Between 1947 and 1959, the city of Karachi was the capital of which country?

And the answer: Pakistan.

After the partition of British India in 1947, the southern port city of Karachi was Pakistan's first national capital. In 1959, the capital was temporarily moved to Rawalpindi, and then permanently to the new city of Islamabad in 1967. Today Islamabad remains the capital.

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Meaning "pure land," Pakistan is a direct compilation of the five former regions of British India which came together to form it: Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, Sindh and Balochistan. As its name suggests, Pakistan's landscape (as well as its historic cultural heritage) is incredibly diverse. Situated along major tectonic fault lines, some of Pakistan is arid desert, while another portion is glacial – even insofar as containing* one of the highest peaks on the planet, K2. An additional five of the 14 tallest peaks in the world can be found in northern Pakistan, while agricultural land decorates much of the remaining territory.

Photo credit: World Atlas

While India and Pakistan are close neighbors (and share a history of British colonization), the two nations draw distinct lines in cultural identification. After the forced partition of British India and Pakistan in 1947, the nations have experienced several major conflicts over land disputes and religious differences, some of which draw from unclear boundaries at the hand of the British, as well as from the divide in Muslim and Hindu majorities (India is majority Hindu, while Pakistan is majority Muslim). Yet, India and Pakistan share many linguistic and cultural similarities. Punjabis can hail from India or Pakistan, both nations host both Hindu and Urdu speakers, and many from India and Pakistan practice shared traditions.

Learn more about the history and culture of Pakistan below.

*Note: K2 is located in the Kashmir region, whose general administration is overseen by either Pakistan, China, or India, depending on the specific location.

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