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An open letter from an ignorant, but caring American I will be the first to admit I know very little about life in Pakistan. I have never been there. From my warm, safe, peaceful home in a New England suburb the chaos being reported following the assassination of Ms. Bhutto is a miserable thing to observe.

Regardless of her politics, her love for her country and its people is (not was) beyond dispute. I can only shake my head, wipe away a tear and wonder how any population of people so religious still choose to carry on this way. The hospital she died at is burning, homes and shops are being looted throughout the land, police stations are under siege.

Go right ahead and accuse me of not being able to understand. I don't. I can't. I have tried. I even ordered a copy of the Koran and I read it hoping that maybe I would get some insight into why the Supreme Gift of LIFE, which is only to be taken by the one who gives it, is so quickly taken because one person disagrees with another person about politics. I missed the part of the KORAN that said it was alright to murder political opponents.

Is there one to-be suicide bomber who can understand that all such behavior will do is further polarize Pakistan's people against one another? Killing her will do nothing but make others fight for her cause even harder.

I feel very, very badly for Pakistan tonight. I have to think that most who live there feel enraged, embarrassed, shamed, dishonoured by the act of some mindless shooter/bomber. Pakistan deserves so much better than this.

A very large population of intelligent, sympathetic world citizens wait for the day when we can all speak of those days long ago when the suicide bombers and assassins lurked around every corner.

We will embrace fully the Pakistan we know is trying to emerge, the Pakistan that abandons violence as a political strategy. In the meantime, we wait, we hope, we pray for all of you. God bless you all and may your suffering end soon. May MS. Bhutto and all those who have died trying to bring Pakistan into the modern age , politically, rest in peace. benazir bhutto
04 Jan 2008 | 482 Riaz Haq says: Location: California, USA  Posts: 10
As a Pakistani-American who has lived here in the US for the last thirty years, I remember a much more peaceful Pakistan with respect for each other's life and property. I understand and appreciate your sentiments and concern for Pakistanis. Just as a background, the origins of the current violence can be found in the events following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 70s/early 80s when the US and Pakistan collaborated in arming and training a large number of Mujahedeen to fight the Soviets. Since the 80s, the number of guns/explosives and trained fighters has multiplied and used in Pakistan after the defeat of the Soviet Union. The guns and the bombs have been turned on the ordinary citizens and politicians perceived as unfriendly by the extremists. The polarization in the Pakistani society has dramatically increased in the last two decades for various reasons including the ongoing war on terror and the grievances of the citizens with the governance of the country. This has happened in spite of the 6-8% economic growth that that has doubled the country's GDP in the last 6 years and lifted about 10% of the population from poverty into middle class.
I'm afraid that the upcoming elections will not bring much relief either. I just hope people realize that the continuation of violence will serve no purpose other than further death & destruction and refuse to pour out into the streets for any further protests that typically end in violence.
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20 Feb 2008 | 527 scheherzade says: Location: Hyderabad  Posts: 17
Well its very rare that ppl from other countries sometimes show concern.
But let me tell you one thing this Musharraf and Gen Zia also,they became the leaders or rather dictators because of USand Europe's support .And these all bomb blasts came in after they attacked Afghanistan.Before that we were living happily and very peacefully..But that devil Bush has this bizzare behaviour of looting and destroying other parts of world so that US citizens can have all prosperity.HUH
You sould have shown some cocern by not electing him atleast the second time!
And what the hell they show about us on their media I m well aware of all thatwhen a small cracker is blown in Pakistan its shown as a blast and there in India ppl were burning churches for more than a month and no hallabo.
Just imagine if that happened in Pakistan.

Im not denying that we have flws we infact have many flaws but west has always made it worst.
22 Feb 2008 | 531 Muhammad Khan Says:   
It is nice to hear that you feel so concerned for this country of Pakistan and that there is so much injustice that it gives you a reason to feeland show concern for the people of this unfortunate country.

But since you are ignorant but a caring American as stated above, let me inform you that this country of ours is ruled by feudals and rich and powerful men and women that this country has always seen, who are educated and trained in universities such as yours and who have their children also being educated in all the Western countries yet have not been able to provide basic education to the masses of this country for fear of narrowing the gap between the haves and have not's.

These powerful and noble people get all their dictation from their western mentors who have their vested interests of their people and will bend the rule of law of any country to serve their interests.

These powerful people of Pakistan have been granted favours from their masters in the form of green cards and dual nationalities which they hold and which makes clear where their loyalties lie.

Our so called leaders know where their bread and butter lies and need permission even to pass wind (forgive me for my language) from these special mentors.

Take for instance the fact that our country leaders are selected on the basis of who can serve the best interest of their mentors. What the ordinary people of our country think and feel is not even considered. With almost 70 percent of the population living in the rural areas that lack housing, schooling, technical eduation, health care, transportation, and a means to earn their livelihood how does one expect their voices to be heard.

Now for your question of concern. What cannot be understood is that why would your government that is 11000 kms away be so interested in who's is being elected and selected.

Does any country send its observers to observe the American elections knowing that Al Gore was cheated out in the State of Florida to give Bush a winning result by his younger brother who was the governor of that state.

Did anyone question Mayor Gulliani and governor Pataki who used the long arm of the law in every means possible to create law and order situation in the city of New York, killing and butchering a large number of people all in the name of justice.

Did any nation question the Wako Texsas killing of David Korash which the FBI deemed it as its internal affairs.

Why is it that your people are so ignorant of the fact that the CNN you see is not the same as we see it in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Why is it that your country warships are spread out all over the world rather than patrolling your own borders.

As for the killing of Benazir it is a sad and unfortunate event and investigations are ongoing but it was a sad event that the result of the assasination of President Kennedy has raised many questions. Also Benazir's death is a tragic event but look at the large number of innocent people being killed everyday on the instigation of your government policies.

Even before asking the questions and showing your care, here I believe that charity begins at home as you should try not to ignore events in your own country before caring for others.
05 Mar 2008 | 545 Armghan says: Location: Gujrat  Posts: 5
Its a new trend in the whole world that incident took part specially in Pakistan an incident took part the public says America done that.some times we are with america and some time we are against America.Allhamdulillah we are muslim We have to prove our self a great nation but we have to leave America from our minds .We vhave to make aim to make our country as meaninig full and respected country in the whole world.We have to say Pakistan is better than America we have to make conditions to make aour country better than America no one say that Ameirca is best that the whole world say Pakistan is best .This is not the work of only one person like our leader but also the whole public of Pakistan have to ma
"Reason and judgment are the qualities of a leader." But there we concern the poor leaders so,keep e forts for that.
08 Mar 2008 | 551 Haider Ali Says:   
Dear Jon

Thanks for the concerns. We need these concerns not only for Pakistan. Afghanistan, Iraq, Kenya, Somalia, Palestine, Israel. The list will just grow. A blogger has replied to your post and he has lived in US for some 30 years. I do not think we need 30 years to see the injustices and treachery that is going on in USA in a very planned and scientific manner with its own citizens what to talk about other nations. Your biggest problem is that right from top to bottom, everyone is very Caring but damn Ignorant and at the same time tell lies. You are a citizen and you live in a peaceful and comfortable house and damn care what goes around outside your boundries. Some nations are passing from the phase of their life which you have already lived. Dig under your house and you will find bones of the original inhabitants of that place. What happend to them and who did that? If you set your agends straight and be faithful to this world I think many problems would vanish just like that. Last but not the least the victims, yes the victims of Hurricane Katrina and the recent Sub-prime loans. Go and do some homework to find out they belong to which group mostly. I have seen the other face of US in just 4 years.
09 Apr 2008 | 573 Ahad Bokhari Says:   
I am a firm believer that we get what we deserve. The government nor the people have sought out to rectify the many problems that this country is facing....

Really its a shame. I understand your genuine concerns, but the people need to change before the country does.

On a lighter note i went to school in the New England area..i was in South Windsor enrolled in a school called Loomis Chaffee....Give me a chance and id leave and wouldnt look back to show my gritting teeth.

Most people would fight for their country, but not us - we would pack up and leave if we had the chance without blinking an eye. You really cant blame us though........