Friday, 29 January 2016

PAKISTAN A LAND WITH STARK CONTRAST





Pakistan is a country of stark contrast. The area covers from the Arabian Sea, the scorching desert in the south-west and freezing Himalayas in the north.  Pakistan has a population of 120 million.
Pakistan is in the north-west of the Indian sub-continent. It borders on Iran and Afghanistan in the west, China in the north and India in the east. The mighty river Indus flows through its centre from the Tibetan plateau, through the Himalayas and the Karakoram Mountains to the Arabian Sea.
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In the bitterly cold, dry mountain ranges are the Nanga Parbat and K2 which is the second highest mountain in the world. It is the plains of the Indus where most of the population lives. The summers, here, are very hot and in the monsoon season the rainfalls can be as much as 50cm.

               K2 -- THE SECOND HIGHEST MOUNTAIN AFTER MOUNT EVEREST


                                                 THE BALTORO GLACIER IS 62KM LONG  

THE FOUR PROVINCES

The largest province is Baluchistan in the south-west and is the least populated. It is mostly hot, dry desert. Their food in the province is mainly kebabs which are cooked over the open fire. Most Pakistanis eat chapatis (flat bread), rice, lentils and vegetable
North of Baluchistan is the mountainous North-West Frontier. Its inhabitants are the Pashtuns and previously called Pathans. They are known for their simple, rugged lifestyle and war-like nature. The province has beautiful valleys where the Chitral and Hunza people live.
Half of the people of Pakistan live in the Punjab, This province is rich in agriculture and industry. The word Punjab means the Land of the Five Rivers which are the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutley and Beas. They all flow into the Indus. Part of the Punjab lies now in India. People of the Punjab cook their meal in a clay oven which is called tandoor. This style - tandoori - is famous throughout the world.
Sind is an ancient southern province. It was first mentioned in records of the invasion by Alexander the Great in 325 BC. Large area is desert. The farming is along the Indus River. A trade centre is the port of Karachi. Karachi is the country's largest cities.
LANGUAGES, PRAYERS, PLEASURE

Urdu is the official language and English is quite widely spoken. However, Panjubi is more widely spread. Despite the many different ethnic groups, languages and customs they are united by their religion - Islam. The call by the Islamic priest (muezzin) can be heard all over the country, towns and villages. Even when they work in the field; the farmers roll out their prayer mats and pray facing Mecca.
They also love sports and excel in polo, cricket, hockey and squash. Tennis, football and squash are popular.
Women in Pakistan used to be held back and confined at home. Now you fined quite a number of women in medicine and law. Benazir Bhutto was the first female prime minister in the Muslim world.
Although there are developments in industry, Pakistan is still a large rural agricultural country. Many people earn their living on farms. The Indus River supplies the water through irrigation the land. They grow wheat, rice and cotton, The use of fertilizers and machinery increases the production. Pakistan is self-sufficient in essential food. The major export is rice. Cattle, goats and water buffalo are for their meat, dairy products and hides. The leathers goods are exported.
Their main problem is energy and fuels, The oil has to be imported. The country has some natural resources. Pakistan has developed nuclear energy but the pollution and temptation of making nuclear bombs is of great concern.


THE DESAI NATIONAL PARK IN PAKISTAN

ANCIENT HISTORY

In the Indus Valley lived for over 5000 years one of the oldest civilization. In 325 BC Alexander the Great conquered it and included into his empire. Nearly 100 years later came the next major invasion. A great, young Arab general, Mohammed Bin Qasim, conquered the region. He introduced Islam.
In the 16th century Moghul emperors stopped the 800 years warfare and brought stabilization to the area. They built beautiful monuments, mosques and gardens.
Recently, Pakistan was part of the British colony. When independence was declared in 1947, the country was split up into Muslim Pakistan and Hindu India. This cost millions of live because of the religious violence. Pakistan was divided into West and East Pakistan and India in between.
In 1971 after further terrible bloodshed, East Pakistan became a separate country and it is called Bangladesh. West Pakistan became Pakistan.
Other fighting broke out over the territory Jammu and Kashmir in the far north. In 1977 General Zia ul-Haq, took over Pakistan. He introduced strict Islamic laws. Benazir Bhutto became prime minister in 1988. It was the first election since Zia's coup.

                  17TH CENTURY BADSHAHI MASJID BUILT DURING THE MOGHUL RULE 

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