Punjab (Pakistan)

Punjab (Pakistan)

Pakistan infobox
region = Punjab

capital = Lahore
latd = 31.33
longd = 74.21
pop_year = 2008
population = 81,845,433 (Estimate) [ [http://www.world-gazetteer.com/wg.php?x=&men=gpro&lng=en&des=wg&geo=437641435&srt=pnan&col=abcdefghinoq&msz=1500&geo=-2943 Punjab - World Gazetteer] ]
density_km2 = 386.8
area_km2 = 205344
languages = Punjabi (official) English Urdu (national) Saraiki Hindko Pashto Balochi
status = Province
districts = 35
towns =
unions =
established = 1 July 1970
governor = Salmaan Taseer
minister = Mian Shahbaz Sharif
legislature = Provincial Assembly
seats = 371
website = http://www.punjab.gov.pk
website_title = Government of Punjab
footnotes =

The Punjab (Urdu : audio|Punjab.ogg|nastaliq|پنجاب) province of Pakistan is by far the country's most populous and prosperous region and is home to the Punjabis and various other groups. Neighbouring areas are Sindh to the south, Balochistan and the North West Frontier Province to the west, Pakistani-administered Azad Kashmir, Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir and Islamabad to the north, and Indian Punjab and Rajasthan to the east. The main languages are the Punjabi, Urdu and Saraiki. The provincial capital is Lahore. The name Punjab literally translates from the Persian words "Pañj" (nastaliq|پنج) , meaning "Five", and "Āb" (nastaliq|آب) meaning "Water". Thus "Punjab" can be translated as "(the) Five Waters" - and hence the "Land of the Five Rivers", referring to the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej these five rivers are all the tributaries of the Indus River. The province was founded in its current form in May 1972.


Punjab is Pakistan's second largest province at 205,344 km² (79,284 square miles) and is located at the northwestern edge of the geologic Indian plate in South Asia. The provincial level-capital and main city of the Punjab is Lahore which has been the historical capital of the region. Other important cities include Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot, Gujrat and Rawalpindi. The province along is home to five rivers: the Indus, Beas, Sutlej, Chenab, Jhelum, Ravi. Nearly 60% of Pakistan's population lives in the Punjab. It is the nation's only province that touches Balochistan, North-West Frontier Province, Sindh and Azad Kashmir, and contains the federal enclave of the national capital city at Islamabad. This geographical position and a large multi-ethnic population strongly influence Punjab's outlook on National affairs and induces in Punjab a keen awareness of the problems of the Pakistan's other important provinces and territories. In the acronym "P-A-K-I-S-T-A-N", the P is for "PUNJAB".

The province is a mainly a fertile region along the river valleys, while sparse deserts can be found near the border with India and Balochistan. The region contains the Thar and Cholistan deserts. The Indus River and its many tributaries traverse the Punjab from north to south. The landscape is amongst the most heavily irrigated on earth and canals can be found throughout the province. Weather extremes are notable from the hot and barren south to the cool hills of the north. The foothills of the Himalayas are found in the extreme north as well.


Most areas in Punjab experience fairly cool winters, often accompanied by rain. By mid-February the temperature begins to rise; springtime weather continues until mid-April, when the summer heat sets in.

The onset of the southwest monsoon is anticipated to reach Punjab by May, but since the early 1970s the weather pattern has been irregular. The spring monsoon has either skipped over the area or has caused it to rain so hard that floods have resulted. June and July are oppressively hot. Although official estimates rarely place the temperature above 46°C, newspaper sources claim that it reaches 51°C and regularly carry reports about people who have succumbed to the heat. Heat records were broken in Multan in June 1993, when the mercury was reported to have risen to 54°C. In August the oppressive heat is punctuated by the rainy season, referred to as "barsat", which brings relief in its wake. The hardest part of the summer is then over, but cooler weather does not come until late October.

Recently the province experienced one of the coldest winters in the last 70 years. Experts are suggesting that this is due to global climate change. [ [http://www.dawn.com/2007/01/06/nat47.htm Mercury drops to freezing point - Dawn Pakistan] ]

Demographics and society

The population of the province is estimated to be 86,084,000 in 2005 and is home to over half the population of Pakistan. The major language spoken in the Punjab is Punjabi (which is written in a Perso-Arabic script in Pakistan) and Punjabis comprise the largest ethnic group (and overlap into neighbouring India). The language is not given any official recognition in the Constitution of Pakistan, (however, it is recognized in the Indian Constitution). Punjabis themselves are a heterogeneous group comprising different tribes and communities, although the different castes in Pakistani Punjab has more to do with traditional occupations such as blacksmiths or artisans as opposed to rigid social stratifications.

The most important tribes within Punjab include the Muslim Rajputs, the Gakhars, the Gujjars, the Jats, the Arain, the Punjabi Shaikhs and the Syeds. Other smaller tribes are the Awans, Rawns and the Maliks. In addition, there is a significant shift towards the usage of Urdu by the educated classes of the province as the Punjabis are the most ardent supporters of the nation-state of Pakistan and all of its national institutionsFact|date=December 2007. Other smaller ethnic groups in the province include the Siraiki, Hindko, Pakhtuns, the Baloch, Kashmiris, Sindhis, and Muhajirs. Three decades of bloodshed in neighbouring Afghanistan have brought a large number of Afghan refugees to the province.

The population of Punjab (Pakistan) is over 99% Muslim with a Sunni majority and Shia minority. There are small non-Muslims groups of Zorastrians, Bahá'ís, Christians, Sikhs and Hindus. The Ismaili and Ahmediya communities are considered non-Muslim by some.

The dialects spoken in different regions of the land have a common vocabulary and a shared heritage. The shared heritage also extends to a common faith, Islam. The people of Punjab have also a shared spiritual experience, which has been disseminated by "Tassawwaf" and can be witnessed on the occasion of the remembrance-fairs held on the Urs of Sufi Saints.


Ancient history and the Hindu Period

It was formerly thought that the original inhabitants of the Indus Valley area were the present populations of South India who were displaced by Aryans invaders from the North West, however, recently the Aryan invasion theory has been largely discarded by most scholars. It is now generally accepted that the area of the Indus Valley Civilization has been continuously inhabited for thousands of years by the same general population stock as is presently found in the area of Punjab. The main site of the Indus Valley Civilization in Punjab was the city of Harrapa. The Indus Valley Civilization spanned much of what is today Pakistan and eventually evolved into Indo-Aryan civilization. The arrival of the Indo-Aryans led to the flourishing of the Vedic Civilization that extended from the ancient Sarasvati River to the Ganges river to the entire Indian Subcontinent around 1500 BCE. This civilization shaped subsequent cultures in South Asia. Punjab was part of the great ancient empires including the Gandhara Mahajanapadas, Mauryas, Kushans, Gupta Empire, and Hindu Shahi. Agriculture flourished and trading cities (such as Multan and Lahore) grew in wealth.

Due to its location, the Punjab region came under constant attack and influence from the west. Invaded by the Persians, Greeks, Kushans, Scythians, Turks, and Afghans, Punjab witnessed centuries of bitter bloodshed. Its legacy is a unique culture that combines Hindu, Buddhist, Persian, Central Asian, Islamic, Sikh, and British elements.

The city of Taxila, reputed to house the oldest university in the world, Takshashila University, was established by the great Vedic thinker and politician Chanakya. Taxila was a great center of learning and intellectual discussion during the Hindu Maurya Empire. It is a UN World Heritage site, and revered for its archaeological and religious history.

Arrival of Islam

The Punjabis were predominantly Hindus with large minorities of Buddhists and Zoroastrians, when the Umayyad Muslim Arab army led by Muhammad bin Qasim conquered the Punjab and Sindh in 711. Bin Qasim recorded he so was overwhelmed by the gold in the Aditya Temple in the thriving trading city of Multan (known as "Mulasthana" then), that he recovered the expenses for his entire invasion.

During the reign of Mahmud of Ghazni, non-Muslims were forced to pay the jaziya tax or to convert to Islam. The province became an important centre and Lahore was made into a second capital of the Ghaznavid Empire.

Greeks, Central Asians, and Persians

Unique to Pakistani Punjab was that this area was briefly conquered into various central Asian, Greek and Persian empires: after the bloody victories of Alexander the Great, Mahmud of Ghazni and Tamerlane. These were periods of contact between this region of Pakistan and the Persian Empire and all the way to Greece. In later centuries, when Persian was the language of the Mughal government, Persian architecture, poetry, art and music was an integral part of the region's culture. The official language of Punjab remained Persian until the arrival of the British in the mid 19th century, where it was finally abolished and the administrative language was changed over to English. The Punjabi language gained prominence during Ranjit Singh's rule in between but was written in the Sikh Gurumukhi script. After 1947, Urdu, which has Persian and Sanskrit roots, became Islamic Pakistan's national language.


The Mughals controlled the region from 1524 until 1739 and would also lavish the province with building projects such as the Shalimar Gardens and the Badshahi Mosque, both situated in Lahore. Muslim soldiers, traders, architects, theologians and Sufis flocked from the rest of the Muslim world to the Islamic Sultanate in South Asia and some may have settled in the Punjab. Following the decline of the Mughals, the Shah of Iran and founder of the Afsharid dynasty in Persia, Nader Shah crossed the Indus and sacked the province in 1739. Following this terrible visitation, the Afghan conqueror Ahmad Shah Durrani annexed the Punjab into his Durrani Empire from 1747 until 1762.


The founder of Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah Durrani, an ethnic Pashtun ("Afghan"), is believed to be born in the city of Multan. After cementing his authority over various Afghan tribes, he went about to establish the first united Afghan Kingdom ("Greater Afghanistan") that during its greatest extent included modern-day Afghanistan, Pakistan, northeastern Iran and western India. The Punjab was a cultural reservoir for the Afghans, and many where attracted to its lush fertile lands. It has been said that with the loss of the breadbasket regions of the Punjab and Sindh, Afghanistan has never been able to achieve a stable state ever since. Many ethnic Afghan or Pashtun tribes continue to live in Pakistan's Punjab province such as the Gardezis, Niazis, Lodhis, the Kakazai, and the Barakzai to name a few.


At the beginning of the sixteenth century, the religion of Sikhism was born, and during the Mughal period gradually emerged as a formidable military force until subjugated and assimilated by the later expanding British Empire. After fighting Ahmad Shah Durrani, the Sikhs wrested control of the Punjab from his descendants and ruled in a confederacy, which later became the Sikh Kingdom of the Punjab under Maharaja Ranjit Singh. A denizen of the city of Gujranwala, the capital of Ranjit Singh's kingdom was Lahore. [ [http://www.heritage.gov.pk/html_Pages/sikh.htm Sikh Period - Government of Pakistan] ] The Sikhs made architectural contributions to the city and the Lahore Fort.


The Maharaja's death in the summer of 1839 brought political chaos and the subsequent battles of succession and the bloody infighting between the factions at court weakened the state. Relationships with neighbouring British territories then broke down, starting the First Anglo-Sikh War; this led to a British official being resident in Lahore and the annexation of territory south of the Satluj to British India.

Some parts of Pakistani Punjab also served as the centre of resistance in the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Sikhs were the first people of the Punjab to rule their own land since Prithviraj Chauhan's defeat. Sikhs were the first people of the Indian subcontinent to stop the invasions coming in from the Khyber pass and taking the battle across the pass.

Partition and its aftermath

In 1947 the Punjab province of British India was divided along religious lines into West Punjab and East Punjab. The western Punjabis voted to join the new country of Pakistan while the easterners joined India. This led to massive rioting as both sides committed atrocities against fleeing refugees.

The undivided Punjab, of which Punjab (Pakistan) forms a major region today, was home to a large minority population of Punjabi Sikhs and Hindus unto 1947 apart from the Muslim majority. [The Punjab in 1920s – A Case study of Muslims, Zarina Salamat, Royal Book Company, Karachi, 1997. table 45, pp. 136. ISBN 9694072301]

At the time of Partition in 1947 and due to the ensuing horrendous exchange of populations, the Punjabi Sikhs and Hindus migrated to India. [ [http://www.sasnet.lu.se/panelabstracts/33.html Panel 33] "European Association for South Asian Studies"] Punjabi Muslims were uprooted similarly from their homes in East Punjab which now forms part of India. [Pakistan: a modern history, Ian Talbot, St. Martin's Press, 1999. ISBN 0312216068]

The West Punjabi Sikh and Hindu refugees who moved to India leaving their ancient home lands in Punjab (Pakistan) belonged to various sub groups, clans, tribes, castes and linguistic groups. This includes Khatris, Aroras, Rajputs, Jats, Gujjars, Kambojs, Mohyals, Mazhabis, as well as others such as the linguistically distinct Multanis. A unique feature among Punjabis of different faiths Sikh, Muslim and Hindu hailing from the area which now forms the Punjab (Pakistan) is the enduring affinities to sub grouping and clans cutting across religious lines. Consequently these Punjabis of Pakistan, despite having left the country, continue to share common surnames and tribal affiliations with their parent tribes and lands left behind. This includes surnames such as Sahgal, Sial, Bhatti, Ghumman, Sandhu, Tiwana,Tatla and Cheema. In recent years, many of these refugees have been able to visit their ancestral homelands.

Recent history

Since the 1950s, Punjab industrialized rapidly. New factories came up in Lahore, Multan, Sialkot. In the 1960s the new city of Islamabad was built near Rawalpindi.

Agriculture continues to be the largest sector of Punjab's economy. The province is the breadbasket of the country as well as home to the largest ethnic group in Pakistan, the Punjabis. Unlike neighbouring India, there was no large-scale redistribution of agricultural land. As a result most rural areas are dominated by a small set of land-owning families. This small ruling class also allegedly dominates powerful positions in the army and civil bureaucracy. This results in some resentment from residents of other provinces as well as by the working people of Punjab.

In the 1950s there was tension between the eastern and western halves of Pakistan. In order to address the situation, a new formula resulted in the abolition of the province status for Punjab in 1955. It was merged into a single province West Pakistan. In 1972, after East Pakistan seceded and became Bangladesh, Punjab again became a province.

Punjab witnessed major battles between the armies of India and Pakistan in the wars of 1965 and 1971. Since the 1990s Punjab hosted several key sites of Pakistan's nuclear program such as Kahuta. It also hosts major military bases such as at Sargodha and Rawalpindi. The peace process between India and Pakistan, which began in earnest in 2004, has helped pacify the situation. Trade and people-to-people contacts through the Wagah border are now starting to become common. Indian Sikh pilgrims visit holy sites such as Nankana Sahib.

Starting in the 1980s large numbers of Punjabis migrated to the Middle East, Britain, Spain, Canada and the United States for economic opportunties. Business and cultural ties between the US and Punjab are growing.

The rise of radical Islamic jihad in Punjab gained international attention. The bloody legacy of partition violence resulted in an anti-minority sentiment since its formation. In the 1980s society got even more polarized with funding by certain Middle Eastern countries of radical madrassas, both Sunni and Shia. Throughout the 1990s there were a series of gun battles between Shia and Sunni groups which claimed many lives. There were also attacks on Christian, Ahmadiya, and Hindu minorities. The presence of armed militant groups and their propaganda are often felt in some areas. Some Punjabis joined or assisted jihadi campaigns in Afghanistan, Kashmir, and in Britain. In the 2000s, in the Musharraf era, the Sufi heritage of Punjab slowly started staging a comeback. In addition non-religious holidays such as Basant and New Year's Eve are again celebrated openly. Some Middle Eastern countries started to provide development assistance not driven by fundamentalist compulsions, such as by the UAE in Rahim Yar Khan.

However the spread of radicalism has not stopped and incidents of terrorism continue sporadically. Radical groups sympathetic to Taliban and Al Qaeda are believed to have carried out bombings in Lahore, Sargodha and the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Rawalpindi in 2007.


There are 35 districts in Punjab, Pakistan.

* Attock
* Bahawalnagar
* Bahawalpur
* Bhakkar
* Chakwal
* Dera Ghazi Khan
* Faisalabad
* Gujranwala
* Gujrat
* Hafizabad
* Jhang
* Jhelum

* Kasur
* Khanewal
* Khushab
* Lahore
* Layyah
* Lodhran
* Mandi Bahauddin
* Mianwali
* Multan
* Muzaffargarh
* Narowal
* Nankana Sahib

* Okara
* Pakpattan
* Rahim Yar Khan
* Rajanpur
* Rawalpindi
* Sahiwal
* Sargodha
* Sheikhupura
* Sialkot
* Toba Tek Singh
* Vehari


Despite lack of a coastline, Punjab is the most industrialized province of Pakistan; its manufacturing industries produce textiles, sports goods, machinery, electrical appliances, surgical instruments, metals, bicycles and rickshaws, floor coverings, and processed foods. In 2003, the province manufactured 90% of the paper and paper boards, 71% of the fertilizers, 65% of the sugar and 40% of the cement of Pakistan. [ [ Punjab Gateway] ]

Despite its dry climate, extensive irrigation makes it a rich agricultural region. Its canal-irrigation system established by the British is the largest in the world. Wheat and cotton are the largest crops. Other crops include rice, sugarcane, millet, corn, oilseeds, pulses, fruits, and vegetables. Livestock and poultry production are also important. Despite past animosities, the rural masses in Punjab's farms continue to use the Hindu calendar for planting and harvesting.

Punjab contributes about 68% to annual food grain production in the country. 51 million acres (210,000 km²) is cultivated and another 9.05 million acres (36,600 km²) are lying as cultivable waste in different parts of the province.

Cotton and rice are important crops. They are the cash crops that contribute substantially to the national exchequer. Attaining self-sufficiency in agriculture has shifted the focus of the strategies towards small and medium farming, stress on barani areas, farms-to-market roads, electrification for tube-wells and control of water logging and salinity. Punjab has also more than 48 thousand industrial units. The small and cottage industries are in abundance. There are 39,033 small and cottage industrial units. The number of textile units is 11,820. The ginning industries are 6,778. There are 6,355 units for processing of agricultural raw materials including food and feed industries. Lahore and Gujranwala Divisions have the largest concentration of small light engineering units. The district of Sialkot excels in sports goods, surgical instruments and cutlery goods. Punjab is also a mineral rich province with extensive mineral deposits of coal, rock salt, dolomite, gypsum, and silica-sand. The Punjab Mineral Development Corporation is running over a dozen economically viable projects.


The literacy rate has increased greatly since independence. In 2003, over 53% of the population of the province was estimated to be literate by the Labour Force Survey. [] This is a chart of the education market of Punjab [http://www.statpak.gov.pk/depts/pco/statistics/pop_education/pop_education_rural_urban.html estimated] by the government in 1998. Also see [http://www.statpak.gov.pk/depts/pco/statistics/pop_by_province/pop_by_province.html]

Major universities and colleges

* King Edwards Medical University,Lahore
* Forman Christian College, Lahore
* The University of Punjab, Lahore
* COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (campuses at Lahore, Islamabad, Wah Cantt, Abbotabad
* Aitchison College, Lahore
* University of Central Punjab, Lahore
* University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Faisalabad
* National Textile University, Faisalabad
* Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan
* Islamia University, Bahawalpur
* University of Punjab, Lahore
* Kinnaird College for Women, Lahore
* University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore
* University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore
* National College of Arts, Lahore
* Lahore College for Women University, Lahore
* Government College University, Lahore
* University of Education, Lahore
* Virtual University, Lahore
* University Of Management & Technology, Lahore
* University of Health Sciences, Lahore
* Institute of South Asia, Lahore
* University of Sargodha, Sargodha
* University of Gujrat, Gujrat
* University of Engineering Science and Technology Sialkot
* University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila
* University of Arid Agriculture, Rawalpindi
* university of veterinary and animal scicences Lahore,Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi
* National University of Science and Technology, Rawalpindi
* Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore
* National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, Lahore
* Cadet College Hasan Abdal, Attock, Punjab
* Government Degree College Burewala, Burewala
* Government College Sahiwal, Sahiwal
* Murray College, Sialkot
* Pakistan Institute of Computer Sciences, Gujar Khan, Rawalpindi
* nishtar medical college,multan,Pakistan
* Institute of chartered accountants of Pakistan
* Zamindar College Gujrat In this College Science degree classes were there before Independence

Cultural heritage

Punjab has been the cradle of civilization since times immemorial. The ruins of Harappa show an advanced urban culture that flourished over 5000 years ago. Taxila, another historic landmark also stands out as a proof of the achievements of the area in learning, arts and crafts in bygone ages. In the more moderate era post-9/11, the ancient Hindu Katasraj temple and the Salt Range temples are regaining attention and much-needed repair.

The structure of a mosque is simple and it expresses openness. Calligraphic inscriptions from the Holy Qur’an decorate mosques and mausoleums in Punjab. The inscriptions on bricks and tiles of the mausoleum of Shah Rukn-e-Alam (1320 AD) at Multan are outstanding specimens of architectural calligraphy. The earliest existing building in South Asia with enamelled tile-work is the tomb of Shah Yusuf Gardezi (1150 AD) at Multan. A specimen of the sixteenth century tile-work at Lahore is the tomb of Sheikh Musa Ahangar, with its brilliant blue dome. The tile-work of Emperor Shah Jahan is of a richer and more elaborate nature. The pictured wall of Lahore Fort is the last line in the tile-work in the entire world.

Fairs and festivals

The culture of Punjab derives its basis from the institution of Sufi saints. The Sufi saints spread Islam and preached and lived the Muslim way of life. People have festivities to commemorate these traditions. The fairs and festivals of Punjab reflect the entire gamut of its folk life and cultural traditions. These mainly fall in following categories:

Religious and seasonal fairs/festivals

Religious fairs are held on special days of Islamic significance like Muharram, Eid Milad-un-Nabi, Eid-ul-Fithr, Eid-ul-Azha and Shab-e-Brat. The main activities on these special occasions are confined to congregational prayers and rituals. Melas are also held to mark these occasions.

Devotional fairs or Urs

The fairs held at the shrines of Sufi saints are called Urs. They generally mark the death anniversary of the saint. On these occasions devotees assemble in large numbers and pay homage to the memory of the saint. Soul inspiring music is played and devotees dance in ecstasy. The music on these occasions is essentially folk and appealing. It forms a part of the folk music through mystic messages. The most important Urs are: Urs of Data Ganj Bukhsh at Lahore, Urs of Hazrat Mian Mir at Lahore, Urs of Baba Farid Ganj Shakar at Pakpattan, Urs of Hazrat Bahaudin Zakria at Multan, Urs of Sakhi Sarwar Sultan at Dera Ghazi Khan, Urs of Shah Hussain at Lahore, Urs of Hazrat Bullehe Shah at Kasur and Urs of Hazrat Imam Bari (Bari Shah Latif) at Rawalpindi-Islamabad.

A big fair is organized at Jandiala Sher Khan in district Sheikhupura on the Mausoleum of Syed Waris Shah who is the most loved Sufi poet of Punjab due to his work known as Heer Ranjha.

Industrial and commercial fairs

Exhibitions and Annual Horse Shows in all Districts and National Horse and Cattle Show at Lahore are held with the official patronage. National Horse and Cattle Show at Lahore is the biggest festival where sports, exhibitions, and livestock competitions are held. It not only encourages and patronizes agricultural products and livestock through the exhibitions of agricultural products and cattle but is also a colourful documentary on the rich cultural heritage of the Province with its strong rural roots.

Arts and crafts

The crafts in the Punjab are of two types: the crafts produced in the rural areas and the royal crafts that flourished in the urban centres particularly in Lahore. The former include cotton textiles, basketry, embroidery etc. while the latter are tile and woodwork skills, ivory, silver and gold work, naqqashi and architectural crafts. Hand knotted carpets of fine quality are made in Punjab since the Mughal period. Emperor Akbar in the 15th century established the first factory in Lahore. While carpets were made for the wealthy, rough rugs (known as namdas) were made by the common people for their own use. Lahore is the centre of hand-made carpets. Since ancient times the weavers of the region have produced colourful fabrics of silk and cotton. The hand-woven cotton cloth like khaddar of Kamalia, are popular. The cloth woven on handlooms is either block printed or beautifully embroidered. Multan is famous for beautiful hand-woven bed covers.

Major attractions

The province is home to many well known historical sites including the Shalimar Gardens, Lahore Fort, the Badshahi Mosque, and the ruins of the ancient city of Harrapa. The Anarkali Market and Jahangir's Tomb are prominent in the city of Lahore as is the Lahore Museum, while the ancient city of Taxila in the northwest was once a major centre of Hinduism, Buddhism, and of Hellenic influence. Many important Sikh shrines are in the Pakistani portion of Punjab, including the birthplace of the first Guru: Guru Nanak (born at Nankana Sahib). There is also the largest salt mine in Asia situated the Khewra Salt Mines.

Punjabi music

Classical music forms are an important part of the cultural wealth of the Punjab. The Muslim musicians have contributed a large number of ragas to the repository of classical music. Among the Punjabi poets, the names of Sultan Bahu, Bulleh Shah, Mian Muhammad Baksh, and Waris Shah and folk singers like Inayat Hussain Bhatti and Tufail Niazi, Alam Lohar, Sain Marna, Mansoor Malangi, Allah Ditta Lunewala, Talib Hussain Dard, Attaullah Khan Esakhlvi, Gamoo Tahliwala, Mamzoo Gha-lla, Akbar Jat, Arif Lohar, Ahmad Nawaz Cheena and Hamid Ali Bela are well-known. In the composition of classical ragas, there are such masters as "Malika-i-Mauseequi" (Queen of Music) Roshan Ara Begum, Ustad Amanat Ali Khan, Salamat Ali Khan and Ustad Fateh Ali Khan. Alam Lohar has made significant contributions to folklore and Punjabi literature, by being a very influential Punjabi folk singer from 1930 until 1979. For the popular taste however, light music, particularly Ghazals and folk songs, which have an appeal of their own, the names of Mehdi Hasan, Ghulam Ali, Nur Jehan, Malika Pukhraj, Farida Khanum, Roshen Ara Begum, and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan are well-known. Folk songs and dances of the Punjab reflect a wide range of moods: the rains, sowing and harvesting seasons. Luddi, Bhangra and Sammi depict the joy of living. Love legends of Heer Ranjha, Mirza Sahiban, Sohni Mahenwal and Saiful Mulk are sung in different styles.

For the most popular music from the region, bhangra, the names of Abrar-Ul-Haq, Arif Lohar, Legacy, and Malkoo are renown.


The folk heritage of the Punjab is the traditional urge of thousands of years of its history. While Urdu is the official language of the province, there are a number of local dialects through which the people communicate. These include Majhi, Jhangochi or Jangli, Pothohari, Saraiki, Jatki, Hindko, Chhachhi, Doabi, and Derewali. The songs, ballads, epics and romances are generally written and sung in these dialects. There are a number of folk tales that are popular in different parts of the Punjab. These are the folk tales of Mirza Sahiban, Sayful Muluk, Yusuf Zulekha, Heer Ranjha, Sohni Mahiwal, Dulla Bhatti, and Sassi Punnun. The mystic folk songs include the "Kafees" of Khwaja Farid in Saraiki, Punjabi and the "Shalooks" by Baba Farid. They also include "Baits", "Dohas", "Lohris", "Sehra", and "Jugni". [http://www.punjabilok.com/pakistan/pak_punjab.htm]

The most famous of the romantic love songs are "Mayhiah", "Dhola" and "Boliyan". Punjabi romantic dances include Dharees, Dhamaal, Bhangra, Giddha, Dhola, and Sammi.

ocial issues

The Punjab is relatively the most stable province of Pakistan as Punjabis comprise the largest ethnic group in the country and thus dominate much of the nation by sheer numbers. Starting in 2007, terrorism and rising fundamentalism has become an issue.

One social/educational issue is the status of Punjabi language. According to Dr. Manzur Ejaz, "In Central Punjab, Punjabi is neither an official language of the province nor it is used as medium of education at any level. There are only two daily newspaper published in Punjabi in Central Punjab. Only a few monthly literary magazines constitute Punjabi press in Pakistan".

Punjabis are prominent in business, agriculture, industry, government, and the military to the point that there is resentment from other ethnic groups. The Punjabi middle classes tend to ally themselves with Urdu speaking Muhajirs and show respect towards Sindhis, Kashmiris, Pakhtuns, and Balochis. The smaller provinces often voice concern at Punjabi domination of key institutions such as the ArmyFact|date=March 2008. A newer generation of upper class Panjabis is re-affirming their maternal language and have begun requesting the government for official patronage not just of their language (Panjabi) but that of other major ethnic groups in Pakistan such as the Pashtuns, Balochi and SaraikiFact|date=February 2008. Punjabis form the 40 to 45% of population of Pakistan.

Punjabi women enjoy comparable rights to females in Karachi and Islamabad in Lahore and other cities, but conservative and more traditional ways of life are present and dominate the countryside.

Famous people of Punjab

* Muhammad Saleem, served in the British India Army.(1942-1947).
* Rae Ahmed Nawaz Khan Kharal
* Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry, late President of Pakistan.
* Shah Hussein
* Shoaib Akhtar, cricketer.
* Wasim Akram, cricketer and sports presenter.
* Waris Shah
* Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, politician and industrialist.
* Faiz Ahmed Faiz
* Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, politician and industrialist.
* Sir Muhammad Iqbal
* Noor Jehan, singer.
* Alam Lohar, folk singer.
* Arif Lohar, folk singer.
* PAKMANHipHop/Singer/Producer [http://www.thedesirapper.com]
* Abdul Hafeez Kardar
* Dr Abdul Salam, physicist and Nobel Prize winner.
* Muhammad Jamil Anwar, scientist.
* Inzamam-ul-Haq, cricketer.
* Imran Khan, cricketer, politician and philanthropist.
* Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan
* Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, musician.
* Mian Mir, saint revered by Sikhs and Muslims.
* Sardar Saleem Haider Begooka
* Sultan Rahi, actor.
* Rangeela
* Nawaz Sharif, politician and industrialist.
* Shahbaz Sharif, politician and industrialist.
* Waqar Younis, cricketer and sports presenter.
* Muhammed Nazir, scientist (NIAB 78) .


ee also

*Anjuman Muzareen Punjab
*Hindu and Buddhist heritage of Pakistan
*History of the Punjab
*Punjab region
*Punjab, India
*Punjabi people
*Punjabi culture


External links

* [http://www.punjab.gov.pk Government of the Punjab, Pakistan]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1w8CDGj3560 Video about Punjab and Punjabi music] from the Horniman Museum
* [http://www.punjabpolice.gov.pk Punjab Police, Pakistan]
* [http://tdcp.punjab.gov.pk Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab, Pakistan]
* [http://www.punjabilok.com/pakistan/pak_punjab.htm Punjabi Culture Site (Pakistan)]
*wikitravel|Punjab (Pakistan)

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