NEW YORK - Pakistani-Americans across the country are living in fear after the arrests in New York and Boston area related to the failed bombing attempt in Times Square, as they brace for reprisals. 'Its very scary, said Muneeza Nasrullah, President of the Pakistan Association of Greater Boston, who went public with her concerns. 'You worry that were going to be viewed by people as the enemy. Ms. Nasrullah knows the fear of being a Muslim in the US, having lived through the recriminations after the terrorist attacks of Sept 11, 2001, according to a dispatch published in The Boston Globe. She says she worries that her community will be singled out. Her niece has been ostracised for wearing a hijab and her nephew has been told that his middle initial,T, stands for terrorist. The feeling is shared by other community leaders. In Brooklyn, a borough of New York City and home to one of the largest Pakistani populations in the United States, business is suffering at the various grocery, halal meat and sweet cake shops since a Pakistani-American was suspected in the Times Square plot. More than 100 businesses along Coney Island Avenue have closed down due to a 30 per cent drop in business since 2001, a merchants association said. In Washington, an American man of Pakistani descent told of coming under suspicion this week when he tried to buy garden fertilizer. The Times Square car bomb contained a non-explosive type of fertilizer. 'A lot of Pakistanis cant get jobs after 9/11 and now its even worse, Asghar Chaudhry, an accountant and Chairman of Brooklyns Pakistani American Merchant Association, was quoted as saying in dispatches. 'They are now pretending they are Indians so they can get a job. Ms. Nasrullahs family is one of an estimated 5,000 Pakistani-American families in greater Boston area, whose ranks include leading professionals and academics and who fear their hard-won community standing is at risk. Ms. Nasrullah, a real estate agent from Grafton, worries whether she will have trouble travelling to Pakistan, adding, that her husband is routinely pulled out of line and interrogated when they fly. She also worries whether the donations she makes to her mosque could come back to haunt her one day. 'I just hope innocent people dont get swept up in this, she added. 'It keeps you on edge, because you dont know if it could be you next. Immigration surged after 1965 when the United States abolished per-country quotas for a new system that encouraged the immigration of people with higher skills. By 2005, there were about 210,000 Pakistanis living in the United States, at least 25 per cent in the New York metropolitan area, according to US Census data. Including children born to Pakistani parents and those who come here for college, the total population is about 500,000 people of Pakistani descent, according to Pakistans Embassy in Washington. The US Census Bureau found Pakistanis earned about $6,000 more per household than the overall population and were better educated; about 31 per cent of Pakistani Americans age 25 or older have college degrees, nearly twice the percentage for the general population. 'Theres no question that Pakistanis have made a major contribution to this country, Barry Hoffman, Honorary Consul General of Pakistan in Boston, was quoted as saying. 'There isnt a major teaching hospital in this City that doesnt have Pakistani doctors on the staff, and they work at the most important high tech companies in the region. Nadeem Kiani, a Press AttachT at Pakistans Embassy in Washington, said Pakistanis are increasingly assimilated into the general population, but some find themselves being cast as 'other in recent years, as Americans have battled al Qaeda and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan and the tribal lands of Pakistan and now face attacks at home. Kiani cited a graphic making the rounds on the Internet, featuring a South Asian man sitting on a New York subway, with a caption reading: 'If You See Something, Say Something. Even if Youre Pretty Sure Hes Just a Pakistani. 'We dont want Pakistanis to be singled out, Kiani said. 'They should be seen as very much a part of this society. Thats why they moved here. These false things on the Internet leave a very bad feeling. Malik Khan, President of the Islamic Center of Boston in Wayland, has lived in the United States for 35 years, since he came to complete his doctorate in engineering at MIT. He since married, had three children, and runs his own image-processing business. Like others, he worries that the recent arrests could make life more difficult for Pakistani-Americans. 'I worry about this a lot, he said. 'Ive lived here long enough to know that the vast majority of Americans are fair-minded, but its human nature for people to generalise things. Whenever something like this happens, it causes a dark cloud to come on the horizon. He said that after the attacks on Sept. 11, neighbours of his mosque, including those from a nearby synagogue, brought flowers and asked how they could help prevent any backlash. In recent days, he said, he has received similar expressions of support by e-mail. 'We believe that hurting innocent people, no matter the cause, is absolutely impermissible, Khan said. 'Our Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says if you take one innocent life, its like killing all of humanity. We condemn these actions very strongly. After Friday prayers at the large mosque run by the Muslim-American Society of Boston in Roxbury, Muhammad Riaz said he hoped Pakistani-Americans wont be impugned because of an extremist. The 44-year-old unemployed computer technician, wearing a prayer cap, said he hopes people see him and other Pakistani Americans for who they are. 'Were human beings, he said. 'If you have a full pot of rice, and one piece in the pot is bad, it doesnt make the whole pot bad.