Pakistan was one of the two original successor states to British India, which was partitioned along religious lines in 1947. For almost 25 years following independence, it consisted of two separate regions, East and West Pakistan, but now it is made up only of the western sector. Both India and Pakistan have laid claim to the Kashmir region; this territorial dispute led to war in 1949, 1965, 1971, 1999, and remains unresolved today.
What is now Pakistan was in prehistoric times the Indus Valley civilization (c. 2500–1700 BC ). A series of invaders—Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Arabs, Turks, and others—controlled the region for the next several thousand years. Islam, the principal religion, was introduced in 711. In 1526, the land became part of the Mogul Empire, which ruled most of the Indian subcontinent from the 16th to the mid-18th century. By 1857, the British became the dominant power in the region. With Hindus holding most of the economic, social, and political advantages, the Muslim minority’s dissatisfaction grew, leading to the formation of the nationalist Muslim League in 1906 by Mohammed Ali Jinnah (1876–1949). The league supported Britain in the Second World War while the Hindu nationalist leaders, Nehru and Gandhi, refused. In return for the league’s support of Britain, Jinnah expected British backing for Muslim autonomy. Britain agreed to the formation of Pakistan as a separate dominion within the Commonwealth in Aug. 1947, a bitter disappointment to India’s dream of a unified subcontinent. Jinnah became governor-general. The partition of Pakistan and India along religious lines resulted in the largest migration in human history, with 17 million people fleeing across the borders in both directions to escape the accompanying sectarian violence.
Rawal Lake in Pakistan is an artificial reservoir that provides the water needs for the cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Korang River along with some other small streams coming from Margalla Hills have been set to form this artificial lake which covers an area of 8.8 km². Korang River is the outlet stream of Rawal Dam. Rawal Lake is located within an isolated section of the Margalla Hills National Park.
Minar-e-Pakistan is a tall minaret in Iqbal Park Lahore, built in commemoration of the Pakistan Resolution. The minaret reflects a blend of Mughal and modern architecture, and is constructed on the site where on March 23, 1940, seven years before the formation of Pakistan, the Muslim League passed the Pakistan Resolution (Qarardad-e-Pakistan), demanding the creation of Pakistan. This was the first official declaration to establish a separate homeland for the Muslims living in the Indian Subcontinent. Pakistan now celebrates this day as a national holiday each year.
Beautifull Picture of Pakistan:
Swat (pronounced [ˈsʋaːt̪], Pashto: سوات, Urdu: سوات) is a valley and an administrative district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan located close to the Afghan-Pakistan border. It is the upper valley of the Swat River, which rises in the Hindu Kush range. The capital of Swat is Saidu Sharif, but the main town in the Swat valley is Mingora. It was a princely state (see Swat (princely state)) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa until it was dissolved in 1969. The valley is almost entirely populated by ethnic Pashtuns/Pakhtuns. The language spoken in the valley is Pashto/Pakhto. With high mountains, green meadows, and clear lakes, it is a place of great natural beauty that used to be popular with tourists as “the Switzerland of the region”
Islamabad (help·info) (Urdu: اسلام آباد; Islām ābād, lit. Abode of Islam) is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. The population of the city has increased from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.21 million in 2009. The Rawalpindi/Islamabad Metropolitan Area is the third largest in Pakistan with a population of over 4.5 million inhabitants.
Islamabad is located in the Pothohar Plateau in the north of the country, within the Islamabad Capital Territory. The region has historically been a part of the crossroads of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with Margalla pass acting as the gateway between the two regions. The city was built during the 1960s to replace Karachi as Pakistan’s capital.
Islamabad is a well-organized city divided into different sectors and zones. It was ranked as a Gamma world city in 2008. The city is home to Faisal Mosque, the largest mosque in South Asia and the sixth largest mosque in the world.
Islamabad has the highest literacy rate in Pakistan and is home to the some of the top ranked universities in Pakistan, including Quaid-i-Azam University, Pakistan Institute of Engineering & Applied Sciences and the National University of Sciences and Technology. Allama Iqbal Open University in Islamabad is one of the world’s largest universities by enrolment.
Faisalabad clock Tower:
The Faisalabad Clock Tower is a clock tower in Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan, and is one of the oldest monuments still standing in its original state from the period of the British Raj. It was built by the British, when they ruled much of the South Asia during the nineteenth century.
The majestic Clock Tower of Faisalabad was constructed out of the funds raised by the local Zamindars who collected it at a rate of Rs. 18 per square of land. The fund thus raised was handed over to the Municipal Committee which undertook to complete the project.
The locals refer to it as “Ghanta Ghar” in Urdu which translates into Hour House in English. It is located in the older part of the city. The clock is placed at the center of the eight markets that from a bird’s-eye view look like the Union Jack flag of the United Kingdom. This special layout still exists today and can be viewed using the latest software from Google Maps.
During festivals of Eid and Independence Day the mayor (nazim) of Faisalabad delivers a speech at this site and hangs the flag at full mast.
Azad Jammu and Kashmir (Urdu: آزاد جموں و کشمیر azaad jammu o- kashmir ; AJK) or Azad Kashmir for short (literally, “Free Kashmir”), is the southernmost political entity within the Pakistani-administered part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. It borders the present-day Indian-controlled state of Jammu and Kashmir to the east (separated from it by the Line of Control), Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to the west, Gilgit-Baltistan to the north, and the Punjab Province of Pakistan to the south. With its capital at Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir covers an area of 13,297 square kilometres (5,134 sq mi) and has an estimated population of about four million. Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan both constitute an area known as Pakistan-administered Kashmir which is referred to in India as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
The Hunza Valley (Burushaski: ہنزہ Urdu: ہنزہ) is a mountainous valley in Gilgit in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Jammu and Kashmir. The Hunza valley is situated to the north of the Hunza River, at an elevation of around 2,500 metres (8,200 ft). The territory of Hunza is about 7,900 square kilometres (3,100 sq mi). Karimabad (formerly called Baltit) is the main town, which is also a very popular tourist destination because of the spectacular scenery of the surrounding mountains like Ultar Sar, Rakaposhi, Bojahagur Duanasir II, Ghenta Peak, Hunza Peak, Passu Peak, Diran Peak and Bublimating (Ladyfinger Peak), all 6,000 metres (19,685 ft) or higher.
THE WAGAH BORDER: FROM DIVISION TO BRIDGE
The residents of the city say there are only three places worth visiting in Amritsar: the Sikh Golden Temple, Jallianwalla Bagh where the British Brigadier Dyer in 1919 massacred unarmed Indians —and the Wagah border. Indeed the flag-lowering ceremony at the end of each day on the India-Pakistan border at Wagah in Punjab has over the years become a tourist destination, attracting predominantly Indians and Pakistanis on the respective sides of the border, with a sprinkling of foreigners.
The Wagah check-point is about mid-way between the cities of Lahore in Pakistan and Amritsar in India, each about 25 kilometers away, on the only road link between the two neighbours. Here the border is marked in white as it cuts across the historic Grand Trunk Road (GTR). The road has been closed for years now at Wagah by two metal gates, one on each country’s side. The two flag posts are located contiguous to the boundary line between the two gates.
Traditionally the flag-lowering ceremony has been a display of macho and mutual hatred by the border security forces on each side, though the animosity has been toned down in recent years. As the guards muster on each side and the crowds on both sides wave their respective flags, the air resonates with nationalistic slogans, including “Pakistan Jindabad (“Long Live Pakistan”) and “Jai Hind (“Long Live India”).On the Pakistani side, there is also the intermittent playing of Koranic verses .
Then, at the appointed time, both gates are thrown open, the border troops take giant exaggerated steps towards the flag
posts and stamp the ground vigorously with their boots. Their demeanor and facial expressions signify determination, defiance, even hostility. After the flag lowering, the two gates are shut with a loud clang, as if to signify a determination that each country will remain shut to the other. A South Korean visitor on the Pakistan side of the border last year could barely contain his amusement over what, to him, looked like a farce. In his derisory merriment he forgot that it was perhaps no more farcical than the face-off between South Korean and North Korean troops at the Panmunjom on the 38th parallel border between the two countries.
Among the Indian and Pakistani crowds the ceremony seems to arouse tangled emotions, a mix of sadness, hostility, curiosity and perhaps a yearning to connect. I observed the hostility and tragic pathos last year on the Pakistani side: an old man with a white beard was trotting up an down the thirty metres of GTR enclosed by the public stands, shouting slogans and waving a Pakistani flag. I was told he was eighty, lived nearby, had lost two sons in wars with India, and performs this demonstration everyday during the flag lowering ceremony. But there are those who have seen enough of politics and wars and are immensely saddened by the futility of sustaining such hatred. After all, the flat landscape, the rolling brown wheat fields of April, broken by occasional clumps of trees, were identical on both sides of the border ; the people, though of different faiths are the same too; and the birds flew freely from one side to the other oblivious of the man-made barriers and the grotesque displays of physical and psychological divisions.
At the end of the ceremony each day, the crowds on both sides flock near the boundary fence and peer intently and
curiously at the other side. What unspoken emotions, what forces in the conscious and the subconscious propel them to do so? The Indian province of Punjab, which Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong visited recently, is India’s richest province, but it is only a small fraction of the pre-partition Punjab. It was then a land of five rivers and stretched from Delhi to Peshawar on the northwest frontier of today’s Pakistan. The present Indian Punjab, with a population of about 25 million, emerged from two partitions: between Pakistan and India in 1947, and, in 1966, a partition of the Indian Punjab into the three provinces of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh as a result of Sikh demands for a Punjabi-speaking province
In view of the thaw in relations between India and Pakistan in recent years, there are hopes that border might be opened up and there can be people-to-people and business-to-business links with Pakistani Punjab. The revival of the forces of democratization in Pakistan further encourages such hopes. When that does materialize, the absurdities of Wagah will be relegated to the dustbin of history. Common sense, together with the sense of a common Punjabi identity, could contribute to the breaking of barriers between India and Pakistan at this epicenter of the divide between the two countries.
The Badshahi Mosque (Urdu: بادشاھی مسجد) or the ‘King’s Mosque’ in Lahore, commissioned by the sixth Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1671 and completed in 1673, is the second largest mosque in Pakistan and South Asia and the fifth largest mosque in the world. Epitomising the beauty, passion and grandeur of the Mughal era, it is Lahore’s most famous landmark and a major tourist attraction.
Capable of accommodating 5,000 worshippers in its main prayer hall and a further 95,000 in its courtyard and porticoes, it remained the largest mosque in the world from 1673 to 1986 (a period of 313 years), when overtaken in size by the completion of the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad. Today, it remains the second largest mosque in Pakistan and South Asia and the fifth largest mosque in the world after the Masjid al-Haram (Grand Mosque) of Mecca, the Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (Prophet’s Mosque) in Medina, the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca and the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad.
To appreciate its large size, the four minarets of the Badshahi Mosque are 13.9 ft (4.2 m) taller than those of the Taj Mahal and the main platform of the Taj Mahal can fit inside the 278,784 sq ft (25,899.9 m2) courtyard of the Badshahi Mosque, which is the largest mosque courtyard in the world.
In 1993, the Government of Pakistan recommended the inclusion of the Badshahi Mosque as a World Heritage Site in UNESCO‘s World Heritage List, where it has been included in Pakistan’s Tentative List for possible nomination to the World Heritage List by UNESCO.
The Lahore Fort, locally referred to as Shahi Qila (Urdu: شاهی قلعہ) is citadel of the city of Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. It is located in the northwestern corner of the Walled City of Lahore. The trapezoidal composition is spread over 20 hectares.
Origins of the fort go as far back as antiquity, however, the existing base structure was built during the reign of Mughal emperor Akbar (1556–1605), and was regularly upgraded by subsequent rulers, having thirteen gates in all. However, it is said to be built first in 800B.C. Thus the fort manifests the rich traditions of Mughal architecture. Some of the famous sites inside the fort include: Sheesh Mahal, Alamgiri Gate, Naulakha pavilion, and Moti Masjid. In 1981, the fort was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the Shalimar Gardens (Lahore)
The origins of Lahore Fort are obscure and are traditionally based on various myths. However, during the excavation carried out in 1959 by the Department of Archaeology, in front of Diwan-e-Aam, a gold coin of Mahmood of Ghazni dated AH 416 (1025 AD) was found at a depth of 7.62 metres from the level of the lawns. Cultural layers continued to a further depth of 5 metres, giving strong indications that people had lived here, long before the conquest of Lahore by Mahmood in 1021 AD. Further mention of the fort is traceable to Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Ghuri‘s successive invasions of Lahore from 1180 to 1186 AD.
t cannot be said with certainty when the Lahore Fort was originally constructed or by whom, since this information is lost to history, possibly forever. However, evidence found in archaeological digs gives strong indications that it was built long before 1025 AD.
Data Darbar (or Durbar), located in the city of Lahore, Pakistan is one of the oldest Muslim shrines in the sub-continent. It houses the remains of a Sufi saint, Abul Hassan Ali Hajvery (more commonly known as Daata Ganj Baksh, meaning the master who bestows treasures). He is said to have lived on the site in the 11th Century.
The shrine is located near the Bhaati Gate into Lahore‘s Walled City. It was originally built by the Ghaznavi king Sultan Zakiruddin Ibrahim in the late 11th century, and has been expanded several times. There have been rising security fears in recent years after threats by Pakistan’s Taliban militants. The large size of the complex which houses the shrine and the fact that it is open at all hours to the public makes protecting it extremely difficult. For centuries his tomb was visited by Muslims and Hindus in search of his blessings but since partition, most visitors have been Muslim, although people of all religions are welcome. Pakistani politician Nawaz Sharif is a frequent visitor. On special occasions, the shrine is decorated with lights, dinner is prepared for hundreds of people and visitors dance while musicians play Sufi music for hours. At the boundary of the shrine, Muslims recite the Qur’an, and pay tributes to Muhammad.
Tomb of Jahangir:
Tomb of Jahangir, (Urdu: جهانگير کا مقبرہ) is the mausoleum built for the Mughal Emperor Jahangir who ruled from 1605 to 1627. The mausoleum is located near the town of Shahdara Bagh in Lahore, Pakistan. His son Shah Jahan built the mausoleum 10 years after his father’s death. It is sited in an attractive walled garden. It has four 30 meter high minarets. The interior is embellished with frescoes and pietra dura inlay and coloured marble. The mausoleum features prominently on the Pakistan Rupees 1,000 denomination bank note.
The entrance to the mausoleum is through two massive gateways of stone and masonry opposite each other (to the north and south) which lead to a square enclosure known as the Akbari Serai. This enclosure leads to another one, on the western side, giving full view of the garden in front of the mausoleum, which is traversed by four-bricked canals proceeding from the centre, and in which many fountains were placed which are now in ruins. The corridor around the mausoleum is adorned with a most elegant mosaic, representing flowers and Quranic verses.
The interior of the mausoleum is an elevated sarcophagus of white marble, the sides of which are wrought with flowers of mosaic in the same elegant style as the tombs in the Taj Mahal at Agra, India. On two sides of the sarcophagus the ninety-nine attributes of God are inlaid in black. Beautiful ‘jalis’ admit light in various patterns.