At the time of independence in August 1947, the country inherited a divided (east and west) postal system established by the British rulers. The new system started operating under the modified Post Office Act no VI of 1898. The post office was part of the joint Department of Posts and Telegraph of the Ministry of Communications. Though the Office of the Postmaster General became operational at Lahore from 15 August 1947, the newly formed government was too preoccupied with establishing itself, therefore British Indian stamps continued to be used without an overprint as was the practice in other countries.
On 1 October 1947, the government released its first stamps, being from the 1940s British India series of King George VI stamps overprinted with the word Pakistan. Known as the Nasik Overprints, after the place near Mumbai, India, where they were overprinted, this set consists of 19 stamps. These Nasik overprints were also used in some Gulf states, both officially and unofficial. At the time of independence, the postal system of some of these areas was run from Karachi, and therefore, they became the responsibility of the new government. Officially these stamps were used in Muscat and Oman and its protectorate of Gwadar (on Pakistan's Baluchistan coast) and Dubai. Muscat used these stamps for a period of only 3 months from 29 December 1947 to 31 March 1948. Gwadar used this issue and various other commemorative ones until 1958. Dubai used these stamps from October 1947 until the end of March 1948.
In November 1947, Pakistan joined the Universal Postal Union as its 89th member. Nine months later on 9 July 1948, the government released its first commemorative set for the country's first anniversary which consisted of 4 stamps. The stamps were inscribed "15 August 1947" because of the prevailing confusing as to which date was Pakistan's actual date of independence. It wasn't until early 1949, that this confusion was cleared by declaring 14 August as independence day. The first day cancellation for this issue was the country's first special pictorial postmark.
14 August 1948 saw the released of the first definitive set consisting of 20 stamps. This set depicted scales of justice (3)(SG 24-26); crescent and star (3) (SG 27-29); Lloyd's Barrage (now Sukkur Barrage)(3)(SG 30); Karachi Port Trust building (5); Salimullah Hostel, Dacca University (now in Bangladesh)(3) and the Khyber Pass (3)(SG 41-43). These were withdrawn from sale on 1 January 1961.
The centenary of Scinde Dawks was commemorated in 1952 with the release of a set of two stamps (SG 63, 64). These depicted the actual stamps plus advances in transportation since their release.
The authorities have to date issued only four booklets, with the only regular issue, released in 1956. Released on 23 March 1956, the first booklet was also the only time a private company, in this case Atco Industries, makers of Alladin battery cells, had sponsored a booklet. It contained 24 stamps of two denominations, 6 pies (SG 65) and 1 ½anna (SG 68), from the 7th anniversary set of 1954. Each pane was separated by interleaving of butter paper. The booklet was priced at Rs. 1/8 and 10,000 booklets were printed.
In 1961, the government decided to introduce decimal currency into the country. This necessitated the surcharging of stamps to reflect this change. Six stamps were chosen from various issues and overprinted with the following denominations: 1 paisa, 2 paisas, 3 paisas, 7 paisas, 13 paisas (2 designs). Their printing was divided between two local printers, both based in Karachi: Pakistan Security Printing Corporation (PSPC) and Time Press, Karachi. Times Press used many plates for printing which resulted in varieties and shifts. Service stamps with decimal surcharges were also printed by the same printers. Forgeries in this issue exist in such numbers that they make the average person think that there are more errors and varieties than in fact. In the 2 paisas Service stamps, errors including service on front and surcharge on gum side are forgeries.
In July 1962, the government bifurcated the old department and independently placed the postal service under the Ministry of Communications.
To speed up the sorting of mail, during the 1960s, the post office installed five Thrisell Electro Magnetic Sorting Machines in Karachi and Lahore. However, during the 1980s their use was stopped.
1972 was the beginning of a new period in the country's postal history with the eastern wing lost in the 1971 War. However, the post office continued to use three languages on stamps until the end of the year.
From August 1986, a number of special services were introduced within the country. These included Air Express (Airex) (2 August 1986); Urgent Mail Service (UMS) (1 January 1987); local packet and parcel service or Local Express Delivery (LES) (22 April 1987); International Speed Post (ISP) (1 September 1986) and Postal Giro Service (15 March 1988)
In January 1988, 5 digit postcodes were introduce in the country to facilitate delivery.
On 14 August 1990, the government released its largest set (SG 801-827) on pioneers of freedom. Designed by Saeed Akhtar it was released in 3 sheets of 9 stamps.
To improve and expedite the transmission and delivery of international mail, a new office was constructed in Islamabad which started working in December 1990. This helped to reduce pressure on the office in Karachi.
From 1991, Express Mail was sub contracted at Karachi.
Between 1 August 1992 and 6 July 1996, the post office was separated from the Ministry and made an independent corporation. It was during this period that philately was first commercialised.
In 2001, the government raises basic inland postage rates from Rs. 2 to Rs. 4.
In 2002, Pakistan Postal Services Management Board was created.
On 3 November 2008, the department was placed under the postal division of the newly created Ministry of Postal Services. Senator Israr Ullah Zehri was appointed its first minister.
The first stamp issued under the new ministry was released on 10 December 2008, to honour the awarding of UN Human Rights Award to Benazir Bhutto.
In November 2009, the government again raised minimum postage by 100% to Rs. 8. To improve services, the Post Office has implemented a plan to establish 100 express centres throughout the country by June 2010. These will includes centres at Hyderabad, Islamabad (1) Karachi, Lahore (6), Multan, Peshawar, Quetta, Rawalpindi (6)and Sukkur and provide a number of services under one roof.