Pakistanis in Sri Lanka
7,000 - 10,000 (Memons)
|Regions with significant populations|
|Urdu, Memoni, Tamil, Sinhalese|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Memons, Sri Lankan Moors, Sri Lankan Malays|
Pakistanis in Sri Lanka constitute a population of 300-400 according to the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation. Most Pakistanis residing in Sri Lanka are employees/workers and students. Mostly Muslim by religion, the majority are found in the Sri Lankan business and financial capital of Colombo.
People hailing from present-day Pakistan have a history of immigrating to Sri Lanka as back as the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Memons of Sri Lanka for instance, are an important Muslim minority who claim descent from Sindhi Memon traders that arrived from Sindh to Sri Lanka in the 1870s.
Memons in Sri Lanka arrived from Sindh in the 1870s. In late 1900 certain Memon merchants mainly from Kutiyana, Porbandar and Upleta travelled to Sri Lanka for trading. They are currently an important Muslim minority in the country. Sunni Muslim by origin, they are entrepreneurs who settled in Sri Lanka for business opportunities during the colonial period. Some of these people came to the country as far back as the Portuguese period; others arrived during the British period from various parts of India. The Memons, first arrived in 1870 from northwestern India (Gujarat State). As of the early 21st Century they number over 10,000.
Notable Pakistani expatriates who reside in Sri Lanka include:
- Irfan Husain - Pakistani civil servant and columnist who spends time equally between Karachi, London and Sri Lanka, where he maintains a summer vacation house.