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Indo-Pak tie-up at convention

Mike Saifie is a business analyst of Pakistani origin and a member of the 300-strong delegation sent by the state of California to the Democratic National Convention.

world Updated: Sep 07, 2012 00:01 IST
Yashwant Raj

Mike Saifie is a business analyst of Pakistani origin and a member of the 300-strong delegation sent by the state of California to the Democratic National Convention.

Tarar Khan is a retired mental health doctor of Indian origin and is also a member of the California delegation, which incidentally, is making news for its 26 Sikh members.

Saifie and Khan won their seats on the delegation because of an unprecedented pact between Indian Americans and Pakistani Americans to support each other.

“We pooled our resources and our families worked for each other,” said Saifie, who is actually Muhammad Saifie, between posing for pictures.

The reason for his celebrity was his outsize bow tie and a really tiny hat — both in US colours red and blue — bearing the US flag.

But he is far from the clown he looked at the convention. He is running for office at the local council and can use some online, TV chatter. But he is deadly serious about the pact with Indians. He has even won the endorsement of the Indian community.

“Here we cease to be Indians or Pakistanis,” said Khan. She was born and raised in Bhopal and has been here since 1975, a proud grandmother and retired doctor with loads of time.

Saifie and Khan ran as a team from the 31st congressional district. And won the election and all the necessary rounds to make it to coveted national convention. “We are one nation,” he said, adding, “and not a nation divided into two.”