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A blessed country

We have undoubtedly achieved Pakistan, and that too without bloody war, practically peacefully, by moral and intellectual force, and with the power of the pen, which is no less mighty than that of the sword and so our righteous cause has triumphed. Are we now going to besmear and tarnish this greatest achievement for which there is no parallel in the history of the world? Pakistan is now a fait accompli and it can never be undone, besides, it was the only just, honourable, and practical solution of the most complex constitutional problem of this great subcontinent. Let us now plan to build and reconstruct and regenerate our great nation...”― Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah

 

Pakistan is a blessed country. It has enormous feathers in its cap; which many countries of the world just wish to have. Though the total area of Pakistan is only 796,095 square kilometers (which includes 25,220 sq km of sea), it has everything from rivers, plains, mountains, forests and even sea. There are many countries quite bigger in size than Pakistan, they don’t have these blessings of Allah. Kazakhstan’s total area is 2,724,900 sq km, sixth largest is the world but doesn’t have any sea. Likewise, Mongolia which has an area 1,566,500 km, does not have accessibility to sea. Denmark, Latvia, Belarus, Lithuania, Kuwait and many others don’t have mountain. Whereas Pakistan has mountains as high as 8,611 meters.

This is Allah’s blessing that Pakistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is the world’s sixth-most populous country with a population of more than 212 million people now. It is the 36th-largest country in the world in terms of area, covering 796,095 sq km (307,374 sq mi.) slightly greater than France and the United Kingdom put together.

Following are some interesting facts, which are unique with our beloved motherland:

  • Pakistan is the world’s first Islamic country to attain nuclear power.
  • Pakistan has the highest paved international road – The Karakoram Highway (KKH).
  • Pakistan has the largest canal-based irrigation system in the world.
  • Islamabad, Pakistan is ranked the second most beautiful capital in the world.
  • Pakistan has the world’s largest ambulance network. Pakistan’s Edhi Foundation, which is also listed in the Guinness Book of World Records, operates the network.
  • The highest batting partnership formed by two players playing in their first Test matches in the sport of cricket is 249 runs by Khalid Ibadulla and Abdul Hafiz Kardar for Pakistan against Australia in Karachi.
  • Wasim Akram, Pakistani fast bowler, is the first to take 400 wickets in both Tests and ODIs.
  • Sialkot, located in Pakistan, is the world’s largest producer of hand-sewn footballs. Local factories in the region produce 40-60 million footballs a year, which is roughly 50-70% of the world’s total production. The football manufacturing industry now consists of more than 200 factories.
  • Pakistan has the world’s highest ATM (automated teller machine). The ATM is operated by the National Bank of Pakistan and it is installed at a height of 16,007 feet above sea level, at the Pak-China border, Khunjerab Pass.
  • Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has a world unbroken record for flying the fastest between London and Karachi, in 1962. They completed the flight in 6 hours, 43 minutes, 55 seconds.
  • Pakistan also has one of the oldest civilizations in history, Mehrgarh, dating back to 6000 B.C.
  • It also have a rare species of ‘Blind Dolphin’ found in the water of Indus River. It is the second most endangered freshwater dolphin species in the world.
  • Pakistan also made history with the youngest civil judge in the world. Judge Mohammed Ilyas passed the examination at the age of 20 years and 9 months.
  • The Khewra Salt Mine in Pakistan is the second largest and oldest salt mine in the world.
  • Pakistan has the only fertile desert in the world – the Tharparkar desert – located in Sindh province.

 

  • The world’s longest glacial system outside the polar regions – the Biafo Glacier – is in Pakistan.
  • The largest earth-filled dam in the world (and fifth largest by structural volume) is the Tarbela Dam on the Indus river in Pakistan. The dam was built in 1968 and 1976. The dam is 143.26 meters high and 2,743.2 meters long.
  • The once world’s largest man-made forest is in Pakistan – the Changa Manga forest (12,423 acres in area).
  • Pakistan is also blessed with Jahangir Khan, a former World No. 1 professional squash player. Between 1981 and 1986, he won 555 matches consecutively (the longest winning streak by any athlete in top-level professional sports as recorded by Guinness World Records).
  • The Shah Faisal Mosque in Pakistan can accommodate 100,000 worshipers at a time.
  • Shandur Pass located in Chitral District and Ghizer (Gherz) District, Balawaristan, North Pakistan is home to the world’s highest Polo ground at 3,700 meters. Since 1936, traditional polo festival is being held on Shandur Top.
  • Gwadar port is the largest deep sea port in the world, located on the southwestern Arabian Sea along the coastline of Balochistan, Pakistan. The port has an area of 64,000 square meters and has a depth of more than 14 meters.
  • Pakistan is also home to the largest single dome mosque in the world –Masjid e Tooba. The mosque is located in Karachi and is locally known as the Gol Masjid. The dome of the mosque is 212 ft in diameter and is 51.48 ft high. It is balanced on a low surrounding wall with no central pillars. It was built in 1969.
  • Located at the northern end of the Kaghan Valley, Lake Saiful Muluk, is one of the highest lakes in Pakistan, at an elevation of 3,224 m (10,578 feet) above sea level.
  • Makli Hill located in Thatta, Pakistan is home to over half a million tombs and graves. It is one of the largest necropolis (a large, designed cemetery with elaborate tomb monuments) in the world. The tombs were built over a period of 400 years between the 14th and 18th centuries.
  • Gaddani, Pakistan is also home to the world’s third-largest ship breaking yard.
  • Pakistan is world’s fourth largest milk producing country.
  • Pakistan is the fourth largest cotton producing country in the world.
  • K-2 (Chagori) is the highest mountain peak in Pakistan and the second highest in the world.
Famous Mountain peaks of Pakistan, their total height, and world ratings.
Famous Mountain PeaksHeightWorld Rating
K-2 (Chagori)8616 m2nd
Nanga Parbat8125 m8th
Gasherbrum-I8068 m11th
Broad Peak8065 m12th
Gasherbrum-II8047 m14th
Gasherbrum-III7952 m15th
Gasherbrum-IV7925 m16th
Disteghil Sar7885 m20th
Kunyang Kish7852 m22nd
Masherbrum (NE)7821 m24th
Rakaposhi7788 m27th
Batura I7785 m28th
Kanjut Sar7760 m29th
Saltoro Kangri7742 m33rd
Trivor7720 m36th
Tirich Mir7708 m41st
The author, Mr. Nazir Ahmed Shaikh, is a regular contributor of PAGE. He is a freelance columnist and an academician by profession. Currently he is associated with SZABIST as Registrar and could be reached at  nazir.ahmed@szabist.edu.pk.

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