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Pakistan Main Page

 

Geography

Situated on the crossroads of South Asia, the Middle East and Central Asia, Pakistan is a beautiful country with a unique history and cultural heritage. Pakistan was the site for one of the world's earliest human settlements: the great prehistoric Indus Valley Civilization, the crucible of ancient empires, religions and cultures. 

The land 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 the desolate barrenness of Baluchistan and the hot, dry deserts of Sindh blending into miles and miles of golden beaches of Makran coast.

Pakistan has three major geographic areas: northern highlands, Indus River plain, and Balochistan Plateau.  The climate is for the most part arid.  Pakistan has hot summers and cool to cold winters.  Rainfall is not abundant and there are great variations in temperature from the Arabian Sea coastal areas to the colder northern regions.

Pakistan is quite large at 803,943 sq. km. (310,527 sq. mi.), which is almost twice the size of the state of California in the United States.  The major cities in Pakistan are the capital (Islamabad) with a population of 800,000, adjacent Rawalpindi (1,406, 214),Karachi (11,624,219) (2005 est.), Lahore (6,310,888) (2005 est.), Faisalabad (1,977,246) and Hyderabad (1,151,274). 

Baltoro_glacier_from_air.jpg (1529065 bytes)

Baltoro glacier(wikipedia)

CIA Facts

Location:
Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea, between India on the east and Iran and Afghanistan on the west and China in the north
Geographic coordinates:
30 00 N, 70 00 E
Area:
total: 796,095 sq km
country comparison to the world: 36
land: 770,875 sq km
water: 25,220 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly less than twice the size of California
Land boundaries:
total: 6,774 km
border countries: Afghanistan 2,430 km, China 523 km, India 2,912 km, Iran 909 km
Coastline:
1,046 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate:
Current Weather
mostly hot, dry desert; temperate in northwest; arctic in north
Terrain:
flat Indus plain in east; mountains in north and northwest; Balochistan plateau in west
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
Land use:
arable land: 24.44%
permanent crops: 0.84%
other: 74.72% (2005)
Irrigated land:
182,300 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
233.8 cu km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 169.39 cu km/yr (2%/2%/96%)
per capita: 1,072 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
frequent earthquakes, occasionally severe especially in north and west; flooding along the Indus after heavy rains (July and August)
Environment - current issues:
water pollution from raw sewage, industrial wastes, and agricultural runoff; limited natural fresh water resources; most of the population does not have access to potable water; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification
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
Geography - note:
controls Khyber Pass and Bolan Pass, traditional invasion routes between Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent

 


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