Sindh

The Region

Sindh is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran" and has been given the title of Bab-ul-Islam (The gateway of Islam). The name of Sindh is derived from the Indus River that separates it from Balochistan and the greater Iranian Plateau. This river was known to the ancient Iranians in Avestan as Indus, in Sanskrit as Sindhu, to Assyrians (as early as the seventh century BC) as Sinda, to the Greeks as Indos, to the Romans as Indus, to the Persians as Ab-e-sind, to the Pashtuns as "Abasind", to the Arabs as Al-Sind, to the Chinese as Sintow, and to the Javanese as the Santri.

Sindh is bounded to the west by the Indus River and Balochistan, to the north by Punjab, the east by the Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan and to the south by the Arabian Sea. The capital of the province is Karachi, Pakistan's largest city and financial hub. Most of the population in the province is Muslim, with sizeable Christian, Zoroastrian and Hindu minorities. The main language spoken is Sindhi by about 26 million people whom are traditionally bilingual speaking Urdu as well, while there exists a significant Urdu-speaking minority 8 million.

Economy

Sindh has the second largest economy in Pakistan. Its GDP per capita was $1,400 in 2010 which is 50 per cent more than the rest of the nation or 35 per cent more than the national average. Historically, Sindh's contribution to Pakistan's GDP has been between 30% to 32.7%. Its share in the service sector has ranged from 21% to 27.8% and in the agriculture sector from 21.4% to 27.7%. Performance wise, its best sector is the manufacturing sector, where its share has ranged from 36.7% to 46.5%. Since 1972, Sindh's GDP has expanded by 360%.

Endowed with coastal access, Sindh is a major centre of economic activity in Pakistan and has a highly diversified economy ranging from heavy industry and finance centred in and around Karachi to a substantial agricultural base along the Indus. Manufacturing includes machine products, cement, plastics, and various other goods.

Sindh is Pakistan's most natural gas producing province.

Agriculture is very important in Sindh with cotton, rice, wheat, sugar cane, bananas, and mangoes as the most important crops. Sindh is the richest province in natural resources of gas, petrol, and coal.