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August 18, 2010

The lynching of Pakistan

Shahina Siddiqui

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When it comes to its struggles against both man-made and natural disasters, Pakistan seems to have few sympathizers. The media makes little mention of the near-daily attacks on its cities and villages that kill thousands, and now Prime Minister Stephen Harper seems to be hesitating on announcing relief for Pakistan's flood victims.

The need to paint Pakistan as a pariah seems to be a calculated strategy to distract attention from the total  failure of the “war on terror,” appease India (the new regional superpower), and create a convenient scapegoat for our failed policies in Afghanistan and Iraq.

There seems to be no interest in studying the history of South Asia objectively or conducting critical analyses of geopolitical interests.

Pakistan shares borders with two hostile neighbours: India has committed military aggression against Pakistan more than once, and Afghanistan is the only country that refused to recognize Pakistan at the United Nation after its creation.

1Let us also not forget that the U.S. and other world powers supported corrupt regimes, civilian or military, so that they could use Pakistan to fight the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the fallout from which continues.

Pakistan took in over 3 million Afghan refugees after the world had turned its back on Afghanistan, and millions still reside in camps or have taken up residence in cities and villages. This influx has caused great economic, social and military instability. The influx of guns and drugs that were the outcome of this massive refugee movement has crippled Pakistan’s ability to protect its citizens or control criminal elements.

Furthermore the ideology of armed resistance imported from Afghanistan has taken root among some elements of Pakistani society, and Taliban-inspired religious dogma undermines Sufi-based Islam, which is practised by the masses.

The demonization of Pakistan is cause for grave concern for hundreds of thousands of Canadians and Americans of Pakistani decent.

Pakistan is a robust, caring and extremely resourceful nation. Does anybody care?

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