The short answer is No. Not in most situations, but a respectful attitude to dress will stand you in good stead.
What is a hijab?
A hijab is a head covering worn by some Muslim women when any male other than those in her immediate family are around. The hijab is designed to cover the hair, head, and chest and is widely regarded as a symbol of modesty.
Do I need to wear a hijab when visiting Pakistan?
The short answer to the above question is no, not all women wear a hijab when visiting Pakistan. However, as you might expect there are some complex nuances that it pays to be aware of. The first of these is that Pakistan is largely a conservative country, and this means they will have stricter expectations on the way that women dress, even women that are not resident in the country but visiting.
Additionally, in certain situations such as entering a religious space, or at particular celebrations wearing a hijab will be required as a mark of respect for the culture. Additionally, in some of the more rural locations in Pakistan, it can be good practice to wear a hijab day today as it is more considerate of the culture in which you are visiting. However, apart from these specific situations, a hijab isn’t always required for visitors to the country.
Additional clothing requirements for women traveling to Pakistan
Although wearing a hijab isn’t required in every situation when visiting Pakistan, it is worth noting there are some clothing requirements that you need to keep to. In particular, women will need to make sure both their knees and shoulders are covered at all times.
There are different ways of achieving this such as wearing ankle-length trousers or skirts in a linen fabric. After all, Pakistan has a hot climate and you will want your outfit choices to help keep you cool. Another option is to purchase garments like a shalwar kameez being ideal for both comfort and modesty reasons. Indeed, the shalwar kameez, which consists of loose-fitting pants, which are perfect for the heat, and a long-line tunic can also be a very stylish option.
The good news is you can buy a shalwar kameez as well as a variety of other Pakistani clothes online before your trip. Something that means you won’t have to waste precious time shopping when you would rather be exploring and immersing yourself in the culture.
Other items to pack on your trip to Pakistan
As well as the clothes you will wear during your visit, there are some other vital items you will need to include in your suitcase when visiting Pakistan. The first of these are comfortable and robust shoes, usually in the form of sandals as these will help to keep your feet cool.
You will also need a good bag in which to pack your clothes for your flight, and don’t forget a smaller, compressible day bag to take with you on short trips and excursions during your visit.