Reflections of a Young Pakistani on Trump’s Speech

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The following was posted by Kanwal Ali on Facebook in response to Trump’s Afghanistan speech:

Dear Trump, After hearing your speech on US foreign policy today, I felt the urge to pen down my ramblings with reference to Pakistan. Even otherwise when silence burdens ones conscience, it’s time to break it. You said: “We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars” Please note that Pakistan has spent $123.13 billion, in direct and indirect cost due to its war on terrorism in the last 16 years, whereas US aid to Pakistan during the same period has not been more than US $ 30 billion. Moreover, there has been a 73 percent decline in US security assistance to Pakistan since 2011, and 53 percent decrease in economic assistance, as per the statistics released by the Congressional Research Service (CRS). Also note that, in 2016, Americas largest of its kind package of military aid amounting to U.S. $38 billion was doled out not to Pakistan but to Israel for the next 10 years. Dear Trump, day in day out we wake up to news of terror attacks killing our innocent people. Some shopping in the bazars,some strolling in the parks, some walking on the pathways, some countering the terrorists and even some studying in schools. We are so tired of crying that even our tears have dried up. Alas, almost 62000 Pakistani men, women, and children have lost their lives in our war against terrorism during the last fifteen years. They were as dear to their loved ones as the 2996 people who were killed in the 9/11 attacks. Yet, Pakistan you say is “a safe haven to agents of chaos, violence and terror.” No that’s not true. Our Army, police and other members of the law enforcement agencies are very successfully and persistently fighting the miscreants. As a result a total of 33711 insurgents/terrorists have been killed in Pakistan since 2003. In the view of the U.S. Human Rights Network, “Discrimination in the United States permeates all aspects of life and extends to all communities of color”. Surveys by organizations such as ABC News have found that, even recently, large sections of Americans self-admit to holding discriminatory viewpoints; for example, a 2007 article by the organization stated that about one in ten admitted to holding prejudices against Hispanic and Latino Americans and about one in four did so regarding Arab-Americans. But would it be justified if America is pronounced as a safe haven for racists?? No, because America has been a country that welcomes and embraces diversity. Similarly, Pakistan is no safe haven for the terrorists. It’s primarily a land of simple and struggling people whose sufferings remain untold. Dear Trump, please don’t add to our sufferings. Please don’t widen the rift between India and Pakistan. You claim to be a problem solver so please don’t create problems for us. Terrorists are losers indeed, but to make them really lose we need to unite, not divide. Trust me Pakistan has nothing much to lose, but you should not lose your temper. Well you also said:” It is time for Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to civilization, order and to peace.” Yet it is also a time for you to demonstrate some grace, humility and good language.

Thank you. A Pakistani by default.

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