Houstonian Corner (V11-I14)

Calling Pakistan an Experiment at Birth Was Inappropriate: Ambassador Haqqani at the World Affairs Council

Ambassador of Pakistan Hon Haqqani at World Affairs Council in Houston (A2) “There was no country by the name of Pakistan before August 14, 1947: When Pakistan came into being, everyone including USA started calling Pakistan an experiment. Everyone knows experiment can be a success or a failure. With such remarks, a fear was intentionally or unintentionally indoctrinated into the psyche of Pakistanis, who started to feel insecure from day one. Americans sometime do not seriously look at the past by saying oh it is history, but when we start to analyze the situation of Pakistan, we need to thoroughly understand the past, so that we can see where we are today and where we are heading in the future and this is how Pakistani analyze the situations”: These were approximately the sentiments of Ambassador of Pakistan in Washington DC His Excellency Hussain Haqqani, as he addressed hundreds of well-informed members of the World Affairs Council Houston at the Junior League. During his presentation, Honorable Haqqani mixed humor with serious contemplation of the issues faced by the contemporary world, which is living very near to each other in the global village perspective.

Chairman of World Affairs Council Shara Fryer welcomed Ambassador Honorable Haqqani and asked a quiz to give away one copy of the guest’s book “Pakistan: Between Mosque And Military”. He was introduced by Faisal Amin of Texas Trade Council and Honorary Investment Consular of Government of Pakistan.

“The talks between the government of Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier province and supporters of traditional Islamic law in the Swat Valley should not be viewed as a concession to the Taliban. This area was much more conservative, traditional and following Islamic law before it got annexed into Pakistan in 1969. The arrangement in Swat is a local solution to a local problem that was being exploited by Taliban and Al-Qaeda supporters from outside the region. Pakistan remains committed to fighting terrorism, militancy and extremism. Pakistan’s attempts to satisfy some of the concerns of local groups are conditional on their commitment to peace and the laying down of their arms. Although some technical amendments to existing regulations would allow for some elements of Islamic legal principles practiced locally throughout history, public mandatory education of girls would be guaranteed and protected. Freedom and less Federal interference should not come as surprise for Texan:” Referred Ambassador Honorable Haqqani towards his US Today Article.

“The upcoming Kerry-Lugar (earlier Biden-Lugar) Bill in the Senate will bring much needed $1.50-Billions/Year to the Pakistan-Afghanistan Region for economic and societal development, which would marginalize the extremists. This will start a new engagement and it will not be an alliance: Rather it will be Partnership. Relationship of USA and Pakistan is like they got engaged and then became angry just before the marriage, went apart and then tried to come back and then went away again. Similarly the relationship between Pakistan and India is that of one of the worst ever divorce in the world: Indians say why you separated and Pakistanis say it was inevitable, but why make this separation so painful, why not live in harmony. Why remain fighting on the custody issue of Kashmir, why not amicably resolve this vital matter. Pakistan is vital to any country in the world as it is two hours flight to Middle East; Karachi Port nearer for Chinese than their own China Sea; at the cross roads of opportunities of trade to Central Asia, South-East Asia and Far-East; path to world most lucrative energy and natural resources. There is much promise in the region and things look brighter at the end of todays once roots of various Partnerships in the area become strong:”Added Ambassador Hussain Haqqani.

SACC – Chai Exchange: Mayoral Candidate Forum

South Asian Chamber of Commerce Chai Exchange Two - Mayoral Candidates Q-&-A Panel (A3) “I have this passion to make the community voice more empowered, pronounced and effective”: These were sentiments of Soofia Aleem, Executive Director of South Asian Chamber of Commerce (SACC), as she welcomed a large gathering at the City of Houston Mayoral Candidates Forum. During Year 2009, SACC will be organizing Monthly Chai (Tea) Exchange Programs every second Tuesday of the month in the evenings at the Junior League of Houston.

This event was the second in the Chai Exchange Series. SACC partnered with the Pakistani-American Council of Texas (PACT); the Network of Indian Professionals Houston Chapter; and the Pakistani American Public Affairs Committee (PAKPAC) in organizing this forum. Program was attended by City of Houston Councilpersons Masrur Javed Khan; Ronald Green; and Houston Police Department Chief Harold Hurtt.

After nice evening refreshments, the panelists for the forum, President of SACC Mustafa Tameez; Co-Chair of SACC Shaukat Zakaria and Executive Director of SACC Soofia Aleem asked the four City of Houston Mayoral Candidates various questions regarding environment; transportation; crime-safety-&-security; health-care; education; sports; infrastructure development; taxes; opportunities for businesses and professionals at the City; and so on. Some of the questions came from the panelists, while many were asked in writing by those in attendance.

These Four Houston Mayoral Candidates are: Present Council Member Peter Brown; Former City Attorney Gene Locke; Present Being Termed-Out City Controller Annise Parker; and Harris County Dept. of Education Trustee Roy Morales.

This was an excellent forum, as many of the pertinent questions were asked of the candidates. General impression received from the event was that although all the four candidates are competent enough, but none of them has the charisma of the present Mayor Bill White and the past three Mayors Lee Brown, Bob Lanier and Kathy Whitmire.

Some people felt that may be Gene Locke has affiliation with President Barrack Obama and that makes him the leading candidate, while others argued that Councilman Peter Brown has recent experience of the City.

For more information on SACC activities, please contact Soofia Aleem at E-Mail: Soofia@SACCHouston.Com – Phone: 832.660.2952 – Or – Visit www.sacchouston.com.


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