I have flown in just about everything, with all kinds of pilots in all parts of the world - British, French, Pakistani, Iranian, Japanese, Chinese - and there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between any of them except for one unchanging, certain fact: the best, most skillful pilot has the most experience.
I was terrified of being on camera. I was worried that whatever I would say, people would assume I'm speaking for every Muslim, every Pakistani, or every Middle Eastern person. That's a lot of pressure. But it also got me excited about what could be done, because I am a representative for people who are underrepresented.
Being outside the candy store looking in is the state of people today. Whether you're in a Pakistani village watching somebody in a car drive by, or you're in the city of Lahore going to a restaurant and seeing somebody with a security entourage coming in... you're exposed to people with more.
In countries other than Pakistan - I won't necessarily call them 'Western' - people support me. This is because people there respect others. They don't do this because I am a Pashtun or a Punjabi, a Pakistani, or an Iranian, they do it because of one's words and character. This is why I am being respected and supported there.
We have to deal with this new type of threat in a way we haven't yet defined. . . . With a low-probability, high-impact event like this . . . If there's a one percent chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response.
I'm an actor. Since I was a teenager, I have had to play different characters, negotiating the cultural expectations of a Pakistani family, Brit-Asian rudeboy culture, and a scholarship to private school. The fluidity of my own personal identity on any given day was further compounded by the changing labels assigned to Asians in general.
When Indians have loved and embraced Pakistani artistes, why can't the latter come out in their support when injustice has been meted out to the people? No one wants these artistes to wage a war against their government. People didn't demand that they condemn their own country. They just expected them to say something for the sake of humanity.
Well, you got to remember, bin Laden killed 3,000 Americans and, in some ways, he and his ideology killed tens of thousands of his fellow Muslims, including Pakistanis. I understand that that was provocative and complicated for Pakistan, but only if you accept the idea that he was an acceptable member of Pakistani society.
When generally people make race-based jokes to me - even if they're not technically racist, they're sort of based on me being Pakistani or whatever - on Twitter, you know, I block a lot of people who say something weird about my name or something. It does bug me generally, but it is all about context.
I can't understand Urdu, Bahasa or Russian, but when the Pakistani Faiz, the Indonesian Rendra and the Russian Rosdentvensky declaim, I can feel the living throb of rhythm and music, the warmth and passion of their poetry, as do the hundreds, not a mere roomful, of poetry lovers in the audience.
F. Sionil Jose
I have been only the humblest jugglers-with-facts; and that, in a country where the truth is what it is instructed to be, reality quite literally ceases to exist, so that everything becomes possible except what we are told is the case; and maybe this was the difference between my Indian childhood and Pakistani adolescence--that in the first I was beset by an infinity of alternative realities, while in the second I was adrift, disoriented, amid an equally infinite number of falsenesses, unrealities and lies.
In the summer of 2004, Malem Jan was sitting with Sirajuddin Haqqani, the second son of Jalaluddin, in their Pakistani base in the North Waziristan town of Miram Shah when they heard their names on the BBC. The Americans were offering $250,000 and $200,000, respectively, as rewards for information leading to their capture.
There are two things. There was the moral responsibility, and that, first, is creating an atmosphere where the security forces can kill with impunity, where they can turn up at a place, shoot seven people - really at point-blank fashions - and then get away with it and be, in fact, promoted. And then there is the actual responsibility, the governmental responsibility. My aunt's government forbade us, initially, from filing a police report - which is every Pakistani citizen's right under the law.
Certainly, historically, there has been more attention given in the international media to Indian English-language writers than to Pakistani English-language writers. But that, in my opinion, was justified by the sheer number of excellent writers coming from India and the Indian diaspora.
As the bus slowed down at the crowded bus stop, the Pakistani bus conductor leaned from the platform and called out, "Six only!" The bus stopped. He counted on six passengers, rang the bell, and then, as the bus moved off, called to those left behind: "So sorry, plenty of room in my heart - but the bus is full." He left behind a row of smiling faces. It's not what you do, it's the way that you do it.
Edwin Francis Gay
The good terrorists are the guys who bomb and kill Indians. The bad terrorists are the ones who attack Pakistani interests, whether in Afghanistan or Pakistan. In other words, you blow up the Taj Mahal Hotel, you are a good guy. You blow up the Marriott in Islamabad, you are a bad guy.
Most liberal-minded folk would like to think that since they are not hostile to people of a different race, racism is a disease of the uneducated, unenlightened and socially backward - football hooligans, British National Party supporters, policemen. You could call this the Bad Guy Theory. But the Bad Guy Theory does not explain why Indian-heritage children do nearly twice as well as Pakistani-heritage children at GCSE.
In a way, both the U.S. media and those wacky rioters in the Afghan-Pakistani hinterlands are very similar, two highly parochial and monumentally self-absorbed tribes living in isolation from the rest of the world and prone to fanatical irrational indestructible beliefs "" not least the notion that you can flush a 950-page book down one of Al Gore's eco-crazed federally mandated low-flush toilets, a claim no editorial bigfoot thought to test for himself in Newsweek's executive washroom.
This has been the century of strangers, brown, yellow and white. This has been the century of the great immigrant experiment. It is only this late in the day that you can walk into a playground and find Isaac Leung by the fish pond, Danny Rahman in the football cage, Quang O'Rourke bouncing a basketball, and Irie Jones humming a tune. Children with first and last names on a direct collision course. Names that secrete within them mass exodus, cramped boats and planes, cold arrivals, medical checks. It is only this late in the day, and possibly only in Willesden, that you can find best friends Sita and Sharon, constantly mistaken for each other because Sita is white (her mother liked the name) and Sharon is Pakistani (her mother thought it best - less trouble).
Women in the online gaming community have been harassed, threatened, and driven out. Anita Sarkeesian, a feminist media critic who documented such incidents, received support for her work, but also, in the words of a journalist, 'another wave of really aggressive, you know, violent personal threats, her accounts attempted to be hacked. And one man in Ontario took the step of making an online video game where you could punch Anita's image on the screen. And if you punched it multiple times, bruises and cuts would appear on her image.' The difference between these online gamers and the Taliban men who, last October, tried to murder fourteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai for speaking out about the right of Pakistani women to education is one of degree. Both are trying to silence and punish women for claiming voice, power, and the right to participate. Welcome to Manistan.
Rolf Ekeus came round to my apartment one day and showed me the name of the Iraqi diplomat who had visited the little West African country of Niger: a statelet famous only for its production of yellowcake uranium. The name was Wissam Zahawi. He was the brother of my louche gay part-Kurdish friend, the by-now late Mazen. He was also, or had been at the time of his trip to Niger, Saddam Hussein's ambassador to the Vatican. I expressed incomprehension. What was an envoy to the Holy See doing in Niger? Obviously he was not taking a vacation. Rolf then explained two things to me. The first was that Wissam Zahawi had, when Rolf was at the United Nations, been one of Saddam Hussein's chief envoys for discussions on nuclear matters (this at a time when the Iraqis had functioning reactors). The second was that, during the period of sanctions that followed the Kuwait war, no Western European country had full diplomatic relations with Baghdad. TheVatican was the sole exception, so it was sent a very senior Iraqi envoy to act as a listening post. And this man, a specialist in nuclear matters, had made a discreet side trip to Niger. This was to suggest exactly what most right-thinking people were convinced was not the case: namely that British intelligence was on to something when it said that Saddam had not ceased seeking nuclear materials in Africa. I published a few columns on this, drawing at one point an angry email from Ambassador Zahawi that very satisfyingly blustered and bluffed on what he'd really been up to. I also received-this is what sometimes makes journalism worthwhile-a letter from a BBC correspondent named Gordon Correa who had been writing a book about A.Q. Khan. This was the Pakistani proprietor of the nuclear black market that had supplied fissile material to Libya, North Korea, very probably to Syria, and was open for business with any member of the 'rogue states' club. (Saddam's people, we already knew for sure, had been meeting North Korean missile salesmen in Damascus until just before the invasion, when Kim Jong Il's mercenary bargainers took fright and went home.) It turned out, said the highly interested Mr. Correa, that his man Khan had also been in Niger, and at about the same time that Zahawi had. The likelihood of the senior Iraqi diplomat in Europe and the senior Pakistani nuclear black-marketeer both choosing an off-season holiday in chic little uranium-rich Niger... well, you have to admit that it makes an affecting picture. But you must be ready to credit something as ridiculous as that if your touching belief is that Saddam Hussein was already 'contained, ' and that Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair were acting on panic reports, fabricated in turn by self-interested provocateurs.
1. Bangladesh... In 1971... Kissinger overrode all advice in order to support the Pakistani generals in both their civilian massacre policy in East Bengal and their armed attack on India from West Pakistan... This led to a moral and political catastrophe the effects of which are still sorely felt. Kissinger's undisclosed reason for the 'tilt' was the supposed but never materialised 'brokerage' offered by the dictator Yahya Khan in the course of secret diplomacy between Nixon and China... Of the new state of Bangladesh, Kissinger remarked coldly that it was 'a basket case' before turning his unsolicited expertise elsewhere. 2. Chile... Kissinger had direct personal knowledge of the CIA's plan to kidnap and murder General Rene Schneider, the head of the Chilean Armed Forces... who refused to countenance military intervention in politics. In his hatred for the Allende Government, Kissinger even outdid Richard Helms... who warned him that a coup in such a stable democracy would be hard to procure. The murder of Schneider nonetheless went ahead, at Kissinger's urging and with American financing, just between Allende's election and his confirmation... This was one of the relatively few times that Mr Kissinger (his success in getting people to call him 'Doctor' is greater than that of most PhDs) involved himself in the assassination of a single named individual rather than the slaughter of anonymous thousands. His jocular remark on this occasion-'I don't see why we have to let a country go Marxist just because its people are irresponsible'-suggests he may have been having the best of times... 3. Cyprus... Kissinger approved of the preparations by Greek Cypriot fascists for the murder of President Makarios, and sanctioned the coup which tried to extend the rule of the Athens junta (a favoured client of his) to the island. When despite great waste of life this coup failed in its objective, which was also Kissinger's, of enforced partition, Kissinger promiscuously switched sides to support an even bloodier intervention by Turkey. Thomas Boyatt... went to Kissinger in advance of the anti-Makarios putsch and warned him that it could lead to a civil war. 'Spare me the civics lecture, ' replied Kissinger, who as you can readily see had an aphorism for all occasions. 4. Kurdistan. Having endorsed the covert policy of supporting a Kurdish revolt in northern Iraq between 1974 and 1975, with 'deniable' assistance also provided by Israel and the Shah of Iran, Kissinger made it plain to his subordinates that the Kurds were not to be allowed to win, but were to be employed for their nuisance value alone. They were not to be told that this was the case, but soon found out when the Shah and Saddam Hussein composed their differences, and American aid to Kurdistan was cut off. Hardened CIA hands went to Kissinger... for an aid programme for the many thousands of Kurdish refugees who were thus abruptly created... The apercu of the day was: 'foreign policy should not he confused with missionary work.' Saddam Hussein heartily concurred. 5. East Timor. The day after Kissinger left Djakarta in 1975, the Armed Forces of Indonesia employed American weapons to invade and subjugate the independent former Portuguese colony of East Timor. Isaacson gives a figure of 100, 000 deaths resulting from the occupation, or one-seventh of the population, and there are good judges who put this estimate on the low side. Kissinger was furious when news of his own collusion was leaked, because as well as breaking international law the Indonesians were also violating an agreement with the United States... Monroe Leigh... pointed out this awkward latter fact. Kissinger snapped: 'The Israelis when they go into Lebanon-when was the last time we protested that?' A good question, even if it did not and does not lie especially well in his mouth. It goes on and on and on until one cannot eat enough to vomit enough.