Religion in Pakistan

Population and ethnography

The population density is 266 residents per km2 (2019), but the population is unevenly distributed. The largest is the density of the plain along the Indus and in Punjab. The western parts of the country are sparsely populated.

In 2019, 37 percent of the population was estimated to live in cities, of which Karachi (14.9 million residents, 2017), Lahore (11.1 million) and Faisalabad (3.2 million) are the largest.

According to Countryaah data, the majority of Pakistan’s population (60 percent) is comprised of panjabi (punjabi, punjabs), who predominantly feed on farmers in fertile Punjab. In the southern part of the country, Sindhi (over 12 percent of the population) dominates, of which about 70 percent are farmers, while the rest are urbanized. Urdu- speaking people amount to only 8 percent but make up the country’s educated elite. The Urdu culture arose around the administration of the Mogul empire with its center in Indian Uttar Pradesh, from where most of the country’s Urdu-speaking population fled or were expelled in connection with the partition of Punjab (between India and Pakistan) in 1947. The Pashtuns, which are organized in tribal communities, dominate the country’s western parts, along the border with Afghanistan. They make up 8 percent of the country’s entire population. In Baluchistan, besides Pashtuns, there are also Baluchs and Dravidian- speaking brahui. These three groups feed on agriculture and nomadic livestock management.

People in Pakistan

There are a large number of minority groups in Pakistan, representing almost 80 different languages. In the hard-to-reach mountain regions in the north, a number of mountain people live on farming and livestock transhumance-type livestock. Together, they make up 1 percent of the population. the Tibetan-speaking balti in Baltistan, burusho Hunza area, whose language is unrelated to other languages, and the dardisksprĂ„kiga Shina in Gilgit and Chilas, kohistaner in Indus Kohistan and Swat Kohistan and kho and Kalashin Chitral. The latter have maintained their pre-Islamic religion. In Pakistan, there are also close to 2 million Afghan refugees, mainly in the country’s northwestern parts.


According to thesciencetutor, in Pakistan, there are about 70 different languages registered. The official language is, in addition to English, the Indo-Indian language Urdu, which is largely similar to the former North Indian lingua franca, Hindustani, and is thus closely related to Hindi. Despite the status as an official language, Urdu is home to less than 10% of the population. Urdu is written with Arabic alphabet, as well as several other languages in Pakistan. Other languages spoken by large groups are the Indian languages panjabi in the north-east (spoken by about 1/3 of the population) and Sindhi in the province of Sindh (about 12%) and the Iranian languages pashto in the border areas to Afghanistan (7%) and baluchi in the province of Baluchistan. In addition, many other native and Iranian languages and dialects are spoken as well as in northern Pakistan also Dardic languages, the Dravidian Brahui,


Religion’s relationship with the state has a special character, since the state from its creation has been characterized as Muslim. The Muslim League, which raised the demand for India’s division in the British withdrawal from the 1930s, claimed that Hindus and Muslims were two different “nations”. However, this did not mean that Pakistan would be an Islamic state in the sense that religion and religious law (Sharia) would constitute the state’s order and legal system. The Muslim cultural tradition expressed national identity in a state with many different ethnic groups and languages, but it was to be combined with religious freedom. Against this view, other, especially organized, Islamist groups such as Jamaat-i Islami argued with their leader Mawdudi, the thesis that Pakistan would be an Islamic state with religion and its rule system as the state order. This became conflicting with regard to civil rights, especially for the members of Ahmadiya, which has its center in Pakistan. Mawdudi and several other leading Islamists characterized Ahmadis as non-Muslims and apostates.

In 1974 (under Ali Bhutto), rules were introduced that classified Ahmadis as non-Muslims (but of permitted religion); In 1984 (under Zia ul-Haq), the discriminatory rules were tightened as part of the policy of Islamizing Pakistan. During both Zia ul-Haq and Benazir Bhutto (during her first term as Prime Minister 1988-90), Sharia was declared the foundation of the judicial system, but without the religious leaders being given preference in its interpretation. Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, during his time as head of government, pushed the issue of Sharia as the overall judicial system. Despite the common Muslim cultural tradition, which is invoked as the state’s character and identity, ethnic, social (and even religious) conflicts have constantly been raised. There have also been disturbances between Shiites and Sunnis.

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The majority of the population belongs to Sunni Islam; most are male elephants. A significant minority belongs to different Shiite directions (the twelve sect, ismailiya and bohras). Ahmadiya is numerically not great, but its importance lies in the fact that members are often highly educated. Sufic orders and directions have devoted followers; their leaders (titled pir) are influential. There are also minor minorities of Hindus and Christians.

Pakistan Religion