Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pakistan and the US; A Conversation

The President of the United States at the 67 General Assembly of the United Nations:
It is time to heed the words of Gandhi: “Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.”
The President of Pakistan, at the same podium:
I remember the red carpet that was rolled out for all the dictators in our country - dictators who promised the international community the moon - while Pakistan was kept in the dark. 

These dictators and their regimes are responsible for suffocating and throttling Pakistan, Pakistan’s institutions, and Pakistani democracy. 

I remember the judicial execution of Pakistan’s first elected leader, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. 

I remember the jailing of Pakistan’s elected leaders. I remember the twelve years I, myself spent in prison. 

And I remember the billions provided by the international community to support those dictatorships. 

My country, its social fabric, its very character has been altered. Our condition today is a product of dictatorships.
The whole of President Zardari's speech is worth listening to:

It can be read (as a graphical file) on the UN site at:

or as text on the Associated Press of Pakistan site at: 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

On Responding to the "Craziness" Around Insults to The Prophet

Anything that doesn't at least have an internal understanding of the real issue is, well, at best naive. Here's a quote from your and my favorite former ambassador (material not in quotes is mine):
"...the mob violence and assaults should be seen for what they really are: an effort by Islamists to garner support and mobilize their base by exacerbating anti-Western sentiments..." Anyone not keeping that in mind and reacting in a knee-jerk manner, and staying in the frame they have set up is "unwittingly playing along with the ruse the radicals set up."
[quote from:
Manipulated Outrage and Misplaced Fury 
Wall Street Journal September 14, 2012
by Husain Haqqani
accessed at the Hudson Institute's site at]

Support Pakistani citizens targeted for their faith

This is an initiative by members of Pakistani Civil Society, and I had the honor to contribute in a small way to drafting it.

You'll notice it is written specifically as a reaction to the recent church burning but addresses more than that.