Indonesia–Pakistan relations

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Indonesia-Pakistan relations
Map indicating locations of Indonesia and Pakistan



Pakistan-Indonesia relationship are particularly special, founded on common mutual religious outlook. Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim- majority country, whereas Pakistan is the world's second most populous Muslim-majority country. Both countries are members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Developing 8 Countries. Pakistan has an embassy in Jakarta,[1] whereas Indonesia has an embassy in Islamabad,[2] and a Consulate General in Karachi. According to a 2014 BBC World Service Poll, 40% of Indonesians view Pakistan's influence positively, with 31% expressing a negative view, making Indonesia (along with Nigeria) the country with the most positive perception of Pakistan in the world.[3]


President Soekarno and Governor-General Sir Khawaja Nazimuddin, January 1950.

During the Indonesian National Revolution, Muhammad Ali Jinnah encouraged Muslim soldiers serving in British Indian army to join hands with Indonesians in their fight against the Dutch Imperial colonisation of Indonesia. As a result, 600-Muslim soldiers of the British Indian Army deserted the colonial forces putting their lot at stake, and allied with Indonesians.[4] Out of these 600 soldiers, 500 of them died in war; while the survivors returned to Pakistan or continued to live in Indonesia. As a recognition of the assistance of Muslim soldiers from Pakistan, during the Indonesian Golden Jubilee celebration on August 17, 1995, Indonesia granted Independence War Awards to the living ex-Pakistani soldiers and awarded the highest honor Adipura to the founding father of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Jinnah and the government of Pakistan.[5]

Pakistan's relationship with Indonesia greatly developed under Gen. Ayub Khan. During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Indonesia offered to provide Pakistan with military help, and 'to seize Andaman and Nicobar Islands' of India so as to distract it from the Kashmir front.[6][7]

On 8 May 2015, the spouse of Indonesian ambassador for Pakistan, Heri Listyawati Burhan Muhammad, was killed in a helicopter crash in the mountainous northern region of Gilgit.[8] Her husband, Burhan Muhammad, ambassador of Indonesia to Pakistan, was among the injured, and later died because of his wounds in a Singaporean hospital on 19 May.[9] The crash also killed other diplomats, which included the ambassadors of Norway and the Philippines to Pakistan, as well as the spouse of a Malaysian diplomat.[10]

Country comparison[edit]

Country Indonesia Indonesia Pakistan Pakistan
Area 1,904,569 square kilometres (735,358 sq mi) 881,913 square kilometres (340,509 sq mi)
Population 261,115,456 (2016) 212,742,631 (2017)
Pop. density 138 inhabitants per square kilometre (360/sq mi) 244 inhabitants per square kilometre (630/sq mi)
Capital Jakarta Jakarta Islamabad Capital Territory Islamabad
Largest city Jakarta – 10,075,310 (30,214,303 Metro) Karachi – 14,910,352 (16,900,000 Metro)
Government Unitary presidential constitutional republic Federal parliamentary constitutional republic
Language(s) Indonesian (official) English & Urdu (official)
Religions 87.2% Islam, 9.9% Christianity, 1.7% Hinduism, 0.7% Buddhism, 0.2% Confucianism 96.0% Islam, 1.8% Hinduism, 1.6% Christianity, 0.2% Ahmadiyya
Ethnic groups 42.6% Javanese, 15.4% Sundanese, 3.4% Malays, 3.3% Madurese, 3% Batak, 2.7% Minangkabau, 2.5% Betawi, 2.4% Bugis, etc. 44.7% Punjabis, 15.4% Pashtuns, 14.1% Sindhis, 8.4% Saraikis, 7.6% Muhajirs, 3.6% Balochis, 1.0% Bengalis
GDP $1.074 trillion (nominal, 2018); $3.492 trillion (PPP, 2018) $0.309 trillion (nominal, 2018); $1.141 trillion (PPP, 2018)
GDP per capita $4,051 (nominal, 2018); $13,162 (PPP, 2018) $1,641 (nominal, 2018); $5,527 (PPP, 2017)
GDP growth rate 5.1% (2017) 4.8% (2018)
Main industries Palm oil, coal, petroleum, textiles Textiles, apparels, food processing, pharmaceuticals
Labor force 125 million (2016) 61 million (2018)
HDI 0.694 (Medium) 0.562 (Medium)

Defense cooperations[edit]

Pakistan has signed a memorandum of understanding on defense cooperation (DCA).[11] One of the key terms of the DCA is an offer for Indonesia to take part in joint-manufacturing between Pakistan and China of the JF-17 fighter jet. Indonesia and Pakistan also exchange military personnel for training.[12]


According to a press release on September 4th, 2018, the two sides agreed to strengthen, expand and diversify this cooperation through all available forums. The JDCC is the highest forum of defense collaboration between the two countries.[13]

Trade relationship[edit]

Bilateral trade between Pakistan and Indonesia is worth around US$1 billion.[4][14] Pakistani exports to Indonesia include[15][16] kinnow, seafood, textiles, cotton yarn, medical equipment, rice, wheat, and carpets while Indonesia exports palm oil to Pakistan.[14] In 2016, the trade volume between Pakistan and Indonesia reached 2.3 billion dollars.


Amid deepening ties, trade between the two countries expected to jump to US$9 billion by 2019.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pakistan embassy in Jakarta Archived 2012-12-19 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Indonesian embassy in Islamabad
  3. ^ "2014 BBC World Service poll" (PDF).
  4. ^ a b Pakistan aims for better relations with Indonesia beyond politics
  6. ^ The new international politics of South Asia by Vernon Hewitt, Vernon Marston Hewitt, Manchester University Press ND, 1997, p 126
  7. ^ The new international politics of South Asia By Vernon Hewitt
  8. ^ "Pakistan helicopter crash kills Norwegian, Philippine ambassadors". Reuters. 9 May 2015.
  9. ^ "RI ambassador to Pakistan dies in Singapore". Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  10. ^ Asad Hashim (8 May 2015). "Pakistan helicopter carrying foreign diplomats crashes". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  11. ^ Indonesia, Pakistan to Share Defense Expertise
  12. ^ "Pakistan, Indonesia ink defence pact". The Nation (Pakistan). 22 July 2010. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  13. ^ "Pakistan, Indonesia to expand defence co-op". The Nation (Pakistan). 2018-09-05. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  14. ^ a b Indonesia – Pakistan Trade Agreement to be Signed in 2011
  15. ^ Textile and seafood: Indonesia pressed to provide concessions
  16. ^ Pakistan wants closer trade ties with RI: Envoy
  17. ^ "Pakistan, Indonesia to deepen trade ties | The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 2018-09-11. Retrieved 2018-09-12.

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