chapter  23
11 Pages

The Pakistani Diaspora: USA and UK

WithYunas Samad

The global Pakistani diaspora contains most of the features elaborated in Cohen's (2008) comprehensive typology of diaspora but primarily consists of labour migrations, high-end workers, trading networks, long-distance nationalists and cultural producers. In spatial terms, the largest concentration of Pakistanis in the diasapora is found in the Middle East, Europe and North America. There are no accurate records of numbers for the Pakistani diaspora, but the Government of Pakistan claims that there are just fewer than 4 million Pakistanis living aboard and under 1.9 million in the Middle East (with the largest contingent found in Saudi Arabia), under 1.7 million in Europe (largest settlement found in Great Britain) and around 0.85 million in North America (with the largest aggregation found in the USA) (Government of Pakistan 2004). The key difference in the populations found in Europe and North America and the Middle East is citizenship. Permanent settlement and citizenship rights give the Pakistani population in the Atlantic economies a different trajectory and characteristics than those found in the Middle East, where the denial of citizenship rights and permanent settlement leads to circular migration, transmigration and guest-worker status. However the US/UK comparison does have a number of difficulties in that the categories recognised and used in the censuses in the two countries are not the same and thus the comparison is only indicative of general trends found in the two countries.