Washington, Aug 16 : During Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's maiden US visit last month, US Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama is learnt to have told him that he knows cooking qeema and dal.
Obama reportedly said that he would probably be the first US President who could cook these two dishes. "I will probably be the only US president who can cook qeema and dal," the Daily Times quoted Obama as telling Gilani during their meeting on July 29.
According to the paper, Obama has not only had Pakistani friends, but he has also visited the country and spent some days staying with one of them in Sindh.
One of his friends, Imad Husain, who is now a Boston banker, was his roommate at Occidental College in California when they were both freshmen. Another, Mohammed Hasan Chandoo, with whom he was quite close at about the same time, is now a financial consultant in New York.
Yet another, Wahid Hamid, was the one Obama travelled to meet in Karachi after graduation, but stayed with Chandoo's family. Hamid is a senior company executive living in New York.
Sohale Siddiqi, who is referred to as Sadik in Obama's book "Dreams from my Father", also came from Karachi. He is described as a "short, well-built Pakistani" who smoked marijuana, snorted cocaine and liked to party. He was Obama's roommate when at Columbia University, although he was not a student and in fact ran into trouble because he overstayed his visa.
Obama knew Siddiqi at Occidental. Siddiqi, who now lives in Seattle, has claimed that Obama stopped using drugs when he arrived at Columbia.