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Reader comment on item: Obama's Mansion, Saddam's Money
in response to reader comment: Difference in vision

Submitted by Don (Peru), Nov 5, 2008 at 14:07


I too wish the best for the Pakistani people, and a part of my heart is in Pakistan (as challenging as it was for me and my family). I have many good friends there, Muslims, and some you would be familiar with. (Shoab Akhtar, who pushed me to the brink in many-a-workouts - a stud in any country, though I think he should go play in India and pursue a film career there; Shoab Malik, funny and kind and generous, and a great athlete; Reyhan Khan, one of the most driven and motivated businessmen in South Asia.)

Many of the Pakistani women I met were the nicest and sweetest (and most beautiful) people - most of whom, unfortunately, were trapped in the male dominated culture of Islam and Pakistan and felt caged. Pakistani men do, I know, have a pride and toughness about them that, if it were not for the religious component to it (honor, revenge), would be very, very admirable.

Lahore is a vibrant city full of life and the greatest food I´ve had, many a meal on M & Alam Road and the famous Pakistani hospitality from anyone who would call you a friend. I think Westerners would be happily surprised to see the modernity and openness and cleanliness of Islamabad - not what one expects from a place where it seems only terrible news comes from. Your northern areas are gorgeous and blessed by nature, though dangerous and unsafe to a Westerner like me.

Too bad the people up there aren´t as beautiful on the inside as the land is on the outside. I was almost kidnapped and could have lost my life a few hours above Murry, and I´m sure I would have had I not put up more of a fight than anyone of them could deal with (which was viewed as being honorable and manly, and so I was cut a little slack. They could have shot me dead - they carried weapons - and I was told later I lived only because I fought and they admired that). Thank God my wife wasn´t with me. Animals.

Like any country, there are great people whom anyone would be proud to know and call friends. But in Pakistan too many of the people are driven by a violent ideology, bigoted against those who are different than them, happy to hate non-Muslims (obligated, in fact - in their minds), and willing to kill in the name of their prophet and God. A country is what its people are, not the beauty of the land or the roughness of the mountains or the fact that they´ve fended off superpowers in the past. It´s the people. I´m sorry to tell you, Mansoor, but way too many of your people are simply a mental, emotional, psychological mess and a danger to the rest of the world.

In my opinion, Islam has done that to them. I have assertained from your many posts that you are not one of the Pakistanis I would have been friends with, nor would the Pakistani friends I had want you as a friend. But I do think you´re in the majority there in Pakistan.

But I wish you and yours the best, I will always root for Pakistan cricketeers (no matter who they play, even though I´m American and only know the game because of the passion I saw in Pakistan and my friendships with other world-class athletes there...though my best days are well behind me), and I hope someday Pakistan will get its crap together and stop being the epicenter of Islamic terrorism and Islamic extremism in the world.


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