Pakistan is a sovereign country in South Asia. It lies along the Arabian Sea, surrounded by Afghanistan to the west and northwest, Iran to the southwest, India to the east, and China to the northeast. The present Pakistan territory used to be the home to many ancient cultures, such as the Mehrgarh of the Neolithic and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation. Then it became home to kingdoms ruled by people of various faiths and cultures, including Hindus, Indo-Greeks, Muslims, Turco-Mongols, Afghans, and Sikhs. The country is divided into several regions, with numerous towns and cities. The nine most notable cities are Islamabad, the Federal capital; Karachi, the financial capital and Pakistan’s largest city; Lahore, City of the Mughals; Faisalabad, which has a thriving textile industry; Multan, the City of Saints; Quetta, a large city in the southern state of Balochistan; Muzaffarabad, capital of Azad Kashmir; Peshawar, capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; and Sialkot, city of sports good and famed for its export industry.
The top places that you must visit in Pakistan include Karachi, which lies on the shores of the Arabian Sea. Here you can see the stunning architecture of Quaid-e-Azam's Mazar, the mausoleum of the country’s founder. There’s also Shah Faisal Masjid, a grand mosque; K2, Nanga Parbat, which are among the world’s highest mountains; Peshawar, the ancient city; the legendary Khyber Pass; Swat Valley, and its wild mountains and alpine scenery; and Khewra Salt Mines, the second largest salt mine in the world. Don’t forget to visit Taxila Museum, which features exquisite Buddha sculptures; the stunning display of Mughal architecture in Mausoleum of Sheikh Rukn-I-Alam; the old British hill station of Ziarat; the historic Moenjodaro City; the intriguing city of Peshawar; Margalla Hills National Park; and the ancient Baltit Fort. The country is also a world-class destination for trekking and hiking, a great horse riding location, and it also offers the most budget-friendly markets and bazaars.
How to get around within Pakistan
Getting around the country by plane has been easier in recent years, with Pakistan International Airlines serving several destinations within Pakistan and is the sole airline to serve three airports in the north.
Other domestic carriers are Shaheen Air International and Airblue. You can also navigate between different cities by taking the train via Pakistan Railway. Majority of intercity travels are carried out by bus. When you get inside the cities, the common and cheap form of public transport is by tuk tuk or auto rickshaws.
How to get there
Pakistan’s main gateways by air are Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad. The country has 134 airfields, with six international airports in Quetta, Gawadar, Peshawar, Sialkot, Multan, Rahim Yar Khan, and Faisalabad. Other ways of getting inside the country are by train (there are rail links with India and Iran), by car (via the Grand Trunk Road and the Silk Road which runs through the country and into the Indian subcontinent; China via Karakoram Highway; and Afghanistan via Khyber Pass and Bolan Pass), and by bus from India, China, or Iran.
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