The core area of this essentially desert country is traversed by the Indus and its tributaries, forming an alluvial lowland except in the north and west where mountains and plateaus flank its frontiers with Afghanistan and Iran.
The country can be conveniently divided into four main topographic regions: the Northern and western Highlands, the Punjab-Sindh Plains, the Baluchistan Plateau, and the Thar Desert.
Pakistan’s share of the subcontinent’s resources of coal, iron, and other basic materials is insignificant. Its position in fibers is comparatively strong, and in food grains it has normally good surpluses of wheat.
By geography and by history, Pakistan and India are complementary.
The Thar Desert lies in southeastern Pakistan, and is an extension of the adjacent Great Indian Desert.
Much of the desert region is a sandy wasteland, parts of which near the Indus River have been made suitable for farming by the irrigation schemes.
The two wings of Pakistan were linked by long and costly air-routes across northern India or by the slow sea route of nearly 3,000 miles (4,827 km) around southern India and Sri Lanka.
Bangladesh’s secession lifted the burdens imposed by this awkward political geography from the shoulders of Pakistan.
But despite the litany of shortcomings, the PPP’s achievements are remarkable.
For one, the serving parliament has passed more legislation than any other in Pakistan’s history.