Etiquette in Pakistan

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign country in South Asia. With a population exceeding 180 million people, it is the 6th most populated county in the world.

The official languages are English and Urdu.

Pakistan is a federal parliamentary republic with a president and prime minister.

Pakistan is the second most populous Muslim-majority country and has the second largest Shi’a population in the world.  About 97% of Pakistanis are Muslim. The next largest religions are Hinduism and Christianity.

The currency is the Pakistani rupee.

Business Negotiation Etiquette

Business in Pakistan is very formal, reserved, and deliberate. Jokes and levity have no place in business affairs.

Avoid discussing local politics, religion, Israel, Pakistan’s relationship with its neighbors, or sex.

Foreign businesswomen should be aware of a few cultural difficulties. When waiting in line for service, be aggressive or men will be served before you. When entertaining, make prior arrangements to have the check billed to your room. Also, if inviting the wife of a counterpart, discreetly ask if she is purdah (a religious observance of seclusion) prior to making the invitation.

Meals are typically eaten with your hands, although Pakistanis will usually provide a knife and fork when entertaining. If you do eat with your hands, use only your right hand, as the left is considered unclean. When hosting a meal, keep in mind that Muslims do not eat pork.