Location, Dimension and Frontiers
Pakistan is located in South Asia and is at the junction of Central Asia and Middle East, which gives its location great significance.
Pakistan geologically overlaps both with the Indian and the Eurasian land plates. The provinces of Sind and Punjab are found in the northwestern corner of the Indian tectonic plate; Baluchistan and most of the North West Frontier Province exist on the Eurasian Plate tectonic plate; the Iranian plateau is part of both the Middle East and Central Asia. The Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir also lie mainly in Central Asia along the edge of the Indian plate and as a result are prone to severe earthquakes where Eurasian and the Indian plates collide.
Pakistan’s western borders include the Khyber Pass and Bolan Pass, traditional invasion routes between Central Asia and the South Asia
Geographic coordinates: 30 00 N, 70 00 E
- Total Land Area: 796,095 sq km
- Land: 770,875 sq km
- Water: 25,220 sq km
- Land boundaries: 6,774 km
- Coastline: 1,046 km
- Maritime Claims:
- Territorial sea: 12 nm
- Contiguous zone: 24 nm
- Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
- Continental Shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
The Borders of Pakistan
Pakistan borders India in the east, Afghanistan and Iran in the west and China is situated at the northeast. While surrounded by land from three sides, the Arabian Sea lies in the south.
Pakistan is also very close to Tajikistan but the two countries are separated by the Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan.
The border between Pakistan and China is nearly 585 km (363.5 mi) long and is situated in the northeast of Pakistan. A number of agreements took place between 1961 and 1965 in which the borderline was determined between the two countries. The famous agreement called the Sino-Pakistan Agreement or the Sino-Pakistan Frontier Agreement was passed in 1963 between Pakistan and China, according to which both countries agreed on the border between them.
The Radcliffe Line became the official border between Pakistan and India on August 17, 1947. As the border was established by Sir Cyril Radcliffe — the chairman of the Indo-Pakistan Boundary Commission — therefore it was named after him. The Pakistan-India border is almost 2,912 km (1,809.4 mi) long. When discussing Indo-Pak border, Wagah is an important place for both countries. It is the only road border crossing between India and Pakistan, and lies on the Grand Trunk Road between the cities of Amritsar and Lahore.
Wagah is also famous for ‘the lowering of the flags’ ceremony which is held there every evening, and is witnessed by a large crowd from both the nations. Wagah is actually a village from which the Radcliffe line was drawn separating India and Pakistan.
The border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is called as the Durand Line and is 2,252 km (1,399.3 mi) long. The border came into existence in November 1893 after an agreement between Afghanistan and the British Empire. The Durand Line got its name from Sir Mortimer Durand, who was the foreign secretary of the British India. He was appointed by the government of British India in Afghanistan to resolve numerous issues — settling the border issue was one of them.
The border between Pakistan and Iran is also called the Pakistan-Iran Barrier and is 909 km (564.8 mi) long. A concrete wall (three feet thick and 10 feet high) is currently under construction and would replace the bordering fence. The wall holds a controversial position as the people of Baluchistan oppose its construction as many of their lands are situated at the Pakistan-Iran border and the wall would create hindrances for them.
The Arabian Sea
The Arabian Sea is located south of Pakistan with a coastline of 1,046-kilometres. Pakistan’s Indus River drains out in the Arabian Sea. The Arabian Sea also serves as an important trade route between Pakistan and other countries, and Karachi is the major port city for conducting trade.