Tuesday, 12 February 2013



Punjab, Pakistan

The Punjab (Shahmukhi: پنجاب: Punjab.ogg (help·info)) is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 56% of the country's total population. The neighbouring areas are Indian Kashmir to the north, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the south, the province of Balochistan to the southwest, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west, and the Islamabad Capital Territory to the north. The Punjab is home to thePunjabis and various other groups. The main languages are Punjabi andSaraiki and the dialects of Mewati and Potowari. The name Punjab derives from the Persian words Panj (پنج) (Five), and Āb (آب) (Water), i.e. (the) Five Waters - referring to the Indus River and its four primary tributaries of Jhelum, Chenab,Ravi, and Sutlej, that flow through Punjab.
Punjab is the most developed, most populous, and most prosperousprovince of Pakistan. Lahore has been the capital of Punjab for a thousand years; it is Punjab's main cultural, historical, administrative and economic center. Punjab has been the gateway of the Indian subcontinent for the invaders from Greece, Central Asia, IranandAfghanistan. Due to its stategic location, Punjab has been part of various empires and dynasties throughout history, including the Indus Valley Civilization, Aryans, Kushans,Scythians, Persians, Arabs,Turks, Ghaznavids, Timurids, Mughals, Afghans, Sikhs and the British.
The Greeks referred to Punjab as Pentapotamia, an inland delta of five converging rivers. In Avesta, the sacred text of Zoroastrians, the Punjabregion is associated with the ancienthapta həndu or Sapta Sindhu, the Land of Seven Rivers. The British used to call Punjab"Our Prussia."


The word Punjab is a combination of the Indo-Iranian words panj (five) and āb (water), thus the (land of) five rivers. The five rivers are theBeas,Chenab, Jhelum, Ravi and Sutlej. Sometimes, in English, there can be a definite article before the name i.e. the Punjab. The name is also sometimes spelt as Panjab or Panjaab or Punjaab.


Sunrise in Himalayas, North Punjab
Ravi Marala Link canal, Sialkot
Punjab is Pakistan's second largest province at 205,344 km2 (79,284 sq mi) after Balochistan and is located at the northwestern edge of the geologic Indian plate in South Asia. The capital and largest city isLahore which was the historical capital of the wider Punjab region. Other important cities include Multan, Faisalabad,Sheikhupura, Sialkot,Gujranwala, Jhelumand Rawalpindi. Undivided punjab is home to six rivers, of which five flow through Pakistani Punjab. From west to east, these are: theIndus, Jhelum, Beas, Chenab, Ravi andSutlej. 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.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 importantprovinces 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 Rajasthan and theSulaiman Range. 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.


Tilla Jogian,sacred andscenic peak in Punjab

Sunset in Punjab, during summers
Most areas in Punjab experience fairly cool winters, often accompanied by rain. By mid-February the temperature begins to rise;springtimeweather 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 therainy 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.
Punjab region temperature range from -2° to 40°C (MIN/MAX), but can reach 47°C (117°F) in summer and can touch down to -5°C in winter.
Climatically, Punjab has three major seasons as under:
§ Hot weather (April to June) when temperature rises as high as 110F.
§ Rainy season (July to September). Average rainfall annual ranges between 96 cms sub-mountain region and 46 cms in the plains.
§ Cold weather (October to March). Temperature goes down as low as40F.

Demographics and society

Historical populations


The population of the province is estimated to be 81,330,531 in 2010 and is home to over half the population ofPakistan. The major language spoken in thePunjab is Punjabi(which is written in aShahmukhi script inPakistan) and Punjabiscomprise the largest ethnic group in country. Punjabi is the provincial language of Punjab. The language is not given any official recognition in the Constitution of Pakistan at National level. Punjabis themselves are a heterogeneousgroup comprising different tribes, clans (Qaum (Urdu:قوم )) andcommunities. In Pakistani Punjab these Qaums have more to do withtraditional occupations such as blacksmiths or artisans as opposed to rigid social stratifications.
The biradari, which literally means brotherhood is an important unit of Punjabi society, and includes people claiming descent from a common ancestor. The biradaris collectively form larger units known as quoms or tribes. Historically, these quoms were endogamous, but latterly, especially in the large cities, there is considerable intermarriage between members of different quoms, and differences are getting blurred. Important quoms within Punjab include the Gondal,Arain, Niazi,Paracha, Aheer, Awan, Dogar, Gakhars, Gujjars, Jat, Kamboh,Khokhar, Khattar, Mughal, Rajputs, Sheikh and Syeds. Other smaller tribes are the Khateek, Maliar, Rawns, Pashtuns, Baloch, Rehmanis (Muslim Labana) and the Maliks.
In addition to the Punjabis, the province is also home to other smaller ethnic groups in the province include the Siraiki, Hindkowan,Kashmiris,Sindhis, and Muhajirs. The Muhajirs are Urdu speaking Muslimmigrants from India and settled in Pakistan after independence in 1947. Three decades of bloodshed in neighbouring Afghanistan have also brought a large number of Afghan refugees (Tajik, Hazara andTurkmen) to the province.
As per the census of Pakistan 1998, linguistic distribution of the Punjab province is: Punjabi (75.23%), Saraiki (17.36%), Urdu (4.51%),Pashto(1.16%), Balochi (0.66%), Sindhi (0.13%) others (0.95%). The population of Punjab (Pakistan) is estimated to be between 97.21%Muslim with a Sunni Hanafi majority and Shia Ithna 'ashariyahminority. The largest non-Muslim minority is Christians and make up 2.31% of the poulation. The Other minorites include Ahmedi, Hindus,Sikhs, Parsis and Bahá'í
The dialects spoken in different regions of the land have a commonvocabulary and a shared heritage. The people of Punjab have also a shared spiritual experience, which has been disseminated by Tasawwafand can be witnessed on the occasion of the remembrance-fairs held on the Urs of Sufi Saints.


Ancient history

Hiran Minar, built by Mughal Emperor Jehangir atSheikhupura
Punjab was the cradle of the Indus Valley Civilization, more than 4000 years old. 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 the Indo-Aryan civilization. The arrival of the Indo-Aryans led to the flourishing of the Vedic civilization along the length of the Indus River. This civilization 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 theHarappa ruins for track ballast, an abundance of artifacts have nevertheless been found. Punjab was part of the great ancient empires including the Gandhara Mahajanapadas, Mauryas, Kushansand Hindu Shahi. Agriculture flourished and trading cities (such as Multan andLahore) grew in wealth. The Aryans invaded Punjab between 1500 B.C. and 500 B.C.; they called PunjabArya-Varta, or the land of Arya. TheRig Vedas are also supposed to have been written in Punjab.
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 Zorastrian,Hindu, Buddhist, Persian, Central Asian, Islamic, Afghan, Sikh, andBritish elements. The city of Taxila, founded by son of Taksh the sonBharat who was the brother of Ram. It was reputed to house the oldest university in the world,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.

Invasions by Osiris, Semiramis and Sesostris

Egypt was known as Misrasthan by Indians, from its being inhabited by Misraim, the son of Ham. King Osiris of Egypt eventually marched towards Punjab; the locals offered little resistance and Punjab fell into the hands of the Egyptians. After a stay of three years the Egyptians left Punjab. After Ninus, King of Assyria died in the ninth century B.C, Queen Semiramis became the monarch of Assyria. Seduced by the famed affluence of India, she undertook an expedition to invade Punjab. The Assyrians won the first battle, but due to stiff resistance offered by the locals the Assyrians were routed with immense loss and Queen Semiramis left Punjab for Assyria. King Sesostris of Egypt also invadedPunjab and extended his sway as far as the Ganges; he erected pillars inscribed with symbols describing his conquest and glory.

Greeks, Central Asians, and Persians

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.
Unique to Pakistani Punjab was that this area was repeatedly conquered into various Persian, Central Asian, and Greek empires, such as those of Tamerlane, Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan. Having conquered Drangiana, Arachosia, Gedrosia and Seistan in ten days, Alexander crossed theHindu 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. 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 enteredWestern Punjab, where the ancient city of Nysa was situated. A coalition was formed against Alexander by the Cathians, the people ofMultan, who were very skillful in war. Alexander invested heavy troops; eventually seventeen thousand Cathians fell in this battle, and the city of Sagala (present-day Sialkot) was razed to the ground. Alexander leftPunjab in 326 B.C. and took his army to Persia and Susa.
Of particular importance were the periods of contact between Punjaband various Persian Empires when the region either became a part of the empire itself, or was an autonomous region which paid taxes to the Persian king. In later centuries, when Persian was the language of the Mughal government, Persian architecture, poetry, art and music were an integral part of the region's culture. The official language of Punjabremained Persian until the arrival of the British in the mid-19th century, when the administrative language was changed to English. After 1947, Urdu, which has Persian and Sanskrit roots, became Pakistan's national language (Qaumi Zubaan).

Arrival of Islam

The Punjabis followed a diverse plethora of faiths, mainly comprisingHindus but with large minorities of Buddhists and Zoroastrians when theUmayyad Muslim Arab army led by Muhammad bin Qasim conquered the Punjab and Sindh in 712. During the reign of Mahmud of Ghazni, the province became an important centre and Lahore was made into a second capital of the Ghaznavid Empire based out of Afghanistan.


The Mughals controlled the region from 1524 until 1739 and would also lavish the province with building projects such as the Shalimar Gardensand 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, theShah of Iran and founder of the Afsharid dynasty in Persia, Nader Shahcrossed the Indus and sacked the province in 1739. Later, theAfghanconqueror Ahmad Shah Durrani, incidentally born in Panjab, in the city of Multan made the Punjab a part of his Durrani Empire lasting until 1762.


Rohtas Fort, Jhelum built by the Afghan ruler,Sher Shah Suri
The founder of Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah Durrani, an ethnic Pashtun(Afghan), was born on the outskirts of Multan, souther Panjab where many of his descendants live to this day. After cementing his authority over various Afghan tribes, he went about to establish the first unitedAfghan Kingdom (Greater Afghanistan) that during its greatest extent included modern-day Afghanistan, Pakistan and northeastern Iran. ThePunjab was a cultural reservoir for the Afghans, and many where attracted to its lush fertile lands, a process that continues to this very day. 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 have made Pakistan's Punjab their home over the centuries. These tribes include the Khugyanis known as Khakwanis, Alizais, Tareens,Durranis, Mullazais,Niazis, Khattaks, yousafzais, sadozais, tahirkheli,utmanzais, bangash, mashwani, Lodhis,Kakars, Kakazais, andBarakzais, to name a few.


Ranjit Singh's Empire
At the beginning of the fifteenth 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 rising and expanding Sikh Empire. After fighting Ahmad Shah Durrani, the Sikhs wrested control of the Punjab from his descendants and ruled in aconfederacy, which later became the Sikh Empire of the Punjab underMaharaja Ranjit Singh. A denizen of the city of Gujranwala, the capital of Ranjit Singh's empire was Lahore.


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 Lahoreand 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 Punjabto rule their own land since Prithviraj Chauhan's defeat.

Independence and its aftermath

In 1947 the Punjab province of British India was divided along religious lines into West Punjab and East Punjab. The western Punjab was assimilated into new country of Pakistan while the east Punjab stayed in 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 SikhsandHindus unto 1947 apart from the Muslim majority.
At the time of independence in 1947 and due to the ensuing horrendous exchange of populations, the Punjabi Sikhs and Hindus migrated toIndia. Punjabi Muslims were uprooted similarly from their homes in East Punjab which now forms part of India. Approximately 7 million plus who moved to Pakistan, over 6 million settled in Punjab.

Recent history

Punjab Assembly Building, Lahore
Since the 1950s, Punjab industrialized rapidly. New factories came up in Lahore, Multan,Sialkot and Wah. In the 1960s the new city ofIslamabad 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 neighbouringIndia, 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.

Old style Punjabi home in a village near Khansar Bhakkar
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 Pakistanseceded and became Bangladesh, Punjab again became a province.
Punjab witnessed major battles between the armies of India andPakistan in the wars of 1965and 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. Business and cultural ties between the United States andPunjab are growing.

Provincial government


There are 36 districts in Punjab, Pakistan.

1. Attock
4. Bhakkar
5. Chakwal
6. Chiniot
10. Gujrat
11. Hafizabad
12. Jhang
13. Jhelum
14. Kasur
15. Khanewal
16. Khushab
17. Lahore
18. Layyah

19. Lodhran
21. Mianwali
22. Multan
24. Narowal
26. Okara
27. Pakpattan
29. Rajanpur
31. Sahiwal
32. Sargodha
34. Sialkot
36. Vehari


GDP by Province
Punjab has always contributed the most to the national economy ofPakistan. Punjab's economy has quadrupled since 1972. Its share ofPakistan's GDP was 54.7% in 2000 and 59% as of 2010. It is especially dominant in the Service & Agriculture sectors of the Pakistan 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%. In 2007, Punjab achieved a growth rate of 7.8% and during the period 2002-03 to 2007-08, its economy grew at a rate of between 7% to 8% per year. and during 2008-09 grew at 6% against the total GDP growth of Pakistan at 4%.

Irrigated land of Punjab
Despite lack of a coastline, Punjab is the most industrialized province of Pakistan; its manufacturing industries produce textiles, sports goods, Heavy machinery, electrical appliances, surgical instruments, Cement, Vehicles, Auto Parts, I.T, metals, Sugar mill plants, Cement Plants, Agriculture 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.

Industrial Zones Punjab, Source:

Former Administrative Divisions of Punjab
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,vegetables, and fruits such as kinoo. Livestock andpoultry 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. 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 68 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 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 ofCoal, 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 hundreds economically viable projects. Manufacturing includes machine products, cement, plastics, and various other goods.


The literacy rate has increased greatly since independence. Punjab has the highest Human Development Index out of all of Pakistan's provinces at 0.670.
Literacy Rate
This is a chart of the education market of Punjab estimated by the government in 1998.
Enrolment Ratio(%)
Below Primary
BA, BSc... degrees
MA, MSc... degrees
Diploma, Certificate...
Other qualifications

Public universities

A women's college in Rawalpindi
§ Allama Iqbal Medical College, Lahore

University of the Punjab

King Edward Medical University, Lahore
§ Cadet College Hassanabdal, Pakistan
§ National Textile University, Faisalabad
§ University of Agriculture, Faisalabad

University of The Punjab-Gujranwala

Private universities

§ GIFT University, Gujranwala
§ Munawwar-ul-Islam Institute of Research, Gujrat
§ National College of Business Administration and Economics, Lahore
§ University of Faisalabad, Faisalabad
§ University of Lahore, Lahore
§ Superior University, Lahore
§ CMH Lahore Medical College, Lahore
§ University of Health Sciences, Lahore

Cultural heritage

Mausoleum of Sheikh Rukh-e-Alam,Multan (1320 AD)
Punjab has been the cradle of civilization 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 Koran 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 inSouth Asia with enamelled tile-work is the tomb of Shah Yusuf Gardezi (1150 AD) at Multan. A specimen of the sixteenth century tile-work atLahore 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 Eid ul-Adha, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi, Ashura, Laylat al-QadrandJumu'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 or Urs

Punjab is famous for various shrines of Sufi saints and Data 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 HazratSultan Bahu at Jhang, urs of Hazrat Shah Jewna at Jhang ,urs of Hazrat Mian Mir at Lahore, urs of Baba Farid Ganj Shakar atPakpattan, 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 Inayar Qadri (the murrshad of Bulleh Shah) in Lahore.
A big fair/mela is organized at Jandiala Sher Khan in districtSheikhupura on the Mausoleum of Syed Waris Shah who is the most loved Sufi poet of Punjab due to his claasic work known as Heer Ranjha. The shrine of Heer Ranjha in Jhang has been one of the most visited shrines in Punjab.

Badshahi Mosque, built by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb at Lahore

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.

Other Festivals

In addition to the religious festivals, Punjabis celebrate seasonal and harvest festivals which include Lohri, Basant, Baisakhi and Teej.

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 theShalimar Gardens, Lahore Fort, the Badshahi Mosque, Rohtas Fort and the ruins of the ancient city of Harrapa. The Anarkali Market andJahangir'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 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 thePunjab. 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 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 ofAbrar-Ul-Haq, Arif Lohar, Attaullah Khan Essa Khailwi, Jawad Ahmed, Legacy, and Malkoo are renowned.


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

Social issues

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". Many have called for the Punjabi language to be given recognition as it has in India.
Punjabis are prominent in business, agriculture, industry, government, and the military to the point that there is resentment from other ethnic groups. The smaller provinces often voice concern at Punjabi domination of key institutions such as the Army .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 languages (Punjabi,Potohari and Seraiki) but those of other major ethnic groups in Pakistan such as the Pashtuns andBalochi

Notable people

§ Sir Allama Muhammad Iqbal, lawyer, poet, philosopher
§ Imran Khan, Cricketer, Politician, Charity worker
§ Ibn-e-Insha, poet, writer (travelogues, humor)
§ Malik Allahyar Khan (1927-2007), former member of parliament
§ Colonel Muhammad Khan, writer, columnist, military education specialist
§ Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry, former President of Pakistan
§ Qudrat Ullah Shahab, writer, bureaucrat
§ Jamshed Dasti, currently a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan
§ Shah Hussain, Sufi saint (1538-1599)
§ Ajaz Akhtar, cricketer
§ Shoaib Akhtar, cricketer
§ Abdul Razzaq, cricketer
§ Wasim Akram, cricketer and sports presenter
§ Waris Shah, Sufi poet, mystic philosopher
§ Chaudhry Niaz Ali Khan, landowner, agriculturalist, philanthropist, civil engineer
§ Nisar Ali Khan, politician of PML(N)
§ Faiz Ahmed Faiz, poet
§ Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, politician PML(Q)
§ Air Marshal Nur Khan
§ Captain Muhammad Sarwar Shaheed NH (1910–July 27, 1948), 6/8Punjab
§ Major Muhammad Tufail Shaheed NH (1914–August 7, 1958), 1 Battalion East Pakistan Rifles
§ Major Raja Aziz Bhatti Shaheed NH (1928–September 10, 1965), 17Punjab
§ Major Muhammad Akram Shaheed NH (1938–1971), 4 FF
§ Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed NH (1943–December 6, 1971), 6 FF
§ Sawar Muhammad Hussain Shaheed NH (1949–December 10, 1971), 20 Lancers
§ Lance Naik Muhammad Mahfuz Shaheed NH (1944–December 17, 1971)
§ A. R. Hye, architect
§ Alam Lohar, folk singer
§ Arif Lohar, folk singer
§ Abdul Kardar, cricketer
§ Abdus Salam, physicist and Nobel Prize winner
§ Inzamam-ul-Haq, cricketer
§ Imran Khan, cricketer, politician and philanthropist
§ Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan, politician
§ Zulfiqar Ali Khosa, President of Pakistan Muslim League (N) Punjab
§ Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, singer, musician
§ Mian Mir, saint revered by Sikhs and Muslims
§ Sultan Rahi, actor
§ Rangeela, actor, comedian
§ Nawaz Sharif, ex Prime Minister, major opposition leader
§ Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab province
§ Waqar Younis, cricketer and sports presenter
§ Javed Hashmi, politician PML(N)
§ Shah Mehmood Qureshi, politician PPP
§ Mirza Aziz Akbar Baig, former Vice Chairman of Pakistan Bar Council
§ Ishaq Khan Khakwani, politician
§ Salman Butt, cricketer
§ Shoaib Malik, cricketer
§ Ahsan Iqbal, politician PML(N)
§ Khawaja Muhammad Asif, politician PML(N)
§ Atif Aslam, singer
§ Yousaf Raza Gillani, currently Prime Minister of Pakistan
§ Noor Jehan, singer, actor
§ Shahnaz Sheikh, hockey player
§ Samiullah, hockey player
§ Muhammad Rafiq Tarar, former President of Pakistan
§ Shaheed Bhagat Singh, revolutionary (1907–1931)
§ General Zia-ul-Haq, former Army Chief of Staff and former military dictator (1977-1988)
§ Manmohan Singh, current Prime Minister of India
§ Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar Khan, former Chairman Parliamentary Special Committee on Kashmir
§ Tahir-ul-Qadri, scholar, politician, orator

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