Pakistan is situated in the north-western part of South Asia. It lies approximately between 24o and 37o N latitude and 61o and 75o E longitude. It has borders with China in the north, Iran in the West, Afghanistan in the north-west, India in the east and Arabian Sea in the south. Pakistan covers an area of 796,095 sq. km. with a human population of 184.7 million. The terrain of Pakistan is mainly divided into four main topographical areas: mountain ranges of the north, Balochistan Plateau, Indus plains and desert areas. The Karakorum and Himalayan Mountain Ranges are in the north and north-east of the country, while north-western mountains comprise Hindukush Himalayan Range, which branches off from the Himalayas at Pamir. The average elevation of the northern mountains is about 6,000 m. The western mountains include different ranges forming Balochistan Plateau.
The vast Indus plain is a fertile area, stretching from the Himalayan foothills to the shores of the Arabian Sea. This area is generally irrigated by the River Indus and its tributaries. The deserts are located in the south-eastern part of the country. Pakistan with its unique geographic and climatic conditions has rich bio-diversity. Nine major ecological zones are recognized in Pakistan. It has 195 mammal species, 668 bird species, 192 reptile species and 22 amphibians. There are 198 fresh water fi sh species, 766 marine water fish species.