Pakistan in Sweden

Today is Pakistan Day – a national holiday in Pakistan commemorating the Lahore Resolution passed on 24 March 1940 and the adoption of the first constitution of Pakistan. In Islamabad, the day is celebrated with much pomp and circumstance.

In Sweden, there are approximately 28,000 Pakistanis, making them one of the smallest immigrant groups in the country. In fact, according to Sweden’s statistical office, they are the thirtieth largest immigrant group. The majority of Pakistani immigrants came to the Nordic region in the 1970’s and 1980’s, seeking employment and a better standard of living. Most of them were also very highly educated.

Sweden has solid relations with Pakistan, and has an embassy in Islamabad, as well as honorary consulates in Karachi and Lahore. Several networks exist to build relations between Swedes and Pakistanis such as the Swedish Pakistani Friendship Society and the Pakistani Sweden Business Council.

Pakistani cuisine is well worth a taste. Influenced by the Arabic and Indian kitchens, Pakistani food is fragrant and spicy, with the all important roti bread as a staple. According to Trip Advisor, the best Pakistani restaurants in Stockholm are Punjabi Masala Grill, Chili Masala Grill and the geographically accurate-sounding Lilla Karachi.

In the northern town of Umeå, restaurant Malala is named after the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot in the head by the Taliban on her way to school. Some years later, she won the Nobel prize for her education activism. 1% of the restaurant’s turnover and tips is donated to supporting education for poor girls in rural areas in Pakistan.

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