Posts Tagged Barack Obama

Congratulations President Elect Barack Obama

On behalf of Pakistani-American community, I would like to congratulate you, Senator Obama, on your historic win in the recent presidential elections. The results of your elections were eagerly awaited around the world but particularly in the down trodden parts of Africa and Asia. In the last two years these regions have been hit hard by many natural and man made disasters. But the most severe crisis is the steep rise in world food prices which is the outcome of a deep sense of insecurity felt by the global community. This insecurity arise from the intense wars fought in Middle East and South East Asia. This sense of insecurity forces people to buy more food than they would normally need creating a pressure on supplies of food. A mere 10% rise in food demand could adversely affect the supply demand situation that result in higher prices making it out of reach for the poor. These poor people hope that your election would bring the much needed peace and prosperity around the world.

Pakistan is a country founded on ideals of equal rights, democracy and equal opportunity for all. Founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah was convinced that the non-cooperation movement promoted by Mohatama Gandhi could produce acts of violence. He was proven right when riots broke out in many parts of united India and the British government refused to allow Gandhi to travel around the country. Quaid-e-Azam believed that independence could be achieved through a constitutional movement founded on democratic principles. Creation of Pakistan is the living proof of the power of the ballot box rather than struggle on the street. These are the same principles on which foundation of United States was laid by its founding fathers almost 220 years ago.

Since its independence people of Pakistan have felt a natural affinity towards USA because of shared values. Pakistan was member of CENTO and SEATO promoted by USA in 1950s. In the US cold war with USSR, Pakistan risked its non-aligned status by allowing U-2 spy plane flights from its air bases in Peshawar. Pakistan was also instrumental in opening the doors of diplomacy between communist China and USA.

People of Pakistan have always looked towards USA to provide an inspiration and guidance in the creation of solid democratic institutions in the country. But unfortunately US policy makers throughout last 60 years have preferred autocratic military rulers over democratically elected leaders. In the last 8 years US has given over US$ 9 billion dollars of military aid to Pakistan while over 40% of Pakistani nation live under the poverty line. These shinning armors can not win the fight against extremism unless forces of moderation are strengthened through education, sustainable economic development and strengthening social order.

President Obama your desire to speak to unfriendly nations should be matched with a long term commitment to your friends in the region. Your comments to send bombs chasing extremism will not be as productive as your funds creating schools in the tribal region. Loss of innocent lives of children and women are more important to preserve. A person losing a family member to an unmanned drone becomes a potential recruit for the extremist.

We pray for your success and hope that you will listen to the history which has proven time and again that wars don’t win hearts. You should also remember the message of peace brought to the world by Jesus Christ who sacrificed his own life for the sake of humanity.

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