Pakistan lies in the Indus Valley and occupies the northwest portion of former British India. Covering an area of 796,095 sq km, it is bordered by India to the east, China to the north, Afghanistan to the north and northwest, Iran to the west and the Arabian Sea to the south. Both the boundaries with China and with northern Afghanistan are in very high mountainous terrain. The Karamkoram Highway, constructed under Chinese supervision, provides the major link between Pakistan and China along the Indus Valley.

Pakistan is largely desert or semi-desert in the centre, south and west, while the high mountain ranges and their foothills to the north are part of the great Himalayan chain. But for the Indus river and its tributaries from the Punjab, all of which are fed by the snows from the Himalayas, Pakistan would be as arid as the deserts of central Australia. The Indus river system is the water source for the large irrigated areas of the Punjab and Sindh. The Indus meets the sea just east of Karachi.


Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea, between India on the east and Iran and Afghanistan on the west and China in the north.


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




Mostly hot, dry desert; temperate in northwest; arctic in north.


Punjabi 48%, Sindhi 12%, Siraiki (a Punjabi variant) 10%, Pashtu 8%, Urdu (official) 8%, Balochi 3%, Hindko 2%, Brahui 1%, English (official and lingua franca of Pakistani elite and most government ministries), Burushaski, and other 8%.

Monetary Unit

Pakistani rupee (PKR)

Largest Cities

Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Multan, Hyderabad, Peshawar, Quetta, Islamabad, Sargodha, Sialkot, Bahawalpur, Jhang, Shekhupura, Larkana, Okara, Gujrat, Mardan

Principal rivers

Indus River

Places to Visit

Rawalpindi/Islamabad, Bahawalpur, Cholistan

Air Ports

International Airports are at Quid-e-Azam, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta, Multan. Faisalabad Air Port and Banu Air Port are other Airports

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