Here are discussed three reasons why the Iranian festival, also known as the Persian New Year, is celebrated by Pakistanis and Kashmiris. First, Nowruz is believed to have been invented by Zoroaster, a great teacher of Iran, about 5600 years ago and cultural festivals continued to be celebrated in Iran even after the Arab invasion that brought Islam to Iran. Second, many Shia Muslims in Pakistan and North India have Iranian ancestry, so celebrate Iranian cultural festivals. Finally, even if they do not have Iranian ancestry, they want to associate themselves with the world’s largest Shia nation, Iran, and therefore celebrate Nowruz. The festival is celebrated differently by people of different countries and religious groups, with Zoroastrians celebrating it as a religious festival and others celebrating it as a cultural or spring/harvest festival.
First of all, Nowruz is an Iranian festival, and is often referred to as the Persian New Year. It is believed to have been invented by Zoroaster, a great teacher of Iran, about 5600 years ago. Now, even after the Arab invasion that brought Islam to Iran, these cultural festivals continued to be celebrated in Iran. At that time the Persian Empire was spread over some countries like Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, part of North India etc. Hence, many Pakistanis and Kashmiris celebrate this cultural festival even today. Nowruz is celebrated in different ways by people from different countries and by different religious groups. While for Zoroastrians, it is a religious festival, for other Muslims (including Shia Muslims in Pakistan and India), it is usually celebrated as a cultural festival or spring/harvest festival, rather than as a religious one.
Now, Iran is a predominantly Shia country. This has happened many times in history, as well as in recent times when Iranians migrated to Pakistan and northern India in search of better pastures. Therefore, many Shia Muslims in Pakistan and India have Iranian ancestry, and therefore, they celebrate Nowruz, a cultural festival of Iran.
Even though they are Shia by choice, and do not have Iranian ancestry, they probably want to associate themselves with the largest Shia nation in the world, and that is Iran. Therefore, they do what Iranians do, including celebrating Navroz.