The ethnological background of the population of Pakistan is extremely
varied, largely because the country lies in an area that was invaded
repeatedly during its long history.
The people come from such ethnic stocks as the Dravidian, Indo-Aryan,
Greek, Scythian, Hun, Arab, Mongol, Persian, and Afghan.
The official language of Pakistan is Urdu, but less than one-tenth
of the people use it as their first language. Punjabi is spoken
by about one-half of all households, and Pashto, Sindhi, Saraiki,
and Balochi are also spoken by many people.
In addition, English is extensively used by people in government,
the military, and higher education.
The leading religion of Pakistan is Islam, which is the faith of
about 97 percent of the people. About four-fifths of the Muslims
are Sunnite, and about one-fifth are Shiite. Hinduism and Christianity
form the leading minority religions; other religious groups include
the Sikhs, the Parsis, and a small number of Buddhists.
The constitution defines Pakistan as an Islamic nation, but guarantees
freedom of religion.