Today, many Pakistani folk and modern day music hold in one way or another, some classical element. Many modern day Pakistani musicians of ghazal, qawwali and folk musicians are still trained in subcontinent classical music; these types of musicians often belong to a gharana.

One of the prominent gharana's in Pakistan is the Patiala gharana. Some of the most popular musicians that belonged to these groups were:

  • Ustad Amanat Ali Khan
  • Ustad Bade Fateh Ali Khan
  • Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan

Other established gharanas (and their main exponents)include the Kirana (Malika-e-Mausiqui Roshan Ara Begum), Gwalior ( Ustad Ghulam Hassan Shaggan), Talwandi (Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan), Agra (Ustad Asad Ali Khan), and Qawwal Bacchon ka Gharana (Ustad Chotte Ghulam Ali Khan)

Ghazal Music:

Ghazal is the name of a poetic form, but musically "Ghazal Gayaki" refers to the form of music in which a poem is sung. Ghazal Gayaki is often termed semi-classical music. Most Ghazal singers are trained in classical music and sing in either Khyal or Thumri. Mehdi Hassan Khan Sahib was considered the greatest Ghazal singer in South Asia and was globally known for his devotion to ghazal music. Some of the most famous Pakistani Ghazal singers are:

  • Amanat Ali
  • Ghulam Ali
  • Iqbal Bano
  • Munni Begum
  • Mehdi Hassan
  • Farida Khanum
  • Nayyera Noor
  • Abida Parveen
  • Malika Pukhraj
  • Gulshan Aara Sayyed
  • Tahira Syed
Qawwali Music:

One of the most dynamic and popular types of Pakistani music is qawwali, which has been internationally popularized by stars like the Sabri Brothers, Aziz Mian and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Qawwali, is a form of Sufi music and exists in multiple forms. It is widespread throughout Pakistan and Northern India.

Qawwali refers to both the performance and the genre of music. Qawwals typically consist of a lead vocalist, two back-up vocalists and any number of percussionists. Qawwalis are traditionally led by a sheikh and are meant to help the audience realize the mystical ideals of Sufism and Islam. Amir Khusrau is said to have invented qawwali in the 13th century; the legendary poet and composer is also said to have invented the tabla and sitar. The idea of music (sama) inspiring an understanding and love for the divine and communication with spiritual guides is known from at least the 9th century. Orthodox Muslims sometimes criticize qawwali for its erotic imagery and sometimes frank sensuality.

Qawwali consists of three components:

  • Rhythm - traditionally played on the dholak
  • Melody - melodic line of the vocals
  • Pitch - which is reinforced on harmonium

Poetic verses are usually mixed with a chorus and instrumental passages. Traditional languages used include:

  • Urdu - Qawwali mainly sung in Urdu
  • Persian
  • Arabic
  • Braj Basha - ancient form of Sanskrit
  • Punjabi

Some of the most popular Pakistani Qawwali singers/groups are:

  • Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (Late)
  • Aziz Mian
  • Sabri Brothers
  • Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali Group

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was a huge legend, not just physically, but in his stature, he was adored by millions of fans worldwide. Unlike many singers of today, he was admired purely on his amazing vocal skills and also the passion and spirituality he displayed in his amazing improvisations. He was not afraid to mix the sacred with the profane, the popular with the niche, and a meeting of the East with the West, which has lead to his popularity and longevity. Khan died in 1997 aged just 49. His legacy shall not be forgotten. Many of his followers who wished to take the art forward however none till this day have been able to even come close to what he did. His collaborations with Michael Brook, a Canadian record producer, resulted in the unexpected hit of "Mustt Mustt", which was remixed by Massive Attack and popularized by its use in a Coca-Cola television commercial.

Nusrat's compositions have also been used in films such as:

  • Last Temptation of Christ
  • Natural Born Killers
  • Dead Man Walking
Folk Music:

Folk music has been influential on classical music, which is viewed as a higher art form. In Pakistan, each province has its own variation of popular folk music. The arrival of western sounds, also weakened folk music's popularity as it did classical music. Well known Pakistani folk artists include:

  • Reshma
  • Atta Ullah Khan Essa Khailvi
  • Shaukat Ali
  • Pathane Khan
  • Alam Lohar

Pakistani pop singers such as Abrar ul Haq, Rahim Shah and Jawad Ahmed have been known to mix their performances with traditional folk music. The most popular artist to be known for mixing his music with folk and classicial types was Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, a world-renowned Pakistani qawwali and folk artist.

Pop & Rock Music:

Pakistan music today has a rich blend of classical and Pakistani folk music with western sounds. Pakistan music industry consists of a lot of world renowned pop and rock bands.

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Pak Sports
Sports in Pakistan:

The official and national sport of Pakistan is field hockey, although squash and cricket are also very popular. The national cricket team has won the Cricket World Cup once (in 1992), were runners-up once (in 1999) and co-hosted the games twice (in 1987 and 1996). The team has also won the Australasia Cup thrice (1986, 1990, 1994). Pakistan has been always in the forefront when it comes to the game of squash. Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan are some of the well known stars of the game. Muhammad Yousuf was remained world champion in game of snooker in 90s. At an international level, Pakistan has competed many times at the Summer Olympics in field hockey, boxing, athletics, swimming, and shooting. Pakistan's medal tally remains at 10 medals (3 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze) while at the Commonwealth games and Asian Games it stands at 61 medals and 182 medals respectively. Hockey is the sport that Pakistan has been most successful at the Olympics, with three gold medals (1960, 1968, 1984). Pakistan has also won the Hockey World Cup a record four times (1971, 1978, 1982, 1994). Pakistan has hosted several international competitions, including the SAF Games in 1989 and 2004.

A1 Grand Prix racing is also becoming popular with the entry of a Pakistani team in the 2005 season. The Tour de Pakistan, modeled on the Tour de France, is an annual cycling competition that covers the length and breadth of Pakistan. Recently, football has grown in popularity across the country, where traditionally it had been played almost exclusively in the western province of Balochistan.

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Pakistan Government

Government
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan provides for a Federal Parliamentary System of government, with President as the Head of State and the popularly elected Prime Minister as Head of government. The Federal Legislature is a bicameral Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament), composed of the National Assembly and the Senate. The Constitution also provides for the President to address the two Houses assembled together at the commencement of the first session after General Elections:

Federal Government
• Head of State
• Head of the government
• National Security Council
• National Assembly
• Senate
• Federal Ministers
• Federal Government Ministeries
• Federal Government Departments
• Attorney General
• Judiciary
Provincial Governments
• Provincial Governors
Government of Punjab
Government of Sindh
Government of the North-West Frontier Province
Government of Balochistan
Local Governments
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Investment in Pakistan

Investment
In order to streamline and co-ordinate the process of investment and to create an investor friendly culture in the country, the government established the Board of Investment (BOI) as the central investment promotion and facilitation agency. The Board of Investment is chaired by the Head of the Government, and overseen by the Minister for Industries and Production. See the present Organizational Chart of BOI.
PAKISTAN'S INVESTMENT POLICY AT A GLANCE
1. Liberal Investment Policy
2. Equal treatment to local and foreign investors
3. All economic sectors open for FDI
4. 100% foreign equity allowed
5. No Government sanction required
6. Attractive incentives package
7. Remittance of Royalty, Technical & Franchise Fee; Capital, Profits, Dividends allowed
8. Foreign investment fully protected:
9. Foreign Private Investment (Promotion & Protection) Act, 1976
10. Protection of Economic Reforms Act, 1992
11. Foreign Currency Accounts (Protection) Ordinance, 2001
12. Bilateral Agreements:
13. Investment Protection: 43 Countries
14. Avoidance of Double Taxation: 51 Countries

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Security in Pakistan

Security in Pakistan:
Pakistan recently underwent significant political and structural reforms, moving towards macro-economic stability, debt management, revival of the democratic process with increased women’s representation, major institutional reforms with emphasis on devolution and decentralization, significant progress in information technology, reduction in population growth, and food grain self-sufficiency, which has been maintained for the past several years. Efforts to combat corruption and improve law and order have been firmly established.

The nation has demonstrated resilience in dealing with the challenges posed by drought, the impact of the Afghan crisis, influx of refugees and the 11 September aftermath. While the difficult regional security situation has led to a diversion of scarce development resources to defence, Pakistan has striven to resolve issues according to the principles of the United Nations Charter, as indicated in the common country assessment (CCA).

With a human development index of 0.498 in 1999, Pakistan ranked 127 out of a total of 162 countries, and with a gender-related development index of 0.466 in 1999 it ranked 117 out of a total of 146 countries, according to the Human Development Report 2001. According to government estimates in 2000, 34 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line, while the cost of environmental degradation was estimated at 4.3 per cent of GDP in 1998. Although there has been some improvement in women’s status over the last several years, the position of women in Pakistan remains weak and gender disparities are reflected in all social indicators. As a result of its debt burden, low revenue base and recent low growth rates, Pakistan has not been able to invest adequately in human development.



Public investments in the 1990s focused mainly on infrastructure. Private education and health services are common but expensive, whereas public services are inadequate, particularly in rural areas and for women and girls. Social regression, land degradation and unemployment have further reduced. resources available to the poor. It is recognized that the answer to these problems lies in improving the quality of governance, making make it more inclusive and participatory; strengthening systems of accountability and transparency; promoting citizens’ involvement in decisions that influence their lives; and strengthening the role of the Government in facilitating development.

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Tourist Destinations

Karachi Elev. 22 m
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