In 2001 there were less applications for asylum in the UK from Pakistan nationals than there had been in 2000. Initial assessments but the figure at 2,810.
During the same year just over 300 people were allowed to stay in the UK after applying for asylum here.
Like Iran, Pakistan itself is one of the world's main refugee host countries. Many of the refugees have been from Afghanistan, were the confrontation between US-led forces and the Taleban led many to flee their home in Afghanistan and take shelter inside Pakistan.
The refugees are often blamed for Pakistanís economic troubles, leading Pakistan to close the border with Afghanistan at least once.
In the last few decades civilian politics in Pakistan have been tarnished by corruption. The country came under military rule again in October 1999 after the ousting of a civilian government.
In 2000 political activities in public were banned and members of the previous government continue to be detained without trial. According to Amnesty International torture in police custody and jails continues to be widespread.
The government has in the past used legal and constitutional powers to curb press freedom, detaining journalists and interfering with newspaper distribution.