Karachi-born Jew hopeless about recognition of Israel by Pakistan

12:09 PM | 9 Jan, 2018
Karachi-born Jew hopeless about recognition of Israel by Pakistan
KARACHI - A Jew who was born and raised in Pakistan's biggest city Karachi is apprehensive of Pakistan's policy towards Israel declaring that it was impossible for the Muslim-majority state to recognize the Jewish state.

Ralph Samson, while taking part in a discussion on question-and-answer site Quora, described that his family narrowly escaped a mob attack before the partition of the subcontinent when a Muslim man saw a Mezuzah hung on the door of his house and asked his fellows not to attack the house as 'they are our brothers'.

To a question 'Does Israel accept Pakistan as a nation?', Samson alleged that after the formation of Pakistan in 1947, Jews were declared third-grade citizens.

"There were many attacks on our synagogue and if it was not of the American Embassy we would not have survived," observed Samson in his response.

He continued that after the spate of attacks, it was evident for Jews to leave Pakistan, concluding that the hate factor would bar Islamabad from recognizing Israel on the diplomatic front.

Though Samson's response that was up-voted for 179 times, still ticking, apparently seems a one-sided version of how Jews are treated in the country, statistically, the claims are not far from the truth as the community dwindled over a span of few decades.

According to scholar Gul Hasan Kalmatti, the 1881 census, gauged the Jewish population in Karachi to be 153.

In the Sindh Gazetteer of 1907, renowned Indian civil servant Edward H. Aitken mentions that according to the 1901 census, the total population of Jews [in Sindh] was 482 and almost all of them lived in Karachi

As we move further on the timeline, we realise that a 1941 government census recorded 1,199 Jews nationwide and a local leader Abraham Reuben also became the first Jew to be elected to Karachi’s city council.

Moreover, the number of Jews at the time of Partition of India stood at 2,500, however, most of them migrated to Israel after it emerged in 1948.

By 1968 there were only 250 Jews living in the metropolis and the population saw a sharp decline.

Afterwards, the synagogue known as the Magen Shalom Synagogue in the metropolis was razed to the ground in July 1988 for a shopping plaza – Madiha Square, even then claiming that Jews were declared a third-grade citizen in Pakistan lacks substantial evidence.

Regarding Pakistan's policy of officially recognising Israel, Samson's claims appear to be factually correct, at present, though time would tell Islamabad's future policy.

The writer is a civil servant.


Currency Rates in Pakistan - Pakistani Rupee to US Dollar, Euro, Dirham, Riyal 13 June 2024

Pakistani currency rates against US Dollar and other currencies on June 13, 2024 (Thursday) in open market.

USD to PKR Rate Today

US dollar was being quoted at 277.6 for buying and 280.65 for selling.

Euro's buying rate stands at 296 and selling rate is 299 while British Pound rate is 350.5 for buying, and 353 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75 and Saudi Riyal at 75.9.

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 08:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.6 280.65
Euro EUR 296 299
UK Pound Sterling GBP 350.5 353
U.A.E Dirham AED 75 75.9
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.1 73.85
Australian Dollar AUD 182 184
Bahrain Dinar BHD 740.88 748.88
Canadian Dollar CAD 204 206
China Yuan CNY 38.38 38.78
Danish Krone DKK 40.14 40.54
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.66 36.01
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.91 1.99
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.19 917.19
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 59.3 59.9
New Zealand Dollar NZD 170.79 172.79
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.97 26.27
Omani Riyal OMR 723.52 731.52
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.42 77.12
Singapore Dollar SGD 203.5 205.5
Swedish Korona SEK 26.4 26.7
Swiss Franc CHF 309.94 312.44
Thai Bhat THB 7.56 7.71


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