This work has been financially supported by LGCA-UMR 5025, and was conducted in collaboration with the Geosciences Laboratory of Islamabad (Pakistan), with the help of the French Embassy in Pakistan. The Geosciences Laboratory of Pakistan is thanked for providing help during the field trips and various laboratory facilities. Precious help was provided by D. Bosch, P. Brunet and F. Keller, during preparation and analyse of geochemical samples. N. Arndt, C. Chauvel, S. Guillot, T. Khan, G. Mahéo, H. Martin, A. Pêcher, C. Picard and P. Treloar and are thanked for fruitful discussions on various points of this synthesis. Thanks to C. Klootwijk and S. Cox for their critical review of a first draft of the manuscript and for correcting the English language.