Pakistan’s Economic Wild Ride


Population: 199 million

Christian Percentage: .7 percent

Dominant religion: Sunni Islam

Persecution Ranking: 7


The 2020s started out promising for Muslim Pakistan’s important IT economy. In the last five years, their IT businesses grew by 178 percent. Pakistan’s IT exports reached 1.29 billion in 2019. It rose to 1.72 billion the next year and 2.45 billion in 2021. Ironically, the COVID crisis helped Pakistanis start using their home computers for work. Women, whose Islamic social stigmas prevented them from working outside the home, entered the work world using home computers. Seeing new career possibilities, young Pakistanis took training in the tech sector. Both freelance and government-sponsored IT training efforts accelerated.

Unfortunately for Pakistanis, that economic sector faltered in 2022, when 800,000 Pakistanis were seeking jobs outside their country. During the first seven months of 2023, 450,000 Pakistanis left the country for employment elsewhere. The trend continued through the end of last year.

Why the change? Inflation increased, and Pakistanis could only buy a little with their money. Taxes ate up much more of their earnings. Investments started to dry up, stifling new companies from starting and others from expanding. Expansion gave way to hiring freezes and layoffs.

Government excesses brought the situation to a tipping point. On May 9 of last year, they arrested Imran Khan, a popular former Pakistani prime minister. This led to demonstrations in Pakistan’s cities, and within a couple of days, the government shut down the Internet. The shutdown lasted four days, causing the telecom industry to lose over five million dollars. Pakistan has millions of freelancers who depend on the Internet, and their livelihood is at a standstill. Freelancers, IT workers, and anyone who turned on the Internet thought it was time to leave the country. An app developer surveyed Pakistanis on LinkedIn and found that 70 percent of his Pakistani contacts wanted to work out of the country.

Hopefully, this situation will soon resolve itself. Any country that loses its brightest, most skilled, and most educated will suffer. Surveys suggest that most Pakistani migrants go to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other wealthy Arab states. A smaller percentage finds work in the West, where there is freedom of religion, and Christ’s followers can reach them.

Let us pray fervently for:

  • Pray that economic uncertainty will drive Pakistani Muslims to seek and find the Lord (The Bible, Zechariah 8:22-23).
  • Pray for the Lord to shower His mercy on this Muslim country, causing many to see His provisions (The Bible, Job 38:41).
  • Pray that Christ’s followers in the West will take the opportunity to share Christ with Pakistani Muslims (The Bible, Leviticus 19:33-34).