*Tracing Your Roots > South Asian > Records in Other Countries
* Birth Records 
In most of Pakistan, the reporting of births is not mandatory. Rural zones can be quite difficult when it comes to finding any records. Elsewhere there have been some major losses of records, most notably in 1948 when fires engulfed the vast majority of collections on vital statistics held by the municipality of Karachi.

The Registrar of Births and Deaths or the Director of Health Statistics in a municipality are the most likely sources for many types of birth records if they exist. In the rural zones, you shuld consult the union council, district council or district health officer. The reality is that many births are registered relatively late in childhood.

For many Pakistanis, the principal or headmaster provides school or matriculation certificates, which also confirm the date of birth and the father of the pupil. A diligent researcher should consider consulting the school records.

One of the trickier aspects of searches for Pakistani names is the variety of combinations and spellings. Some individuals change their names through an announcement in the newspaper. In the case of very old citizens and rural dwellers, it is common to find only the year of birth and no day or month.

Death Records

The Registrar of Births and Deaths in a municipality or union council is a likely source for the recording of deaths. Cantonment boards in cities can also issue death certificates. Nevertheless, it should be stressed that the registration of deaths is not carried out with dutiful consistency in many zones. Searches may meet with frustration and failure.

Marriage Records

Muslims need to register their marriages with the Nikah Registrar, who receives an appointment from the municipality, Panchayat committee and cantonment board or union council. The marriage certificate, known as the Nikah Nama, is written in the Urdu language, though a translation authenticated for accuracy may accompany the document.

For non-Muslims, including Christians, Hindus and Parsees, it is usually the case that church or temple leaders must register the marriage with local authorities. If non-Muslims desire to make their marriage part of the civil record, they can later have certificates prepared that are witnessed by magistrates: a procedure in accordance with the Christian Marriage Act of 1892.

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Creators: Abi Husainy