Pakistan

Geographical Importance of Pakistan in the World

Geogrpahy of Pakistan and its Importance

Geography is the study of exploring and understanding place and space-recognizing and studying political systems, differentiating various cultures, landscapes, climates,s, and environments across the world, and also understanding the linkage between them.

Geography also helps in bringing and connecting different fields of knowledge. Actually, geography is a broad term, in which there is education and understanding for life and living. The study of geography makes people environmentally and socially sensitive, making them responsible and sensible citizens.

The study of geography helps people to understand the material world, like, water, land, air, and ecology. It also gives a better understanding of the human environment, like communities, and societies. The study of geography also comprises cultural and social issues and also ethics and moral values.

Geographical attributes of one’s country play a crucial role as they assure not only many more opportunities and benefits to avail but also bring some risks and threats to evade.

What are Geographical Features?

Geographical formations or geographical features are basically the components of a planet that are shown up on the map and referred to as geographical locations, areas, sites, or regions. There are abstract geographic features, natural geographic features, and also there are artificial geographic regions on Earth.

Natural geographic features include land-forms (bodies of water and terrain types) and ecosystems (natural units composed of biotic factors). Abstract geographic features are the cartographic features and politically designated areas while artificial geographic features include, engineered constructs (highways, dams, and bridges) and settlements.

Geography of Pakistan

Pakistan geographically has a land of plains wide, mountain ranges around the country, wide deserts, and a coastal belt in its legacy.

“Pakistan is a South Asian country and is located between 24 and 35.5 North latitudes and between 61 and 75.5 east latitudes on the world map in such a way that it connects South Asia with the South West Asia region. In the east, Pakistan borders India, in the west with Afghanistan and Iran, and with China in the northeast. While there is the Arabian Sea on the southern border of Pakistan.”

The total surface area of Pakistan is 796,095sq. km. The total land border of Pakistan is 6,774 km long and it links the borders of four other countries Pakistan is surrounded by land area on three sides while on the fourth side there is the Arabian Sea.

International Boundaries of Pakistan

Overview of Neighboring Countries of Pakistan, Neighboring countries of Pakistan are:

Pakistan and Afghanistan

Pakistan shares its North-West border with Afghanistan which has a length of about 2,250 km long. Pakistan connects with neighboring countries with strategically vital gateways. Pakistan and Afghanistan are connected by a very famous gateway, Khyber Pass.

Durand Line is the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan that came into existence after the agreement between Afghanistan and British Empire in November 1983. It got its name after Sir Mortimer Durand —a foreign secretary, appointed by the government of  British India to sort out issues including borderline issues.

Pakistan and India

Pakistan shares its East border with India and it has a length of almost 2915 km. There is a strategically important pass between India and Pakistan, called Redcliffe which was announced as an official border on 17th August 1947. It was named Redcliffe as it was established by Sir Redcliffe, the chairman of the commission of the Indo-Pak boundary.

Wagah Border, situated between the two cities Amritsar of India and Lahore of Pakistan has significant importance as it is the only road border between Pakistan and India. From Wagah, a Redcliffe line is drawn that separates Pakistan and India.

Pakistan and China

Pakistan shares its north border with China which has a length of 600 km and there is a Khujrab Pass that connects these two countries. The border that connects Pakistan and China is also called Sino-Pak Border.

Concerning the borderline, many agreements are signed between Pakistan and China in the duration of 1961 to 1965 and the famous Sino-Pakistan Frontier Agreement was signed in 1963 in which the two countries agreed to build a border between them.

There is a very friendly relationship between the two countries and China assists and favors Pakistan in most of its developmental projects and many of the projects are currently working in Pakistan with the financial assistance of China.

Pakistan and Iran

On the West side, Pakistan shares a border with Iran that is about 900 km in length. The border between Iran and Pakistan is called Gold Simth Line and also the Pakistan-Iran Barrier. Between the west border, Koh-i-Tuftan is a strategically very important location.

Recently, a concrete wall that is about 3ft. thick and 10ft. high is under construction as a bordering fence between Pakistan and Iran. But the people of Balochistan oppose the construction of this wall as it would hinder them from accessing the lands that are present on the Iran and Pakistan border.

The Arabian Sea

On the south side, Pakistan shares its border with the Arabian Sea which is about 700 km in length..The largest river in Pakistan, the River Indus, drains into the Arabian Sea.

The Arabian Sea plays a very significant role in the economic development of Pakistan as it provides the main trade route connecting Pakistan with many other countries. It is a very important border as the two main hubs of trade, Gwadar Port and Karachi, are located on this border. The city of Karachi is the port city of Pakistan that conducts trade.

Geographically, Pakistan has a very ideal location on the world map, and due to this Pakistan is a very important country and is also called the Gateway to Central AsiaThe strategic location of Pakistan is significant for trade and also it provides a very ideal way for china and provides a connection between many other countries in the world as it connects China and also many other Muslim countries like Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Kamani, Uzbekistanistan, etc.

Another significant thing about Pakistan is that in the whole Islamic world, Pakistan is the only nuclear power. Due to this Pakistan is very famous and has a very strong position in the Muslim world.

The Strategic Importance of the geography of Pakistan is as follows;

The proximity of the Great Powers

The central strategic significance of Pakistan’s Geography is that Pakistan is in proximity to great powers. It is actually located at the junction of the world’s mighty powers. Great powers like Russia and China are their neighboring countries. Its significance is enhanced by the alliances among the world powers. Pakistan has been taking advantage of this factor since 9/11. The two central interests of the United States are security and business while Pakistan is also playing a vital role in wars against terrorism.

Pakistan has always been playing a front-line role in the safeguarding of human rights and rigorously rights for their protection. In Waziristan, there is an ongoing operation that targets the suspected Taliban. Pakistan is either directly or indirectly involved in al-Qaeda operations.

Gateway to Central Asia

Pakistan has gained significant geographical importance as it is the gateway to central Asia. In the west of Pakistan, there are Afghanistan and Central Asian countries like Kazakstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikstan, Kerghezistan, and Turkmenistan. They are very rich in natural resources like oil and gas, but they don’t have their own sea for the shipping service of these resources. They have to pass through the land of  Pakistan to reach the sea for transportation.

The western world hunts for valuable natural resources like oil and energy in Central Asia as they are blessed with them. Pakistan’s location is very favorable as it lies close to the Middle Eastern countries that are rich in natural resources. Thus Pakistan affects the shipment of oil as it lies in the passage of oil-rich countries belt from Iran to Saudi Arabia.

Pakistan serves as a gateway for the energy-lacking countries like China and India to reach energy-rich countries mainly Afghanistan and Iran. China uses the Karakoram highway of Pakistan to reach the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. In this way, Pakistan’s geographical location gets significance and is a source of high economic gains.

Linking the Chain of Muslim Countries

Another geographical importance of Pakistan is that it is located in the hub of Islamic countries and serves as an important link connecting the chain of Muslim countries. Pakistan is an active participant in the Muslim World activities including combating terrorism, and raising voices for human rights,s and also has a key role in the transportation of resources and economic development.

Only Muslim Country having Nuclear Power

Pakistan has a distinctive status in the Muslim world as it is the only Muslim country having nuclear power. This distinction widely influences socio-economic and political activities in the region.

China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

China Pakistan Economic Corridor or CPEC is actually a network of roads that connects Pakistan and China through the Gawadar Port. It provides Pakistan with vast energy and trade opportunities. It is the most important and sweetest fruit of Pakistan’s geographical location. Pakistan and China have vast economic gains through CPEC.

China always stands by Pakistan in difficult situations. There are many developmental plans currently operating in Pakistan with the help of China. China also favors Pakistan in its defensive role.

Pakistan Shares Coastal Borders with Oman

In 2000, under an agreement between Pakistan and Oman, they settled their maritime. It’s Pakistan’s geographical significance that Pakistan can enjoy underwater energy resources of its brotherly country Oman by sharing Maritime Boundary.

The Persian Gulf and Pars Gas Field

Pakistan has quick access to the Oman Gulf through its Gawadar Port. The gulf of Oman extends to the Persian Gulf surrounded by Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iran, and Iraq. Pakistan has access to all these energy-rich countries via Gawadar Port which has access to the Persian Gulf. Qatar and Iran share the Pars Gas Filed which is the world’s largest energy reservoir. Pakistan can access it due to the Persian Gulf. As Pakistan is suffering from energy lackage for years, its geographic importance increases as it has strong links with such energy-rich mega fields.

Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline

Iran-Pakistan Pipeline is also famous as Peace Pipeline which enhances Pakistan’s geographical significance. It was started in 2013 but due to many controversies, it is still not under operation. But there are good signs for the future of this project.

Geographic Regions of Pakistan

There are three primary geographic regions of Pakistan which are as follows;

  • Northern Highlands
  • Indus River Plain
  • Baluchistan Plateau

Some geographers also define Afghanistan’s western border as a separate region from the Baluchistan plateau. And the Thar Desert which lies towards the South of the Sutlej River and is situated on the Indian’s Eastern border is also sometimes considered separate from the Indus Plain.

Pakistan is divided into three halves by imaginary lines. One of them stretches along the Khyber Pass towards the East, and another is extended southwest from Islamabad and runs downwards from the middle of the country.

In the North of this imaginary east-west line, there are northern highlands. Towards the west of imaginary southwest line, there lies the Baluchistan Plateau. In the east of this southwest imaginary line, there is Indus Plain.

The Northern Highlands

In the Northern Highlands of Pakistan, there exist, the Karakoram Range, the Himalaya Range, and the parts of the Hindu Kush. The most famous and the highest peak of Pakistan—K2 (also known as Mount Godwin Austen, having a height of 8,611 meters and is the world’s second-largest peak after Mount Everest) Is found in this region. This highest peak lies in the Karakoram Range and that’s why, it got the name Karakoram-2 as K-2.

Because of the harsh climate and mountainous geography, the roads are rocky, and travel across this region is very risky and arduous. Due to this reason, for traveling into Pakistan the Himalayas and Northern Highlands are significant impediments.

On the western edge of Sindh, there are Kirthar and Sulaiman ranges, as well as the Safed Koh ranges, which define this western edge. These mountain ranges reside in the west of the Indus River plain and in the south of the Northern Highlands.

The lower parts of the northern highlands are arid while the areas in the north are not much arid. These areas run across the province of Baluchistan in the southwest. At the Afghan border, many passes are made by cutting the hills such, as the Khyber Pass, which is about forty kilometers towards the west of Peshawar and runs to Kabul. The Kojak Pass, in Baluchistan, is located about 80 kilometers northwest of Quetta. Broghol Pass, situated in the north leading towards the Wakhan Corridor.

For Agricultural purposes, only one-fifth of the total of Pakistan’s land is suitable as having fertile soil. Although all the cultivable land is fully yielded, the overall product is low as regards the international; standards.

The areas like, southern deserts, western plateaus, and northern highlands have a small amount of cultivation. In Pakistan, the highly fertile and arable areas are northern Sindh and the Indus River basins in the province of Punjab.

The Indus Plain

The word, Indus is a derivation of the Sanskrit language, which means ocean. It is formed by the combination of words like India, Sindh, and Hindu. River Indus is one of the largest rivers in the world. It flows through India and Punjab and rises about 160 kilometers above the Sutlej River.

The significance of the Indus river is that it receives water from all the rivers of Pakistan (mainly, Kabul, Chenab, and Jhelum) as it has a large catchment area of about 1 million sq. kilometers.

The Indus Plain is very fertile and alluvial as it is produced by the water and sediments of the Indus River. For about 5,000 years, agricultural civilizations have resided on this plain.

Balochistan

Balochistan is located on the southwestern border, the Iranian plateau’s eastern border, central and South Asia. According to the area, it is the largest geographical area(347,190km2 or 134,051 square miles) in Pakistan, but it is a low-populated area due to unpaved and rugged paths and lack of water.

As it accounts for about 48% of the total land area of Pakistan, it is the largest of all provinces in Pakistan. Makran is the southern region of Baluchistan province while Kalat is the central area of this region. The northeast part of Balochistan is defined by the Sulaiman mountains, while for the entrance into Afghanistan from Kandahar, there is a natural entry point, Bolan Pass.

The Kharan desert in the Balochistan province is the largest desert and covers most of the area of the Kharan district. Towards the south of Balochistan, there is the city of Quetta which is a deserted landscape and a sparsely populated city. In this province, the livable cities are located near rivers and streams to meet the water need.

In the area surrounding Quetta, earthquakes are very occasional and in 1931 and 1935, very powerful earthquakes hit Quetta city and devastated everything there thousands of individuals become its victims and died. These earthquakes cause much disturbance in this region.

Regular tremors in the region around Quetta shake its foundations and in October 2008 a powerful earthquake, killed about 30,000 people. In the villages of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and in Kohistan, these mighty earthquakes ruin the life of people and cause extensive damage.

Traditional Geographical Importance of Pakistan

The traditional geographical importance of Pakistan can be defined in the following ways;

  • The northwestern border of Pakistan has access to the CARs (Central Asia Republics). These regions are very rich in natural resources and thus can be exploited. If Wakhan (a small region of Afghanistan) is used as a transit route, that lies between Tajikistan and Pakistan, then would give the advantage of international trading.
  • In order to trade with this country (an oil-rich country), Pakistan’s southwestern border that connects Iran is very important.
  • The eastern border of Pakistan that connects India is less utilized as compared to its great potential. If both countries become successful in solving the primary problems (e.g. Kashmir Issue) between them, then it would prove a very beneficial trade route for Pakistan with India.
  • Pakistan’s northern border is best yielded as it ensures a beautiful friendly relationship between China and Pakistan due to which many developmental programs are operating in Pakistan with the assistance of China. This border provides a key channel for the entrance of Chinese goods into Pakistan.
  • Pakistan has the significance of being the world’s seventh most powerful country while in the Islamic world, it is a lone nuclear state.
  • Pakistan has the central geographic position in the Islamic block, running from Indonesia (in the east) and leading towards Morocco which is in the West.
  • Pakistan is famous worldwide due to its strong canal irrigation system and also due to agricultural fields.
  • As far as the army of Pakistan is concerned, Pakistan is named six having the most powerful and equipped army which performs the duties of rehabilitation, and spreading peace all around the world.

What is the Geo-strategic importance of Pakistan?

The importance and significance of a country due to its geographical location are known as the Geo-strategic significance of Pakistan. Pakistan is located in Southern Asia and thus connects South Asia and West Asia, performing the role of a bridge. It has a very significant political, economic, and strategic location.

For the past twenty years, Pakistan has been the hub of great strategic and economic activities. Geo-strategic importance of one’s country plays a more vital role than we think. Stephen Philip Cohen ( an American Political scientist) rightly describes the geo-strategic importance of Pakistan as he says;

“While history has been unkind to Pakistan, its geography has been its greatest benefit. It has a resource-rich area in the northwest, people rich in the northeast”

Pakistan provides a link between resource-efficient countries and resource-deficient countries i.e it serves as a bridge between West Asia, South Asia, and Central Asia. After, COVID-19, the world is facing an extreme pandemic and terrorism. The Gwadar Port which is significant due to CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor), provides a route for the transportation of goods.

Jinnah International Airport also has a very unique location with concern to cargo flights. The countries that are away from the sea, or don’t have their own sea for the transportation of cargo, use the Arabian Sea which is on the border of Pakistan. As Afghanistan has no sea and thus uses the TOREKHAM border with Pakistan for trading. Pakistan also provides the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Supply services.

What is the importance of the Location of Pakistan within the continent of Asia?

Allah Almighty has blessed Pakistan with the best geographical location due to which it has become a significant player generally in the whole world and particularly in South Asia. The geographical and topical features of Pakistan and its specificity to having access to the Arabian Sea (its warm waters) have made it attractive and uniquely appealing to worldwide players not only in the past but also in the present and future.

Pakistan is now making very good use of its dormant and unique strategic relevance that is built only due to its geographical location. Now Pakistan has realized that be best used as geo-economic importance and income other than geostrategic significance, and it is due to this region that Pakistan offers regional connectivity to not only the countries that lie in the region but also that lie beyond.

For the sake of geo-strategic reasons, the worldwide players are attracted by Pakistan’s geo-strategic location within the continent of Asia. If Pakistan becomes successful in indeed maintaining its strategic relevance and providing a transnational corridor to the regional as well as extra-regional states, it would make Pakistan highly significant among the whole world both economically and strategically.

What are the Three Most Important Geographical Facts about Pakistan?

The three most important and fantastic facts about the geography of Pakistan are as follows;

  • In terms of area, Pakistan is the 33rd largest country in the world and as far as the population is concerned, it is about 225 million.
  • Allah Almighty has blessed Pakistan with about 108 peaks that are more than 7000 meters in height. The highest peak in Pakistan is K-2, which is 8,611 meters high. K-2 is located on the second highest mountain in the world, Mount Godwin Austen.
  • Indus is the longest river in Pakistan that has a length of about 3,180 km. It starts from Tibey and finally flows in Karachi, in the Arabian Sea.

What is the geography and climate of Pakistan?

According to the geography of Pakistan, four climatic regions and zones are formed. These climatic regions are as follows;

  • Highland Climate
  • Low Land Climate
  • Arid/Desert Climate
  • Coastal/Maritime Climate

Highland Climate

Highland climate actually refers to the climate of the regions having high altitudes such as north-western, northern, and western highlands.

Some main features of this climatic zone are as follows;

  • Cold, snowy, and long winters with freezing temperatures.
  • Short, mild, and wet summers are usually in the Nothern mountains whereas in the western mountains, warm and dry summers.
  • Because of more height, more rainfall in northern mountains but less in western mountains as they are low in altitude.
  • Moving from north to south, temperature decreases.

Low Land Climate

Low land climate refers to the climatic conditions of the Indus plain in Sindh and Punjab.

The significant features of this zone are as follows;

  • The summer season is extremely hot and arid.
  • In July and August (the summer months), Monsoon rainfall occurs.
  • Thunderstorms occur on the northwest and north side of the Indus plain.
  • There is less rainfall.

Arid Climate

Arid or desert climate is found in the regions of Cholistan, Kharan, Thar, and Thal deserts that are in different parts of Pakistan.

The significant features of this zone are as follows;

  • Summer days are extremely hot and dry and hot winds (loo) blow all across the region, while the evening is cold.
  • During Monsoons, the Thar desert receives little rainfall.
  • From May to September, the dusty wind blows in the deserts.
  • Winters are cold and have a minimum temperature, of 4 degree Celsius.
  • In winter, there is less rainfall.

Coastal Climate

It refers to the climate of areas that lie in the coastal strip of Pakistan that include; Karachi, Makran Coast, Thatta, Run of Kutch, Indus Delta, etc.

  • Throughout the year, the sea breeze blow.
  • In the east, from the Thar desert, the warm wind blows.
  • There is a very high humidity level.
  • There is less rainfall and occurs due to monsoon winds.
  • Due to the Western depression winds (that blow from Mediterranean Sea), the Makran coast, receive some rainfall.

What are the natural resources in Pakistan?

Allah Almighty has blessed Pakistan with abundant natural resources that play a significant contribution to the economical development of Pakistan. The geographic location of Pakistan also plays a role in its development as Pakistan is a land rich in mineral resources and other countries linking with Pakistan due to its geo-strategic location yield this benefit from Pakistan.

Pakistan’s neighboring country China is very interested in investing in Pakistan so that is can benefit from its natural resources. It is very beneficial for Pakistan as the investment of China increases the job opportunities in Pakistan. As a result of international trading with neighboring countries of Pakistan, not only there is employment growth but also boosts the overall economy of Pakistan.

In Pakistan, due to its geo-strategic significance, many massive projects are working that are skillfully utilizing natural resources. One example is, CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor). For the construction of this project, water, energy, power plants, coal, etc. are used.

Natural Resources and Geo-Strategic importance of Pakistan

Pakistan is blessed land as it is rich in natural resources and it is the country’s geo-strategic location that is an economic hub for all the other countries that lie near it and those who are poor in natural resources and thus are interested in utilizing Pakistan’s natural resources and to establish business terms with it.

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan in South Asia has the significance of owning a coastline on the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman that is  650 miles in length and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran on the west, India on the East, and China on the northeast.  Strategically, Pakistan is placed between South Asia, the Middle East, and Central Asia and thus it has an ideal location.

Natural Resources in Pakistan that have vast reserves are,

  • Mineral oil
  • Coal
  • Natural Gas
  • Forest
  • Water
  • Uranium
  • Land
  • Air
  • Iron Ore
  • Gypsum
  • Copper
  • Salt
  • Marble
  • Chromite
  • Limelight, etc.

Among other precious minerals, Pakistan mines, ruby, emerald, topaz, etc.

The industries that use the highest percentage of natural resources in Pakistan are the medicine industry, textile industry, food processing industry, fertilizer industry, paper industry, construction material industry, etc.

FAQs

What is the study of Geography about?

Geography actually connects place and space. It is the study of the relationship between places, the people residing over there, and the environment at that place. Geographers hits on studying and exploring both Earth and its physical properties along with the human societies that are populated at that piece of Earth’s surface. Geographers also study and examine the interaction of human cultures with the natural environments and how these places and locations affect the life of people.

How is Pakistan geographically significant?

Pakistan is geographically unique and significant as it has a vast, flat Indus plain (The Indus river, one of the world’s largest rivers is found in this plain) in its east whereas, in its west, there is Balochistan’s plateau which diversifies the geography of Pakistan. Additionally, one of the world’s highest mountain ranges, the Karakoram range (the world’s second-largest mountain K-2 is found in this range) is located in the north and northwest of Pakistan’s geography.

What is the geography and climate of Pakistan?

Geographically, Pakistan is located in a temperate zone. As, Pakistan has diversified geography, in the same way, its climate is also very diverse according to the regions. i.e. it has a diverse topography as scorching and dry in the coastal areas, lowland plains, and also along the Indus river. However, in the northern areas, Himalayas and uplands, there is a gradually cooler climate.

In which zone, Pakistan is located, geographically?

Geographically, Pakistan is located in a dynamic zone.

What is the geographical importance of Pakistan?

Pakistan has great significance and importance due to its incredible and unique geographical features and it is amongst one of the few countries in the whole world that have such a strategic physical and critical location.

Allah Almighty has bestowed Pakistan with diverse and vast plains, mighty mountains, arid and droughty deserts, lavish green valleys and beautiful flushing lakes, and coastal areas and rivers.

On the eastern border, Pakistan shares the Redcliffe line with India and on the northern side, Pakistan shares a Sino-Pak border with China.

Wrap up

The geographical Importance of Pakistan has great significance not only in South Asia but also in the whole world. It is rich in natural and mineral resources. Pakistan not only itself gets adorable economic advantages from its ideal location but also assists other neighboring countries whether they are transportation facilities or other security advantages. The Arabian Sea and access to gulf countries make Pakistan’s location strategically more significant.

Eisha Siddiqui

Eisha Siddiqui; A passionate researcher and a specialized current affairs' analyst whose focal point is to provide the best researched data on every upcoming event in Pakistan and enjoys exploring outstanding outcomes by deep analystic strategies.

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