Norwegians with Pakistani background

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Norwegians of Pakistani descent)
Jump to: navigation, search
Pakistani Norwegian

DeeyahKhan.jpg Adil Khan.jpg Hadia Tajik norwegian politician.jpg Afshan Rafiq.jpg Akhtar Chaudhry.jpg Abid Q. Raja 0002.jpg

Deeyah Khan, Adil Khan, Hadia Tajik, Afshan Rafiq, Akhtar Chaudhry, Abid Raja
Total population
(42 000
0.8% of the Norwegian population)
Regions with significant populations
Oslo, Lørenskog, Skedsmo, Drammen, Moss, Rælingen, Nittedal
Norwegian, English, Urdu, Punjabi, Saraiki, Sindhi, Pushto, Balochi,
Islam (mostly)
Related ethnic groups
Overseas Pakistani

Pakistani Norwegians are Norwegians of Pakistani descent. First generation Pakistani Norwegians, who migrate from Pakistan, are distinguished from the mainstream in several demographic aspects, while second-generation Pakistani Norwegians, who are born in Norway, are well established in Norway and have gone on to become professionals and politicians. Pakistani Norwegians have strong presence in higher education, media, and politics.

History in Norway[edit]

The initial first generation Pakistani Norwegians arrived in Norway as guest workers during the 1970s, under Norway's then-liberal immigration scheme which allowed for unskilled "guest workers" to temporarily settle in Norway.[1] Most of these immigrants were young men that came from areas surrounding the town of Kharian, in Pakistan's Punjab province, though later waves included a high number of workers from Lahore, Pakistan's second largest city.[2] The law was later amended to allow for already arrived guest workers to permanently settle in Norway. Following stricter immigration laws passed in 1976, Pakistan immigration to Norway shifted from the arrival of new immigrants, to family reunifications, in which Pakistani Norwegians could apply for their close relatives and/or spouses to immigrate to Norway.

Lifestyle and integrating into Norwegian society[edit]

According to Statistics Norway 54% of the first generation Pakistani-Norwegian women, born and raised in Pakistan, in the 20-24 age group are married. However, for the second generation Pakistani-Norwegian women the figure is 19%.[3]

Children of Pakistani immigrants sometimes struggle when trying to be loyal to both their family's traditional Islamic culture and the one of liberal Scandinavia, although there is a strong tendency to favour Norwegian traditions over Pakistani ones, or even combining the two into a sort of creole culture. Second generation Pakistani Norwegians are sometimes told that they are different from Norwegians, although they feel at home only in Norway, while at home they may also be pressured by their parents to not become "too Norwegian."[2]

In spite of the aforementioned issues, the Pakistani Norwegian community as a whole is generally considered to be well-integrated into Norwegian culture.[citation needed] Riffat Bashir, Imam of Oslo's largest mosque often invites Norwegian church leaders and non-Muslim citizens to his mosque in order to partake in inter-faith and inter-ethnic dialogue.[1]


The Pakistani Norwegian community does not vote as a bloc for any particular party in Norway. Rather, there is a diversity of political beliefs, demonstrated by support for a variety of parties. Many Pakistani Norwegian politicians have been successful in their political campaigns. Hadia Tajik who was born in Norway of Pakistani parents became minister of culture in 2012. She is also elected to the parliament from Oslo. Akhtar Chaudhry is a Member and one of several vice-presidents of Stortinget (Norway's Parliament) for Sosialistisk Venstreparti ("Socialist Left Party"). He migrated to Norway from Pakistan in 1982 and was the former head of the Pakistan Norwegian Welfare Organization.

Afshan Rafiq is a former member of Stortinget for Høyre (Conservative Party of Norway). She still remains a deputy representative for the party. Abid Raja is a deputy representative to the parliament for Venstre.

Many Pakistani Norwegians are also involved in lower-level politics as part of regional councils and city councils. They have been particularly well represented in the Oslo city council, where they made up 10% of the council from 2003 to 2007.[4]

Media & Entertainment[edit]

Deeyah is the first mainstream recording artist of Pakistani heritage in Norway and is the first and only female World music producer of Norwegian Pakistani descent. Since 2006/07, she completely stopped performing as an artist, instead turning her focus to producing and composing music. Deeyah has produced Listen To The Banned,[5] an internationally acclaimed album, followed by Nordic Woman.[6] Deeyah is also known for her outspoken activism for women's rights, peace and freedom of expression. She has directed and produced a documentary film about honour killings named Banaz a Love Story.[7] The film received an Emmy Award, a Peabody Award and a Best Norwegian Documentary award at the Bergen International Film Festival. Deeyah has been awarded the 2012 Ossietzky prize which is Norwegian PEN´s prize for outstanding achievements within the field of freedom of expression[8] In 2016 Khan became the inaugural UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Artistic Freedom and Creativity.

Adil Khan is a theatre and screen actor in Norway. He has played the lead role in a range of Norwegian productions from the hit series Taxi to The Jungle Book, West Side Story to @lice. He is also the judge on Norske Talenter.

Attia Bano Qamar is the first girl from Oslo, Norway to represent Pakistan in the Miss Pakistan World pageant and went on to represent Pakistan in international pageants, Miss Globe and Queen of the World.

Mah-Rukh Ali is the first news anchor of foreign descent working for Norway's state broadcasting network, the NRK - although another Pakistani Norwegian, Noman Mubashir, is the first personality of foreign descent on Norwegian TV and hosted the multi-ethnic programme, Migrapolis, before hosting a Saturday night entertainment show. Zahid Ali, another Pakistani Norwegian, joined the ranks of minorities on Norwegian television by participating in the comedy program Rikets Røst on TV2.

Ulrik Imtiaz Rolfsen is a Pakistani Norwegian who directed three movies, including Izzat, a story which follows Wasim and his youth gang years in the 1980s to his young adult years in the 1990s. The film is set in Oslo and deals with the double standards in a tough Pakistani Norwegian gang environment. It relates directly to the difficulty of being raised as a Muslim immigrant in western countries. The word Izzat means honour in Urdu. A number of Pakistani Norwegians were featured in this film, and a small portion was filmed in Lahore, Pakistan.


Almost 10% of the medical students in Oslo are of Pakistani heritage.[9] The figure is significant as Pakistani Norwegians only constitute 3.67% of Oslo's population. The proportion of Pakistani Norwegians, born and raised in Norway, in higher education at university level is higher than the Norwegian national average.[10] Amongst Pakistani Norwegians born and raised in Pakistan the share is 17%, the same as the average for Norwegian immigrants in general.[11]

Internationally renowned researchers are, among others, Farrukh Abbas Chaudhry (medicine)[12][13] and Shah Nawaz (petroleum chemistry),[14][15] and the physicist Kalbe Razi Naqvi.[16]

Notable Pakistani Norwegians[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bevanger, Lars (2004-09-23). "South Asia | Oslo's trendy Pakistani hotspot". BBC News. Retrieved 2012-03-26. 
  2. ^ a b "a multi-ethnic country". Norway. Retrieved 2012-03-26. 
  3. ^ "Kristin Henriksen: Flere studenter, færre unge bruder" (in Norwegian). 2010-05-03. Retrieved 2012-03-26. 
  4. ^ Ønsker flere pakistanere i Norge VG, September 9, 2006
  5. ^ Howard Male (2010-12-12). "Album: Various artists, Listen to the Banned (Freemuse)". Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  6. ^ "Deeyah Presents Nordic Woman". Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  7. ^ Tracy McVeigh (2012-09-22). "'They're following me': chilling words of girl who was 'honour killing' victim". Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  8. ^ "Deeyah awarded Ossietzky Prize by Norwegian PEN". 2012-11-12. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  9. ^ "Dagens Medisin: - Studenter med holdninger". Retrieved 2012-03-26. 
  10. ^ Aftenposten: Ali inntar akademia
  11. ^ Integrerings- og mangfoldsdirektoratet: Kunnskapsbasen (Google translation)
  12. ^ Aftenposten: Fikk gull - og kongevisitt Archived October 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ The Chaudhry group at the Biotechnology Centre of Oslo Archived December 11, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ "E24: Norskpakistansk forsker på eksklusiv lederliste". Retrieved 2012-03-26. 
  15. ^ "The Europe 500: Leaders for the New Century (2005)". Retrieved 2012-03-26. 
  16. ^ "Store norske leksikon: Kalbe Razi Naqvi". Retrieved 2012-03-26. 

External links[edit]