Posts Tagged ‘US’

Teresita Schaffer:US-Pakistan partnership: Make it work for both sides

December 22, 2009

This article appeared in Christian Science Monitor on December 22, 2009

President Obama’s Dec. 1 address to the nation correctly listed a partnership with Pakistan as a crucial foundation of policy toward Afghanistan. Sustaining that partnership may be his most formidable challenge.

The Achilles’ heel of our past alliances with Pakistan has been both countries’ unwillingness to confront the discrepancies in their goals. This time, we need to be clear on where our goals do and don’t coincide, and what we are prepared to do about them.

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Ahmad Faruqui – Demonizing America

December 21, 2009

This article appeared in Dawn on December 21, 2009

It was in Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iran that America was labelled The Great Satan. Judging from current trends, the day is not too far off when America will be given the same moniker in Pakistan. Ever since the US resorted to carrying out drone attacks against terrorist suspects inside Pakistan, vocal condemnations of America have been widespread. The furore over the Kerry-Lugar foreign aid bill brought matters to a head.

 At issue, the corps commanders explained, was the affront to national sovereignty. The nation’s honour had been attacked became the rallying cry. So what if the challenger was the globe’s only superpower? And so what if it was simply trying to strengthen Pakistan’s civil institutions? Their crumbling at the hands of the military had been of great concern to civil society.

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Pervez Musharraf: The Afghan-Pakistan Solution

December 3, 2009

By Pervez Musharraf
This article appeared in The Wall Street Journal on December 1, 2009

My recent trip to the United States has been an enriching experience, during which I had a very healthy discourse with the American public and an opportunity to understand their concerns about the war in Afghanistan. One question I was asked almost everywhere I went was, “How can we stop losing?”

The answer is a political surge, in conjunction with the additional troops requested by Gen. Stanley McChrystal. Quitting is not an option.

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Sadiq Saleem: The World’s Reality and Ours

November 7, 2009

This article by Sadiq Saleem appeared in The News on November 7, 2009

In repeated opinion poll surveys in Pakistan over the last one year, there has been one thing constant – the rising anti-Americanism in the country. According to the Pew Research Centre, only 16 per cent of Pakistanis surveyed have a favourable view of the United States and 13 per cent have confidence in President Barack Obama.

 

Though there are many reasons for this anti-Americanism, what we cannot deny is that it has a great deal with how the discourse has been shaped by the views and agendas of our political leaders, media personalities, journalists, academics and security establishment.

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Sadiq Saleem – Blame it On America

November 3, 2009

This article by Sadiq Saleem appeared in The News on November 3, 2009

Watching American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton interact with university students in Lahore was a sad spectacle. Sadder still was to see our most influential TV anchors and columnists betray their limited knowledge of facts while trying to impress their audience with their solid nationalist credentials.

 

In the aftermath of Hillary’s straight talk, Pakistanis must seriously examine how we discuss international relations on the basis of sentiment and without knowing or examining basic facts. The most glaring error of fact by a Pakistani came during Ms Clinton’s interview with Pakistani TV anchors. One gentleman tried to make the point that the US does not provide enough assistance to Pakistan and that Pakistan’s leaders sell the country cheap. He said that the US paid Kyrgyzstan $700 million in rent for just one airbase. Hillary tried to correct him and said the actual amount of rent was around $50 million. Our anchor-columnist was unfazed and insisted that must be the figure per month. But anyone with access to the internet can find out that as of June this year the US pays Kyrgyzstan $60 million per year as rent for the Manas air force base. Until June the rent was only $17 million.

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U.S.-Pakistan Relations: Two-Way Street or “We Want our Cake and Will Eat it too?”

October 30, 2009

By Wasiq Ali

For the last one month so many Pakistani journalists, media commentators and politicians have been screaming at the top of their lungs that “Pakistan should stand up to US”, “Pakistan should say No.” But there is a need to carefully parse what they are saying. Are they saying – we should refuse the entire $7.5 billion in aid from the US? No, what they want is to accept the money but not have to accept any conditions attached to the aid.

 

Maybe I am a bit naïve but if I were giving – not loaning because I know the money will not come back to me ever – a huge amount of money to even my closest friend I would like to know what that person is going to do with that money. So why wouldn’t one country ask the same of another.

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Sadiq Saleem – What is behind the Ghairat debate?

October 14, 2009

By Sadiq Saleem
This article was published in The News on October 14, 2009

Every few years Pakistanis go through angry phases of self-righteous indignation over the country’s dependence on foreign aid. The ‘Ghairat’ (national honour) lobby, led by Islamist political parties, retired generals and the newly empowered right wing conspiracy theorists serving as television anchors have worked up the nation once again in the “honour is more important than aid” slogan mongering.

Now that the controversy relating to the Kerry-Lugar Bill is de-escalating, it is time to understand the economic and security compulsions that have made us a dependent nation. Since 1947, when soon after independence the father of the nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah himself appealed for US aid, each one of Pakistan’s budgets has depended on external flows mainly because our own resources are limited and over-stretched.

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Gul Bukhari: The Sovererignty Hysteria

October 10, 2009

By Gul Bukhari
This article appeared in Dawn on October 10, 2009

Critics of the Kerry-Lugar bill must answer a humiliating question: the preservation of whose sovereignty are they referring to? Is it of a country that has accepted drone attacks in the tribal areas? The hysterical reaction to the Kerry-Lugar bill by formerly rational TV anchors, analysts and politicians is painful to watch. True, one does not expect any better from those who only oppose and criticise for the sake of doing so, but to hear saner voices in the mad din is distressing.

 In Shakespeare’s words,

[They] have no spur

To prick the sides of [their] intent, but only

Vaulting [patriotism] ambition, which o’erleaps itself,

And falls on th’other…

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Irfan Hussain: Hype and Hysteria over Nothing

October 10, 2009

By Irfan Hussain
This article appeared in Dawn on October 10, 2009

Surely the Pakistani opponents of the Kerry-Lugar bill are not pretending that we are innocent on all counts? Or has the state of denial penetrated so deeply into their collective psyche that they have erased all memory of the recent past?

 Thanks to the wonders of satellite technology and cable TV, I am able to watch Pakistani news channels here in the UK. However, this is not entirely an unmixed blessing. More often than not, I find myself mesmerised by the sheer inanity of the discussions on my TV screen.

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What is the Real Civil War in Pakista?

October 4, 2009

By Waqar Kazmi
This article appeared in New-Pakistan on October 4, 2009

Now that Pakistan’s military under civilian leadership has started
taking on the Jihadi-Taliban enterprise its apologists are crying
foul. It is easier to turn the people of Pakistan against the US than
in favor of Taliban after all the Taliban did in Swat and Malakand.

So the Shireen Mazari- Ahmed Qureshi Jihadi Support Network keeps
coming up with new excuses. The Truth is, and every true Pakistani
nationalist knows it, that Pakistan has to fight the Jihadis to save
Pakistan. This is a fight for Pakistan’s soul. The US role in this
fight is incidental.

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