Pakistan encapsulates great variety, from hidden bazaars in the narrow
streets of Rawalpindi to architecture that rivals the Taj Mahal in Lahore.
It is a land enriched by friendly people and magnificent landscapes.
Opportunity for adventure is as high as its mighty mountain ranges,
with watersports, mountaineering and trekking all popular and rewarding
Coupled with this is a profound sense of cultural concoction, Pakistan once
being home to several ancient civilisations, and witness to the rise and fall
of dynasties.In ancient times, the area that now comprises Pakistan marked
the farthest reaches of the conquests of Alexander the Great. It was also the
home of Buddhist Ghandaran culture. It was the independence of India in 1947
that catalysed Pakistan's nationhood. Under pressure from Indian Muslims, the
British created a separate Muslim state. Originally, it consisted of two parts,
East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and West Pakistan (now a single unitary state).
Following military rule and civil war, Bangladesh became independent, truncating
Pakistan. Today, the long-running Indo-Pakistan conflict continues, with the
status of Kashmir at its heart. Although it has a majority Muslim population,
Kashmir became part of India in 1947. Pakistan's landscape is as fractured and
unsettled as its history.