This special issue of Contemporary South Asia celebrates 20 years of the annual Pakistan Workshop held in the Lake District of England. This event, the primary raison d'être for the Pakistan Studies Group, has consistently provided a forum for researchers of Pakistan, the Pakistani Diaspora, and Muslim groups of other South Asian countries to meet and exchange ideas. The main impetus for the Workshop has always come from anthropologists, but representatives from other disciplines have been an integral part of what makes it both successful and worthwhile. This issue brings together some important papers on Pakistan and the Pakistani Diaspora from recent participants in the Workshop. One of the dominant themes that emerge from this collection is that Pakistan is complex, and defies simple categorisation. The country is conservative and traditional while being modern and progressive. It is a wealthy nation in some ways, although it is impossible to deny its overwhelming poverty. There are horrendous acts of violence in a country that is by and large very peaceful. This is not to say that there are not clear patterns that emerge, nor that it is impossible to make any generalisations about Pakistan. However, this issue does suggest that a crude superficial characterisation of Pakistan, at best, is probably unhelpful. Hence the need for edited volumes, monographs, and articles that address Pakistan's diversity and vibrancy, and situate the country appropriately within its role in the wider world stage.