Approximately 4.0% of the Pakistani population
|United Arab Emirates||1,300,000|
|English, Urdu, Punjabi, Pashto, Sindhi, Saraiki, Balochi, other languages of Pakistan and the languages spoken in the respective country of residence|
|Predominantly Islam (Sunni & Shia ) with small numbers of Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism and Sikhism|
The Pakistani diaspora, also known as overseas Pakistanis (Urdu: بیرون ملک پاکستانیوں ), refers to Pakistani citizens that have migrated to another country, as well as people living abroad who are of Pakistani descent. According to the Pakistani Government, there are around 8 million Pakistani people living abroad with a vast majority of them residing in the Middle East. Overseas Pakistanis sent remittances amounting to $18.4 billion in 2014-15, which translates into a year-on-year increase of 16.5%, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
According to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Pakistan has the sixth largest diaspora in the world.
- 1 Overseas Pakistani
- 2 Overseas Pakistanis Foundation
- 3 National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP)
- 4 Little Pakistan
- 5 Returning overseas Pakistanis
- 6 Population by country
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The term Overseas Pakistani is officially recognized by the Government of Pakistan. The Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis was established in 2008 to exclusively deal with all the matters and affairs of the overseas Pakistanis such as attending to their needs and problems, intending schemes and projects for their welfare and working for resolution of their problems and issues. Overseas Pakistani workers are the second largest source of Foreign Exchange Remittances to Pakistan after exports and over the last several years, the foreign exchange remittances have maintained a steady rising trend, with a recorded increase of 21.8% from $6.4 billion in 2007-08 to $7.8 billion during 2008-09. In 2009-10, Pakistanis sent home $9.4 billion, the 11th largest in the world. By 2012, Pakistan increased its ranking to 10th in the world for remittances sent home at $13 billion per annum. In the first six months of fiscal year 2014 Pakistanis sent home $7.9 billion showing continuously increasing trend and projected to touch around $16 billion at the end of the FY14. The Overseas Pakistani Division (OPD) was created in September 2004 within the Ministry of Labour and Manpower. Since 2004, it has recognized the importance of overseas Pakistanis and their contribution to the economy. Together with Community Welfare Attaches (CWAs) and the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF), all three are improving the welfare of overseas Pakistanis. The division aims at providing better services to the overseas Pakistanis through improved facilities at airports, setting up suitable schemes in housing, education and health care. Its largest effort is facilitating the rehabilitation of returning overseas Pakistanis.
Overseas Pakistanis Foundation
The Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) was established July 1979, with its head office at Islamabad and regional offices in all provincial capitals as well as Mirpur, Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The objective of the OPF is to advance the welfare of the Pakistanis working or settled abroad and their families in Pakistan by identifying their problems and contributing to their solutions. These include health care, financial aid, foreign exchange remittance and education.
The Overseas Pakistanis Foundation operates more than 24 schools in across Pakistan, offering preschool, primary, secondary and preparation for local SSC and the international GCE education. Most of its students opt to take the GCE O and AS/A Levels organized by the CIE of UCLES. It also has established international projects in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. The head office of the OPF school is located in Islamabad, administering the system through Six main regional offices:
- Regional Office Karachi, Sindh (ROK)- Karachi Metropolitan Area and Sindh
- Regional Office Lahore, Punjab (ROL) - Punjab
- Regional Office Multan, Punjab (ROM) - some divisions of Punjab under ROM like Multan, Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan
- Regional Office Northern Areas, Mirpur (AJK) - Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir
- Regional Office Pehsawar, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (ROP) - Khyber Pakthunkhwa
- Regional Office Quetta, Balochistan (ROQ) - Balochistan
Foreign Community Welfare Attaches
Community Welfare Attaches (CWAs) are located in 18 cities around the world. There primarily function is to establish and maintain close contacts with the foreign firms who are in need of manpower for their ventures in different countries, and to aid in the welfare of overseas Pakistanis. CWAs are currently located in:
- Abu Dhabi, UAE
- Sharjah, UAE
- Toronto, Canada
- Doha, Qatar
- Dubai, UAE
- Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Kuwait City, Kuwait
- London, England
- Manchester, England
- Milan, Italy
- Brescia, Italy
- Muscat, Oman
- Oslo, Norway
- Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
- Tripoli, Libya
- Seoul, South Korea
- Manama, Bahrain
National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP)
The Computerized National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) was conceived by NADRA as a project by mutual resolve of the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF), the Ministry of Labour & Manpower, and the Interior Ministry. The scheme calls for the creation of a comprehensive database of Pakistanis who either work abroad or hold a dual nationality. The NADRA Ordinance envisages issuance of NICOPs to Pakistani workers, emigrants, citizens, or Pakistanis holding dual nationality, having been registered under the NADRA Ordinance. The ordinance entrusts NADRA with the task of registering the overseas Pakistanis. NICOP, in addition to providing the authenticity of the individual, allows the NICOP holder to visa-free entry to Pakistan.
Pakistan Origin Card (POC)
Like the NICOP, the Pakistan Origin Card (POC) is issued by NADRA to eligible overseas Pakistanis. However, the major difference between the two is that a POC is only issued to people of Pakistani origin, i.e., those who are citizens of other countries but have some Pakistani background including former nationals. It cannot be issued to those with dual nationalities, with one being Pakistani, as the NICOP is meant for those individuals.
"Little Pakistan" is a general name for an ethnic enclave populated primarily by Pakistanis or people of Pakistani ancestry (overseas Pakistani), usually in an urban neighborhood.
Returning overseas Pakistanis
Millions of Pakistanis immigrated to various countries during the 1970s and 1980s. Unlike European immigrants who settled permanently in the new world, many Pakistanis who immigrated considered themselves to be "sojourners", who left to earn money abroad but not to settle, or were students who intended to return to Pakistan when their degree programs were completed.
From the Middle East
Since the independence of Pakistan in 1947, there has been a large population of Pakistanis in the Middle East, mainly in Saudi Arabia. However, since the 1990s, many of them have opted for countries like the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait. Pakistanis who immigrated to these countries or who were born in these countries tended to stay close to Pakistani culture. Many "International Pakistan Schools" were opened to cater for the large population and for them to study under the same boards as Pakistani students at home. As a result, those returning to Pakistan from the Middle East have found it much easier to adjust. Pakistanis from the Middle East can be found throughout the country today and these people are usually fluent in Urdu, English and their regional language. They are most likely involved in trading, media, telecommunications, banking, and aviation.
Since the 1990s, a large number of Pakistanis who settled in Europe have been returning to Pakistan. Those who were born in Europe have also maintained close links to Pakistani culture. However, there are some instances of children not learning Urdu while growing up or being accustomed to Pakistani culture. As a result, those who return from Europe do experience "culture shocks". Those returning from Norway and Denmark are mostly settled around Kharian in the Punjab province, whereas those from northern England (Bradford) can be found in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (mainly Mirpur), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and upper Punjab (Jhelum, Chakwal, Attock and Rawalpindi).
Very small numbers of Pakistanis from Canada and the United States have historically returned to Pakistan. Although they frequently visit Pakistan during the summer and winter vacations, permanent settlement had not been popular amongst them until 2001. Since the September 11 terrorist attacks and the recent Financial crisis of 2007–2010, a large number of Pakistani Americans and Pakistani Canadians have begun to return. The population of returning expatriates from the Americas, who tend to have excellent credentials, has increased significantly due to new job opportunities in Pakistan. Many from North America are found in the major cities of Pakistan, mainly Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi/Islamabad, Faisalabad and Peshawar. Large populations can also be found in smaller cities and towns, such as Sialkot. Those returning from North America have tended to find jobs easier in Pakistan and are involved in a wide scope of fields, primarily healthcare, engineering, law, banking, information technology, mass media and industry.
Population by country
Population of Pakistanis abroad, by country"
Diasporas of Pakistani ethnic groups
- Baloch diaspora
- Kashmiri diaspora
- Hazara diaspora
- Muhajir diaspora
- Pashtun diaspora
- Punjabi diaspora
- Sindhi diaspora
- Saraiki diaspora
- "ASIAN ALONE OR IN ANY COMBINATION BY SELECTED GROUPS 2015 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau.
- Qatar´s population by nationality bq magazine Retrieved 15 December 2014
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- Mohammad. "OP News Discussions - Voice of Overseas Pakistanis - Page 2". Retrieved 18 March 2015.
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- Government of Pakistan, Bureau of Emigration & Overseas Employment
- POC NADRA Retrieved 23 January 2010
- NICOP Pakistan High Commission, UK Retrieved 23 January 2010
- Vaswani, Karishma (2008-07-06). "Returning Pakistanis praise new lives". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-05-21.
- Year Book, 2004–2005 (PDF), Islamabad: Ministry of Labour, Manpower, and Overseas Pakistanis, archived from the original (PDF) on 27 August 2010, retrieved 2009-09-19
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- Overseas Pakistanis Foundation 2004-2005 Yearbook pg 31 Retrieved 7 September 2010.
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- Pakistanis who have never seen Pakistan
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- Pakistan navy men visit BT
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- Pakistanis in Wales
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- Bundesamt für Flüchtlinge und Migration, Dr. habil. Sonja Haug Stephanie Müssig, M.A. Dr. Anja Stichs (Hrsg): Muslimisches Leben in Deutschland, 2009: page 76, chart 5
- Immigration and immigrants
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- David B. Barrett, George Thomas Kurian, Todd M. Johnson (2001). World Christian Encyclopedia: The world by segments : religions, peoples, languages, cities, topics. Oxford University Press. p. 672. ISBN 019510319X.; under 1,000 Indo-Pakistanis, 2001 est.
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