May 11th, 2011
04:14 PM ET

Pakistan needs a national discussion

What interested me most from the discussion featured in the video above from Sunday's GPS show is what Pakistani journalist Jugnu Mohsin stated.  She said that Osama bin Laden’s assassination was provoking a debate in Pakistan around questions such as:

– Why was this man in Pakistan?

– Why are there so many terrorists living in Pakistan?

– Why have they been able to violate our sovereignty?

– What is the role of the Pakistani military in all of this?

– How many lies are we being told?

I was surprised she felt that there was this conversation taking place. It’s the conversation we all hope would begin to be taking place in Pakistan.  It’s a conversation that all well wishers of Pakistan desperately wanted to have started.

But we haven’t really ever seen it.  So to me news that it was occurring was the most hopeful thing that came out of this week.

This type of conversation would be a huge step forward because Pakistan is six times the population of Afghanistan.  Pakistan is more than half the population of the Arab world.  It is probably the place where you have the most significant concentration of jihadi forces in the world right now.

A serious conversation within Pakistan about the nature of its society and what it can do to be a less dysfunctional place is of vital important right now.


soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Shrikant Kalegaonkar

    Fareed,

    I truly enjoyed your GPS program last weekend. "Relief" isn't the right word, but folks like Jugnu Mohsin, Amb. Husain Haqqani & former Amb. Akbar Ahmed (among a few others I follow on Twitter) demonstrate that there are Pakistani intellectuals – modernists – who are stepping up to get this conversation going. That conversation needs to be joined by many more. It needs to be promoted and given a proper platform. I hope that it doesn't get drowned out.

    Thanks,
    Shrikant

    May 11, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  2. j. von hettlingen

    The questions Jugnu asked, "Why was this man in Pakistan?" *Why are there so many terrorists living in Pakistan?"
    Well, obviously Pakistan with its dysfunctional government and corrupt military provided or still provides a safe haven for all militant forces that fight against Pakistan's enemies abroad. Again I believe the ISI is the force, that pulls all the strings behind the scene.
    "Why have they been able to violate our sovereignty?" I am not sure, whether terror attacks on a country could be deemed as a violation of its sovreignty if they were carried out by terrorists, who are not acting on behalf of a state.
    "What is the role of the Pakistani military in all of this? ""How many lies are we being told?" If you want answers to your questions, you (the people of Pakistan) will have to persist in asking.
    I am afraid, this hot debate wouldn't last long and those involved will try to downplay the situation. In a month's time, life will go back to "normal".

    – How many lies are we being told?

    May 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Reply
  3. RAJ

    Unless and until Pakistani leaders do not ask these questions to themselves seriously and think deeply for right reply, nothing will solve terrorist issue. Short answer to all these question is India against whom they are jealous and predudiced . To remain in power is to back ISI and Army who wants to teach India a lesson for there past defeats in wars. Pakistan do not have guts to invade India directly so they are grooming terrorist and now it becomes a hub to all world terrorist and problem for themselves and the world.

    May 11, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  4. alex tassia josef

    Just thinking of my own neighbourhood, it takes a matter of days, never mind 6 whole years, to notice ANYTHING slightly out of place, especially something as glaringly obvious as a high-high walled enclosure whose occupants are invisible. Does the Pakistani govt honestly think we
    are so stupid as to believe that NOT ONCE in 6 years did the military retirees, or ISI or others, ever say, "Mmm...look at that fortress over there. Wonder who is hiding behind those high walls? Let's check it out."
    Puhleeze...Pakistan don't insult us. You look pathetic for all your denying.

    May 11, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  5. alex tassia josef

    Just thinking of my own neighbourhood, it takes a matter of days, never mind 6 whole years, to notice ANYTHING slightly out of place, especially something as glaringly obvious as a high-high walled enclosure whose occupants are invisible. Does the Pakistani govt honestly think we
    are so stupid as to believe that NOT ONCE in 6 years did the military retirees, or ISI or others, ever say, "Mmm...look at that fortress over there. Wonder who is hiding behind THAT? Let's check it out."
    Puhleeze...Pakistan don't insult us. You look pathetic for all your denying.

    May 11, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Reply
  6. OpinionIndia

    To the Pakistani people who justify terrorism in Kashmir and talk about Palestine and Israel ,here is the answer

    The state of Israel has the right to exist as Jews have lived there for thousands of years.4000 years ago there was the kingdom of Judah before they were expelled and right of the Jews to the holy land CANNOT AND WILL NOT BE DENIED.

    Kashmir has been the part of Hindu culture and our scriptures(in India )time immemorial talk about it and we have our holy shrines there .It is our Land and so is todays Pakistan .The right of India and Hindus in Kashmir with Historical basis in the last 5000 years CANNOT AND WILL NOT BE DENIED.

    The right of India over Kashmir does not stretch back up-to only Partition.Kashmir has been a part and parcel of our social fabric,culturen. Our claim over Kashmir is grounded in facts and India's right over it cannot be denied.

    May 12, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Reply
  7. OpinionIndia

    Now Pakistanis usually address Indians as "Hindu" and call us extremist, we don't blow up markets like you( your citizens, Pakistanis ) 🙂

    we don't sail from Karachi to Mumbai and go on a shooting rampage unlike you(Pakistanis) 🙂

    we are not implicated from the west as Non resident Pakistanis in Mumbai terror plot unlike "Muslim Pakistani " HUSSAIN RANA

    we are not implicated from the west as Non resident Pakistanis in Mumbai terror plot unlike "Muslim Pakistani " david headley ( changed his muslim pakistani name to a western name 🙂 )

    we are not caught plotting the TIME SQUARE BOMB PLOT 🙂

    WE ARE NOT CAUGHT SHELTERING BINLADEN FOR 5 YEARS 🙂

    WE ARE NOT SHELTERING MUMBAI ATTACK MASTER MINDS ( ISI CHIEF PASHA), HAFEEZ SAEED

    WE are not giving guest visa to DAWOOD IBRAHIM (Terrorist WANTED BY US and India)

    we are not implicated from the west as Non resident Pakistanis in Danish terror plot

    Extremism is Rampant in PAKISTAN , NOT India which is secular and tolerant

    PAKISTAN SHAME SHAME 🙂

    GOD What a MENACE this country ( Pakistan ) has become to the WORLD !!! 🙂

    May 13, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Reply
  8. OpinionIndia

    Bringing up Kashmir is a digression,In fact even Pakistan's location is not the problem,but Pakistani society built for only MUSLIMS is the problem.It breeds religious divide,conflict with India, inspires causes for terrorism, fosters divide with the west;

    Liquidation of an ISLAMIC STATE of PAKISTAN in south asia and making it secular will bring PEACE and Muslims should learn to live in secular societies

    Facts are Facts when we see countries with majority Muslim populations seldom live in peace among themselves or with the world and the sooner we fathom this, the world will be better off

    Only and Only secularism is the antidote for this poison

    May 13, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Reply
  9. OpinionIndia

    For extremist Pakistanis who say US should leave the region, here is the response :

    Why should USA leave the region,US would not have come unless Sept 11 happened from the region which included Paki conspirators 🙂 .Before sept 11 , Pakistan was supporting Taliban in Afghanistan 🙂 the only nation on earth ( probably saudis also) .Then after US started bombing Afghanistan , Pakistan had to shamefully airlift 16000 Paki soldiers from Afghanistan who were with the Taliban 🙂

    You extremist Pakistanis should leave the region or go to another planet.We wish we can catapult you and your people across to another planet 🙂 as we believe in value of human life , we don't wanna harm you 🙂 , but we just don't want you to be on earth 🙂 .

    You can settle in the this neo planet and then fight among yourselves( we know how shias are attacked in your country and there will be no use of your Blasphemy law, we will gladly take your minorities ) as you will have no neighbours..No India or America or Israel 🙂

    May 14, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Reply
  10. OpinionIndia

    😦 😦 PAK TERROR 😦 😦 PAK TERROR 😦 😦 PAK TERROR 😦 😦

    Chief Foreign affairs correspondent of CBS Lara Logan after speaking to "top Intelligence and Military officials in the United States" says that all of them are UNANIMOUS THAT

    IT IS INCONCEIVABLE THAT PAKISTAN DID NOT KNOW THE LOCATION OF BIN LADEN 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    IT IS INCONCEIVABLE THAT OSAMA BIN LADEN WAS HIDING OUT IN THIS CITY WHICH IS CRAWLING WITH RETIRED MILITARY OFFICIALS OR MILITARY CADETS(PAKISTANI) OR ACTIVE MILITARY PERSONNEL ...

    THIS COMPOUND WAS 8 TIMES LARGER THAN ANY OTHER BUILDING IN AREA...IT IS IMPROBABLE THAT PEOPLE LIVING IN THAT CITY ( ABBOTABAD ) , LET ALONE MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT HAD NO IDEA ,NEVER ASKED A QUESTION ABOUT IT, ...

    IF IT CAME TO THE ATTENTION OF US INTELLIGENCE THEN IT CENTAINLY WOULD HAVE COME TO THE ATTENTION OF PAKISTANI INTELLIGENCE,THEIR MILITARY BRASS,

    ..MOST OF THE OFFICIALS SAY THAT PAKISTAN HAS BEEN LAUGHING AT THE United States , LAUGHING IN THE FACES OF THE AMERICANS BECAUSE THEY HAVE KNOWN ALL ALONG THAT OSAMA BIN LADEN IS THERE

    AND PAKISTANIS STOOD UP AND SAID THAT OSAMA BIN LADEN WAS NOT IN PAKISTAN .....

    BUT NOT ONLY IS HE IS PAKISTAN ,BUT HE NOW ,TURNS OUT TO BE RIGHT AMONGST THE "MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT" ITSELF

    PRESIDENT OBAMA SAID OSAMA BIN LADEN WAS FOUND "DEEP INSIDE" PAKISTAN

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y723IjRAcKg&w=640&h=360]
    ..NOT IN THE BORDER WITH AFGHANISTAN , NOT IN CAVE

    MOMENT OF TRUTH HAS ARRIVED ...WORLD SHOULD DISMEMBER PAKISTAN , IMPOUND ITS NUCLEAR WEAPONS THEN GO FOR A WAR TO ELIMINATE ALL TERRORISTS HIDING INSIDE PAKISTAN

    AMERICAS GREATEST ENEMY IS NOT AL QAEDA, ITS PAKISTAN 😦 😦 😦 😦

    😦 😦 PAK TERROR 😦 😦 PAK TERROR 😦 😦 PAK TERROR 😦 😦

    May 17, 2011 at 4:06 am | Reply

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