By Dan Yaseen
Some in the U.S. government and the media consider Pakistan to be “the world’s most dangerous country.” Is this true? In a KFCF special radio special to be broadcast on June 29 at 5 p.m., we will discuss the current situation in Pakistan, U.S.-Pakistani relations and the Af-Pak War.
Pakistan’s historical relationship to the United States has changed over the years. In May 1950, Pakistan was a new, free country full of hope and aspirations and it anticipated becoming an independent, developing country.
Alben Barkley, vice president of the United States, said this about the first prime minister of Pakistan: “We have had many guests who have addressed the U.S. Senate. I would not wish to draw any comparisons except to say that no address has been more inspiring, more appreciated than this one by the new Prime Minister of a new free country.” It was the beginning of a rollercoaster U.S.-Pakistani relationship. Now, six decades later, that relationship is strained.
Pakistan has been in and out of crises since its independence in 1947. It was under military rule for 35 years. Pakistan is currently under a democratically elected government, but it is suffering from many seemingly insurmountable problems. American wars in Afghanistan and drone attacks in Pakistan have had a huge impact on Pakistan; sectarian and ethnic violence further exacerbate the situation. In addition, government corruption, law and order breakdown, load shedding (rolling blackouts) and rampant inflation have made the citizens’ lives miserable. Pakistan appears to be breaking apart at the seams.
“Pakistan: Behind the Headlines,” a one-hour radio show on KFCF 88.1 Free Speech Radio for Central California, will air on June 29 at 5 p.m. The guest will be Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi, a Pakistani American businessperson and political activist.
Both Kundi and I are natives of Pakistan. I have lived in the United States since 1974, and Kundi moved here in 1998. He is from Dera Ismail Khan District, which is close to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Kundi is a member and political organizer of Pakistan’s currently popular political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). He is the author of a recently published book, Freedom by Choice.
Kundi served as president of the Pakistan Chamber of Commerce-USA in 2010. He is the founder and chief executive officer of getTickets, LLC, and Interactive Ventures—companies that own and operate a network of more than 200 Web sites. To keep people informed and educated on politics and social issues, Interactive Ventures launched getPakistan.tv and DemocracyinPakistan.com.
I would like to get some input from readers and the KFCF listening audience. What would you like to know about Pakistan and U.S.-Pakistani relations? Please contact me with your suggestions. It will be helpful for both my guest and me.
Dan Yaseen is an editorial board member of the Community Alliance newspaper and Peace Fresno’s vice president for membership. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org 559-251-3361.