PROVINCES OF PAKISTAN

Punjab



The name Punjab literally translates from Persian into the words Panj, meaning five ,  and ?b , cognate with Sanskrit ?p, meaning water respectively, which can be translated   as  (the) five waters - hence the name land of the five rivers, referring to the Biyas, Ravi,    Sutlej,  Chenab and Jhelum rivers. Punjab is the most fertile and heavily populated    province of Pakistan, covering an area of 205,344 Sq. Kms with an estimated population of 88.115 million. Punjab truly is the land, enduringly antiquated and progressively modern. Although Punjab has well planned cities and beautifully conceptualized residential colonies, most of its people are rural folk for whom life revolves around the cycle of seasons, studded with a rich variety of traditions, fairs and colourful folk festivals, all around the year. The houses in the rural expanses for the most part, are built of mud and clay and strengthened with straw. They are the proud custodians of the centuries old Harappa Civilization, the grandeur of the Mughal Empire and a culture that even time could not work away. Explore Punjab by spending some time in a village, and feel the warmth, the toiling strength of its people and their craftsmanship reflected in their pottery and wearing designs.

 

NWFP



North West Frontier Province is a province of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, located on both banks of the river Indus and stretches from the Himalayas in the north to the deserts in the south where it is bordered by the Baluchistan and Punjab provinces. On its western flank is the rugged terrain of neighbouring country Afghanistan, which is accessed via the historic Khyber Pass through the mountains of the Suleiman Range. Its borders touch or are close to those of China, the Tajikistan and the disputed territory of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in the north. The capital of the province is the city of Peshawar. The North West Frontier Province (NWFP) is Pakistan s most diverse province, covering an area of over 101,741 Sq Kms (including the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas 27,220 Sq Kms) with an estimated population of 25.134 million (including the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas population of 3.717 million). At the heart is Peshawar Valley, often referred to as the vale of Peshawar. Its rich alluvial soils, watered by the Kabul and Swat rivers, make it one of the most productive agricultural regions of Pakistan. The mountains to the north, particularly the Hindukush, are amongst the most spectacular in Pakistan, offering some of the best opportunities for trekking and climbing in the world. The northern half of the province consists of five river valleys running roughly parallel, north to south namely Chitral, Dir, Swat, Indus and Kaghan. These valleys are on the northern edge of the monsoon belt,?that is why they are fairly green and partly wooded in their southern sections. The North Western Province is famed for its metal ware, but proudly distinguished by the gateway to warriors known as the Khyber Pass.

 

Sindh


The province of Sindh in Pakistan has been designated after the river Sindh (Indus) which literally created it and has been also its sole means of sustenance. However, the importance of the river and close phonetical resemblance in nomenclature would make one consider Sindhu as the probable origin of the name of Sindh. Later phonetical changes transformed Sindhu into Hindu in Pahlavi and into Hoddu in Hebrew. The Greeks (who conquered Sindh in 125 BC under the command of the Alexander the great) rendered it into Indos, hence modern Indus. It covers an area of 1,40,914 Sq. Kms with an estimated population of 36.714 million. Sindh has a rich cultural background of literature, music and arts. Sindhi artists excel in pottery, glazed tiles, lacquer-ware, quilt making and carpet weaving. Local art of ajrak and sussi, a strapped cotton cloth for women, is very popular. Sindh has rich cultural heritage i.e. Moenjodaro and Thatta, embracing a 5000 years old civilization. The Indus valley civilization is the farthest visible outpost of archeology in the abyss of prehistoric times. The prehistoric site of Kot Diji in Sindh has furnished information of high significance for the reconstruction of a connected story which pushes back the history of Pakistan by at least another 300 years, from about 2,500 BC. Evidence of a new element of pre-Harappan culture has been traced here.

 

Balochistan



Balochistan the largest among the provinces in Pakistan in terms of area covers?3,47,190 Sq Kms with an estimated population of 7.797 million. It is a land of contrast. It has places with lofty and rugged mountains under Chiltan, Sulaiman, Sultan etc. and plains, stretching to hundred of kilometers. It has a fascinating history and is epitomized by the enthusiastic heartedness of its people. The Balochistan coast line extends over 750 Kms from Karachi at Hub River to the Gawadar Bay on Pak-Iran border. The area is rich in fish and marine resources. Balochistan has great potential appeal as a travel destination, particularly now that access to neighbouring Iran has become so much easier. Balochistan is known for its apple produce, and the Gawadar Port promises a new era of maritime activity making it, in not too distant a future a great seaport and the hub of economic activity in the region. Balochistan has an eventful history dating back to the Stone Age. Recent research and archaeological excavations at Mehrgarh have revealed 9000 years old civilization. Alexander the great passed through Balochistan in 325 B.C