Pakistan is a multi-ethnic and multilingual state with a diverse population of over 212 million. Most of its people speak languages of the Indo-Aryan and Iranian language groups. The largest ethnic group are the Punjabis, an Indo-Aryan ethnolinguistic group, comprising about 45% of the total population. They live mainly in the Province of Punjab.
The Pashtuns (or Pakhtuns, historically also called Pathans), an Iranic ethnolinguistic group, are Pakistan’s second-largest ethnicity, making up over 15%. They live in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the north of Balochistan province and also across the border in Afghanistan. There are significant numbers in Lahore and Karachi; Afghan refugees are also mainly Pashtuns.
The Sindhis are Pakistan’s third-largest (about 14%) ethnicity, an Indo-Aryan ethnolinguistic group with their own language, and native to Sindh province. There are many other groups, like the Burusho or Hunzakuts of the Hunza Valley who speak Burushaski, a language that doesn’t seem related to any other. Almost all Pakistani are Muslim, with small Hindu and Christian minorities (both around 1.5%). Unique are the Kalasha people, living in three valleys south of Chitral, who have their unique customs and beliefs, thought to be an animist-influenced ancient form of Hinduism.