Punjab, Pakistan

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This article is about the Pakistani province of Punjab. For other uses of the name, see Punjab (disambiguation).
Punjab
پنجاب
Province
Badshahi Mosque, Lahore..JPG
Noor Mahal.JPG Shah Rukhn-i-Alam Multan.jpg
Clock Tower Faisalabad by Usman Nadeem.jpg
Flag of Punjab
Flag
Official seal of Punjab
Seal

Nickname(s): Land of Five Rivers

(Persian: Punj- Five, Ab- Waters)
Location of Punjab in Pakistan
Location of Punjab in Pakistan
Coordinates: 31°N 72°E / 31°N 72°E / 31; 72Coordinates: 31°N 72°E / 31°N 72°E / 31; 72
Country Pakistan
Established 1 July 1970
Capital Lahore Emblem.png Lahore
Largest city Lahore Emblem.png Lahore
Government
 • Type Province
 • Body Provincial Assembly
 • Governor Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana[1] (PML N)
 • Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif (PML N)
 • Legislature unicameral (371 seats)
 • High Court Lahore High Court
Area
 • Total 205,344 km2 (79,284 sq mi)
Population (2015)[2]
 • Total 101,391,000
 • Density 490/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
Time zone PKT (UTC+5)
ISO 3166 code PK-PB
Main Language(s)
Other languages: Pashto, Balochi, Sindhi
Notable sports teams Lahore Qalandars
Lahore Lions
Rawalpindi Rams
Sialkot Stallions
Bahawalpur Stags
Multan Tigers
Assembly seats 371[3]
Districts 36
Tehsils/Towns 127
Website www.punjab.gov.pk

Punjab (Urdu, Punjabi: پنجاب, pənj-āb, "five waters": About this sound listen ), also spelt Panjab, is the most populous of the four provinces of Pakistan. Punjab is Pakistan's second largest province by area after Balochistan, and is Pakistan's most populous province with an estimated population of 101,391,000 as of 2015.[2] It is bordered by the Pakistani provinces of Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as well as the regions of Islamabad Capital Territory and Azad Kashmir. It also shares borders with the Indian states of Punjab, Rajasthan, and Jammu and Kashmir. The capital of Punjab is the city Lahore, a cultural centre of Pakistan where the country's cinema industry, and much of its fashion industry, are based.[4][5]

Punjab has been inhabited since ancient times. The Indus Valley Civilization, dating to 2600 BCE, was first discovered at Harappa.[6] Punjab features heavily in the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, and is home to Taxila - site of what is considered by many to be the oldest university in the world.[7][8][9][10][11] In 326 BCE, Alexander the Great defeated King Porus at the Battle of the Hydaspes near Mong, Punjab. The Umayyad empire conquered Punjab in the 8th century CE. Punjab was later invaded by Tamerlane, Babur, and Nader Shah. Punjab reached the height of its splendour during the reign of the Mughal Empire, which for a time ruled from Lahore. The administration of the Sikh Empire was based out of Lahore, until its defeat by the British. Punjab was central to the independence movements of both India and Pakistan, with Lahore being site of both the Declaration of Indian Independence, and the resolution calling for the establishment of Pakistan. The province was formed when the Punjab province of British India was divided along religious boundaries in 1947 by the Radcliffe Line after Partition.[12]

Punjab is Pakistan's most industrialised province with the industrial sector making up 24% of the province's gross domestic product.[13] Punjab is known in Pakistan for its relative prosperity,[14] and has the lowest rate of poverty amongst all Pakistani provinces.[15][16] A clear divide is present between the northern and southern portions of the province;[14] with poverty rates in prosperous northern Punjab amongst the lowest in Pakistan,[17] while some in south Punjab are amongst the most impoverished.[18] Punjab is also one of South Asia's most urbanized regions with approximately 40% of people living in urban areas.[19] Its human development index rankings are high relative to the rest of Pakistan.

Punjab is known in Pakistan for its relatively liberal social attitudes.[20] The province has been strongly influenced by Sufism, with numerous Sufi shrines spread across Punjab which attract millions of devotees annually.[21] The founder of the Sikh faith, Guru Nanak, was born in the Punjab town of Nankana Sahib near Lahore.[22][23][24] Punjab is also the site of the Katasraj Temple, which features prominently in Hindu mythology.[25] Several UNESCO world heritage sites are located in Punjab, including the Shalimar Gardens, the Lahore Fort, the archeological excavations at Taxila, and the Rohtas Fort.[26]

Etymology[edit]

The region was know to the Greeks as Pentapotamia, meaning the region of five rivers.[27] The word Punjab was formally introduced in the early 17th century CE as an elision of the Persian words panj (five) and āb (water), thus meaning the (land of) five rivers, similar in meaning to the Greek name for the region.[28] The five rivers, namely Chenab, Jhelum, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej, flow via the Panjnad River into the Indus River and eventually into the Arabian Sea. Of the five great rivers of Punjab, four course through Pakistan's Punjab province.

History[edit]

Main article: History of Punjab

Ancient history[edit]

Location of Punjab, Pakistan and the extent of the Indus Valley Civilisation sites in and around it.

Punjab during Mahabharata times was known as Panchanada.[29][30] Punjab was part of the Indus Valley Civilization, more than 4000 years ago.[31] The main site in Punjab was the city of Harrapa. The Indus Valley Civilization spanned much of what is today Pakistan and eventually evolved into the Indo-Aryan civilisation. The Vedic civilisation flourished along the length of the Indus River. This civilisation shaped subsequent cultures in South Asia and Afghanistan. Although the archaeological site at Harappa was partially damaged in 1857 when engineers constructing the Lahore-Multan railroad used brick from the Harappa ruins for track ballast, an abundance of artefacts have nevertheless been found. Punjab was part of the great ancient empires including the Gandhara Mahajanapadas, Achaemenids, Macedonians, Mauryas, Kushans, Guptas, and Hindu Shahi. It also comprised the Gujar empire for a period of time, otherwise known as the Gurjara-Pratihara empire.[32][33][34] Agriculture flourished and trading cities (such as Multan and Lahore) grew in wealth.

Punjab was part of the Vedic Civilization

Due to its location, the Punjab region came under constant attacks and influence from the west and witnessed centuries of foreign invasions by the Greeks, Kushans, Scythians, Turks, and Afghans. The city of Taxila, founded by son of Taksh the son Bharat who was the brother of Ram. It was reputed to house the oldest university in the world,[citation needed] Takshashila University. One of the teachers was the great Vedic thinker and politician Chanakya. Taxila was a great centre of learning and intellectual discussion during the Maurya Empire. It is a UN World Heritage site, valued for its archaeological and religious history.

Central Asian, Greek, and Persian Empires[edit]

Mahmud and Ayaz
The Sultan is to the right, shaking the hand of the sheykh, with Ayaz standing behind him. Mahmud of Ghazni appointed Malik Ayaz as the ruler of Lahore, Punjab during the Ghaznavid era.

The northwestern part of the South Asia, including Punjab, was repeatedly invaded or conquered by various foreign empires, such as those of Tamerlane, Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan. Having conquered Drangiana, Arachosia, Gedrosia and Seistan in ten days, Alexander crossed the Hindu Kush and was thus fully informed of the magnificence of the country and its riches in gold, gems and pearls. However, Alexander had to encounter and reduce the tribes on the border of Punjab before entering the luxuriant plains. Having taken a northeasterly direction, he marched against the Aspii (mountaineers), who offered vigorous resistance, but were subdued.[citation needed] Alexander then marched through Ghazni, blockaded Magassa, and then marched to Ora and Bazira. Turning to the northeast, Alexander marched to Pucela, the capital of the district now known as Pakhli. He entered Western Punjab, where the ancient city of Nysa (at the site of modern-day Mong) was situated. A coalition was formed against Alexander by the Cathians, the people of Multan, who were very skilful in war. Alexander invested many troops, eventually killing seventeen thousand Cathians in this battle, and the city of Sagala (present-day Sialkot) was razed to the ground. Alexander left Punjab in 326 B.C. and took his army to the heartlands of his empire.[citation needed]

Arrival of Islam[edit]

Bulleh Shah (1680–1757), a Muslim Sufi poet

The Punjabis followed a diverse plethora of faiths, mainly comprising Hinduism[citation needed] , when the Muslim Umayyad army led by Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Sindh and Southern Punjab in 712, by defeating Raja Dahir. The Umayyad Caliphate was the second Islamic caliphate established after the death of Muhammad. It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph. Although the Umayyad family originally came from the city of Mecca, their capital was Damascus. Muhammad bin Qasim was the first to bring message of Islam to the population of Punjab.[citation needed] Punjab was part of different Muslim Empires consisting of Afghans and Turkic peoples in co-operation with local Punjabi tribes and others.[citation needed] In the 11th century, during the reign of Mahmud of Ghazni, the province became an important centre with Lahore as its second capital[citation needed] of the Ghaznavid Empire based out of Afghanistan. The Punjab region became predominantly Muslim due to missionary Sufi saints whose dargahs dot the landscape of Punjab region.

The area subsequently came under various other Muslim rulers until finally becoming part of the Mughal Empire in 1526. The province rose to significance during the reign of Akbar when Lahore became a seat for royal family in 1584,[35] the legacy of which is seen today in its rich display of Mughal architecture.

Mughal Empire[edit]

The Mughals controlled the region from 1524 until around 1739 and implemented building projects such as the Shalimar Gardens[36] and the Badshahi Mosque, both situated in Lahore. Muslim soldiers, traders, architects, theologians and Sufis came from the rest of the Muslim world to the Islamic Sultanate in South Asia.

Afghan Durrani Empire[edit]

Swaths of what is now Punjab were annexed by the Afghan conqueror Ahmad Shah Durrani in 1747 as he made the Punjab a part of his Durrani Empire, lasting until 1762.[37]

Maratha Empire[edit]

In 1758, the general of the Hindu Maratha Empire, Raghunath Rao conquered Lahore and Attock. Timur Shah Durrani, the son and viceroy of Ahmad Shah Abdali, was driven out of Punjab. Lahore, Multan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Kashmir and other subahs on the south and eastern side of Peshawar were under the Maratha rule for the most part.[38] In Punjab and Kashmir, the Marathas were now major players.[39][40] The Third Battle of Panipat took place on 1761, Ahmad Shah Abdali invaded the Maratha territory of Punjab and captured remnants of the Maratha Empire in Punjab and Kashmir regions and re-consolidated control over them.[41]

Sikh Empire[edit]

Main article: Sikh Empire
Badshahi Mosque with damaged minarets during Sikh rule
Ranjit Singh's Empire

In the mid-fifteenth century, the religion of Sikhism was born. During the Mughal empire, many Hindus increasingly adopted Sikhism. These became a formidable military force against the Mughals and later against the Afghan Empire. After fighting Ahmad Shah Durrani in the later eighteenth century, the Sikhs took control of Punjab and managed to establish the Sikh Empire under Maharaja Ranjit Singh, which lasted from 1799 to 1849. The capital of Ranjit Singh's empire was Lahore, and the empire also extended into Afghanistan and Kashmir. Bhangi Misl was the fist Sikh band to conquer Lahore and other towns of Punjab. Syed Ahmad Barelvi a Muslim, waged jihad and attempted to create an Islamic state with strict enforcement of Islamic law.[42] Syed Ahmad Barelvi in 1821 with many supporters and spent two years organising popular and material support for his Punjab campaign. He carefully developed a network of people through the length and breadth of India to collect funds and encourage volunteers, travelling widely throughout India attracting a following among pious Muslims. In December 1826 Sayyid Ahmad and his followers clashed with Sikh troops at Akora Khattak, but with no decisive result. In a major battle near the town of Balakot in 1831, Sayyid Ahmad and Shah Ismail Shaheed with volunteer Muslims were defeated by the professional Sikh Army.[43]

British Empire[edit]

The Faisalabad Clock Tower was built during the rule of the British Empire

Maharaja Ranjit Singh'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 in 1849 of territory south of the Satluj to British India. After the Second Anglo-Sikh War in 1849, the Sikh Empire became the last territory to be merged into British India. In Jhelum 35 British soldiers of HM XXIV regiment were killed by the local resistance during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.[citation needed]

Independence[edit]

In 1947 the Punjab province of British India was divided along religious lines into West Punjab and East Punjab. Western Punjab was assimilated into the new country of Pakistan, while East Punjab became a part of modern-day India. This led to massive rioting as both sides committed atrocities against fleeing refugees.

The part of the Punjab now in Pakistan once formed a major region of British Punjab, and was home to a large minority population of Punjabi Sikhs and Hindus up to 1947 apart from the Muslim majority.[44]

Migration between India and Pakistan was continuous before independence. By the 1900s Western Punjab was predominantly Muslim and supported the Muslim League and Pakistan Movement. After independence, the minority Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India while Muslim refugees from India settled in the Western Punjab and across Pakistan.[45]

Recent history[edit]

Since the 1950s, Punjab industrialised rapidly. New factories were established in Lahore, Sargodha, Multan, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Sialkot and Wah. In the 1960s the new city of Islamabad north of 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 feudalistic land-owning families.

In the 1950s there was tension between the eastern and western halves of Pakistan. 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 opportunities, forming the large Punjabi diaspora. Business and cultural ties between the United States and Punjab are growing.

Geography[edit]

Punjab is Pakistan's second largest province by area after Balochistan with an area of 205,344 square kilometres (79,284 square miles).[46] It occupies 25.8% of the total landmass of Pakistan.[46]Punjab province is bordered by Sindh to the south, the province of Balochistan to the southwest, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west, and the Islamabad Capital Territory and Azad Kashmir in the north. Punjab borders Jammu and Kashmir in the north, and the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east.

with an area of 205,344 square kilometres (79,284 square miles).[46]

The capital and largest city is Lahore which was the historical capital of the wider Punjab region. Other important cities include Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Multan, Sialkot, Bahawalpur, Gujrat, Sheikhupura, Jhelum and Sahiwal. The undivided Punjab region was home to six rivers, of which five flow through Pakistan's Punjab province. From west to east, the rivers are: the Indus, Jhelum, Beas, Chenab, Ravi and Sutlej. Nearly 60% of Pakistan's population lives in the Punjab. It is the nation's only province that touches every other province; it also surrounds the federal enclave of the national capital city at Islamabad. In the acronym P-A-K-I-S-T-A-N, the P is for Punjab.[47][48]

Topography[edit]

Punjab features mountainous terrain near the hill station of Murree.

Punjab's landscape consists mostly consists of fertile alluvial plains of the Indus River and its four major tributaries in Pakistan, the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, and Sutlej rivers which traverse Punjab north to south - the fifth of the "five waters" of Punjab, the Beas River, lies exclusively in the Indian state of Punjab. The landscape is amongst the most heavily irrigated on earth and canals can be found throughout the province. Punjab also includes several mountainous regions, including the Sulaiman Mountains in the southwest part of the province, the Margalla Hills in the north near Islamabad, and the Salt Range which divides the most northerly portion of Punjab, the Pothohar Plateau, from the rest of the province. Sparse deserts can be found in southern Punjab near the border with Rajasthan and near the Sulaiman Range. Punjab also contains part of the Thal and Cholistan deserts. In the north, Punjab's elevation reaches 2,291 metres (7,516 ft) near the hill station of Murree, which is surrounded by lush and dense forest.

Climate[edit]

Sunset in Punjab, during summer

Most areas in Punjab experience extreme weather with foggy 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 route from Dera Ghazi Khan to Fort Munro

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.[49]

Punjab's region temperature ranges from −2° to 45 °C, but can reach 50 °C (122 °F) in summer and can touch down to −10 °C in winter.

Climatically, Punjab has three major seasons:[50]

  • Hot weather (April to June) when temperature rises as high as 110 °F.
  • Rainy season (July to September). Average rainfall annual ranges between 96 cm sub-mountain region and 46 cm in the plains.
  • Cooler/ Foggy / mild weather (October to March). Temperature goes down as low as 40 °F.

. 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, and feature a much cooler and wetter climate, with snowfall common at higher altitudes.

Demographics and society[edit]

See also: Punjabi Muslims
Historical populations
Census Population Urban Rural

1951 20,540,762 3,568,076 16,972,686
1961 25,463,974 5,475,922 19,988,052
1972 37,607,423 9,182,695 28,424,728
1981 47,292,441 13,051,646 34,240,795
1998 73,621,290[51] 23,019,025 50,602,265
2012 91,379,615[52] 45,978,451 45,401,164

The population of the province is estimated to be 100,590,000[2] in 2015 and is home to over half the population of Pakistan. Punjabis are a heterogeneous group comprising different tribes, clans (Urdu: برادری‎) and communities. In Pakistani Punjab, non-tribal social distinctions are primarily based on traditional occupations such as blacksmiths or artisans, as opposed to rigid social stratifications.[53]

Punjab has the lowest poverty rates in Pakistan, although a divide is present between the northern and southern parts of the province.[14] Sialkot District in the prosperous northern part of the province has a poverty rate of 5.63%,[54] while Rajanpur District in the poorer south has a poverty rate of 60.05%.[55]

Languages[edit]

Main article: Languages of Pakistan
First languages of Punjab
(according to 1998 Census)[56]
Punjabi
  
75.2%
Punjabi (Saraiki)
  
17.4%
Urdu
  
4.5%
Pashto
  
1.2%
Balochi
  
0.7%
Sindhi
  
0.1%
Others
  
0.9%

The major and native language spoken in the Punjab is Punjabi (which is written in a Shahmukhi script in Pakistan) and Punjabis comprise the largest ethnic group in country. Punjabi is the provincial language of Punjab. There is not a single district in the province where Punjabi language is mother-tongue of less than 89% of population.[citation needed] The language is not given any official recognition in the Constitution of Pakistan at the national level. Punjabi dialects spoken in the province include Majhi (Standard), Saraiki and Hindko.[57]

Punjabis Saraiki is mostly spoken in south Punjab,[58] and Pashto, spoken in some parts of north west Punjab, especially in Attock District and Mianwali District near Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Religion[edit]

Religions in Punjab
Religion Percent
Islam
  
97.21%
Christianity
  
2.31%
Others†
  
0.48%
Distribution of religions
Includes Sikhs, Parsis, Hindus .

The population of Punjab (Pakistan) is estimated to be 97.21% Muslim with a Sunni Hanafi majority and Shia Ithna 'ashariyah minority. The largest non-Muslim minority is Christians and make up 2.31% of the population. The other minorities include Ahmadiyya, Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis and Bahá'í.[citation needed]

Provincial government[edit]

The Government of Punjab is a provincial government in the federal structure of Pakistan, is based in Lahore, the capital of the Punjab Province. The Chief Minister of Punjab (CM) is elected by the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab to serve as the head of the provincial government in Punjab, Pakistan. The current Chief Minister is Shahbaz Sharif, who became the Chief Minister of Punjab as being restored after Governor's rule starting from 25 February 2009 to 30 March 2009. Thereafter got re-elected as a result of 11 May 2013 elections. The Provincial Assembly of the Punjab is a unicameral legislature of elected representatives of the province of Punjab, which is located in Lahore in eastern Pakistan. The Assembly was established under Article 106 of the Constitution of Pakistan as having a total of 371 seats, with 66 seats reserved for women and eight reserved for non-Muslims.

There are 48 departments in Punjab government. Each Department is headed by a Provincial Minister (Politician) and a Provincial Secretary (A civil servant of usually BPS-20 or BPS-21). All Ministers report to the Chief Minister, who is the Chief Executive. All Secretaries report to the Chief Secretary of Punjab, who is usually a BPS-22 Civil Servant. The Chief Secretary in turn reports to the Chief Minister. In addition to these departments, there are several Autonomous Bodies and Attached Departments that report directly to either the Secretaries or the Chief Secretary.

Divisions[edit]

Main article: Divisions of Pakistan
Map of the Pakistani Punjab divisions
Sr. No. Division Headquarters Area
(km²)
Population
(1998)
1 Bahawalpur Bahawalpur 45,588 2,433,091
2 Dera Ghazi Khan Dera Ghazi Khan 38,778 4,635,591
3 Faisalabad Faisalabad 17,917 7,429,547
4 Gujranwala Gujranwala 17,206 4,800,940
5 Lahore Lahore 16,104 14,318,745
6 Multan Multan 21,137 5,116,851
7 Rawalpindi Rawalpindi 22,255 5,363,911
8 Sahiwal Sahiwal 10,302 2,643,194
9 Sargodha Sargodha 26,360 4,557,514

When the divisions were restored as a tier of government in 2008, a tenth division - Sheikhupura Division - was created from part of Lahore Division.

Districts[edit]

Main article: Districts of Pakistan
Punjab (Pakistan) Districts.svg
Sr. No. District Headquarters Area
(km²)
Population
(1998)
Density
(people/km²)
Division
1 Attock Attock 6,858 1,274,935 186 Rawalpindi
2 Bahawalnagar Bahawalnagar 8,878 2,061,447 232 Bahawalpur
3 Bahawalpur Bahawalpur 24,830 2,433,091 98 Bahawalpur
4 Bhakkar Bhakkar 8,153 1,051,456 129 Sargodha
5 Chakwal Chakwal 6,524 1,083,725 166 Rawalpindi
6 Chiniot Chiniot 965,124 Faisalabad
7 Dera Ghazi Khan Dera Ghazi Khan 11,922 2,043,118 238 Dera Ghazi Khan
8 Faisalabad Faisalabad 5,856 5,429,547 927 Faisalabad
9 Gujranwala Gujranwala 3,622 3,400,940 939 Gujranwala
10 Gujrat Gujrat 3,192 2,048,008 642 Gujranwala
11 Hafizabad Hafizabad 2,367 832,980 352 Gujranwala
12 Jhang Jhang 8,809 1,034,546 322 Faisalabad
13 Jhelum Jhelum 3,587 936,957 261 Rawalpindi
14 Kasur Kasur 4,796 1,466,000 595 Lahore
15 Khanewal Khanewal 4,349 2,068,490 476 Multan
16 Khushab Khushab 6,511 1,205,460 185 Sargodha
17 Lahore Lahore 1,772 6,318,745 3,566 Lahore
18 Layyah Layyah 6,291 1,120,951 178 Dera Ghazi Khan
19 Lodhran Lodhran 2,778 1,171,800 422 Multan
20 Mandi Bahauddin Mandi Bahauddin 2,673 1,160,552 434 Gujranwala
21 Mianwali Mianwali 5,840 1,056,620 181 Sargodha
22 Multan Multan 3,720 3,116,851 838 Multan
23 Muzaffargarh Muzaffargarh 8,249 1,635,903 320 Dera Ghazi Khan
24 Narowal Narowal 2,337 1,265,097 541 Gujranwala
25 Nankana Sahib[59] Nankana Sahib 2,960 1,410,000 476 Sheikhupura
26 Okara Okara 3,004 2,232,992 510 Sahiwal
27 Pakpattan Pakpattan 2,724 1,286,680 472 Sahiwal
28 Rahim Yar Khan Rahim Yar Khan 11,880 1,141,053 264 Bahawalpur
29 Rajanpur Rajanpur 12,319 1,103,618 90 Dera Ghazi Khan
30 Rawalpindi Rawalpindi 5,286 3,363,911 636 Rawalpindi
31 Sahiwal Sahiwal 3,201 1,843,194 576 Sahiwal
32 Sargodha Sargodha 5,854 2,665,979 455 Sargodha
33 Sheikhupura Sheikhupura 15,960 2,321,029 557 Sheikhupura
34 Sialkot Sialkot 3,016 1,688,823 903 Gujranwala
35 Toba Tek Singh Toba Tek Singh 3,252 1,621,593 499 Faisalabad
36 Vehari Vehari 4,364 2,090,416 479 Multan

Major cities[edit]

List of major cities in Punjab
Rank City District Population


Gumti.jpg
Faisalabad
Rwp train1.jpg
Rawalpindi

1 Lahore Lahore 14,500,000
2 Faisalabad Faisalabad 7,380,000
3 Rawalpindi Rawalpindi 5,891,656
4 Multan Multan 5,206,481
5 Gujranwala Gujranwala 4,769,090
6 Sargodha Sargodha 4,557,514
7 Bahawalpur Bahawalpur 2,443,929
8 Sialkot Sialkot 1,910,863
9 Sheikhupura Sheikhupura 426,980
10 Jhang Jhang 372,645
11 Gujrat Gujrat 530,645
12 D.G.Khan D.G.Khan 630,645
Source: World Gazetteer 2010[60]
This is a list of each city's urban populations and does not indicate total district populations

Economy[edit]

Lahore Ring Road
GDP by Province

Punjab has the largest economy in Pakistan, contributing most to the national GDP. The province's economy has quadrupled since 1972.[61] Its share of Pakistan's GDP was 54.7% in 2000 and 59% as of 2010. It is especially dominant in the service and agriculture sectors of Pakistan's economy. With its contribution ranging from 52.1% to 64.5% in the Service Sector and 56.1% to 61.5% in the agriculture sector. It is also major manpower contributor because it has largest pool of professionals and highly skilled (technically trained) manpower in Pakistan. It is also dominant in the manufacturing sector, though the dominance is not as huge, with historical contributions raging from a low of 44% to a high of 52.6%.[62] In 2007, Punjab achieved a growth rate of 7.8%[63] and during the period 2002–03 to 2007–08, its economy grew at a rate of between 7% to 8% per year.[64] and during 2008–09 grew at 6% against the total GDP growth of Pakistan at 4%.

Irrigated land of Punjab

Despite the lack of a coastline, Punjab is the most industrialised province of Pakistan;[65] its manufacturing industries produce textiles, sports goods, heavy machinery, electrical appliances, surgical instruments, vehicles, auto parts, metals, sugar mill plants, aircraft, cement, agricultural machinery, bicycles and rickshaws, floor coverings, and processed foods. In 2003, the province manufactured 90% of the paper and paper boards, 71% of the fertilizers, 69% of the sugar and 40% of the cement of Pakistan.[66]

Industrial Zones Punjab, Source:[67]
Former administrative divisions of Punjab

Despite its tropical wet and 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, vegetables, and fruits such as kinoo. 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 76% to annual food grain production in the country. 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 68 thousand industrial units. There are 39,033 small and cottage industrial units. The number of textile units is 14,820. The ginning industries are 6,778. There are 7,355 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, iron, gas, petrol, rock salt (with the second largest salt mine in the world), dolomite, gypsum, and silica-sand. The Punjab Mineral Development Corporation is running over a hundred economically viable projects. Manufacturing includes machine products, cement, plastics, and various other goods.

The incidence of poverty differs between the different regions of Punjab. With Northern and Central Punjab facing much lower levels of poverty than Western and Southern Punjab. Those living in Southern and Western Punjab are also a lot more dependent on agriculture due to lower levels of industrialisation in those regions.

As of June 2012, Pakistan's electricity problems were so severe that violent riots were taking place across Punjab. According to protesters, load shedding was depriving the cities of electricity 20–22 hours a day, causing businesses to go bust and making living extremely hard. Gujranwala, Toba Tek Singh, Faisalabad, Sialkot, Bahawalnagar and communities across Khanewal District saw widespread rioting and violence on Sunday 17 June 2012, with the houses of several members of parliament being attacked as well as the offices of regional energy suppliers Fesco, Gepco and Mepco being ransacked or attacked.[68]

Education[edit]

The literacy rate has increased greatly over the last 40 years (see the table below). Punjab has the highest Human Development Index out of all of Pakistan's provinces at 0.670.[69]

Year Literacy Rate
1972 20.7%
1981 27.4%
1998 46.56%
2009 59.6%
2015 61%[70]

Sources:[71][72]

This is a chart of the education market of Punjab estimated by the government in 1998.

Qualification Urban Rural Total Enrollment Ratio(%)
23,019,025 50,602,265 73,621,290
Below Primary 3,356,173 11,598,039 14,954,212 100.00
Primary 6,205,929 18,039,707 24,245,636 79.68
Middle 5,140,148 10,818,764 15,958,912 46.75
Matriculation 4,624,522 7,119,738 11,744,260 25.07
Intermediate 1,862,239 1,821,681 3,683,920 9.12
BA, BSc... degrees 110,491 96,144 206,635 4.12
MA, MSc... degrees 1,226,914 764,094 1,991,008 3.84
Diploma, Certificate... 418,946 222,649 641,595 1.13
Other qualifications 73,663 121,449 195,112 0.26

Public universities[edit]

Main entrance to The University of Sargodha
A women's college in Rawalpindi
University of the Punjab
University of Agriculture, Faisalabad
King Edward Medical University, Lahore

Private universities[edit]

Culture[edit]

Main article: Punjabi culture
Mausoleum of Sheikh Rukh-e-Alam, Multan (1320 AD)

Punjab has been the cradle of civilisation since times immemorial. The ruins of Harappa show an advanced urban culture that flourished over 8000 years ago. Taxila, another historic landmark also stands out as a proof of the achievements of the area in learning, arts and crafts. 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 Quran 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[edit]

The culture of Punjab derives its basis from the institution of Sufi saints, who 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 the following categories:

Religious and seasonal fairs and festivals[edit]

Religious fairs are held on special days of Islamic significance like Eid ul-Adha, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi, Ashura, Laylat al-Qadr and Jumu'ah-tul-Wida. The main activities on these special occasions are confined to congregational prayers and rituals. Melas are also held to mark these occasions.

Devotional fairs (Urs)[edit]

Punjab is famous for various shrines of Sufi saints and Data durbar in particular

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 Buksh at Lahore, urs of Hazrat Sultan Bahu at Jhang, urs of Hazrat Shah Jewna at Jhang, 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 Bulleh Shah at Kasur, urs of Hazrat Imam Bari (Bari Shah Latif) at Rawalpindi-Islamabad and urs of Shah Inayat Qadri (the murrshad of Bulleh Shah) in Lahore.

A big fair/mela is organised 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 classic work, Heer Ranjha. The shrine of Heer Ranjha in Jhang is one of the most visited shrines in Punjab.

Badshahi Mosque, built by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb at Lahore

Industrial and commercial fairs[edit]

Exhibitions and annual horse shows in all districts and a national horse and cattle show at Lahore are held with the official patronage. The national horse and cattle show at Lahore is the biggest festival where sports, exhibitions, and livestock competitions are held. It not only encourages and patronises 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.

Other festivals[edit]

In addition to the religious festivals, Sikh and Hindu Punjabis may celebrate seasonal and harvest festivals, which include Lohri,[73] Vaisakhi, Basant and Teej.

Arts and crafts[edit]

The crafts in the Punjab are of two types: the crafts produced in the rural areas and the royal crafts.

Major attractions[edit]

The Lahore Fort, a landmark built during the Mughal era, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The province is home to several historical sites, including the Shalimar Gardens, the Lahore Fort, the Badshahi Mosque, the Rohtas Fort 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 Buddhist and Hindu influence. Several important Sikh shrines are in the province, including the birthplace of the first Guru, Guru Nanak. (born at Nankana Sahib). There are a few famous hill stations, including Murree, Bhurban, Patriata and Fort Munro.

Katasraj Mandir is a Hindu temple complex situated in Katas village near Choa Saidanshah in the Chakwal district. Dedicated to Shiva, the temple has, according to Hindu legend, existed since the days of Mahābhārata and the Pandava brothers spent a substantial part of their exile at the site and later Krishna himself laid the foundation of this temple.[citation needed]

The Khewra Salt Mine is a tourist attraction. Tours are accompanied by guides as the mine itself is very large and the complex interconnected passages are like a maze. There is a small but beautiful mosque inside the mine made from salt stone. A clinical ward with 20 beds was established in 2007[74][75] for the treatment of asthma and other respiratory diseases using salt therapy.

Music and dance[edit]

Main articles: Music of Punjab and Punjabi dance
Various festivals in rural Punjab

Classical music forms, such as Pakistani classical music, 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. The most common instruments used are the tabla and harmonium.

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 Lona wala, Talib Hussain Dard, Attaullah Khan Essa Khailwi, 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 Hassan, 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, Attaullah Khan Essa Khailwi, Jawad Ahmed, Legacy, and Malkoo are renowned.

Folklore[edit]

Punjabi folk
Main article: Punjabi folklore

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, 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.[76]

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

Social issues[edit]

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 newspapers published in Punjabi in the Central areas of Punjab. Only a few monthly literary magazines constitute Punjabi press in Pakistan".[77]

Notable people[edit]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]