Top 10 Places to be Pakistani

While it is the original homeland of Pakistani people, most Pakistanis live below international living standards and lead difficult lives often going to sleep hungry. According to a report submitted by Ministry of Planning and Development in the National Assembly of Pakistan, about 29.5% Pakistani lived below the poverty line which translates into 55 million people. Many Pakistanis look to life abroad, often aspiring to migrate to Western nations. So here is a countdown to the top 10 places Pakistanis find greater opportunities for themselves and their children:

10. Singapore

Pakistanis are increasingly choosing Singapore to live in. Mostly they are educated as Engineers, Medical professionals or are involved in business and banking. They enjoy an environment where they are treated similar to the locals, with equal pay and rights (as foreign nationals). They are also accommodated with their religious beliefs. Unlike in the Gulf Arab countries, Singaporean people do not have racist or elitist sentiments which makes Singapore a great place for Pakistanis to live, work and raise a family.

9. U.A.E

This is perhaps the first place Pakistanis and other South Asians choose to better their lives and that of their families. While there are plenty of work opportunities, Pakistanis often are given underpaid jobs and long working hours. Those who are in labour intensive jobs have an even more difficult time, sometimes being exploited by being worked long hours in extreme heat and often without being paid.
It is however, still a great place to be if you are educated and can secure employment or are a business owner.

8. Saudi Arabia

While Saudi Arabia has the cities of Makkah and Madinah, making it the centre of the Islamic world, unfortunately, their Muslim hospitality does not translate well into their treatment of other Muslims. Pakistanis often are underpaid, just as any foreign worker. There is a class structure, where those who are of Western nations are paid higher salaries than those from “poorer” nations. There are also many cases of abuse against foreign workers, especially those from Asia. Women who work as domestic helpers are the most vulnerable. If rights are abused, there is very little in terms of legal recourse to be compensated or a situation rectified. This means that if you are in trouble or have an issue with your boss, you will just have to find another job, or even leave and return home.


5. Turkey

Turkish President Erdogan wearing Sindhi Hat while visiting Pakistan.

While Turkey does not have a big Pakistani population, the local people have a deep love for Pakistanis. This admiration for Pakistan stems from the history between the two nations.
Relations go back well before the establishment of either Pakistan or Turkey.  During the Turkish War of Independence, the Muslims of the northwestern British Raj (modern day Pakistan/Kashmir) sent financial aid to the declining Ottomans. Indeed the Mughal and Ottoman empire enjoyed great friendship and kinship. This was followed by the formation of the modern secular Turkish state and the Independent Pakistan. Not only do Pakistan and Turkey enjoy historical relations, but also cultural, religious (Islamic), military relations and now economic relations. Turkey supports Pakistan’s position of holding a plebiscite under the UN to decide if Kashmir wants to join Pakistan, a position which Turkish President Erdogan reaffirmed in a joint address to the Pakistani parliament and which was attended by Pakistan’s military high command. Turks also regard Pakistanis as their Muslim brothers and their religiousness is often another endearing factor.


4. Australia

Pakistani and Australians learning from each other
Pakistani and Australians learning creative and business skills from each other

Australia has a long history with the camel herders of Afghanistan, Pakistani Sindh and NWFP. They were useful for setting across the Australian outback with their camels, and providing rail road infrastructure over the desert plains. However, as soon as the infrastructure was completed and they had provided their usefulness, they were sent back to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
During the 90s there was a greater influx of Pakistanis and Afghans to Australia. They settled in cities like Perth, Adelaide and Sydney greatly increasing the ethnic makeup of those cities. The Pakistani immigrants settled in quickly, and the new generation are well educated, according to a recent research report, among the top 20% of recent university graduates are of Pakistani heritage.

3. Canada

Justin Trudeau praying beside with Pakistani Muslims.
Justin Trudeau praying beside with Pakistani Muslims.

Canada has a long established Pakistani community, thanks in part to their long-standing open door immigration policy for high quality immigrants. Pakistan certainly has a lot of hard working and educated people, thus their skills help make Canada the nation it is today. In fact, Canada boasts several Pakistani politicians. There are many famous Canadian Pakistanis, such as Sajida Alvia – academic of Pakistani origin in Canada; historian of Islam in South Asia and Dr. Naweed Syed who connected brain cells to a silicon computer chip!
Canada boasts great schools and universities, excellent affordable healthcare and cities that constantly feature in the top 5 for having the World’s highest living standards. The society is liberal minded, with very little prejudice and equal rights for all (just look at that photo of their leader praying next to Muslims!). Therefore it ranks highly in one of the best places in the world for Pakistanis.

2. United States

Pakistani Students getting educated in the USA
Pakistani Students getting educated in the USA

This is a tricky one. The United States is certainly a popular destination for Pakistanis to educate themselves, find work and to settle. There are many strong Pakistani communities on both the East and West Coast of the United States. New York has a lot of entrepreneurs, self-made Pakistanis who came with very little and build huge business empires for themselves. You can also find many Pakistani lawyers, Doctors and engineers there. While California has had a boom recently with many South Asian engineers heading Silicon Valley startups. However, in the Southern States such as Mississipi or Arkansas, Pakistanis don’t really settle in and often move to the more liberal states. Pakistani’s in general are very respected in places like California. They are considered highly educated, intelligent hard workers who contribute to the nation. In fact, some of the richest people in the USA are of Pakistani origin, such as Shahid Khan, a billionaire businessman, who made his money from making and selling car parts to the world’s biggest car manufacturers. For these reasons and the fact Pakistanis just do so well in the USA, we have to include it in the list! (Also just to give a flick to Donald Trump)

1 United Kingdom

Pakistani school children with their English headmaster in Bradford during the 1980s.
Pakistani school children with their English headmaster in Bradford during the 1980s.

A lot of Pakistanis emigrated to the UK, settling mostly in Yorkshire (Leeds, Bradford) and the Midlands (Birmingham). Pakistanis have had a bumpy ride, at first being welcomed during the 1950s and 60s, only for there to be a lot of discrimination during the 70s and 80s. However, things have since gotten better with Pakistanis (and other South Asians) becoming integrated and featuring in every day lives of the British people. There are politicians, TV newsreaders and business leaders who have Pakistani heritage. There is even a regular comedy TV show called “Citizen Khan” which revolves around a Pakistani family. Suffice to say, many parts of Britain are even called “mini pakistan”, such is the number of Pakistani people in the UK. Free healthcare, education, low discrimination, excellent job prospects and given the long colonialist history between the UK and India and Pakistan,  makes the UK the top spot.

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