The name Pakistan means the land of the pure in Urdu (pak = pure in
spirit; stan = land).
The country was founded in 1947 and is located in south Asia and borders on Iran, Afghanistan, China
and India. Its capital is Islamabad, which lies in the northeast of the country.
The estimated population of Pakistan is 167 million, making it the sixth most-populous country.
More aboutgeography, culture, history and Pakistan’s two most important
personalities Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal follows
Pakistan lies between 24º and 37º North and 61º and 77º East. The country’s variegated landscape ranges from the high-mountain area in the north to the coast of the Arabian Sea and covers
approximately 800.000 km².
Three of the world’s highest mountain ranges, the Himalaya, the Hindu Kush and the Karakoramform
Pakistan’s north. Five of the world’s 8,000m+ mountains, including K2, with 8,611m, the second highest in the world and the 8,125m highNanga Parbat lie in Pakistan.
To the south stretch the Pothohar Plateau, the fertile Punjab, the Land of
Five Rivers and the Hindus Delta. The west is dominated by the Sulaiman and Central Brahui Ranges.
Islam is Pakistan’s state religion; 77 % of the population are Sunnis, roughly 20 % are Shiites. The remaining are, among others, Christians and Hindus who, despite their small numbers, are taken
The white stripe in Pakistan`s flag symbolises the rights of this religious minority.
More than 50 languages are spoken in Pakistan. Urdu was deemed the national
language in Pakistan’s constitution whilst English is the language used in official business, government, and legal contacts. Muhammad Ali Jinnah is generally regarded as the founder of Pakistan
whilst Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal, the national poet, is considered the country’s spiritual father.
The region which today is Pakistan was once the heartland of the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation, one
of the oldest advanced civilisations. It was marked by highly developed agriculture, crafts and trade as well as sophisticated urban development and science plus its own lettering system.
The state of Pakistan was founded on the 14th of August 1947. After the founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the then head of the Muslim League, was able to convince the majority of the Muslims in British
Colonial India of the need for autonomy, Great Britain approved the founding of an independent state. Pakistan is today a presidential-parliamentary democracy.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Muhammad Ali Jinnah (1876-1948) is considered the founder of Pakistan. He was the architect of the
Lucknow Pact (1916) which united the Muslims and Hindus in India in their efforts for self-determination. He fought for the political and religious rights of Muslims vis-à-vis the Hindus in a
self-regulated India which culminated with his Two Nation Theory in 1940.
Great Britain agreed to the founding of a Muslim state within the Commonwealth in 1946 and Jinnah died a few months thereafter. His mausoleum in Karachi is one of the best-known buildings in
Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal
Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938) is Pakistan’s national poet who influenced the country’s politics as well as its literary culture. He earned a MA
in philosophy at Lahore University and furthered his education in Europe. He studied at Cambridge, Heidelberg and at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich where he was awarded a PhD in
philosophy. His sojourn in Germany is memorialised by the Iqbal-Embankment in Heidelberg and plaque in Munich’s Habsburger-Square.
After his studies, he returned to Pakistan, became politically active and promulgated solidarity amongst the Muslims. He made a speech in 1930 in favour of a separate Muslim state and is thus
considered the spiritual father of Pakistan. He did not live to see the founding of Pakistan.