The South Asian country of Pakistan is home to diverse cultures and spectacular landscapes. The tourist destinations in the country range from the ancient cities of the Indus Valley Civilization to the Buddhist ruins of Taxila. There are coastal mangroves in Pakistan as well as several mountains over 7,000 meters tall. From architectural masterpieces to rare wildlife, Pakistan has it all. Here are some fascinating facts about Pakistan!
10. Pakistan Has One Of The World's Highest Paved Roads
The Karakoram Highway is a 1,300 km long national highway linking Hasan Abdal in Pakistan's Punjab province to Khunjerab Pass. The highway further extends into China as the China National Highway 314. It passes through the Karakoram Mountain range and has its highest elevation at 4,714 meters near Khunjerab pass. The Karakoram Highway is a major tourist attraction. It is often called the world's 8th wonder as its construction at such high altitudes was riddled with extreme difficulties. It is one of the highest paved roads in the world.
9. The World's Highest ATM Is Located In Pakistan
The world's highest automated teller machine (ATM) is located in the Khunjerab Pass in Gilgit Baltistan at an elevation of 4693 m. The National Bank of Pakistan owns the ATM. It was installed on November 18, 2016.
8. Pakistan-China Border Hosts The World's Second Tallest Peak
Mount K2, also known as Chhogori or Mount Godwin-Austen, is the world's second tallest peak after Mount Everest. It has an elevation of 8,611 m. It is located on the border between Pakistan and China. K2 is often regarded as the world's most dangerous mountain and nicknamed "the savage mountain." It is said that for every four climbers who attempt to reach the summit of K2, one dies. The extremely steep slopes and the harsh, unpredictable weather conditions make the mountain a death trap for the climbers.
7. An Endangered Subspecies, The Indus River Dolphin, is Found in Pakistan
P. g. minor or the Indus River dolphin is an endangered subspecies of the South Asian river dolphin that is found only in the main channel of Pakistan's Indus River. It is regarded as the national mammal of Pakistan. The eyes of these dolphins cannot for clear images on the retina. They are thus effectively blind. However, the eyes can still serve as a light receptor. Only around 1,500 members of the Indus subspecies were left as per a 2017 population assessment of the South Asian river dolphin.
6. The World's First And Third Longest Glacial System Outside The Polar Region Is In Pakistan
The 67 km long Biafo Glacier meets the 49 km long Hispar Glacier at Hispar La at an elevation of 5,128 m to form the world's third longest glacial system outside the polar regions. The first two spots are occupied by the Siachen Glacier and the Fedchenko Glacier. The former is located on the India-Pakistan border and the latter in Tajikistan. The glaciers of the Biafo Glacier system are located in the Karakoram Mountains of Gilgit Baltistan. They form an icy highway between Baltistan in the east and Nagar in the west. Climbers and trekkers exploring the area live in campsites near the glacier. Wildlife like ibex, markhor, Himalayan brown bears, snow leopards, and others are occasionally seen in the area.
5. Pakistan Has The World's Biggest Earth-filled Dam
The Tarbela Dam located on the Indus River in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the world's biggest earth-filled dam and the largest one by structural volume. The dam is 143 m tall. It forms the Tarbela Reservoir that encompasses an area of 250 square kilometers. The Tarbela Dam was completed in 1976 and is primarily used for hydroelectricity generation.
4. Pakistan Is The Only Nation In The Muslim World To Have Nuclear Weapons
Pakistan is the second in South Asia after India to declare itself as a nuclear-weapons state. It is the only country in the Muslim world to have the status of being a nuclear power.
3. Pakistan Is The First Muslim Majority Country To Have A Female Head Of Government
Benazir Bhutto served as the Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1988 to 1990 and 1993 to 1996. She was the first woman to lead a government in a Muslim majority nation. Bhutto was a secularist and liberal who was a member of the Pakistan Peoples Party. She belonged to a wealthy aristocratic Pakistani family. Her father Zulfikar was the founder of this party. Unfortunately, she was assassinated in 2007.
2. Mohenjo Daro is Found in Pakistan
One of the biggest settlements of the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation and one of the oldest major cities in the world, Mohenjo Daro is an archaeological site located in Pakistan's Sindh province. It was founded around 26 to 25th century BCE and abandoned in the 19th century BCE. The site remains buried in the Earth for hundreds of years until it was rediscovered in the 1920s. In 1980, Mohenjo Daro was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Currently, erosion and improper restoration threaten the site.
1. The World's Youngest Nobel Prize Laureate Is From Pakistan
Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist for female and child education rights. She won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. Malala received global attention when the local Taliban in her native Swat Valley in northwest Pakistan nearly killed her to stop her from fighting against their oppressive imposition of bans on female education. Today, Malala's advocacy has grown into an international movement to save women and children from various atrocities.