The Shia Muslim population in Pakistan is estimated to be between five and 20 per cent which is not considerable given that over 95 per cent of Pakistan’s population are Muslims . The majority of Pakistan’s Shia population adhere to the Twelver (ithna’ashari) school of thought; other items of the Shia sects’ list present in Pakistan, include Nizari Ismailis, Daudi Bohras and Sulemani Bohras. Nizari Ismailis are the second largest branch of Shia Islam in Pakistan after the Twelvers. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) December 2013 report, on Shias Muslim population in Pakistan, stated that: ‘The Shia population is spread throughout Pakistan but there are no provinces where Shias constitute a majority. The semi-autonomous region of Gilgit–Baltistan is one of the few areas where Shias form a majority of the population. Across the country, Sunni and Shia communities are generally integrated and live side-by-side in their daily lives. Significant numbers of Shias can be found in Peshawar, Kohat, Hangu and Dera Ismail Khan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Kurram and Orakzai Agencies in FATA; in and around Quetta and the Makran coastline in Balochistan; areas of southern and central Punjab; and throughout Sindh. Many urban centers in Pakistan, including Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Multan, Jhang and Sargodha, are home to large Shia communities. DFAT has observed that some Shias live in enclaves in major cities.’
Apart from Hazaras, Shias are not physically, linguistically or legally distinguishable from Sunni Pakistanis. Computerized national identity cards do not identify the card holder’s sect. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) December 2013 report, on Shias in Pakistan, stated that: ‘Shias are represented across most of Pakistan’s ethnic, linguistic and tribal groups. However, Hazaras are a predominantly Shia ethnic community and there are a range of other Shia communities that have tribal/ethnic identities such as the Turis, Bohris, Baltis and some clans within the Bangash Pashtun tribes. Shia mosques and sites of worship (imambargahs) are located across Pakistan, including in most major cities and towns. Shias can (although rarely do) pray in Sunni mosques and vice versa. There are also a number of famous religious sites that are attended by both sects. Many of these are Sufi shrines.’ DFAT further noted that ‘Shias in Pakistan are often employed in Government and hold high offices. Notable examples include former Presidents and Prime Ministers. Shias are well represented in Parliament, the police, judiciary and other institutions. Shias are represented on Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology, the Constitutional body that provides advice to the Government of Pakistan on issues of Islamic jurisprudence and practice. Shias also have representation in the Shariat Courts.
Taken from: Country Information and Guidance, Pakistan: Shia Muslims, a file prepared by British government, 2015