Pakistanis are the people who are citizens of the modern Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Pakistan is a multi-ethnic and multilingual state: the majority of its people belong linguistically to the Indo-Iranian group while the remaining minority mainly belongs to a small amount of other language groups and families. As per the 2017 Census, the estimated population of Pakistan was over 207million making it the world’s fifth most-populous country.
The major ethnic groups of Pakistan include:
and other smaller groups. Smaller ethnic groups, such as Kashmiris, Kalash, Burusho, Khowar, Hazara, Shina, Kalyu and Balti are mainly found in the northern parts of the country.
The Punjabis or Punjabi people, are an ethnic group associated with the Punjab, who speak Punjabi, a language from Indo-Aryan language family. The name Punjab literally means the land of five waters in Persian: panj (“five”) āb (“waters”). The name of the region was introduced by the Persian conquerors of South Asia. Punjab is often referred to as the breadbasket in both Pakistan and India.
The Punjabi people, the largest ethnic group in Pakistan followed by Pashtuns who reside predominantly in North West regions of Pakistan. Punjabis make up just under half of the population of Pakistan, and they are the largest ethnic group in Pakistan by population. The Punjabis found in Pakistan belong to groups known as biradaris. In addition, Punjabi society is divided into two divisions, the zamindar groups or qoums, traditionally associated with farming and the moeens, who are traditionally artisans. Some zamindars are further divided into groups such as the Rajputs, Jats, Shaikhs or Muslim Khatris, Gujjars, Awans, Arains and Syeds.
The Saraikis also known as Multanis, are an ethnolinguistic group in central and southeastern Pakistan, primarily southern Punjab. Their language is Saraiki.
The Saraiki people follow many religions, among them mostly Islam. A small minority of Saraikis follow Christianity, Sikhism and Hinduism. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, some of the minority Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India.
Pashtuns are the largest ethnic group in neighbouring Afghanistan. The Pashtuns ; also Pukhtuns, and also in Pakistan as Pakhtoons, or Pukhtoons), historically known by the exonyms Afghans are an ethnic group who mainly live in the Pashtunistan region of southern and central Asia, in Afghanistan and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (KPK) which is located on the northwestern part of Pakistan. They speak the Pashto language and adhere to Pashtunwali, which is a traditional set of ethics guiding individual and communal conduct. The ethno genesis of the Pashtun ethnic group is unclear but historians have come across references to various ancient peoples called Pakthas between the 2nd and the 1st millennium BC, who may be their early ancestors. Their history is mostly spread amongst the countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan, centred on their traditional seat of power in that region.
There have been many notable Pashtun people throughout history: Ahmad Shah Durrani is regarded as the founder of the modern state of Afghanistan. Bacha Khan was a Pashtun independence activist against the rule of the British Raj. Some others include Malala Yousafzai, Hamid Karzai and Imran Khan.
The Sindhi people, on the other hand have been settled in the southeast of the country and gave their name to the mighty Indus/Sindhu river while regional groups such as the Saraiki people have inhabited the regions between Punjab and Sindh. Sindhis are an Indo-Aryan ethno-linguistic group who speak the Sindhi language and are native to the Sindh province of Pakistan, which was previously a part of pre-partition British India. Today, Sindhis are both Indian and Pakistani. Indian Sindhis are predominantly Hindu, while Pakistani Sindhis are predominantly Muslim.
Sindhi Muslim culture is highly influenced by Sufi doctrines and principles. Some of the popular cultural icons are Raja Dahir, Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, Jhulelal, Sachal Sarmast and Shambumal Tulsiani.
After the partition of India in 1947, most Sindhi Hindus and Sindhi Sikhs migrated to India and other parts of the world. According to the 1998 census of Pakistan, Hindus constituted about 8% of the total population of Sindh province. Most of them live in urban areas such as Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, and Mirpur Khas. Hyderabad is the largest centre of Sindhi Hindus in Pakistan with 100,000–150,000 people
The Kashmiri people are an important ethnic group of the Kashmir region in the north.
There are other important indigenous people like the Balti, Hunzakots, and Gilgiti people(s) of the northern territories of Gilgit through whose territory ran the ancient Silk Route connecting Asia and Europe.
The Chitrali people are another indigenous people who live high in the mountains in the northwest. Along with these main groups, there are smaller communities of Sheedi’s who are descendants of African sailors and warriors who are believed to have arrived from the horn of Africa, Muhajir people who came as refugees from India when Pakistan attained its independence from Britain in 1947.
There are countless other ethnic groups that make up part of Pakistani’s mosaic such as the Bengalis, Burmese, Hazara, Tajik and Hakka; the last are an ethnic group that traces its origin to China.
Below is a list of some people who in some way relate to the country
Heads of state or government
Civil / democratically elected administrators
- Muhammad Ali Jinnah, “Quaid-e-Azam” or “Great Leader”; first Governor General of Pakistan, and the main founder of Pakistan
- Liaquat Ali Khan
- Khawaja Nazimuddin
- Ghulam Muhammad
- Iskander Mirza
- Chaudhury Mohammad Ali
- Chaudhry Fazal Ellahi
- Muhammad Rafiq Tarar
Military / non-democratically elected administrators
- Field Marshal Ayub Khan
- General Agha Muhammed Yahya Khan
- General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq
- General Pervez Musharraf
- Sir Chaudhry Muhammad Zafarullah Khan(27 December 1947—24 October 1954)
- Aziz Ahmed(30 March 1977—5 July 1977)
- Agha Shahi(14 January 1978—9 March 1982)
- Sahabzada Yaqub Khan(21 March 1982—1 November 1987)
- Abdul Sattar(23 July 1993—19 October 1993)
- Sardar Asif Ahmad Ali(16 November 1993—4 November 1996)
- Sahabzada Yaqub Khan(Caretaker: 11 November 1996—24 February 1997)
- Gohar Ayub(25 February 1997—7 August 1998)
Attorney General of Pakistan
- Makhdoom Ali Khan
- Malik Muhammad Qayyum
- Latif Khosa
- Munir A Malik
- Ashtar Ausaf Ali
Other major political figures
- Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah, sister of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah
- Chaudhry Rehmat Ali, coined the word “Pakistan”
- Allama Ghulam Ahmed Pervez, Tahreek-e- Pakistan activist, associate of the Quaid-e-Azam and a scholar on the Quran
- Allama Mashriqi
- Syed Abul A’la Maududi, writer of Tafhim-ul-Quran, founder of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan
- Justice R. Cornelius
- Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar
- Justice Sir Abdur Rashid
- Justice Anwarul Haq
- Justice Dorab Patel
- Justice Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim
- Justice Hamoodur Rahman
- Israr Ahmed, religious leader and the founder of Tanzeem-e-Islami
- Tariq Jameel, religious leader
- Muhammad Hussain Najafi, religious leader
- Allama Hussain Bakhsh Jarra, religious leader
- Javed Ahmed Ghamidi, religious scholar, Al-Mawrid International, Pakistan
- Mufti Jafar Hussain, religious leader
- Talib Jauhari, Islamic scholar, religious leader, public speaker, Qur’anic interpreter, Urdu poet, historian and philosopher
- Syed Munawar Hasan, former Chairman of the Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan
Actors and actresses
For a categorical listing of actors in film, see Category:Pakistani film actors
- Abdul Ahad Asif, actor
- Adeeb, actor
- Adil Murad, actor
- Afzal Khan, actor
- Ajab Gul, actor
- Anjuman, actress
- Ayesha Sana, actress
- Aamina Sheikh, actress
- Babar Ali, actor