Saturday, July 6, 2013
KARACHI, BIG BROTHER TO NUSANTARA
In the fifties, Nusantara Tanah Melayu and Indonesia used to have closer ties with Pakistan especially on Islamic matters. We used to treat them like a big brother of Islam. It is still a big brother to us for it is the only Muslim nation that is equiped with a nuclear arsenal. However, more than before, a new wave of their people come here to do business, trade and find work.
Karim Abd Ghani (left, sitting), implicated in the Natrah rioting was released by the Singapore government and soon after left with friends to attend a Muslim convention at Karachi.
(Sitting, left to right. Abd Karim Ghani, - Ali Al-Attas, Maulana Abd Kudus Hashim, Darus Sharif)
Mohamad Nasir, former Prime Minister of Indonesia had close link with Pakistan.
I had a chance to spent a weeklong citrus conference at Faisalabad, central Pakistan during cool winter of December of 1991. Camels were seen in town pulling loads on carts - alien to me. The host's hospitality was superb, special thanks to Dr. Ikrar Khan of the Department of Horticulture, University of Faisalabad. How could I repay them of the experience, knowledge, lodging, good food and camaraderie? May Allah bless Pakistan peace.
"Go to Gilgit, the girls are fair and beautiful", one professor urged me!
In 2010 on the way back from Umrah we stopped at Karachi for several days. We were recuperating from flu and cough still we enjoyed the food and hotel stay. The bazaar merchants were calling "Murah, kain baju kurung". The leather goods are cheap. I saw a man in civilian clothes touting a Thomson submachine gun strolling along the shops. Now, Karachi and in fact the whole of Pakistan is not safe for tourists.
The taxi driver we employed complained, "I am Pashtun. My brother gone to Sabah has not contacted us for 10 years". He did not ask to me to look for the lost brother knowing well that life in Sabah would be better than at home.