Zoroastrianism in Pakistan

Zorastrianism is believed to have been a major religion in the region of Pakistan from the time it was part of the Persian Achemenid empire. Numerous Zorastrian fire temples still exist in Balochistan, Sindh and parts of Panjab. More recently, from the 15th century onwards, Zorastrians came to settle the coast of Sindh and have established thriving communities and commercial entreprises. These newer migrants where to be called Parsi. At the time of independence of Pakistan in 1947, Karachi and Lahore were home to a thriving Parsi business community. Karachi had the most prominent population of Parsis in Pakistan. After independence, many migrated abroad but a large number remained. Parsis have entered Pakistani public life as social workers, business folk, journalists and diplomats. The most prominent Parsis of Pakistan today include Ardeshir Cowasjee, Byram Dinshawji Avari, Jamsheed Marker, as well as the late Minocher Bhandara. The founding father of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, married Ratti Bai who belonged to a Parsi family, after her conversion to Islam.

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