Tag Archives: Samad Khurram

Misreading “Anti-Americanism” in Pakistan

militaryincThe latest news on US-Pakistan relations shouldn’t surprise anyone. According to the Associated Press, former Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf used billions of dollars in US military aid for everything but the paymasters’ intended purpose: fighting Taliban militias.

None of this news, however, is likely to generate much Pakistani sympathy for American taxpayers. What American officials refer to as “anti-American sentiment” is actually a deep resentment of U.S. government involvement in internal Pakistani politics. It is worth noting that U.S. funding for Musharraf marked the third time we have supported Pakistani dictatorship in the country’s 60 years of history.

It is precisely this past that has come to haunt both Pakistanis and Americans today. The intersection of dictatorship and dollars has resulted in a Pakistani military that does not answer to the country’s civilian leadership. Every time American taxpayers financed an alliance with a Pakistani military dictator, we also forced Pakistani reformers to take a backseat.

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Pakistan’s Long March is an Important Step to Democracy

(Post co-written with Samad Khurram,  a Pakistani citizen who participated in the 2008 Long March.  Samad is currently a student at Harvard University.)

There is something about marching for democracy that captures the imagination.  Perhaps it is because walking is the simplest of human activities.  One foot goes in front of the other, and a movement takes shape.

On March 12, democracy activists in Pakistan will breath new life into this old tradition.  In what is being called the Long March, potentially hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens will walk hundreds of miles to Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital city.

Their rallying cry?  The restoration of Pakistan’s independent judiciary.

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Filed under Bery's pen, Pakistan