Basic Information

Official name Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Other names in use Pakistan 
Area (1) Total: 796,096  
HKH Part: 404,195 (51%)
Population (mid 2007) (2) Total: 169.30 millions 
HKH Part: 39.36 millions (23%)
Capital city Islamabad 
Major cities

Islamabad, Karachi, Quetta, Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Gujranwala, Hyderabad

Nationality  Pakistani
Currency   Rupee
Official languages Urdu and English
National day 14th August
International dialling code 92
Sources: (1) Banskota, M., Sharma, P., 1994, Development of Poor Mountain Areas, ICIMOD; (2) Estimated based on data and information from Population Reference Bureau, 2007 World Population Data Sheet and Banskota, m. 2004. The Hindu Kush-Himalayas: Searching for Viable Socioeconomic and Environmental Options, pp. 57-105, In: Banskota et al. (eds.) “Growth, Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Resource Management in the Mountain Areas of South Asia, ICIMOD, Nepal.

Major Mountain peaks

  • K2 (8,611 m)
  • Nanga Parbat (8,125 m)
  • Gasherbrum I (8,068 m)
  • Broad Peak (8,047 m)
  • Gasherbrum II (8,035 m)

Selected international agreements and conventions related to climate and environment

Agreement/Convention Status -Date
Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer (Vienna Convention) -1988 Accession - 18 December 1992
Convention on Biological Diversity Signed - 05 June 1992
Ratified - 26 July 1994
The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety Signed - 04 June 2001
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Accession - 20 April 1976
Entry into force - 19 July 1976
Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals Entry into force - 01 December 1987
Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (Basel Convention) - 1992 Accession - 26 July 1994
Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar Convention) Entry into force - 23 November 1976
Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa - 1994 Signed - 15 October 1994
Ratified - 24 February 1997
Entry into force - 25 May 1997
International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture -2001 Accession - 02 September 2003
International Plant Protection Convention - 1952 Ratified - 10 November 1954
Plant protection Agreement for the Asia and the Pacific Region - 1956 Adherence - 08 January 1958
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea Signed - 10 December 1982
Ratified - 26 February 1997
Male Declaration on Control and Prevention of Air Pollution and its Likely Transboundary Effects for South Asia Endorsed - April 1998
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Signed - 13 June 1992
Ratified - 01 June 1994
Entry into force - 30 August 1994
Kyoto Protocol Accession - 11 January 2005
Entry into force - 11 April 2005


GDP per capita US $ 2,370 (2007)
Source: Human Development Report 2007/2008, United Nations Development Programme,

Major agricultural products 
Cotton, wheat, rice, sugarcane, maize, tobacco, fruits, and vegetables, in addition to milk, beef, mutton, and eggs

Major Industries

Chemical, electrical, machinery, fertilisers, steel, sugar, textile, tobacco

Geography / Geopolitics
Altitude range
Lowest point: 0 m (Indian Ocean)
Highest point: 8,611 m [K2 (Mt. Godwin-Austen)]

Major agro-climatic zones

Pakistan has a continental panorama with magnificent mountain ranges, plateaus (Potohar), deserts (Thar and Thal), plains (Punjab), rivers, lakes and the Arabian Sea. The Himalayan, Karakoram, Hindukush, Suleman and Salt ranges are some of the most renowned mountain ranges in the world with K-2 (second to Mount Everest), Nanga Parbat and Tirich Meer as some of the highest peaks in the world. FIve of the 14 highest peaks in the world are situated in Pakistan. Pakistan boasts the densest concentration of high mountains in the world, with 82 peaks over 7000 m (23,000 feet) within a radius of 180 km (112 miles). The Himalayas and Karakoram rose to the heights when the northward drifting Indian geological plate collided with the Asia plate, its northern edge nosing under the Asian plate and pushing up the mountains, still causing the mountains to rise 7 millimeters a year.

Pakistan enjoys a considerable measure of variety. The north and north-western high mountain ranges are extremely cold in winter while the summer months from April to September are very pleasant. The vast plains of the Indus Valley are extremely hot in summer and have cold weather in winter. The coastal strip in the south has a temperate climate. There is general deficiency in rainfall. In the plains the annual average rainfall ranges from 13 cm in the northern parts of the lower Indus plains to 89 cm in the Himalayan region. Rains are monsoonal in origin and fall late in summer. Average rainfall is 76 cm per annum.

Natural hazards
Frequent earthquakes, occasionally severe especially in north and west; flooding along the Indus after heavy rains (July and August)

Major environmental issues
Water pollution from raw sewage, industrial wastes, and agricultural runoff; limited natural fresh water resources; most of the population does not have access to potable water; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification


Major ethnic groups
Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashtun (Pathan), Baloch, Muhajir

Major religions
Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Parsi

Major languages
Punjabi, Sindhi, Pushto, Balochi

Major festivals
Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Azha, Sibe Festival, Basant Mela, Chiraghan, Nauroze

Country Office

ICIMOD-Pakistan Country Office
WRRI/NARC Premises
Park Road, Islamabad, Pakistan

Abdul Wahid Jasra
Country Representative
Phone: 92-51-9255003, 8443660, 8443661
Fax: 92-51-9255005

Focal Ministry/Institution

Ministry of National Food Security and Research
Islamabad, Pakistan

Mr Seerat Asghar
Tel: 92-51-9203307, 9210351
Fax: 92-51-9206689