Where have Pakistan’s Jews gone?

There was once a small but vibrant community of Jews in what is now Pakistan. Most of them left Pakistan decades ago in circumstances that were not comfortable for them and a matter of some shame for us.

Adil Najam in Pakistan’s Daily Times:

16_9_2005_najam_1The front page of last Friday’s Jerusalem Post featured a boxed item headlined “Surprise! There are still Jews in Pakistan.”

The story in The Jerusalem Post was triggered by an email sent to the newspaper’s online edition in a Reader’s Response section by one Ishaac Moosa Akhir who introduced himself thus: “I am a doctor at a local hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. My family background is Sephardic Jewish and I know approximately 10 Jewish families who have lived in Karachi for 200 years or so. Just last week was the Bar Mitzvah of my son Dawod Akhir.”

I remember seeing the mail when it originally appeared middle of last week and wondering whether the writer was, in fact, who he claimed to be or an over-zealous Pakistani trying to make a point behind the Internet’s obscurity. The Jerusalem Post and the experts it interviewed seem to have harboured similar doubts, I think largely because of the tenor of the debate on that discussion board.

More here.  [Thanks to Atiya Khan for the link.]