Pakistan one of the least racist countries in the world: Survey

Published: May 16, 2013
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Map of the world's most and least racially tolerant countries. The blue countries are more tolerant while the red countries are less racially tolerant. PHOTO: WASHINGTON POST

Map of the world's most and least racially tolerant countries. The blue countries are more tolerant while the red countries are less racially tolerant. PHOTO: WASHINGTON POST

Pakistan has been ranked as one of the least racist countries in the world, according to a report in the Washington Post.

Data tabulated from the World Values Survey, compiled by two Swedish economists, implied that Pakistanis was among the more racially tolerant countries.

The surveyors asked respondents in more than 80 different countries to identify the sorts of people they would not wish to have as neighbours. Some replied, “people of a different race.” It was concluded that this question could serve as an accurate indicator of racial tolerance in different countries.

Merely 6.5 per cent of Pakistani survey respondents objected to having a neighbour of a different race.

The data showed that Anglo and Latin American countries were the most tolerant in the world. Respondents were the most receptive to having racially diverse neighbours in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

India, Jordan, Bangladesh and Hong Kong were the least racially tolerant countries, according to the data. Only three countries out of the 81 surveyed had more than 40 per cent of respondents say that they would not like to have a neighbour of a different race.

43.5 per cent of Indians, 51.4 per cent of Jordanians, 71.8 per cent of Hong Kongers and 71.7 per cent of Bangladeshis were termed “racially intolerant”.

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Reader Comments (72)

  • Bhatti
    May 16, 2013 - 8:30PM

    Despite all the propaganda against us we will not lose our true identity. Pakistan Zindabad!

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  • Iyaz Ali
    May 16, 2013 - 8:32PM

    When they show Australia as racially tolerant, you know there is something wrong with the survey.

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  • Umer
    May 16, 2013 - 8:35PM

    Yeah but it’s one of the most religiously segregating country so that more than covers for the racial tolerance.

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  • Rahim
    May 16, 2013 - 8:39PM

    Nice to read that! =)

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  • May 16, 2013 - 8:43PM

    There is some thing wrong with this survey, I doubt reversal of statistical data. Even a different sect of the same religion is hounded and killed by majority sect.

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  • Kiran
    May 16, 2013 - 8:46PM

    Oki. I agree :)

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  • Wassim
    May 16, 2013 - 8:47PM

    Well its hard to be racist when there are hardly any minorities left to discriminate against !!

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  • overseas pk
    May 16, 2013 - 8:48PM

    @ Iyaz,, bro, no offense but I can assure you that aussies are very nice people. Probably you haven’t read full news. From Oz.

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  • INDIAN SHIA
    May 16, 2013 - 8:48PM

    Its ture PUNJABIS N SINDHIS never had problem with others b4 1947 they were the best ethinty of INDIA. bt today only god knows

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  • May 16, 2013 - 8:49PM

    Was this survey carried out/ published on April 1 by any chance?? O_o

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  • Jeff mahagaonvi
    May 16, 2013 - 8:50PM

    Not correct. We are one of the most racist country in the world. But we never accept
    it, thats why you got a wrong survey result.

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  • Wassim
    May 16, 2013 - 8:50PM

    @Iyaz Ali – Hit the nail on the head !! The survey lost all credibility when Australia was shown as being tolerant, ask any minority currently residing there and he/she will give you the true picture.

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  • ss
    May 16, 2013 - 8:51PM

    i bet if they had taken religion factor into account we would’ve been among the least tolerant country where majority does not want ppl from other faiths/sects to live in their neighborhood :-/

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  • Manish
    May 16, 2013 - 8:52PM
  • Yaser
    May 16, 2013 - 8:53PM

    @ iyaz. Bro no offense but I can assure you that Aussies are very nice people like any other. Probably you haven’t read the full story. Regards

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  • sunny
    May 16, 2013 - 8:53PM

    Pakistanis are told US-americans are racists and US-americans are evil therefore racism is bad. So pakistanis say that they don’t mind the race of their neighbour.

    But they don’t really mean it. Pakistani racism is not identical to US or european racism. There are different forms and types and ways of racism.

    Many people speak ideal things because they are told to do so – they don’t really mean it or practise it.

    Pakistanis are specially deep in self-deceit due to their religion.

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  • Jehanzeb
    May 16, 2013 - 8:53PM

    Had the question focused on religious / sectarian tolerance the result would have been different for Pakistan.

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  • sensible
    May 16, 2013 - 8:54PM

    Honestly, as a Pakistani I don’t think that we are as much racially tolerant as depicted in survey.

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  • doom
    May 16, 2013 - 8:54PM

    Seems wrong. First, How can we be so different from India and Bangladesh? And second, India and Bangladesh are the most racist places on earth? The Middle East e.g is less racist? I don’t believe it.

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  • Shaami
    May 16, 2013 - 8:54PM

    Well still a lot more to do as racial stereotypes are stil there in our country. I dont know about other regions but atleast in some places of Punjab if a person has a dark color then instantly he is called Choora ( A racial Slur for a Dark Person ) . Similarly My second language is Pushto after Punjabi and in Pushto there are many Stereotypes for many people like they call Punjabis as Daal Khors and city people as Kharan etc. Same is the case with many places of Pakistan. So a lot more to do in order to end this stereotyping.

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  • Ashamed
    May 16, 2013 - 8:55PM

    Maybe one of the least racist countries in the world, but definitely one of the most religiously intolerant countries in the world. What has actually happened during last sixty years is far more important than what may happen if individuals from different races were to be neighbours of the Pakistanis!

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  • junaid
    May 16, 2013 - 8:55PM

    Observe the negative thinking among us (based on all these comments). Instead of cheering a good news and building upon it, people are still bringing up random issues faced by our society and nation. These are the “little” things which make a huge difference is socities. Keep in mind, racism was one of the reasons USA went to civil war!

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  • np
    May 16, 2013 - 8:56PM

    The word ‘race’ is used incorrectly in Pakistan distorting survey results. When even a draker complexion becomes the basis not just of discrimnation but genocide as the Bengalis found out, the distinction of being racially tolerant is laughable. The only people in Pakistan who are different racially are the Hazaras and we know what is happening to them do we not?

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  • Sharma
    May 16, 2013 - 8:58PM

    I agree with this report that India is one of the least tolerant in the world. In many neighborhoods of North India any South Indian have the difficulty to get an accommodation and similarly North Indians cannot get an accommodation in an easy manner . Similarly Muslims are not given accommodation in many localities since Hindus object to it. So India needs to learn in terms of tolerance from many countries of the world.Recommend

  • sunny
    May 16, 2013 - 8:58PM

    Pakistanis are told US-americans are racists and US-americans are evil therefore racism is bad. So pakistanis say that they don’t mind the race of their neighbour.

    But they don’t really mean it. Pakistani racism is not identical to US or european racism. There are different forms and types and ways of racism.

    Many people speak ideal things because they are told to do so – they don’t really mean it or practise it.

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  • rana
    May 16, 2013 - 9:00PM

    This survey needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. Based on all the carnage we have witnessed over the last few years I have to say that this survey is not representative of the ground reality.

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  • Water Bottle
    May 16, 2013 - 9:02PM

    Not surprised about India.

    Indians are some of the most racist people in the world.

    Indians look down upon Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Sri Lankans and Nepalis. Indians shake in our shoes if we meet Africans. We look down upon for Filipinos/Malays/Indonesians but are terrified of Chinese. Indians become slaves to white skinned people and have a phobia of black people. Indians act almost like slaves before Arabs.

    North Indians are the worst racists even among Indians. In other words, North Indians are the worst of all in the world.

    I can challenge you that other Indians will come and try to disprove my comments instead of facing the reality.

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  • Muhammad
    May 16, 2013 - 9:04PM

    A nation that was born out of its incapacity and unwillingness to coexist with people of a different faith is the definition of being racist.

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  • Kosher Niazi
    May 16, 2013 - 9:06PM

    Oh look! Incredible India came first.

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  • Naveen
    May 16, 2013 - 9:11PM

    @Kosher Niazi:
    Yes along with Hong Kong, Jordan and South Korea. Just reflects the credibility of this survey.

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  • Javed
    May 16, 2013 - 9:11PM

    • Pakistan, remarkably tolerant, also an outlier. Although the country has a number of factors that coincide with racial intolerance – sectarian violence, its location in the least-tolerant region of the world, low economic and human development indices – only 6.5 percent of Pakistanis objected to a neighbor of a different race. This would appear to suggest Pakistanis are more racially tolerant than even the Germans or the Dutch.

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  • Bill
    May 16, 2013 - 9:15PM

    Dil Khush kr dita aaa, PROUD TO BE PAKISTANI.
    It also shows our UNITY.
    We are the most united nation in the world despite the fact of lack of leadership.
    uussii dosraan kaumaan di nisbat kum hi LEGPULLING karday ny aik dosray di…

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  • s.shah
    May 16, 2013 - 9:21PM

    Give me a break. I wouldn’t give this survey any credibility whatsoever unless it was all meant to be a bad joke.

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  • F ali
    May 16, 2013 - 9:22PM

    @Wassim: Do u live in Australia or are just assuming?

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  • Bewildered
    May 16, 2013 - 9:37PM

    “Merely 6.5 per cent of Pakistani survey respondents objected to having a neighbour of a different race.”

    I am sure that 6.5% would be from Baluchistan and interior Sindh, otherwise rest of the Pakistani population is extremely tolerant, especially in Punjab.

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  • Bewildered
    May 16, 2013 - 9:45PM

    @Water Bottle:

    “Indians are some of the most racist people in the world.”

    The main reason, racism is part of the Hindu belief system. Nothing strange in the results.

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  • Bewildered
    May 16, 2013 - 9:52PM

    @Water Bottle:

    “Indians look down upon Pakistanis”

    We do the same to Indians, with more intensity of course. So no need to feel any scruples.

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  • tool
    May 16, 2013 - 10:00PM

    how many races exist in pakistan anyways

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  • jiyala
    May 16, 2013 - 10:23PM

    This is a joke right?

    Religious minorities get killed in every which way here. We have completely ridiculous racist laws such as blasphemy law to prosecute whoever you can’t openly slay on the basis of being kafir. And last but not least, ethnic racism is rampant in most areas of the country. People pride themselves on being ethnically superior.

    This survey would be correct about Pakistan in maybe about 5000 years.

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  • Shaami
    May 16, 2013 - 10:26PM

    @tool: Almost all races of the world actually. Brown, Black, White and some Central Asians also known as Hazaras who mostly look like Mongolians and Chinese.

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  • Water Bottle
    May 16, 2013 - 10:32PM

    @Bewildered:
    “@Water Bottle:

    “Indians look down upon Pakistanis”

    We do the same to Indians, with more intensity of course. So no need to feel any scruples.”

    Frankly, if I have to be honest, the entire world looks down upon Pakistanis. This is a fact. Because of the soft power and PR initiatives (both by the govt. and the individuals), the world looks up to Indians. This is true, doesn’t matter if it is real or not :)

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  • A. Khan
    May 16, 2013 - 10:33PM

    @junaid: Would Pakistanis go to civil war to protect the rights of its minorities ?

    The silence is almost deafening.

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  • pani ka horse
    May 16, 2013 - 10:37PM

    @water bottle… I 100% agree with you… i have experienced exactly the same many many times

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  • Pak
    May 16, 2013 - 10:51PM

    @Iyaz Ali:
    I had just spent a few months in Australia, I didnt face any ‘racist’ comments.

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  • Lala Gee
    May 16, 2013 - 10:51PM

    Another interesting statistics directly taken from the World Values Survey (the original source) show that the main 3 sects of the Muslims are the most tolerant among all the religious groups.


    Shia 5.6%
    Sunni 7.1%
    Al-Hadis 8.5%
    Orthodox 15.4%
    Roman Catholic 20.1%
    Jew 28.6%
    Protestant 29.8%
    Sikh 30.0%
    Jain 33.3%
    Hindu 38.1%
    Buddhist 43.1%

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  • kHaN
    May 16, 2013 - 11:36PM

    How come this country turns out to be the least racist where a Pakhtun is usually being referred by Lala, a Sindhi by Sayeen, a Baloch by Dada and a Punjabi Paaji…? You would even hear educated people calling their friends by these racist names. These racist referances just gives an impression that you are just not what we are here!
    Not to mention, our Urdu-speaking folks are called Bhaya Log outside Karachi.

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  • Parvez
    May 16, 2013 - 11:43PM

    Asking a simple question and then coming to a serious conclusion, appears somewhat unprofessional. Possibly there is much more to it than what is reported.

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  • junaid
    May 16, 2013 - 11:55PM

    @ A Khan:

    That is not the point. Where we are first to criticise, let us also look at the positives of our society. One cannot keep criticizing a society and expect it to be perfect one day. One must recognize it’s positives. This is a positive I see in Pakistani society and I commend and celebrate it. There are many other forums where you’ll get plenty of chance to critcise Pakistanis so you are welcome to do there. I’ll do my part by celebrating and encouraging the positives!

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  • gp65
    May 17, 2013 - 12:29AM

    ET Mods: If you allow such a sweeping unsupported attack on Hinduism and do not allow rebuttal – eally you need to revise your guidelines.
    @Bewildered: “The main reason, racism is part of the Hindu belief system.”

    Wow what a sweeping statement. What do you know about the Hindu belief system other than what was taught in Pakistan studies? Do you have any Hindu friend – let alone a family member? Please provide an objective reference.

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  • omer. mallhi
    May 17, 2013 - 12:59AM

    That is because sects come before race.

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  • 1984
    May 17, 2013 - 1:14AM

    Let me clarify something

    Racism exists in India,whether my fellow countrymen accept it or not

    But this survey is so wrong because of the question “Do u accept a person of another race?”

    India is one of the most racially homogenous country..Bangladeshi immigrants are not another race…The only different race people who live here are few Africans puand some US,Europeans who’re in for a spiritual journey and they wont even contribute 0.01% of the population….

    The only contact they have with others is via television which projects a biased stereotype of others…All white people party and sex,all arabs shout “allahu akbar” and bomb us, all black people are drug dealers and low-life criminals…..

    Strange is how Pakistani people responded it..Did they confuse human race with running race?

    Russia and Eastern Europe are among tolerant inspite of England and France issuing warning to families of black player not to travel there for Euro 12

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  • Shaami
    May 17, 2013 - 1:27AM

    @kHaN: The terms you referred to are not considered Racist at all. Lala and Paaji are common ways and there is nothing Racist in it. Lala and Paaji both are considered as forms of saying someone as Brother in Punjab. As far as Bhaiyya and Dada is concerned i have not heard much about these terms in Punjab atleast in my circles. The word Sayeen after Wadaira Ka Baita got traction but not in disrespectful means.

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  • IndianDude
    May 17, 2013 - 1:42AM

    The survey makes perfect sense. After all, going by the global reputation of the pakistanis, pakistanis will be more than happy to have some one other than pakistanis as their neighbors.

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  • Frank
    May 17, 2013 - 1:48AM

    The survey was conducted by Swedes who are very neutral people. So there is no reason to doubt it. If it was conducted by Americans then result would be different. Just look at Washington Post article, the american author called Pakistan an outlier since he couldnt accept the fact.

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  • IndianDude
    May 17, 2013 - 1:59AM

    LOL!

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  • Final Solution
    May 17, 2013 - 2:09AM

    Spot on for Saudi Arabia. Should’ve been fiery red instead due to the amount of racism there.
    But Pakistan tolerant? Open up your mobile inbox any day and there will be countless derogatory and homophobic ‘Pathan’ jokes forwarded from your friends. If that isn’t racism I don’t know what is.

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  • Tahir
    May 17, 2013 - 4:55AM

    Pakistan is a racially tolerant country.. but not a religiously tolerant one..
    we will welcome any racial background in our neighbourhood as long as they belong to the SAME SECT as us..
    that goes for all sects whether their number is in majority or minority.

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  • Hina
    May 17, 2013 - 6:17AM

    Really? Is this some kind of joke?

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  • SK5
    May 17, 2013 - 2:34PM

    I’d take the two Swedish economists verdict rather then some wannabies on this page. From personal experience majority of Pakistanis are not racist which is why I’m not surprised at the findings of this survey. As for Australians, I’ve lived in Australia long enough to say that Australians are tolerant of all races except Indians ;)) trust me they absolutely hate them!!.

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  • gujranwala789
    May 17, 2013 - 3:16PM

    This confirms what Shahid afridi after returning from india also said once that We pakistanis unlike indians have Big Heart to tolerate others.

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  • Observer
    May 18, 2013 - 2:39AM

    There has to be something wrong with this survey. Australia as one of the least racially intolerant countries? Give me a break.

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  • Observer
    May 18, 2013 - 5:27AM

    “This confirms what Shahid afridi after returning from india also said once that We pakistanis unlike indians have Big Heart to tolerate others.”

    Hmmm… Why then the “big hearted” Pakistanis said “we are a different people, we can’t live with Hindus and we want a separate country” though they were happy to “live with” the Hindus when they were the rulers?

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  • Rakib
    May 18, 2013 - 12:02PM

    @Observer: (“..though they were happy to “live with” the Hindus when they were the rulers..”)

    Muslims were never rulers; some of the Rulers were Muslims though. Just as there have been Tribal, Animist, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Catholic, Anglican rulers too. Muslims like others were more ruled than ruling. Real power vested in he who could make offers to coffers. Many of those “Rulers” of many a Suba or Principalities had hocked their all to Hindu & Jain moneylenders! Clive & Hastings & other White Nabobs too were beholden to usurious merchant princes. That tradition continues.

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  • Zara
    May 18, 2013 - 1:46PM

    @Wassim…@Mohammed…@ Umer and many other……Indian Alert….
    Pakistanis be aware that there r many indians on this forum writing under disgiused names….esp names of cricketers….

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  • Saleem
    May 18, 2013 - 3:09PM

    Such a fun to see so many indians with spare time. Coming on Pakistani blog and ranting there hearts out. I think Australia is a great place and I studied there for 2 years. If India has problems with Australia then its a problem between two countries , it does not make a nation racist. Writing on blogs with pseudonyms , hiding your true identity and burning out cause India is shown red would not solve the problem. The caste problem is grave, face the issues at home instead of brushing it under carpet and spending hours on blogs of other countries !

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  • Azeem
    May 18, 2013 - 3:40PM

    Pakistan racially tolerant but Religiously very intolerant. If they ever survey the most intolerant country religiously, no doubt Pakistan will be world champion.

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  • Rashid; Lucknow
    May 18, 2013 - 3:53PM

    @Rakib

    So we were rather ruled than ruling India for 1000 years!
    How sad. In those few lines you have robbed me of my golden past, lost glories and sense of being superior to others who do not believe in ‘my way’. How can you be so cruel?

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  • Zafar
    May 18, 2013 - 4:48PM

    This is junk. Hong Kong is very racist to South Asians.

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  • Terry
    May 18, 2013 - 7:19PM

    @gp65:
    I dont want to comment about Hindu belief system but I have lived and worked beside Indians. Personal experience tells me that they are the most intolerant people in the world as rightly mentioned in the survey. I saw many times signs in labour camps in middle east, “Malyalis Not Allowed” The south Indian hate those from the north, Biharis hate those from Bengal and vice versa. And they dont allow each other in their neigbourhood.

    The only thing that seems to be flawed is about Austrailians who do display some bias. Else the survey is pretty close.

    You should look in your own backyard and see what is taught against each other castes, let alone other religions.

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  • stevenson
    May 18, 2013 - 8:12PM

    @Shaami: You are right; Most Punjabis don’t mind being called Paaji and most Pasthuns are not offended by being called Lala – same for Sindi Sayeen and Baluchi Dada – most native Pakistanis tolerate these simple jokes without taking offense because they are not racist. If you can’t laugh at yourself, something is wrong. Even the term Bhayya for Hindustani immigrants who are Urdu speaking is not racist but when native Pakistanis use it. It’s only racist when people call the Indian origin immigrants makar and other bad names or make fun of their darker colour or smaller size.

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  • Mirza
    May 18, 2013 - 8:12PM

    Two points here: First of all only when it comes to our advantage we take the western press as a page from the holy book otherwise they are liars.
    It is true we do not discriminate on the basis of race. We do discriminate on the basis of religion and even sects in Islam. We do not care much if a person is from a different race as long as he/she is Muslim of our sect!

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  • Prakash
    May 20, 2013 - 7:19PM

    @Observer

    “…..though they were happy to “live with” the Hindus when they were the rulers….

    You would have said as much, if not more, by saying, “…..though they were happy to “live with” the Hindus when their coreligionists were the rulers….”

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