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The Punjab (Shahmukhi: ) is a province of Pakistanmarker. It is the country's most populous region with about 56% of Pakistan's total population. The Punjab is home to the Punjabis and various other groups. Neighbouring areas are Sindhmarker to the south, Balochistanmarker and the North-West Frontier Provincemarker to the west, Pakistan-administered Kashmirmarker, Islamabadmarker to the north, and the Republic of Indiamarker to the east and Indian-administered Kashmirmarker to the north-east. The main languages are the Punjabi, Urdu, Saraiki, Mewati, Potowari and Pashto. The provincial capital is Lahoremarker. The name Punjab literally translates from the Persian words Pañj ( ) , meaning Five, and Āb ( ) meaning Water. Thus Punjab can be translated as (the) Five Waters - and hence the Land of the Five Rivers, referring to the Jhelummarker, Chenabmarker, Ravimarker, Sutlejmarker and the Indusmarker per ce. These five rivers are all the tributaries of the Indus Rivermarker. The province was founded in its current form in May 1972.


Former Administrative Divisions of Punjab
Punjab is Pakistan's second largest province at 205,344 km² (79,284 mi²) after Balochistanmarker and is located at the northwestern edge of the geologic Indian plate in South Asia. The provincial level-capital and main city of the Punjab is Lahore which has been the historical capital of the region. Other important cities include Multanmarker, Faisalabadmarker, Sialkotmarker, Gujranwalamarker, Jhelummarker and Rawalpindimarker. The province is home to six rivers: the Indusmarker, Beas, Sutlejmarker, Chenabmarker, Jhelummarker, Ravimarker. Nearly 60% of Pakistan's population lives in the Punjab. It is the nation's only province that touches Balochistanmarker, North-West Frontier Provincemarker, Sindhmarker, Pakistan administered Kashmir and Indian occupied Kashmirmarker, and contains the federal enclavemarker of the national capital city at Islamabadmarker. 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 Pakistanmarker's other important provinces and territories. In the acronym P-Amarker-Kmarker-Imarker-Smarker-T-A-Nmarker, the Pmarker 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 the Sulaiman Range. The region contains the Thar and Cholistan deserts. The Indus Rivermarker 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 Himalayasmarker are found in the extreme north as well.


Most areas in Punjab experience fairly cool winters, often accompanied by rain. By mid-February the temperature begins to rise; springtime weather 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 Multanmarker in June 1993, when the mercury was reported to have risen to 54°C. In August the oppressive heat is punctuated by the rainy 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.

Demographics and society

Historical populations
Census Population Urban Rural

1951 20,540,762 3,568,076 16,972,686
1961 25,463,974 5,475,922 19,988,052
1972 37,607,423 9,182,695 28,424,728
1981 47,292,441 13,051,646 34,240,795
1998 73,621,290 23,019,025 50,602,265
2009 81,593,586
The population of the province is estimated to be 81,593,586 in 2009 and is home to over half the population of Pakistanmarker. The major language spoken in the Punjab is Punjabi (which is written in a Shahmukhi script in Pakistan) and Punjabis comprise 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 heterogeneous group comprising different tribes and communities, although the different castes in Pakistani Punjab has more to do with traditional occupations such as blacksmiths or artisans as opposed to rigid social stratifications.

The most important tribes within Punjab include the Punjabi Rajputs, the Awansmarker, Gakhars, the Gujjars, the Jats (see also List of Jat Clans of West Punjab), the Dogar, the Arain, the Punjabi Shaikhs (other name of Pakistani Punjabi Khatris), the Kamboh, and the Syeds. Other smaller tribes are the Khateek, Maliar, Rawns, Pashtuns, Baloch, Rehmanis ( Muslim Labana) and the Maliks. Other smaller ethnic groups in the province include the Siraiki, Hindko, Kashmiris, Sindhis, and Muhajirs. Three decades of bloodshed in neighbouring Afghanistanmarker have brought a large number of Afghan refugees (Tajik, Pashtun, Hazara and Turkmen) 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 majority and Shia minority. The largest non-Muslim minority is Christians, who make up 2.31% of the poulation. Other minorites include Ahmedi, Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis and Bahá'í

The dialects spoken in different regions of the land have a common vocabulary and a shared heritage. The shared heritage also extends to a common faith, Islam. The people of Punjab have also a shared spiritual experience, which has been disseminated by Tassawwaf and can be witnessed on the occasion of the remembrance-fairs held on the Urs of Sufi Saints.


Ancient History

The main site of the Indus Valley Civilization in Punjab was the city of Harrapamarker. The Indus Valley Civilization spanned much of what is today Pakistan and eventually evolved into Indo-Aryan civilization. The arrival of the Indo-Aryans led to the flourishing of the Vedic Civilization along the length of the Indus Rivermarker. This civilization shaped subsequent cultures in South Asia and Afghanistanmarker. Although the archaeological site at Harappa was partially damaged in 1857 when engineers constructing the Lahore-Multan railroad used brick from the Harappa 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, Kushans and Hindu Shahi. Agriculture flourished and trading cities (such as Multanmarker and Lahoremarker) grew in wealth.

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, Persianmarker, Central Asian, Islamic, Afghan, Sikh, and Britishmarker elements. The city of Taxilamarker, founded by son of Taksh the son Bharat who was the brother of Ram. It was reputed to house the oldest university in the world, Takshashila Universitymarker, 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, and revered for its archaeological and religious history.

Greeks, Central Asians, and Persians

Unique to Pakistani Punjab was that this area was briefly conquered into various central Asian, Greek and Persian empires: after the bloody victories of Alexander the Great, Mahmud of Ghazni and Tamerlane. These were periods of contact between this region of Pakistan and the Persian Empire and all the way to Greece. In later centuries, when Persian was the language of the Mughal government, Persian architecture, poetry, art and music was an integral part of the region's culture. The official language of Punjab remained Persian until the arrival of the British in the mid 19th century, where it was finally abolished and the administrative language was changed over to English. After 1947, Urdu, which has Persian and Sanskrit roots, became Pakistan's national language (Zaban-e-Qaum).

Arrival of Islam

The Punjabis followed a diverse plethora of faiths mainly Hindus but with large minorities of Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Pagans and Shamanists when the Umayyad Muslim Arab army led by Muhammad bin Qasim conquered the Punjab and Sindh in 711.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 Afghanistanmarker.


The Mughals controlled the region from 1524 until 1739 and would also lavish the province with building projects such as the Shalimar Gardensmarker and the Badshahi Mosquemarker, 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, the Shah of Iran and founder of the Afsharid dynasty in Persiamarker, Nader Shah crossed the Indusmarker and sacked the province in 1739. Later, the Afghanmarker conqueror Ahmad Shah Durrani, incidently born in Panjab, in the city of Multanmarker made the Punjab a part of his Durrani Empire lasting until 1762.


The founder of Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah Durrani, an ethnic Pashtun (Afghan), was born on the outskirts of Multanmarker, 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 united Afghan Kingdom (Greater Afghanistan) that during its greatest extent included modern-day Afghanistan, Pakistan and northeastern Iran. The Punjab 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 continue to live in Pakistan's Punjab province such as the Khugyanis known as Khakwanis, Alizais, Tareens, Durranis, Mullazaismarker, Niazis, Khattaks,yousafzais,sadozais,tahirkheli,utmanzais,bangash,mashwani, Lodhis, Kakars, Kakazais, and Barakzais to name a few.


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 a confederacy, which later became the Sikh Empire of the Punjab under Maharaja Ranjit Singh. A denizen of the city of Gujranwalamarker, 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 Lahore and 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 Punjab to 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 Punjabmarker and East Punjab. The western Punjabis voted to join the new country of Pakistanmarker while the easterners joined 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 Sikhs and Hindus 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 Hindusmarker migrated to Indiamarker. Punjabi Muslims were uprooted similarly from their homes in East Punjab which now forms part of India.

Of the total estimated figure of 7 million plus who moved to West Pakistan, over five million settled in Punjab.

The West Punjabi Sikh and Hindu refugees who moved to Indiamarker leaving their ancient home lands in Punjab (Pakistan) belonged to various sub groups, clans, tribes, castes and also linguistic groups. This includes Khatris, Tarkhans, Rajputs, Jats, Gujjars, Kambojs, Mohyals, Mazhabis, as well as others such as the linguistically distinct Multanis. The Punjabi tribes having Indo-Scythian origin(Tarkhan, Khatri, Jat, Gujjar, Kamboj, Rajput) are found as a majority in Punjab. A unique feature among Punjabis of different faiths Sikh, Muslim and Hindu hailing from the area which now forms the Punjab (Pakistan) is the enduring affinities to sub grouping and clans cutting across religious lines. Consequently these Punjabis of Pakistanmarker, despite having left the country, continue to share common surnames and tribal affiliations with their parent tribes and lands left behind. This includes surnames such as Sahi,Awan, Kahlon,Khokhar,Nanda, Duggal, Sethi, Suri, Bajwa, Sahgal, Sial, Bagga, Panesar, Bhatti, Ghumman, Sandhu, Tiwana, Wahi clan, Purimarker, Vohra, Toor, Kohli, Bakshi, Bhogal, Matharu, Virk, Virdi, Handa, Dhillon, Sindhumarker, Sidhu, Sohal, Tarar, Waraich, Grewal, Dhodi, Deol, Cheema, Oberoi, Tandon, Wasser, Warar, Maan, Johal, Bains , Sehdev, Brar, Shergill, Gill , Boparai, Dhand, Bahri,Bandechha,Bindra, Maitla, Kang, Randhawa, Sial, Dhariwal, Hanjra, Sabharwal, Bassi, Gujral, Sahota, Malhotra, Mehra, Chatwal, Sarna, Khanna, Chopra, Bhambra, Nagi, Chadhar, Bhalla, Anand, Chandhok, Basur, Johar, Kochhar, Bhasin, Sodhi, Bedi, Ghai, Jolly, Tuli, Talwar, Nayar , Sobti, Alagh, Khullar, Bhullar, Bhogal, Chadhha, Bhurjee(Bhurji), Bal, Mehta (Khatri), Gulla, Passi , Uppal (Khatri), Marwah, Hunjan, Chaudhry(Khatri) etc. In recent years, many of these refugees have been able to visit their ancestral homelands.

Recent history

Punjab Assembly Building
Since the 1950s, Punjab industrialized rapidly. New factories came up in Lahoremarker, Multanmarker, Sialkotmarker. In the 1960s the new city of Islamabadmarker was built near Rawalpindimarker.

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 neighbouring India, there was no large-scale redistribution of agricultural land. As a result most rural areas are dominated by a small set of land-owning families.

Old style Punjabi home in a village
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 Pakistan seceded and became Bangladeshmarker, Punjab again became a province.

Punjab witnessed major battles between the armies of India and Pakistan in the wars of 1965 and 1971. Since the 1990s Punjab hosted several key sites of Pakistan's nuclear program such as Kahutamarker. It also hosts major military bases such as at Sargodhamarker and Rawalpindimarker. 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 Wagahmarker border are now starting to become common. Indian Sikh pilgrims visit holy sites such as Nankana Sahibmarker.

Starting in the 1980s large numbers of Punjabis migrated to the Middle East, Britainmarker, Spainmarker, Canadamarker and the United Statesmarker for economic opportunities. Business and cultural ties between the United Statesmarker and Punjab are growing.

Provincial government


There are 36 districts in Punjab, Pakistan.


Punjab has always contributed the most to the national economy of Pakistan. Its share of Pakistan's GDP has historically ranged from 51.8% to 54.7%. 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 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.

Irrigated land of Punjab
Despite lack of a coastline, Punjab is the most industrialized province of Pakistan; its manufacturing industries produce textiles, sports goods, machinery, electrical appliances, surgical instruments, Cement, Vehicles, Auto Parts, I.T, metals, 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, 65% of the sugar and 40% of the cement of Pakistan.

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 and poultry 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 68% 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 48 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 11,820. The ginning industries are 6,778. There are 6,355 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 of coal, 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 dozen economically viable projects.


The literacy rate has increased greatly since independence.

Year Literacy Rate
1972 20.7%
1981 27.4%
1998 46.56%
2008 57.7%


This is a chart of the education market of Punjab estimated by the government in 1998.
Qualification Urban Rural Total Enrolment Ratio(%)
23,019,025 50,602,265 73,621,290
Below Primary 3,356,173 11,598,039 14,954,212 100.00
Primary 6,205,929 18,039,707 24,245,636 79.68
Middle 5,140,148 10,818,764 15,958,912 46.75
Matriculation 4,624,522 7,119,738 11,744,260 25.07
Intermediate 1,862,239 1,821,681 3,683,920 9.12
BA, BSc... degrees 110,491 96,144 206,635 4.12
MA, MSc... degrees 1,226,914 764,094 1,991,008 3.84
Diploma, Certificate... 418,946 222,649 641,595 1.13
Other qualifications 73,663 121,449 195,112 0.26

Public Universities

Private Universities

Cultural heritage

Mausoleum of Sheikh Rukh-e-Alam (1320 AD)

Punjab has been the cradle of civilization since times immemorial. The ruins of Harappamarker show an advanced urban culture that flourished over 5000 years ago. Taxilamarker, another historic landmark also stands out as a proof of the achievements of the area in learning, arts and crafts in bygone ages. In the more moderate era post-9/11, 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 Holy Qur’an decorate mosques and mausoleums in Punjab. The inscriptions on bricks and tiles of the mausoleum of Shah Rukn-e-Alam (1320 AD) at Multanmarker are outstanding specimens of architectural calligraphy. The earliest existing building in South Asia with enamelled tile-work is the tomb of Shah Yusuf Gardezi (1150 AD) at Multan. A specimen of the sixteenth century tile-work at Lahore 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 Muharram, Eid Milad-un-Nabi, Eid-ul-Fithr, Eid-ul-Azha and Shab-e-Brat. 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

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 Bukhsh at Lahore, Urs of Hazrat Mian Mir at Lahore, Urs of Baba Farid Ganj Shakar at Pakpattan, 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 Bullehe Shah at Kasur and Urs of Hazrat Imam Bari (Bari Shah Latif) at Rawalpindi-Islamabad. URS OF SHAH INAYAT QADRI( the murrshad of BABA BULEH-E-SHAH )in LAHORE.

A big fair is organized at Jandiala Sher Khan in district Sheikhupura on the Mausoleum of Syed Waris Shah who is the most loved Sufi poet of Punjab due to his work known as Heer Ranjha.

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.

Provincial symbols of Punjab
Provincial emblem Coat of arms of Punjab
Provincial flag Flag of Punjab
Provincial language پنجابی (unofficial)
Provincial animal Punjab Urial
Provincial bird Asiatic peafowl
Provincial tree Pomegranate
Provincial flower Justicia adhatoda

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 the Shalimar Gardensmarker, Lahore Fortmarker, the Badshahi Mosquemarker, and the ruins of the ancient city of Harrapamarker. The Anarkali Market and Jahangir's Tomb are prominent in the city of Lahoremarker as is the Lahore Museum, while the ancient city of Taxilamarker 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 the Punjab. 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 Lunewala, Talib Hussain Dard, Attaullah Khan Esakhlvi, 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 of Abrar-Ul-Haq, Arif Lohar, Legacy, and Malkoo are renown.


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 or Jangli, 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 the Punjab. 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 and Boliyan. Punjabi romantic dances include Dharees, Dhamaal, Bhangra, Giddha, Dholamarker, 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 newspaper published in Punjabi in Central Punjab. Only a few monthly literary magazines constitute Punjabi press in Pakistan".

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 language (Punjabi and Urdu) but that of other major ethnic groups in Pakistan such as the Pashtuns, Balochi and Saraiki . Punjabis form the 40 to 45% of population of Pakistan.

Famous people of Punjab


File:Jungle in Punjab.JPG|jungle in PunjabFile:Faisalabad ClockTower.jpg|Faisalabad Clock Tower, built during the British RajFile:Clk Towe Slk.jpg|Sialkot Clock Tower, more than a century old historical landmarkFile:Shalamar Garden July 14 2005-Sideview of marble enclosure on the second level.jpg|The Shalimar Gardensmarker in LahoreFile:Mosque in Jhelum Cantonment Pakistan.jpg|CMH Mosque,Jhelummarker CanttFile:Taxila Pakistan juillet 2004.JPG|Taxila is a World Heritage SiteFile:GCU Tower P1140896.jpg|Clock Tower at Govt College University, LahoreFile:Major Akram Memorial.jpg|Major Akram Memorial, JhelummarkerFile:Murray College Sialkot.jpg|Murray College Sialkot, established in 1889File:WheatFieldsPandjab.jpg|Wheat FieldsFile:Noor palace bwp.jpg|Noor Mahal, Bahawalpur

See also


  1. Government of the Punjab
  2. Mercury drops to freezing point - Dawn Pakistan
  3. [1]
  4. Sikh Period - Government of Pakistan
  5. The Punjab in 1920s – A Case study of Muslims, Zarina Salamat, Royal Book Company, Karachi, 1997. table 45, pp. 136. ISBN 9694072301
  6. Panel 33 European Association for South Asian Studies
  7. Pakistan: a modern history, Ian Talbot, St. Martin's Press, 1999. ISBN 0312216068
  8. Government of Punjab - Districts
  9. Provincial Accounts of Pakistan: Methodology and Estimates 1973-2000
  11.,-income-distribution,-poverty-789 - Last Paragraph
  12. Punjab Gateway

External links

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