Barack Obama Talks to Anwar Iqbal – Uncut

Posted on July 16, 2009
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Foreign Relations, People, Politics
Total Views: 33675

Adil Najam

By now everyone has probably seen and commented already on U.S. President Barack Obama’s interview with Dawn’s Anwar Iqbal. But I thought this ‘uncut’ version of the interview is actually more interesting than the edited version (or clips) that we have seen.It tells us much more about how he personally feels about Pakistan – something that we had written about in depth here at ATP during his campaign.

I have known Anwar Iqbal ever since I was in high school (9th grade) in Islamabad and would sometimes write on sports (especially cricket statistics) and occasional ‘City Diaries’ for The Muslim and Anwar was a reporter on the city desk working with the legandary Ahmad Hassan saab (in many ways this blog’s design is an outgrowth of those City Diaries). He – and cartoonist Fieca, photographer B.K. Bangash, and later editors Mushahid Hussain and Maleeha Lodhi – were amongst the many at The Muslim who were immensely kind to me (then a schoolboy). I say all of this because Anwar is a dear friend and it was good to see him nab this interview.

Of course, most of us have also seen Jon Stewart’s funny take on the interview and of President Obama’s interst in Urdu and Pakistan. That, after all, is what Jon Stewart does and does better than anyone else, so one cannot fault the funny man for being funny.

There is much that I would have like President Obama to do (on Pakistan) that he has not done. I hope he eventually will. There is even more that I wish he would not do and stop doing (e.g., drone attacks). I hope he will soon stop. Frankly, I would much rather have someone in the White House who has a genuine affection for Pakistan, than someone who does not. I am not naieve enough to believe that personal affection will immediately translate to better policy. But it is much more likely to eventually do so thana lack of such affection!

24 responses to “Barack Obama Talks to Anwar Iqbal – Uncut”

  1. Bilal says:

    Good Interview in a sense that everybody wanted to hear Obama say something about Pakistan.This exclusive interview has done that job.Some very tough questions were asked in such a casual way that they didn’t sound tough and we got the answer also .

  2. Naveed Khan says:

    Really enjoyed the uncut version.Jon Stewart’s clip is very interesting.

  3. Naveed Khan says:

    Really enjoyed the uncut version.Jon Stewart’s clip is very interesting.
    By this interview President Obama has raised the hopes of Pakistanis.

  4. Aamir Ali says:

    Boy are Pakistanis completely and utterly obsessed with America or what ! Clever Obama seems to know that too, throwing a few verbals bones to Pakistanis such as reading Urdu poetry and eating daal ! That alone is enough to take “anti-Americanism” to zero in the Pakistani middle and upper classes.

    State Dept folks seem to be doing their job!

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