Lessons from Faisal Shahzad: Pakistan Media Gets It Mostly Right

Posted on May 5, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Foreign Relations, Law & Justice, Pakistanis Abroad, Society
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Adil Najam

Here is the good news: If you read the editorials in Pakistan’s major English newspapers today on the Faisal Shahzad episode, they mostly get it right. I have not yet read all the major Urdu newspaper editorials, but the ones I have also get it mostly right. And that is even more important.

Here is the even better news: All of them recognize something vital and vitally important – and something that too much of the US media has missed. That much more important than figuring out all the trivia that we can muster about Faisal Shahzad, is the enterprise of finding out what his case tells us about the changing landscape of alienation, anger and, ultimately, extremist violence; and, more importantly, about what needs to be done about it.

Here is the bad news: These editorials in the Pakistani press are also right in the diagnosis that Faisal Shahzad has not only increased the monumental challenges that Pakistan already faces in dealing with the terrorist threats. Threats that are (mostly) targeting Pakistanis in Pakistan, but also remain directed outside Pakistan’s borders.

Here is the even more bad news and a possible gleam of hope: A careful reading of these editorials also makes clear that although Pakistan is now doing much more on dealing with terrorism than it once did, it needs to do much more, but also that doing so is neither easy nor guaranteed to easy and early success. However – and this is the gleam of hope – there is a conviction in these editorials that tackling terrorism head-on (both of the ‘domestic’ and ‘export’ variety’) is in Pakistan’s own interest and something that we should do not because outside forces want us to do but because we ourselves need to do. The fact that this conviction is beginning to show roots – even if only in editorial writers in the beginning – is clearly a good thing.

Here are excerpts from editorials today in the two most established English newspapers – The News and Dawn – and one from the very energetic newcomer Express Tribune.

First, the Dawn editorial:

WORRYINGLY yet another abortive attack in the West has been linked to Pakistan. The arrest of Faisal Shahzad, a 30-year-old Pakistani-born American, has already led to news that he was calling Pakistan in the days leading up to his attempted bombing of Times Square in New York. Reports that the crudely assembled bomb had little chance of exploding will come as a relief, indicating as they do a certain level of amateurishness involved. Nevertheless, the attempt was serious enough to warrant some intense questions.

First, what is it that is driving people such as Faisal Shahzad and the five young men who recently travelled to Pakistan from the US in search of jihad? Media reports suggest that Mr Shahzad was the quintessential middle-class Pakistani travelling to the West in search of education and employment opportunities and settling down there with a wife and two young children. What made Mr Shahzad attempt mass murder, presumably in the name of religion? Asking this question isn’t the same as the nonsense about the need to understand the ‘legitimate’ grievances of disaffected young Muslims. It seems very clear that whether it is Al Qaeda or the Taliban or some other brand of international terrorism, the militants have honed in on a vulnerability in the West: young Muslims with the established legal right to live in the countries they appear to hate so much. Without understanding this vulnerability — Americans though must be careful to not turn against the Muslim population, as Mayor Bloomberg warned — an already serious threat may keep growing in severity.

Second, why is it that all terrorist routes seem to lead to Pakistan generally and Fata specifically? While perhaps the absence of a modern state in Fata can partially explain the problems there, there is really no such excuse for Pakistan proper. It’s been nearly 10 years since 9/11 and still the infrastructure of jihad in urban Pakistan, which is likely the first port of call for those travelling from foreign lands in search of jihad, has not been uprooted. The spread of literature and audio and video paraphernalia glorifying jihad and calling for violence against the West, India, Israel, etc continues unchecked. It’s not like the centres for such violent propaganda are not known or cannot be located easily.

Third, should more not be done with the greatest of urgency to increase Pakistan’s counter-terrorism capabilities? While it is true that the state has enhanced its response and beefed up intelligence, it is clear that lapses persist. Perhaps Pakistani authorities need to realise that another 9/11 would be a game-changer of devastating proportions.

Here, then, is what The News has to say:

Today, it often seems that what we export most often is terrorism. The arrest in New York of a Pakistan-American, even as he boarded a plane that would have taken him to Dubai, acts to confirm this in the eyes of the world. Even if we, as Pakistanis, know that most people in the country oppose terrorism and have no sympathies with those who make killing a mission, the fact is that many in other places see Pakistanis as terrorists. The impact of this has come in the form of the unleashing of racist violence and all kinds of more subtle discrimination. In one way or another, tens of thousands of Pakistanis have suffered. The question is whether enough is being done to stop the export of violence and ensure that a softer, more flattering spotlight is directed towards Pakistan. The arrest of Faisal Shahzad indicates that the mindset which spurs on terrorism has poisoned even those who enjoy wealth and privilege.

Perhaps our thesis that it is essentially the poor who are exploited by the militants is somewhat flawed. Perhaps we need to do more to stop the slow poisoning of minds. A process of brainwashing has continued for years. It needs to be reversed. The strategy for this must be worked out. Psychologists, educators, media people, clerics and others with social influence need to be involved. We must convince people, particularly the young, that militancy and extremism threaten to destroy all that is good about their country. They must play a part in building for it a different future. The story of an educated young man of Pakistani origin in New York, with a family and from a wealthy background, who was apparently willing to risk so much by planting a bomb which was intended to kill ordinary men, women and children should act as an eye-opener to the kind of problems we have allowed to fester in our midst. It is only by changing this that we can hope to move towards a brighter future and a different image for Pakistan.

Finally, here is the editorial in the Express Tribune:

Why is it that when it comes to terrorism, all roads – or most of them anyway – lead to Pakistan? As long as the link to the bombing attempt at New York’s Times Square had come through vitriolic messages conveyed by the Taliban over YouTube it had been possible to convince ourselves that these were fabricated.

The dramatic arrest on May 3 of Faisal Shahzad from an Emirates flight bound for Dubai from New York, however, makes such denial impossible. Of course, we still will have the naysayers who will say that Shahzad is an American (he only recently became one) and not a Pakistani (he certainly lived much of his life in Pakistan) and that how could someone from such an educated and ‘good’ family be involved in something like this (Osama bin Laden’s family in Saudi Arabia is among the wealthiest in the world while Ayman Al Zawahiri’s father was a professor and he is a trilingual qualified surgeon).

The investigation that will follow the arrest of a 30-year-old naturalised US national, from an affluent Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa family, may throw some light on his links and how he was lured into leaving a truck, loaded with enough material to make a crude but large bomb, in the middle of New York’s Times Square. So far Shahzad has said that he was acting alone but investigators are likely to discount that theory.

According to one report that quotes details of the charges filed against him in a US federal court, he has admitted to receiving training in Waziristan, and if true, it would corroborate a claim by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) that it was behind the failed bombing attempt. The fact that the material in the truck failed to explode is perhaps the only silver lining of this whole episode. However, it does not bode well for the large Pakistani community in North America.

While New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s warning that any attacks against Pakistani-Americans or Muslims will not be tolerated is welcome and timely, it is unlikely to deter those Americans who will want revenge and see Faisal Shahzad as another Mohammad Ata in the making. Shahzad obviously did not realise that his own actions will create immense problems for a community that is known more for its excellent doctors and philanthropists than for breeding terorrists.

But terrorists is how Pakistani-Americans may be seen by many Americans now. The Foreign Office has said that Pakistan will cooperate fully in the investigation with the Americans. This is good because nitpicking whether the man is a Pakistani or not will not achieve anything and is a reflection of the isolationist mindset that many in this country have when it comes to relations between the west and Muslims. The chief military spokesman has already said on record that it is unclear whether the TTP even has the “reach” to carry out an attack inside the US.

What is the reason for making such a statement when the TTP chief himself made this statement just a couple of days ago? Even if, for the sake of argument, Shahzad was acting on his own, he has admitted to receiving training in Waziristan, where he reportedly met Qari Hussain Mehsud. The world is a small place and people know the history of the Taliban and how they were created. If it is proven — or even perceived by the US — that the TTP is involved in this failed bombing attempt, then the case for a military operation in North Waziristan becomes all the more stronger.

So by disputing the TTP link, is ISPR trying to ward off such an eventuality? Right now, the best strategy for the government of Pakistan — and the institutions that come under it — would be to aid the investigation and help find any accomplices so that the rest of the world does not see even an iota of prevarication. The much-hyped but much neglected registration of madrassahs should be revisited as should be a previous failed attempt to monitor sermons given by prayer leaders in our mosques. And as a society, we all need to ask ourselves what it is that makes us get involved in such things.

One can reasonably quibble with particular points in each of these, but the essential questions they are all asking are the right ones. More importantly, there is not even a hint of denial in them and in each there is a clear sense of urgency for Pakistan to act more decisively against the infrastructures of terrorism, and to do so because it is in Pakistan’s own interest to do so.

And that is the exact right message to give.

59 Comments on “Lessons from Faisal Shahzad: Pakistan Media Gets It Mostly Right”

  1. Mike says:
    May 6th, 2010 2:24 am

    I have seen the same trend and am happy that the government as well as Pakistani media is now really taking this seriously and is a true ally. I have been very impressed by my discussions with Pakistanis I work with. I also realize that really Pakistanis die more than people from any other country in these terrorist attacks and so Pakistanis are now seeing this problem as their own problem. We all need to think as humans first.

  2. ASAD says:
    May 6th, 2010 2:31 am

    Adil, I think you are right and these editorials are making the right points. Important is that there is now a realization that we need to tackle this menace for our own interests and what you see in these editorials is a reflection of this realization in society.

    But, I do think this obsession with ‘image’ is too much. Lets forget about image and change the reality and teh image will change itself.

    Pakistan Zindabad.

  3. Sahil says:
    May 6th, 2010 2:43 am

    The most significant statement in the two editorials is “And as a society, we all need to ask ourselves what it is that makes us get involved in such things”.

    Every pakistani, rich or poor, Punjabi, Sindhi or Pashtun should be asking this question. Prejudice begins in your drawing room. Prejudice is fostered by your local cleric and it is projected in the text books.

    While the first thing Pakistan should do is to question its military top brass and possibly hold them accountable for acts of commission and omission through the years – the practical steps every pakistani ought to undertake are as follows:

    - Remove all the social sciences books in schools that preach hatred towards non-muslims.
    - Issue a no-go area for clerics – no political comments and no hatred towards other non-muslim communities and other muslim denominations.
    - monitor clerics speeches and arrest the errant clerics
    - stop inflammatory speeches by tv evangelists like the person on Aalim Online etc.
    - PTV should desist from broadcasting anti- hindu and anti-india propaganda (the secret to the kashmir problem is simple – stop the terrorism and india will reciprocate by making the loc a demilitarised zone.
    On an individual level – study other religions and learn to tolerate them.

    The statement by the foreign minister that the act in new york was inevitable retaliation for the drone attacks was one of the most inexplicable statements by any country’s foreign minister. If he believes drone attacks are wrong (and oh boy are they wrong) – then the government should ask the usa to desist and perhaps the army should actually do the work they have been fattened over the years to do. Ordinary pakistanis should understand that their country is being run by the military mafia that could not care less about collateral damage as long as they are being paid. Ordinary pakistanis should come out on the streets and protest the drone attacks – the boys in the TTP are pakistanis – albeit misguided – and it is only up to a Pakistani government to use both force and education to bring those young boys back into the civilised fold. This is Pakistan’s war.

  4. Jabbar says:
    May 6th, 2010 2:48 am

    @Sahil, I don’t disagree with what you say in general but I cannot understand why you are saying it here. What does it have to do with this. Most of your points are about India and Hindus. I certainly think that India should not spread the hatred for Pakistan (as seen in your comments) and certainly Pakistan should not spread hatred for India. That is certainly correct. But what does that have to do with Times Square. maybe what would be more relevant is if we tried to reduce Anti-American sentiments… you do realize that Times Square is in New York and New York is in USA, not in India. Or do you just not care?

  5. Aliya says:
    May 6th, 2010 3:05 am

    I was very glad to see the Pakistan govt immediately making the announcement that they will do all to help in the investigation. That also shows that attitudes are changing for better.

  6. haroon says:
    May 6th, 2010 3:14 am

    Very interesting. I did not realize the shift in opinion until I saw all these editorials together. Are the Urdu newspapers editorials similar in what they are saying?

  7. Tanzeel says:
    May 6th, 2010 6:03 am

    This very professional attitude of Pakistani Government is keeping the nation safe and responsible in the eyes of USA.

    They should intelligently pursue the same policy of ‘Smart diplomacy’ in such type cases, diffusing the issue of Ajmal Kassab was one their achievements.

    We must appreciate our ministry of foreign affairs and Rehman Malik for successfully surmounting the crisis.

  8. Amna Zaman says:
    May 6th, 2010 7:32 am

    @mike. You been working with Pakistanis so you must know that majority are peace loving and affectionate. We must speak out loud and tell this on a global level. Black sheep exist in every community. A handful of extremists are giving a bad reputation to the entire nation.

  9. Watan Aziz says:
    May 6th, 2010 8:30 am

    there is a clear sense of urgency for Pakistan to act more decisively against the infrastructures of terrorism, and to do so because it is in Pakistan’s own interest to do so.

    And that is the exact right message to give.


    Now, pray shed some light on how do you propose to drain the swamps?

  10. muhammad amjad says:
    May 6th, 2010 8:51 am

    all the tv channels are abuzz with conspiracy theories.that it is a conspiracy to target pakistan.how many mor pakistanis have to die before this state of denial ends???? attributing every bad thing to external forces is what has led us to this rotten state of affairs .no one talks about the fanatical extremist ideology that is the root cause of this religous terrorism.how many talk shows have talked about the 72 virgins promised to these bombers who kill ppl.no one will cause their studios will be burned down by the intolerant masses,it’s much easier and simpler to blame the drones,israel ,raw but oh not in a million years the fanatical ideology flaming all this violence.

  11. Junaid says:
    May 6th, 2010 10:23 am

    I am disappointed to see that most continue to conclude by such incidents that “Pakistan” is at the root of terrorism as most of the newspaper quotes seem to suggest here.

    It is rather simple. There is a war going. When you are at war then other party can also make its move and it is not just the right of American drones to keep hitting troubled areas. When in return you are attacked in war, it is the enemy that attacks you not the one who is fighting on the same side as you are. Just look at the data on the SATP website. The number of terror incidents that have occurred in Pakistan since the time American drones attacks started. Pakistan is the victim not the source of terrorism. The sole attack in US gets such hype in media and analyzed as “Islamic” or “Pakistani” terrorism. How you would analyze all the terror attacks that have occurred in Pakistan? With the scale of terrorism Pakistan is facing I would ask why the terrorism in Pakistan does not get the same attention in media around the world.

    I don’t think Pakistan need to understand that it needs to do more. Pakistan knows well what is going on and what needs to be done. Given the size of terrorism that Pakistan is facing no one knows better than Pakistan.

  12. libertarian says:
    May 6th, 2010 10:25 am

    Dawn says Perhaps Pakistani authorities need to realise that another 9/11 would be a game-changer of devastating proportions.

    If nothing else gets Pindi to move it’s a** this should. An attack on a US metropolitan area that kills tens of hundreds of people will demand a disproportionate response in the country of origin. It’s political suicide not to exact revenge, and not to be seen to be doing so.

    The nativist sentiment is not to be underestimated. The Arizona immigration fiasco has proven that large numbers of US citizens will embrace a racist, bigoted, militant agenda when mildly threatened.

  13. Me Never Ever says:
    May 6th, 2010 11:59 am

    speaking of misguided intention you must be guru of spinning things around
    have you ever wonder why India doesn’t have friendly relationship with any of its neighbors ?
    folks like you are perfect example of “The pot calling the kettle black”
    and thanks for sending boxes full of “flowers” with Indian hard earn cash to NWFP,and Baluchistan!!
    terrorism has no ethnicity or religion and it need to condem regardless who ever it is thrust upon.

  14. Asim says:
    May 6th, 2010 1:54 pm

    Who provides weapons to all these extremists in Pakistan and Afghanistan? Howcome they dont get in trouble for their role in arming these troublemakers?

  15. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    May 6th, 2010 2:15 pm

    To Answer ASim, “India” And no this is not my personal grudges against India.

    The Foreign and Interior Minister, DG ISPR, NWFP’s CM and several others claimed it.

    Sounds interesting?

  16. Khurram Farooqui says:
    May 6th, 2010 2:29 pm

    A few suggestions for my fellow Pakistanis:

    Next time you go for Juma prayers, ask the Imam to point out in the khutba that religious extremism is un-Islamic, and that the greatest Jihad is to improve yourself and make yourself a better person.

    Teach your children that no matter what has happened in the past between India and Pakistan, we need to get to a point where we treat our neighbours as our friends, as our equals, and with mutual respect.

    Talk to your children’s Islamiyat teacher and ask him/her to point out that God judges a person based on their deeds. Just because someone does not follow your religion does not make them automatically evil.

    Look at yourself and your beliefs. Realize that even though there are many external causes and influences for why we are where we are, at least some of the fault is our own.

    Next time an Indian (or an American, or anyone else) says something hurtful about Pakistan, swallow your pride. Just say that yes, we have many problems, but we are trying to correct them.

  17. Asim says:
    May 6th, 2010 2:59 pm

    @Khurram Farooqui: We are in between rock and hard place. Continuing covert and bullying actions of other countries will not help Pakistanis or muslims forget about their past and will definitely not help them stop worrying about their future.

  18. Salman says:
    May 6th, 2010 4:37 pm

    Most of what the editorials say is we need to do something about our “image” ..

    and thats what we’ve been doing every since we created this country..

    .. keep doing stuff in secret.. but spend resources on improving our “image” !!!

    all politically savvy citizens, from the poorest villagers to those sitting in drawing rooms in DHA’s .. fret about the real sacred cow who is the source of all this mess..

    .. but when it comes to announcing ur opinion in public.. all we say we want is to improve our IMAGE !! and not cut at the source..

  19. Eidee Man says:
    May 6th, 2010 7:32 pm

    Great compilation, Adil. I am glad that we have people like yourself voicing the views of the otherwise silent majority.

    There is OBVIOUSLY a very disturbing and dangerous problem in our society that needs to be confronted head-on. The comments about our “image” are moot at this point; it pains me deeply that our reputation around the world has sunk to a new low. What we need to worry about right now is how we can fix this problem before it starts eating away at our society.

  20. Hamza says:
    May 6th, 2010 10:47 pm

    I don’t share Dr. Najam’s enthusiasm.

    I don’t think most Urdu newspapers have condemned Faisal Shahzad as their English language counterparts. More importantly, the major T.V. channels, which play a vital role in influencing public opinion, continue to spout conspiracy theories about this being an American plot to undermine Pakistan/Muslims.

    Finally, you’re argument is based on the assumption that Editorials actually make a difference. A better metric of the media’s attention to an issue are their front page stories. Read the front page of The News. It’s all about PPP-Judiciary fight. They’ve relegated the Faisal Shahzad story to their inside pages, even though it is arguably the most important issue impacting Pakistan today.

  21. Umar Shah says:
    May 7th, 2010 1:04 am

    The longer FATA is allowed to exist outside the circle of civilization and law the longer it will continue to produce barbarians who commit barbaric acts against humanity. If you extend that argument & take a moment to look into our own garaibaan we might just find the ‘self’ that Iqbal talked about and become a nation that Jinnah really wanted. The day we stop justifying violence with violence and truly start believing in ‘live and let live’ we will see an end to this madness that seems to be originating from Pakistan more frequently than ever. Poverty, hunger & lack of education cannot and should not be used to justify missing attributes in a nations character.

  22. readinglord says:
    May 7th, 2010 2:36 am

    It is a good writing indeed, but it lacks the real truth. In fact the Pakies (what else the citizen of Pak-istan can be called?), dying for drinking the cup of martyrdom to get to heaven and the hoors are bent upon making a hell of this world.

    They say that Pakistan was created in the name of Islam and so the Mullah have the right to rule here. In fact the creation of Pakistan was the result of a political movement with the demand for right of self determination for the provinces where Muslims were as a nation in majority. It was for this very fact that the Communist Party of India had supported this demand and the Mullah as a class opposed it tooth and nail, as they had never wanted the political division of India. But it is a sad story that the Mullah, who corrupted Islam into sectarianism, for their selfish interest, lead to creation of terroristic cults like PTT,LT, LJ, JM, etc., etc., which are tarnishing the image of the Muslims all over the world. There can be no hope getting out of this hell which has been destined for us Pakies except to catch the bull by its horns. But who can dare to do that? So:

    ‘Aj aakhaan Qaude Azam nu toon qabraan wichon bol
    Te aj kitaabe seyasat da koi agla warqah khol’

  23. kohestani says:
    May 7th, 2010 2:52 am

    {{{Umar Shah says:
    May 7th, 2010 1:04 am

    The longer FATA is allowed to exist outside the circle of civilization and law the longer it will continue to produce barbarians who commit barbaric acts against humanity}}}

    FATA had started to burning when it was incorporated inside the circle of Pakistani civilization. They are paying a very heavy price for being a part of this holly land.

  24. Saba Kamran says:
    May 7th, 2010 4:21 am

    I think Faisal Shahzad is the new SHOANIA of Pakistan these days. But interesting blog nonetheless.

    @Hamza, editorials do make a lot of difference. The media may distort the facts as per their benefit, a regular person would always say what he thinks. But of course you are right, this issue is more important than PPP-Judiciary fight, which according to some is their “personal fight”.

    If you are one of those people who do not still know who Faisal Shehzad is, I suggest you read the blog “Who is Faisal Shahzad?” http://yello.pk/blog/asadkibrya/who-is-faisal-shahzad/13576. It’s an interesting read too.

  25. Tahir says:
    May 7th, 2010 5:34 am

    Both Faisal Shahzad & Ajmal Qassab has highligted how diverse and deep rooted this problem is in our country. Faisal, a well educated Pakhtun comes from an upper class family. Qassab a middle school drop out comes from an extremly poor Punjabi family. Neither lack of education, ethnic background nor the poverty is the root cause of this problem. This is the deadly produce of seeds planted by ISI 20-30 years back.

  26. IAP says:
    May 7th, 2010 7:38 am

    Is it not likely that Faisal Shahzad acted alone and fell prey and was baited by the anti-Pakistan foreign agencies, to act in such an amateurish way, despite that he got trained in Waziristan. Let us not forget his prevailing financial condition.

    This FS drama coincides with the Mumbai judgement for Ajmal Kisab – to single out Pakistan, for their own wider interests.

    As for our Govt. – it dances and plays the tune of those who brought them in – for an Agenda.

  27. Adnan says:
    May 7th, 2010 7:57 am

    Majority of English papers in Pakistan are pro-left wing. Infact all of them are. The Jang’s English version is way different than Jang Urdu which actually give room to right wing parties as well.

    Dawn,Daily Times and others has always been strong supporter of Drone attacks and American invasion in Pakistan. English papers and online resources infact “Invite” West to destroy us. And many knows it’s all for sake of few dollars. At times I think Pakistani media fool both locals and foreigners. They write quite “religious” articles for Pakistanis in urdu papers but quite “Madar Pidar Azaad” columns in English papers.

    Amir Liaqauat came up with an Interesting piece about this incident:


  28. Ajay says:
    May 7th, 2010 9:33 am

    Given that there was no explosion, one of the biggest losers here are the Pakistani Americans who fit Mr. Shahzad’s profile who must now endure endless scrutiny for his mistakes. A humorous take on this:

    Professional Pakistani-American Males Extremely Angry with Faisal Shahzad

  29. Hamza says:
    May 7th, 2010 10:13 am

    Just following up from my earlier comment. Cyril Almeida’s latest article in the Dawn also suggests that media hasn’t gotten this issue right.

    In particular, the electronic media (which is what really matters) has gone down the conspiracy theory route. Here’s what he says:

    “And here in Pakistan you’ll have news reports about the ‘anti-Pakistan’ Indian-born prosecutor handling the Shahzad case, with not-so-veiled references to Preet Bharara’s ‘Jewish relatives’. (I wish I was making this up; a local TV channel, best left unnamed, carried a breathless report on Bharara’s alleged biases and ancestry earlier this week.)”


    Seriously, as long as channels such as GEO (which do have the ability to change public opinion) continue to spout these absurd conspiracy theories, instead of addressing the core issue, this country has no hope of defeating terrorism.

  30. Bangash says:
    May 7th, 2010 2:33 pm


    Sorry but your conspiracy theory is out of date as current Pakistani govt was elected by the people. Musharraf is not there anymore that you can just blame him as puppet of the West for all of Pakistan’s ills.

  31. Asim says:
    May 7th, 2010 2:33 pm

    Atleast us Pakis are ashamed and seriously concerned that one of our man committed such a pathetic crime. Other countries kill hundreds of thousands of innocent lives and show no remorse and want to continue to do so without fear of any consequences!

  32. Asim says:
    May 7th, 2010 2:37 pm

    well…there are no consequences for other countries that kill innocent people…makes we wonder whose side God is on. Maybe we all are just fooling ourselves in the name of religion(all religions) which appear to be man made.

  33. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    May 7th, 2010 2:40 pm

    @Hamza: you sound so naive . Media in any part of the world has played wicked role to form opinions not only in Pakistan. Take Gulf war I and II. Both were initiated with the help of media. In Pakistan the recent operation got ignited due to fake flogging video produced by a radical left-wing NGO who was funded by friends in West to change the opinion of awam in favor of operation, and in the short run they were successful too.

    It would definitely hurt several resident lefts but the recent documentary,”The Arrivals” which was made by an anti-Jew Turkish Shia proved that entire media and World Economy is being controlled by Jews and with references he tried to prove that it’s all being done for Jews’ ‘neighbor cause’. Like majority I hardly care what left wing apologists and conspiracy generators say to “neutralize” the involvement of “our infidels”,facts remain same and they can’t be changed

  34. Salman says:
    May 7th, 2010 6:31 pm

    The media should definitely allow all sorts of opinions to come through..

    the media should never be censored.. if the media doesn’t act like a mirror.. we should be very concerned about it !

    if Pakistani media got it “right” .. its right only according to some of us.. if its really our mirror.. maybe we should party over that ..

    as for forming public opinion.. let it be done through truth.. even if the truth is that conspiracy theorists are having a time of their life .. they are born out of the same people and same culture.. so u really can’t “change” public opinion.. the media is just a reflection.. as long as it is not biased..

    and personally, i find it really boring if there is no all-knowing conspiracy theorist in view..

  35. Naveed says:
    May 7th, 2010 9:23 pm

    Well not surprising given the bigotry against Pakistanis. And, after all, Indians “pose” as Pakistanis to leave silly comments on this site and all over the web all the time :-)

  36. Sam says:
    May 8th, 2010 12:04 am

    This is a testing time for Pakistanis in America. But it is even more testing time for Americans in America. lets see if they side with bigotry or fairplay. Justice should be done and he should be treated as a criminal that he is. if every brown skin person and every Paksitani is punished for this then the ‘losers’ in every sense of the word will be American society itself.

  37. May 8th, 2010 1:36 am

    Killing innocent lives is the most horrendous act of violence that can be committed by any human being. I was completely appalled and devastated to know that someone from my country was the culprit. I live in Pakistan and have seen hundreds of people die recently in the bomb shedding scenes across the country. I have buried innocent children, parents, brothers, sisters and soldiers. Innocent blood spilt on the roads of Islamabad, Lahore, and Peshawar. I still fight for the right to be free and peace. Question that people need to understand is the root cause that creates such devilish minds and insanity. Come to Pakistan and witness first hand that the people are not what you capture in Afghanistan and US. We are peace loving people. When drones attack and kill innocent lives, India involvement and agencies work against your civil veneer and the entire government edifice is run by corrupt and immoral leaders, insane patterns will emerge. Pakistan as a whole condemns such acts of violence. We love peace and promote it. Please do read what occurs in this country to understand the derailing of humanity. To read more, kindly visit http://buildpakistantogether.blogspot.com

  38. Jamal Rana says:
    May 8th, 2010 3:30 am

    It is becoming clear now that this guys anger came from his personal failures, not from religion.

  39. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    May 8th, 2010 3:33 am

    So this all Faisal Shahzad case is a “Topi Drama” by Obama Administration to get a “legal excuse” to kill Anwar Awlaki. Just read in papers that Faisal admits that he was inspired from Anwar Awlaki’s lectures which triggered him for this act.

    Few weeks back I read how Obama is willing to assassin Anwar by labeling him a “threat” for US. Capturing of faisal seems a definite step to strengthen case against Anwar. Thankful to Media who revealed all that. I am not interested in this case anymore. Same old tactics which always have got failed.

  40. May 8th, 2010 3:57 am

    Darn! The link shared by Jamal Rana reveals interesting things.

    Neighbor Dennis Flanner said a brooding Shahzad was staring at the TV news in a room packed with drunken partygoers

    That sums up what kind of company he keeps with.

    At one point, Flanner said, a reveler told Shahzad to loosen up and have some fun. Shahzad wasn’t having it.

    “They shouldn’t be shooting people from the sky,” Shahzad replied, according to Flanner. “You know, they should come down and fight.”

    That reveals he was not a Taliban either

    Abdul Aziz, a retired lieutenant colonel in Pakistan’s Air Force, said Haq and his family were not religious.

    “I have never seen them at prayer – forget about them being tilted to religious extremism,” he said. “I knew Faisal as a shy and humble and decent chap who used to love pets. He used to keep dogs and parrots at his home.”

    Not a religious either.

    The crux of entire Article is the para which sumps the failure of US approach against so called war and How right wingers of US have been failing since 9/11 to stop Islam even in US as well.

    “[He was] slowly radicalized as events piled up – the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, Muslim brothers being killed, innocent people being hit by drones from above,” the source said.

    keep bringing more drones and army and in return more enemies will emerge against US. I wish Adil who teaches in Boston can understand a basic thing that when you see your people being killed without any reason via Chemical weapons and Drone attacks then naturally it boils down the blood of the person. I wish Adil can preach Americans that the way you are battling with Islam is so wrong that it’s rather producing more Muslims in the world. Today Quran has become the most read book in the world. It’s not because of efforts of Tableeghis or other Muslims rather than all anti-Islam propaganda which was started by Bush and it continues. The US media which utilized all resources against Islam seems helpless to stop the wave of Islam within US. A decade back you could not imagine youth wearing Hijab and beard but its getting common even in Western countries.

    These Aqal K Andhay failed to realize that it’s human nature that more you will stop them for something, they would do it more. The result is more non-Muslims got curious about Islam hence later they embraced it.

    The “trick” played by Allah at the time of Muhammad(saw) to spread Islam, He played it again and it’s working perfectly.

  41. Obaid1 says:
    May 8th, 2010 7:09 am

    پاکستان کو سنگین نتائج کی دھمکی

    امریکہ کی وزیر خارجہ ہیلری کلنٹن نے امریکہ میں کسی بھی دہشت گرد حملے کی صورت میں جس کا تعلق پاکستان سے ہو پاکستان کو سنگین نتائج کے بارے میں خبردار کیا ہے۔


  42. Athar S. says:
    May 8th, 2010 8:16 am

    To: Adnan Siddiqi:

    Shame on your apologetic nonsense and B.S. I apologize firsthand to readers for my strong language – but, water is through the bridges. Instead of preaching to respected Adil Najam – you get off of your soapbox of contradictions/ignorance and deceitful wishful thinking.

    Any lame excuses from apologists/Taliban sympathizer are totally missing the point once again. Because of folks like you, we have web of conspiracy theories and confusions. Years of hard work of Pakistani-Americans trying to heal trauma of 9/11 and Obama/Hillary’s efforts to bring Pakistan back to international mainstream has gone down the drain. Enough! Seriously – Enough!!!

    I am not kidding – I am sick and tired of likes of you trying to provide lame justifications/apologetic b.S without providing any real solution to the problem. Let us call spade a spade. Let’s call these terrorists A.Holes as they deserve to be. Shall we? Don’t we deserve better? Don’t we owe this to very existence of country?

    I mean, Cm’On! How long will you hide in self declared delusional metaphors of superficial existence – out of sync with every reality on planet.

    I earnestly think, that all is not lost – and, as Pakistani-Americans we can still regain our true status of true Ambassadors of vast majority of peaceful Pakistanis – but, we will NOT tolerate any useless defense, any propaganda, any apologetic b.s and any conspiracy theories.

    Enough!! Enough!! Enough!!

  43. IAP says:
    May 8th, 2010 8:24 am

    Instead of putting brakes to your thoughts and switching onto my theory, I am sure you will come to conclude to deadlier
    picture. The face changed – the “Agenda” remained unchanged.

    The people thought the change of faces would bring change for
    them and in the policies, which unfortunately has not been the case.

  44. Hina S says:
    May 8th, 2010 8:45 am

    Dr.Najam, just heard your excellent commentary on morning show at Geo News. I look forward to day when I will hear your opinion on other morning shows I watch, Morning Joe and Today on NBC.

    Thanks for speaking up and trying to make sense of the tangled complicated times we live in.

  45. Hamza says:
    May 8th, 2010 9:14 am

    Athar S.

    Completely agree. It’ll take a lot of hard work to reclaim the national discourse from conspiracy theorists and Taliban apologists, but if we want to succeed, in Pakistan or abroad, we’ll have to do it.

  46. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    May 8th, 2010 9:28 am

    I doubt Athar would have jumped out of the window after making the comment against me. Can someone pls verify?

    Athar, when you get normal then visit the online sites who are reporting about the incident. You will feel ashamed of your behavior. Fine you are living in US but does not give you license to digest every crap by West against happily and throw it up on us by declaring everyone as terrorist or a Taliban. If other are Taliban sympathizers then you are a US sympathizer. Should not be feel ashamed of being a devil’s advocate of a country which is involved in killing of thousands of people around the globe since last century?

    Adil might be a god for you but not for me.

  47. Syed Ahmed says:
    May 8th, 2010 11:45 pm

    @ Ather: Bhai you and all American ( i would not add Pakistani) are like Dhobi Ka K, Na Ghar ka na Ghat ka.
    How good is your amercian passport dude????? You are not accepted there, nor you are welcome in Pakistan….Bohut shauq hai american benay ka…..Deal with it! Hope they make your life living hell!!!

  48. Syed Ahmed says:
    May 8th, 2010 11:51 pm

    One More thing…
    Thuk hai to all those who do not see misery of their own citizens…Selfish ! B
    They have not lost their entire family in a bomb blast yet….they have not lost someone important yet. They sit on a cosy chair and just comment for the hec of it….Just go and ask a mother who lost her 2 year old in those drone attacks…Ask that wife who lost her husband in missile attach….I swear! u guys are Pathetic hopeless people….

  49. YLH says:
    May 9th, 2010 6:26 am

    Adnan Siddiqui types…. Kashif Hafeez Siddiqui types… Aafia Siddiqui types are the real crooks…

    How long before we realize how these fifth columnists and bigots have stabbed us in the back.

  50. Bangash says:
    May 9th, 2010 6:50 am

    Sorry buddy but as I said Musharraf is not there anymore and the elected govt is following the same policies as Musharraf because….terrorists are a genuine danger and have to be crushed. Your alternative worldview is nonsense and doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

    @Syed Ahmad
    Terrorism has been happening in Pakistan long before drone attacks. I remember January 2006 attack in Peshawar which killed the much beloved police chief Malik Saad. It is the ideology of terrorists which inspires them, not the deaths of innocents. Ultimately you care more about your bias and ego than the lives of innocents, which is why you cannot condemn terrorism.

  51. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    May 9th, 2010 8:15 am

    I wonder whether the guy ever tried to find out the meaning of “Fifth Column” in dictionary? Since how come started in believing that majority of Pakistanis embrace US’ fascists policies? But.. then one can accept any fictitious thing from straw-men like Hoodbhoy and YLH

  52. readinglord says:
    May 9th, 2010 8:44 pm

    Quranic Allah says,”Those who are led astray by Allah Himself (or in his name of course) they can never find guidance”. Now Quran says ,”Fala Tuzakoo unfosakum” (Do not call yourself pak), but we call our country ‘Pakistan’, i.e., the country of the pak. This arrogant bigotry and the self-praise is the root cause of all evil we are blamed for. There is no remedy for it but ‘Allah ki Phatkaar’.

  53. Jahanzaib says:
    May 10th, 2010 1:07 am

    @readinglord, dear… we do not call ourselves “Pak”. We call “Pak” to this country which we obtained after giving millions of “Shaheeds”….
    I think you have some relations with MQM..

  54. Asim says:
    May 10th, 2010 2:10 pm

    I think Pakistan needs to be given back to India so that they could run it better and both countries would waste less money on buy weapons from other countries who just laugh at this whole pathetic drama…Muslims just dont make good leaders (at least not in 15th,16th, 17th 18th, 19th, 20th centuries). Dont know and dont care what the reason for that is, however, atleast, if we live in a non-muslim land ruled by non-muslim govt., chances of us fighting amongst ourselves would be low and hence we would all live happier lives and if those non-muslim rulers decide to kill all muslimes, we still have nothing to lose as we are already good as dead.

    As for Allah Mian, I am sure He can take care of himself better than we can take care of Him.

  55. readinglord says:
    May 11th, 2010 8:55 pm


    You say:

    we do not call ourselves “Pak”. We call “Pak” to this country which we obtained after giving millions of “Shaheeds”….

    Excuse me dear, this is another absurdity. What do you mean by ‘shaheed’? Does it not mean one going to heaven? So you sent millions to heaven for having this ‘hell’, from which people are running away even at the risk of their life. Quran says,”Afala tadabaroon” (Tum ghour kion nahin karte) and why do you say what you don’t believe.

  56. Waqar says:
    May 12th, 2010 11:10 pm

    Why is it that all Pakistani condemn this idiot trying to bomb new yorkers but no one in USA condemns teh daily killing of Pakistani civilians by US drones.

  57. readinglord says:
    May 21st, 2010 1:18 am


    You think I have some relations with MQM..

    No dear I have no relation of any kind with MQM though I have a good relationship with some urdu-speaking friends. In fact I hate their bastardized urdu. For that matter I can summarize Pakistan’s history in one sentense:

    “Qauid-e-Azam’s English made Pakistan and his ill-advised obsession with Urdu broke it”.

    Moreover I fear that urdu presents an existential threat to my mother tongue, Punjabi, which some people think would be extinct in the next 50 years or so as Punjabies’ next generation’s mother tongue will also be mostly urdu.

  58. tamed says:
    June 6th, 2010 7:04 am


    If the next generation of Punjabis will be speaking urdu and would not know Punjabi then this is something you the bloody punjabis have to take care. Urdu speaking community should not be held responsible for that. If someone is reluctant to speak their mother tongue then its fair to assume that how strong they are as a nation and what’s is their integrity. You are a loser, now you are blaming Quaid-e-Azam for something he did not do. I am sure this is just your opinion and you are not reppresenting the people of Punjab when you say this.

  59. readinglord says:
    February 25th, 2011 7:40 am


    I am not blaming any body. For your information Punjabies do not treat Urdu as an alien language but consider it as literary, baazaari, darbaari, etc. language of Punjabi. We only dislike its becoming a mother tongue also. It was only a political expediency that the Punjabies started patronizing Urdu as a national language, against Bengali, Pushto, Balochi, which were the indigenous mother tongues of Pakistan, but forgetting that this baazaari zabaan has the tendency, most of all, to replace their beloved mother tongue.

    Hear a relate an event showing how this happened.

    We started speaking Urdu with our children to make them efficient in this ‘national’ language, thinking that they would learn Punjabi any how as it was spoken by all the elder ones in the house. However, we were surprised why they never spoke Punjabi, when they heard us all the elders converse in that language. This was revealed one day when two of our children were playing together doing some cooking. The elder one, a daughter, suddenly cried out, “Ami, ami! Nanna amion ki zabaan bol raha he (Nanna was speaking mothers’ language)”. She had complained that the younger brother was calling a ‘haandi’ a ‘katvi’, which was, in her view, a serious lapse on his part.

    And now my sons and their wives all speak Urdu along with their offspring, whose mother tongue would also be Urdu. Is it not ‘bolo-ram’ of Punjabi with the next generation of Punjabies? But we hope it will be a Punjabi Urdu, not the bastardized language of the so called ‘Ahle-zabaan’. The language in which Punjabies, like Ghalib, Iqbal, Hali, Hafeez, Faiz, Faraz, etc., wrote their great poetry.

Have Your Say (Bol, magar piyar say)