In recent years, the sari in Pakistan has mostly been an outfit worn by Hindu and Zoroastrian women. Although clothes across the country vary from region to region, in Karachi and Lahore the salwar-kameez is the most common outfit worn by women. However, the sari has had a rich history in Pakistan. During Partition, many migrants who crossed over to Pakistan from India brought saris with them. This community, which came to be called ‘Mohajir,’ settled in parts of Karachi and Sindh. For Mohajir women, the sari remained their choice of clothing at home, at work or out in public, just as it had been before Partition. As the community got better settled, the sari started to become commonplace in Pakistan.
The popularity of the sari grew due to the frequent broadcasts from East Pakistan. For Bengalis in East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, the sari was a “social outfit” as Saba Imtiaz, a writer from Pakistan, says. The sari carried no religious connotations and instead encompassed a culture. Slowly, women began to adopt saris of all styles and materials, pairing their outfits with bindis and jewellery. In the 1960s, many advertisements featured women dressed in saris. And so the simple cotton sari became an outfit worn by women across the country.