Religion & Languages
Islam is the faith of about 97 percent of the people of
Urdu is the official language of
Most Pakistanis speak at least two languages. A large segment of the population is trilingual, speaking English, Urdu, and an ethnic-based regional language. Punjabi, Pashto, Sindhi, Baluchi, and Brahui are the major regional languages. These languages have many regional dialects, including Saraiki, a widely spoken dialect of Punjabi. Regional languages are recognized as a potent force because language and ethnic identity are closely interrelated; even the national census categorizes groups according to their language, rather than their ethnicity. However, there is growing awareness among Pakistanis that for social mobility, national cohesion, and individual success, it is imperative to be fluent in Urdu and proficient in English.
Several factors contributed to the establishment of Urdu as the lingua franca of
For all practical purposes, however, English is the de facto official language.