Indonesia: What do Indonesians think of Pakistan?

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BBC once conducted a survey to numerous countries about what they think about each other. Interestingly, Indonesia is the only country who thinks positively about Pakistan (besides Pakistan itself).

Well, not a good news for Pakistan but at least it tells us something.

Wikipedia also has it takes on this Pakistan issue :

Around 40% of Indonesians view Pakistan’s influence positively, with 31% expressing a negative view, making Indonesia the most pro-Pakistani nation in the world.

We can examine Indonesia-Pakistan relations from several incidents.

Indonesia has long good relationship with Pakistan since the independence movements. Pakistan once encouraged hundreds of Muslim soldiers to help Indonesia against the Dutch. Meanwhile Indonesia was also known to offer help for Pakistan during the war with India in 1965.

When India and Pakistan fought for Kashmir, Indonesia was offering some help to capture Andaman and Nicobar (west of Aceh), so that it distracted India’s concentration.

Indonesia, at Pakistan’s request, was ready to take over the Andaman islands. The Chief Commander of Indonesian Navy stated that India didn’t deserve to be in Andaman and Nicobar, since they are extensions of Indonesian territory of Sumatera. Therefore, Indonesian navy patrols undertook inspection of those areas to see what India had done there.

And this one.

India had postponed launching its sea strikes on Pakistan after realizing that the Indonesian navy was already in Pakistan’s seas.

But today, the news about Pakistan in Indonesia does not help improving the image of the nation. Everytime we hear news about Pakistan, it will be mostly aboutbombingssmugglers, or terrorism.

A personal story,

Last year Pakistan was running Asia ICT Awards (APICTA) in Lahore. We got an invitation to present technologies there. After offering this chance to my university team, nobody wants to go to Pakistan. They said they were afraid of bombings (“We don’t want to go to Pakistan for security reasons.”). It shows that Pakistan has some kind of perceptions as being “dangerous country”, even by Indonesian standards.

So, even though survey puts Pakistan positively in Indonesia’s eyes. The perceptions of being dangerous nation is also still looming.

Overall, I think Indonesia’s view to Pakistan can never be painted in one colour. There are so many different opinions on this issue.

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