Administrative units of Pakistan

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Administrative units of Pakistan
پاکستان کی انتظامی اکائیاں
CategoryFederated state
LocationIslamic Republic of Pakistan
Number4 Provinces
2 Autonomous Territories
1 Federal Territory
PopulationsLeast 2,441,523 (Gilgit-Baltistan) Most 110,012,442 (Punjab)
AreasSmallest 906.0 km2 (349.81 sq mi) (Islamabad Capital Territory) Largest 347,200 km2 (134,050 sq mi) (Balochistan)
SubdivisionsDivisions, Districts, Tehsils, Union Council
State emblem of Pakistan.svg
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The administrative units of Pakistan consists of four provinces (Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Sindh), two autonomous territories (Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan) and one federal territory (Islamabad Capital Territory). Each province and territory is subdivided into divisions, which are further subdivided into districts, which are further subdivided into tehsils, or taluka, which are further subdivided into union councils.[1]


Early history[edit]

Pakistan's provinces and territories were inherited from British India at independence on 14 August 1947. In 1947, Pakistan consisted of two wings - the western wing consisted of the merger of Northwest Frontier Province, West Punjab, and Sindh, the Baluchistan Chief Commissioners Province, thirteen princely states and parts of Kashmir and Karachi, which was separated from Sindh to form the Federal Capital Territory. The eastern wing consisted of East Bengal and Sylhet District from the former British Raj province of Assam.

In 1950, the Northwest Frontier Province absorbed the princely states of Amb and Phulra while West Punjab renamed itself to Punjab. In 1952, the four princely states in the southwest formed the Baluchistan States Union. In 1955, the One Unit Policy was enforced by Iskander Mirza[2], whereby all the provinces and princely states of the western wing were merged and formed West Pakistan, with Lahore as the provincial capital. Simultaneously, East Bengal was renamed to East Pakistan, with Dhaka as the provincial capital. The One Unit Policy aimed to reduce expenditure and to eliminate provincial prejudices, but the military coup of 1958 signaled difficulties when the first military President, Ayub Khan, abolished the office of Chief Minister of West Pakistan in favour of Governor's rule.

On 7 September 1958, after four years of negotiations, including six months of intense negotiations, Pakistan purchased the Gwadar enclave from the government of Oman for Rs 5.5 billion and Gwadar formally became part of Pakistan on 8 December 1958 after 174 years of Omani rule. In 1960 the federal capital moved from Karachi to Rawalpindi and in 1961, the Federal Capital Territory was merged into West Pakistan. In 1966, the capital was again moved to Islamabad.

Since 1970[edit]

In 1970, the second military President, Yahya Khan, abolished West Pakistan and established four new provinces - Sindh, Balochistan, Northwest Frontier Province and Punjab. In 1971, East Pakistan seceded to form Bangladesh. In 1974, the remaining princely states of Hunza and Nagar were abolished and their territories merged into Gilgit Agency, to form the Northern Areas. In 1975, portions of the districts of Peshawar and Dera Ismail Khan were separated to form the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. In 1981, the region around Islamabad was separated from Punjab, and renamed to Islamabad Capital Territory.

In August 2000, divisions were abolished as part of a plan to restructure local government, followed by elections in 2001. Many of the functions previously handled by the provinces had been transferred to the districts and tehsils. In 2008, the government restored the former divisions and appointed commissioners.

In 2009, the Northern Areas were renamed to Gilgit-Baltistan.[3] In 2010, the Northwest Frontier Province was renamed to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.[4] In 2018, the National Assembly of Pakistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly passed the historic FATA Merger Bill - with the adoption of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment Act of 2018. On 31 May, the final step in the merger of the FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) was completed, as President Mamnoon Hussain signed the 25th Constitutional Amendment Bill into law. Thus FATA status was abolished as a separate entity and was merged into Khyber Pakthunkhwa province.[5][6][7]

Tiers of Pakistan[edit]

The diagram below outlines the six tiers of government:

(i.e. Pakistan)
(e.g. Punjab Province)
(e.g. Rawalpindi Division)
(e.g. Jhelum District)
(e.g. Sohawa Tehsil)
Union Council
(e.g. Domeli UC)

Current administrative units of Pakistan[edit]

English name Urdu name Abbreviation Capital Emblem Flag Map Population
(per km²)
Balochistan بلوچستان BL Quetta Coat of arms of Balochistan.svg Flag of Balochistan.svg Balochistan in Pakistan (claims hatched).svg 12,344,408 347,190 37.91
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa خیبرپختونخوا KP Peshawar Coat of arms of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.svg Flag of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.svg Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan (claims hatched).svg 35,525,047 101,741 349.17
Punjab پنجاب PJ Lahore Coat of arms of Punjab.svg Flag of Punjab.svg Punjab in Pakistan (claims hatched).svg 120,012,442 205,344 445.01
Sindh سندھ SN Karachi Coat of arms of Sindh Province.svg Flag of Sindh.svg Sindh in Pakistan (claims hatched).svg 47,886,051 140,914 392.05
Pakistan پاکستان PK Islamabad State emblem of Pakistan.svg Flag of Pakistan.svg Map of Pakistan.svg 214,261,409 874,209 223.79

Current proposals[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "List of Districts, Tehsils/Talukas" (PDF). Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. July 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  2. ^ History and Culture of Pakistan
  3. ^ "Northern Areas renamed Gilgit-Baltistan Poll for assembly, CM in Nov Regional groups unhappy: Autonomy package for NAs approved". DAWN. 30 August 2009.
  4. ^ "From NWFP to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa". DAWN. 1 April 2010.
  5. ^ "New dawn for FATA as K-P approves merger - The Express Tribune". 27 May 2018.
  6. ^ Hayat, Arif (27 May 2018). "KP Assembly approves landmark bill merging Fata with province".
  7. ^ Wasim, Amir (31 May 2018). "President signs KP-Fata merger bill into law".
  8. ^ "Area, Population, Density and Urban/Rural Proportion by Administrative Units". Population Census Organization, Government of Pakistan. Archived from the original on 22 December 2010.
  9. ^ Zaidi, S. Akbar (11 January 2014). "Karachi as a province".
  10. ^ Correspondent, The Newspaper's (22 May 2018). "TSH to shut Hazara after Eid".
  11. ^ "Treasury benches demand appreciation, opposition criticize govt for ignoring development -". 8 May 2018.
  12. ^ Singh, Pallavi (29 April 2010). "Gilgit-Baltistan: A question of autonomy". The Indian Express. Retrieved 27 December 2016. But it falls short of the main demand of the people of Gilgit- Baltistan for a constitutional status to the region as a fifth province and for Pakistani citizenship to its people.
  13. ^ Shigri, Manzar (12 November 2009). "Pakistan's disputed Northern Areas go to polls". Reuters. Retrieved 27 December 2016. Many of the 1.5 million people of Gilgit-Baltistan oppose integration into Kashmir and want their area to be merged into Pakistan and declared a separate province.

External links[edit]