Islamabad is the capital city of Pakistan built during the 1960s. The city is home of several landmarks, including the Faisal Mosque, the largest mosque in South Asia and the fourth largest in the world, Pakistan's National Monument and the Democracy Square. Islamabad is ranked very high on the Human Development Index, equivalent to that of Belgium. The city has the highest cost of living in Pakistan. The city is home to sixteen universities and is one of the safest in Pakistan.
Karachi is the largest and most populous city in Pakistan and the 5th largest metropolitan city in the world. Karachi is the capital of Sindh province. Ranked as a beta world city, the city is Pakistan's premier industrial and financial centre. Karachi is also Pakistan's most cosmopolitan city. Situated on the Arabian Sea, Karachi serves as a transport hub, and is home to Pakistan's two largest seaports, as well as the busiest airport in Pakistan.
Lahore is the historic cultural centre of the Punjab region. It exerts a strong cultural influence over Pakistan. Lahore is a major centre for Pakistan's publishing industry. The city is also a major centre of education in Pakistan, with some of Pakistan's leading universities based in the city. Lahore is also home to Pakistan's film industry, Lollywood. The city is also much of Pakistan's tourist industry, with major attractions including the Badshahi and Wazir Khan mosques, Lahore Fort and Shalimar Gardens.
Peshawar is a metropolitan city and the administrative centre and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated in a large valley near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, close to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar is irrigated by various canals of the Kabul River and by its right tributary, the Bara River. Peshawar's recorded history dates back to at least 539 BC, making it the oldest city in Pakistan and one of the oldest in South Asia.
Historically one of the first planned cities within British India. Faisalabad has grown to become a major industrial and distribution centre because of its central location in the region and connecting roads, rails, and air transportation. It has been referred to as the "Manchester of Pakistan" because it contributes over 20% toward Pakistan's annual GDP. Faisalabad's average annual GDP is $20.55 billion (USD), of which 21% comes from agriculture.
The city is known as the fruit garden of Pakistan, due to the numerous fruit orchards in and around it, and the large variety of fruits and dry fruits produced there. Quetta is a trade and communication centre between the two countries. The city lies on the Bolan Pass route which was once the only gateway from Central Asia to South Asia. Quetta played an important role militarily for the Pakistani Armed Forces in Afghanistan conflict.
Skardu is located at the confluence of the Indus and Shigar Rivers at an altitude of nearly 2,500 metres (8,202 feet). Skardu is a major tourism, trekking and expedition hub in Gilgit-Baltistan. The mountainous terrain of the region, which includes four of the world's 14 Eight-thousander peaks, attracts tourists, trekkers and mountaineers from around the world. The climate of Skardu during the summer is moderated by its mountain setting; the intense heat of lowland India does not reach it.