Wednesday, November 30, 2011

US Can Replace Supply Routes But Not Pakistan's Role

Pakistan has sincerely cooperated with the US-led coalition in establishing peace and a working government in Kabul after 2001.

A working government in Kabul and a semblance of peace in Afghanistan is possible today thanks to Pakistan's diplomatic and logistical role in late 2001 and early 2002.

In return, US turned Pakistan into a punching bag. But this will not continue. The US can replace supply routes but not Pakistan's key role and US officials, in government, military and intelligence, will have to learn to respect Pakistani interests if they hope to convince Pakistan to resume at least some cooperation. 

Voice Of Russia: Is US Attack On Pakistan Calculated Or A Blunder?

I join Kudashkina Ekaterina of Voice of Russia radio network to discuss a key question: Is the United States attack on Pakistani military checkposts killing 24 soldiers a blunder? My argument in this brief interview is that it is a deliberate act of war. Click here to listen to the interview.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Rauf Khalid: My First And Last Meeting

[Photo credit: Arshad Mehmood's Facebook page]

With a heavy heart, I condole the death of Mr. Rauf Khalid in a car accident today. He's from Peshawar, was residing in Islamabad and died en route to Lahore on the motorway a few hours ago. Apparently his car tire burst and he smashed into the dividing fence.

With his death, Pakistan loses a patriot and a nationalist who devoted the last months and years of his life to the cause of awakening our great nation's young to take charge, rise, and save the homeland from the hands of those who are bringing it down.

Mr. Khalid founded the National Institute of Cultural Studies at Lok Virsa. He was its first President and Chancellor. I met him for the first time on 2 November 2011 at the International Islamic University's Faisal Mosque Campus.

Our colleagues in the Human Rights Forum at the university had organized a seminar on youth leadership and the challenges facing Pakistan, and I was a speaker along with Khalid Saheb. He was a Pakistani patriot and a nationalist like none I've seen in recent times. My turn to speak came right after his superb address. I was left with nothing to add. He said everything I wanted to say. Mashallah, a gifted speaker and one who aroused patriotic sentiments in the crowd in no time, with reason and logic.

And what a talent he was. A painter, a poet, a writer, an actor. And a soldier who has served in our armed forces with pride and honor.

We needed you at this time, Khaled Saheb, when our good people are embarking on a mission to change our country for the better. In my first and last meeting with him, I promised we'll meet after Eid. I could see that this is someone who can and will play a role in mobilizing our youth and our good people for change in 2013.

Make no mistake: change we will bring.  But Abdul Rauf Khalid won't be there with us to see what he always aspired to see: Good, decent, capable, and patriotic Pakistanis making it to the top.