Heading straight for the abyss

Published: September 11, 2011
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The writer is an analyst and a former ambassador to Yemen, Nigeria and Italy

The writer is an analyst and a former ambassador to Yemen, Nigeria and Italy

Nobody has a good opinion of someone who has a low opinion of himself. And this has become so obvious among Pakistanis living abroad today. They are deeply depressed about what the future has in store for Pakistan and are at a loss to explain why Pakistan and its people should have fallen so low in the esteem of their host societies. As a consequence, they seem to have lost their feistiness, their pride and that cockiness that set them apart from other communities such as the Somalis, the Yemenis and Nigerians, whose homelands are/were similarly mired in turmoil. Pakistanis never used to think they were not good enough. In fact, we were sharply offended when people did not respect us because we felt innately that we were as good, if not better, than many others.

Much of that pride and self confidence has gone. For the first time after many years of travel, I could sense hollowness deep down in their hearts. Time and again, I discovered educated and sensitive Pakistanis acting as if they were reluctant, nay ashamed, to admit they were Pakistanis. When asked directly about their country of provenance, for example, in France and Italy, they preferred to avoid or fudge the question and if pushed the lighter-complexioned ones passed themselves off as Sicilians or Latinos and the darker ones as Sri Lankans or from the “subcontinent”. Asked why, one Pakistani replied: “For God’s sake who the hell wants to explain to a civilised individual abroad what is happening in Pakistan and why. It’s simply too shameful. Besides, I have no explanation for the way we are behaving at home.”

This became more obvious when half a dozen of them recounted incidences why they no longer believed that things would improve in Pakistan. Indeed, they were convinced that the situation would continue to go from bad to worse. Nearly each one of them had a story to tell of what they had either personally experienced or knew of a close relative who had suffered at the hands of the system and the people at home who worked it. Some of these are worth relating.

One Pakistani settled in Slovenia spoke of how just the other day the qabza group of one political party had raided his sister’s apartment in Karachi, broke open the lock of her room and declared that as he was at odds with a co-tenant, and that they had come to “teach her a lesson”. This ‘lesson’ involved ensuring she paid them the royal sum of Rs300,000 to vacate her room. Rather than help her recover his property the other residents of the apartment complex begged him to negotiate and make the payment instead of resisting the attackers. “Otherwise they will kill us,” they pleaded. The retired communications engineer living on a meager Slovenian pension managed to reduce the extortion price to Rs200,000 and, in fact, remitted the money to his terrified nephew to make the payment. Luckily a mutual friend stepped in and through yet another friend in the present Sindh set up had the Rangers pay a visit after which the qabza group vacated the premises.

After recalling this incident to his audience, which included some foreigners and myself, a deeply embarrassed former envoy to Slovenia, the old Pakistani expatriate raised his hands in prayer and called upon God to curse a country and a system where such men held sway. I nearly found myself saying “Ameen”.

Another incident involves a Pakistani, now living in Naples, selling Pakistan-made bedsheets and towels in sizeable quantities. He recounted how just the other day he had been contacted by a friend in the Federal Investigation Agency, who asked him to let him know if he knew of anyone making money illegally by, for example, avoiding paying taxes. Greatly impressed that his friend should be such a conscientious officer in an organisation that is considered a by word for corruption, he asked his friend why he was so keen to have such information. “Because that way we can get some money off him too,” his friend replied. “Of course, please tell him that he can carry on avoiding taxes as long as we get a share of the profits he makes.”

Yet another Pakistani living in Venice, where he owns a restaurant, chipped in to say that a friend of his running a textile factory in Karachi had called the other day to say that people who think Pakistan is a bad place to invest are wrong. Why? Because if anyone wanted to be his partner in setting up yet another textile factory, he could ensure that they wouldn’t have to pay any taxes and would even get free electricity. With such exemptions, he continued, there was no question of the venture failing.

Finally, a young married Pakistani woman presently qualifying for a permanent resident visa in a European country, where her husband works, related how her brother-in-law presently settled in America on a visit to Karachi was shot dead by two gunmen while shopping. According to his wife, who was with him, she heard one gunmen tell the other: “Shit, I think we shot the wrong man” as they hurriedly left the shop.

No wonder the view among our communities abroad, what to speak of foreigners, is that a grotesque chaos confronts Pakistan. Dominated by land grabbing, incredibly greedy, inept and corrupt politicians, Pakistan is heading straight for the abyss. Its leaders have nothing to offer but their own confusion and personal agendas. Their failed self perpetuating policies have pitted the country against just about everybody, neighbours, friends, international financiers and even each other. So self-absorbed they live in perpetual adoration of themselves. Hence, if they hear anything to the contrary then the man speaking so is a resolute liar.

Such self-inflicted wounds stemming from moral cowardice and their stubborn indifference are lethal for a nation. Alas, there now seems an inevitability about our fate that nothing can forestall. No wonder then that Pakistanis abroad are hopelessly depressed. Notably the plane, on which I returned only yesterday from London, by PIA flight 788, was by and large empty, while the outbound flights were full as they normally are. It is no wonder why people, like capital, are taking flight.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th,  2011.

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Reader Comments (58)

  • Sep 11, 2011 - 11:05PM

    Anyone would like assist in fixing this issue ?

    Regards,

    Khawar

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  • Rock
    Sep 11, 2011 - 11:27PM

    Mr. Hilali, this is the first article from you about common pak people left the country because of lawlessness. Nice article without any conspiracy theory. Thanks.

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  • Ashok
    Sep 11, 2011 - 11:51PM

    Well to be honest – if you are genuinely introspective, according to me that beats hollow bravado and warped ideas of being better than others.

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  • baffled
    Sep 12, 2011 - 12:22AM

    Pakistanis have to blame themselves for not rising against the current government. If pakistan does not want to end up like in 1971, then pakistanis need to vote for a new party which cares more about the people of pakistan than its own pockets. Pakistanis should boycott PPP, PML, MQM, and ANP in 2013. It’s time for a change. Otherwise, if same govt continues till 2018, then it will be game over for pakistan!

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  • MD
    Sep 12, 2011 - 1:02AM

    Though the author has been very candid, truthful and wrote a good article, depicting the difficult conditions that an average Pakistani expatriate faces abroad, but, he, somehow, shied away from saying that the most of the Pak diaspora in almost every part of the world, tend to declare their identity as Indians. I have witnessed it myself personally where Pak citizens living abroad, trying desperately to show themselves as Indians. I don’t want to elaborate as it is not my intention to offend my Pakistani friends. My only objection to the authors’ narrative is that, he, somehow, seems to be scared of mentioning this very trend of Pak expatriates declaring themselves as Indians. I don’t think any Pakistani or for that matter an Indian can pass for as a Sicilian or a Latino because, if not looks, the culture, the accent, food habits and even the instinctive behavior of us sub-continentals is distinct and unique in the world. We, the sub-continentals, can conceal our respective identities only by posing as being the nationals of a sub-continental country.
    Don’t you think Mr. Author that, your failure or embarrassment at admitting that most of the Pakistanis abroad identify themselves as Indians, is the main reason for the miseries that Pakistan faces today?

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  • APatriot
    Sep 12, 2011 - 4:27AM

    @MD,
    You are absolutely right!. I remember after the failed NYC Times Square bombing, last year. many pakistanis in brooklyn were passing themselves off as “indian”. This is the sorry state the corrupt politician and equally crooked khakis have reduced a once promising nation.

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  • Pat
    Sep 12, 2011 - 5:14AM

    Hahaha… This guy’s just short of telling the truth – When asked about the country of origin – India is the answer Pakistanis use most often while living in the west. Apparently that cockiness of a defeatist’s psychology hasn’t gone yet, it’s still there… and will remain there, till it eats them alive. Just the same way it has ruined the overly proud people of KPK… rest of the Pakistan – It’s coming your way… real fast!

    Good going buddy, and good luck !

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  • Rock
    Sep 12, 2011 - 6:12AM

    Mr. hilali how can you miss the most used identity as Indians? Najam sethi admitted on television channel. In crisis most of the pak origin used identity as Indians. And noone can detect it easily. Funny thing is Indian muslim feels like cheated as pak people stealing their identity. I heard many times “he is not Indian but pakistani” probed by Indian muslims. There are others too who will always stick to pak identity no matter what the situation is.

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  • Rock
    Sep 12, 2011 - 6:22AM

    Read this http://tribune.com.pk/story/250119/little-pakistan-fights-decay-abandonment/
    Now you tell me what do you expect from abroad pak people. That is why they use indian identity which can not be detected eaily without documents or know how.

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  • Sep 12, 2011 - 7:10AM

    @MD
    I have yet to see a Pakistani who declares himself abroad as Indians. Pakistanis blogs however are full of Indians trolls.

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  • N
    Sep 12, 2011 - 7:30AM

    This is a very thoughtful article. We are embarassed to own our Pakistani credentials overseas. We readily claim to be Indians not Latinos. To confuse even the Indians, we are all mostly from Hyderabad to be specific and generally from Punjab and Gujrat – common to both India and Pakistan. We know enough to continue the ruse and our Indian friends are polite enough to not expose us. It all works out.

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  • asif
    Sep 12, 2011 - 7:51AM

    …your failure or embarrassment at admitting that most of the Pakistanis abroad identify themselves as Indians….
    Another example of a delusional Indian pretending to be sitting higher in the pecking order of things – most educated Pakistanis with even iota of self-reflection and brush with history will not identify themselves with Indians for reasons that will go unsaid. For the love of God, we are on downward slope but have not arrived at the point where we start identifying ourselves as Indians. Pray that time does not come

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  • Arindom
    Sep 12, 2011 - 9:20AM

    Pakistanis abroad today are not shy to say they are Indians – so why is the author shy of admitting that fact which every Pakistani abroad knows?

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  • Arindom
    Sep 12, 2011 - 9:32AM

    @Bangash:
    it’s clear you like inside Pakistan! Go abroad (especially US/UK) and see for yourself Pakistanis calling themselves Indian!!

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  • Feroz
    Sep 12, 2011 - 10:57AM

    I do not think Indians will object if Pakistani’s abroad pass themselves off as Indians to escape discrimination or isolation. But if the cover is used for subversion activities the situation may not be allowed to continue. When in service the author has played a role in framing policies that have brought the citizens to grief but we see no signs of apology or regret. Shift the buck seems to be the name of the game.

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  • Arindom
    Sep 12, 2011 - 11:10AM

    @Bangash:
    which world are you living – come to US – see for yourself

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  • A suhail
    Sep 12, 2011 - 11:49AM

    @arindom, I have lived in US for 13 years and never passed myself as Indian. You are trying to be a voice of all Pakistani’s living in states? By the way why are so many indians leaving India? From US to Australia, the top most immigrant group is Indian. Care to elaborate.
    We have our issues but we are not the first nation to experience it. The problems can be fixed with time. People are free to make any predictions they want about Pakistan and make up stories just like arindom but no one can see into future.

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  • Raza
    Sep 12, 2011 - 11:59AM

    I do not agree with this article.

    I lived in London for 30 years – the quality of life is far higher in Lahore than it is in London (education, housing, food costs etc).

    I have never met anyone, who would deny his Pakistani origin.

    Mr. Hilaly’s flight was probably empty, as schools have re-opened in London.

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  • indian
    Sep 12, 2011 - 12:21PM

    I have no problem pak friends identifying themselves as Indians. They were indians before the partition????Recommend

  • Rock
    Sep 12, 2011 - 12:27PM

    @A suhail: 1.21billion people living in India it is 2nd highest population on planet earth. Also go any part of the world you will find Indians. Now this is breaking news for you NRI started coming back to India leaving their highest paid jobs. Just wait for 20 years you will find major transformation of Indian society.

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  • Sara
    Sep 12, 2011 - 1:40PM

    I’d rather die than call myself an Indian. No matter how bad things get, this is my home, I’ll never leave and I’ll never not be a Pakistani to a foreigner. Make a choice, don’t abandon your country in physicality or spirit.

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  • Hatim
    Sep 12, 2011 - 2:33PM

    The article is full of fallacies. None of the authors claims are backed by statistics. Basing his one return flight from London as the warrant for the flight of Pakistanis abroad proves the hollowness of his article. There could be many reasons why this flight was empty as Raza has suggested. I was not aware that Britain has an open immigration policy that allows hundreds of immigrants from Pakistan every day.

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  • harkol
    Sep 12, 2011 - 3:10PM

    Well Mr.Ambassador seems to have finally woken up to how Pakistanis are distrusted world over, and have very little credibility left. It is very difficult to have self-esteem & self-respect, when the whole world keeps telling you there is something wrong with you. It takes either an extremely brave or an extremely shameless person to continue as if he isn’t bothered.

    I feel sad for Pakistani Expats. I had met a few on my visits to US, as they attended parties of my Indian friends there. They were extremely polite and pleasant to converse with, but went quite when matters come to talking of home countries. It is almost as if they wanted to run away from there, escape possible discomfiture.

    I felt, It’s much better for one to be cursing his country than giving up on it. We in India curse our politicians, but when you meet other folks from third world countries you realize they aren’t half as bad as we make them out to be. :(

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  • Arindom
    Sep 12, 2011 - 4:00PM

    @A suhail:

    SO whats wrong in Indians going abroad – they take with them positive attitudes, qualification, liberal views and hard working attitude – Indians are making a positive mark across the world – unlike Pakistanis who take with them an odd religious superiority complex tinged with a victimhood mentality.

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  • Rock
    Sep 12, 2011 - 4:12PM

    @Sara: I admire you. but what will you do to change your national language from urdu to something else? Do you know urdu is indian origin language adopted by pak? Also what about bollywood? what about indian culture in your life? how will you remove the entire thing? i mean all sorts of indian traces exist in your society? What about border with India, you can’t remove that right? I just need answers nothing else. [Now don’t tell me that you guys are arabs and will promote arab culture… ]

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  • Rock
    Sep 12, 2011 - 4:16PM

    @Hatim: Start travelling outside your country the world is changing..Ask how people around the world feeling about pakistan and see their reactions…? What the word pakistani is getting associted with? What problems pak expats are feeling in their daily lives? Try to think analyse and understand.

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  • Lobster
    Sep 12, 2011 - 4:42PM

    The million dollar question is what are you doing to change it. The writer himself has been part of Pakistani bureaucracy, did he try to change something in his capability? These retired bureaucrats only talk sense when they are no more in their job.

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  • khwaja,,,,
    Sep 12, 2011 - 5:06PM

    your majesty kindly highlight root causes which take the country to this position…patriotism is seems to be faded ……need to focus on very root causes,,including consecutively military interference in civilian affairs…religious extremism,,,sectarianism,,,poor standing of democratic institutions…if the present state of Pakistan is no more capable of competing international society///than the whole structure from top to bottom should be transformed??/which way the country may stand firmly???????

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  • Menon
    Sep 12, 2011 - 6:36PM

    @Sara:

    That is very good and we agree you should not never ever call yourself Indian and if you do we will have to expose you and if that doesn’t work we will have to eliminate you.

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  • Menon
    Sep 12, 2011 - 6:43PM

    @asif:

    No delusions, indeed we are sitting on a higher pecking order. Look across the world, there are many international corporations owned by Indians. Tata, Infosys, Wipro, Satayam, Axelor Mittal all well known and reputed international firms.

    Name one Pakistani International Corporation that is listed in Fortune 500 in the last 10 years.

    Over 80% of the companies in Silicon Valley, USA is started by Indians and Indians are the wealthiest most accomplished minority in every field in the US. That allows us to sit higher in the pecking order.

    When you ask absurd questions, truth will hurt you. Recommend

  • Menon
    Sep 12, 2011 - 6:55PM

    @A suhail:
    Yes, I will eloboramullahte.

    India produces more engineers thant Japan, China and S. Korea put together and there a dearth of engineering talent in the West. So we Indians go because we operate in a free market economy, it benefits us ad individuals and it benefits India as a nation. Instead of blowing up things, we Indians contribute to the society, bring up education standards in schools in US and UK and we assimilate within the society.

    Before you go off on tandrum, I have lived in the US for past 40 years, not born here, but schooled in the US from very young age.

    Cut your crap. You know you are lying, and if you are still in the US, c’mon, let me take you to places and show you. Pakistani’s don’t even name their business in Pakistani names. How many “Karachi Store, Karachi Restaurant or Lahore Silks or Peshawar Jewelry have seen in New York, LA, Dallas, Houston, Chicago or San Fransico? How many? Recommend

  • A suhail
    Sep 12, 2011 - 9:49PM

    @arindom. India is shinning but the Indians are leaving? I do not Chinese lining up at immigration offices. You are quick to lay blame but can not handle the truth if its thrown at you. More than 400 million Indians are living under the poverty line and you are telling me everything is hunky dory in your shinning land. Well sins of few pakistanis can not be used to malign the whole country and we pakistanis are contributing in other countries positively also. BTW 15-20 million baby girls have been aborted in India in last 20 years. These are figures from Indian ministry of health and can be found online. According to unofficial sources the number is much higher. Man, that’s just plain genocide of baby girls and I blame the whole Indian nation for it. That’s killing a small nation of people. The guy to girl ratio is highly skewed in India and the killing of fetuses is still going on. That’s more killing than people killed in terrorists acts.
    @menon. Calling someone liar is not a good idea. What are you doing in US for last 40 years and why did you leave your country. you need to cut the crap since you know you left because of better opportunities and you are unwilling to move back as you know what India as to offer. Indians are so proud of their 15 year of growth that they think they own the world and have to come online comment section and beat their chests. India produces more engineers and since they cant find jobs in shinning India they immigrate like menon and arindom and make fantasy stories. Female baby killing is not a shinning example. And look how narcissistic you sound by bringing up education standards in west is due to indians. Yeah American and British are dumb and it’s only because of shinning India that eduction standards are going up. You guys need to move back to India and stop this baby killing machine which is running at full strength. Recommend

  • Arindom
    Sep 13, 2011 - 1:41AM

    @A suhail:
    and talking of Chinese – I only need to point out the ‘Chinatowns’ in almost every big western city!!! Almost everyone runs a fish/chip shop!! LOL!!!

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  • Arindom
    Sep 13, 2011 - 1:50AM

    @Sara:
    you said : “I’d rather die than call myself an Indian.” So all your ancestors didnot exist then before 1947? It might be NEWS for you – they were all Indians!!! and a few centuries further up, they were actually Hindus!! (horrors).

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  • bobby
    Sep 13, 2011 - 2:16AM

    Mr Hilaly, you miss the main point why Pakistanis have such a bad image abroad. It is because Pakistani communities in the societies themselves are so backwards and insular that they drag down the societies they live in. In England, Pakistani men have been involved in under-age sex gangs in which they targetted and raped vulnerable non Muslim women for sexual abuse. The story of Pakistani involvement in terrorism in the UK is endless. Islamic extremism is manifest and huge. The attitude of Pakistanis is racist towards non Muslims. Pakistani Islam is bigoted, supremacist, and spreads hatred towards British ‘kaffars’. Pakistani ghettoes stratify society and segregate themselves. The prisons are full of Pakistani men out of all proportion to their population. Forced marriages are epidemic. Girls dissapear from school never to be seen again. Honor killings are a persistent reality. Cousin marriage in-breeding is rampant in cities like Bradford and Birmingham. There is no joy, life, colour or happiness, no music, culture or art that adds to the gaiety of the nation that emanates from Pakistanis.

    And yet we still get Pakistanis shoving Islam in peoples faces, as if all non Muslims are scum who have to convert to be ‘saved’. These are the reasons why Pakistanis, unlike other ethnic minorities, have such a bad image in the West.

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  • Doctor
    Sep 13, 2011 - 2:46AM

    It is embarrassing to admit but here in the US you will rarely see a restaurant advertised as a “Pakistani Restaurant”. It will say “Indian and Pakistani Restaurant” or “Indian Restaurant”. Furthermore, no Indian restaurant would ever say “Indian and Pakistani Restaurant” because it doesn’t need to.

    There are many Pakistani doctors, engineers, and successful business people who feel that the Indian Muslims are the same as us except they consider themselves Indians first. We would do well to (a) consider ourselves Pakistanis first and (b) consider taking actions to prevent our nation from continuing to be the world’s epicenter of terrorism. I would like to think we’d do that but it doesn’t seem to be Pakistan’s focus right now. We want to blame others for our problems, support terrorist sympathizers like Imran Khan, and beg for foreign aid.

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  • Plal
    Sep 13, 2011 - 3:56AM

    @A suhail:
    You are not right, Chinese are also lining for US, as Chinese has been migrating to US in much larger number for long time since the rail road construction in USA and there are many story of Chinese immigrant dying in difficult unimaginable condition, while trying to come to US/Canada shore, still 1 lakh Chinese student more than 80 thousand Indians are coming to US university every year.India is developing country and poverty and social problems are still there but large number of people are coming out of poverty line every year in India ,while in Pakistan more People are falling below the poverty line every year these days.Gender ratio in India may not be good but the way Mukhtar Mia incident in Pakistan, which got international attention and frequent bombing of girls schools – does not give any example of better treatment of female in Pakistan. Many NRI are going back to India as reported in newspaper article in many well known Western media, specifically after recent economic decline in US,while India has some how remained more or less unaffected.

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  • Hatim
    Sep 13, 2011 - 11:40AM

    @ Arindom: India did not exist as the modern state it is today before 1947. In fact “India” is a an English term that proud Indians still have not changed even after renaming a dozen of their cities.

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  • shehzad
    Sep 13, 2011 - 12:48PM

    well done mr. hilaly. the ‘job’ is well done.

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  • Arindom
    Sep 13, 2011 - 2:52PM

    @Hatim:
    Really don’t get your point! India – South Asia – Bharat – Indian Subcontinent – this is the region that extends from frontier of Khyber to Jungles of Burma and south of the Himalayas….Hinduism has been the religion of this entire region for 5000 years. Influences, invasions and conversions resulted in growth of Sikhism, Islam and Christianity. This is what the world’s history books and top global historians agree on. I am not sure what the Pakistani establishment’s doctored books say since 1947! LOL! – and don’t care too much either…..

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  • Cynical
    Sep 13, 2011 - 5:53PM

    Mr. Hilaly raises some important issues, we should introspect why things are as bad as they are.

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  • rehmat
    Sep 13, 2011 - 5:57PM

    @Bangash:
    “I have yet to see a Pakistani who declares himself abroad as Indians. Pakistanis blogs however are full of Indians trolls.”

    Pakistani restaurants in US or UK will either call themselves Indian or at most Indo-Pak. No Indian owner calls his restaurant Indo-Pak, they just call it Indian. Same thing with Pak owned grocery stores.

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  • Bangash
    Sep 13, 2011 - 7:19PM

    I live in the US and have relatives in Canada/UK/UAE, nowhere have I seen any Pakistani identifying themselves as Indians.

    Another ET discussion completely ruined by Indian virgin trolls. ET needs to moderate its pages, otherwise it will end up like Reuters “Pakistan Now or Never” blogs which was ruined by hateful and nasty Indian trolls and now nobody visits it.

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  • Punjabi Troll
    Sep 13, 2011 - 8:42PM

    @Raza: then why are you suffering willfully in London for 30 yrs my friend. Why not come back to Lahore???

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  • Professor Aamir
    Sep 13, 2011 - 8:50PM

    @A suhail: Hahahahaahahah. Seriously dude? Seriously???????? In illegal immigration China ranks second after Mexican in USA. India and China are the only two country whose citizens have to wait on an average 5-7 yrs to get green card. Why ? Because people from both these countries migrate to USA in bulk. Get your facts straight seriously.

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  • observer
    Sep 13, 2011 - 8:56PM

    @Hatim

    India did not exist as the modern state it is today before 1947. In fact “India” is a an English term that proud Indians still have not changed even after renaming a dozen of their cities.

    India existed during Alexander’s time, look up Indica by Arrain.
    Well, no state existed as a ‘modern state’ ,simply because ‘modern’ is not the same as old. Having said that,As a ‘modern state’ India has existed since Nov 1 1858, when the Queen of England assumed the title of Empress of India and a Secretary for India was appointed.
    Pakistan however came into existence only on 15th Aug,1947.
    And in so far as name changing is concerned, Pakistan continues to retain ‘Sthan’ a Sanskrit word for place, even though it has repudiated its Hindu/Budhist past.Since Pakistan considers itself an extension of Arabia, How about an Arabic name soon.

    Moderator ET- I guess two people can talk about name change without getting censored.

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  • Professor Aamir
    Sep 13, 2011 - 9:02PM

    @Bangash: Really brother ? Lets meet up. I would like to stay in the city where Pakistani don’t call themselves Indians. In my city, the big apple, everywhere , anywhere, from wall street to queens, every single Pakistani I have met after 9/11 calls themselves Indians. They will not call themselves Indian only to an Indian. Many have changed their names to sound like Bori Muslims since they are more associated with India. Show me single restaurant or grocery store which has a board reading only “Pakistani”. I would love to be in a city where Pakistani calls themselves Pakistani to a white guy. Please do me a favor and let me know. Recommend

  • Delhi Belly
    Sep 13, 2011 - 9:14PM

    @observer: Very well said. I don’t know what is the fuss about. Whats wrong if Pakistani calls themselves Indians. I dont see that as belittling Pakistani brothers. I feel honored and humbled just by the mere fact that we associate under one name whatever name it is. I am Hindu, married to muslim. My knowledge in urdu lets me mingle with my wife’s family easily and quite many of them dont see me as non muslim. And neither do I try to project that I am not amongst them. Inspite of different faith we have strong family ties and god bless that is how it remains for ever. Point is simple, harmony comes with knowledge, faith and trust with each other, it has to be worked upon. We had it before. We can do it again. Some people will point Hindus will never like muslims, is partly correct. Quite many hindus will not like muslim cause of the less information they have about muslims and strong prejudices brewed in our society. Ofcourse quite many has surfaces from the history of mughal invasion and conversion of than hindus to muslims. Everybody likes to defend their faith and anybody changing their way is seen as enemy. Isn’t that natural ? But whats done is done and we cannot afford to hold on to past. We should be looking fwd and start living together in harmony. Cause the truth is, whether we like it or not. Irrespective of our current faith we have a common lineage. We all belong to this sub continent and it’s tradition. It will only be way beautiful and comforting if we realize this and live in harmony and accept each other. Peace!

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  • Hamood
    Sep 13, 2011 - 9:20PM

    I have lived in USA/ Canada for over 15 years. I HAVE NEVER SEEN OR HEARD OF A PAKISTANI IDENTIFYING HIMSELF AS AN INDIAN. Most Pakistanis anywhere would be insulted if referred to as Indians. As usual this board is full of Indian trolls.

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  • Hamood
    Sep 13, 2011 - 9:24PM

    @Rehmat, the most successfull Pakistanis restaurants in Houston either has only Pakistani or nothing underneath their names. Check out Aga’s, Himalaya, Sabri etc. The most successful restaurant in Toronto is called Lahore tikka house. Stop spreading lies.

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  • Farooq
    Sep 14, 2011 - 12:02AM

    Agree with Khawar
    pointing the fingure is always easy……anyone with the solution?

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  • Nasha
    Sep 14, 2011 - 1:22AM

    This article is a result of false perception and assumption.

    Who said we would be perfect? and who said success as a nation would come in less than 60 years from independence in which we pretty much lost all the idealogical leaders of the initiative within the first 10 years of inception?

    This article is not untrue but just one way of looking at a situation…as well as a false assumption in that this point of view is specific to Pakistanis.

    Meet Americans these days outside of North America and you will always note a sense of embarrassment behind the fact that Iraq had no WMDs; top brass of Bush’s administration were simply racist…who the american people elected through a DEMOCRATIC process…not once, but twice; and, the true ideology of a good portion of all western governments is economic and social development through war.

    Pakistan gives pakistanis a place to belong. Italy or any other place will never be home for a Pakistani.

    And honestly…every pakistani i have met outside of pakistan would get fiesty like Altaf Hussain on a video conference to his people in Karachi if ever called an Indian. No Pakistani that matters would ever call themselves an Indian. Change their name from Tanweer to Tony they might do and they for sure do this…but call themselves Indians? Thats untrue.

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  • Baby Houston
    Sep 14, 2011 - 5:06AM

    @Hamood: Seriously ???? I live on hillcroft where Sabri Nihari is. Do you want me to send you picture that below the green neon board there is just Restaurant and nowhere Pakistan is mentioned. Same thing for Himalaya at Southwest freeway. If Pakistanis are so proud people, why not call it Pakistani restaurant ? So stop calling people liar. Please have some sanity that this is globally connected world and people like you would wish that they can tell lies and get away with it.Recommend

  • Plal
    Sep 14, 2011 - 8:02AM

    @Hamood: I find Indian expats very proud of being Indian, while Pakistani are generally feeling shy to talk about their country, even Mr Najam Sethi in his TV program has said that he has met Pakistani, who called themselves Indian in USA.

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  • maxwell
    Sep 14, 2011 - 9:08AM

    @ Bangash…for your pleasure, just read above what N has to say…

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  • maxwell
    Sep 14, 2011 - 9:13AM

    @ A Suhail…Indian are not leaving India as escapist, like Pakistanis are…they are leaving for greener pastures…we have trained manpower and if someone finds an opportunity abroad, and they like working there, they go…the number is hug because our size is huge…simple…is it so difficult to understand to you??

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  • maxwell
    Sep 14, 2011 - 9:15AM

    @Raza…if quality of life is so good in Lahore, why are you living in London for 30 years…you should have enjoyed better quality of life of home in Lahore and not lived for those horrible, horrendous conditions of London that you despise so much…Recommend

  • maxwell
    Sep 14, 2011 - 9:33AM

    I remember a dear friend Darain Shahidi, who was earlier working as an anchor in ESPN Singapore….and while walking back to his home, which was close to his office, some Pakistani stopped him to talk and but could not place who he exactly was apart from having seen him many times on TV…When Darain played around and asked him to guess, his first guess was…you are a pakistani anchor…Darain was almost in tears…pleaded…call me some baniya of Chandni Chowk, or some hawker from Daryaganj but no…not a pakistani…This is how a proud Indian muslim reacts, if compared with a Pakistani…

    Remember how Madani encountered that dictator Musharraf in India today conclave….:)

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