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Pakistan is a young country with rich past offering a great variety of attractions to its visitors, comparatively more than any other Asian country. ft has been attracting, from times immemorial, traders and travellers, saints and scholars, adventurers and invaders from all walks of life and from all over the world.

Through the ages Pakistan has been the cradle of some of the greatest civilizations the world has known, beginning with the prehistoric fndus Valley Civilizations, about four thousand five hundred years ago. For the present day visitors Pakistan spreads out a vast landscape of 7,96,095 of amazing richness and variety.

Pakistan offers to its visitors a blend of centuries old civilizations, unspoilt natural beauty, world famous mountain ranges of Karakorams, Hindu Kush and Himalayas with world renowned highest peaks like K-2 and the toughest and rocky like Nanga Parhat, fertile valleys like Kaghan, Swat, Gilgit, Hunza and Chitral, green fields, golf courses, biggest dams like Tarbela - rushing streams and waterfalls - sweet water lakes like Haliji, Keenjhar and Manchar full of kvaterhirds and fish. There are several alpine lakes such as I(atchura, Satpara, Saiful Maluk at heights varying from 5300m to 6500m full Rainbow Trout amid snowclad mountains. Biggest salt range with unique salt mines peculiar archaeological sites like Moenjodaro, Taxila and Harappa -grand historical Mughal monuments such as Badshahi mosque, Shalimar Garden, Lahore fort and historic Khyber pass - hundreds of miles long sunny, sandy and rocky beaches - old cities and bazars full of amusement and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Besides, one could enjoy in Pakistan good angling, deep-sea fishing, shooting, hunting, excellent cricket, hockey, tennis, golf, squash, swimming, riding, mountaineering and trekking. In fact, Pakistan offet-s such a variety of tourist attractions that it could cater to a very large variety of tourist interests.

Introduction of Pakistan would not be complete without indicating geographical features of the Countiy which is divided into 5 regions. (i) Mountains region including the Karakorams, the Hindu Kush and the Western off shoots of the Himalyas covering northern and north western parts. (ii) The Pothwar Plateau and Salt range. (iii) The Indus plain, the most fertile and densely populated area of the country (iv) The desert zone comprising ThaI, Choolistan and Thai- and (v) The Baluchistan Plateau.

In a sense, Pakistan stands astride the mighty river Indus which rises in Tibet, flows through the Karakorams range, Gilgi t, Swat and Kohistan through the great gorge at Attock and so enters the Punjab plain. It is now joined by other rivers, the Jhelum, the Chenab, the Ravi and the Sutlej - proceeds southwards through Sindh and finally pours its waters into the Arabian Sea.

In the North, beneath the towering peaks of the Himalayas, the Karakorams and the Hindu Kush, the land wears a majestic aspect with treeclad slopes and valleys of captivating beauty. It is rich in wild life, small and big game abounding with tumbling streams well stocked with Trout and that doughty fighter, the Mahseer. It is fertile too, growing sugar-cane, tobacco, cotton, i-ice and wheat. To have travelled in Swat, Gilgit and Hunza upto Khunjrab top is an unforgettable experience in a countryside as beautiful as it is historic.

Further south, in the vale of Peshawar, the scene possesses not quite the same mighty grandeur, but a gentler beauty. Here, too, nature is prolific with its immense variety of fruit - oranges, peaches, apricots, almonds - as well as wheat, rice and tobacco.

The plains of the Punjab, Bahawalpur and Sindh are watered by the Indus and its tributaries by means of a vast irrigation system which is known as the largest in the world. The fertile soil produces fine cotton and rice, wheaC maize, tobacco, and sugar-cane, providing occupation and livelihood for eighty five percent of the population of the country.

Most of the area in Baluchistan is arid and looks like a desert. There are, however, many valleys which are very fertile and produce, fine fruits in such an abundance that Quetta is known as the fruit orchard of Pakistan.

Along the coast of the Arabian Sea, a considerable fishing industry is carried on, yielding a fine harvest of edible fish, shell-fish highly esteemed in the western countries and exported there in frozen form, as well as non-edible fish yielding vitamin-rich oils, fish-meal and fertilizer.

Urdu is the national language of the country but English is extensively used in all official and commercial circles, fairly widely in hotels, railway stations and large stores. English is also used as the medium of instruction for higher education. There are a few regional languages as well which are spoken in various parts of the country such as Punjabi, Pushto, Seraiki, Sindhi and Baluchi etc

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