Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tariq Ali in Silicon Vall

On Saturday, September, 29, 2008: The Pakistan American Democratic Forum (PADF) hosted the renowned author, Tariq Ali in Newark, California.The event was well attended by Bay Area Pakistanis of all walks of life. From the Silicon Valley Pakistani-American yuppi to Pakistanis of the wider Bay-Area, not necessarily associated to Silicon Valley.

Mr Ali discussed the current geo-political situation in Pakistan. A detailed video account of the event will be posted shortly by Cemendtaur a freelance WadiBlogger, however I'd like to highlight a few points I jotted down on my Facebook Blog:
  • He said "it is unfair to blame the war exclusively on Pakistan."
  • Ali says it's sad the Presidential candidates are promoting bombing of Pakistan. He says Pakistani-American need to organize and take lesson from their AIPAC counterpart.
  • Ali says frankly Muslims are under attack because of the oil that exists under Muslim lands. And Pakistans geographic location is key. He further remarks that Islam is not the enemy of the west, it's been made out to be due to the oil wealth Muslim nations are sitting on. If it were, say Buddhist nations sitting on the worlds oil reserves then we'd be hearing about Buddhists terrorists.
  • Ali has a colleague doing research for him and says what they've found is the language being drafted on how to deal with Muslims is similar to the language used in the 20s and 30s against Jews
  • Ali says Barak Obama is disappointing - he started out fine but doesn't like how he has been pushed into a corner by the system.
  • Ali doesn't accept Robert Fisk statement that Pakistan nuclear power is the issue. He is surprised at Fisk for making such a remark, as he is a very capable journalist, and 'no Pakistan is not the powder keg of the world.'
  • Tariq Ali further goes on to quotes a UNDP study: 60 percent of Pakistanis born today are stunted. He said that instead of pouring billions into combating extremism the world powers need to find ways to pump those same dollars in to social reform issues - such as overhauling the Education System in Pakistan to job creation and sustainable income generation schemes for the masses.

*Cross-posting to WadiBlog

Copyright C. Abdulrahman Rafiq

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