Pakistan Facts

Michael Bryan

Michael Bryan

Published: 18 May 2022

Old map of Pakistan

Pakistan is one of the most interesting countries, not just in Asia, but also globally. As a matter of fact, the country is admired all over the world. Undoubtedly, and unquestionably, Pakistan is bountiful in many things, such as its natural landscape, rich culture, and beautiful people. Many other Pakistan facts articles on the internet today talk about the beauty of this country, especially its mountain scenery.

Furthermore, if you love a good view, Pakistan should definitely be on your travel list. Without a doubt, the country’s mountain scenery is truly amazing. In fact, more than 50% of its area is mountainous, particularly its Northern and North Western regions. Additionally, the country has a huge amount of glaciers. In particular, 7,253 dazzling glaciers. Do you know there is more glacial ice in Pakistan than anywhere else on Earth, outside the polar regions?

It should be noted, though, that Pakistani cuisine is also a must-try when visiting the country. As a result of the huge amount of special herbs and spices accessible in Pakistan, Pakistani cuisine has some of the most diverse and delectable dishes in the world. Moreover, each traditional meal comes with a profound history that relates it to a certain province. To sum it all up, there is a lot more to discover about this amazing nation. With this in mind, get to know the country a little bit better with these intriguing Pakistan facts!

  1. Pakistan is the 5th most populous country in the world.
  2. It has the world’s 2nd largest Muslim population.
  3. By area, Pakistan is the world’s 33rd largest country.
  4. The current population of the country is more than 220 million.
  5. The four bordering countries of Pakistan are Iran, Afghanistan, China, and India.
  1. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is the official name of Pakistan.
  2. Pakistan is a country in South Asia.
  3. The name of the country in Urdu (Indo-Aryan and Persian language) means “a land abounding in the pure,” or “a land in which the pure abound.”
  4. Two words make up the name Pakistan. The Persian term “Pak” means holy, clean, or pure, and the Hindi word, “istan” which means place.
  5. Pakistanis are the citizens of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
  6. The state religion in Pakistan is Islam.
  7. Around 95 to 98% of Pakistanis are Muslim.
  8. The currency of Pakistan is the Pakistani rupee.
  9. The national language of Pakistan is Urdu.
  10. Pakistan has a land area of 881,913 km2 or (340,509 mi2).
  1. There are six UNESCO Heritage sites in the country of Pakistan.
  2. Pakistan has more than 100 million internet users. This makes the country the 10th largest population that uses the internet.
  3. Male homosexuality is illegal, with up to life imprisonment as punishment in Pakistan.
  4. Pakistan is one of the few countries that has four seasons.
  5. The country produces approximately 70% of the world’s soccer balls.
Table of Contents

The flag of Pakistan has a crescent moon and a star.

The official design of Pakistan’s flag is dark green with a white vertical stripe. The dark green portion has a crescent moon and a star. The white stripe symbolizes the nation’s non-Muslim population. Secondly, the star signifies light and knowledge, while the moon means progress.

Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan.

The original capital of Pakistan was Karachi. However, on August 14, 1967, Islamabad became the official capital of the country. In particular, Islamabad is in the northern part of Pakistan and, on the foot of the Himalayas. Furthermore, it has a land area of 220 km2. The Himalayas is the 4th most populated area, with about 3.1 million people.

The national drink of Pakistan is sugarcane juice.

Pakistan declared sugarcane juice or roh as the national drink of the country. This is after they conducted a poll on Twitter. In fact, there were two other options: carrot juice and orange juice. Altogether, the results showed that 81% of the votes were for sugarcane juice, while there were 15% votes for orange juice, and 4% for carrot juice.

sugar cane juice
Image from Adobe Stock

Lassi is one of the most popular drinks in Pakistan.

Lassi is a frothy, creamy, yogurt-based drink. It contains water, fruits, and seasoning, with some salt and sugar. There are several varieties, such as salted lassi containing salt and spices, like cumin and cardamom. In addition, sweet lassi blends with cheese, fruits, and sugar. 

Pakistani dishes are famous for their aromatic and spicy flavors.

Most Pakistani dishes contain a large amount of oil, which gives the dish a richer flavor. Some of the spices commonly used include chili powder, turmeric, and cumin seeds. Other spices include bay leaves, coriander powder (Chinese bay leaf), and Garam masala.

Nihari is the national dish of Pakistan.

Nihari is a stew originating from the Indian subcontinent. This dish consists of slow-cooked meat, typically the shank of beef or chicken, and sometimes also from lamb.

Beef nihari
Image from Adobe Stock

Biryani is a well-known dish in Pakistan.

The Biryani is a rice dish popular among the Muslim countries. In Pakistan alone, there are already several variations of the Biryani. Sindhi biryani is a special meat and rice dish that originated in Sindh, while the Tahiri is a vegetarian form of biryani. 

The Changa Manga Forest was once the largest man-made forest in the world.

Changa Manga Forest is one of the oldest, hand-planted forests in the world. Proof of this is that the forest contains a variety of plants and wildlife, including more than 50 species of birds and 27 types of insects. The Changa Manga forest serves as an important wildlife reserve and it produces timber for the local industry.

The Tharparkar desert is the only fertile desert in the world.

The Tharparkar desert in the Sindh province is the 18th largest desert in the world. Moreover, this desert is considered the only fertile desert. The fertility of the land has increased its beauty with its naturally grown trees and flowers. Tharkapar desert is so mesmerizing in the rainy season, that it still attracts many local and international visitors.

There is a teardrop lake in Pakistan.

Ansoo Lake is a teardrop-shaped lake in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. It is 4,245 meters or 13,927 ft above sea level and is one of the highest lakes in the Himalayan Range. The lake got its name from the Urdu word ansoo which means “teardrop.” It is also said that the Pakistan Air Force pilots discovered the lake while flying at a low altitude over the place in 1993.

ansoo lake
Image from Wikimedia Commons

The Masjid-e-Tooba is the 18th largest mosque in the world.

Masjid-e-Tooba, also called Gol Masjid, is in Karachi, Pakistan. The construction of Masjid-e-Tooba began in 1966 and finished in 1969. The mosque is 72 meters or 236 ft tall. The central prayer hall has no pillars and can hold around 5,000 people.

Saiful Muluk is one of the highest lakes in Pakistan.

Saiful Muluk is a mountainous lake in the town of Naran, and one of the tallest lakes in Pakistan, at an elevation of 3,224 meters or 10,578 ft above sea level. Indeed, the lake is rich in biodiversity and home to different species of blue algae. In addition, the lake’s name came from a fairy tale character named Saiful Malook. It was said that Saiful Malook fell in love with princess Badri-ul-Jamala at the lake.

Faisal Mosque is the largest mosque in Pakistan.

Faisal Mosque is in Islamabad, Pakistan, and is the 6th largest mosque in the world. It is also the biggest mosque within Southern Asia. The structure covers a land area of 33 acres (130,000 m² or 1,400,000 sqft) and can hold around 300,000 worshippers. In addition to this, it is one of the major tourist attractions in the country known for its Bedouin tent shape, surrounded by four gigantic towers that measure 260 ft or 79 meters.

Faisal Mosque
Image from Adobe Stock

Pakistan is home to more than 4000 mountain peaks.

In Pakistan, there are more than 4,500 peaks above 6,000 meters and 108 peaks above 7,000 meters. In fact, 5 of the 14 highest mountain peaks in the world lies in Pakistan. Most of the tallest peaks in the country lie in the mountain range of Karakoram.

K2 is the 2nd tallest mountain in the world.

At 8,611 meters or 28,251 ft above sea level, K2 is the 2nd tallest mountain in the world. The first is Mount Everest at 8,849 meters or 29,032 ft. Additionally, K2 is in Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan and lies in Karakoram range. While K2 is popularly called the Savage Mountain, people also call it The King of Mountains, and The Mountaineers’ Mountain, as well as, The Mountain of Mountains.

K2 is one of the deadliest mountains in the world.

With surrounding steep slopes that require high technical climbing skills, K2 is one of the toughest mountains to climb. There are also frequent rockfalls and avalanches. Based on various estimates, for every 4 climbers that reach the summit, approximately 1 may die.

Makli Necropolis in Pakistan is one of the biggest funerary sites in the world.

It is located in the province of Sindh. For 0ver 400 years, the site houses around 500,000 to 1 million tombs. Within the Makli Necropolis, there are huge funerary monuments that belong to royalty, Sufi saints, and scholars. On an interesting note, Makli Necropolis became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981.

Makli Necropolis
Image from Adobe Stock

Benazir Bhutto became the first woman Prime Minister of Pakistan.

In modern history, Benazir Bhutto was the first woman leader of the Muslim nation. She was the Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1988 to 1990 and had another term from 1993 to 1996. After her two terms as Prime Minister, she faced charges of corruption and spent several years in exile in London.

With plans to participate in the 2008 general election, Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan.

Bhutto had been campaigning in advance for the elections set for January 2008. After her political rally at Liaqat National Bagh (a famous park in Rawalpindi), she got assassinated. At Rawalpindi General Hospital, doctors declared her dead at 18:16 local time (13:16 UTC) on December 27, 2007.

India and Pakistan have been involved in several wars.

There have been several wars, military standoffs, and conflicts, between India and Pakistan. This began when they became two dominion states or self-governing nations. The territorial dispute over the Kashmir region, and cross-border terrorism, became the major reasons for their conflicts.

Pakistan shares a border with four states of India.

The four states of India are Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Jammu & Kashmir. Jammu & Kashmir share the longest boundary with Pakistan at 1,222 km. Additionally, the India-Pakistan border has a total length of 3,323 km.

The International Border divides India and Pakistan.

The India-Pakistan border, or International Border (IB), is an international border. It runs from the Line of Control (LoC) or the military control. This divides the region of Kashmir controlled by India and the Pakistani-administered Kashmir. Included are other land territories of India and Pakistan from urban areas to the desert.

The India-Pakistan border is one of the most dangerous borders in the world.

Since the separation of India and Pakistan, the border has been a site for wars and became one of the most contested borders in the world. India installed around 150,000 floodlights on about 50,000 poles. Some say you can see the border from outer space at night. It is also one of the most dangerous borders in the world.

Wheat is the largest food crop in Pakistan.

The most important crops in Pakistan are sugarcane, wheat, cotton, and rice. The largest crop in Pakistan is wheat, producing an average of 26 million tonnes per year or almost equal to all of Africa’s 27.1 million tonnes. Back in 2020, the wheat output of the country was at the below-average level of 25.25 million tonnes. Factors such as heavy rains and locust infestation are the main reasons for the reduced harvest.

Pakistan produces unique mulberries.

They are larger than most mulberries which can grow more than 9 cm (3.5 in). It is very delicious, sweet, and juicy when ripe. Unlike black varieties, they stain less on hands or clothing. Pakistan’s mulberry also has a long fruiting season, starting from the late spring to mid-summer.

pakistan mulberries
Image from Adobe Stock

Pakistan is the 8th largest exporter of textile in Asia.

One of the biggest sectors in Pakistan is the textile industry. About 8.5% of Pakistan’s gross domestic product (GDP) comes from the textile sector. In addition, the fabric industry employs a huge portion of the country’s total labor force.

Pakistan is the 4th largest producer of cotton in Asia.

Pakistan has the 3rd largest spinning capacity or cotton production, too. Currently, Pakistan has 1,221 ginning units (machines that separate seeds from fibers). In addition, they also have 442 spinning units (machines that turn fibers into yarn). Lastly, they have 425 small spinning units, and 124 large spinning units.

Mining is a vital industry in Pakistan.

Mining is also an important sector in the economy of Pakistan. The country has numerous deposits of minerals like copper, gold, chromite, and bauxite (the main source of aluminum). Precious stones such as aquamarine, topaz, ruby, emerald, and a variety of quartz, can also be found in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s tourism industry is growing.

In Pakistan, tourism is a flourishing sector. The country was ranked as the Best Holiday Destination in 2020 and became the 3rd highest potential adventure destination in the world for 2020. Moreover, as the security conditions of Pakistan improve, tourism increased by more than 300% in two years. Several travel bloggers come to Pakistan to show the beauty of the country.

The defense industry of Pakistan includes seven specialized organizations.

The establishment of the Defence Industry of Pakistan in 1951 aims to promote the military production facilities that have developed since the country’s independence. The bureau has seven specialized organizations that are committed to research, development, and administration. Furthermore, Karachi Shipyard, a Pakistani state-owned defense contractor and military corporation, mainly supports the Pakistani Navy.

Pakistan has become self-sufficient in the defense industry.

From 1987 to 2000, Pakistan started to develop its submarine repair and rebuild the facility, JF-17 Thunder fighter (combat aircraft), as well as the Al-Khalid Tank. And from the early 2000s, the country reached another milestone by becoming self-sufficient in defense in aircraft overhaul. Moreover, by 2016, the government has drastically lessened its defense imports by more than 50%.

Hockey is the national sport of Pakistan.

Introduced by the British, it became Pakistan’s national sport right after their independence. There are top Pakistani players who won the World Cup and the Olympics for this sport.

The first international cricket match in Pakistan took place in Karachi.

The first international cricket match (Sindh vs Australia) took place in Karachi on November 22, 1935. Approximately 5,000 people from Karachi attended the game. The British introduced cricket to Pakistan during their colonial rule.

playing cricket in pakistan
Image from Adobe Stock

Cricket is one of the most popular sports in Pakistan.

Playing sports is important to Pakistanis. Cricket is one of the most popular sports in the country, along with squash, polo, and field hockey. Almost all districts of Pakistan have cricket teams and Pakistanis begin to play cricket at a young age. Pakistan has won several cricket tournaments, including the 1992 Cricket World Cup, the 2009 ICC World Twenty20, and the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.

Pakistan Super League is a single entity.

The Pakistan Super League is a professional cricket competition played usually from February to March every year. It has six teams representing Pakistan’s six cities. The league was founded on September 9, 2015. The league is a single entity, instead of operating as an association of independently owned teams, and its investors control and own each franchise.

Pakistan has the highest number of automated teller machines or ATMs.

Pakistan holds a title in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the highest automated teller machine or ATM. The National Bank of Pakistan installed the machine at a height of 16,007 ft above sea level, at the Pakistan-China border, Khunjerab Pass.

‘Blind dolphins’ inhabit Indus River in Pakistan.

The ‘Blind dolphin’ or locally called ‘Bhulan’ is a rare species of freshwater dolphins that can be found in the Indus River. The river is a 1,300-km (807 mi) stretch between northeastern and southern Pakistan. It is unique among other dolphins and whales, as they swim on their sides and have a brownish and stocky body.

Khewra Salt Mines in Pakistan is the 2nd largest salt mine in the world.

The Khewra Salt Mine or Mayo Salt Mine in the Punjab Region is one of the oldest salt mines. It is also the 2nd world largest in the world, after Sifto Salt Mines in Ontario, Canada. It is also one of the biggest producers of salt in the country, with around 350,000 tons per year.

Khewra Salt Mine
Image from Adobe Stock

Khewra Salt Mine is famous for its Himalayan salt.

Khewra Salt Mine is popular for manufacturing pink Khewra salt or marketed as Himalayan salt. Himalayan salt has a pinkish color due to trace of minerals. It is commonly used as table salt, but can also be used in food presentation, cooking, spa treatments, and as decorative lamps. Moreover, the salt mine is also one of the most popular tourist attractions in Pakistan, drawing around 250,000 visitors per year.

Tarbela Dam in Pakistan is the biggest earth-filled dam in the world.

Tarbela Dam, along the Indus River in Pakistan, is an earth-filled or artificial dam. It is also the biggest earth-filled dam in the world and the largest in terms of structural volume. Tarbela Dam measures 143 m (470 ft) high above the riverbed and its reservoir has a surface of around 250 sq km (97 sq mi).

The main purpose of the Tarbela Dam is to supply water for irrigation.

The construction of the Tarbela Dam began in 1968 and finished in 1976. The main objective of the dam is to store water for the Indus River which flows during the monsoon period. The dam works against food control, helps irrigation, and the generation of hydroelectric power.

Pakistan was one of the first Muslim countries to construct nuclear power plants.

In 1972, Canada helped Pakistan build its first nuclear power plant in Karachi. Moreover, this nuclear power plant continues to produce around 80 megawatts of electricity to this day. As of 2017, there are already five nuclear power plants in Pakistan. The country aims to have 30 by 2050.

The Karakoram Highway is one of the highest and most dangerous paved roads.

The Karakoram Highway, also known as N-35 or the National Highway, is one of the highest international highways in the world. The highway links western China and Pakistan. Karakoram is one of the few roads that cross the Himalayas and pass through the Karakoram Mountain Range at a maximum elevation of 4,714 m or 15,466 ft.

Karakoram Highway
Image from Adobe Stock

Queen Elizabeth II was once the Queen of Pakistan.

You may be surprised to know that the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II was the Queen of Pakistan. In 1953, Queen Elizabeth became the Queen of seven independent Commonwealth countries (formerly British Commonwealth Nations), including Pakistan. She reigned in Pakistan for four years.

Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani Nobel Prize awardee.

Malala Yousafzai, also known as Malala, is a Pakistani activist and one of the younger Nobel Prize awardees. Nobel Prize is a prestigious award given for intellectual achievement. Malala is famous for being a human rights advocate, especially her advocacy for the education of women and children.

Abdus Salam also received a Nobel Prize in Physics.

Pakistani theoretical physicist, Mohammad Abdus Salam, was the first Pakistani to get a Nobel Prize in Physics. Abdus Salam, Sheldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg received a Nobel Prize for their contribution to “electroweak unification theory.” Weinberg and Glasgow are both American theoretical physicists.

Pakistan is one of two Islamic countries that allow women to have military duties.

Pakistan, after Turkey, is the only Muslim country that allows women to join combat military operations. Since 1947, women are part of the Pakistani military. Currently, the Pakistan Armed Forces have plenty of women soldiers.

Shalwar kameez is the traditional dress in Pakistan.

Men and women in the different provinces of Pakistan wear shalwar kameez or their traditional clothing. The term shalwar refers to loose trousers, while the word kameez refers to the shirt. Furthermore, all officials working in the secretariat wore the traditional costume since 1982.

shalwar kameez, pakistan, traditional dress
Image from Public Domain

Floods hit Pakistan and affected around 20% of the whole country in 2010.

In July 2010, heavy monsoon rains flooded the Indus River. This resulted in floods in almost 20% of the total land area of Pakistan. In addition, based on data from the Pakistani government, the flood affected approximately 20 million people. The flood destroyed properties, livelihood, and infrastructure, and caused around 2,000 deaths.

A magnitude 7.6 earthquake shook Pakistan and other neighboring regions in 2005.

On October 8, 2005, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.6 shook the region of Kashmir in Pakistan, and parts of India and Afghanistan. Approximately 80,000 people died, while about 4 million people became homeless.

Pakistan hosts more than 1.4 million Afghan refugees.

As of 2020, Pakistan still houses more than 1.4 million Afghan refugees that left the country due to war. Few of these refugees are migrant workers, merchants, business people, and exchange students. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) works with the Pakistani government to allow refugees access to services and education.

Pakistan has more than 150 airports.

As of this writing, there are 151 airports in Pakistan, including military airbases and small airports. In fact, most of the international airports are in Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad. The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority operates most of the civil airports.

There are 174 universities in Pakistan.

Following the country’s independence from Britain, higher education in Pakistan expanded remarkably. Today, Pakistan has around 174 universities, including public and private institutions. Most universities use the English language as the medium of instruction.

Pakistanis celebrate Pakistan Day every March 23rd.

Pakistanis around the world celebrate Pakistan day or Pakistan Resolution day every March 23rd. This honors the Lahore Resolution (independence day of Pakistan) on March 23, 1940. For this reason, an armed forces parade is often part of the event.

Group of pakistani man wearing traditional clothes salwar kameez or kurta with Pakistan flags, celebrating Pakistan Day
Image from Adobe Stock

Pakistanis often eat with their hands.

In addition, they love to use a piece of bread or rice to scoop solid food along with the sauce. Pakistani families, especially if they have guests, eat while sitting on Dastarkhān, a piece of cloth spread on the floor.

Pakistan observes the Pakistan Standard Time.

From 1907 to 1947, Pakistanis observe UTC+05:30. However, two time zones were introduced on September 15, 1951. Firstly, Karachi Time (KART), adjusting 30 minutes off UTC+05:30 to UTC+05:00 in West Pakistan. Secondly, Dacca Time (DACT) or subtracting 30 minutes off UTC+06:30 to UTC+06:00 in East Pakistan. In 1971, Karachi time became Pakistan Standard Time.

The value of the Pakistani Rupee is increasing steadily over the years.

Since 1948, the Pakistani Rupee is the official currency of Pakistan. The State Bank of Pakistan issues and controls coins and notes. Currently, 1 US dollar is equivalent to 195 Pakistani Rupees.

US special forces killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan.

American soldiers killed the leader and founder of the Islamic group Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, at his place near Islamabad, on May 2, 2011. Bin Laden is known for planning the September 11 bombing that caused approximately 3,000 deaths in the United States.

The missile technology of Pakistan is one of the best in the world.

Pakistan has a missile research and development program. This program focuses on developing short to medium-range missiles as well as computer-guided missiles. Furthermore, the country’s missile technology is rapidly developing, achieving greater accuracy, range, and payload capacity or carrying capacity.

The establishment of Pakistan is based on Islam.

Many believe Pakistan is the only nation built in the name of Islam. To transform Pakistan into an Islamic state, leaders presented the country to the Objectives Resolution in 1949. In the proposal, it was stated that God is the sole ruler over the entire universe. Moreover, several Muslim leaders such as Chaudhry Khaliquzzaman agreed that bringing all believers of Islam into a political unit will make Pakistan an Islamic state.