What do the Europeans think of Pakistan?

Pakistan: "The hotel turned out to be police custody"

At the end of their trip to Pakistan, Anne Steinbach and Clemens Sehi decided to write a book about their experiences. Impressed by a society that is so different from what its reputation suggests. What surprised the two Germans in particular and what frightened them - we asked.

WORLD: Your book is entitled “Our Journey Through a Hidden Land”. Do we in Germany have the wrong image of Pakistan?

Clemens Sehi: Reporting on Pakistan has been dominated by terror, Osama bin Laden and the Taliban, especially since September 11, 2001. The image of Pakistan, afflicted by these many prejudices, is a global phenomenon, not a purely German one.

Anne Steinbach: On the other hand, one rarely reads positive things about Pakistan in this country.

WORLD: Can you give us an example of what news items we missed in Pakistan?

Steinbach: Right now, in times of Corona, something is happening in Pakistan: In order to alleviate the plight of the poor and day laborers, the government has financially increased a reforestation program that was started two years ago. This means that more people can now take part, i.e. plant trees and earn some extra money.

Combining the fight against poverty and the virus with the climate crisis is very timely, that's what environmental groups say. Unfortunately, such news only rarely seeps through to Germany. That is a shame, especially because Pakistan has done a lot in recent years to improve internal security.