Land & People of Pakistan

Land and People Of Pakistan:
Pakistan is a land of many splendours. The scenery changes northward from coastal beaches, lagoons and mangrove swamps to sandy deserts, desolate plateaus, fertile plains, dissected uplands and high mountains with beautiful vales, snow-coveted peaks and eternal glaciers. This variety of landscape divides Pakistan into six major regions-the Northern High Mountainous Region, the Western Low Mountainous Region, the Potwar Uplands, the Baluchistan Plateau, the Punjab Plain and the Sind Plain.
The Himalayas:
Stretching in the northern most territory of the country, from east to west, are a series of high mountain ranges which separate Pakistan from China, Russia and Afghanistan. They include the Himalayas, the Karakoram and the Hindukush mountains. With the assemblage of 33 giant peaks over 24,000 ft. (7,315 m), the region is the climbers paradise. Many summits are even higher than 26,000 ft. (7,925 m) and the highest K.2 (Mt. Godwin Austin) at 28,250 ft. (8,610 rn) is exceeded only by Everest. Inhospitable and technically more difficult to climb than even Everest, they have taken the biggest toll of human lives in the annals of mountaineering. The Karakoram Highway that passes through the mountains is the highest trade route in the world. Although the climate of the region is extremelY diverse according to aspect and elevation, yet as a whole it remains under the grip of severe cold from November to April. May, June and July are pleasant months. The southern slopes receive heavy rainfall and consequentlY are covered with forests of deodar, pine, poplar and willow trees. The permanent settlers grow corn, maize, barley, wheat and rice on the terraced fields and also raise orchards of apples, apricots, peaches and grapes. Western Mountainous Region. These mountains spread from the Swat and Chitral hills in a north-south direction, and cover a large portion of N.W.F.P. North of the river Kabul their altitude ranges from 5,000 ft. to 6,000 ft. in Mohmand and Malakand hills. South of the river Kabul spreads the Kob-e-Sofed Range with .a general height of 10,000 ft. South of the Gomal River, the Sulaiman Mountains run for a distance of about 300 miles in a north-south direction, Takht-e-Sulaiman (11,295 ft.) being its highest The western mountains have a number of passes which are of special geographical and historical interest. Khyber Pass, the largest and the most renowned of these, is 35 miles long and connects Kabul in Afghanistan with the fertile vale of Peshawar in N.W.F.P. The Tochi Pass connects Ghazni in Afghanistan with Bannu in Pakistan and the Gomal Pass provides a route from Afghanistan to Dera Ismail Khan. The Bolan Pass connects the Sind plain wjth Quetta in Baluchistan and onward through Chaman with Afghanistan.
Baluchistan Plateau:
Kalat Plateau 7,000-8,000 ft. high, in the centre of Baluchistan, is the most important plateau. Being outside the sphere of monsoon current, Baluchistan receives scanty and irregular rainfall (4 inches); the temperature is very high in summer and very low in winter. Owing to continuous draught there is very little vegetation. Most of the people, therefore, lead nomadic life, raising camels, sheep and goats. Baluchistan is, however, fortunate to have considerable mineral wealth of natural gas, coal, chromite, lead, sulphur and marble. The reserves of natural gas at Sui are amongst the largest in the world.
Potwar Upland:
Potwar upland, commonly called the Potwar Plateau, lies to the south of northern mountains and is flanked in the west by River Indus and in the east by River Jhelum. This 1,000-2,000 ft. upland is a typical aridland with denuded and broken terrain characterised by undulations and irregularities. Agriculture is almost entirely dependent on rainfall of 15-20 inches, and on the small dams built in the catchment areas of the streams. The region is particularly known for its oilfields in Khaur-Dhulian neighbourhood, the ancient civilization sites in Soan valley, the ruins and the Buddhist University at Taxila and the new capital, Islamabad, which stands north of the old city of Rawalpindi (8,06,000) on the sourthern slopes of Murree hills, the most popular holiday resort of the country.
Punjab Plains:
Punjab plain is the gift of River Indus and its five eastern tributaries-Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej and Beas. The plain spreads from the south of Potwar Plateau upto Mithankot, where Sulaiman Range approaches the River Indus. The Punjab plain is almost a featureless plain with a gentle slope southward, averaging one foot to the mile. The only break in the alluvial monotony is the little group of broken hills (1,000 ft.-1,600 ft.) near Sangla and Kirana on either side of the Chenab. The entire plain is extensivelY irrigated by a network of canals. This system has been greatly expanded and improved in recent years by the construction of link-canals, dams and barrages as a result of Indus Waters Treaty with India, which awarded the three western rivers (Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab) to Pakistan and the three eastern rivers (Ravi, Sutlej and Beas) to India. Tarbela Dam on River Indus and Mangla Dam on River Jhelum, which have water storage capacities of 11.1 million acre ft. and 5.55 millio
Sind Plain:
Sind plain comprises mainly Sind province and stretches between the Punjab plain and the Arabian Sea. River Indus flows here as a single river and the plain comprises a vast fertile tract stretching westward from the narrow strip of flood plain on the right bank of River Indus and a vast expanse of desert stretching eastward from the left bank. The desert area is dry and desolate like Cholistan in the Punjab plain. But the plain area right of River Indus is green with vast stretches of vegetation lined everywhere with avenues of trees. It is the heart of Indus valley civilization and thousands of tourists from all over the world are attracted every year to visit the ruins of Moenjodaro near Larkana. An elaborate canal system taken from Sukkur Barrage at Sukkur, Upper Sind Barrage north of Sukkur at Guddu and Lower Sind Barrage (Ghulam Mohammad Barrage) at Hyderabad, irrigate together in this area over 10,000,000 acres and accounts for about 40 per cent of Pakistans irrigated land.
Although the country is in the monsoon region, it is arid, except for the southern slopes of the Himalayas and the sub-Mountainous tract which have a rainfall from 76 to 127 cm. Balochistan is the driest part of the country with an average rainfall of 21 cm. On the southern ranges of the Himalayas, 127 cm. of precipitation takes place, while under the lee of these mountains (Gilgit and Baltistan) rainfall is hardly 16 cm. Rainfall also occurs from western cyclonic distrubances originating in the Mediterranean. It is appreciable in the western mountains and the immediate forelying area; hre the rainfall average ranges from 27 to 76 cm. The contribution of these western distrurbances to rainfall over the plains is about 4 cm. A large part of the precipitation in the northern mountain system is in the form of snow which feeds the rivers.
The four well-marked seasons in Pakistan are: Cold season (December to March),Hot season (April to June), Monsoon season (July to September), Post-Monsoon season (October and November).
Area (Sq. Kms.)
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Population (000) Female
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Average Annual Growth Rate (1981-1998)
Literacy Ratio (10+)
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Labour Force Participation Rate (10+)
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