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April 11, 2008

Obama visited Pakistan in 1981, talks about his friends

 
April 11, 2008

NEW YORK: Barack Obama, the front-runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, cited a 1981 visit to Pakistan while he was a college student, as he countered rivals' accusations that he lacks foreign policy experience.

Senator Obama, an African-American, also made reference to his ties to relatives in poor villages in Kenya and the years he spent growing up in Indonesia, and says he has real-life experience of foreign countries.

In 1981, Obama visited his mother and sister Maya in Indonesia and then travelled to Pakistan. According to Obama's campaign, he was in Karachi for about three weeks and then visited Hyderabad in India.

He spoke of his trip to Pakistan while speaking to supporters at a fund-raiser in San Francisco on Sunday night, according to a dispatch in The New York Times on Thursday.

In Karachi, he stayed with the family of a college friend, Muhammed Hasan Chandio. Chandio is now a self-employed financial consultant, living in Armonk in Westchester county, New York. According to The Times, he has donated the maximum, $2,300, to Obama's primary campaign and an additional $309 for the general elections.