Demographics of Pakistan

Demographics of Pakistan

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This article is about the demographic
Demographics
Demographics are the most recent statistical characteristics of a population. These types of data are used widely in sociology , public policy, and marketing. Commonly examined demographics include gender, race, age, disabilities, mobility, home ownership, employment status, and even location...

 features of the population of Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, including population density, ethnicity
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.
Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

's estimated population in 2011 is over 187 million making it the world's sixth most-populous country, behind Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 and ahead of Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

. During 1950–2011, Pakistan's urban population expanded over sevenfold, while the total population increased by over fourfold. In the past, the country's population had a relatively high growth rate that has, however, been moderated by declining fertility and birth rates. The population growth rate now stands at 1.6%.

Dramatic social changes have led to rapid urbanization and the emergence of megacities
Megacity
A megacity is usually defined as a metropolitan area with a total population in excess of 10 million people. Some definitions also set a minimum level for population density . A megacity can be a single metropolitan area or two or more metropolitan areas that converge. The terms conurbation,...

. During 1990–2003, Pakistan sustained its historical lead as the second most urbanized nation in South Asia with city dwellers making up 36% of its population. Furthermore, 50% of Pakistanis now reside in towns of 5,000 people or more.

Pakistan has a multicultural and multi-ethnic society and hosts one of the largest refugee populations in the world as well as a young population.

Geographic distribution



The majority of southern Pakistan's population lives along the Indus River
Indus River
The Indus River is a major river which flows through Pakistan. It also has courses through China and India.Originating in the Tibetan plateau of western China in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar in Tibet Autonomous Region, the river runs a course through the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir and...

. Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

 is the most populous city in Pakistan. In the northern half, most of the population lives about an arc formed by the cities of Faisalabad
Faisalabad
Faisalabad , formerly known as Lyallpur, is the third largest metropolis in Pakistan, the second largest in the province of Punjab after Lahore, and a major industrial center in the heart of Pakistan. Before the foundation of the city in 1880, the area was very thinly populated. The population has...

, Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

, Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi , locally known as Pindi, is a city in the Pothohar region of Pakistan near Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad, in the province of Punjab. Rawalpindi is the fourth largest city in Pakistan after Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad...

, Islamabad
Islamabad
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. Located within the Islamabad Capital Territory , the population of the city has grown from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.7 million in 2011...

, Gujranwala
Gujranwala
Gujranwala is a industrial city in the north-east of the Punjab province. It is the sixth largest city in Pakistan with a population of approximately 2,661,360 as on 24 June 2011...

, Sialkot
Sialkot
Sialkot is a city in Pakistan situated in the north-east of the Punjab province at the foothills of snow-covered peaks of Kashmir near the Chenab river. It is the capital of Sialkot District. The city is about north-west of Lahore and only a few kilometers from Indian-controlled Jammu.The...

, Nowshera, Swabi
Swabi
Swabi is the capital of Swabi District in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It is located at 34°7'0N 72°28'0E. Its residents are referred to as 'Swabiwaal.'-Geography:...

, Mardan
Mardan
Mardan , known as The city of hospitality, is a city and headquarters of Mardan District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan. It is the de facto headquarters of the Yousafzai tribe and the second most populous city in the province, located at 34°12'0N 72°1'60E and an altitude of in the south...

, and Peshawar
Peshawar
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

.

Population size and growth

Historical populations
CensusPopulation Urban

1951 33,999,000 17.80%
1961 42,978,000 22.46%
1972 65,321,000 25.40%
1981 84,254,000 28.28%
1998 130,580,000 32.51%
  • Population: 187,342,721 (July 2011 est.)
  • Growth rate: 1.573% (2011 est.)


According to OECD/World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 population in Pakistan increased from 1990 to 2008 with 58 million and 54 % growth in population compared to 34 % growth in India
Demographics of India
The demographics of India are inclusive of the second most populous country in the world, with over 1.21 billion people , more than a sixth of the world's population. Already containing 17.5% of the world's population, India is projected to be the world's most populous country by 2025, surpassing...

 and 38 % growth in Bangladesh
Demographics of Bangladesh
This article is about the demographic features of the population of Bangladesh, including population density, ethnicity, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population....

.

UN estimates

Total population Population aged 0-14 (%) Population aged 15-64 (%) Population aged 65+ (%)
1950 37 542 40.3 54.1 5.6
1955 41 109 40.3 54.8 4.9
1960 45 920 40.4 55.3 4.3
1965 51 993 41.6 54.5 3.9
1970 59 383 42.6 53.6 3.8
1975 68 483 43.2 53.1 3.7
1980 80 493 43.4 52.9 3.7
1985 95 470 43.4 52.9 3.8
1990 111 845 43.7 52.5 3.8
1995 127 347 43.3 52.9 3.8
2000 144 522 41.4 54.7 3.9
2005 158 645 38.1 57.8 4.1
2010 173 593 35.4 60.3 4.3

Gender ratios

  • Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
  • under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
  • 15–64 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
  • 65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female
  • total population: 1.07 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Vital statistics

Period Live births per year Deaths per year Natural change per year CBR* CDR* NC* TFR* IMR*
1950-1955 1 652 000 937 000 715 000 42.0 23.8 18.2 6.60 176.6
1955-1960 1 873 000 907 000 966 000 43.0 20.9 22.1 6.60 156.3
1960-1965 2 128 000 894 000 1 233 000 43.5 18.3 25.2 6.60 139.5
1965-1970 2 407 000 887 000 1 520 000 43.2 15.9 27.3 6.60 125.7
1970-1975 2 738 000 890 000 1 848 000 42.8 13.9 28.9 6.60 114.8
1975-1980 3 197 000 935 000 2 262 000 42.9 12.6 30.3 6.60 106.6
1980-1985 3 746 000 1 019 000 2 726 000 42.6 11.6 31.0 6.44 101.5
1985-1990 4 367 000 1 120 000 3 247 000 42.1 10.8 31.3 6.30 96.7
1990-1995 4 566 000 1 166 000 3 400 000 38.2 9.7 28.5 5.67 90.1
1995-2000 4 674 000 1 201 000 3 473 000 34.4 8.8 25.6 5.00 83.2
2000-2005 4 387 000 1 213 000 3 175 000 28.9 8.0 20.9 4.00 76.8
2005-2010 4 666 000 1 277 000 3 390 000 28.1 7.7 20.4 3.65 70.9

CBR = crude birth rate (per 1000); CDR = crude death rate (per 1000); NC = natural change (per 1000); IMR = infant mortality rate per 1000 births; TFR = total fertility rate (number of children per woman)

Fertility by region (2007)

Region Fertility rate
Urban 3.3
Rural 4.5
Punjab
Punjab (Pakistan)
Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

 
3.9
Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 
4.3
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa  4.3
Balochistan
Balochistan (Pakistan)
Balochistan is one of the four provinces or federating units of Pakistan. With an area of 134,051 mi2 or , it is the largest province of Pakistan, constituting approximately 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan. According to the 1998 population census, Balochistan had a population of...

 
4.1

Fertility by level of education (2007)

Level of
Education
Fertility rate
None 4.8
Primary 4.0
Middle
Middle school
Middle School and Junior High School are levels of schooling between elementary and high schools. Most school systems use one term or the other, not both. The terms are not interchangeable...

 
3.2
Secondary 3.1
Higher 2.3

  • Contraceptive prevalence (%) (2009 est.)
    • Any method: 30%
    • Modern methods: 22%

Mortality and life expectancy

  • Maternal mortality ratio: 320 (2009 est.)
  • Life expectancy at birth:
    • total population: 65.5 years (2007 est.)
    • male: 66.5 years (2009 est.)
    • female: 67.2 years (2009 est.)

As adultery is a crime punishable by death in Pakistan, just in the main cities 1,210 infants were killed or abandoned to die(2010), 90% of them girls and most less than a week old according to conservative estimates by the Edhi Foundation
Edhi Foundation
The Edhi Foundation is a non-profit social welfare program in Pakistan, founded by Abdul Sattar Edhi in 1951.Edhi is the head of the organization and his wife Bilquis, a nurse, oversees the maternity and adoption services of the foundation. Its headquarters are in Karachi, Pakistan.The Edhi...

, a charity working to reverse this increasing trend.

Human Development Index



According to the 2009 Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 60.3% of Pakistanis live on less than $2 a day.http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/apr2010/gb2010044_082450.htm
Province Human Development Index Comparable country
Medium human development
Punjab
Punjab (Pakistan)
Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

 
0.670  Tajikistan
Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 
0.628  India
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa  0.607  Solomon Islands
Balochistan
Balochistan (Pakistan)
Balochistan is one of the four provinces or federating units of Pakistan. With an area of 134,051 mi2 or , it is the largest province of Pakistan, constituting approximately 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan. According to the 1998 population census, Balochistan had a population of...

 
0.556  Ghana


Sources: Information on Pakistani regions: Information on other countries: All Estimated at 3 decimal points.
Region Human Development Index Comparable country
Medium human development
Urban Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 
0.659  Equatorial Guinea/ South Africa
Urban Punjab
Punjab (Pakistan)
Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

 
0.657  Equatorial Guinea/ South Africa
Urban Khyber Pakhtunkhwa  0.627  India
Urban Balochistan
Balochistan (Pakistan)
Balochistan is one of the four provinces or federating units of Pakistan. With an area of 134,051 mi2 or , it is the largest province of Pakistan, constituting approximately 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan. According to the 1998 population census, Balochistan had a population of...

 
0.591  Solomon Islands
Rural Punjab
Punjab (Pakistan)
Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

 
0.517  Sudan
Low human development
Rural Khyber Pakhtunkhwa  0.489  Zimbabwe/ Kenya
Rural Balochistan
Balochistan (Pakistan)
Balochistan is one of the four provinces or federating units of Pakistan. With an area of 134,051 mi2 or , it is the largest province of Pakistan, constituting approximately 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan. According to the 1998 population census, Balochistan had a population of...

 
0.486  Mauritania
Rural Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 
0.456  Eritrea

Region Human Development Index Comparable country
Medium human development
Urban Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 
0.656  Equatorial Guinea/ South Africa
Low human development
Rural Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 
0.496  Togo


Note: Regarding the above two tables, information on Pakistan has been taken from the PAKISTAN NATIONAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2003 and for the countries of the world, information has been take from the Human Development Report 2006 as it best reflects the time when data was taken for Pakistan. Pakistan National Human Development Report gave Pakistan an HDI score of 0.541 where as the Human Development Report 2006 gave it a score of 0.539. So this is the MOST ACCURATE comparison.

Sources:

Literacy


definition: aged 10 and over and can read and write
  • Total population: 60%
  • Male: 69%
  • Female: 45% (2009 est.)

Educational institutions by kind

  • Primary schools: 156,592
  • Middle school
    Middle school
    Middle School and Junior High School are levels of schooling between elementary and high schools. Most school systems use one term or the other, not both. The terms are not interchangeable...

    s: 320,611
  • High schools: 23,964
  • College of Arts and Sciences
    College of Arts and Sciences
    A College of Arts and Sciences or School of Arts and Sciences is most commonly a unit within a university which focuses on instruction of the liberal arts and pure sciences, especially in North America and the Philippines, although they frequently include programs and faculty in fine arts, social...

    : 3,213
  • Degree colleges
    Undergraduate education
    Undergraduate education is an education level taken prior to gaining a first degree . Hence, in many subjects in many educational systems, undergraduate education is post-secondary education up to the level of a bachelor's degree, such as in the United States, where a university entry level is...

    : 1,202
  • Technical and Vocational Institutions
    Vocational education
    Vocational education or vocational education and training is an education that prepares trainees for jobs that are based on manual or practical activities, traditionally non-academic, and totally related to a specific trade, occupation, or vocation...

    : 3,125
  • Universities: 132

Pakistanis around the world


 Saudi Arabia 1,500,000
 United Kingdom 1,400,000
 United Arab Emirates 700,000 1,000,000
 United States 600,410 1,000,000
 Canada 350,000
 Kuwait 100,000
 Oman 85,000
 Germany 52,668
 Qatar 52,500
 Early Modern France 50,000
 Norway 35,000
 Republic of Ireland 9500

Pakistan's yearly population


Pakistan's yearly population from 1950 to 2011.
Year Population Absolute increase Percentage increase
1950 40,382,000
1951 41,347,000 965,000 2.39
1952 42,342,000 995,000 2.41
1953 43,372,000 1,030,000 2.43
1954 44,434,000 1,062,000 2.45
1955 45,536,000 1,102,000 2.48
1956 46,680,000 1,144,000 2.51
1957 47,869,000 1,189,000 2.55
1958 49,104,000 1,235,000 2.58
1959 50,387,000 1,283,000 2.61
1960 51,719,000 1,332,000 2.64
1961 53,101,000 1,382,000 2.67
1962 54,524,000 1,423,000 2.68
1963 55,988,000 1,464,000 2.69
1964 57,495,000 1,507,000 2.69
1965 59,046,000 1,551,000 2.70
1966 60,642,000 1,596,000 2.70
1967 62,282,000 1,640,000 2.70
1968 63,970,000 1,688,000 2.71
1969 65,706,000 1,736,000 2.71
1970 67,491,000 1,785,000 2.72
1971 69,326,000 1,835,000 2.72
1972 71,121,000 1,795,000 2.59
1973 72,912,000 1,791,000 2.52
1974 74,712,000 1,800,000 2.47
1975 76,456,000 1,744,000 2.33
1976 78,153,000 1,697,000 2.22
1977 80,051,000 1,898,000 2.43
1978 82,374,000 2,323,000 2.90
1979 85,219,000 2,845,000 3.45
1980 88,097,000 2,878,000 3.38
1981 90,975,000 2,878,000 3.27
1982 94,096,000 3,121,000 3.43
1983 96,881,000 2,785,000 2.96
1984 99,354,000 2,473,000 2.55
1985 102,079,000 2,725,000 2.74
1986 105,240,000 3,161,000 3.10
1987 108,584,000 3,344,000 3.18
1988 112,021,000 3,437,000 3.17
1989 115,419,000 3,398,000 3.03
1990 118,816,000 3,397,000 2.94
1991 122,248,000 3,432,000 2.89
1992 124,962,000 2,714,000 2.22
1993 127,563,000 2,601,000 2.08
1994 130,746,000 3,183,000 2.50
1995 134,185,000 3,439,000 2.63
1996 137,911,000 3,726,000 2.78
1997 141,445,000 3,534,000 2.56
1998 144,885,000 3,440,000 2.43
1999 148,379,000 3,494,000 2.41
2000 152,429,000 4,050,000 2.73
2001 156,795,000 4,366,000 2.86
2002 160,269,000 3,474,000 2.22
2003 163,166,000 2,897,000 1.81
2004 166,224,000 3,058,000 1.87
2005 169,279,000 3,055,000 1.84
2006 172,382,000 3,103,000 1.83
2007 175,495,000 3,113,000 1.81
2008 178,479,000 2,984,000 1.70
2009 181,457,000 2,978,000 1.67
2010 184,405,000 2,948,000 1.62
2011 187,343,000 2,938,000 1.59

Foreign born population in Pakistan


The second biggest group of foreign born population consists of Muslim refugees from Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 that have settled in Pakistan due to civil war in Afghanistan. The smaller groups consist of Muslim refugees from Myanmar
Myanmar
Burma , officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar , is a country in Southeast Asia. Burma is bordered by China on the northeast, Laos on the east, Thailand on the southeast, Bangladesh on the west, India on the northwest, the Bay of Bengal to the southwest, and the Andaman Sea on the south....

, Iraq, Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

, Bangladesh, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

, etc.


Year Population Foreign born Percentage foreign born
1960 46,259,000 6,350,296 13.73%
1970 59,565,000 5,105,556 8.57%
1980 79,297,000 5,012,524 6.32%
1990 111,698,000 6,555,782 5.87%
2000 142,648,000 4,242,689 2.97%
2005 157,935,000 3,254,112 2.06%


Source:

Ethnic groups




Pakistan's diversity is more visible along cultural differences and less along linguistic, religious or genetic lines. Almost all Pakistanis belong to the Indo-Iranians
Indo-Iranians
Indo-Iranian peoples are a linguistic group consisting of the Indo-Aryan, Iranian, Dardic and Nuristani peoples; that is, speakers of Indo-Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family....

 ancestral group. Pakistan's rough estimates vary, but the consensus is that the Punjabis
Punjabi people
The Punjabi people , ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ), also Panjabi people, are an Indo-Aryan group from South Asia. They are the second largest of the many ethnic groups in South Asia. They originate in the Punjab region, which has been been the location of some of the oldest civilizations in the world including, the...

 are the largest ethnic group. Pashtuns
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

 make up the second largest and Sindhi
Sindhi people
Sindhis are a Sindhi speaking socio-ethnic group of people originating from Sindh, a province Formerly of British India, now in Pakistan. Today Sindhis that live in Pakistan belong to various religious denominations including Islam, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Christianity...

 are the third largest ethnic groups. Saraiki
Saraiki people
The Saraiki people or Multani people are an ethnic group from the central and south-eastern areas of Pakistan, especially the former princely state of Bahawalpur and the districts of Multan, Lodhran, Vehari, Khanewal, Rahim Yar Khan, Rajanpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh,...

s, (a transitional group between Punjabis
Punjabi people
The Punjabi people , ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ), also Panjabi people, are an Indo-Aryan group from South Asia. They are the second largest of the many ethnic groups in South Asia. They originate in the Punjab region, which has been been the location of some of the oldest civilizations in the world including, the...

 and Sindhis
Sindhi people
Sindhis are a Sindhi speaking socio-ethnic group of people originating from Sindh, a province Formerly of British India, now in Pakistan. Today Sindhis that live in Pakistan belong to various religious denominations including Islam, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Christianity...

) make up 10.53% of the total population. The remaining large groups include the Muhajirs and the Baloch people
Baloch people
The Baloch or Baluch are an ethnic group that belong to the larger Iranian peoples. Baluch people mainly inhabit the Balochistan region and Sistan and Baluchestan Province in the southeast corner of the Iranian plateau in Western Asia....

 that make up 7.57% and 3.57% of the total population, respectively. Hindkowans
Hindkowans
Hindkowans or known locally as "Chachi's" are an Indo-Aryan ethno-linguistic group native to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces of Pakistan...

 and the Brahui
Brahui people
The Brahui or Brohi are ethnic Baloch group of about 2.2 million people with the majority found in Kalat, Baluchistan, Pakistan, but they are also found in smaller numbers in neighboring Afghanistan and Iran. The Brahuis are almost entirely Sunni Muslims.-Origins:The ethnonym "Brahui" is a very...

, and the various peoples of the Gilgit-Baltistan, constitute roughly 4.66% of the total population. The Pakhtun and Baloch represent two of the major populations that are linguistically Iranic
Iranian languages
The Iranian languages form a subfamily of the Indo-Iranian languages which in turn is a subgroup of Indo-European language family. They have been and are spoken by Iranian peoples....

, while the majority Punjabis, Hindkowans, Sindhis and Saraikis are the major linguistically Indo-Aryan
Indo-Aryans
Indo-Aryan is an ethno-linguistic term referring to the wide collection of peoples united as native speakers of the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-Iranian family of Indo-European languages...

 groups.

Descendents of Black African
Black people
The term black people is used in systems of racial classification for humans of a dark skinned phenotype, relative to other racial groups.Different societies apply different criteria regarding who is classified as "black", and often social variables such as class, socio-economic status also plays a...

 that where brought as slaves in 15th to the 19th century are known as Sheedis
Siddi
The Siddi, Siddhi, or Sheedi , also known as Habshi, are an Indian and Pakistani ethnic group of Afro-Arab and/or Black African descent. The Siddi population is currently estimated to be 20,000–55,000, with Gujarat and Hyderabad in India the main population centre. Siddis are mainly Sufi Muslims,...

. The Sheedis
Siddi
The Siddi, Siddhi, or Sheedi , also known as Habshi, are an Indian and Pakistani ethnic group of Afro-Arab and/or Black African descent. The Siddi population is currently estimated to be 20,000–55,000, with Gujarat and Hyderabad in India the main population centre. Siddis are mainly Sufi Muslims,...

 are Muslims and speak Balochi
Balochi language
Balochi is a Northwestern Iranian language. It is the principal language of the Baloch of Balochistan, Pakistan, eastern Iran and southern Afghanistan. It is also spoken as a second language by some Brahui. It is designated as one of nine official languages of Pakistan.-Vowels:The Balochi vowel...

, Sindhi
Sindhi language
Sindhi is the language of the Sindh region of Pakistan that is spoken by the Sindhi people. In India, it is among 22 constitutionally recognized languages, where Sindhis are a sizeable minority. It is spoken by 53,410,910 people in Pakistan, according to the national government's Statistics Division...

 and Urdu.

In 1850, the British
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 started developing Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

 as a major port for trade and commerce resulting in arrival of large number immigrants from Rajasthan
Rajasthan
Rājasthān the land of Rajasthanis, , is the largest state of the Republic of India by area. It is located in the northwest of India. It encompasses most of the area of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert , which has an edge paralleling the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with...

, Gujarat and Goa
Goa
Goa , a former Portuguese colony, is India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population. Located in South West India in the region known as the Konkan, it is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north, and by Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its...

. The Goan Catholics constitute the majority of the Christians in the city.

After Pakistan-India war in 1971, thousands of Biharis
Bihari people
The Biharis are an ethnic group originating from the present state of Bihar with a history going back three millennia...

 and Bengalis
Bengali people
The Bengali people are an ethnic community native to the historic region of Bengal in South Asia. They speak Bengali , which is an Indo-Aryan language of the eastern Indian subcontinent, evolved from the Magadhi Prakrit and Sanskrit languages. In their native language, they are referred to as বাঙালী...

 from Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

 arrived in the Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

, followed by Muslim Rohingya refugees
Rohingya people
The Rohingya is a predominantly Muslim ethnic group of disputed origin who live in Arakan State, western Burma. The Rohingya population is mostly concentrated to the cities of Maungdaw, Buthidaung, Akyab, Rathedaung and Kyauktaw.-Etymology:...

 from Burma, and Asians
Expulsion of Asians in Uganda in 1972
On 4 August 1972, the then President of Uganda, Idi Amin, ordered the expulsion of his country's Indian minority, giving them 90 days to leave Uganda...

 from Uganda
Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

. According to the UNHCR
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees , also known as The UN Refugee Agency is a United Nations agency mandated to protect and support refugees at the request of a government or the UN itself and assists in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to...

 and the local law enforcement, approximately 500,000 Afghan refugees live in Karachi.

Ethnics groups from Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, Central Asia and Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 include Hazara, Uzbeks, Turkmens
Turkmen people
The Turkmen are a Turkic people located primarily in the Central Asian states of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and northeastern Iran. They speak the Turkmen language, which is classified as a part of the Western Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages family together with Turkish, Azerbaijani, Qashqai,...

, Tajiks, Kyrgyzs, Nuristanis, Pashais, Pamiris
Pamiri people
Pamiri is the name of an Iranian ethnic group in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province in Tajikistan.-Ethnic Identity:The Pamiris are composed of people who speak the Pamiri languages, the indigenous language in the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous province, and adhere to the Ismaili sect of Shia...

, Brahuis
Brahui people
The Brahui or Brohi are ethnic Baloch group of about 2.2 million people with the majority found in Kalat, Baluchistan, Pakistan, but they are also found in smaller numbers in neighboring Afghanistan and Iran. The Brahuis are almost entirely Sunni Muslims.-Origins:The ethnonym "Brahui" is a very...

, Dards
Dard people
The Dards are a group of people defined by linguistic similarities, and not common ethnicity, predominantly found in Eastern Afghanistan, in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir and in the Northern Areas and North West Frontier Province of Pakistan...

, Baltis
Balti people
The Balti are an ethnic group of Tibetan descent with some Dardic admixture located in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan and Ladakh, a region in Jammu & Kashmir, India; as well as scattered in Pakistan's major urban centres of Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad/Rawalpindi. The Balti language belongs to the...

, Burushos, Uyghurs
Uyghur people
The Uyghur are a Turkic ethnic group living in Eastern and Central Asia. Today, Uyghurs live primarily in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China...

 and Wakhis
Wakhi people
The Wakhi people, or Khik , are an ethnic group originating in the Wakhan of today's Afghanistan. They also live in adjacent areas of Tajikistan and Xinjiang and in Pakistan . They speak the Wakhi language.-Population and demographics:A very rough estimate puts the population of Wakhis at about...

. Approximately 2.7 million Afghan refugees remain in Pakistan, though the exact number can be higher. They are not counted in the national census since they are considered citizens of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

. In addition, there are pockets of refugees/migrants including Iraqis
Iraqi people
The Iraqi people or Mesopotamian people are natives or inhabitants of the country of Iraq, known since antiquity as Mesopotamia , with a large diaspora throughout the Arab World, Europe, the Americas, and...

, Iranians, Tajiks, Somalis
Somali people
Somalis are an ethnic group located in the Horn of Africa, also known as the Somali Peninsula. The overwhelming majority of Somalis speak the Somali language, which is part of the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family...

, Rohingyas
Burmese people in Pakistan
The Burmese people in Pakistan are a Muslim community based in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. They are Rohingya Muslims from western Burma, who claim to have fled their homeland of Arakan State under the persecution of Muslim citizens by the Burmese junta...

, and others.

All major ethnic groups in Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, while categorized as separate entities, have thousands of years of shared history and inter-mingling. Thus, the genetic (as well as cultural and linguistic) differences between ethnic groups in Pakistan and those of its neighbours (Southeastern Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, North-Western India and others) are insignificant. In addition, inter-marriages between ethnic groups within Pakistan are becoming quite common.

Languages of Pakistan



Census history of major languages

Rank Language 1998 census 1982 census 1961 census 1951 census
1 Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

*
44.15% 48.17% 66.39% 67.08%
4 Seraiki
Saraiki language
Saraiki , transliterated as Sirāikī and sometimes spelled Seraiki and Saraiki, is a standardized written language of Pakistan belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages. It is a language spoken in the heart of Pakistan...

*
10.53% 9.54%
2 Pashto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

15.42% 13.35% 8.47% 8.16%
3 Sindhi
Sindhi language
Sindhi is the language of the Sindh region of Pakistan that is spoken by the Sindhi people. In India, it is among 22 constitutionally recognized languages, where Sindhis are a sizeable minority. It is spoken by 53,410,910 people in Pakistan, according to the national government's Statistics Division...

14.1% 12.7% 12.59% 12.85%
5 Urdu 7.57% 7.60% 7.57% 7.05%
6 Balochi
Balochi language
Balochi is a Northwestern Iranian language. It is the principal language of the Baloch of Balochistan, Pakistan, eastern Iran and southern Afghanistan. It is also spoken as a second language by some Brahui. It is designated as one of nine official languages of Pakistan.-Vowels:The Balochi vowel...

3.57% 3.02% 2.49% 3.04%


{* Seraiki was included with Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

 in the 1951 and 1961 censuses.}

Following are the major languages spoken in Pakistan. The percentage of Pakistanis who are native speakers of that language is also given.
Numbers of speakers of larger languages
Language 2008 estimate 1998 census Main areas spoken
1 Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

76,367,360 44.17% 58,433,431 44.15% Punjab
Punjab (Pakistan)
Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

2 Pashto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

26,692,890 15.44% 20,408,621 15.42% Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
3 Sindhi
Sindhi language
Sindhi is the language of the Sindh region of Pakistan that is spoken by the Sindhi people. In India, it is among 22 constitutionally recognized languages, where Sindhis are a sizeable minority. It is spoken by 53,410,910 people in Pakistan, according to the national government's Statistics Division...

26,410,910 15.35% 18,661,571 14.10% Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

4 Seraiki 18,019,610 10.42% 13,936,594 10.53% South Punjab
South Punjab
South Punjab is the southernmost region of Pakistan's Punjab province. The districts of Bahawalpur, Multan, Rahim Yar Khan and D. G. Khan are geographically regarded as components of the region...

5 Urdu 13,120,540 7.59% 10,019,576 7.57% Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

6 Balochi
Balochi language
Balochi is a Northwestern Iranian language. It is the principal language of the Baloch of Balochistan, Pakistan, eastern Iran and southern Afghanistan. It is also spoken as a second language by some Brahui. It is designated as one of nine official languages of Pakistan.-Vowels:The Balochi vowel...

6,204,540 3.59% 4,724,871 3.57% Balochistan
Balochistan (Pakistan)
Balochistan is one of the four provinces or federating units of Pakistan. With an area of 134,051 mi2 or , it is the largest province of Pakistan, constituting approximately 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan. According to the 1998 population census, Balochistan had a population of...

7 Others 8,089,150 3.59% 6,167,515 4.66%
Total 172,900,000 100% 132,352,279 100% Pakistan


There are around 75 to 80 known Pakistani languages
Languages of Pakistan
Languages of Pakistan include two official languages: Urdu, which is also Pakistan's national language and lingua franca, and English. Additionally, Pakistan has four major provincial languages: Punjabi, Pashto, Sindhi, Farsi and Balochi, as well as three major regional languages: Saraiki, Hindko...

 although, in practice, there are primarily six major languages in Pakistan spoken by 95% of the population: Punjabi, Pashto, Sindhi, Saraiki, Urdu, and Balochi. The official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

 is English and the national language
National language
A national language is a language which has some connection—de facto or de jure—with a people and perhaps by extension the territory they occupy. The term is used variously. A national language may for instance represent the national identity of a nation or country...

 is Urdu, the census indicates that around 8% of the population speak Urdu as their first language
First language
A first language is the language a person has learned from birth or within the critical period, or that a person speaks the best and so is often the basis for sociolinguistic identity...

. However, due to rapid urbanization and modernization, the use of Urdu as a primary language is increasing, especially amongst the growing urbanized middle class of Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. Around 44% speak Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

, 15.5% speak Pashto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

, 15.5% speak Sindhi
Sindhi language
Sindhi is the language of the Sindh region of Pakistan that is spoken by the Sindhi people. In India, it is among 22 constitutionally recognized languages, where Sindhis are a sizeable minority. It is spoken by 53,410,910 people in Pakistan, according to the national government's Statistics Division...

, 10.5% Saraiki
Saraiki language
Saraiki , transliterated as Sirāikī and sometimes spelled Seraiki and Saraiki, is a standardized written language of Pakistan belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages. It is a language spoken in the heart of Pakistan...

, 7.5% Urdu, 3.5% Balochi
Balochi language
Balochi is a Northwestern Iranian language. It is the principal language of the Baloch of Balochistan, Pakistan, eastern Iran and southern Afghanistan. It is also spoken as a second language by some Brahui. It is designated as one of nine official languages of Pakistan.-Vowels:The Balochi vowel...

, and 3.5% other languages (Hindko, Brahui etc.) as their first language. Most Pakistanis, however, speak or understand at least two to three languages and almost all Pakistanis speak or understand the national language, Urdu.

The most prevalent native languages appear in bold below, with the percentage of the population speaking them as their first language rounded to the nearest percentage point:

English


English is the official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

, being widely used within the government
Government of Pakistan
The Government of Pakistan is a federal parliamentary system, with an indirectly-elected President as the Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Pakistani Armed Forces, and an indirectly-elected Prime Minister as the Head of Government. The President’s appointment and term are...

, by the civil service and the officer ranks of the military. Pakistan's Constitution
Constitution of Pakistan
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is the supreme law of Pakistan. Known as the Constitution of 1973, it was drafted by the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and, following additions by the opposition parties, was approved by the legislative assembly on April 10, 1973...

 and laws are written in English. Nearly all schools, colleges and universities, use English as the medium of instruction
Medium of instruction
Medium of instruction is a language used in teaching. It may or may not be the official language of the country or territory. Where the first language of students is different from the official language, it may be used as the medium of instruction for part or all of schooling. Bilingual or...

. Amongst the more educated social circles of Pakistan, English is seen as the language of upward mobility and its use is becoming more prevalent in upper social circles often spoken alongside native Pakistani languages. Among countries that use English as an official language, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 is the third most populous in the world.

Urdu


Urdu is the national language
National language
A national language is a language which has some connection—de facto or de jure—with a people and perhaps by extension the territory they occupy. The term is used variously. A national language may for instance represent the national identity of a nation or country...

 of Pakistan, the lingua franca chosen to facilitate inter-provincial communication between the country's diverse linguistic populations. Although only about 7.5% of Pakistanis speak it as their first language, it is spoken as a second and often third language by nearly all Pakistanis. Its introduction as the lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

 was encouraged by the British
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 upon the capitulation and annexation of Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 (1843) and Punjab
Punjab (Pakistan)
Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

 (1849) with the subsequent ban on the use of Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

, the lingua franca of the region for the last 1,000 years, probably since the time the area was part of the Persian
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

 Achaemenid Empire
Achaemenid Empire
The Achaemenid Empire , sometimes known as First Persian Empire and/or Persian Empire, was founded in the 6th century BCE by Cyrus the Great who overthrew the Median confederation...

. The decision to make the language change was to institute a universal language throughout the then British Raj
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 in South Asia as well as minimize the influence of Persia, Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, Afghanistan and Central Asia had on this transitional region. Urdu is a relatively new language in the contemporary sense but has undergone considerable modifications and development borrowing heavily on the traditions of older languages like Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

, Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

, Turkish
Turkic languages
The Turkic languages constitute a language family of at least thirty five languages, spoken by Turkic peoples across a vast area from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean to Siberia and Western China, and are considered to be part of the proposed Altaic language family.Turkic languages are spoken...

 and local South Asian languages
Languages of South Asia
South Asia is home to several hundred languages. Most languages spoken in India belong either to the Indo-European , the Dravidian , the Austroasiatic , or the Tibeto-Burman South Asia is home to several hundred languages. Most languages spoken in India belong either to the Indo-European (ca....

 all of which can be found in its vocabulary. It began as a standardized register of Hindi and in its spoken form. It is widely used, both formally and informally, for personal letters as well as public literature, in the literary sphere and in the popular media. It is a required subject of study in all primary and secondary schools. It is the first language of most Muhajirs (Muslim refugees that fled from genocide
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

 and pograms from different parts of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 after independence of Pakistan in 1947) that form nearly 8% of Pakistan's population and is an acquired language. But nearly all of Pakistan's native ethnic groups representing almost 92% of the population making Pakistan a unique country in the choice of national languages. As Pakistan's national language, Urdu has been promoted as a token of national unity. In recent years, the Urdu spoken in Pakistan has undergone further evolution and acquired a particularly Pakistani flavour to it often absorbing local native terminology and adopting a strong Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

, Sindhi
Sindhi language
Sindhi is the language of the Sindh region of Pakistan that is spoken by the Sindhi people. In India, it is among 22 constitutionally recognized languages, where Sindhis are a sizeable minority. It is spoken by 53,410,910 people in Pakistan, according to the national government's Statistics Division...

 and Pashto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

 leaning in terms of intonations and vocabulary. It is a modern language which is constantly evolving from its original form. It is written in a modified form of the Perso-Arabic script
Perso-Arabic script
The Persian or Perso-Arabic alphabet is a writing system based on the Arabic script. Originally used exclusively for the Arabic language, the Arabic alphabet was adapted to the Persian language, adding four letters: , , , and . Many languages which use the Perso-Arabic script add other letters...

, Nastaliq, and its basic Hindi-based vocabulary has been enriched by words from Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

, Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

, Turkic languages
Turkic languages
The Turkic languages constitute a language family of at least thirty five languages, spoken by Turkic peoples across a vast area from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean to Siberia and Western China, and are considered to be part of the proposed Altaic language family.Turkic languages are spoken...

 and English. Urdu has drawn inspiration from Persian literature
Persian literature
Persian literature spans two-and-a-half millennia, though much of the pre-Islamic material has been lost. Its sources have been within historical Persia including present-day Iran as well as regions of Central Asia where the Persian language has historically been the national language...

 and has now an enormous stock of words from that language. In recent years, the Urdu spoken in Pakistan has gradually incorporated words from many of the native languages found there including Pashto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

, Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

 and Sindhi
Sindhi language
Sindhi is the language of the Sindh region of Pakistan that is spoken by the Sindhi people. In India, it is among 22 constitutionally recognized languages, where Sindhis are a sizeable minority. It is spoken by 53,410,910 people in Pakistan, according to the national government's Statistics Division...

 to name a few. As such the language is constantly developing and has acquired a particularly 'Pakistani' flavour to it distinguishing itself from that spoken in ancient times and in India. The first poetry in Urdu was by the Persian poet Amir Khusro
Amir Khusro
Ab'ul Hasan Yamīn ud-Dīn Khusrow , better known as Amīr Khusrow Dehlawī , was an Indian musician, scholar and poet. He was an iconic figure in the cultural history of the Indian subcontinent...

 (1253–1325) and the first Urdu book "Woh Majlis" was written in 1728 and the first time the word "Urdu" was used by Sirajuddin Ali Khan Arzoo in 1741. The Mughal
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

 Emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir
Aurangzeb
Abul Muzaffar Muhy-ud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir , more commonly known as Aurangzeb or by his chosen imperial title Alamgir , was the sixth Mughal Emperor of India, whose reign lasted from 1658 until his death in 1707.Badshah Aurangzeb, having ruled most of the Indian subcontinent for nearly...

 (1658–1707) spoke Urdu (or Hindustani
Hindustani language
Hindi-Urdu is an Indo-Aryan language and the lingua franca of North India and Pakistan. It is also known as Hindustani , and historically, as Hindavi or Rekhta...

) fluently as did his descendents while his ancestors mostly spoke Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 and Turkish.

Punjabi


Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

 is a provincial language spoken as a first language by more than 44% of Pakistanis, mostly in Punjab
Punjab (Pakistan)
Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

 as well as by a large number of people in Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

. It is an important language since Punjabi is spoken by about half of Pakistanis. However, Punjabi does not have any official status in Pakistan. The exact numbers of Punjabi speakers in Pakistan is hard to find since there are many dialects / languages, such as Saraiki
Saraiki language
Saraiki , transliterated as Sirāikī and sometimes spelled Seraiki and Saraiki, is a standardized written language of Pakistan belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages. It is a language spoken in the heart of Pakistan...

, which some regard as part of Punjabi and others regard as separate language. When taking into account Hindko, Potwari, Pahari, Saraiki, Punjabi dialects are thus spoken by almost 60% of the population in Pakistan. The standard Punjabi dialects is from Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

, Sialkot
Sialkot
Sialkot is a city in Pakistan situated in the north-east of the Punjab province at the foothills of snow-covered peaks of Kashmir near the Chenab river. It is the capital of Sialkot District. The city is about north-west of Lahore and only a few kilometers from Indian-controlled Jammu.The...

, Gujranwala
Gujranwala
Gujranwala is a industrial city in the north-east of the Punjab province. It is the sixth largest city in Pakistan with a population of approximately 2,661,360 as on 24 June 2011...

 and Sheikhupura
Sheikhupura
Sheikhupura or Shekhupur , formerly Kot Dayal Das or Singhpuria or Virkgarh , is an industrial city in the province of Punjab slightly northwest to Lahore in Pakistan. It is known for its historical places, and is commonly known locally as Qila Shaikhupura, because of the fort in the city,...

 districts of the Pakistani Punjab which was used by Waris Shah
Waris Shah
Waris Shah was a Punjabi Sufi poet, renowned for his contribution to Punjabi literature. He is best-known for his seminal work Heer Ranjha, based on the traditional folk tale of Heer and her lover Ranjha. Heer is considered one of the quintessential works of classical Punjabi literature...

 (1722–1798) in his famous book Heer Ranjha
Heer Ranjha
For 1970 Hindi movie of same name and characters, see Heer Raanjha.Heer Ranjha is one of the four popular tragic romances of the Punjab. The other three are Mirza Sahiba, Sassi Punnun and Sohni Mahiwal. There are several poetic narrations of the story, the most famous being 'Heer' by Waris Shah...

 and is also now days the language of Punjabi literature, film and music; such as Lollywood
Lollywood
Lollywood refers to the Pakistani film industry based in the city of Lahore. The word "Lollywood" was first coined in the summer of 1989 in the now defunct magazine "Glamour" published from Karachi by a gossip columnist Saleem Nasir. The film industry in Lahore started in 1929 with the opening of...

. Other dialects are Multani or Saraiki in the West and South, Pothowari & Hindko in the North, Dogri in the mountain areas and Shahpuri in the Sargodha
Sargodha
Sargodha is a city in the Sargodha District of Punjab province, Pakistan.Sargodha is located in the northwest of Pakistan. It is the eleventh largest city of Pakistan and also known as Pakistan's best citrus-producing area. It is an agricultural trade centre with various industries...

 district.

Punjabi is descended from Prakrit
Prakrit
Prakrit is the name for a group of Middle Indic, Indo-Aryan languages, derived from Old Indic dialects. The word itself has a flexible definition, being defined sometimes as, "original, natural, artless, normal, ordinary, usual", or "vernacular", in contrast to the literary and religious...

 in the Vedic period (1700 B.C.), Pali
Páli
- External links :* *...

, Old Persian and Apabhramsha
Apabhramsha
Apabhraṃśa is a term used by Sanskrit grammarians since Patañjali to refer to dialects that deviate from the norm of Sanskrit grammar. The term in Sanskrit literally means "corrupt" or "non-grammatical language". It is used as a cover term for the dialects forming the transition between the late...

 in the Ashoka
Ashoka
Ashok Maurya or Ashoka , popularly known as Ashoka the Great, was an Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty who ruled almost all of the Indian subcontinent from ca. 269 BC to 232 BC. One of India's greatest emperors, Ashoka reigned over most of present-day India after a number of military conquests...

 period (273 B.C. – 232 B.C.) and Hindvi, Lahori and Multani in the Muslim period (711 A.D. – 1857 A.D.) Punjabi literature was principally spiritual in nature and has had a very rich oral tradition. The Great poetry written by Sufi saints has been the folklore of the Punjab and is still sung with great love in any part of Punjab.

Punjabi dialects:
  • Lahori – "The standard Punjabi language" and spoken in the heart of Punjab where most of the Punjabi population lives. The main districts are Lahore
    Lahore
    Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

    , Sheikhupura
    Sheikhupura
    Sheikhupura or Shekhupur , formerly Kot Dayal Das or Singhpuria or Virkgarh , is an industrial city in the province of Punjab slightly northwest to Lahore in Pakistan. It is known for its historical places, and is commonly known locally as Qila Shaikhupura, because of the fort in the city,...

    , Gujranwala
    Gujranwala
    Gujranwala is a industrial city in the north-east of the Punjab province. It is the sixth largest city in Pakistan with a population of approximately 2,661,360 as on 24 June 2011...

     and Sialkot
    Sialkot
    Sialkot is a city in Pakistan situated in the north-east of the Punjab province at the foothills of snow-covered peaks of Kashmir near the Chenab river. It is the capital of Sialkot District. The city is about north-west of Lahore and only a few kilometers from Indian-controlled Jammu.The...

    .
  • Pothowari – The area where Pothowari is spoken extends in the north from Azad Jammu and Kashmir (Mirpur) to as far south as Jhelum
    Jhelum
    Jhelum or Jehlum may refer to:* Jhelum, a city in Pakistan on the banks of the Jhelum River* Jhelum District, an administrative division in Punjab, Pakistan surrounding the city of Jhelum...

    , Gujar Khan
    Gujar Khan
    Gujar Khan is a city in Rawalpindi District, Punjab, Pakistan. It is the headquarters of Gujar Khan Tehsil, the largest tehsil of Punjab. It is approximately 55 kilometres southeast of Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan and 220 km to the north west of Lahore, capital of Punjab...

    , Chakwal
    Chakwal
    Chakwal is the capital of Chakwal District, Punjab, Pakistan. It is located 90 km south-east of the federal capital, Islamabad and is named after Chaudhry Chaku Khan, chief of the Mair Minhas tribe from Jammu, who founded it in 1525 CE during the era of the Mughal Emperor, Zaheerudun Babur...

     and Rawalpindi
    Rawalpindi
    Rawalpindi , locally known as Pindi, is a city in the Pothohar region of Pakistan near Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad, in the province of Punjab. Rawalpindi is the fourth largest city in Pakistan after Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad...

    . The language in the Dhani area of Chakwal
    Chakwal
    Chakwal is the capital of Chakwal District, Punjab, Pakistan. It is located 90 km south-east of the federal capital, Islamabad and is named after Chaudhry Chaku Khan, chief of the Mair Minhas tribe from Jammu, who founded it in 1525 CE during the era of the Mughal Emperor, Zaheerudun Babur...

     is a mix of Pothowari, Saraiki and jhangi

Sindhi


Sindhi
Sindhi language
Sindhi is the language of the Sindh region of Pakistan that is spoken by the Sindhi people. In India, it is among 22 constitutionally recognized languages, where Sindhis are a sizeable minority. It is spoken by 53,410,910 people in Pakistan, according to the national government's Statistics Division...

 is a provincial language spoken as a first language by 15.5% of Pakistanis , mostly in Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

. It has a rich literature and is used in schools. It is an Indo-Iranian
Indo-Iranian
Indo-Iranian can refer to:* Indo-Iranian languages* Prehistoric Indo-Iranians * Indo-European languages* Proto-Indo-Iranian religion* Proto-Indo-Iranian language...

 (Indo-European
Indo-European
Indo-European may refer to:* Indo-European languages** Aryan race, a 19th century and early 20th century term for those peoples who are the native speakers of Indo-European languages...

) language, derived from Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

, Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 and Arabic languages
Arabic languages
The Arabic language family consists of*Classical Arabic and its descendants, including** Modern Standard Arabic and colloquial varieties of Arabic **The various Judeo-Arabic languages **Maltese...

. Sindhi absorbed many Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 words as it was lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

 of the region for the last 2,000 years, probably since the time the area was part of the Persian
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

 Achaemenid Empire
Achaemenid Empire
The Achaemenid Empire , sometimes known as First Persian Empire and/or Persian Empire, was founded in the 6th century BCE by Cyrus the Great who overthrew the Median confederation...

. The the Arabs ruled Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 for more than 150 years after Muhammad bin Qasim
Muhammad bin Qasim
Muhammad bin Qasim Al-Thaqafi was a Umayyad general who, at the age of 17, began the conquest of the Sindh and Punjab regions along the Indus River for the Umayyad Caliphate. He was born in the city of Taif...

 conquered it in 712 AD, remaining there for three years to set up Arab rule. Consequently, the social fabric of Sindh contains elements of Arabic society. Sindhi is spoken by over 36 million people in Pakistan, and is the official language of Sindh province. It is widely spoken in the Lasbela District
Lasbela District
Lasbela is a coastal district of Balochistan province of Pakistan. It became a separate district in Kalat Division on 30 June 1954. The name is derived from the words Las which in Sanskrit signifies a settlement or lived in or lively and Bela which means "A Sea's Shore" in Sanskrit and is also the...

 of Balochistan
Balochistan (Pakistan)
Balochistan is one of the four provinces or federating units of Pakistan. With an area of 134,051 mi2 or , it is the largest province of Pakistan, constituting approximately 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan. According to the 1998 population census, Balochistan had a population of...

 (where the Lasi
Lasi
Lasi is a tribe settled in Lasbela District of Balochistan, Pakistan....

 tribe speaks a dialect of Sindhi), many areas of the Naseerabad
Nasirabad District
Nasirabad is a district in the centre-west of Balochistan, Pakistan. Nasirabad’s headquarters are at Dera Murad Jamali. The district was notified in 1974. For three years, from July 1987 to December 1990, it was known as Tamboo district. Tamboo is a small village 40 km west of Dera Murad...

 and Jafarabad
Jafarabad District
Jafarabad or Jaffarabad district lies in the South-East of the Pakistani province of Balochistan. Jafarabad’s headquarters are at Dera Allah Yar. Formerly known as the Jhatpat subdivision, the region was part of the Jacobabad District until 1970 and part of the Sibi District until 1975...

 districts of Balochistan
Balochistan (Pakistan)
Balochistan is one of the four provinces or federating units of Pakistan. With an area of 134,051 mi2 or , it is the largest province of Pakistan, constituting approximately 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan. According to the 1998 population census, Balochistan had a population of...

, and by the Sindhi diaspora abroad. Sindhi language has six major dialect
Dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

s: Sireli, Vicholi, Lari, Thari, Lasi and Kachhi. It is written in the Arabic script with several additional letters to accommodate special sounds. The largest Sindhi-speaking cities are Karachi, Hyderabad
Hyderabad, Sindh
is the second largest city in the Sindh province of Pakistan. It is the seventh largest city in the country. The city was founded in 1768 by Mian Ghulam Shah Kalhoro upon the ruins of a Mauryan fishing village along the bank of the Indus known as Neroon Kot...

, Sukkur
Sukkur
Sukkur, or Sakharu , formerly Aror and Bakar, is the third largest city of Sindh province, situated on the west bank of Indus River in Pakistan in Sukkur District. However, the word Sakharu in Sindhi means "superior", which the spelling of the city's name in Sindhi suggests is the origin of the...

, Shikarpur, Dadu, Jacobabad
Jacobabad
Jacobabad or Yaqubabad is the capital city of Jacobabad District, Sindh, Pakistan. The city is also the administrative centre of Jacobabad Taluka, an administrative subdivision of the district, the city is subdivided into 8 Union Councils...

, Larkana
Larkana
Larkana or Larkano is the fourth largest city in the north-western part of Sindh Province, Pakistan, and is located within Larkana District.The old name of larkano is chandka which was changed in 1901. In August 2000 Larkana celebrated its hundred years of existence...

 and Nawabshah
Nawabshah
Nawabshah , or Shaheed Benazirabad, is a district in the Sindh province of Pakistan. It is headquarter of Shaheed Benazir Abad District...

. Sindhi literature
Sindhi literature
Sindhi literature is very rich and is generally considered to be among the world's oldest. Its writers have contributed extensively in various forms of literature both in poetry and prose.- Sufi literature and poetry :...

 is also spiritual in nature. Shah Abdul Latif Bhita'i (1689–1752) is one of its greatest poets, and wrote Sassi Punnun
Sassi Punnun
Sassi Punnun ; is one of the seven popular tragic romances from Sindh and Baluchistan. The other six are Umar Marui, Sohni Mehar, Lila Chanesar, Noori Jam Tamachi, Momal Rano and Dhaj, Ror Kumar commonly known as Seven Queens of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai...

 and Umar Marvi
Umar Marvi
Umar Marvi or Marui is a Sindh love story that appears in Shah Jo Risalo. It is a love story set in Sindh, Pakistan. Umar Marui is included in seven popular tragic romances from Sindh and Baluchistan...

, folk stories, in his famous book "Shah Jo Risalo
Shah Jo Risalo
Shah Jo Risalo is the name of the compiled verses of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai. Many scholars and linguists have published Shah Jo Risalo with their own compilations, hence many editions are available...

".

Sindhi dialects:
  • Sindhi Siraiki- a version of siraiki regarded as a dialect of Sindhi
    Sindhi language
    Sindhi is the language of the Sindh region of Pakistan that is spoken by the Sindhi people. In India, it is among 22 constitutionally recognized languages, where Sindhis are a sizeable minority. It is spoken by 53,410,910 people in Pakistan, according to the national government's Statistics Division...

    ; spoken mainly in Upper Sindh
    Sindh
    Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

    .
  • Vicholi- in Vicholo, i.e. Central Sindh
    Sindh
    Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

  • Lari- in Laru, i.e. Lower Sindh
    Sindh
    Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

  • Lasi- in Lasa B’elo, a part of Kohistan in Baluchistan on the western side of Sindh
    Sindh
    Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

  • Thari or Thareli- in Tharu, the desert region on the southeast border of Sindh
    Sindh
    Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

     and a part of the Jaisalmer district
    Jaisalmer district
    Jaisalmer District is a district of Rajasthan state in western India. The city of Jaisalmer is the administrative headquarters of the district.As of 2011 it is the least populous district of Rajasthan .-Geography:...

     in Rajasthan
  • Kachhi- in the Kutch region and in a part of Kathiawar in Gujarat, on the southern side of Sindh
    Sindh
    Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...



Vicholi is considered as the standard dialect by all Sindhi speakers.

Pashto


Pashto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

 is a provincial language spoken as a first language by 15.5% (28–30 millions) of Pakistanis, mostly in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and in Balochistan
Balochistan (Pakistan)
Balochistan is one of the four provinces or federating units of Pakistan. With an area of 134,051 mi2 or , it is the largest province of Pakistan, constituting approximately 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan. According to the 1998 population census, Balochistan had a population of...

 as well as by immigrants to the eastern provinces who are often not counted due to census irregularities. The Pashto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

 has rich written literary traditions as well as an oral tradition. There are two major dialect patterns within which the various individual dialects may be classified; these are Pakhto, which is the Northern (Peshawar
Peshawar
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

) variety, and the softer Pashto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

 spoken in the southern areas. Khushal Khan Khattak
Khushal Khan Khattak
Khushal Khan Khattak was a prominent Pashtun malik, poet, warrior,A charismatic personality and tribal chief of the Khattak tribe. He wrote a huge collection of Pashto poems during the Mughal Empire in the 17th century, and admonished Pashtuns to forsake their divisive tendencies and unite...

 (1613–1689) and Rahman Baba
Rahman Baba
Abdul Rahman Baba is popularly known as Rahman Baba , was a Pashtun Muslim poet from Peshawar in modern-day Pakistan who remains the most popular poet among the Pashtuns...

 (1633–1708) were the most famous poets in the Pashto language. In the last part of 20th century, Pakhto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

 or Pashto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

 has produced some great poets like Ghani Khan
Ghani Khan
Ghani Khan is widely considered as one of the best Pashto language poets of the 20th century, along with Ameer Hamza Shinwari. He stands on a par with Khushal Khan Khattak and Rahman Baba. He was also a respected writer and artist...

, Khatir Afridi
Khatir Afridi
Khatir Afridi was born as Misree Khan in 1929, at Landi Kotal, Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Pakistan near the border of Afghanistan, and died on August 24, 1961. Misree Khan was born to Afridi parents of the Zakka Khel clan. He was a prominent poet of the Pashto language but died young...

 and Amir Hamza Shinwari. There are also many Pakistani's from the adjacent regions of Punjab
Punjab (Pakistan)
Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

, Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 and Balochistan
Balochistan (Pakistan)
Balochistan is one of the four provinces or federating units of Pakistan. With an area of 134,051 mi2 or , it is the largest province of Pakistan, constituting approximately 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan. According to the 1998 population census, Balochistan had a population of...

 who are conversant in Pashto and count it as their second language. They are not included in the overall percentage. Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

 is the biggest Pashto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

 speaking city in the world although the Pashto speakers constitute only about 20% of Karachi's population.

Saraiki


Saraiki
Saraiki language
Saraiki , transliterated as Sirāikī and sometimes spelled Seraiki and Saraiki, is a standardized written language of Pakistan belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages. It is a language spoken in the heart of Pakistan...

 is a regional language closely related to Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

 (See Classification, below). Many argue that it is merely a regional dialect of Punjabi. It is spoken as a first language by 10.5% of Pakistanis, mostly in the southern districts of Punjab, Pakistan (see Saraikis). Dialects tend to blend into each other, with Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

 to the east, and Sindhi
Sindhi language
Sindhi is the language of the Sindh region of Pakistan that is spoken by the Sindhi people. In India, it is among 22 constitutionally recognized languages, where Sindhis are a sizeable minority. It is spoken by 53,410,910 people in Pakistan, according to the national government's Statistics Division...

 to the south. Until recently it was considered to be a dialect of Punjabi. The Saraiki language has an 85% lexical similarity with Sindhi
Sindhi language
Sindhi is the language of the Sindh region of Pakistan that is spoken by the Sindhi people. In India, it is among 22 constitutionally recognized languages, where Sindhis are a sizeable minority. It is spoken by 53,410,910 people in Pakistan, according to the national government's Statistics Division...

 and 68% similarity with Odki and Sansi. Dialects are Derawali, Khatki, Jangli or Jatki and Riasti or Bahawalpuri. Saraiki
Saraiki language
Saraiki , transliterated as Sirāikī and sometimes spelled Seraiki and Saraiki, is a standardized written language of Pakistan belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages. It is a language spoken in the heart of Pakistan...

 or Multani
Multani language
Multani is spoken in southern Punjab, Pakistan. This dialect of Punjabi is mainly spoken in Multan_District, Muzaffargarh_District and adjacent ares like some parts of District Khanewal. It is mentioned in ancient documents....

 (also Lehndi by some) differs from Punjabi more than any other dialect. Multani
Multani language
Multani is spoken in southern Punjab, Pakistan. This dialect of Punjabi is mainly spoken in Multan_District, Muzaffargarh_District and adjacent ares like some parts of District Khanewal. It is mentioned in ancient documents....

 becomes more and more different as you move down south, as the influence of Sindhi
Sindhi language
Sindhi is the language of the Sindh region of Pakistan that is spoken by the Sindhi people. In India, it is among 22 constitutionally recognized languages, where Sindhis are a sizeable minority. It is spoken by 53,410,910 people in Pakistan, according to the national government's Statistics Division...

 increases, it is also known as Saraiki there. Saraiki
Saraiki language
Saraiki , transliterated as Sirāikī and sometimes spelled Seraiki and Saraiki, is a standardized written language of Pakistan belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages. It is a language spoken in the heart of Pakistan...

 itself is Sindhi
Sindhi language
Sindhi is the language of the Sindh region of Pakistan that is spoken by the Sindhi people. In India, it is among 22 constitutionally recognized languages, where Sindhis are a sizeable minority. It is spoken by 53,410,910 people in Pakistan, according to the national government's Statistics Division...

 word and means northern.

Balochi


Balochi
Balochi language
Balochi is a Northwestern Iranian language. It is the principal language of the Baloch of Balochistan, Pakistan, eastern Iran and southern Afghanistan. It is also spoken as a second language by some Brahui. It is designated as one of nine official languages of Pakistan.-Vowels:The Balochi vowel...

 is a provincial language spoken as first language by about 3.5% of Pakistanis, mostly in Balochistan
Balochistan (Pakistan)
Balochistan is one of the four provinces or federating units of Pakistan. With an area of 134,051 mi2 or , it is the largest province of Pakistan, constituting approximately 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan. According to the 1998 population census, Balochistan had a population of...

. Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 and southern Punjab
Punjab (Pakistan)
Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

. Balochi language is very close to the Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 itself. The name Balochi or Baluchi is not found before the 10th century. It is believed that the language was brought to its present location in a series of migrations from northern Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 region of Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. The sea has a surface area of and a volume of...

. Rakshani is the major dialect group in terms of numbers. Sarhaddi, is a sub dialect of Rakshani. Other sub – dialects are Qalati, Chagai Kharani, and Makrani
Makrani
Makrani are the inhabitants of Makran coast of Balochistan in Iran and Pakistan.-Sheedi:Black Africans were enslaved and brought to Balochistan in medieval times. The descendants are called Makrani or Sheedi. The Sheedis are a Negroid people in Pakistan...

. The Eastern Hill Balochi or Northern Balochi are distinct dialects.The Kethran language in North East Balochistan is also a variant of Balochi.It is one of the 9 distinguished languages of Pakistan. Since Balochi
Balochi language
Balochi is a Northwestern Iranian language. It is the principal language of the Baloch of Balochistan, Pakistan, eastern Iran and southern Afghanistan. It is also spoken as a second language by some Brahui. It is designated as one of nine official languages of Pakistan.-Vowels:The Balochi vowel...

 is a very poetic and rich language and have a certain degree of affinity to Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 and Urdu, Balochi poets tend to be very good poets in Urdu as well and Ata Shaad, Gul Khan Nasir and Noon Meem Danish
Noon Meem Danish
Noor Mohammed Danish is a Pakistani poet of African and Baloch descent. He is more commonly known as Noon Meem Danish or N. M. Danish.-Early life and education:...

 are excellent examples of this.

Brahui


Brahui  is a regional language of uncertain origin despite the fact that the bulk of the language shares lexical similarities to Balochi
Balochi language
Balochi is a Northwestern Iranian language. It is the principal language of the Baloch of Balochistan, Pakistan, eastern Iran and southern Afghanistan. It is also spoken as a second language by some Brahui. It is designated as one of nine official languages of Pakistan.-Vowels:The Balochi vowel...

 as well as Sindhi
Sindhi language
Sindhi is the language of the Sindh region of Pakistan that is spoken by the Sindhi people. In India, it is among 22 constitutionally recognized languages, where Sindhis are a sizeable minority. It is spoken by 53,410,910 people in Pakistan, according to the national government's Statistics Division...

. In colonial times, many British linguists tried to make the claim of a possible Dravidian language
Dravidian languages
The Dravidian language family includes approximately 85 genetically related languages, spoken by about 217 million people. They are mainly spoken in southern India and parts of eastern and central India as well as in northeastern Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran, and...

 origin but this has not been conclusively proven despite ongoing research in the language for a century now. spoken in southern Pakistan, may have evolved from the original languages of Indus valley civilizations
Indus Valley Civilization
The Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that was located in the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent, consisting of what is now mainly modern-day Pakistan and northwest India...

 at Mehrgarh
Mehrgarh
Mehrgarh , one of the most important Neolithic sites in archaeology, lies on the "Kachi plain" of Balochistan, Pakistan...

 . However it is heavily influenced by Balochi and Pashto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

. It is spoken in central and east central Balochistan
Balochistan (Pakistan)
Balochistan is one of the four provinces or federating units of Pakistan. With an area of 134,051 mi2 or , it is the largest province of Pakistan, constituting approximately 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan. According to the 1998 population census, Balochistan had a population of...

. The Mengal
Mengal
Mengal is a Brahui / Baloch tribe in Balochistan, Pakistan- Demographics :The Mengal tribe is one of the largest Baloch tribe. Mengal people speak Brahui, a Dravidian language that has been heavily influenced by other Iranian languages spoken in the area, especially Balochi...

s are a famous Brahvi tribe. Around 1–1.5% of Pakistani population has Brahui as their first language. It is one of the nine distinguished languages of Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

.

The Brahui
Brahui people
The Brahui or Brohi are ethnic Baloch group of about 2.2 million people with the majority found in Kalat, Baluchistan, Pakistan, but they are also found in smaller numbers in neighboring Afghanistan and Iran. The Brahuis are almost entirely Sunni Muslims.-Origins:The ethnonym "Brahui" is a very...

 population of Balochistan
Balochistan (region)
Balochistan or Baluchistan is an arid, mountainous region in the Iranian plateau in Southwest Asia; it includes part of southeastern Iran, western Pakistan, and southwestern Afghanistan. The area is named after the numerous Baloch tribes, Iranian peoples who moved into the area from the west...

 has been taken by some as the linguistic equivalent of a relict
Relict
A relict is a surviving remnant of a natural phenomenon.* In biology a relict is an organism that at an earlier time was abundant in a large area but now occurs at only one or a few small areas....

 population, perhaps indicating that Dravidian languages
Dravidian languages
The Dravidian language family includes approximately 85 genetically related languages, spoken by about 217 million people. They are mainly spoken in southern India and parts of eastern and central India as well as in northeastern Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran, and...

  were formerly much more widespread and were supplanted by the incoming Indo-Aryan languages
Indo-Aryan languages
The Indo-Aryan languages constitutes a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages, itself a branch of the Indo-European language family...

. However it has now been demonstrated that the Brahui could only have migrated to Balochistan from central India after 1000 CE. The absence of any Avestan
Avestan language
Avestan is an East Iranian language known only from its use as the language of Zoroastrian scripture, i.e. the Avesta, from which it derives its name...

, an older Iranian language, loanwords in Brahui supports this hypothesis. The main Iranian contributor to Brahui vocabulary, Balochi
Balochi language
Balochi is a Northwestern Iranian language. It is the principal language of the Baloch of Balochistan, Pakistan, eastern Iran and southern Afghanistan. It is also spoken as a second language by some Brahui. It is designated as one of nine official languages of Pakistan.-Vowels:The Balochi vowel...

, is a western Iranian language like Kurdish, and moved to the area from the west only around 1000 CE.

Hindko


Hindko
Hindko language
Hindko , also Hindku, or Hinko, is the sixth main regional language of Pakistan. It forms a subgroup of Indo-Aryan languages spoken by Hindkowans in Pakistan and northern India, some Pashtun tribes in Pakistan, as well as by the Hindki people of Afghanistan...

 is an ancient regional Indo-Aryan language spoken by Hindkowans
Hindkowans
Hindkowans or known locally as "Chachi's" are an Indo-Aryan ethno-linguistic group native to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces of Pakistan...

 in Pakistan. It is very similar to northern dialects of Punjabi. The language is spoken in the areas of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (including Hazara), local people of Peshawar Punjab and Azad Kashmir
Azad Kashmir
Azad Jammu and Kashmir or Azad Kashmir for short, is the southernmost political entity within the Pakistani-administered part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir...

 by an estimated 2.2 to 4 million people. During the pre-Buddhist era in present day Pakistan, the language of the masses was refined by the ancient grammarian Pāṇini, who set the rules of a structurally rigorous language called Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 which was used principally for scriptures (analogous to Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 in the Western world). Meanwhile, the vernacular language of the masses, Prakrit
Prakrit
Prakrit is the name for a group of Middle Indic, Indo-Aryan languages, derived from Old Indic dialects. The word itself has a flexible definition, being defined sometimes as, "original, natural, artless, normal, ordinary, usual", or "vernacular", in contrast to the literary and religious...

 developed into many tongues and dialects which spread over the northern parts of South Asia. Hindko is believed to be closely related to Prakrit. Due to the geographic isolation of the regions, it has undergone very little grammatical corruption, but has borrowed considerable vocabulary from its neighbours, in particular Pashto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

. It shows close affinity to Punjabi and the Lahnda sub-group of Indo-Aryan tongues and can be sub-divided into a northern and southern dialects.

Kashmiri


Kashmiri
Kashmiri language
Kashmiri is a language from the Dardic sub-group and it is spoken primarily in the Kashmir Valley, in Jammu and Kashmir. There are approximately 5,554,496 speakers in Jammu and Kashmir, according to the Census of 2001. Most of the 105,000 speakers or so in Pakistan are émigrés from the Kashmir...

 is an ancient regional Dardic language spoken in Azad Kashmir
Azad Kashmir
Azad Jammu and Kashmir or Azad Kashmir for short, is the southernmost political entity within the Pakistani-administered part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir...

, Gilgit-Baltistan and Punjab
Punjab (Pakistan)
Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

 provinces of Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. There are over 2 million Kashmiri speakers in Pakistan. Most of the Kashmiris
Kashmiri people
The Kashmiri people are a Dardic linguistic group living in Kashmir Valley in Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and parts of the Pakistani territory of Azad Kashmir who speak the Kashmiri language...

 in Punjab
Punjab (Pakistan)
Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

 province and Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

 are refugees and their descendents who fled Indian invasion and occupation of Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

 in 1948.

In 1919 George Abraham Grierson
George Abraham Grierson
Sir George Abraham Grierson OM KCIE was born to a prominent Dublin family in 1851. His father and grandfather, both also named George, were well-known printers and publishers.-Biography:Educated at St...

 wrote that “Kashmiri is the only one of the Dardic languages
Dardic languages
The Dardic languages are a sub-group of the Indo-Aryan languages spoken in northern Pakistan, eastern Afghanistan, and the Indian region of Jammu and Kashmir...

 that has a literature”. Kashmiri literature dates back to over 750 years, this is, more-or-less, the age of many a modern literature including modern English. Kashmiri retains several features of Old Indo-Aryan that have been lost in other Modern Indo-Aryan languages such as Urdu, Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

 and Sindhi
Sindhi language
Sindhi is the language of the Sindh region of Pakistan that is spoken by the Sindhi people. In India, it is among 22 constitutionally recognized languages, where Sindhis are a sizeable minority. It is spoken by 53,410,910 people in Pakistan, according to the national government's Statistics Division...

.

Persian


A sizeable proportion of Pakistanis speak Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

. Although Persian has no official status, it had been the lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

 for a thousand years and a preferred language amongst the educated Muslim elite, and was the official and cultural language of the Mughal Empire
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

, Afghan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 Empire and various Muslim princely states based in Pakistan. The Persian speaking Qizilbash tribe settled in northern regions of modern Pakistan and their numbers were further increased with the arrival of tens of thousands of Qizilbash refugees from neighboring Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 when they were termed enemies of the state by the then Emir of Afghanistan for allegedly siding with the British Raj
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 in the First Anglo-Afghan War
First Anglo-Afghan War
The First Anglo-Afghan War was fought between British India and Afghanistan from 1839 to 1842. It was one of the first major conflicts during the Great Game, the 19th century competition for power and influence in Central Asia between the United Kingdom and Russia, and also marked one of the worst...

 (1839 to 1842). Persian was officially abolished from the region with the arrival of the British to the province of Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 in 1843 and Punjab
Punjab region
The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

 in 1849 to minimize the influence of Persia and Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 on the regions that now make up Pakistan and integrate these regions with the rest of South Asia under a common Urdu language. Nevertheless Persian culture continues to influence the country to this day. It has influenced and formed the base for many of Pakistan's native languages, and has greatly influenced Urdu in more recent times. It is still spoken and understood by the educated elite as a literary and prestigious language, especially in the fields of music (Qawwali
Qawwali
Qawwali is a form of Sufi devotional music popular in South Asia, particularly in the Punjab and Sindh regions of Pakistan, Hyderabad, Delhi, and other parts of northern India...

) and art. The National Anthem of Pakistan has some Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 words.

Many Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 speaking refugees, Dari
Dari (Persian)
Dari or Fārsī-ye Darī in historical terms refers to the Persian court language of the Sassanids. In contemporary usage, the term refers to the dialects of modern Persian language spoken in Afghanistan, and hence known as Afghan Persian in some Western sources. It is the term officially recognized...

 and Tajiks, from Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 have settled in Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 permanently. There are also Tajiks refugees from Tajikistan
Tajikistan
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

 that have settled in Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

.

Arabic


Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 is considered to be religious language of Pakistan. The Quran, Sunnah
Sunnah
The word literally means a clear, well trodden, busy and plain surfaced road. In the discussion of the sources of religion, Sunnah denotes the practice of Prophet Muhammad that he taught and practically instituted as a teacher of the sharī‘ah and the best exemplar...

, Hadith
Hadith
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

 and Muslim theology is taught in Arabic with Urdu translation. The large numbers of Pakistanis living in the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 region and in other Middle Eastern countries has further increased the number of people who can speak Arabic in Pakistan. Arabic is taught as a religious language in Mosques, Schools, Colleges, Universities and Madrassahs
Madrasah
Madrasah is the Arabic word for any type of educational institution, whether secular or religious...

. Nearly all of Pakistan's Muslim population has had some form of education in the reading, writing and pronunciation of the Arabic language
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

.

Many Arabs who took part in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 war have now settled in Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 permanently with their families. Millions of Pakistanis that have worked in Middle East also speak Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 as a second language.

Turkic


Turkic languages were used by the ruling Turco-Mongols
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

 (or Mughals
Mughal (tribe)
The term Mughal is simply a Turkic word and many groups in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh use the term Mughal to describe themselves...

) and earlier Sultans
Delhi Sultanate
The Delhi Sultanate is a term used to cover five short-lived, Delhi based kingdoms or sultanates, of Turkic origin in medieval India. The sultanates ruled from Delhi between 1206 and 1526, when the last was replaced by the Mughal dynasty...

 of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 many of whom have settled in Pakistan. There are pockets of Turkic speakers found throughout the country, notably in the valleys in the countries northern regions which lie adjacent to Central Asia, western Pakistani region of Waziristan
Waziristan
Waziristan is a mountainous region near the Northwest of Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan and covering some 11,585 km² . The area is entirely populated by ethnic Pashtuns . The language spoken in the valley is Pashto/Pakhto...

 principally around Kanigoram where the Burki tribe
Burki
The Burki are a Pushtun tribe of South Waziristan, Pakistan, whose homeland is Kaniguram...

 dwells and in Pakistan's urban centres of Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

, Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

 and Islamabad
Islamabad
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. Located within the Islamabad Capital Territory , the population of the city has grown from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.7 million in 2011...

. The autobiography of Mughal
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

 emperor Babur
Babur
Babur was a Muslim conqueror from Central Asia who, following a series of setbacks, finally succeeded in laying the basis for the Mughal dynasty of South Asia. He was a direct descendant of Timur through his father, and a descendant also of Genghis Khan through his mother...

, Tuzk Babari
Baburnama
Bāburnāma is the name given to the memoirs of Ẓahīr ud-Dīn Muḥammad Bābur , founder of the Mughal Empire and a great-great-great-grandson of Timur...

 was also written in Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

.

Many Turkic speaking refugees, Uzbeks and Turkmens
Turkmen people
The Turkmen are a Turkic people located primarily in the Central Asian states of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and northeastern Iran. They speak the Turkmen language, which is classified as a part of the Western Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages family together with Turkish, Azerbaijani, Qashqai,...

, from Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 have settled in Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 permanently. They are also Uzbeks and Turkmen refugees that have moved from Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

 and Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan , formerly also known as Turkmenia is one of the Turkic states in Central Asia. Until 1991, it was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic . Turkmenistan is one of the six independent Turkic states...

 and settled in Pakistan. Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 also provides scolarships to large number of Pakistani students to study in Turkish universities. President
President of Pakistan
The President of Pakistan is the head of state, as well as figurehead, of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Recently passed an XVIII Amendment , Pakistan has a parliamentary democratic system of government. According to the Constitution, the President is chosen by the Electoral College to serve a...

 Pervez Musharraf
Pervez Musharraf
Pervez Musharraf , is a retired four-star general who served as the 13th Chief of Army Staff and tenth President of Pakistan as well as tenth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. Musharraf headed and led an administrative military government from October 1999 till August 2007. He ruled...

 studied in Turkey and spoke Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

 fluently.

The word Urdu is of Turkic origin, as Urdu was originally called Zaban-e-Ordu or language of the Army, Ordu means army in Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

.

Other Pakistani languages


Numerous other languages are spoken by relatively small numbers of people, especially in some of the more remote and isolated places in, for example, the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Other Indo-European
Indo-European
Indo-European may refer to:* Indo-European languages** Aryan race, a 19th century and early 20th century term for those peoples who are the native speakers of Indo-European languages...

 languages spoken in Pakistan include Pothohari
Pothohari
Potwari or Pothohari can refer to:*Pothohari people, inhabitants of Pothohar , a plateau in northern Pakistan*Pothohari language , a dialect spoken widely by the population of the Potohar Plateau and Mirpur in neighbouring Azad Kashmir...

, Shina
Shina language
Shina is a Dardic language spoken by a plurality of people in Gilgit-Baltistan of Pakistan and Dras in Ladakh of Indian-Administered Kashmir. The valleys in which it is spoken include Astore, Chilas, Dareil, Tangeer, Gilgit, Ghizer, and a few parts of Baltistan and Kohistan. It is also spoken in...

, Gujjari, Kutchhi, Wakhi
Wakhi language
Wakhi is an Indo-European language in the branch of Eastern Iranian language family and is intimately related to other Southeastern Iranian languages in the Pamir languages group.-Classification and Distribution:...

, Kashmiri
Kashmiri language
Kashmiri is a language from the Dardic sub-group and it is spoken primarily in the Kashmir Valley, in Jammu and Kashmir. There are approximately 5,554,496 speakers in Jammu and Kashmir, according to the Census of 2001. Most of the 105,000 speakers or so in Pakistan are émigrés from the Kashmir...

, Marwari
Marwari language
The Marwari language , also variously Marvari, Marwadi, Marvadi), is spoken in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Marwari is also found in the neighboring state of Gujarat and Haryana and in Eastern Pakistan...

, Memoni, Khowar, and Dari Persian
Dari (Persian)
Dari or Fārsī-ye Darī in historical terms refers to the Persian court language of the Sassanids. In contemporary usage, the term refers to the dialects of modern Persian language spoken in Afghanistan, and hence known as Afghan Persian in some Western sources. It is the term officially recognized...

. Non-Indo-European
Indo-European
Indo-European may refer to:* Indo-European languages** Aryan race, a 19th century and early 20th century term for those peoples who are the native speakers of Indo-European languages...

 languages include Brahui and Burushaski, a language isolate.

There are some languages that are spoken by less than a thousand people, such as Aer
Aer language
Aer is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by approximately 300 people in Sindh, Pakistan.-External links:*...

.

Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 and Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

  are also taught in schools and religious institutions.

Indo-European


Most of Pakistan's languages are Indo-European languages
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

 and within the smaller Indo-Iranian
Indo-Iranian languages
The Indo-Iranian language group constitutes the easternmost extant branch of the Indo-European family of languages. It consists of three language groups: the Indo-Aryan, Iranian and Nuristani...

 sub-branch.
Indo-Aryan languages

Around 80% of Pakistan's population speak one or more of the various Indo-Aryan languages
Indo-Aryan languages
The Indo-Aryan languages constitutes a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages, itself a branch of the Indo-European language family...

. Usually concentrated in the heavily populated areas east of the Indus river
Indus River
The Indus River is a major river which flows through Pakistan. It also has courses through China and India.Originating in the Tibetan plateau of western China in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar in Tibet Autonomous Region, the river runs a course through the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir and...

, the Indo-Aryan languages and their cultures form the predominant cultural group in the country. They derive their roots from the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 language of Aryan invadors and are later heavily influenced by the languages of the later Muslim arrivals (i.e., Turkish, Persian, and Arabic), and are all written in a variant of either the Arabic
Arabic alphabet
The Arabic alphabet or Arabic abjad is the Arabic script as it is codified for writing the Arabic language. It is written from right to left, in a cursive style, and includes 28 letters. Because letters usually stand for consonants, it is classified as an abjad.-Consonants:The Arabic alphabet has...

 or Nastaliq script. Urdu, the country's national language, is an Indo-Aryan tongue. Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

, Hindko
Hindko language
Hindko , also Hindku, or Hinko, is the sixth main regional language of Pakistan. It forms a subgroup of Indo-Aryan languages spoken by Hindkowans in Pakistan and northern India, some Pashtun tribes in Pakistan, as well as by the Hindki people of Afghanistan...

 and Seraiki, all mutually intelligible, are classified by linguists as dialects of an Indo-Aryan speech called Lahnda
Lahnda languages
The Lahnda or Western Punjabi Languages are an Indo-Aryan languages dialect continuum that are Mutually intelligible and are spoken in South Asia.According to the Ethnologue they include:...

, also spelled as Lehnda. These are also, to a lesser extent, mutually intelligible with Urdu. Added together, speakers of these mutually-intelligible languages make up nearly two-thirds of Pakistan's population. Sindhi
Sindhi language
Sindhi is the language of the Sindh region of Pakistan that is spoken by the Sindhi people. In India, it is among 22 constitutionally recognized languages, where Sindhis are a sizeable minority. It is spoken by 53,410,910 people in Pakistan, according to the national government's Statistics Division...

 is the common language of the people of Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 in southern Pakistan and has a rich literary history of its own, traced back to the era of the early Arab arrivals. The Dardic languages of Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Kashmir
Azad Kashmir
Azad Jammu and Kashmir or Azad Kashmir for short, is the southernmost political entity within the Pakistani-administered part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir...

 and the northwestern mountains are sometimes classified by many linguists as belonging to the Indo-Aryan family. Other Indo-Aryan languages include Gujarati
Gujarati language
Gujarati is an Indo-Aryan language, and part of the greater Indo-European language family. It is derived from a language called Old Gujarati which is the ancestor language of the modern Gujarati and Rajasthani languages...

, Kutchi
Kutchi language
Kachhi Kachhi Kachhi (also spelt Cutchi, Kutchhi or Kachchhi, is an Indo-Aryan Language spoken in the Kutch region of the Indian state of Gujarat as well as in Sindh.- Closely related languages :...

, Memoni
Memoni language
The Memoni language is the language of Memons historically associated with Kathiawar, in West India, a Memon subgroup. Many Memons have settled in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan since the independence in 1947...

 and others.
Dardic languages

The Dardic languages
Dardic languages
The Dardic languages are a sub-group of the Indo-Aryan languages spoken in northern Pakistan, eastern Afghanistan, and the Indian region of Jammu and Kashmir...

 are spoken in the northern Pakistan. They include Shina
Shina language
Shina is a Dardic language spoken by a plurality of people in Gilgit-Baltistan of Pakistan and Dras in Ladakh of Indian-Administered Kashmir. The valleys in which it is spoken include Astore, Chilas, Dareil, Tangeer, Gilgit, Ghizer, and a few parts of Baltistan and Kohistan. It is also spoken in...

 (spoken in Gilgit
Gilgit
Gilgit is a city in northern PakistanGilgit may refer to other terms related with the area of the city:* Gilgit River* Gilgit Valley* Gilgit District* Gilgit Agency * Gilgit Airport...

, Chilas
Chilas
Chilas is a small town located in the Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan on the left side of river Indus. It is part of the Silk Road connected by the Karakoram Highway which links it to Islamabad in the south via Dassu, Besham, Mansehra, Abbottabad and Haripur...

 and Diamar) , Khowar
Khowar language
For the ethnic group, see under Chitrali people.Khowar , also known as Chitrali, is a Dardic language spoken by 400,000 people in Chitral in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in the Ghizer district of Gilgit-Baltistan , and in parts of Upper Swat...

 (spoken in Chitral
Chitral
Chitral or Chetrar , translated as field in the native language Khowar, is the capital of the Chitral District, situated on the western bank of the Kunar River , in Pakistan. The town is at the foot of Tirich Mir, the highest peak of the Hindu Kush, high...

, Ghizer and the Kalam Valley
Kalam valley
Kalam Valley is a valley along the upper reaches of the Swat River in Swat, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.Kalam Valley is known for its waterfalls, lakes and lush green hills, and is a 270 km drive from Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan...

 of upper Swat), Kalasha
Kalasha language
The description Kalasha language may refer to:*Kalasha-mondr, the language of the Kalasha of Chitral*Kalasha-ala, the language of the Kalasha of Nuristan...

 (spoken by Kalash tribe) , Kohistani
Kohistani language
Kohistani is a Dardic language spoken in Kohistan District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan. Dardic languages are a branch of the Indo-Iranian language group, which in turn is branch of the Indo-European language family...

 (spoken in upper Swat and Kohistan
Kohistan District (Pakistan)
Kohistan has two distinct meanings in Pakistan. In Persian "koh" means "peak" and "istaan" means "land of". In its usual modern sense Kohistan District is an administrative district within Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province covering an area of 7,492 sq.kilometres; it had a population of...

) and Kashmiri
Kashmiri language
Kashmiri is a language from the Dardic sub-group and it is spoken primarily in the Kashmir Valley, in Jammu and Kashmir. There are approximately 5,554,496 speakers in Jammu and Kashmir, according to the Census of 2001. Most of the 105,000 speakers or so in Pakistan are émigrés from the Kashmir...

 mostly by Immigrants from Kashmir valley and by a few in the Neelum District
Neelum District
Neelum District is one of the eight districts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan. Until recently it was part of Muzaffarabad District. It is bound by the Gilgit to the North, with Kupwara, Baramulla and Bandipore Districts of Indian-administered Kashmir in India to the South and Southeast,...

.

Kashmiri spoken in north east Azad Kashmir
Azad Kashmir
Azad Jammu and Kashmir or Azad Kashmir for short, is the southernmost political entity within the Pakistani-administered part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir...

 and the adjacent Kashmir valley, (not to be confused with Pahari language
Pahari languages
The Pahari languages are a geographic group of Indic languages spoken in the lower ranges of the Himalayas, from Nepal in the east to the Indian states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir in the west.-Classification:The Pahari languages fall into three groups:*Eastern, consisting...

 spoken in the lower Azad Kashmir
Azad Kashmir
Azad Jammu and Kashmir or Azad Kashmir for short, is the southernmost political entity within the Pakistani-administered part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir...

) is one of the Dardic languages that has a literary tradition that goes well back into the history where as other Dardic languages spoken in northern Pakistan, do not have written literature. It is believed to be the result of the northern areas of Pakistan having remained isolated in the mountain valleys from the others for centuries.
Iranic family of languages

Pashto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

, Yidgha
Yidgha
The Yidgha language is a Pamir language spoken in the Upper Lutkuh Valley of Chitral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa west of Garam Chashma in Pakistan...

 and Wakhi
Wakhi
Wakhi may be:* The Wakhi language, the language of the majority of the people of Wakhan* Wakhi, an ethnic group in Wakhan, Afghanistan* An adjective; of or relating to Wakhan, the extreme northeastern region of Afghanistan that borders China, Tajikistan, and Pakistan...

 are Eastern Iranian languages
Eastern Iranian languages
The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages emerging in Middle Iranian times .The Avestan language is often classified as early Eastern Iranian. The largest living Eastern Iranian language is Pashto, with some 50 million speakers between the Hindu Kush mountains in...

 spoken in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan
Balochistan (Pakistan)
Balochistan is one of the four provinces or federating units of Pakistan. With an area of 134,051 mi2 or , it is the largest province of Pakistan, constituting approximately 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan. According to the 1998 population census, Balochistan had a population of...

 and the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Balochi spoken in Balochistan is classified as a members of the Northwestern Iranian languages. If combined, Iranic peoples who speak Pashto, Balochi, Yidgha and Wakhi comprise about 18% of the population of Pakistan, and are concentrated in the northwest and west of Pakistan.

Brahui


Brahui may or may not be a language isolate
Language isolate
A language isolate, in the absolute sense, is a natural language with no demonstrable genealogical relationship with other languages; that is, one that has not been demonstrated to descend from an ancestor common with any other language. They are in effect language families consisting of a single...

 and many origins have been hypothesized for it including Iranian
Iranian languages
The Iranian languages form a subfamily of the Indo-Iranian languages which in turn is a subgroup of Indo-European language family. They have been and are spoken by Iranian peoples....

 and Dravidian
Dravidian languages
The Dravidian language family includes approximately 85 genetically related languages, spoken by about 217 million people. They are mainly spoken in southern India and parts of eastern and central India as well as in northeastern Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran, and...

. spoken in southern Pakistan, primarily in Kalat
Kalat District
Kalat or Qalat is a district in Balochistan, Pakistan. It is one of 26 in that province, and encompasses an area of 6,621 km². The population of the district is estimated to be over 400,000 in 2005. The district is governed from the city of Kalat....

 in Balochistan. The Brahui
Brahui people
The Brahui or Brohi are ethnic Baloch group of about 2.2 million people with the majority found in Kalat, Baluchistan, Pakistan, but they are also found in smaller numbers in neighboring Afghanistan and Iran. The Brahuis are almost entirely Sunni Muslims.-Origins:The ethnonym "Brahui" is a very...

 population of Balochistan
Balochistan (region)
Balochistan or Baluchistan is an arid, mountainous region in the Iranian plateau in Southwest Asia; it includes part of southeastern Iran, western Pakistan, and southwestern Afghanistan. The area is named after the numerous Baloch tribes, Iranian peoples who moved into the area from the west...

 has been taken by some as the linguistic equivalent of a relict
Relict
A relict is a surviving remnant of a natural phenomenon.* In biology a relict is an organism that at an earlier time was abundant in a large area but now occurs at only one or a few small areas....

 population, perhaps indicating that Dravidian languages
Dravidian languages
The Dravidian language family includes approximately 85 genetically related languages, spoken by about 217 million people. They are mainly spoken in southern India and parts of eastern and central India as well as in northeastern Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran, and...

  were formerly much more widespread and were supplanted by the incoming Indo-Aryan languages
Indo-Aryan languages
The Indo-Aryan languages constitutes a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages, itself a branch of the Indo-European language family...

. However it has now been demonstrated that the Brahui could only have migrated to Balochistan from central India after 1000 CE. The absence of any Avestan
Avestan language
Avestan is an East Iranian language known only from its use as the language of Zoroastrian scripture, i.e. the Avesta, from which it derives its name...

, an older Iranian language, loanwords in Brahui supports this hypothesis. The main Iranian contributor to Brahui vocabulary, Balochi
Balochi language
Balochi is a Northwestern Iranian language. It is the principal language of the Baloch of Balochistan, Pakistan, eastern Iran and southern Afghanistan. It is also spoken as a second language by some Brahui. It is designated as one of nine official languages of Pakistan.-Vowels:The Balochi vowel...

, is a western Iranian language like Kurdish, and moved to the area from the west only around 1000 CE.

Burushaski


Burushaski is a language isolate, spoken by Burusho people in Hunza
Hunza Valley
The Hunza Valley is a mountainous valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. The Hunza valley is situated to the north of the Hunza River, at an elevation of around . The territory of Hunza is about...

, Nagar
Nagar Valley
The Nagar Valley is a valley near Gilgit Valley in the Gilgit Baltistan of Pakistan. The valley is part of Hunza Nagar District and is administratively subdivided into two tehsils namely Nagar-1 and Nagar-2. The valley is situated at an elevation of 2,438m . Nagar Khas is the main town and the...

, Yasin
Yasin Valley
The Yasin Valley, Tehsil Yasin or Babaye-i-Yasen or Worshigum is a high mountain valley in the Hindu Kush mountains, in the northwest region of Gilgit in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. Yasin is separated from the Ishkoman Valley by a high mountain pass...

, and parts of the Gilgit
Gilgit Valley
Gilgit Valley is located in Gilgit, Pakistan. The Gilgit River flows here. 375 km of road connect it to Chitral via the Shandur Pass ....

 valleys in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan.

Religion


According to the CIA World Factbook
The World Factbook
The World Factbook is a reference resource produced by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States with almanac-style information about the countries of the world. The official paper copy version is available from the National Technical Information Service and the Government Printing Office...

, Library of Congress
Library of Congress Country Studies
The Country Studies are works published by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress , freely available for use by researchers. No copyright is claimed on them; therefore, they have been dedicated to the public domain and can be copied freely. Note that not all the pictures used...

, Oxford University
Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies
The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies is a Recognised Independent Centre of the University of Oxford, England. It was established in 1985 with the aim of encouraging the academic study of Islam and the Muslim world. The centre's Patron is Prince Charles.A new building for the centre is situated to...

, over 97% of the population of Pakistan is Muslim and the remaining 3% is Christian, Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 and others. Majority of the Muslims practice Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

 while the Shi'a
Shi'a Islam
Shia Islam is the second largest denomination of Islam. The followers of Shia Islam are called Shi'ites or Shias. "Shia" is the short form of the historic phrase Shīʻatu ʻAlī , meaning "followers of Ali", "faction of Ali", or "party of Ali".Like other schools of thought in Islam, Shia Islam is...

 make up 10–20%.

In Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, nearly all Sunnis belong to Hanafi
Hanafi
The Hanafi school is one of the four Madhhab in jurisprudence within Sunni Islam. The Hanafi madhhab is named after the Persian scholar Abu Hanifa an-Nu‘man ibn Thābit , a Tabi‘i whose legal views were preserved primarily by his two most important disciples, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad al-Shaybani...

 school. The majority of Pakistani Shia Muslims
Shi'a Islam in Pakistan
According to the Library of Congress, Pew Research Center, Oxford University, CIA World Factbook, U.S. State Department and many others, Shi'as make up 5-20% of the total Muslim population of Pakistan. The total number of Shias in Pakistan is approximately 17 million to as high as 30 million...

 belong to the Ithnā‘Ashariyyah branch, while there are some who practice Ismailism.
There are small non-Muslim religious groups, including Christians, Jews, Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

s, Buddhists, Sikh
Sikh
A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit term शिष्य , meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष , meaning "instruction"...

s, Parsis, Bahá'í
Bahá'í Faith
The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

s and Zoroastrians
Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of prophet Zoroaster and was formerly among the world's largest religions. It was probably founded some time before the 6th century BCE in Greater Iran.In Zoroastrianism, the Creator Ahura Mazda is all good, and no evil...

 (Parsis).

Religious population In Pakistan

  • Muslims: 181,723,000
  • Christians: 2,700,000 (approx. 1.8%)
  • Hindus
    Hinduism
    Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

    : 1,800,000 (approx. 1.3%)
  • Buddhists
    Buddhism
    Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

    : 50,000
  • Sikhs
    Sikhism
    Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region, by Guru Nanak Dev and continued to progress with ten successive Sikh Gurus . It is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world and one of the fastest-growing...

    : 30,000
  • Zoroastrian
    Zoroastrianism
    Zoroastrianism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of prophet Zoroaster and was formerly among the world's largest religions. It was probably founded some time before the 6th century BCE in Greater Iran.In Zoroastrianism, the Creator Ahura Mazda is all good, and no evil...

    /Parsis: 25,000 (many are undocumented migrants from Iran)
  • Animists, Baha'i
    Bahá'í Faith
    The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

    , Atheists, Jews
    History of the Jews in Pakistan
    Jews are a small religious group in Pakistan. Various estimates suggest that there were about 1,000 Jews living in Karachi at the beginning of the twentieth century. A smaller community of Jews also lived in Peshawar. Many of these are Baghdadi Jews, Bukharian Jews, Mizrahi Jews mainly from...

    : n/a

Suffix of regions and towns



Parts of region and settlement names:
  • -abad  means settlement or town. Example: Islamabad
    Islamabad
    Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. Located within the Islamabad Capital Territory , the population of the city has grown from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.7 million in 2011...

    .
  • Dera-  means settlement or town. Example: Dera Ghazi Khan
    Dera Ghazi Khan
    Dera Ghazi Khan is a city located in Dera Ghazi Khan District, Punjab, Pakistan. Dera Ghazi Khan is one of the most populous cities in Southern Punjab, and it is the largest district in Punjab in terms of area, being approximately in extent....

    .
  • -garh  means settlement or town. Example: Islamgarh
    Islamgarh
    Islamgarh is a Municipal Committee of Mirpur District near Mangla Dam of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan. It is located on the southern part of the Panjal Range, about 28 Kilometer in North-East of MirpurAzad Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan is situated the talent producing Islamgarh, progressing...

    .
  • -goth  means settlement or town. Example: Yousuf Goth
    Yousuf Goth
    Yousuf Goth is one of the neighbourhoods of Gadap Town in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.There are several ethnic groups in Yousuf Goth including Muhajirs, Punjabis, Sindhis, Kashmiris, Seraikis, Pakhtuns, Balochis, Memons, Bohras, Ismailis, etc. Over 99% of the population is Muslim. The population of...

    .
  • -istan  means land. Example: Pakistan
    Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

    .
  • -kot  means settlement or town. Example: Islamkot
    Islamkot
    Islamkot or Islam Kot is a town in the Tharparkar District in Sindh, Pakistan. The city is well connected with the other large cities like Karachi, the provincial capital and Hyderabad....

    .
  • -nagar  means settlement or town. Example: Islamnagar.
  • -pur  means settlement or town. Example: Alipur
    Alipur Chatha
    Alipur Chatha is a town and one of the 36 union councils of Wazirabad Tehsil of Gujranwala District in the Punjab province of Pakistan. It contains ruins of the historical city of Akālgarh.-History:...

    .
  • -wal  means settlement or town. Example: Khanewal
    Khanewal
    Khanewal is the capital city of Khanewal District in the Punjab province of Pakistan. It is notable for being the host city to the second largest train station in Pakistan. Khanewal is located at 30°18'0N 71°56'0E with an altitude of 128 metres and is named after the earliest settlers here who...

    .
  • -wala  means settlement or town. Example: Gujranwala
    Gujranwala
    Gujranwala is a industrial city in the north-east of the Punjab province. It is the sixth largest city in Pakistan with a population of approximately 2,661,360 as on 24 June 2011...

    .

See also

  • Pakistan
    Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

  • Punjab
  • Balochistan
    Balochistan (Pakistan)
    Balochistan is one of the four provinces or federating units of Pakistan. With an area of 134,051 mi2 or , it is the largest province of Pakistan, constituting approximately 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan. According to the 1998 population census, Balochistan had a population of...

  • Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
  • Sindh
    Sindh
    Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

  • Gilgit-Baltistan
  • Azad Kashmir
    Azad Kashmir
    Azad Jammu and Kashmir or Azad Kashmir for short, is the southernmost political entity within the Pakistani-administered part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir...

  • Pakistani people
  • Persian people
    Persian people
    The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

  • Demography of Central Asia
    Demography of Central Asia
    Central Asia is a diverse land with many ethnic groups, languages, religions and tribes. This article discusses all of the above, and includes the demographics of the nations of the five former Soviet republics: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, a group which has a...


External links