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    Pakistan Still Gracious in Crisis

    Pakistan Still Gracious in Crisis

    By Mort Rosenblum
    AP Special Correspondent

    Saturday, October 6, 2001; 1:27 PM

    PESHAWAR, Pakistan –– Twenty years ago, this ancient frontier town only felt like Dodge City. True, men with fierce mustaches carried fiercer knives. But they were far too polite to cut your throat.

    Then the Afghans began to pour in, hundreds of thousands of them in waves, until they quickly surpassed a million. Their Pakistani brothers welcomed them with Muslim charity. But also trepidation.

    The big news around in Peshawar, when I arrived in 1981, was an incident in a refugee camp. I checked the story with relief workers and they confirmed it.

    An Afghan implored a Pakistani paramedic to help his ailing wife. The young man did. When he emerged from the Afghan's tent, angry mullahs stopped him. After a hurried council, they stoned him to death.

    It was a frightening case of East meets East, seemingly similar countries which share a religion and some history but, on the whole, look at life in totally different ways.

    Those particular Afghan mullahs had a clear code: A man does not enter a woman's tent unless he is married to her. Simple medical necessity was beside the point.

    These days the neighboring countries remain centuries apart. Pakistanis still welcome Muslim brothers. But with great trepidation.

    At a hospital in Quetta, Dr. Akhlaq Hussain struggles to save victims of a deadly virus spread by a tick, which could get out of hand if Afghan refugees stream into Pakistan with their sheep and goats.

    After an admirable career in public health, at 59 the medical director of a specialist hospital, he earns $300 a month and counts himself lucky. Orderlies make less than $50.

    Pakistan has stretched itself to the breaking point to accommodate 2 million Afghans over the past 20 years, and now it is paying yet again.

    "There's no business in the cities, tourism is zero, and if we leave the country we are harassed as possible terrorists," Hussain says, smiling nonetheless. "We have become the front line. Everyone is afraid."

    I had not returned to Pakistan since 1981. Before coming back, scenes on television worried me. Had Pakistanis lost their great warmth and charm? Were they really now all fanatic anti-Western zealots?

    Minutes off the plane, I was happily reassured. Islamabad, the capital, is still a pleasant leafy place where life would seem normal no matter what happened along the Afghan border.

    The extremists seem to be a small minority in the context of a nation of 140 million. Even in Peshawar, these days a real Dodge City with enough weaponry to give any marshal nightmares, the atmosphere is still the old Pakistan.

    At pro-Taliban rallies, wild-eyed organizers chant slogans demanding death to America. But, periodically, they glance with concern at American newspeople to be sure they aren't offending their honored guests.

    Pakistan was carved from a colonial map of India, mainly to separate Muslims from Hindus when British colonial rule ended in 1947. The border with Afghanistan split large tribes in half. Pakistan itself consisted of two chunks of land on either side of India until 1971, when the secessionist eastern portion became Bangladesh.

    Pakistan has had a tough time of its 54 years of independence, what with military coups, assassinations, poverty, corruption and troublesome neighbors on every side. And yet, Pakistanis make the best of it.

    Karachi, Pakistan's monster city, has a population soaring over 10 million people, most of whom are far too busy scraping together a meal to worry about America's problems with terrorism.

    Lahore, the British jewel, clings to some of its old character in spite of urban sprawl, with intellectuals, gangsters, artists and jet-setters.

    And then there was the distinguished-looking man hovering in the background while I talked to students at the University of Balochistan.

    He turned out to be a senior professor of social sciences, married to a woman who loved America, where both had gone to college.

    He said he wasn't surprised to see young Pakistanis becoming radical Muslims, when the country's education system had so little money and Islamic schools were free.

    "Look," he said, pulling up aside his voluminous outer shirt to reveal a tattered wool sweater with huge holes in it.

    The senior professor made $200 a month and spent 85 percent of it to educate his three children in schools that teach something besides the Quran and Islamist supremacy.

    This amiable man, too modest to let his name be used, may not turn up on television burning George W. Bush in effigy, but he too is emblematic of Pakistan– the one of 20 years ago and the one of today.

    © 2001 The Associated Press



    [This message has been edited by Abdali (edited October 06, 2001).]

    #2
    Yeah, and particulary fled from Afghanistan and now creating violence and opposing Paks GOV. Illitareted and uneducated "muslims".

    ------------------
    • “na maiN momin vich masiitaaN, na maiN muusaa, na fir'aun!”
    Ain't new ta this....HOMEINVASION('93)

    Comment


      #3

      Ali, arent you forgetting your jew-jewish media rap? Mort Rosenblum is of jewish faith. how can you agree with him when he disses the afghans while patting pak? it's all a plan, i tell you!
      Simple ain't easy.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by queer:

        Ali, arent you forgetting your jew-jewish media rap? Mort Rosenblum is of jewish faith. how can you agree with him when he disses the afghans while patting pak? it's all a plan, i tell you!
        If you haven't understand ME nor my thinking yet, then it's not my fault. I don't generalize like you do.
        Bettle Juice, there is a huge difference between Jews and Zionists. If you are not informed about that, then flick through some books about ZIONISM.

        ------------------
        • “na maiN momin vich masiitaaN, na maiN muusaa, na fir'aun!”
        Ain't new ta this....HOMEINVASION('93)

        Comment


          #5

          what's amazing is how talk on the distinction between jews and zionists pop up only on defensive posts. when outrageous theories about 4000 jews not turning up for work at the WTC on the 9th were doing the rounds, this difference didnt seem to matter. sad.
          Simple ain't easy.

          Comment


            #6
            pakistan is very gracious indeed. iran and irq, neither of which was friend of taliban have condemned the attack. and what the old friend of taliban does. offer every help to attack them.
            but u know iran and iraq do not have 'strategic assets'. pakistan has. the difference between rest of world and pak is that rest of world uses strategic assets to protect its stand, pakistan changes its stand to protect its strategic assets (or liabilities, whatever)

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by queer:

              what's amazing is how talk on the distinction between jews and zionists pop up only on defensive posts. when outrageous theories about 4000 jews not turning up for work at the WTC on the 9th were doing the rounds, this difference didnt seem to matter. sad.
              Zionists informing their Jews. Is that so hard to understand? You should be informed about their strong cohesion in their community. They consider theirselve first as Jews, then as Zionists.

              ------------------
              • “na maiN momin vich masiitaaN, na maiN muusaa, na fir'aun!”
              Ain't new ta this....HOMEINVASION('93)

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by ZZ:
                pakistan is very gracious indeed. iran and irq, neither of which was friend of taliban have condemned the attack. and what the old friend of taliban does. offer every help to attack them.
                You must have missed the last eposide of "America Strikes Back" on CNN.

                ------------------
                • “na maiN momin vich masiitaaN, na maiN muusaa, na fir'aun!”
                Ain't new ta this....HOMEINVASION('93)

                Comment


                  #9
                  Gracious indeed.....

                  Rescued from an angry crowd
                  http://www.sptimes.com/News/100901/C...an_angry.shtml

                  Must be the traditional warmth (or is it wrath???) of Pasthuns that we are hearing so much about lately.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Typical Pakistani hospitality - rescuing a couple of crazy reporters and seeing them to safety.

                    Anyway, I doubt whether the mob would`ve done anthing more than given them a verbal bashing.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Abdali:
                      Pakistan Still Gracious in Crisis

                      By Mort Rosenblum
                      AP Special Correspondent

                      Saturday, October 6, 2001; 1:27 PM

                      PESHAWAR, Pakistan –– Twenty years ago, this ancient frontier town only felt like Dodge City. True, men with fierce mustaches carried fiercer knives. But they were far too polite to cut your throat.

                      Then the Afghans began to pour in, hundreds of thousands of them in waves, until they quickly surpassed a million. Their Pakistani brothers welcomed them with Muslim charity. But also trepidation.

                      The big news around in Peshawar, when I arrived in 1981, was an incident in a refugee camp. I checked the story with relief workers and they confirmed it.

                      An Afghan implored a Pakistani paramedic to help his ailing wife. The young man did. When he emerged from the Afghan's tent, angry mullahs stopped him. After a hurried council, they stoned him to death.

                      It was a frightening case of East meets East, seemingly similar countries which share a religion and some history but, on the whole, look at life in totally different ways.

                      Those particular Afghan mullahs had a clear code: A man does not enter a woman's tent unless he is married to her. Simple medical necessity was beside the point.

                      These days the neighboring countries remain centuries apart. Pakistanis still welcome Muslim brothers. But with great trepidation.

                      At a hospital in Quetta, Dr. Akhlaq Hussain struggles to save victims of a deadly virus spread by a tick, which could get out of hand if Afghan refugees stream into Pakistan with their sheep and goats.

                      After an admirable career in public health, at 59 the medical director of a specialist hospital, he earns $300 a month and counts himself lucky. Orderlies make less than $50.

                      Pakistan has stretched itself to the breaking point to accommodate 2 million Afghans over the past 20 years, and now it is paying yet again.

                      "There's no business in the cities, tourism is zero, and if we leave the country we are harassed as possible terrorists," Hussain says, smiling nonetheless. "We have become the front line. Everyone is afraid."

                      I had not returned to Pakistan since 1981. Before coming back, scenes on television worried me. Had Pakistanis lost their great warmth and charm? Were they really now all fanatic anti-Western zealots?

                      Minutes off the plane, I was happily reassured. Islamabad, the capital, is still a pleasant leafy place where life would seem normal no matter what happened along the Afghan border.

                      The extremists seem to be a small minority in the context of a nation of 140 million. Even in Peshawar, these days a real Dodge City with enough weaponry to give any marshal nightmares, the atmosphere is still the old Pakistan.

                      At pro-Taliban rallies, wild-eyed organizers chant slogans demanding death to America. But, periodically, they glance with concern at American newspeople to be sure they aren't offending their honored guests.

                      Pakistan was carved from a colonial map of India, mainly to separate Muslims from Hindus when British colonial rule ended in 1947. The border with Afghanistan split large tribes in half. Pakistan itself consisted of two chunks of land on either side of India until 1971, when the secessionist eastern portion became Bangladesh.

                      Pakistan has had a tough time of its 54 years of independence, what with military coups, assassinations, poverty, corruption and troublesome neighbors on every side. And yet, Pakistanis make the best of it.

                      Karachi, Pakistan's monster city, has a population soaring over 10 million people, most of whom are far too busy scraping together a meal to worry about America's problems with terrorism.

                      Lahore, the British jewel, clings to some of its old character in spite of urban sprawl, with intellectuals, gangsters, artists and jet-setters.

                      And then there was the distinguished-looking man hovering in the background while I talked to students at the University of Balochistan.

                      He turned out to be a senior professor of social sciences, married to a woman who loved America, where both had gone to college.

                      He said he wasn't surprised to see young Pakistanis becoming radical Muslims, when the country's education system had so little money and Islamic schools were free.

                      "Look," he said, pulling up aside his voluminous outer shirt to reveal a tattered wool sweater with huge holes in it.

                      The senior professor made $200 a month and spent 85 percent of it to educate his three children in schools that teach something besides the Quran and Islamist supremacy.

                      This amiable man, too modest to let his name be used, may not turn up on television burning George W. Bush in effigy, but he too is emblematic of Pakistan– the one of 20 years ago and the one of today.

                      © 2001 The Associated Press

                      [This message has been edited by Abdali (edited October 06, 2001).]
                      very good one abdali.......i appreciate u personally....NWFP has become a host for our fleeing afghan brothers and it is sad to note that sme of them culminated peshwar very badly with drugg trafficking and prostitution...

                      Abdali what i want to tell u is pakistan is passing through a critical junctre and despite the protests by some fundamentalists we could lead our country very well ...

                      Comment

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