Estimated GDP: 312.6 million US $ (2018)
Per capita income (purchasing power parity): 1,399 € (2018)
Human Development Rank (HDI): 152 of 189 (2018)
Share of poverty (less than $ 2 per day): 45%
Distribution of income (Gini coefficient): 33.5 (2015)
Economic Transformation Index (BTI): Rank 106 of 137 (2020)
According to a2zgov, a visa is generally required for foreign nationals to enter Pakistan. In Germany, the visa is issued by the Pakistani embassy in Berlin or the Pakistani consulate in Frankfurt. This must be applied for before the start of the journey, as no visa is issued upon entry. To travel to Pakistan, a passport that is still valid for at least six months is required for a visa of any kind (tourist, business, journalist, diplomat etc.). Different regulations apply to the various visas, which is why it is important to find out about the respective regulations early enough.
Current visa restrictions
Humanitarian aid and development cooperation organizations are experiencing increasing problems in issuing visas for staff. Various business and project trips had to be canceled at short notice because visas were repeatedly not issued without giving reasons. In addition, there is uncertainty among the aid organizations about the plans of the Pakistani government to make the registration of international organizations more restrictive.
Generally speaking, foreigners should ensure that they appear as inconspicuous as possible and behave in everyday working and living in Pakistan. Pakistan sees itself as an Islamic republic and the majority of the population has a more traditional understanding of religion; this also affects the everyday life of a foreigner and especially a foreigner. Depending on whether foreigners reside in a big city like Lahore or Karachi or in a rural area like Hyderabad or Peshawar, more or less pronounced adjustments to clothing and behavioral rules are necessary and also beneficial to safety. Women should avoid tight clothing and cover arms and legs. Especially when visiting mosques and shrines, but also private houses or authorities, it is advisable to Inquire beforehand what kind of clothing and communication is appropriate. Women and girls must cover their heads with a cloth before entering the mosque; all visitors take off their shoes before entering. Shoes are also usually removed before entering private houses. The consumption of alcohol and the display of physical affection among couples in public should be avoided. Politeness and respect for the elderly or those in authority are good manners in Pakistani society.
The major airports such as Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar are served by many international airlines. The “National Carrier” are Pakistan International Airways (PIA), which also reliably serve the dense domestic network. Since the liberalization of the air traffic sector, there have been other airlines for several years, such as Air Blue. You should inquire about the respective safety precautions and conditions beforehand.
You can experience the country and its people intensely on the Pakistani railway. It offers unadulterated travel pleasure only to those who have a lot of time and patience in the luggage net, according to the motto: The journey is the destination. This is especially true for the incomparable steam journeys, for example with the historical Khyber Railway, which takes a whole day for about 35 km up the Khyber Pass and back without the travelers getting bored for a minute. It was considered to be the most expensive, most tunnel-rich, steepest and most superfluous railway line in the British Empire. Equally exciting is the trip with the steam train (Pakistan Railway) through the Thar desert.
You can get to almost anywhere more comfortably, faster and almost anywhere with the private coaches, which are often referred to as frenzied works of art. There is a choice from a very diverse range of comfort and safety options. For some years now, air-conditioned luxury coaches have been used more and more. Daewoo, a Korean company, created the Daewoo-Bus line in a joint venture with a Pakistani company, which has conquered the market for the middle class in Pakistan.
Pay in Pakistan
The trading currency in Pakistan is the Pakistani rupee (PKR).
In many shops, supermarkets and hotels in large cities, it is possible to pay by credit card (VISA, Master Card, American Express) and you can withdraw money with credit cards from various banks. Before leaving, it is advisable to obtain information about which Pakistani banks cooperate with international / German banks.
You can change money at banks and hotels. However, the exchange rate is often better in private money exchange shops; it is best to inquire about current rates on site.
Pakistan officially follows the Gregorian calendar (like Germany). The weekend extends over Saturday and Sunday, but on Fridays people often only work part-time, especially in state authorities, as Friday is the Islamic public holiday during the week. Men in particular visit the mosques on Fridays and perform the so-called Juma prayer (Friday prayer). For this purpose, government authorities are sometimes open half a day on Saturdays. State Holidays such as Independence Day on August 14th, are based on the Gregorian calendar, while religious holidays are based on the Islamic lunar calendar, which is 11-12 days shorter than the solar calendar. The determination of the religious holidays is based on the moon sighting, so that they cannot be planned exactly in advance. A committee of religious dignitaries, the Ruet-e Hilal, is entrusted with the inspection and determination.
There are numerous cultural and seasonal festivals in Pakistan that are very interesting for visitors to the country. Annual festivals also take place among the Kalash, an ethnic minority in Chitral, northern Pakistan.