– Illustration by Eefa Khalid/Dawn.com
– Illustration by Eefa Khalid/Dawn.com

If you think of the Asian-American communities making major contributions to American politics, culture, and economics, which ones come to mind?

Certainly the Indian diaspora. And the Chinese and Korean ones as well.

But did you think of Pakistani-Americans? If not, then you clearly haven’t been to Chicago.

The city is home to nearly 100,000 Pakistanis, and to a major thoroughfare called Devon Avenue — part of which is named Muhammad Ali Jinnah Way. A New York Times portrait has depicted the range of colorful characters inhabiting this Little Pakistan — from booksellers and cab drivers to gay-rights advocates. Chicago is also the US headquarters for two of the largest Pakistan-focused NGOs — The Citizens Foundation and Human Development Foundation. Back in 2010, Chicago’s Pakistani organisations united to organize flood relief funding for Pakistan. Not surprisingly, Chicago has a sister-city arrangement with Lahore (though some say Karachi would be a better match).

I recently visited Chicago to give several talks at the University of Chicago, and I was blown away by what I discovered.

It’s one thing to experience the diaspora’s global spread. I remember walking through Oslo several years back and feeling like I had been transplanted to Pakistan (Pakistanis, incidentally, constitute one of Norway’s largest immigrant communities).

Yet, it’s quite another thing to witness a range of Pakistanis at the top of their respective fields — and all in one city.

Chicago’s medical community features Teepu Siddique. He teaches at Northwestern University Medical School, conducts research on ALS, and is described by his peers as a future Nobel Prize winner.

Chicago’s business world features Mehmood Khan. He’s the chief scientific officer and a senior executive at Pepsico, and one of the highest-ranking Pakistanis in corporate America. M. Zia Hassan, dean emeritus of the Illinois Institute of Technology’s business school, has an endowed chair of business in his name. I’m told no other such chair is named for a Pakistani anywhere else in America.

And then there were my hosts — members of the Pakistan Club, an initiative of the University of Chicago’s ultra-prestigious Booth School of Business. Many are Pakistani-American Booth alums, and now highly successful Chicago investors and financiers. One of them, Rizwan Kadir (to whom I’m grateful for sharing many of the names mentioned here), worked for several years as a trader — and was urged by Pakistani-Chicagoans to run for the US Congressional seat vacated by Rahm Emanuel. Alas, he didn’t take their advice.

Other Pakistanis in Chicago, however, have opted for public service. Tariq Malhance is CFO of Cook County (which encompasses Chicago, and is the second largest county in the US), and was previously comptroller of Chicago—making him the highest-ranking Pakistani city official in America. The current comptroller is another Pakistani, Amer Ahmad. Within the legal realm, Pamela Leeming — a Christian Pakistani-American—is a Cook County judge, and the first Pakistani in America to be elected or appointed to a judgeship.

How about architecture? Chicago boasts two of America’s most iconic skyscrapers — the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) and the Hancock Building. Both were designed by Pakistan-born Fazlur Rahman Khan.

And then there’s cricket. This is not — as I’ve written previously — an institution synonymous with American culture. Yet, Chicago boasts an unusually dynamic cricket scene — and the Pakistani-American community plays a key role in sustaining it. Back in the 1970s, the US fielded a team (with associate status) in the Cricket World Cup. The squad was captained by Masood Chic — a Chicagoan of Pakistani origin.

Admittedly, the story of Pakistanis in Chicago has a dark side. David Headley and Tahawwur Hussain Rana, both now imprisoned for their involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, are from the city. And a Chicago cab driver, Raja Lahrasib Khan, was charged by the FBI with providing funds to al Qaeda. Several years back, as these allegations surfaced — and as news emerged of a Pakistani-American’s attempt to bomb Times Square — some Pakistanis in Chicago admitted to being embarrassed or apologetic about their heritage.

Yet these are anomalies. They don’t take away from the larger theme at play — Pakistani-Americans making positive, high-visibility contributions in a major American city.

So what’s the takeaway from this tale? The optimist will say it’s a powerful validation of the success of the US-based Pakistani diaspora — but the cynic will lament it as a sign of Pakistan’s immense brain drain.

To that end, let’s hope these successful Pakistani-Chicagoans will give back to Pakistan (I imagine many already do). Philanthropy is something the diaspora does famously well. Even better would be visits to Pakistan to offer training and advice to young Pakistanis interested in their fields.

Of course, the risk is that these young people, mesmerised by the heights the Pakistani-Americans have attained in the US, will decide they’re better off abroad too.

But that’s a discussion for another day.

 


Michael-Kugelman-80x80
The author is the Senior Program Associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. You can reach him at michael.kugelman@wilsoncenter.org

 


The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

The author is the Senior Program Associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. You can reach him at michael.kugelman@wilsoncenter.org

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

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Comments are closed.

Comments (114)

Sunil
April 11, 2013 3:01 pm
I live near this Devon Avenue. Turns into a freaking vomit inducing neighborhood every Friday.
Naqvi
April 12, 2013 7:48 am
Excellent, loved it. Proud to be a Pakistani-American!
Faisal
April 11, 2013 3:02 pm
When Fazlur Rehman travelled, it was no Bangladesh but Pakistan. Michael is talking about nationality not race. He would have travelled as a Pakistani. Very nice article. I have lived in Chicago and many other cities in US and Canada and I really admire many of the Pakistanis as they thrive in their fields when some assistance is available or even when system is available. Normally you would see that people will come empty handed and work hard to be able to live a normal middle class life in 4-5 years.
Islmail
April 11, 2013 11:53 am
thanks you for yet another exiting and optimistic article.
Md Imran
April 11, 2013 1:40 pm
Please add where would US / western industries and scientific research labs be without Pakistani engineers,doctors and economists ? We are undoubtedly the most sincere,innovative and intelligent people in the world.
Khawer
April 11, 2013 3:09 pm
There was alos a Pakistani born who became the comptroller form NYC. correct me if i am wrong?
Anshu
April 11, 2013 3:00 pm
As an Indian - I feel happy that there are people of Pakistani origin in the US that are doing well. I hope more of our neighbors do well is life - since a stable and prosperous Pakistan is in India' interest.
Hamdard
April 11, 2013 1:32 pm
Michael, Thanks for sharing this.
MAK
April 11, 2013 2:20 pm
Bangladesh did not exist when Fazlur Rahman moved to US.He came here as a Pakistani Citizen. When he designed Sear's Tower he used to call himself a PAKISTANI.I met him in Dallas and he spoke fluent Urdu and proud to call himself a Pakistani.
Aaa
April 11, 2013 1:22 pm
Fazul Rehman was not a Pakistani but a Bangladeshi....
raika45
April 11, 2013 1:55 pm
What is it with you people. Your talented be they from Pakistan or India settle down in other countries and RENOUNENCE their citizenship of the mother country can still be called Pakistani or Indians? They are no longer your citizens. Their loyalty lies in the country they reside.So what is this chest beating by you folks in both your countries when these people reach positions of eminence in their domiciled countries?
Rishi
April 11, 2013 12:52 pm
Take it easy Mike. It will be helpful to your readers if facts aren't twisted to suit the theme of your article. Fazlur Rahman Khan wasn't born in Pakistan. He was a Bangladeshi structural engineer (moved to US in 1952) born in British India.
murtazarzai
April 11, 2013 3:51 pm
We are undoubtedly the most sincere,innovative and intelligent people in the world.really.? for ur kind information 1 in every 4 noble prize winner is jew.
Samar
April 11, 2013 4:10 pm
He was born in British India, became a national of the newly formed Pakistan and went abroad for education on Pakistan Govt. funded scholarship in 1951/1952 where he worked on the infrastructure. He later became a Bangladeshi citizen in 1971. So Pakistan has a big role in shaping his career but no he is not Pakistan born, only that he went to Chicago as a Pakistani.
Saqib Shah
April 11, 2013 4:16 pm
Mike, Chicago is truly a miserable city. Chicagoan-Pakistani community has yet to learn to 'live and let live'. San Francisco and Seattle Zindabad!
shahid
April 11, 2013 4:18 pm
we are desperate for more Zindabads, thanks Micheal
Zeeshan Shamsi
April 12, 2013 7:12 am
Your People? Read who has written the article. It is an appreciation of cultures, or rather, notification of Pakistani origin Americans being successful in their fields. Does that bother you so much?
reyan
April 11, 2013 4:33 pm
come to Toronto Canada and you will change your mind, there a Pakistani under every stone
Tahir Sheikh
April 12, 2013 7:06 am
Ok. Samar. You can have him since he took Bangladeshi cititzenship. We have more than enough Pakistani diaspora to make us proud.
A_Pakistani
April 11, 2013 5:42 pm
Please get your facts straight. Fazal "was" a Pakistani when Sears Tower was built. That is why his name is there as Pakistani on Sears Tower official books. Bangladesh did not exist at that time. Year was 1970. That is where writer and the whole world takes Fazal's information from
ZAK
April 11, 2013 6:28 pm
I went to Chicago twice. First in 2007, to settle in my daughter when she started her 4 year program at the University of Chicago, and then again on a cold windy day of June in 2011 to applaud her when she walked to receive her degree in Economics. And both these trips were made memorable by the warmth, hospitality and generosity of my friends and relatives, all pakistanis, settled in this wonderful city. But for the cold, Chicago is a warm warm city !!
cautious
April 12, 2013 12:27 pm
You could ask 300 million American's to name one famous Pakistani/American's and you would get a blank stare. Few sports guys might remember Shahid "Shad" Khan who owns NFL team but that's it.
karim
April 12, 2013 12:27 pm
Pakistanis do well when they exist in somebody else's legal and political system.
El Cid
April 12, 2013 6:28 am
Dr. Teepu SiddiqueMD retains his Pakistani citizenship and passport. He is not a US citizen. He does not have a US passport.
Kapoor
April 12, 2013 12:20 pm
I live in USA and personally know many who do that. To Indians they introduce as Pakistanis but to Americans as Indians.
Fatima
April 11, 2013 7:03 pm
Ironically most of these Pakis were the same people who burnt USA flags and took out demos against USA when they were in PAk
Sikander
April 11, 2013 7:16 pm
you are joking, right? LOL!
Asif
April 11, 2013 7:29 pm
Calling Fazlur Khan a Pakistani is a bit of a stretch.
Sikander
April 11, 2013 7:31 pm
Maybe he meant when East and West Pakistan used to be one nation i.e. Pakistan. So East Pakistanis (now Bangladeshi) were just called Pakistani at that time
Ali
April 12, 2013 3:44 pm
And by the way, you forgot that you even forgot your own country name "Hindustan". India is a subcontinent and they have every right to it. But I never associated myself with India and do live in the West and proud to be a Pakistani.
Riaz
April 11, 2013 7:54 pm
It makes it quite evident, given a rule based merit based set up, Pakistanis have every reason to excel. Pakistani politics based on crooks and moral corpses not only rob and loot; they are the main indifference to development and progress. Perhaps Pakistan is better with out government rather than with government.
Faisal
April 11, 2013 8:06 pm
Seriously ? Wow ! Seriously?
imtiaz faruqui
April 11, 2013 8:31 pm
There are millions of intellegent people in pakistan, but they are not given a fair chance on merit basis, in America they are treated according to their merits.
Schabboo Khan
April 11, 2013 8:33 pm
I do not wish to steal either the Indian or Bangladeshi thunder ... I just checked Wikipedia and it says that Khan Sahib came to the US in 1952 (India had already been partitioned and Bangladesh was not even a dream) on a Fulbright and a Pakistani government scholarship. Even though he was not son of the soil, Pakistan did enable him a bit as he was a Pakistani at the time of his arrival in this country.
really upset
April 11, 2013 9:03 pm
really!
BRR
April 11, 2013 9:15 pm
sad, seeking validation from the west, betrays lack of confidence and a slave mentality. And not true.
Sheheryar Muftee
April 11, 2013 9:15 pm
How ridiculous that people are bickering about whether Fazlur Rahman was Pakistani or Bangladeshi. Bangladesh was East Pakistan not so long ago. He was born in British India but was a citizen of Pakistan when he immigrated to the USA. He went to the USA on a scholarship funded by the government of Pakistan. If Pakistanis want to feel pride with his name, there is no harm in that. If Bangladeshis want to feel pride in him, there is no harm in that. This just shows how much we are similar yet so far apart. No wonder Muslims have been reduced to the state that we are in despite being more than a billion strong. If you ask someone who is a Muslim in Chicago about Fazlur Rahman, they would just be happy to know he was a Muslim. Bangladesh, Pakistan and others may or may not last. The Muslim ummah will last till the end of days.
BRR
April 11, 2013 9:16 pm
Pandering, seems to be a habit.
Ranjit
April 11, 2013 9:23 pm
I appreciate the point you make about the contributions made by those of Pakistani origin in the US BUT claiming to be the most sincere, innovative and intelligent people in the WORLD is foolish to say the least.
Masood Hussain
April 12, 2013 3:17 pm
Feeling proud of your birth in certain family or in a certain country is ridiculous as you don't have any any role in the process and most certainly so when you decide to abandon the family and the country for good to settle some where else.
Peeyush
April 11, 2013 10:26 pm
Apparently not the most humble!
Talha
April 11, 2013 11:09 pm
What was Bangladesh in 1952? No points for answering.
zahid
April 11, 2013 11:24 pm
Thanks for such a true reflection of the Pakistani community.A nice read !
zahid
April 11, 2013 11:26 pm
In 1952 , Bengladesh was part of Pakisian ..Dont they teach history in India !
Raja
April 12, 2013 12:11 am
Now let's see how many thumbs down are given by Indians.
Shahid Khan
April 12, 2013 12:29 am
They would be just fine. There are plenty of much more sincere, innovative and intelligent people.
aamanpur622
April 13, 2013 2:20 am
Relatively small town of Cedar Falls/Waterloo, Iowa, with population of 165,000 .. over 40 doctors and engineers from Pakistan serving the community.
aghaehsan
April 12, 2013 12:36 am
And.....where did he live and teach before moving to US?
aghaehsan
April 12, 2013 12:37 am
And.....where did he live and teach before moving to US?
Nizar
April 12, 2013 1:26 am
I grew up in East Pakistan, now called Bangladesh and I am sure there was no Bangla Desh in 1952. To be politically correct in order to satisfy people like "Aaa" & "Rishi", let us call him Pakistani of Bengali origin.
Mia
April 12, 2013 1:53 am
incidentally most pakistanis project themselves and claim that they are indians in social circles in US n western nations ....
Faiza G R Bhatt
April 12, 2013 2:09 am
please read my comment above. he definitely had a strong Pakistani connection that was critical to his becoming what he was.
vjjjjjjjjj
April 13, 2013 1:56 am
you dont need to live under rock to see who is under the rock.
T. Rana
April 13, 2013 1:58 am
So nice to read and article about the wonderful windy city Chicago and some of the Pakistani- Americans who have made a difference here in Chicago. Thank you Mr. Michael Kugelman for your appreciation of Pakistan-Americans and highlighting their accomplishments. I would just like to add few more well known names to your list who I think have contributed a lot for the Pakistani community here in Chicago. They are Mr. Abdul Hameed Dogar (Director of Villa Park Mosque), Dr Mashouf Shaykh, Mr. Tahir Kazmi, Mr. Sadruddin Noorani and Dr, Mohammad Murtaza Arian to name a few. I think their hard work and dedication to the Pakistani and American community for the past many years should be acknowledged and appreciated.
Sam
April 12, 2013 2:54 am
I enjoy Mr Kugelman's columns and this one is no exception. But I am very disappointed at the highly inaccurate description of Fazlur Rahman Khan who was a Bengali, born a British subject, and a key fundraiser for the Bangladesh independence movement.
Zaheer
April 12, 2013 3:56 am
Factually, between 1947-1971 he was a Pakistani indeed.Hence the author has not twisted the facts-please accept him as a Pakistani,even if it is diffucult to accept.
XK317
April 12, 2013 5:29 am
The brain-drain will continue as long as minorities, the most educated and talented members of the nation are murdered in cold blood as the majority sits in a corner and watches on.
Aholla
April 12, 2013 5:45 am
Pakistani Americans can do more if the mother country is held in respect by all. To do this the civilian rule in Pakistan should prevail and the religious bigotry, army power and intrusion in political life, isi machiavellian machinations as well as the mercurial and overreaching judiciary should be subdued.
Pramod
April 12, 2013 5:53 am
Md Imran You are a very funny man.
Pramod
April 12, 2013 8:33 am
First Pakistanis need to learn to respect their real heroes irrespective of their faith. Dr Abdus Salam is someone who could contribute a lot for Pakistan but even today he is more respected in India than Pakistan just because he was (or declared forcefully) a non Muslim as per Pakistan Constitution.
GJC
April 12, 2013 9:05 am
Thank you, Michael, for the very uplifting accounts of people of Pakistani origin in America. No doubt there are many more such successful people in the US. And also no doubt there are innumerable others who came to the US poor and to this day remain so. Then there are plenty of those who suffer at the hands of bigots and racists in America. But then, too, such is life. Overall, I am always happy to read your articles; they tend to instill a degree of hope and will to go on, given the situation in Pakistan. As for those who dispute who Fazal was and where he hailed from, I say this: He was brilliant architect, and all three nations -Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India - can be proud of him. Heck, I would even allow the British to be proud of him, if they so wish. There are many other jewels of stories, waiting to be told, looking for an audience, wanting their turn.
J.N
April 12, 2013 9:12 am
right place for them
J.N
April 12, 2013 9:12 am
and why is that so?
J.N
April 12, 2013 9:14 am
wrong raikaji, loyalty is always towards Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Ummah Pakistan can wait.
J.N
April 12, 2013 9:15 am
Md Imran is madly positive.Secret of his success.
Irfan Baloch
April 12, 2013 9:44 am
that is true my dear given the current negative media portrayal towards Islam & Pakistan it is an understandable survival instinct so that they are not prejudged negatively because of their background but more confident & extrovert Pakistanis are never shy to present themselves of Pakistani origin because of their contribution to the community
Labad
April 12, 2013 10:58 am
You people? And what people are we?
Qaiser Abbas
April 12, 2013 11:42 am
Really? I'm in a "Western nation" and have never once come across a person of Pakistani descent that would prefer to describe himself of Indian origin.
Rishi
April 12, 2013 10:36 pm
Nice to see you quickly rectifying a mistake in your blog. Some posters here drummed up the issue of a factual inaccuracy to the predictable line of rivalry between nations of the subcontinent.
Indian
April 12, 2013 12:52 pm
Maybe so, but Indian Muslim certainly go out of their way to pronounce their Indian origin.
Aiza
April 12, 2013 1:09 pm
Talk for your self!
Javed
April 12, 2013 1:27 pm
Shahid Khan, owner of the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars team is also from Chicago
Sheheryar Muftee
April 12, 2013 1:53 pm
That's a lie. If there are any Pakistanis that project themselves as Indians, they are not Pakistanis. I have never seen one in a "western" nation
Mushtaq
April 12, 2013 1:53 pm
Mia, you may know some who are not proud of themselves. I am a Pakistani and I am known as Muhammad in my community. I lead a team of 18 members. When I meet people in my business, I introduce myself as Muhammad, not Mia, Mark, Mo, or Mike. A person who lose his own identity will never shine wearing others mask.
Ahmad Nasir Connecticut
April 12, 2013 2:01 pm
and neither have I seen or heard anyone say they are indian
zafar
April 12, 2013 2:07 pm
I would agree to Qaiser Abbas. I've never found even one. Better check your facts Mia.
Karachiite/Chicagoan
April 12, 2013 2:22 pm
Surely this editorial made us feel proud and gave us something to cheer about. Thank you for putting this together for us.
John
April 12, 2013 3:49 pm
Dude - you are living in a Pakistani community circles.... very far from reality. People even shun Pakistanis at parties. Many people get uncomfortable when you say you are from Pakistan. I have seen Pakistanis calling themselves as Indians to save the embarrassment.
John
April 12, 2013 3:50 pm
Very true. Next question for Visa interview - Did you ever burn an American flag? Prove it.
lax
April 12, 2013 3:58 pm
That is true. Think about Tanveer Rana and Hadley Coleman, they have also achieved in their craft of tarrorising innocent people and murdering wemen and children who are also Pakistani origin. They deserve credit too??? You should be proud of them too. Shame on you.
FN
April 12, 2013 4:17 pm
Most Pakistanis don't renounce their citizenship as they are allowed to be citizens of the US and Pakistan at the same time.
Z
April 12, 2013 4:30 pm
Dude, are you serious? Pakistanis get majorly offended if someone calls them Indian.
Michael Kugelman
April 12, 2013 4:55 pm
My apologies--though I painstakingly fact-check everything I write, I appear to have made an error. Indeed Fazlur Rahman Khan was born in Dhaka, not in Pakistan. However, he did come to the U.S. on a Pakistani government scholarship, which suggests he became a Pakistani citizen. At any rate, I do regret my error.
Aaa
April 12, 2013 5:56 pm
I dont think so....he was born in dhaka....studied in dhaka and lived his entire life up to the point of moving to US in dhaka and to end it all he supported bangladesh ( and rightfully so) during the was and established a bangladeshi support fund so please dont change the facts. By the was i am a proud Pakistani but the facts are facts....
Md Imran
April 12, 2013 5:58 pm
Britain's NHS would crumble without Pakistani doctors. The worlds investment banks would suffer in their profits without Pakistani managers and analysts. Ask where would NASA,IBM,Google or intel be without Pakistani researchers or scientists ? A wise old professor whom i once met at Lahore University back in the late 80s told me that we are special people. Just the way greeks were at the dawn of western civilization. It may be our strong belief in the tenets of Islam or our ancestors ( look at the architectural wonders..like Taj Mahal ) who were no less than genius. We need to stop the brain drain. Already countries like Norway and Sweden and Italy are benefitting from Pakistanis ( Norway and Sweden have close to 200 thousand Pakistanis now ). We need our intelligent people here in Pakistan.
vjjjjjjjjjjj
April 12, 2013 6:02 pm
I have never come across any Pakistani in USA who boldly talks about their identity unless and otherwise it is mandatory. All Pakistanis, Nepalis, Bangladeshis and lankans identity as Indians to their neighbors. A majority of them are not even professionals, are asylum seekers and do low end jobs.
vjjjjjjjjjjj
April 12, 2013 6:07 pm
Meaning, you can count Pakistans contribution with fingers.
Aaa
April 12, 2013 6:13 pm
May be he had no other choice but to travel on paki passport...because the minute bangladesh was made he switched..the war of 71 did not happen overnight.... the feelings were brewing for years so dont call him Pakistani...may be he hated pakistan like the rest of bangladeshis at that time.......or may be he like pakistan who knows but the fact was that he was pakistani by default and bangladeshi by choice....
wasim
April 12, 2013 6:13 pm
It is safe to claim being Pakistani then Indian, as soon as you call yourself Indian you face series of embarrassing question about cast system, poverty and animal Gods which we will never have answer, I do understand for Pakistani the question is terrorism, terrorism will be gone soon but the Indian questions will never die.
Aaa
April 12, 2013 6:35 pm
Under every stone and in every CAB...driving it.....come on people dont get over excited...out of a million pakis in north america if a hundred are doing amazing that does not mean we r the smartest...we need to work hard...at the same time i would say 15 years from now things will be different as i see alot of us r coming out of good schools and doing good entry jobs so yah in due time will be there....we need to get into real careers not real estate career..right now most of us are security guards..cabbies...real estate...mortgage agents...call center...ete etc
Pervez
April 12, 2013 9:20 pm
Dear SP, must not be competing really well. Look at China and Korea and then look at your self. Who are you fooling.
zafar
April 12, 2013 6:50 pm
This is a great article, living here in the US one never hears about these stalwarts. More stories like these would be great. Kudos to the successful Pakistanis. I am sure there are similar stories to be told in every major US city.
zafar
April 12, 2013 6:51 pm
or meaning u never made the list.
Pervez
April 12, 2013 6:52 pm
Mia, I do not know which planet you live on . I have been living in U.S. for last 40 years and have never came across a Pakistani who would like to be called an Indian. As a matter of fact , Pakistani Americans I know and meet would be insulted if called an Indian.
PiS
April 12, 2013 7:13 pm
I am a Pakistani living in San Francisco, and everyone in my community knows I am from Pakistan. We have a huge Pakistani diaspora here and no one claims to be Indians. Any educated successful Pakistani doesn't need to hide behind fake identities. Probably new Pakistani immigrants in blue collar jobs (cab drivers etc) trying to settle in might pull this card few times, but that's because of temporary insecurity that one might feel in a new country during troubled times.
PiS
April 12, 2013 7:28 pm
"A majority of them are not even professionals, are asylum seekers and do low end jobs." Being a Pakistani American, this can ONLY come from a person who is either living under a rock or associated with tightly knit blue collar community (cab drivers, security guards, grocers, plumbers etc). You sir need to either get educated or branch out to meet smarter people of south asian origin in your community. Living in little India or Pakistan (as we like to call it) won't do you any good in the long run.
SP
April 12, 2013 7:35 pm
dear raja, we tend to compete with the chinese and the koreans, not pakistanis
Silajit
April 12, 2013 8:05 pm
This is true. Look at all the restaurants. I have seen ZERO that call themselves Pakistani. I have seen innumerable that call themselves Indian restaurants or at most Indo-Pak. There's no shame in it. But there's a certain contradiction between hating being identified as Indian and to depend on Indian customers for a living.
Karachiite/Chicagoan
April 12, 2013 8:13 pm
Dude, you got to be kidding me. Or perhaps you are living in some place in India and call it USA because what you just said isn't true. I have never seen anything like that in USA. Especially your comment about Pakistani’s calling themselves Indians, just even if I think about calling myself Indian angers me badly.
Karachiite/Chicagoan
April 12, 2013 8:21 pm
You appear to be jealous person, thats all I have to say for you.
Omarr
April 12, 2013 8:56 pm
He came on Pakistani government scholarship because there was no Bangladesh when he came here. Bangladesh came into being in 1971.
hi
April 12, 2013 9:06 pm
If you're talking about the engineer who designed Sears Tower - he was from East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.
joseph
April 13, 2013 3:32 am
What rubbish,Pakistanis are good for nothing.I live in Chicago and have seen a lots of them engaged in only cheating & no more
Shahryar Shirazi
April 13, 2013 3:34 am
VJJJJ, I am strictly against racism and, moreover, strictly against the false superiority complex Pakistanis have over Indians. However, one thing I can assure you that Pakistanis would never call them selves as Indians. They might be Hindus 500/1000 years back, but this one comment of yours is just not true :) . I agree with you on a good chunk of them being unprofessionals but then I recommend you to go to NYC, Chicago, Houston and other place and find an equal percentage of Indians being unprofessional as well. Not every Indian is Silicon valley type. Just ride a cab, buy cigarettes at 7/11 and look over the counter in an Indian restaurant kitchen and much more ...
Jeet
April 13, 2013 3:41 am
But i have met countless Pakistanis trying to pass themselves of as Indians.Only last week ,i met a gentleman at Los Angeles who claimed he was from Delhi.On further questioning, it came out that they indeed stayed at Delhi prior to partition.I also know another gentleman who has named his shop "Taj Mahal" store as his family had immigrated from Agra.And this is only two example which i have mentioned.
Jeet
April 13, 2013 3:46 am
It may anger you.It may not be happening in Chicago but definitely i have personally witnessed several incidents in California and particularly the bay area( where i live) where Pakistanis are passing themselves as Indians. Maybe, they don't want to associate themselves with the negative mindset which a Pakistani generates, maybe due to Osama incident or whatever.Anyway, frankly speaking is there anything positive happening in Pakistan???
Jeet
April 13, 2013 3:51 am
They may remember David Headley who incidentally is from Chicago....:)
Zane
April 13, 2013 4:04 am
Fazlur Rehman Khan was Born in East Pakistan, and was Pakistani Citizen then he moved to USA in 1960s, and became an American Citizen. He never had any affiliations, appreciation, connections, with Bangladesh, he was born a PakistaniCitizen and died as an American citizen.
yahya
April 13, 2013 4:13 am
I am so honoured after reading this article. Thanks Michael it really makes us Pakistanis Proud.
Johar
April 13, 2013 4:54 am
Google it and you will find many and you will not find one called "hindustan"
Khan
April 13, 2013 6:16 am
Educate me where in India he is respected which forum?
Sali
April 13, 2013 6:46 am
If you come to Dallas or Houston, you may be double surprised. Chicago is not the only place.
aviratam
April 13, 2013 7:14 am
Everything else you say is correct, except for the part of Pakistanis calling themselves Indians. Most Pakistanis are proud to be known as Pakistanis, but some prefer the term "South Asian", and yet others say their parents were "originally from India". Both are correct appellations but some times give the impression they don't to come up front and say they are Pakistanis. Needless to say, we are talking about a small minority.
Shahryar Shirazi
April 13, 2013 8:43 am
Jeet, I know a lot of Indians in the night clubs of San Francisco trying to un-successfully pick up girls by claiming to be Portuguese. A lot of them are very good buddies of mine. There are issues with Pakistani ego that one will never claim to be an Indian. Just like an Arab will never claim to be Israeli, Iranian will never claim to be Arab, Japanese won't claim to be a Chinese and the list goes on. You are wasting time by spitting venom on this forum.
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