Pakistan–Somalia relations

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Pakistan–Somalia relations
Map indicating locations of Pakistan and Somalia



Pakistan–Somalia relations are the bilateral relations between Pakistan and Somalia. Both Organisation of Islamic Cooperation members, the two countries have historically maintained strong relations. Somalia also has an embassy in Islamabad.

Country comparison[edit]

Pakistan Pakistan Somalia Somalia
Population 207,774,000 (2017) (5th) 14,743,000 (2017) (73rd)
Area 881,912 km2 (340,508 sq mi) 637,657 km2 (246,201 sq mi)
Population density 246/km2 (638/sq mi) 15/km2 (39/sq mi)
Time zones PST (UTC+5) EAT (UTC+3)
Capital Islamabad Mogadishu
Largest cities Karachi Mogadishu
Government Federal parliamentary republic Federal parliamentary republic
Independence 14 August 1947 1 July 1960
Official languages Urdu, English Somali, Arabic
Main religions 96% Islam, 4% other 99.9% Islam, 0.1% other
Human Development Index (2016) 0.550 (medium) 0.285 (low)
GDP (nominal) (2016) $284,185 billion ($1,428 per capita) $6,217 billion ($434 per capita)
GDP (PPP) (2016) $1.060 trillion ($5,106 per capita) $4.719 billion ($400 per capita)
Military expenditures (2016) $9.9 billion (3.4% of GDP) N/A
Military personnel 935,800 19,800


Relations between the modern-day territories of Pakistan and Somalia stretch back to antiquity.[1] The 1st century CE Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, among other documents, reports early commercial exchanges between traders inhabiting the various Somali city-states and merchants from South Asia, across the Arabian Sea. Numerous artefacts dating from this period have been uncovered in Somalia.[2] During the 7th and 8th centuries, parts of Pakistan and Somalia came under the influence of the Umayyad and Abbasid Muslim caliphates.[3] The expansion of the British Empire in the 19th century led to parts of modern Pakistan coming under the British Raj, while the Somaliland region became a protectorate under British Somaliland.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries post-independence were officially established on 18 December 1960, shortly after the formation of the Somali Republic.[4] In 1969, Pakistan and Somalia were among the founding members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Somalia's relations with Pakistan remained strong in the following years and through the ensuing civil war period, when the Pakistani military contributed to a UN peacekeeping operation in southern Somalia.[5] In 2010, Pakistan tabled a proposal for United Nations Security Council seats for OIC and Arab League states, the latter of which Somalia is also a member.[6]

The Federal Government of Somalia was later established on August 20, 2012, representing the first permanent central government in the country since the start of the conflict.[7] The development was welcomed by the Pakistani authorities, who re-affirmed Pakistan's continued support for Somalia's government, its territorial integrity and sovereignty,[8] as outlined in the Islamabad Declaration adopted by the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (ICFM).[9]

Defence cooperation[edit]

A Pakistani armed convoy in Mogadishu, during the UNOSOM II peacekeeping operations.

During the Somali civil war in the 1990s, up to 5,700 Pakistani troops were deployed for UN peacekeeping.[5] On 5 June 1993, a Pakistani task force was attacked while, as part of the expanded UN mandate, it was investigating an arms cache belonging to a Somali warlord vying for the Presidency, Mohamed Farrah Aidid; the attack, believed to have been launched by pro-Aidad militia, inflicted 24 casualties and led to Resolution 837, reaffirming the UN's commitment to peacekeeping and action against the rebels involved.[10] Pakistan also became a member of the United Nations Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.[1]


Pakistan and Somalia are active commercial partners, trading a variety of commodities. In 2008-2009, Somalia exported $34,822.059 million USD worth of goods to Pakistan, with Pakistan in return exporting $17,781.883 million USD worth of goods to Somalia. Somalia's main export commodities to Pakistan centered on the country's livestock sector, and in 2009 included $3.190 million in raw hides and skins, $1.044 million in raw sheep and lamb skins, $0.137 million in sheep/lamb skin leather, $0.225 million in raw hides and skins of bovine/equine animals, and $0.033 million in leather of bovine/equine animals. Pakistan's exports to Somalia during the same year included $53.254 million in rice, $0.627 million in medicament mixtures, $10.400 million in non-cocoa sugar confectionery, and $0.20 million in shawls, scarves, mufflers, mantillas and similar garments.[11]

Following a meeting between representatives of Somalia's Trade Ministry and the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the two countries agreed to enhance their commercial relations, particularly in the agriculture, food products, livestock, fish farming, textiles, pharmaceutical products, leather products, hides and cement sectors. Most of the trade between Somalia and Pakistan had hitherto been conducted through Dubai, so the Somali authorities sought to establish direct trade links with Pakistan. According to Somalia's former Trade Minister Abdi Rashid Mohamed Abdi, Somalia wanted to purchase products that it had been importing from elsewhere directly from Pakistan. He also highlighted Somalia's commercial potential given its strategic location and its position as a gateway to African markets, and suggested that Pakistan could capture large parts of Somalia's markets were it to supply quality products at competitive prices.[12]


As of late 2012, there is a small community of around 2,500 Somalis in Pakistan. Most are international students, with a few secondary migrants also present.[13] Additionally, there was a very small community of Pakistanis in Somalia. They were mainly involved in retail business in urban areas.[14]

Diplomatic missions[edit]

Somalia maintains an embassy in Islamabad which was established in 1976.[15][16] The diplomatic mission is led by Ambassador Ali Sheikh Abdullahi.[17] It also has an honorary consulate in Karachi.[18] Pakistan previously had an embassy in Mogadishu, which was established in 1973.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "United Nations Security Council, Sixty-seventh year, 6848th meeting" (PDF). United Nations Security Council. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Neville Chittick, An Archaeological Reconnaissance of the Horn: The British-Somali Expedition, (1975), pp.117-133.
  3. ^ Ahmed, Ali Jimale (1995). The Invention of Somalia. The Red Sea Press. pp. 3, 4. ISBN 9780932415998. 
  4. ^ "Our Diplomatic Relations". Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Berdal, Mats (Spring 1994). "Fateful Encounter: The United States and UN Peacekeeping". Survival. 36 (1): 43. doi:10.1080/00396339408442722. 
  6. ^ Goodenough, Patrick (30 June 2010). "Islamic and Arab States Should Have Security Council Seat, Says Pakistan". CNSNews. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  7. ^ "Somalia: UN Envoy Says Inauguration of New Parliament in Somalia 'Historic Moment'". Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. 21 August 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012. 
  8. ^ "Somalia: Pakistan Pledges Help to Somalia in Meeting Post-Transition Challenges". Shabelle Media Network. 17 October 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "Donation to PM's Fund for Affectees of Earthquake in Balochistan". Associated Press of Pakistan. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  10. ^ Dorcas McCoy, "American Post-Cold War Images and Foreign Policy Preferences Toward 'Dependent' States: A Case Study of Somalia," World Affairs 163, no. 1 (Summer 2000): 43.
  11. ^ "Somalia - General Information" (PDF). Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  12. ^ "Pakistan-Somalia agree to enhance trade relations". Daily Times. 15 October 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  13. ^ Osman, Abdulkadir Mohamed. "The Level and Density of Somali Students in Pakistan". Hiiraan Online. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  14. ^ Conflict resolution and Nation-Building in Somalia. Xlibris Corporation. ISBN 9781469166070. Other minority population in Somalia include Indians, Pakistanis, and Yemenis who are in retail business. [self-published source]
  15. ^ "Somalia Embassy in Pakistan". VisaHQ. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  16. ^ Qamar, Saadia (4 April 2017). "We remember how Pakistan helped us fight terrorism: Somali ambassador". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 27 August 2017. 
  17. ^ "PPI Original Text (PPI-OT) – African Envoys pledge to promote Pak-Africa trade". MediaLine Pakistan. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  18. ^ Ali, Imtiaz (8 April 2017). "Honorary Somalian consulate ransacked in Karachi". Dawn. Retrieved 8 April 2017. 
  19. ^ British Broadcasting Corporation (10 July 1973). Summary of World Broadcasts: Non-Arab Africa, Issues 4335-4411. A Pakistani embassy was opened here last night at a special ceremony attended by the Pakistani community in Somalia and officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

External links[edit]