About Pakistan

Pakistan lies to the north-west of India. Its other neighbours are China, Afghanistan and Iran. It borders the Arabian Sea to the south. Pakistan has a varied climate and geography. It has vast mountain ranges in the north, an area of desert in the west and the Indus River plain in the centre. The east is fertile and has many lakes.

Find out more about Pakistan.




Balochi English Pashto Punjabi Sindhi Urdu

English and Urdu are the official languages although there are a number of languages spoken


220.9 million (2022)


882,000 square kilometres

High Commissioner




Joined Commonwealth

1947, on partition from India; left in 1972, re-joined in 1989

Episode guests

Dr Javaid Sheikh

Dr Javaid Sheikh

Fatima Sheikh

Fatima Sheikh

A Love Poem

by Iftikhar Arif

Translated by Yasmeen Hameed

All I, have in life is a book, a lamp,
a dream and you
Through the phases between the book and the dream
I wished to be with you,
With this, the entire posession of my life
I desired to equip my journey,
Wishing my prayers to be denied
Lest they seek another
On the tiding-filled road of my heart,
I longed to see none but you,
But in a way indisernable even to you…
Life passed by in such discretion,
The very desire for you to share
the book and the dream faded away.
It’s this uncertainty
That has brought forth
So much to question,
Questions that cannot be answered
eitehr by my book or my dream.
Companion of the tiding-filled road of my heart
So could you say,
How do we reckon this affair of life?
All I have in life is a book, a lamp,
a dream and you.


by Iftikhar Arif

Translated by Ralph Russell

To flout my God’s commands? That is too much for me
To pledge false fealty? That is too much for me.

To write fresh odes, produce fresh praises every day?
I earn my bread. That service is too much for me.

With empty heart? With no desire to bow to Him?
To worship in such wise? That is too much for me.

To earn love’s wage only if I show loyalty?
That is a kind of love that is too much for me.

Each generation seeks a new Medina? True
But friends, another exile is too much for me.

Yes, I can find a way to practice poetry
But risk hard labour? No, that is too much for me.

A Strange Wish

by Javaid Sheikh

Total silence
Absolute darkness
Real cold shiver in the air
No sound whatsoever

A mountain valley
A room with doors closed
A bed in this room
And me, all alone

And then suddenly, a huge whirlwind
Sounds of falling trees
A severe thunderstorm
And memories of frightening past

A flash from the past
An absorbing old acquaintance
A long lost friend
Out of darkness
Comes to me

Out of darkness comes to me
Feels me with her fingers
And lays her head on my chest
Sobs gently
And then cries her heart out

The Grass is Like Me

by Kishwar Naheed

The grass is also like me.
It learns to love life
Only after being crushed under feet.
By becoming wet,
Does it mean to show
Modesty’s warmth
Or the heat of passion?

The grass is also like me.
As soon as it lifts its head,
The mower
Promising to turn it to velvet
Levels it rising head.

The Auction House

by Kishwar Naheed

The taste of death
Drools from his lip
In the form of words.
Masking hate with kisses,
He leaves bruises on my face
To assert his right
To use my body as he pleases.
The assertion of right is something else:
The desire to assert it
Covers subjugation under its canopy;
The desire to assert it
Hides every lie and hypocrisy
Under the veil of love.
But now, under the veil,
The face can be seen even more clearly.