Pakistanis are closer to Middle Easterners than to South Asians

I’ve posted this on a few other major forums so I’m sure it isn’t too controversial for this forum.

I’m a westernized (a k.a born and bred in a western country) Indian and I’ve grown up using the term “Indian” to refer to mainly people from South Asia but never Pakistanis. I always thought it was westerners getting confused due to the empires that stretched into the Middle East.

I consider Pakistanis to be Middle Easterners, racially and culturally closer to countries like Iran than to South Asia.

Their biological race is more Middle Eastern. While a few North Indians exist in Pakistan (and vice versa, many Arabs exist in South Asia), most Pakistanis are racially closer to Afghanis and Iranians. Genetically they are different to most other South Asians.

Their culture is very Middle Eastern too and even their language is written in Persian. The few UNIQUE cultural similarities came from foriegn empires like the Mongol Empire and British Empire.

Their economy is very closely tied with the Middle East too. Considering the size of the two countries, trade is underwhelming compared to India’s other trading partners.

Geographically, the Middle East can be easily stretched to Pakistan, and several newer maps actually show Pakistan as part of the Middle East (and not South Asia).


Your point being?

This again?

(Plus neither link works for me!)

I think this is just another thread to throw out vaguely-to-clearly bigoted views on Pakistanis. But I predict that the real bizarre comparisons will start rolling in soon. Maybe something like, “Pakistanis are like the African-Americans of the Middle East, plus they are stingy like the Danes, self-obsessed like the Hmong, and thirsty like the Inuit.”

I don’t actually understand most of what the OP says about Pakistanis, but I know it isn’t favorable.

His first link should have been

This includes the following:

And note that this entire grouping in based on Geography and Culture, with no mention of biology at all. In summary, his cite it useless to support the argument he’s trying (for some reason) to make.

First of all, “South Asia” is a geographical term referring to the South Asian subcontinent comprising the modern nations of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal, and Afghanistan.

Irrespective of any claim you may be trying to allege about the ethnic/cultural/linguistic separateness of Pakistanis, it is undeniable that according to the standard meaning of words in English they are just as much “South Asians” as Indians are.

It’s the Muslim religion that is Middle Eastern in origin, as opposed to the indigenous South Asian religions of, e.g., Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism.

But most Pakistanis, like most Indian Muslims, are descended at least in part from non-Muslim South Asian ancestors. (Moreover, the current population of Pakistan is largely composed of and/or descended from people who were living in (what is now) India less than a century ago, but who relocated during Partition.)

If you’re going to assert that, you need to back it up with a cite.


While there are many different ethnic groups in India, and it’s true that south Indians tend to be ethnically different from north Indians to varying extents, I know of no reason to claim that north Indians in general are substantially ethnically different from Pakistanis. We wouldn’t expect them to be, since as noted above, they mostly have the same ancestors.

The Urdu language is indeed written in Persian script, but it is essentially the same language as the Indian language Hindi, written in Nagari script. Urdu has more Persian vocabulary and Hindi has more Sanskrit vocabulary, but the spoken versions of Standard Urdu and Standard Hindi are the same.

In fact, many language programs outside of South Asia teach Hindi/Urdu as one language, and teach one or both scripts according to the needs of the students.
Finally, all of this artificial nationalist separatism seems to me inexcusably dismissive and exclusionary towards Indian Muslims. One out of seven Indians is Muslim. Indian Muslims (mostly) use Urdu in Persian script and (by definition) practice Islam. Saying that Islam and Urdu separate Pakistanis from Indians is tantamount to claiming that Muslim Indians aren’t “real” Indians.

I see the grouping as completely geographical and historical, with no influence given to cultural differences. On a map, the border between India and Pakistan is drawn down the middle of flat land, while the Northwestern and Western borders of Pakistan are mountainous. To cross from Pakistan to India, there is no geographic obstacle, but to cross from Pakistan to Iran it is a long, mountainous journey. Historically, England ruled India and Pakistan as one entity, the British Indian Empire. Of course they split along religious lines after independence in 1947, but the grouping remains in the Western consciousness, and we all know who got to draw the maps when the colonial era ended.

I learned long ago that I can’t tell Indians from Pakistanis. Their appearance looks the same to me and their accents sound the same, but I can clearly distinguish them from Iraqis and Iranians that I meet.

The largest ethnic group in Pakistan, about 40%, are Punjabis. After that, you’ve got Pashtuns and Sindhis, and then a bunch of smaller ethnic groups… So, you don’t find a lot of Pashtuns in India, but then you don’t find a lot in Iran, either. They’re almost entirely in Northwest Pakistan and Afghanistan. But as for Punjabis, I mean, the former province of Punjab was pretty much split in half between Pakistan and India. As far as Sindhis are concerned, there are a bunch of Sindhis in India now, descended from Hindu and Sikh refugees after partition.

And Urdu is written in Persian, but other than that, it’s almost identical to Hindi. The fact that it’s not written in Devanagari doesn’t mean that it’s somehow not related.

Note that the OP has had all these things explained to him many times before in similar threads. I’m not sure why he keeps on repeating the same misstatements.

I’m going out on a limb but I would guess he’s not overly fond of the Pakistani people.

Yabbut, hell, there’s a difference between dislike and full-blown factual misrepresentation. Like, I know some folks who don’t care for the French, but they don’t go around saying French people come from Mars and reproduce by budding.

I’m just waiting for AK84 to show up to the thread. (Unless he’s already dealt with this guy before, in which case, link please? )

As someone who’s parents are from Pakistan, I can say the OP is ridiculously wrong. From cuisine to language to entertainment choices, my parents are basically indistinguishable from Indian Muslims.

Careful now, you don’t want to be accused of being, ‘openly Pakistani’, a type he had previously denounced in his other threads on this topic!

Ridiculously wrong indeed!

I can think of 67000 better things to do than argue with this guy.

Sorry, you are on your own.:stuck_out_tongue:

AK84. Extremely openly Pakistani

Racism is an especially ugly type of ignorance.

Should I be happy at this proof that not all racists are white? No, not really.


We generally frown on cross-posting here at the SDMB as it looks like you’re interested in promoting an agenda rather than a reasonable debate.

Please think about future threads you start with this in mind.

Also, starting a series of threads on roughly the same topic in a short span of time is also seen as self-promoting and not an attempt at debate. Please restrain yourself in the future.

As someone whose parents are Indian Hindus, I agree with you. And except for some specifically religion based matters, South Asians regardless of religion have more in common with each other than any segment of them has in common with the people of some other region.

Although I once had a Pakistani roommate who said he could distinguish between Indians and Pakistanis because Pakistanis had a “more martial walk.”

You’re not kidding (word-for-word):

Sam’s Alfresco Heaven/