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The Punjab (/pʌnˈɑːb/ (About this soundlisten), /-ˈæb/, /ˈpʌnɑːb/, /-æb/), also spelled Panjab, panj-āb, land of "five rivers" (Punjabi: پنجاب (Shahmukhi); ਪੰਜਾਬ (Gurumukhi)), is a geographical and cultural region in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, comprising areas of eastern Pakistan and northern India. Not being a political unit, the boundaries of the region are ill-defined and focus on historical accounts.

The Punjab region has been inhabited by Indus Valley Civilisation, Indo-Aryan peoples, Indo-Scythians and has seen numerous invasions by the Persians, Greeks, Kushans, Ghaznavids, Timurids, Mughals, Afghans, British and others. The foreign invaders mainly targeted the most productive central region of the Punjab known as the Majha region, which is also the bedrock of Panjabi culture and traditions. The people of the Punjab today are called Punjabis and their principal language is called Punjabi. The main religions of the Punjab region are Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism. Other religious groups are Christianity, Jainism and Buddhism.

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Map of the Sikh Empire
The Sikh Empire (also Sikh Khalsa Raj, Sarkar-i-Khalsa or Punjab Empire), was a major power in the South Asia, that arose under the leadership of Maharaja Ranjit Singh who established a secular empire basing it around the Punjab. The empire existed from 1799, when Ranjit Singh captured Lahore, to 1849 and was forged on the foundations of the Khalsa from a collection of autonomous Sikh misls. At its peak in the 19th century, the Empire extended from the Khyber Pass in the west to western Tibet in the east, and from Mithankot in the south to Kashmir in the north. It was the last major region of the subcontinent to be conquered by the British.

The foundations of the Sikh Empire can be traced to as early as 1707, the year of Aurangzeb's death and the start of the downfall of the Mughal Empire. With the Mughals significantly weakened, the Sikh army, known as the Dal Khalsa, a rearrangement of the Khalsa inaugurated by Guru Gobind Singh, led expeditions against them and the Afghans in the west. This led to a growth of the army which split into different confederacies or semi-independent misls. Each of these component armies controlled different areas and cities. However, in the period from 1762 to 1799, Sikh commanders of the misls appeared to be coming into their own as independent warlords.

Selected biography

Manmohan Singh
Manmohan Singh (born 26 September 1932) is an Indian economist and politician who served as the Prime Minister of India from 2004 to 2014. The first Sikh in office, Singh was also the first prime minister since Jawaharlal Nehru to be re-elected after completing a full five-year term.

Born in Gah (now in Punjab, Pakistan), Singh's family migrated to east Punjab during its partition in 1947. After obtaining his doctorate in economics from Oxford, Singh worked for the United Nations during 1966–69. Following the advice of International Monetary Fund in 1991, Singh as Finance Minister, freed India from the Licence Raj, source of slow economic growth and corruption in the Indian economy for decades. He liberalised the Indian economy, allowing it to speed up development dramatically. During his term as Prime Minister, Singh continued to encourage growth in the Indian market, enjoying widespread success in these matters. Singh, along with the former Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, have presided over a period where the Indian economy has grown with an 8–9% economic growth rate.

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There is a Shahmukhi پنجابی version of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

There is a Gurmukhi ਪੰਜਾਬੀ version of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.