Administrative units of Pakistan

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Administrative units of Pakistan
انتظامی اکائیاں
Category Federated state
Location Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Number 4 Provinces
2 Autonomous Territory
1 Federal Territory
Populations 2,441,523 (Gilgit-Baltistan) – 110,012,442 (Punjab)
Areas 906.0 km2 (349.81 sq mi) (Islamabad Capital Territory) – 347,200 km2 (134,050 sq mi) (Balochistan)
Subdivisions Divisions, Districts, Tehsils, Union Council
State emblem of Pakistan.svg
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The administrative units of Pakistan (Urdu: انتظامی اکائیاں‎) consist of four provinces (Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh), two autonomous territories (Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan) and one federal territory (Islamabad Capital Territory). Each province and territory is subdivided into divisions, which are further subdivided into districts, which are further subdivided into tehsils, or taluka, which are further subdivided into union councils.[1]


Pakistan's provinces and territories were inherited from British India at independence on 14 August 1947. In 1947, Pakistan consisted of two wings, which was separated by 1600 kilometers of Indian territory. The western wing consisted of the merger of Northwest Frontier Province, West Punjab, and Sindh, the Baluchistan Chief Commissioners Province, thirteen princely states and parts of Kashmir. In 1948, the Karachi was separated from Sindh to form the Federal Capital Territory. The eastern wing consisted of East Bengal and Sylhet District from the former British Raj province of Assam. In 1950, the Northwest Frontier Province absorbed the princely states of Amb and Phulra while West Punjab renamed itself to Punjab. In 1952, the four princely states in the southwest formed the Baluchistan States Union. In 1955, the One Unit Policy was enforced by Iskander Mirza,[2] whereby all the provinces and princely states of the western wing were merged and formed West Pakistan, with Lahore as the provincial capital. Simultaneously, East Bengal was renamed to East Pakistan, with Dhaka as the provincial capital. The One Unit Policy aimed to reduce expenditure and to eliminate provincial prejudices, but the military coup of 1958 signaled difficulties when the first military President, Ayub Khan, abolished the office of Chief Minister of West Pakistan in favour of Governor's rule. In 1960 the federal capital moved from Karachi to Rawalpindi and in 1961, the Federal Capital Territory was merged into West Pakistan. In 1966, the capital was again moved to Islamabad.

In 1970, the second military President, Yahya Khan, abolished West Pakistan and established four new provinces - Sindh, Balochistan, Northwest Frontier Province and Punjab. In 1971, East Pakistan seceded to form Bangladesh. In 1974, the remaining princely states of Hunza and Nagar were abolished and their territories merged into Gilgit Agency, to form the Northern Areas. In 1975, portions of the districts of Peshawar and Dera Ismail Khan were separated to form the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. In 1981, the region around Islamabad was separated from Punjab, and renamed to Islamabad Capital Territory.

In August 2000, divisions were abolished as part of a plan to restructure local government, followed by elections in 2001. Many of the functions previously handled by the provinces had been transferred to the districts and tehsils. In 2008, the government restored the former divisions and appointed commissioners. In 2009, the Northern Areas was renamed to Gilgit-Baltistan and became a de facto province.[3][4] In 2010, the Northwest Frontier Province was renamed to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.[5]

In 2018, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly passed the historic FATA Merger Bill - with the adoption of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment Act of 2018. On 31 May the final step in the merger of the Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) was completed, as President Mamnoon Hussain signed the 25th Constitutional Amendment Bill into law. Thus FATA status was abolished as a separate entity and was merged into Khyber Pakthunkhwa province.[6][7][8]


The diagram below outlines the six tiers of government:

(i.e. Pakistan)
(e.g. Punjab)
(e.g. Rawalpindi Division)
(e.g. Jhelum District)
(e.g. Sohawa)
Union Council
(e.g. Domeli)

Administrative units

Flag Emblem English name Urdu name Abbreviation Capital Population
(per km²)
Flag of Azad Kashmir.svg Emblem Of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.png Azad Jammu and Kashmir[a] آزاد جموں و کشمیر AJK Muzaffarabad 4,045,366 13,297 223.55 Azad Kashmir in Pakistan (claims hatched).svg
Flag of Balochistan.svg Coat of arms of Balochistan.svg Balochistan بلوچستان BL Quetta 12,344,408 347,190 37.91 Balochistan in Pakistan (claims hatched).svg
Flag of Gilgit Baltistan.svg Gilgit Baltistan Government Logo.svg Gilgit-Baltistan[a] گلگت بلتستان GB Gilgit 2,441,523 72,971 19.75 Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan (de-facto + wo Glacier) (claims hatched).svg
Proposed Flag of Islamabad Capital Territory.svg Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad.png Islamabad Capital Territory وفاقی دارالحکومت ICT Islamabad 2,006,572 906 1,271.38 Islamabad Capital Territory in Pakistan (special marker) (claims hatched).svg
Flag of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.svg Coat of arms of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.svg Khyber Pakhtunkhwa خیبرپختونخواہ KP Peshawar 35,525,047 101,741 349.17 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan (claims hatched).svg
Flag of Punjab.svg Coat of arms of Punjab.svg Punjab پنجاب PJ Lahore 110,012,442 205,344 445.01 Punjab in Pakistan (claims hatched).svg
Flag of Sindh.svg Coat of arms of Sindh Province.svg Sindh سندھ SN Karachi 47,886,051 140,914 392.05 Sindh in Pakistan (claims hatched).svg
Flag of Pakistan.svg State emblem of Pakistan.svg Pakistan پاکستان Islamabad 214,261,409 882,362 223.79 Pakistan adm location map.svg
  1. ^ a b Disputed with India.

Current proposals

See also


  1. ^ "List of Districts, Tehsils/Talukas" (PDF). Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. July 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2016. 
  2. ^ History and Culture of Pakistan
  3. ^ "Northern Areas renamed Gilgit-Baltistan Poll for assembly, CM in Nov Regional groups unhappy: Autonomy package for NAs approved". DAWN. August 30, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Disputed Northern Areas renamed as Gilgit-Baltistan". Hindustan Times. Aug 30, 2009. 
  5. ^ "From NWFP to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa". DAWN. April 1, 2010. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Area, Population, Density and Urban/Rural Proportion by Administrative Units". Population Census Organization, Government of Pakistan. Archived from the original on 22 December 2010. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Singh, Pallavi (29 April 2010). "Gilgit-Baltistan: A question of autonomy". The Indian Express. Retrieved 27 December 2016. But it falls short of the main demand of the people of Gilgit- Baltistan for a constitutional status to the region as a fifth province and for Pakistani citizenship to its people. 
  14. ^ Shigri, Manzar (12 November 2009). "Pakistan's disputed Northern Areas go to polls". Reuters. Retrieved 27 December 2016. Many of the 1.5 million people of Gilgit-Baltistan oppose integration into Kashmir and want their area to be merged into Pakistan and declared a separate province. 

External links

  • Government of Azad Jammu & Kashmir
  • Government of Balochistan
  • Government of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas
  • Government of Gilgit-Baltistan
  • Government of the Islamabad Capital Territory
  • Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
  • Government of the Punjab
  • Government of the Sindh
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