Customs and traditions
In almost entirely Muslim Pakistan, life is
characterized by Islam, its rules of life and
celebrations. Society is socially closely intertwined
and it is important to keep close contact with relatives
and friends. Hospitality is one of the foremost virtues
and visitors are welcomed with at least tea, coffee or
cold drinks, however poor the host family is. To refuse
the drink offered is unfair.
Men greet each other by shaking hands or, if they are
close friends and not seen for a while, hug each other.
A man must not touch a woman from another family but can
greet her orally, though without looking directly at
her. The greeting rituals also include asking about each
other's lives and health. However, it is considered rude
of a man to ask another man about his wife or daughters.
Overview of the capital city of Pakistan, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
In families living according to the traditions, male
guests are usually welcomed by the men in the house in
special rooms, usually located near the entrance, while
the women socialize further into the building. Gifts are
At private gatherings, much of the evening is devoted
to social small talk. The food is served late, and as
soon as the meal is over, everyone breaks up and goes
At meetings with Pakistanis, whether privately or in
a business context, a foreigner is expected to be neatly
dressed. Women should not just wear arms or short skirts
or go barefoot; this is especially true outdoors.
In a restaurant, or in any other context when you
want to call someone's attention, you extend your hand
with your palm down and wave your fingers lightly.
Stretching a single finger to someone is rude. If food
or drink is served on the floor of a family, it is
impolite to turn the sole of the foot on someone.
However uncomfortable it is to keep your feet away.
At formal meetings, the visitor is expected to arrive
on time but may be prepared to wait before the meeting
begins. It is also not uncommon for scheduled
appointments to be canceled at short notice, or for
ongoing meetings to be interrupted by others coming into
the room and changing the topic of conversation.
In business context, a lot of time is also devoted to
conversation and polite small talk. Pakistanis want to
know people to do business with, and several meetings
may be required before they get to the point. This can
mean that the guest is exposed to what may appear to be
quite immediate, personal issues. In order not to
destroy the relationship, it is important to respond as
sincerely as possible and not to show irritation. If
several people participate in the conversation, the
guest should first turn to the one who is the oldest or
has the highest rank. The oldest is also the one to be
greeted first. You must also be prepared for flattery
and compliments that should not be taken literally.
Holidays and Holidays
Pakistan has a rich food culture, and most religious
weekends are characterized by almost as much good food
as religion. At id-ul-azha (id-al-adha),
an animal is slaughtered in memory of the prophet
Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son in God's
honor. One third of the meat is donated to the poor, one
third to relatives or friends and one third becomes a
feast for the family. At the shab-i-barat, the
day before the fifteenth day of the eighth month (shaban),
a sweet pudding called halwa is also cooked in
the home but also distributed to the poor, together with
unprocessed naan bread. Sheer khurma, thin
noodles cooked in milk along with dried dates, raisins,
almonds and nuts, eaten for breakfast when the fasting
month of Ramadan ends. The rest of this feast, id
al-fitr, is similar to the Christmas of Christians
with gifts for all family members and frozen in good
A newborn child is celebrated with sweets being
distributed to friends and neighbors, and preferably an
animal should also be slaughtered and cooked in the
child's honor. The inequality between men and women that
characterizes the entire Pakistani society begins here
already: one boy is considered worth two goats, one girl
Relations with Afghanistan are strained
In protest of NATO's flight attack in November 2011, Pakistan boycotted a
conference on Afghanistan's future held in Bonn. This worsens Pakistan's
relations with Afghanistan.
Air bombing deteriorates relations with NATO
Twenty-four Pakistani soldiers are killed when NATO flights bomb two military
bases near the Afghanistan border. The government condemns the border violation
and calls on NATO to vacate its air base in Baluchistan. Pakistan closes border
crossing at Khyber Pass for NATO transport to Afghanistan.
Death sentence for the assassination of Punjab Governor
The bodyguard who murdered Punjab Governor Salman Tasir in January 2011 is
sentenced to death. The death sentence triggers protests among those who see the
killer as a hero who took a stand for the law of slander.
The US cuts military aid
The US is reducing its military aid to Pakistan by withholding $ 800 million.
Over 1,100 dead in political violence in Karachi
According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), more than 1,100
people were killed in political violence in Karachi during the first half of
2011, often in settlements between criminal gangs with support from local
politicians. Many years of rivalry between the Mohajir Party MQM and the
Pashtunan ANP are believed to be behind the violence. Political interference is
the reason why few or no perpetrators are arrested, prosecuted and punished.
Revenge for bin Laden's death
A handful of revenge actions for Usama bin Laden's death are carried out in
the form of suicide attacks by Taliban groups and al-Qaeda.
Usama bin Laden is killed
The world's most wanted terrorist, Saudi Usama bin Laden, is killed by US
soldiers. Usama bin Laden founded and led the global terror network al-Qaeda,
which was, among other things, behind the attacks on New York and Washington on
September 11, 2001, when nearly 3,000 people were killed. Usama bin Ladin is
found in a residential building in the city of Abbottabad after several months
of US intelligence work. He recently lived a few hundred meters from Pakistan's
military academy, prompting the Indian interior minister to say that the world
now has proof that terrorists are getting a sanctuary inside Pakistan.
Thousands dead in violence in 2010
The Independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) writes that more
than 2,500 people in the country were killed in assaults by militant groups in
2010. Over 1,000 of the victims were civilians killed in suicide bombings. In
2010, 67 suicide attacks were carried out according to HRCP. According to the
same report, at least 950 people were killed by US drones in 2010. The report
does not show how many people were killed by government forces, but an estimate
is 600-700 deaths that year.
Suicidal acts against Sufic sanctuary
At least 50 people are killed when two suicide bombers attack a Sufis shrine
in Punjab. Sufism, which is a direction within Islam, is seen as a pagan by
hard-working Taliban. Sufi shrines have been the subject of attacks several
Yet another critic of the law of mockery is murdered
The minister responsible for minority affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti, is shot dead
by unknown perpetrators in Islamabad. Like Punjab's former governor Salman
Tasir, who was assassinated in January 2011, Bhatti belonged to the PPP and had
openly criticized the blasphemy laws. Bhatti was the end Christian member of
government. Taliban take on the murder.
Gilani changes government
Prime Minister Gilani resigns his government so that he can then form a
smaller and cheaper government. The number of ministers is reduced from 42 to
22. Among other things, Pakistan gets a new female foreign minister, Hina
Rabbani Kha. The reason for the transformation is that the country's economy has
turned sharply downwards.
The governor of Punjab is murdered
The province of Punjab Governor Salman Tasir, a senior member of the PPP, is
shot dead by one of his bodyguards. The murder must have been a revenge for
Tasir criticizing the country's disputed law of blasphemy (blasphemy laws),
often used by Islamic fundamentalists to persecute Christians.