Pakistani diaspora in the Caribbean

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There is a visible albeit very minor expatriate community of Pakistanis in the Caribbean. Pakistani migrants can be found and spread out in small pockets along the various island-states making up the Caribbean region. They are part of the much larger Pakistani community in North America, which includes Pakistani Americans and Pakistani Canadians.

History[edit]

Muslim missionaries from Pakistan have historically travelled to the Caribbean to revive Muslim communities.

Cuba[edit]

There are up to 1,000 Pakistani medical students in Cuba.[1] The vast majority of them have come through scholarships under a program between the Cuban government and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan and are enrolled at ciencias médicas de Santa Clara, ciencias médicas de cienfuegos and ciencias médicas de Sancti Spíritus. They are the three major group of Muslim students to pursue education in Cuban educational institutions. Speaking about the scholarships, the Cuban ambassador to Pakistan said the students are granted full religious and cultural freedom during their stay in the country.[2] The students were to receive high standard medical education as recognised by the World Health Organization in facilities that apparently match those in the United States.

Guyana[edit]

A large number of Muslims in Guyana trace their ancestry to Pashtun forefathers from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.[3]

Jamaica[edit]

There are 40 to 50 Pakistanis in Jamaica. The relatively small community came under attention during the death of Bob Woolmer in Jamaica, in the aftermath of Pakistan's upset exit from the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup. Some members of the community were sought for questioning as the Pakistanis are among the few people who meet and mix freely with the Pakistan national cricket team whenever it visits the island. They also provide Halal meat to the team when it stays, which is hard to find in Jamaica.[4][5][6]

Suriname[edit]

Indo-Pakistanis came to Suriname as indentured labour over 100 years ago. The strong influence of the Shia' and the Sufis of North India could be felt in Suriname. The Pakistani Muslim community has resisted "arabization." The Amadhiyya movement has penetrated Suriname's Muslim community. A large number of Muslims in Suriname trace their ancestry to Pashtun forefathers from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.[7]

Trinidad and Tobago[edit]

Pakistanis in Trinidad and Tobago condemned the death of Benazir Bhutto.[8] Muslim missionaries from Pakistan have historically made visits to Trinidad and have helped revive Islamic communities. Trinidad's largest and most popular mosque, the Jinnah Memorial, was named after Muhammad Ali Jinnah and upholds the strong relations between Trinidadian Muslims and the local Pakistani community.[9]

Other countries[edit]

In the Dominican Republic, Pakistani migrants make a significant number of the Muslim community.[10] There is a tiny community of Pakistani businessmen and traders in the US Virgin Islands.[11]

References[edit]