Your guide to being an expatriate in Pakistan

Caffeinate Your Pakistan Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

Pakistan, formally the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country spanning 803,447 square kilometers in South Asia, bordering India, Iran, Afghanistan, and China. Pakistan gained independence from British rule in 1947 and became a republic in 1956. Pakistan is the sixth-most populous country in the world, with over 220 million people, and is home to numerous ethnic groups, including Punjabis, Pashtuns, Sindhis, Balochis, Kashmiris, Mohajirs, and many others. The official language is Urdu, and English is widely spoken as a second language.

Pakistan

Expat destinations in Pakistan

Demographics of Pakistan:

Ethnic groups

Punjabi, Pashtun, Sindhi, Balochi, Kashmiri, Mohajiri, Hazara, Pushto, Rai, Reasi, Haryanvi, Dogri, Koliyan, Saraiki, Punjabi Kashmiri, Punjabi Muhajir, Punjabi Memon, and many more.

Languages

Urdu (official), Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, Balochi, Pushto, Kashmiri, Saraiki, Urdu (lingua franca for Pakistani Muslims, especially in official contexts), Hindko, Punjabi (AJK), Punjabi (Pakistan (canadi)), Dogri, Burushaski, Gujarati (in Sindh), Kurdish, Brahui, Shina, Wakhi, and many more.

Religion Overview

Islam is the dominant religion in Pakistan, and over 97% of the population professes adherence to the Muslim faith. Major sects include Sunni (~95-98%) and Shi'a (~1-2%). Apart from Islam, other religions include Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism.

Major Religions

Climate

Pakistan has a primarily continental and arid climate, with extreme temperatures both in summer and winter. The north has a cold subarctic climate, with heavy snowfall in the higher parts of the north-eastern border with China during winter. Monsoon season begins in June and ends in September, bringing rainfall across the country, with floods occurring annually in several areas.

Economy Overview

Pakistan's economy is considered one of the emerging market economies and is the 46th-largest economy in the world in nominal terms and the 37th-largest by purchasing power parity. Major sectors include agriculture, manufacturing, textiles, mining, and tourism.

Key Industries

  • Textiles and apparels
  • Pakistan steel mills
  • Pakistan petroleum
  • Cement industry (9th largest in the world)
  • Pakistan oil fields
  • Pakistan telecommunication
  • Banking and finance
  • Pakistan tourism

Major Companies

  • National Bank of Pakistan
  • Unilever Pakistan,
  • Crescent Bank
  • Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan
  • Intercontinental (Hilton)
  • Marriott Hotels Pakistan

Culture and Language Overview

Pakistan has a rich and diverse culture, influenced by its ancient civilizations, trade networks, and colonization by various foreign powers. The predominant religions, including Islam, Hinduism, and Sikhism, have contributed to the culture's unique blend. The festive spirit, hospitality, and traditions like Holi, Eid ul-Fitr, and Basant celebrate this vibrant and colorful culture.

Cultural Highlights

  • Holi - popularly known as Holi Festival of Colours, soaked in religious and cultural significance, is celebrated in the country's northern regions
  • Basant - a traditional seasonal festival to welcome spring, celebrated in the eastern province of Punjab
  • Eid ul-Fitr – marks the ending of the Holy Month of Ramadan, celebrated across the country with religious fervor and traditional delicacies

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Pakistan stretches across 803,447 square kilometers with a diverse geography, ranging from the snow-capped mountain ranges of the north to the sandy deserts of the south and east. Pakistan has an extensive coastline of 1,046 kilometers along the Arabian Sea. The country is also home to several pristine and mesmerizing landscapes, such as the Hunza Valley, Malakand Pass, and the Katas Raj Temples.

Notable Landmarks

  • Lahore Fort
  • Minar-e-Pakistan
  • Faisal Mosque
  • Badshahi Mosque
  • Shalimar Gardens
  • Khewra Salt Mines
  • Katas Raj Temples
  • Masjid-e-Tooba
  • Rangi Gilgit
  • Three Rivers Mosque
  • Karamtali Ziarat
  • Indus Headworks
  • Saddar Bazar
  • Lahore Zoo
  • Indus Valley Civilization
  • Masjid-e-Shuhada
  • Kasba Canal Garden
  • Masjid-i-Khalid Walid Ahmad Bin Talha

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Pakistan Day (March 23)
  • Labor Day (May 1)
  • Ramadan and Eid ul-Fitr
  • Independence Day and Republic Day (August 11 and 14)
  • Yaum-e-Ashura (10th Muharram)
  • Birthday of Muhammad Ali Jinnah (December 25)
  • Birthday of Mohammad Iqbal (November 9)
  • Assassination of Benazir Bhutto (December 27)

Political Stability

Pakistan's political landscape is marked by democracy and military rule. General elections are conducted regularly, and the country has witnessed civilian governments and military regimes. The ongoing tensions with neighboring India and Afghanistan, within-region insurgencies, and terrorism continue to pose challenges to Pakistan's stability.

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