Pakistan hosts five major deserts which were historic forests. These include Thar desert in Sindh, Kharan desert in Balochistan, Katpana desert in Skardu (Gilgit Baltistan), Thal desert in Bhakkar (Punjab) and Cholistan in Bahawalpur (Punjab).
The Kharan Desert (Urdu: صحرائے خاران) is a sandy and mountainous desert situated in Balochistan province in south-western Pakistan.
This desert was the site of Pakistan's second nuclear test, Chagai-II, which was carried out on 30 May 1998.
The Thar Desert spans an area of 175,000 square kilometers and covers large areas of Pakistan and India. It is the largest desert of Pakistan and the only subtropical desert of Asia. It is the 16th largest desert on the planet and the third largest in Asia. It has also spread into India. The Thar Desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert, is a large, arid region in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent that forms a natural boundary between India and Pakistan. It is the world's 16th largest desert, and the world's 9th largest subtropical desert. 85% of the Thar Desert is in India, and the remaining 15% is in Pakistan. In India, it covers 320,000 km2 (120,000 sq mi), of which 90% is in Rajasthan and extends into Gujarat, Punjab, and Haryana. In Pakistan, it spreads over Punjab and Sindh starting from the Tharparkar District in the east. This desert consists of a very dry part, the Marusthali region, in the west, and a semi-desert region in the east with fewer sand dunes and slightly more precipitation.
The Thal Desert is located in Bhakkar District of Pakistan between the Indus and Jhelum rivers. A large canal-building project is currently underway to irrigate the land. Irrigation will make most of the desert suitable for farming. In the north of the Thal Desert there are salt ranges, in the east the Jhelum and Chenab rivers and to the west the Indus river.
Main article: Cholistan Desert
Cholistan Desert is locally known as "Rohi 'and covers the area of Bahawalpur, Punjab. It adjoins the Thar Desert, extending over to Sindh and into India. Cholistan desert hosts an annual Jeep rally, known as Cholistan Desert Jeep Rally which is the biggest motor sports event in Pakistan.
Main article: Cold Desert, Skardu
The Cold Desert is a high-altitude desert located near Skardu, in Pakistan's northern Gilgit-Baltistan region. The desert contains expanses of large sand dunes that are sometimes covered in snow during winter. Situated at an elevation of 2,226 metres (7,303 feet) above sea level, the Katpana Desert is one of the highest deserts in the world.
The desert technically stretches from the Khaplu Valley to Nubra in Ladakh, but the largest desert area is found in Skardu and Shigar Valley. The portion most visited is located near Skardu Airport.