“Gems of Pakistan”

This article will cover and reveal important personalities, their achievements, assets and treasure Pakistan has with itself that make the country so much loveable, remarkable and prominent.

1.Poet of East

Sir Mohammad Allama Iqbal is known as ‘poet of East’ and his work has inspired people of all ages. A visionary, a literally and a true patriot are the words that reflect the essence of the spirit breathing inside Iqbal. After studying in Cambridge, Munich and Heidelberg, Iqbal established a law practice, but concentrated primarily on writing scholarly works on politics, economics, Islamic history, philosophy and religion

He won a gold medal for topping his examination in philosophy.

He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity College at Cambridge in 1907, while simultaneously studying law at Lincoln's Inn, from where he qualified as a barrister in 1908.

He was also the first patron of the historical, political, religious, cultural journal of Muslims of British India and Pakistan. This journal played an important part in the Pakistan movement. The name of this journal is The Journal Tolu-e-Islam. In 1935, according to his instructions, Syed Nazeer Niazi initiated and edited, a journal Tolu-e-Islam named after the famous poem of Sir Muhammad Iqbal, Tulu'i Islam.


Allama Iqbal's poetry has also been translated into several European languages where his works were famous during the early part of the 20th century. In Germany there is a street named after Sir Allama Iqbal.

2.Abdus Salam

A Pakistani theoretical physicist, astrophysicist and Nobel laureate in Physics  famous for his work in Electro-Weak Theory discovery. Salam holds the distinction of being the first Pakistani and the first Muslim Nobel Laureate to receive the prize in the Sciences. Even today, Salam is considered one of the most influential scientists and physicists in his country. At age fourteen, Salam scored the highest marks ever recorded for the Matriculation Examination at the Punjab University. He won a scholarship to the Government College, Punjab University, in Lahore. As a fourth-year student there, he published his work on Srinivasa Ramanujan.

He obtained a PhD degree in Theoretical Physics at Cambridge. His doctoral thesis contained fundamental work in Quantum Electrodynamics. By the time it was published in 1951, it had already gained him an international reputation and the Adams Prize.

Salam was a central figure in Pakistan's nuclear program. Abdus Salam was responsible for establishing the nuclear research institutes in Pakistan.


Institutes named after Abdus Salam

Abdus Salam National Center for Mathematics (ASNCM), Government College University, Lahore, Pakistan.

Abdus Salam Chair in Physics(ASCP), Government College University, Lahore, Pakistan.

Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics , Trieste, Italy.

Abdus Salam School for Mathematical Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan

The Edward Bouchet Abdus Salam Institute.


3. Paraceratherium/Baluchitherium

Paraceratherium, also commonly known as Indricotherium or Baluchitherium is an extinct genus of gigantic hornless rhinoceros-like mammals of the family Hyracodontidae. Baluchitherium means "beast of Baluchistan", as it was first discovered in Chitarwata Formation of the Bugti Hills, Balochistan, after which it was originally named.
It is the largest mammal ever known. Nearly 6 meters tall and weighing 20,000 kilos, the creature roamed a lush jungle over 30 million years ago It had an estimated shoulder height of nearly 18 ft (5.5 m), a length of upto 28 feet (from nose to rump) and a weight of about 10 to 15 tons. The head was four feet long, sitting on top of a six feet long neck.
Even though Balochistan is now mostly a desert but since Baluchitherium would have needed as much as two tonnes of fodder every day, the French team believes this area of Pakistan must have been heavily forested.

The fossil pictured above is made from a collection of over 200 bones.

4. Nazia Hassan:

One of the very pioneer female pop singers in Sub-continent. She is also known as Lady Diana of Southeast Asia, as she was graceful, intelligent and beautiful person. Nazia Hassan has sold over 55 million copies worldwide.She was best known with the titles of The Queen of Pop Singing and Sweetheart of Pakistan.


Her album “Disco Deewane” broke record sales in Pakistan and India and even topped the charts in the West Indies, Latin America and Russia.

She completed her education in the UK, got a law degree and then worked in the United Nations in the Security Council. Nazia continued her social work even in New York and worked for children from the UN platform.


The composer of her albums, Biddu had composed a song “Made in India” and wanted Nazia to sing in it but the retired Nazia refused to sing a song that may offend Pakistan.

After the huge success of their music, Nazia and Zoheb were signed by EMI Group and were the first South Asian singers to be signed by an international music company.


Besides music, Nazia has the honour of starting a noble trend of working for the under privileged and poor. All their money earned from music was spent for charity. Nazia supported the “Inner Wheel Club” of India to help with funds for them. In Pakistan, an organization “BAN” for fighting against the curse of narcotics was established


Nazia Hassan is still the symbol of grace, sacred beauty and innocence and is frequently compared to Princess Diana as she was known to possess a heart of gold.

The Government of Pakistan has conferred upon Nazia Hassan the highest civilian award Pride of Performance.


5. Minerals and natural resources:

Important minerals found in Pakistan are gypsum, limestone, chromites, iron ore, rock salt, silver, gold, precious stones, gems, marble, copper, coal, graphite, sulphur, fire clay, silica.

The salt range in Punjab Province has the largest deposit of pure salt found anywhere in the world. Balochistan province is a mineral rich area having substantial mineral, oil and gas reserves which have not been exploited to their full capacity or fully explored , the province has significant quantities of copper, chromite and iron, and pockets of antimony and zinc in the south and gold in the far west. Natural gas was discovered near Sui in 1952.


The Reko Diq (Balouchistan) mining area has proven estimated reserves of 2 billion tons of copper and 20 million ounces of gold. According to the current market price, the value of the deposits has been estimated at about $65 billion, which would generate thousands of jobs. The discovery has ranked Rekodiq among the world's top seven copper reserves.

Pakistan is home to some of the most finest and purest grades of marble, granite and slate found in the world. Much of the grades A Marble that is exported out of European countries like Italy actually have their origins in Pakistan which previously lacked fine polishing and processing machinery.


Pakistan has extensive energy resources, including fairly sizable natural gas reserves, some proven oil reserves, coal (Pakistan has the fourth-largest coal reserves in the world[6]), and a large hydropower potential. However, the exploitation of energy resources has been slow due to a shortage of capital and domestic political constraints.

Thar coal reserves have 175 billion tonnes of coal, which is equivalent to 618 billion barrels of crude oil recently informed by VC of The university of the Punjab. Following is the list of top 5 oil reserve countries of the world:

Country             Reserves (bbl)        Production/day (mbl)       Reserve life (yr)

Saudi Arabia          260                             8.8                                81
Canada                  179                             2.7                               182
Iran                       136                             3.9                                96
Iraq                       115                             3.7                                85
Kuwait                  99                                2.5                               108

175 billion tons of Thar according to Professor Dr Mujahid Kamran equal 618 billion barrels of crude oil.This is more than twice if we compare it with oil reserves of KSA and equal to total oil reseves of top 4 countries. If like KSA, we utilize about 10 million of it per day, it would suffice for more than 200 years.


6.Mohendo-daro and first dentistry evidence:

Built around 2600 BCE, the city was one of the early urban settlements in the world, existing at the same time as the civilizations of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Crete.

In the 1930s, massive excavations were conducted under the leadership of John Marshall, K. N. Dikshit, Ernest Mackay, and others. John Marshall's car, which was used by the site directors, is still in the Mohenjo-daro museum, showing their struggle and dedication to Mohenjo-daro.

It was the most developed and advanced city in South Asia, and perhaps the world, during its peak.

To date, over a thousand cities and settlements have been found, mainly in the Indus River valley in Pakistan and northwestern India. Mohenjo-daro was successively destroyed and rebuilt at least seven times. Each time, the new cities were built directly on top of the old ones. Flooding by the Indus is thought to have been the cause of destruction.The city was divided into two parts, the so-called Citadel and the Lower City. Most of the Lower City is yet to be uncovered.


In 2001, archaeologists studying the remains of two men from Mehrgarh, Pakistan, made the discovery that the people of the Indus Valley Civilisation, from the early Harappan periods, had knowledge of proto-dentistry. Later, in April 2006, it was announced in the scientific journal Nature that the oldest (and first early Neolithic) evidence for the drilling of human teeth in vivo (i.e., in a living person) was found in Mehrgarh. Eleven drilled molar crowns from nine adults were discovered in a Neolithic graveyard in Mehrgarh that dates, from 7,500-9,000 years ago. According to the authors, their discoveries point to a tradition of proto-dentistry in the early farming cultures of that region.


7.Hadiqa Kiyani


During her childhood she represented Pakistan in International children festivals in Turkey, Jordan, Bulgaria, and Greece, winning various medals along the way.


She holds a Masters Degree in Psychology.

Her increasing popularity was further highlighted in 1997 when Kiani became the first Asian singer ever to perform on the British National Lottery Live BBC1 (estimated viewership 16.6 million).By the end of the year she became the first Asian female singer ever to be signed by Pepsi Cola International. She is also the second female in the world to achieve this, with the first being Gloria Estefan


She performed for President George W.Bush on 4 March 2006. Commenting on her performance, Bush said he liked her accent and wanted her to perform in USA.[9] She performed for the Crown Prince of Brunei Al-Muhtadee Billah Bolkiah on 29 May 2006. Kiani performed for Mrs.Laura Bush on September 21, 2006 at The Kennedy Convention Centre, Washington, D.C.. She closed the year by performing for HRH Prince Charles on October 30, 2006, and the Chinese President on November 23, 2006.


March 2007 Kiani was one of the many artists featured in a widely popular track called "Yeh Hum Naheen". The song has been picked up by international stations like Fox News and BBC and has amassed over 70,000 downloads.

Her latest album “Aasmaan” had the highest sales and internet downloads of any Pakistani album in 2009.

8. Imran Khan:

He has a record of 3807 runs and 362 wickets in Test cricket, making him one of eight world cricketers to have achieved an 'All-rounder's Triple' in Test matches.

Khan established Pakistan's first and only cancer hospital, constructed using donations and funds exceeding $25 million, raised by Khan from all over the world. Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Centre, a charitable cancer hospital with 75 percent free care, opened in Lahore on 29 December 1994.

Khan is featured in the University of Oxford's Hall of Fame and has been an honorary fellow of Oxford's Keble College. In December 2005, Khan was appointed the fifth Chancellor of the University of Bradford, where he is also a patron of the Born in Bradford research project.

On 8 July 2004, Khan was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2004 Asian Jewel Awards in London, for "acting as a figurehead for many international charities and working passionately and extensively in fund-raising activities.

9. Salt mines Pakistan:

Khewra Salt Mines attracts up to 40,000 visitors per year and is the second largest salt mine in the world.

Salt has been mined at Khewra since 320 BC following discovery by Alexander's troops .The discovery of the mines, however, was not made by Alexander nor his "allies", but by his horse. It is stated that when Alexander's army stopped here for rest, the horses started licking the stones. One of his soldiers took notice of it and when he tasted the rock stone, it was salty thus leading to the discovery of the mines.

Khewra salt mine has estimated total of 220 million tonnes of rock salt deposits.

The mine-head buildings have 19 stories, with 11 below ground. Only 50% salt is extracted and 50% is left as pillars to support the mountain.

The original design and layout of the tunnels inside the mines was prepared by Chaudhry Niaz Ali Khan.

In March 1849, the British captured the salt mines and a resistance movement began against the poor conditions and prices imposed upon the miners. Mines were locked so miners couldn't leave without fulfilling their quotas. Men, women and children all worked in the mines and some children were even born in the mines due to the conditions imposed.

Twelve of the workers representatives were shot at the front of the mines. Their names were:



Mohammad Sardar

Mohammad Hassan


Allah Baksh

Khuda Baksh

Mohammad Abdulla



Mohammad Wahid

Their graves are outside the middle gates of the mines.


10.Mangrove and irrigation system:

Pakistan's mangrove ecosystem is one of the largest found in an arid climate and the irrigation system in Punjab established by the British is the largest in the world.

11. Noor Jehan:

Allah Wasai known as “Noor Jehan” is credited “Malka-e-Taranum” in Sub-continent. Her career spanned seven decades.

She holds a remarkable record of 10,000 songs to her singing credits in various languages of Pakistan including Urdu, Punjabi and Sindhi languages.

She is also considered to be the first female Pakistani film director.

Wasai began to sing at the age of five or six years old and showed a keen interest in a range of styles, including traditional folk and popular theatre. She is accredited to have sung the most patriotic songs in 1965 war with India, the songs helped to act as motivation for country’s soldiers increasing their morale. The singer was called by Radio Pakistan during the war even when her own daughter had a fever of 104 O F.

12. Ommaya reservoir:

An Ommaya reservoir is an intraventricular catheter system that can be used for the aspiration of cerebrospinal fluid or for the delivery of drugs (e.g. chemotherapy) into the cerebrospinal fluid. In the palliative care of terminal cancer, an Ommaya reservoir can be inserted for intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of morphine.

It was originally invented in 1963 by Dr.Ayub K. Ommaya, a Pakistani neurosurgeon.


13. The Nuclear program:

Pakistan started working on nuclear program in 1974.In 1974, in response to India's Smiling Buddha nuclear tests, the then Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto announced:

“ If India builds the bomb, we will eat grass and leaves for a thousand years, even go hungry, but we will get one of our own. The Christians have the bomb, the Jews have the bomb and now the Hindus have the bomb. Why not the Muslims too have the bomb?

In 1976, Dr.Abdul Qadeer joined the program.

On May 28, 1998 Pakistan successfully tested 5 nuclear bombs after few weeks of India’s testing of nuclear weapons.

In May 2009, during the anniversary of Pakistan's first nuclear weapons test, former Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif claimed that Pakistan’s nuclear security is the strongest in the world. According to Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, Pakistan's nuclear safety program and nuclear security program is the strongest program in the world and there is no such capability in any other country for radical elements to steal or possess nuclear weapons.

14. Ismail Gulgee

Initially, he went to Aligarh University to study civil engineering before heading off to USA for continuing his higher education. Gulgee started to paint while acquiring his training as an engineer in the United States at Columbia University and then Harvard. His first exhibition was in 1950.

Nevertheless, he was perhaps best known worldwide for his abstract work, which was inspired by Islamic calligraphy and was also influenced by the "action painting" movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

Guljee, as he was famously known, received many requests for his paintings internationally, from the Saudi royal family to the Islamabad presidency. Many of his works are placed in the "Faisal Mosque" in Islamabad. Guljee received many awards, including in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Japan and France.


15.Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was not only famous in Pakistan but also well known internationally. He teamed with Peter Gabriel on the soundtrack to The Last Temptation of Christ in 1985, with Canadian musician Michael Brook on the albums Mustt Mustt (1990) and Night Song (1996) and with Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder in 1995 on two songs for the soundtrack to Dead Man Walking. He also contributed to the soundtrack of Natural Born Killers.

Nusrat also collabrated with Michael Brook to create music for the song 'Sweet Pain' used in the movie Any Given Sunday.

His album Intoxicated Spirit was nominated for a Grammy award in 1997 for best traditional folk album.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan holds the world record for the largest recorded output by a Qawwali artist—a total of 125 albums as of 2001.

TIME magazine's issue of November 6, 2006, "60 Years of Asian Heroes", lists Nusrat as one of the top 12 Artists and Thinkers in the last 60 years.

Jeff Buckley cited Nusrat as a major influence, saying of him "He's my Elvis", and performing the first few minutes of Nusrat's hit "Yeh Jo Halka Halka Suroor Hai" (including vocals) at a live concert.


16. Mobile Industry Pakistan:

Pakistan has the highest mobile penetration rate in the South Asian region. According to the P.T.A. (Pakistan Telecommunication Authourity) Mobilink continues to lead the market with 29.55 million subscribers, followed by Telenor (21.29 million), Ufone (20.05 million), Warid Telecom (18.14 million) and Zong (6.48 million).



Contributed by Ahad Shafique*, Ahmed Tariq*, Mujtaba Anwar* Dr. Syed Mohsin** and Dr.Muhammad Wasif Haq**

* Final year B.D.S. students.

** House officers.

(Liaquat College of Medicine & Dentistry, Karachi, Pakistan)


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