Culture of Pakistan
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The 17th century Badshahi Mosque built by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in Lahore The society and culture of Pakistan (Urdu: ثقافت پاکستان) comprises numerous diverse cultures and ethnic groups: the Punjabis, Kashmiris, Sindhis in east, Muhajirs, Makrani in the south; Baloch and Pashtun in the west; and the ancient Dardic, Wakhi, and Burusho communities in the north. These Pakistani cultures have been greatly influenced by many of the surrounding countries' cultures, such as the Turkic peoples, Persian, Arab, and other South Asian ethnic groups of the Subcontinent, Central Asia and the Middle East. In ancient times, Pakistan was a major cultural hub. Many cultural practices and great monuments have been inherited from the time of the ancient rulers of the region. One of the greatest cultural influences was that of the Persian Empire, of which Pakistan was a part. In fact, the Pakistani satraps were at one time the richest and most productive of the massive Persian Empire. Other key influences include the Afghan Empire, Mughal Empire and later, the short-lived but influential, the British Empire. Pakistan has a cultural and ethnic background going back to the Indus Valley Civilization, which existed from 2800–1800 B.C., and was remarkable for its ordered cities, advanced sanitation, excellent roads, and uniquely structured society. Pakistan has been invaded many times in the past, and has been occupied and settled by many different peoples, each of whom have left their imprint on the current inhabitants of the country. Some of the largest groups were the Proto-Indo-Aryans, of which Sindhis and Punjabis descend from and later Iranic peoples which the Baloch and Pashtuns descend from. Other less significant ones include the Greeks, Scythians, Persians, White Huns, Arabs, Turks, Mongols, Buddhists, and other Eurasian groups, up to and including the British, who left in the...
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