The administrative units of Pakistan (Urdu: پاکستان کی انتظامی اکائیاں) consist of four provinces (Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Sindh), two autonomous territories (Azad Jammu and Kashmir, 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.
|Administrative units of Pakistan|
پاکستان کی انتظامی اکائیاں
|Location||Islamic Republic of Pakistan|
2 Autonomous Territories
1 Federal Territory
|Populations||Least 2,441,523 (Gilgit-Baltistan) Most 110,012,442 (Punjab)|
|Areas||Smallest 906.0 km2 (349.81 sq mi) (Islamabad Capital Territory) Largest 347,200 km2 (134,050 sq mi) (Balochistan)|
|Subdivisions||Divisions, Districts, Tehsils, Union Council|
In 1947, Pakistan consisted of two wings, which were separated by 1600 kilometres 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. The eastern wing consisted of East Bengal and Sylhet District from the former British Raj province of Assam.
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, 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.
On 7 September 1958, after four years of negotiations, including six months of intense negotiations, Pakistan purchased the Gwadar enclave from the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman for 5.5 billion rupees/ USD $3 million (approx. $22,410,311.42 in 2017). Gwadar formally became part of Pakistan on 8 December 1958 after 174 years of Omani rule.
In 1963, Pakistan entered into a treaty with China to transfer part of the Gilgit Agency to China (Shaksgam Valley—the Trans-Karakoram Tract) with the provision that the settlement was subject to the final solution of the Kashmir dispute.
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 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 2018, the National Assembly of Pakistan and 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.
The diagram below outlines the six tiers of government:
(e.g. Punjab Province)
(e.g. Rawalpindi Division)
(e.g. Jhelum District)
(e.g. Sohawa Tehsil)
(e.g. Domeli UC)
|English name||Urdu name||Abbreviation||Capital||Emblem||Flag||Map||Population
|Azad Jammu and Kashmir[a]||آزاد جموں و کشمیر||AJK||Muzaffarabad||4,045,366||13,297||223.55|
|Islamabad Capital||اسلام آباد دارالحکومت||ICT||Islamabad||2,006,572||906||1,271.38|
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.
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.