Pakistanis in Germany
|Regions with significant populations|
|Frankfurt am Main, Berlin and Hamburg|
|German, Urdu, Saraiki, Sindhi, Punjabi, English|
|Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Others|
|Related ethnic groups|
The figure given above of Pakistanis in Germany includes only people holding a Pakistani passport. German citizens of Pakistani origin or descent are not included.
Roughly every fifth Pakistani in Germany (21%) has been living in Germany for over 15 years. Just over 25% or around every fourth Pakistani living in Germany today came to Germany less than four years ago. Many young Pakistanis have come to Germany recently as students of science and technology from /in prestigious universities. German Government has established German Academic Exchange Service in Islamabad. These highly educated Pakistanis are serving in various sectors of the German economy.
According to Statistisches Bundesamt Deutschland 1,116 Pakistanis were naturalized as German citizens in the year 2006. Almost a third of all Pakistanis in Germany live in Hesse. There are approximately 1900 Pakistanis living in the northern city-state of Hamburg, about 1500 in Frankfurt am Main and almost 1400 in Berlin and its suburbs. In 2009, the German government estimated the number of people of Pakistani descent residing in Germany at 76,173.
Pakistanis have been attracted to Germany because of its low university tuition fees. This is a significant incentive, as some Pakistani students from low/middle income groups who find it expensive to study in places like the USA, UK, Canada and Australia. The Government of Pakistan through its Higher Education Commission has also sent hundreds of Pakistani researchers and scientists for training in German universities. Most major German universities have Pakistani student societies. Hundreds of institutes in Pakistan teach students German as their primary foreign language as part of an effort by Germany's top technical colleges to attract more Pakistani students.
The official and educational language of Pakistan is English. Many first generation Pakistanis come from a well-educated background and are fluent in English, along with other local languages. First generation Pakistanis in Germany often naturally speak Urdu and English. Due to the integration incentives offered by the German government and because of English speaking background, almost all of the Pakistanis learn German after arrival and are well versed in it.
Pakistanis children are native fluent in German, because they attend the German education system from primary school till university. Since Pakistani families speak English at home and German schools also teach English as part of the school curriculum, Pakistani kids also have fluency and excellent command over English.
Most Pakistanis in Germany are Muslim. There are also many Pakistani Hindus, Sikhs, as well as a strong Christian community.
Services to Germany
Most of the Pakistani who come to Germany are highly skilled professionals including academics, scientists, doctors, engineers, information technology professionals and journalists. The tradition of Pakistanis coming to Germany for higher education was pioneered by the philosopher Muhammad Iqbal. In 1907 Iqbal traveled to Germany to pursue a doctorate from the Faculty of Philosophy of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. Working under the supervision of Friedrich Hommel, Iqbal published a thesis entitled The Development of Metaphysics in Persia.
Some representative quotations of Iqbal about Germany are as follows:
I remember the time when I read Goethe’s poems with you and I hope you also remember those happy days when we were so near to each other spiritually speaking. Here it is: Fraulein Wegenast, that is Goethe, Heine, Kant and Schopenhauer, it is Heidelberg, the Neckar, Germany — it is those happy days!. It is impossible for me to forget your beautiful country where I have learned so much. My stay in Heidelberg is nothing now but a beautiful dream. How I’d wish I could repeat it.
I am very fond of Germany. It has had a great influence on my ideals and I shall never forget my stay in that country.
Germany was a kind of second home to my spirit. I learned much and I thought much in that country. The home of Goethe has found a permanent place in my soul.
These words reveal much of what his time spent in Germany meant to Iqbal.
- Dr Mojib Latif, Professor, meteorologist and oceanographer
- Dr Asifa Akhtar, Professor, Epigeneticist
- Dr Jamal Malik, Professor of Islamic Studies and chair of Religious Studies, University of Erfurt, Germany.
- Dr Ashiq Hussain, Neuroscientist, Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology
- Atif Bashir, footballer, plays for Barry Town in the Welsh Football League First Division.
- Hasnain Kazim, author and journalist, correspondent of the German news magazine DER SPIEGEL and SPIEGEL ONLINE.
- Yasmeen Ghauri, model born in Canada of mixed Pakistani and German descent
- Vaneeza Ahmad, Pakistani model, brought up in Germany
- Foreign Population - Naturalisations - Statistics Bundesamt Deutschland
- 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
- Iqbal's "Development of Metaphysics in Persia" PhD thesis
- Muhammad (Allama) Iqbal and Germany