Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and is the country's 2nd largest city after Karachi, as well as the 26th largest city in the world. Lahore is one of Pakistan's wealthiest cities with an estimated GDP of $84 billion as of 2019. Lahore is the largest city and historic cultural centre of the wider Punjab region, and is one of Pakistan's most socially liberal, progressive, and cosmopolitan cities.
Lahore's origins reach into antiquity. The city has been controlled by numerous empires throughout the course of its history, including the Hindu Shahis, Ghaznavids, Ghurids, and Delhi Sultanate by the medieval era. Lahore reached the height of its splendour under the Mughal Empire between the late 16th and early 18th century, and served as its capital city for a number of years. The city was captured by the forces of the Afsharid ruler Nader Shah in 1739, and fell into a period of decay while being contested between the Afghans and the Sikhs. Lahore eventually became capital of the Sikh Empire in the early 19th century, and regained some of its lost grandeur. Lahore was then annexed to the British Empire, and made capital of British Punjab.