Administrative units of Pakistan

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Administrative units of Pakistan
پاکستان کی انتظامی اکائیاں
Category Federated state
Location Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Number 4 Provinces
2 Federal Territories
2 Autonomous Territories
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: پاکستان کی انتظامی اکائیاں‎) consist of four provinces, two federal territories and two autonomous territories. Each province and territory are subdivided into a total of 34 divisions, which are further subdivided into 149 districts (ضلع‬, zillah), which are further subdivided into 588 sub-districts (تحصیل, tehsils) or (تعلقہ‬, taluka), which are further subdivided into several thousand union councils (شیروان‬, sherwans).[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 region 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 for each.

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]


The diagram below outlines the six tiers of government:

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

Administrative units[edit]

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 FATA.svg Coat of arms of FATA.svg Federally Administered Tribal Areas وفاقی قبائلی علاقہ جات FATA Peshawar 5,001,676 27,220 144.39 Federally Administered Tribal Areas 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 30,523,371 74,521 360.93 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.

See also[edit]


  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. ^ "Area, Population, Density and Urban/Rural Proportion by Administrative Units". Population Census Organization, Government of Pakistan. Archived from the original on 22 December 2010. 

External links[edit]