Pakistan was formed as a separate federal Dominion in 1947 to offer an independent nation for Muslims in India. Muhammad Ali Jinnah was the president of the Muslim League during this time and subsequently became the nation’s first Governor-General. Despite India’s independence from the British Empire, George VI of England became King of Pakistan in 1947 as the country continued as a dominion in the Commonwealth of Nations.
Upon George VI’s death, the current Queen of England served as the Queen of Pakistan for four years, until Pakistan declared itself an Islamic Republic in 1956. From the start of the Republic, the country had ongoing differences of opinion and had to endure another civil war after gaining independence from India. This resulted in the formation of Bangladesh in what was formerly Eastern Pakistan.
Today, Pakistan has the seventh largest armed forces in the world in terms of active military personnel and is the only Muslim nation to have nuclear weapons status. Despite being the capital, Islamabad is not the largest city. The seaport city of Karachi in the south-west has a population of nearly 24 million – nearly an eighth of Pakistan’s total 188 million. Both English and Urdu are accepted as official languages throughout Pakistan, with a number of regional languages, including Punjabi and Pashto, also spoken.
The climate in Pakistan can vary from tropical temperatures to more temperate conditions. The winters are usually cool and dry until March, which sees a much hotter average temperature. There is typically little, if any, rainfall until the summer season begins in May, with monsoons then being a frequent occurrence in the south-west.
The climate can be tricky to adjust to, as dry spells and monsoons can unpredictably alternate with rainfall. Moving to Pakistan could mean acclimatizing to some of the highest average recorded temperatures in the world, with 53.5°C having been reached in the past.
You will require a visa simply to travel to Pakistan and it is imperative if you are moving to the country to work as an expatriate. Violations of this regulation will result in fines or even detention in some cases. There are various different visa categories available, including work, student, and journalist visas. Depending on what visa you need, different requirements and restrictions apply. You can read up on the different visas on the website of the Pakistani Ministry of Interior.
To leave the country, expats require a valid visa or boarding any flight will not be permitted. If your visa has expired, there is the possibility of obtaining an exit visa, which can be granted by the Ministry of Interior, although this is usually accompanied by a hefty fine.