Pakistanis prefer to be Indians in US

  • Reuters, Washington
  • |
  • Updated: May 09, 2010 00:13 IST

Pakistani merchants and job seekers in the United States are posing as Indians to avoid discrimination in the wake of the Times Square bomb attempt.


Once again, a man of Pakistani descent is at the centre of a security story, leading to backlash against Pakistani-Americans.


Faisal Shahzad, 30, a naturalised American born in Pakistan, was arrested on Monday, two days after authorities say he parked a crude car bomb in New York's busy Times Square.


Suspected September 11, 200 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, is of Pakistani decent.


In Brooklyn, home to one of the largest Pakistani populations in the US, business is scant at grocery, halal meat and sweet cake shops.


In Washington, an American man of Pakistani descent told of coming under suspicion when he tried to buy garden fertilizer. The Times Square car bomb contained a non-explosive type of fertilizer.


"A lot of Pakistanis can't get jobs after 9/11 and now it's even worse," said Asghar Choudhri, chairman of Brooklyn's Pakistani American Merchant Association.


"They are now pretending they are Indian so they can get a job."


India and Pakistan have fought three wars since 1947, creating hostilities that ordinarily would lead a Pakistani to resent being mistaken for an Indian.


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