Kurds in Pakistan

Kurds in Pakistan
Regions with significant populations
Islamabad · Karachi
Kurdish · Urdu
Islam (Sunni Muslim, but also Shia Muslim), with minorities of Christianity and Judaism
Related ethnic groups
Iranian peoples (Yazidis, Zazas, Baloch), Turks in Pakistan

Kurds in Pakistan (Kurdish: کوردان له‌ پاکستان, Urdu: پاکستان میں کردوں) comprise people residing in Pakistan who are of Kurdish origin. They are a small population consisting mainly of expatriates and transient migrants, most of whom arrived following the start of the Gulf War in Iraq in 1990.


External video

As many as 4,000 Kurds, originating from Iraqi Kurdistan, migrated to Pakistan in the early 1990s when the Gulf War broke out in Iraq.[1] A large number of them were based in Islamabad.[2] As of 2013, up to 240 Iraqi Kurds were still living in the country.[1] The majority of them were secondary migrants and asylum seekers, and were registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) operating in Pakistan.[1] Among them is a younger generation which is born in Pakistan.[3] Over the years, these transient migrants have been able to obtain immigration and have resettled in other countries in Europe and North America, with the help of the UNHCR.[1]

As Pakistan is not a signatory of the 1951 refugee convention, most Kurdish migrants are not able to acquire Pakistani citizenship. Due to their legal status, many tend to face social challenges relating to economic constraints, finding employment, healthcare, resettlement and other services.[1] Members of the Kurdish community have raised their concerns with the UNHCR and other authorities, calling for the addressing of such issues.[4][1]

Notable people

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Iraqi refugees – leading an uncertain life". Dawn. 20 June 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  2. "Pakistani forces raided on Kurdish refugees". Kurdsat. 4 December 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  3. Ember, Carol R.; Ember, Melvin; Skoggard, Ian (2005). Encyclopedia of Diasporas: Immigrant and Refugee Cultures Around the World. Volume I: Overviews and Topics; Volume II: Diaspora Communities. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 1005. ISBN 9780306483219.
  4. "Iraqi refugees protest against UNHCR". Dawn. 25 June 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
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