Pakistan Arts and Literature


Pakistan has taken over a rich literary tradition in all its main languages, e.g. Urdu, Panjabi, Sindhi, Baluchi, Pashto, and English. For centuries, Urdu has been primarily the literary language of the Muslims in the Indian subcontinent. In his writing, Muhammad Iqbal has formulated the ideological basis for the formation of the state of Pakistan and thus further legitimized Urdu’s special status as the official language. At the same time, there is an endeavor to develop the local languages as literary languages and to promote the regional literatures mainly in Baluchi, Pashto and Sindhi. However, through its strong position in the mass media, Urdu tends to become the national language of literature.

Pakistan Population Pyramid

  • Countryaah: Population and demographics of Pakistan, including population pyramid, density map, projection, data, and distribution.

In the latter half of the 20th century, the influence of Western, especially Anglo-Saxon, literature has generally been strong, e.g. in genres such as the novel, the novel and the drama. Translations and adaptations of Western classics have played an important role as mediators of literary designs. In poetry, vigorous domestic traditions balance the influence of the West in terms of both forms and motifs. Ghazel is still a very popular poem form. Among the Urdu writers in the generation after Iqbal are the poet and publicist Faiz Ahmad Faiz. Literature in English has flourished since its release. Among novelists are Zulfikar Ghose and Bapsi Sidhwa, among dramatists Hanif Kureishi and among poets Daud Kamal and Alamgir Hashmi.


Even before independence in 1947, there were six film studios in Lahore. Dawood Chand’s “Teri Yaad” (1948) is considered the first Pakistani film. In the 1950’s, Anwar Kemal Pasha was the leading filmmaker, and in the 1960’s, Khalil Qaiser and Riaz Shahid were among the more demanding.

With Bangladesh’s independence in 1971, the film industry in Dacca was lost. In 1973, the National Film Development Corporation was founded in support of domestic film production. Lahore has remained the center of production of films in languages such as Panjabi and Urdu, while Karachi is responsible for films in Urdu and Sindhi. Javed Sheikh’s directors include Javed Sheikh. “Mushkil” (1995), about child laborers, Syed Noor, Nazarul Islam and Javaid Fazil. During the 2000’s, among other things, Shoaib Mansoor, Reema Khan, Safdar Malick and Shehsad Gul throughout.

Pakistan’s film censorship, which was sharpened in accordance with Islamic law by 1985, is very strict and prohibits a large number of foreign import films for viewing annually, often with reference to their being too vulgar or violent. As a result, the cinema industry is grappling with major problems regarding the widespread piracy of movies on video and DVD. Censorship and piracy have weakened not only the cinema industry but also the domestic film industry, whose output fell from about 100 films per year during the 1980’s to just over thirty in the early 2000’s. The cancellation of the film blockade between India and Pakistan in 1965-2007 and a censorship relief after 2003 has resulted in increased production even in genres such as horror and science fiction.


In Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, rich remains have been found after Indus culture (c. 2500-1700 BC), which includes, among other things. seal with mainly animal representations of high artistic quality, jewelery, ceramics of turned, red earthenware with painted, black, linear decor and figurines, probably cult objects, of clay, stone and copper. Contacts have been in contact with the frontal oriental area, especially Mesopotamia. During the coastal dynasty, Gandhara (northern P.), with the capital Taxila, developed from the 100th century AD. a Buddhist art with Hellenistic style influences (see Gandhara art).

Islamic art is characterized by a high degree of refinement with a strong emphasis on surface decorative plant ornamentation and calligraphy. Under the Mogul rulers, the craftsmanship was developed with well-worked objects in jade and rock crystal with inlaid decor of gold and precious stones, ivory objects, metal works with enamel decor and a highly developed textile production with patterned silk fabrics and knotted rugs with floral patterns. The miniature painting flourished from the 16th century in Persian imitation, with figure-rich idealizing court scenes, often against a backdrop of palace architecture, garden and landscaping.


In Taxila, as in the surrounding mountains, there are Buddhist stupas from the 100-600’s, belonging to the Gandhara culture. In the 7th century, Islamic architecture was introduced in Pakistan, first in the province of Sind. Khaliq Walid’s mausoleum near Multan from the 1100’s and the cemetery built about 200 years later over Shah Rukn-i-Alam in Multan became the first significant monuments of its kind, with Jahangir’s tomb in Lahore as one of the successors. In Lahore there are also other magnificent facilities from the mogul era, including. Wazir Khan and Bahshai Mosques. Outside the city is the famous garden Shalamar Bagh, created in 1642.

During colonial times, Karachi grew into a big city. When it was expanded to function as the capital in the 1950’s, and when Islamabad was later founded, due to the lack of domestic architects, assistance from the western world was sought. Swedish VBB was involved, as was the Greek architect Konstantinos A. Doxiadi’s architectural office and the American Edward D. Stone. One of the world’s largest mosques, Faisal Masjid in Islamabad, was designed by the Turkish Vedat Dalokay. Among younger Pakistani architects is Yasmeen Lari.


Pakistan is part of the culture of music-making based on melodic and rhythmic modes that in various designs (eg raga and speech) extend from the Arab world to South Asia. In the religious music (eg Sufi qawwali hymns) and art and popular musical, Pakistan belongs to the South Asian (Indian) cultural area, where the most prominent artists in classical music are traditionally mostly Muslims. Within the art and popular musical ghazal genre are big stars such as Mehdi Hassan and Ghulam Ali Pakistanis.

The different folk traditions of Pakistan are linked to styles and instruments both to India and to Afghanistan and Iran. Here, among other things, drums and tufts like dholak and naqqara, cymbals, oboes (shahnai), harmonium, flutes (bansuri), lutes (ektara, rabab) and stringed instruments (sarinda, sarangi). Since Islam traditionally views music as a questionable practice, the professional musicians have low social status. Urban music is associated with life-cycle ceremonies (mainly weddings) and celebrations, but you also sing and music for work and for entertainment.

Pakistan Arts and Literature