Sunday, June 22, 2008

Pakistani Student Snubs U.S. Ambassador, Payback For Attack

A Pakistani student, Mr. Samad Khurram, today has done what the Pakistani government is afraid to do so far: Snub the U.S. ambassador in the Pakistani capital for the cowardly U.S. attack against our military on the border with Afghanistan.

Samad, a student of law at Harvard University, was in Islamabad to receive a shield of achievement from Anne Patterson, the U.S. ambassador.

But instead of sucking up to the U.S. ambassador, like many Pakistani officials choose to do, Samad had on his mind the blood of over 30 Pakistanis, half of them soldiers, who were killed on the soil of their homeland on June 10 when the Americans sided with Karzai thugs, also known as the 'Afghan national army', and used massive air power to target a peaceful Pakistani border post.

Ms. Patterson was attending a special ceremony organized at the National Arts Gallery by a privately owned Pakistani school. The school had invited 188 of its former students who received scholarships to study at various American colleges and universities. Parents of the students were present, along with Mrs. Zahida Kiayni, the wife of the Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani.

Ms. Patterson and other U.S. embassy officials were shocked and embarrassed when Samad walked to the stage to receive his award but then announced he was refusing the honor to protest the unprovoked American violation of Pakistani airspace and the murder of innocent Pakistanis.

A shaken Ms. Patterson smiled sheepishly and tried to make the best out of an embarrassing moment.

According to the Associated Press of Pakistan, the official news agency, this is how the U.S. ambassador responded:
"The American ambassador, responding to the protest of the student, said America has deep regrets on the incident."
She said
America is proud to have him (Samad Khurram) in USA for study,
"The only way to remove the misunderstanding is to exchange ideas and views."
Ms. Patterson had a point there. We need to put our position out to the Americans in a clear way. Samad did just that. He did not boycott the ceremony. He attended it and made sure he rebuked the U.S. ambassador in the full glare of the media.

The unfortunate part is that no one present in the huge hall of NCA joined this nationalist young Pakistani in his gesture. At the very least, Pakistanis present in the hall should have given him a standing ovation

The other unfortunate part is that none of the 80 or so Pakistani news channels highlighted the incident. Why did we allow private Pakistani channels in the first place? Wasn't it to project Pakistani position to the world? If this was the Indian media, if this was the Chinese media, if this was the Iranian media, if this was the Arab media, if this was Turkish media, this incident would have been repeated at the top of every news bulletin for the day.

I hope some of the defeatist 'liberal' Pakistanis working for television news channels might be reading this. If you know someone there, please admonish them.

It is sad that ordinary Pakistanis will always be more nationalist and patriotic than their so-called 'liberal' intellectuals and their non-intellectual politicians

But Samad Khurram, no matter what, we are proud of you.

I urge my fellow nationalist Pakistanis to email Samad and congratulate him. His email is