SUMMARY:Pakistan is a place known for its martial law and AK-47 toting Muslim extremists, but in actuality it is much more tame. The people are kind and welcoming, especially in the north, as well as accommodating to foreigners. However, sometimes the political climate can heat up and entry into the country is difficult. So if you're planning to go, watch the news and pack long pants because dress codes are enforced.
PROFILE: Full Country Name: Islamic Republic of Pakistan Area: 803,940 sq km (310,400 sq mi) Population: 141.6 million Capital city: Islamabad (pop. approx. 201,000) People: Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashtun, Baloch, Muhajir, Pathan Language: Urdu (also Punjabi, English, Sindhi, and regional dialects) Religion: 97% Muslim, 3% Christian and Hindu Government: Federal Republic
MONEY & COSTS: Currency: Pakistani rupee Relative cost: Budget Meal: US$ 2-3 Budget Room: US$ 4-5 Tourist Visa: US$35 (3 months single entry)
By staying in hostels or dorms and eating like a local you can get by on as little as US$10-15 a day. TRANSPORTATION: Pakistan, much like India, has an endless supply of rickshaw drivers willing to taxi you around for a cheap price. The train network in Pakistan is also extensive thanks to the British occupation. Air travel, however, is a nightmare. Pakistan International Airways is one of the most unreliable airlines in the world. Even if you book a flight months before, you'll still only have a fifty-fifty chance of actually getting on board. It's a frustrating process and bribes are expected at the check-in counter.
RELIGION: Nearly all Pakistanis are Muslim and Islam is the state religion. Reminders of their devotion are many: the muezzin's call to prayer from the mosques: men sprawled in prayer in fields, shops and airports: and veiled women in the streets. Christians are the largest minority, followed by Hindus and Parsees, descendants of Persian Zoroastrians.
CALL TO MISSIONARIES: Pakistan is a Muslim stronghold, and this country needs missionaries with a strong heart and a vision from the Lord who will not become discouraged. In the remote areas and villages, the people are more receptive to the gospel. Much prayer and intercession is needed for the country of Pakistan and laborers to be sent if Pakistan is to be reached for the Lord.