In this hard, rugged and dry environment live millions of people. The existing physical conditions have made these people hostile natural forces, such as hot burning deserts, Incessible Mountains, scanty rainfall, extremely hot summers and bitterly cold winters. The impact of sharp geographical realities have moulded their national characteristics which are reflected in their social customs, dress, eating habits etc.
The people of Pakistan are fair skinned, fairly tall and well built. The rough terrain makes them excellent soldiers. During the British rule, the bulk of the Indian armed forces were drawn from this region. The courage and velour of these soldiers in both the world wars is well recognized. Characteristics of these people can be studied under the following headings.
They are the toughest of all the people of Pakistan, belongs from N.W.R.P and the tribal areas in the extreme north. For centuries they have been engaged in one war after another. They have fought tenaciously for their independence and warded off any form of subjugation. The British in their full imperial glory were unable to subdue them. The Pathan usually proves to be good soldier and is very hospitable in the peaceful surroundings of his home. He is also a man of extremes. Once he befriends a man, he is loyal and faithful to him for the rest of his life. He will wait patiently for years to wreak his vengeance. That is why blood feuds in the tribal areas persist for generations. But today the march of education and industrialization is rapidly changing the pattern of their lives. Many of the Pathans are now able engineers, doctors, technicians and administrators. They have adjusted to the changing needs of modern age.
A Punjabi is very similar to a Pathan. He too is strong, upright, and straight forward and makes an excellent soldier or a hardworking peasant. Prior to partition the province of Punjab was known as the "Sword Arm."
A Sindhi is unlike the Pathan and the Punjabi. He is not a warrior type but is more inclined towards trade and business. Educationally he is comparatively backward. It is so because during the British rule the Hindus were the principal landowners and businessmen and they usually kept the Muslims down. But now the sindhi is rapidly making up for the lost time.
The Baluchi lives in the vast expenses of desert lands and leads a nomadic life. He is a product of his Physical facilities much of his arid land has become cultivable. His pattern of life has started changing. Though the people of different provinces and regions of Pakistan have their own way of life and possess peculiar characteristics, there are no separatist tendencies amongst them. They are all conscious of their own common Pakistan nationality. A consciousness which springs from their own common geographical, historical, political and religious background unites them into a single Social whole.
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