Pakistan Non-Muslim Minorities
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
The most visible groups of non-Muslim minorities are Hindus and Christians. Hindus are found largely in the interior of Sindh and in the vicinity of Quetta in Balochistan. Christians, representing almost all West European dominations, are found throughout the country; many are engaged in menial work. Other minorities include Zoroastrians (also called Parsis), largely concentrated in Karachi, and members of groups relatively recently designated as non-Muslim, notably the Ahmadiyyas.
The various religious minority groups have secured separate representation in national and provincial assemblies but still have limited influence on national policy. They finally united around a common issue in October 1992 when the government of Nawaz Sharif decreed that religious affiliation would be indicated on identity cards. These cards were needed for a range of activities, including attending school, opening a bank account, registering to vote, casting a vote, and obtaining a passport. Members of minority groups organized demonstrations to protest this discrimination, which they argued would demote them to the ranks of second-class citizens. They argued that safeguards existed for them both within Islamic law and in the promises that had been made to them in 1947. The government soon rescinded the decree.
Data as of April 1994
NOTE: The information regarding Pakistan on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Pakistan Non-Muslim Minorities information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Pakistan Non-Muslim Minorities should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.