Pakistanis in Germany
|A Pakistani tourist outside the office of the German Chancellor in Berlin (2010)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Frankfurt am Main, Berlin and Hamburg|
|German, English Urdu, Saraiki, Sindhi, Punjabi.|
|Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Others|
|Related ethnic groups|
Pakistani- Germans form one of the larger Pakistani communities in Europe, only behind the one million Pakistanis in the United Kingdom, and similar to the 50,000-70,000 each of Pakistanis in Italy and Pakistanis in France. In 2009, the German government estatimated the number of people of Pakistani descent residing in Germany at 76,173 . Out of this only 28,634 people were holding a Pakistani passport, while 47,539 were holding a German passport and are well integrated German nationals.
History in Germany
Roughly every fifth Pakistani in Germany (21%) has been living in Germany for over 15 years. Just over 25% or around every fourth Pakistani living in Germany today came to Germany less than four years ago. Many young Pakistanis have come to Germany recently as students of science and technology from /in prestigious universities. Since Pakistanis mostly came to Germany over the years as students or economic migrants, a sizeable number of them are single males srving in various sectors of the German economy. The overwhelming majority live in the Rhein-Main area around Frankfurt, but there are sizeable numbers of Pakistanis in other big cities like Berlin and Hamburg.
According to Statistisches Bundesamt Deutschland 1,116 Pakistanis were naturalized as German citizens in the year 2006. Almost a third of all Pakistanis in Germany live in the State of Hesse. There are approximately 1900 Pakistanis living in the northern city-state of Hamburg, about 1500 in Frankfurt am Main and almost 1400 in the federal capital Berlin and its suburbs.
Most Pakistanis in Germany are Muslim (split between Ahmadiyya and Sunni). There are also many Pakistani Hindus, Sikhs, as well as a strong Christian community. Some convert to indigenous German religions.
The official and educational language of Pakistan is English due to British heritage. Many first generation Pakistanis come from a well-educated background and are fluent in English, along with other local languages. First generation Pakistanis in Germany often naturally speak Urdu and English. Due to incentives offered by the German Government for integration and English speaking background, most of the Pakistanis also learn German after arrival and are well integrated.
Second and consecutive generations of Pakistanis are fluent in German, because they attend the German education system from primary school till university. Since Pakitani families speak English at home and German schools also teach English as part of the school curriculum, these second generation Pakistanis also have command over English language.
Services to Germany
Most of the Pakistani who come to Germany are highly skilled professionals including Academics, Scientists, Doctors, Engineers, Information Technology professionals and Journalists. Many Pakistanis run their own businesses mainly in textile, restaurants, and sales and so contribute to the German economy.
The tradition of Pakistani professionals traveling to Germany for higher education was pioneered by the great philosopher Allama Iqbal. In 1907 Iqbal travelled to Germany to pursue a doctorate from the Faculty of Philosophy of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität at Munich. Working under the supervision of Friedrich Hommel, Iqbal published a thesis entitled: The Development of Metaphysics in Persia.
I remember the time when I read Goethe’s poems with you and I hope you also remember those happy days when we were so near to each other spiritually speaking. Here it is: Fraulein Wegenast, that is Goethe, Heine, Kant and Schopenhauer, it is Heidelberg, the Neckar, Germany — it is those happy days!. It is impossible for me to forget your beautiful country where I have learned so much. My stay in Heidelberg is nothing now but a beautiful dream. How I’d wish I could repeat it.
I am very fond of Germany. It has had a great influence on my ideals and I shall never forget my stay in that country.
And a final quotation:
Germany was a kind of second home to my spirit. I learned much and I thought much in that country. The home of Goethe has found a permanent place in my soul.
These words reveal much of what his time spent in Germany meant to Iqbal.
Pakistanis have been attracted to Germany because of its low university tuition fees. This is a significant incentive, as hard working and brilliant Pakistani students from low/middle income groups who find it expensive to study in places like the USA, UK, Canada and Australia. The Government of Pakistan through its Higher Education Commission has also sent hundreds of Pakistani researchers and scientists for training in German universities. Most major German universities have Pakistani student societies.
- Allama Iqbal, Poet of East. Completed his PhD at the University of Munich (Ludwig-Maximilians).
- Mojib Latif, Professor, meteorologist and oceanographer
- Jamal Malik, Professor of Islamic Studies and chair of Religious Studies, University of Erfurt, Germany.
- Asifa Akhtar, Professor of Epigenetics, Director Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics
- Ashiq Hussain, Neuroscientist, Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology
- Atif Bashir, footballer, plays for Barry Town in the Welsh Football League First Division.
- Hasnain Kazim, author and journalist, correspondent of the German news magazine DER SPIEGEL and SPIEGEL ONLINE.
- Yasmeen Ghauri, model born in Canada of mixed Pakistani and German descent
- Vaneeza Ahmad, Pakistani model, brought up in Germany
- Bundesamt für Flüchtlinge und Migration, Dr. habil. Sonja Haug Stephanie Müssig, M.A. Dr. Anja Stichs (Hrsg): Muslimisches Leben in Deutschland, 2009: page 76, chart 5
- Almost a third of all Pakistanis in Germany live in Hesse - Deutsche Wellte
- Foreign Population - Naturlisations - Statistics Bundesamt Deutschland
- Iqbal's "Development of Metaphysics in Persia" PhD thesis
- Muhammad (Allama) Iqbal and Germany