We are not all CIA agents

Published: August 15, 2011

The writer is South Asia programme associate at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC

Wondering about America’s latest reason for being unhappy with Pakistan? Look no further than the case of aid worker Warren Weinstein, the US citizen recently abducted from his residence in Lahore. I am not suggesting that Americans resent the fact that Pakistanis kidnapped Weinstein. Many of us (though by no means all of us) understand that abductions of Americans in Pakistan are very rare and realise that those Pakistanis who relish the thought of kidnapping Americans constitute a small percentage of the population.

What I am suggesting is that Americans are upset with what Pakistanis are saying about Weinstein.

It is striking how quickly some Pakistanis have proclaimed that Weinstein is a CIA agent (and to be fair, a number of Americans are making the same assumption). An American in Pakistan doing aid work in the tribal areas? Wearing the native dress? And spending so much time in the country? Clearly the hallmark traits of a spy, they conclude. Never mind his advanced age (how many near-septuagenarian spooks are prowling around Pakistan?), or the fact that he was living quite conspicuously in a large home in an affluent area of Lahore.  Also striking is who is making these accusations. One expects such views from the likes of Shireen Mazari, who famously had an altercation with a western-looking man in a restaurant when he inadvertently bumped into her chair, referring to him as a “bloody CIA agent”. Or from those impressionable masses who fall prey to the anti-American narratives propagated by school textbooks, mullahs and the media.

However, it is quite another matter to see readers of this newspaper — who, by virtue of their English-language aptitude and willingness to read The Express Tribune, are not narrow-minded ideologues — posting good-riddance comments about Weinstein and his presumed CIA bonafides.

Yes, Americans in Pakistan have been and are connected to security contractor firms and intelligence agencies. Yes, many of the alleged conspiracy theories about CIA agents crawling around the country have been proven true; Washington has sometimes emerged with egg on its face after prevaricating about the intelligence affiliations of its citizens stationed in Pakistan. And, yes, ‘development work’ can be code for spy craft. Nonetheless, to reflexively assume that any American in the country is tied to the CIA is not only unfair, but also insulting — because it sweepingly dismisses the highly beneficial work done by many Americans in the country, such as, presumably, Weinstein himself. Just as there are Pakistanis who admire America (albeit not necessarily its foreign policies), there are Americans — with and without government affiliations — who hold Pakistan in high esteem and who dedicate their lives to making positive contributions there. Some may single out school-building superstar Greg Mortenson; I would cite the likes of the somewhat lesser-known (and therefore more typical) case of Todd Shea — a musician by training who, moved by televised images of suffering in Kashmir after the 2005 earthquake, travelled to Pakistan to provide relief aid. Shea has been there ever since; he now runs a hospital in a remote part of Kashmir.

There are other Todd Sheas in Pakistan. They may not want their stories publicised, but they are there, serving as healthcare trainers, conducting research on drone strikes’ impacts on civilians and helping promote women’s rights. Some work for NGOs, others represent non-intelligence agencies of the US government and others still — perhaps the most honourable of them all — act as volunteers and represent only themselves.

Pakistanis often lament, and rightly so, how so many of their most humanitarian and peace-loving citizens — from Abdul Sattar Edhi to Shehzad Roy — are relative unknowns in the US. Americans are equally justified for being indignant about the lack of recognition accorded to the selfless work of their countrymen in Pakistan — work that has little to do with cloaks and daggers and much more to do with benevolence and social upliftment.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2011.

Reader Comments (130)

  • AAK
    Aug 15, 2011 - 8:22PM

    Is it too much trouble for Americans to reconsider their role in the world? You are no longer number 1 – even Standard&Poor say so

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  • Meekal Ahmed
    Aug 15, 2011 - 8:39PM

    This is a very good piece that is likely to fall on deaf ears.

    ET may have English-speaking people here (I use the qualification flexibly) but judging from what one reads I would not consider them to be particularly enlightened. Some (most?) of what I read here is both shocking and embarrassing to me as a Pakistani. My sister’s Facebook was full of venom and abuse directed at her over this issue because she expressed regret over the abduction. Then magically, this morning, all the comments disappeared. I don’t know if the Facebook people removed them.

    Not surprisingly, the wife of my former neighbour who is an ex-USAID official and spent many years in Africa refused to let him apply for a USAID job in Pakistan. Her fear has been realized.

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  • Frank
    Aug 15, 2011 - 8:57PM

    Michael Kugelman

    Americans are equally justified for
    being indignant about the lack of
    recognition accorded to the selfless
    work of their countrymen in Pakistan —
    work that has little to do with cloaks
    and daggers and much more to do with
    benevolence and social upliftment.

    Come on, you’re insulting our intelligence here. Do you think we’re all little kids or half-witted liberals? You’re indignant with us and we’re indignant with you so how about we just face in opposite directions and just start walking and walking and walking….

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  • reason has voice
    Aug 15, 2011 - 9:01PM

    We respect and appreciate american’s who come to our country as friends and well wishers but please dont forget that your government is currently celebrating the fact that it corrupted a doctor and used an immunization program for spy work!

    when a country’s administration falls so low, its citizens have to pay a price in terms of respect and trust afforded to them.

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  • Ali
    Aug 15, 2011 - 9:01PM

    Michael, You have said it right. 13th August was a very sad and tragic day in the history of Pakistan. Warren Weinstein is a source of inspiration for all Pakistanis. When things were going from bad to worse, he had been the last man standing; doing his job trying to make Pakistan a better place to live. When many Pakistanis thought they were not safe in their homeland, he was the one who made Pakistan his home. He has done instrumental work developing dairy, furniture, gems and jewelry, IT&Telecom and many other industries of Pakistan and has helped in creation of so many jobs for the poverty-stricken people of this country where the unemployment is high and the security situation is very bad.

    Such people deserve honour and respect for their great contribution. They risk their lives for people of Pakistan and this is what they get in return. This is very tragic and shocking incident and brings bad name to Pakistan. I hope and pray he returns to his family safe and sound.Recommend

  • ash
    Aug 15, 2011 - 9:02PM

    take your money and get lost, americans are no longer welcome…or wait till we develop some icbms and then go…we dont want your hand in friendship and a knife in our back….you can bribe all the leaders u like, the people know your duplicity

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  • Aug 15, 2011 - 9:10PM

    Nice try, but America bashing has become a religion in itself. And its temple is the comments section beneath news that details the misfortune of American citizens or America itself, as if it is something to celebrate.

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  • Ali
    Aug 15, 2011 - 9:10PM

    Michael, you have said it right. 13th August was a very sad and tragic day in the history of Pakistan. Warren Weinstein is a source of inspiration for all Pakistanis. When things were going from bad to worse, he had been the last man standing, doing his job trying to make Pakistan a better place to live. When many Pakistani thought they were not safe in their homeland, he was the one who made Pakistan his home. He has done instrumental work developing dairy, furniture, gems and jewelry, IT&Telecom and many other industries and has helped in creation of so many jobs for the poverty-stricken people of this country where the unemployment is high and the security situation is very bad.

    Such people deserve honour and respect for their great contribution. They risk their lives for people of Pakistan. This is very tragic and shocking incident and brings bad name to Pakistan. I hope and pray he returns to his family safe and sound.

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  • Ex Pakistani
    Aug 15, 2011 - 9:22PM

    Pakistan is a doomed country.. right now they want someone they can blame when the whole show comes to an end. You cant talk sense it is like try to talk logic in a mental hospital. Just sit back and watch why we rip ourselves limb by limb

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  • Khan
    Aug 15, 2011 - 9:24PM

    Michael, Do you think USA has done more for us than what we did for Afghanistan? Despite being a third world country and living on IMF loans we have been giving shelter, food, educational facilities to millions of Afghan refugees who have been living freely all over the country for over 32 years & counting … but If you ask any afghan what they think about Pakistan, majority of them spew hatred against us and will even favor USSR over us.
    The bottom line to all such discussion is that, whenever one country meddles in the affairs of another sovereign country the native people are naturally going to hate everything about that country.
    Though, there are some right wing politicians who speak against US all the time but that doesn’t mean majority of Pakistanis hate US despite the fact that the mess we are in today US has played a big role in that along with our establishment.

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  • Hamza
    Aug 15, 2011 - 9:30PM

    we have no reason what so ever to believe you after the 2nd of May! CIA carried out a vaccination campaign so that it could collect DNA samples of the people living in that large compund?! how shallow can you get!

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  • Bilal
    Aug 15, 2011 - 9:32PM

    I understand and agree with you. Rest a sure not all pakistanis living in country or abroad hold the same views.

    I admire US constructive role in Pakistan and do have reservations about spy activities. Who knows who is doing what? Unfortunately there is alot of miss trust. Both sides. We the pakistanis living in US have to give explanation every day for what’s happening in our country few acknowledge pakistans effort in war on terror others / majority are suspicious. media on both sides is spreading hate.

    I hope the world is a peaceful place. With Pakistan and US leading from front.

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  • faraz
    Aug 15, 2011 - 10:38PM

    A bankrupt state, both intellectually and financially, can’t go beyond writing comments on newspapers and blogs. What matters is that quarter of our exports goes to US, and IMF/World bank loans can’t be obtained without US approval.

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  • Bangash
    Aug 15, 2011 - 10:39PM

    Pakistanis are an emotional people who are quick to blame, and these days its fashionable in Pakistan to blame America.

    Don’t worry, with US-Pakistan relations tanking, these same Pakistanis will be running after the US in coming few years, just like 1990′s.

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  • Chengez K
    Aug 15, 2011 - 10:54PM

    When CIA uses innocent children vaccination program for its dirty work then they endanger every American in Pakistan especailly the jews……….. even if its an old jew.

    Americans are unbelievably naive……on one hand they launched attack in Pakistan in Abbotabad & yet are surprised when Pakistan handed over stealth helicopter parts to China.

    When you enter water you will get wet!!!!

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  • MS - Mariya
    Aug 15, 2011 - 10:56PM

    Agree, all Americans are not CIA agents just like all Pakistanis are not Taliban. Why don’t you try to change the perception of Americans first? How arrogant of you to think that you SHOULD try to change perception of other countries!! Hasn’t the beating in Vietnam, Afghanistan & Iraq brought you guys down to earth yet?

    No one needs to understand you guys rather you need to understand and respect the world.

    Your agency is putting Americans at risk around the world by refusing to accept laws and sovereignty of other countries. CIA had been asked repeatedly to declare its agents in Pakistan but CIA arrogance is costing innocent Americans their lives. You need to write an article how CIA is putting American lives at risk by breaking laws.

    BTW after Raymond Davis, you want Pakistanis to trust CIA? You repeatedly lied about Raymond davis as being a diplomat. Your President even lied to save this lousy agent. Raymond davis killed two people in broad day light which showed how arrogant he was.

    If this Weinstein guy is CIA agent, the government needs to act according to the law and not play kidnap drama.

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  • McGillian
    Aug 15, 2011 - 11:06PM

    Dude, I respect your sentiments. You are justified in voicing your anger over the stereotypes being made in Pakistan; however, equally justified are we Pakistanis who live abroad and have to face discrimination at the hands of a good majority of people for coming from a country that has been deemed as being the source of terrorism-whereas on the contrary we are the victims of terrorism.
    All I can say is that let us hope that a time will come whereby people will refrain passing judgements about a person based solely on his ethnicity, nationality etc. Until then all of us will have to live with the discrimination being afforded to us due to the acts of our respective governments.

    To a better future :)

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  • Ex Pakistani
    Aug 15, 2011 - 11:18PM

    @Bangash:
    We all know they are all CIA. Normally we get a published list delivered to our doorstep… Where are you? Dont you get one?

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  • XX
    Aug 15, 2011 - 11:38PM

    Never mind his advanced age (how many
    near-septuagenarian spooks are
    prowling around Pakistan?) …

    Warren Weinstein was 63 years old: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/8699426/American-aid-worker-Warren-Weinstein-kidnapped-in-Pakistan.html

    Seven years from being a septuagenarian.

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  • Aug 16, 2011 - 12:01AM

    Its a two sided prejudice. I hope we as humans learn to appreciate each others good efforts instead of demonstrating such narrow minded attitude.

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  • kizzaro
    Aug 16, 2011 - 12:01AM

    Hmmmmmmmmmm. Sounds like something a CIA agent would say.

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  • Ex Pakistani
    Aug 16, 2011 - 12:06AM

    P.S: I am currently locked in Central Institute of Psychiatry for the sake of humankind. I urge all my Indians fellows in other mental cells to like my post so we can convince the doctor that we are not gone cases. Yaar try karna mein kiya hai?

    Long live Pakistan! OHHH NOOOO I mean long live mental cases(scums) like me.

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  • Ex Pakistani
    Aug 16, 2011 - 12:16AM

    Hello Hello, Any écumes like me out there?

    My God! Such an overwhelming response from Indians. Will take me years to go through the emails.

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  • Sajida
    Aug 16, 2011 - 12:19AM

    It it true that not all Americans are linked to CIA.American citizens have a generous personality as their contributions to charities and philanthropy indicates.But, Pakistanis are generally not aware of that.
    Unfortunately the mixing of NGO/military/spy work seems to be having its repercussions.
    Pakistanis might be more sensitive due to what h happened on their terrain of late.
    This problem has already been hghlighted by NGOs in Afghanistan who say they are being attacked because of this.
    The CIA has created many a bungle and this might be one of the repercussions of its more recent bungles.

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  • Nadia
    Aug 16, 2011 - 12:22AM

    It’s a shame when people become so revengeful that they can no longer distinguish the innocent from the actual spies. The comments here are disgusting. My apologies on behalf of my conspiracy theory obsessed fellow Pakistanis. They are angry for some reason and don’t know where to channel their anger that’s all and the media plays with their minds.

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  • sajjad
    Aug 16, 2011 - 12:23AM

    love USA

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  • Aug 16, 2011 - 12:24AM

    You made every Muslim look like a terrorist, what did you expected to get in return?

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  • Ex Pakistani
    Aug 16, 2011 - 12:38AM

    I didn’t get my daily medicine and list of écumes from Indian National Data IND. I understand that the IND is working over time but lets call protest.

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  • Mirza
    Aug 16, 2011 - 1:01AM

    Good article Mike, thanks. It may be hard for some to understand that there are really good people in the world doing good deeds without any greed and nothing in return. In Pakistan A. S. Edhi is a shining example of that. However, the richest man in America Warren Buffett has pledged 99% of his entire wealth to charity and not to his family, who is doing well on their own. I challenge the world to provide a single example in the entire history that the richest man gave away 99% of his wealth? Bill Gates is another example of similar philanthropy.
    Even an ordinary working couple after winning the lottery gave away almost all of it to charity. One has to actually live in the West to see why are these countries so rich and advanced? Yes there are people who do good work for humanity while being selfless and nameless. I can give many examples but the people should get the point.
    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/upshot/nicest-canadian-couple-world-dole-lottery-winnings.html
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-10870361
    http://money.cnn.com/2010/06/15/news/newsmakers/WarrenBuffettPledge_Letter.fortune/index.htm

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  • Malik Sajjad
    Aug 16, 2011 - 1:13AM

    “We are not all CIA agents”

    Yes we know very well …
    Every American in Pakistan is a CIA Agent …

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  • Vigilant
    Aug 16, 2011 - 1:40AM

    it’s all about trust and which is lost by American due to their carrot and stick policy.

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  • skeptic
    Aug 16, 2011 - 1:55AM

    Last CIA operation endangered work of Red Cross- do you remember the vaccine campaign in Abbotabad? CIA agents can be anyone – even doctors “helping” us. Its USA that is painting all its citizens as cia agents to us with their modus operandi.

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  • ZAB
    Aug 16, 2011 - 2:39AM

    let’s see, if a guy is American, by definition he is a CIA agent. Kill him. When ever a terrorist is caught any where, invariably there is a connection with Pakistan. Should we then agree that all Pakistanis are terrorists? How would Pakistanis like to deal with terrorists? Make them heroes, garland them, and applaud their killing of innocent people? Truly logical. No wonder Pakistanis are shunned even in moslem countries.

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  • 1stResponder
    Aug 16, 2011 - 3:11AM

    i was 1 of the guilty people who immediately jumped to the conclusion that he was CIA. i was just beginning to have some doubts about it when i read this excellent article. now i feel deservedly guilty. there are good americans who want to help in developing parts of the world and create friendly, productive relationships. and there are the miserable, ignorant, intolerant creeps who just want to kill.
    i think that weinstein is dead now since there doesnt seem to be any word from the kidnappers. i think he must have died a horrible death. i dont know what he was, but i am beginning to suspect that he was an aid worker, and a jew who wanted to help muslims. i think if he had been cia, the media would have suppressed his obviously jewish name. [at first, he was named as J E Warner.] this is very sad.

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  • Cautious
    Aug 16, 2011 - 4:10AM

    CIA agents discovered OBL – that’s good in my book.

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  • menteliscio
    Aug 16, 2011 - 4:18AM

    but we cant take chances ;)

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  • Amjad
    Aug 16, 2011 - 4:27AM

    @Ex Pakistani: The fact that you comment here on a Pakistani site and spend so much time posting here under the assumed name of ex Pakistani suggests that you are somewhat less innocent than your name implies. Whether you are really an Indian or not does not interest me but your repeated comments on ET shows that Pakistan seems to occupy your mind and you are very obsessed with the fact that so many patriototic Pakistanis will continue to work for Pakistan’s progress. Those of us who have been abroad will realise the same level of development in Pakistan. We welcome US workers who come with a genuine agenda of co operation and helping the nation’s uplifting. You forget that many innocent Pakistani citizens have also been the victims of criminals. Perhaps this is just only another case of criminality that should be solved.

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  • Hasan
    Aug 16, 2011 - 4:50AM

    @AAK:

    Whether you like it or not, the US has the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world. It is also worth remembering that it has the strongest military machine.

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  • 1stResponder
    Aug 16, 2011 - 5:01AM

    @AAK: since i have time on my hands, i’m going to answer questions posed about americans. i have no authority to speak for ALL americans, but since i have this nice little box 2 write in for a platform, and my opinions seem vehemently rejected by most of the world, i’ll just impose them here, whether u like them or not. ha!
    so u asked whether americans are capable of reevaluating our role in the world. this is probably emotionally very difficult for most americans. 1st of all, our leaders must all tell us how great we americans are and how our nation stands for all that is good and just in the world. every one of us, as much as some of us furiously criticize the usa, believes in our greatness in at least a small part of our soul. we all need to feel good about ourselves. it’s difficult to accept that we have fallen into disgrace and that the whole world is not looking at us with admiration. foreign criticism is often attributed to envy of our greatness. from the time we r kids, we hear the american myths. someone cd be living in a box under a bridge, and they probably still have a piece of the american dream as part of their reality. so, with this as our reality, its hard to confront strong evidence that we may be not be so glorious, that we have done some pretty bad sh!t and we have done it badly. what do ppl do when they stand guilty as charged of something horrendous? they defend themselves, they excuse, they point fingers in the other direction. its hard to fall from what we saw as our permanent state of grace. the mind can find a way of working around doing anything. no matter how inexcusable, we can always find an excuse.
    at least some part of our mind knows that america is not all its myths say it is, but another part is in total denial.

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  • K
    Aug 16, 2011 - 5:05AM

    There are really no arguments here – true, not all Americans hate Pakistanis and not all of them are here on a secret mission of destruction and espionage. Still, on balance, the article could have certainly used some parallels from the US media’s and citizens’ unjustified labeling of every Pakistani as a Taliban agent. Most Pakistanis, even those who agree with your opinion, would also argue that the problem is far more pervasive in the States then it is here in Pakistan.

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  • 1stResponder
    Aug 16, 2011 - 5:21AM

    @Frank: agree with your opinion that we are both indignant with each other. that’s indisputable.
    but i disagree with your solution to just walk away from each other-because it is IMPOSSIBLE. the world is too interdependent to even think that we dont depend on each other. [actually, i think we [west] need them [ME] more than they need us. no need to blab it around, but they have like 75% of the world’s energy and we use more f it than anyone.] and, u know how they say location is everything-they r sitting next to russia and china and india. those places are potential powerhouses. it would be very rough on the usa to lose its presence and influence in the ME as an impediment to eastern power. maybe at one time, we had the resources to support ourselves and go isolationist, but we dont any more. we dont have to love our neighbor, but we have to learn to live with them. unless u want to go live on another planet, u cant walk away.

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  • 1stResponder
    Aug 16, 2011 - 5:54AM

    @reason has voice: i doubt whether 1% of americans know about the vaccination thing. i’ll have to check if it featured in our media much, but i’m betting it barely made back page for a day. then a new crisis occurs and its forgotten by the few who even read the little article. here’s how i reacted. at 1st i was shocked and indignant. but now i figure that the USgov thot it was justified cuz they wanted to get obl [i'm not sure why] and they figured it didnt do any harm to take a few drops of blood. [it didnt hurt anyone, did it?] maybe they even feel righteous about it. maybe they gave the doctor some free vaccine or promoted the vaccination program. if something like that happened in the usa-even if our own gov were secretly taking dna from our own kids, we wd be incensed. but, in the name of FIGHTING TERRORISM, esp if it caused no harm, and even if it is wrong in principle, we will sheepishly forgive ourselves the ‘harmless little deception’ and forget it immediately. [dont forget that obl was considered satan here, and the cause of defeating satan allows for bending the rules a bit]
    i agree it should not have been done. it sounds like just another stupid cia idea that does more harm to the usa than an enemy could do. that seems to be their purpose. the cia is like a soldier who keeps stupidly shooting himself in the foot.

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  • naeem Khan
    Aug 16, 2011 - 6:21AM

    You are unfair to Shireen Mazari, if and when I bumped into some one in a restaurant,I will apologize but according to Ms.Mazari the said person did not extend his courtesy to her.She is also incensed because on behest of American Government she was removed from the Pakistan Foreign Office by American lackeys in Islamabad.I agree with you that kidnapping Weinstein has given a bad name to Pakistan,they are already down in the dumps.Lets face it Pakistanis have phobia about CIA and perhaps rightly so, drone attacks are attributed to CIA and it is difficult for Pakistani citizens to view Americans in good standing.Well, just look at Americans in the US, anything connected to Islam is immediately labeled terrorists, some are burning the Quran and others are opposing the mult-religious building near ground zero.And above all, the controversy and opposition to a Moslem winning the design for a memorial at the same site.And I thought Americans are well educated and liberal minded.You should listen to Rush some time and see how much poison he is spewing to the right wingers in the USA.

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  • naeem Khan
    Aug 16, 2011 - 6:48AM

    @Mirza, There is no doubt that Americans as a nation are the most generous people, the majority of the people in the USA are good natured and kind people but it is the US foreign policy which stinks.The US government has for decades supported dictators all over the world because it suited their interests.If I may say that there are also some very generous and kind people in Pakistan too and they will never harm any Americans citizen especially those who are helping to uplift their lives.

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  • 1stResponder
    Aug 16, 2011 - 7:07AM

    u r wrong for 2 reasons-
    1. if u look at the comments section on any ME article in the usa [and UK], u see some really rabid ME bashing. it is far crazier than ANYTHING u see here. did u actually read these comments? your claim is absurd. many of the comments are surprisingly positive about america. the comments that r negative toward the US are not nearly as vulgar and extreme as what u see in the usa [uk] toward the ME
    2. i just went back over the comments. altho a few are pretty negative abt the usa, which isnt entirely undeserved, but there isnt a single one that celebrates weinstein’s situation.

    case closed. u see what u want/expect to see and u r dead wrong. take off your blinders. u may have made a ‘nice try’ yourself, but the comments here show that u failed.

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  • Michael Kugelman
    Aug 16, 2011 - 7:26AM

    Many thanks as always for the comments.
    Two general thoughts. (1) Several posters seem to think I am trying to defend the CIA’s activities in Pakistan. That is not true. The point of this article is to suggest that by branding every American in Pakistan as a CIA agent, we diminish the good deeds of the many who have nothing to do with the CIA. (2) A number of comments bring attention to the damaging American stereotypes about Pakistanis. I fully concur (and check the ET archives if interested — I wrote a piece back in May on Americans’ anti-Pakistan sentiment). I will say, however, that Pakistani-Americans have done a marvelous job of trying to combat these stereotypes — with their advocacy and their philanthropy.
    @XX: I saw an AP report listing Weinstein’s age as 70. As always in these cases, clear information is one of the first casualties…

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  • Aug 16, 2011 - 7:52AM

    I know Mr Warren Weinstein very well, having worked with a related (Pakistani) agency the Competitiveness Support Fund for three years up to 2009.

    To suggest he is a CIA agent is ludicrous. He always had a high profile and was extremely communicative (talking incessantly on 3 phones to all his many contacts) and devoted to his projects for J.E.Austin a Washington-based USAID contractor.

    Warren was instrumental in putting together Dairy Pakistan, a major initiative to assist poor farmers, he was a fanatic about the marble industry; considering he worked 18 hour days on development, I doubt he had much time left over for more nefarious activities.

    Once again a very small minority of Pakistanis have done their countrymen a considerable disservice. But I if know Warren he will soon have the kidnappers eating out of his hand and probably applying for a small business grant. Release him!

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  • narayana murthy
    Aug 16, 2011 - 8:02AM

    @Michael Kugelman.

    You have to give Pakistanis that.

    I agree that after the fake vaccination program, even I, as an Indian won’t believe whatever you or your government claims.

    I have no idea who this Weinstein is or what were his intentions, however, given the fact that American government has time and again failed to take the very people into confidence, from whom they seek help, I will have a shadow of doubt.

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  • BruteForce
    Aug 16, 2011 - 8:21AM

    Come 2014 when US erases its dependency on Pakistan and US visas will no longer be available then some people will realize their mistake.

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  • Haider Hussain
    Aug 16, 2011 - 8:48AM

    Michael, Just like you people see “Taliban” in every Pakistani, every American seems CIA to us, Tit for tat!!!

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  • Frank
    Aug 16, 2011 - 8:49AM

    faraz

    A bankrupt state, both intellectually
    and financially, can’t go beyond
    writing comments on newspapers and
    blogs.

    I think you’re being a bit harsh on America there,

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  • Mee
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:04AM

    We are not all terrorists either but we aren’t distinguished when drone strikes are launched.

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  • pakpinoy
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:21AM

    @Hamza:

    Just as shallow as sheltering the world’s worst terrorist…you welcome terrorists of any stripe, yet you cry over some covert attempt to capture them!!

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  • Mirza
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:30AM

    @naeem Khan: Thanks for keeping it civil, I appreciate that. Of course I am one of the few who is strongly opposed to the US foreign policy for decades. We fight the supporters of dictators and kings here in the US on political fronts.
    As I said, A. S. Edhi is second to none when it comes to serving humanity. He would be worshipped if it were allowed in Islam. Just like Edhi, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates have not limited their work to just one country or one religion. They are working for vaccination in Africa, job creations for minorites in the US and other countries of the world, to name a few.
    US foreign policy would change slowly in Obama’s second term, when he would have no political interest left. He would have to make drastic cuts in defense without fear for re-election loss. Let us hope for the best. I can assure you that if there were peace and security some of these philanthropists would have invested heavily in Pakistan as well.
    Regards,
    Mirza

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  • Born Again Pakistani
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:52AM

    @Geoffrey Quartermaine Bastin:
    I think we should stop drinking milk and kill the cattle. How can we trust all is well now that a suspected CIA Agent has been at the forefront of improving lives of the poor farmer. We should be ready to eat grass but not drink milk.
    I am sure my countrymen are with me on it.

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  • pakpinoy
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:54AM

    @Mirza:

    Your point is good and valid. Pakistan and Pakistanis in general have little to no clue about charity and goodwill done with no mixed motives. The society at large rewards and reinforces outward forms of piety, not a morality and values system that motivates individuals to good deeds for personal conscience reasons and inner satisfaction — i.e. to feel good inwardly about how they contribute to society’s welfare instead of to be recognized outwardly. I’ve tried many times to explain how common it is for many Westerners to choose a life that brings inner peace and satisfaction over some other outward form of success to little understanding in Pakistan. Most people simply have no grid to comprehend something being done without some self-seeking motivation.

    Anyone who has lived or worked there long quickly learns that very commonly, if not most of the time, people to people interactions have a “transactional” purpose and intent. This creates a highly cynical and suspicious society that never believes “what you see is what you get.”

    It took me a number of years, but I eventually learned this while there. I went from being a very trusting person of other people’s motives and intent to one of being cynical and suspicious of what this person wants from me as we engage in our person to person “interaction”. It saddened me because I’m from a culture and society that is full of people with genuine good intent; who are willing to serve and contribute out of inner conviction and nothing more. Civil society and charitable giving to others is a core value of American society, though it has certainly eroded over the years.

    The comments seen here are a reflection of this in Pakistani society. Everyone always has to have an “ulterior” motive that involves intrigue, selfish gain, influence, money or power. When the people of any society cannot easily see the “good” in other people they encounter and, in fact, often delight in other people’s failure, then there is something very broken about that society and the moral fabric within it.

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  • Born Again Pakistani
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:55AM

    I think US has the highest number of CIA Agents in the world per capita. Even KGB wasnt so active in recruiting its people to spy. Better watch out…. dont watch any US movies or tv programs! stop listening to indian music and ban all channels. All we need is PTV 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 to know what is the truth,

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  • R.J.N
    Aug 16, 2011 - 10:02AM

    maybe now the Americans understand that “We Are Not All Terrorists” just like you are all not CIA

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  • Aug 16, 2011 - 10:03AM

    @Born again Pakistani: that is a despicable comment! Mr Weinstein devoted 7 years of his life to the poorest of the poor in Pakistan, working with SMEDA and CSF (where I was Senior Advisor for 3 years – by the way chaired by the Hina Rabbani, now your Foreign Minister). I know exactly what Warren did for Pakistan. Warren is a small man with a big heart. He’s the LEAST likely CIA agent in the world. Wake up to the frightful mess your country is in because of stupid opinions such as yours.

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  • Born Again Pakistani
    Aug 16, 2011 - 10:04AM

    @Haider Hussain:
    Great comment bro! Absolutely… we will do exactly what you do to us…. Even if it means we are destroyed doesnt matter we will answer US in the same coin. We are no less stronger than US technologically and economically. We probably have an edge over the world’s biggest economy.

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  • Aug 16, 2011 - 10:10AM

    @Mirza. Personally (and I’m English, not America) I’m also firmly opposed to US foreign policy, in particular their management and use of foreign aid. They have paid BILLIONS to your military for almost no result and turned a blind eye to to AQK and the nuclear programme until it became an obvious threat via third countries. Their aid programmes, some of which I helped design, are fraught with problems and largely ineffective. Indeed they should keep out of your country and others.

    That said, it hardly justifies kidnapping a defenceless elderly man who has spent 7 years of devoted service to small business and poor farmers.

    I’d love to hear one opinion from a Pakistani that sympathised instead of making ludicrous comments about the CIA.

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  • Bilal
    Aug 16, 2011 - 10:37AM

    Michael Kugelman is right, Not All American are agents, and I appreciate the fact that he used Pakistani news paper to register his voice by writing an article here which will certainly help in understanding the American public opinion about Pakistan.
    I really appreciate your concern.
    Peace.

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  • Born Again Pakistani
    Aug 16, 2011 - 10:46AM

    @Geoffrey Quartermaine Bastin:
    Mate you were in Pakistan for 3 years and you never really realised we are the world’s most ungrateful nation….

    By the way what is wrong with our economy I think it is doing great… ask our government and they will for sure tell you we are doing good. Atleast we are free to do whatever we want… are you? you are controlled in such petty things like stop at a signal. Do we? No because we know it is a ploy of the west to stop the muslims from progressing so we always jump signals.

    you wont be able to match our economic might.

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  • Mirza
    Aug 16, 2011 - 10:50AM

    @Geoffrey Quartermaine Bastin:
    I agree with you. I have been trying to tell my fellow Pakistanis that there are some good people who have been serving humanity without any reward. Being of certain religion or nationality does not mean a thing, it is the good of the person for the society that counts. That is why I gave the names of people who have been donating all their money without any reward or fanfare. It is sad that for most Pakistanis there are not too many examples like that and most of them cannot believe it.
    You and I criticize the US foreign policy for the right reasons, not just hate all Americans. However, most Islamic world criticize it for wrong reasons. To me we are too much in bed with Saudi and other kings and dictators.
    Thanks and regards,
    Mirza

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  • RP
    Aug 16, 2011 - 11:06AM

    If you read the travel advisory for Pakistan to US citizens you will understand that no ordinary American will chose to visit this country even for a few days let alone stay here for an extended period. It is therefore usually pretty safe to assume, that more than 99.9% of Americans in Pakistan who choose to stay here despite these warnings are in some way associated with the American government. So please excuse us for being presumptuous.

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  • Amazed
    Aug 16, 2011 - 11:31AM

    If Pakistanis had some decency and humanity left in it, this concluding line “Americans are equally justified for being indignant about the lack of recognition accorded to the selfless work of their countrymen in Pakistan — work that has little to do with cloaks and daggers and much more to do with benevolence and social upliftment.” would certainly leave it ashamed.

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  • pakpinoy
    Aug 16, 2011 - 11:54AM

    @Geoffrey Quartermaine Bastin:

    Thanks for adding a personal touch to the rightly said “ludicrous” suggestions and accusations being made here by what I term “offended children”.

    It’s really a waste of time arguing with such people who are so full of ghairat that they spend all their energies defending their great sense of inferiority — they’ll never admit it, but that’s really what it is.

    I spent many years in Pakistan doing SME business development similar to Mr. Weinstein. I built a successful business, but my motivation for doing so in Pakistan was driven by a big heart, not so unlike your friend. I learned culture, language, local customs and often passed as a local even. Now, like most others, I’m suspected of being CIA and get hounded and followed by agents each time I am in country. I used to employ 50+ locals full time and dozens others contract-based. Now I have a skeleton staff supporting legacy projects with no plans to expand or build any longer in a country I’m not welcome in. Instead, my focus has shifted to other nations who don’t see a spy inside every white man’s skin — such as India, the Philippines and Vietnam.

    But, apparently, according to @Born Again Pakistani, Pakistanis are perfectly content to eat grass and descend into the dark ages isolated from the civilized world. For him and others like him, “ghairat” over the right to develop, nurture and sustain global terrorists is more important than being a welcomed member of the global community.

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  • pakpinoy
    Aug 16, 2011 - 12:08PM

    @RP:

    Read my comment above…are you one of those I’m referring to??

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  • 1stResponder
    Aug 16, 2011 - 12:26PM

    @Nadia: i cant believe youre apologizing for the comments from pakistanis! overall, the comments are far nicer and much more polite than we [usa] deserve. it must be another media myth that pakistanis are angry and emotional. no one here is writing obscene messages calling for blood. but u see that stuff written by americans all the time. i think its another myth that americans are generous, tolerant, friendly. i think we used to be pretty good natured people, but these wars have turned some of us into rabid animals. [i dont meet people like that-i just see it all over the internet] i have never seen such open, unapologetic prejudice in my life. i think the usa went thru a brief period of tolerance in the ‘hippy/politically correct days’, but those days r GONE. america is rife with hatred against a lot of ppl. there’s jew bashing, muz bashing, xtian bashing, black bashing, mexican bashing, gay bashing, left bashing, right bashing,….we all are bashing each other and everyone else around, and then we call each other racist. i tell u, we have become a country of crazy, angry people who still manage to believe that, in spite of some ‘minor’ problems, we r the best people in the best country on earth.
    i’m embarrassed for the way some americans act-and the worst ones are the loudest. i dont think pakistanis have any reason to apologize. your politeness makes us look like uncouth apes beating our chests and roaring like king kong.
    i think america is like an abuser who convinces the victim that he deserves the abuse. we make the victim feel guilty.

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  • s.g. jilanee
    Aug 16, 2011 - 12:45PM

    I am sorry, but this stereotyping should amaze no one. Suspecting every American to be a CIA agent is like Americans treating every Muslim as a terrorist. Moreover, CIA agents are now among Pakistanis, -they are everywhere in every sector of the society. TV anchors attend dinner and dance parties given by CIA, a doctor was enlisted by CIA to run a fake vaccination programme in Abbottabad, and there are reports in the Sunday Times and Mail, suggesting there was a CIA mole even inside the ISI, who helped locate OBL and even provided a detailed map of the premises and the number of people living there.

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  • Paki
    Aug 16, 2011 - 1:05PM

    Thanks US, we do not need your aid on the cost of our dignity and sovereignty.
    Please stop intervening in the matters of our country.
    Please stop killing our women, children and elderly in drone attacks.

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  • 1stResponder
    Aug 16, 2011 - 1:13PM

    @Michael Kugelman:
    i have a question about weinstein’s name. when this story 1st came out, it said his name was J E Warner. and the name was put in quotes-virtually announcing there was something not halal with it. where did the ‘j e warner’ come from? why the quote marks?

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  • Frank
    Aug 16, 2011 - 1:44PM

    s. g. jilanee

    Moreover, CIA agents are now among
    Pakistanis, -they are everywhere in
    every sector of the society. TV
    anchors attend dinner and dance
    parties given by CIA, a

    It’s not just the CIA alone. The American embassy in Islamabad helps the CIA recruit Pakistanis as spies. This is not hearsay. I personally know people who have attended dinners at the US embassy, to size them up, and within a year were invited to spy on their own country. Businessmen, journalists, TV anchors, analysts, even ex ISI agents have been recruited. As I said earlier, the author of this piece is insulting the intelligence of Pakistanis.

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  • AN
    Aug 16, 2011 - 2:02PM

    Micheal! As a Pakistani, I agree that not all Americans who came here are for bad intentions. I am sure majority are nice people but unfortunately due to some incidents of CIA agents, people have doubts about every other westerner. I agree this is racism, a sort of but you should understand why that happened. We Pakistanis also neglect the fact that we are regarded as Taliban by common Americans. What happened to Weinstein was really sad and i wish we could find him soon. You know this was not always like that. America was never considered an enemy but after this WOT, things got complicated. When this WOT will end you will notice that the hostility will reduce.

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  • A Proud Pakistani
    Aug 16, 2011 - 2:17PM

    Agree, all Americans are not CIA agents just like all Pakistanis are not Taliban. Why don’t you try to change the perception of Americans first? How arrogant of you to think that you SHOULD try to change perception of other countries!! Hasn’t the beating in Vietnam, Afghanistan & Iraq brought you guys down to earth yet?

    No one needs to understand you guys rather you need to understand and respect the world.

    Your agency is putting Americans at risk around the world by refusing to accept laws and sovereignty of other countries. CIA had been asked repeatedly to declare its agents in Pakistan but CIA arrogance is costing innocent Americans their lives. You need to write an article how CIA is putting American lives at risk by breaking laws.

    BTW after Raymond Davis, you want Pakistanis to trust CIA? You repeatedly lied about Raymond davis as being a diplomat. Your President even lied to save this lousy agent. Raymond davis killed two people in broad day light which showed how arrogant he was.

    If this Weinstein guy is CIA agent, the government needs to act according to the law and not play kidnap drama.

    Very well said.

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  • hassan
    Aug 16, 2011 - 2:23PM

    It’s a well-known fact that Pakistanis hate the Americans with all their hearts. Entire civil society hates US. You can see shrill cries of anti-Americanism everywhere, in our universities, in our officers, in our security establishments, and in our media.

    But, still, you Americans are here. The fact that the people here don’t appreciate your presence has not deterred you to come here.

    It still beats me: why you Americans are in Pakistan? Is your desire to earn a living in Pakistan is more than your self-respect? Is your desire to work in Pakistan is more than the value of your own life?

    We, Pakistanis, have hated US when you used to give us aid. Now you’ve stopped it, we are going to dislike you ever more. This is only the beginning.

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  • A Proud Pakistani
    Aug 16, 2011 - 2:28PM

    narayana murthy!!

    Very well said!

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  • 1stResponder
    Aug 16, 2011 - 2:37PM

    @Mee: we may be killing a lot of civilians with drones, but that fact doesnt come thru in our media. there will be a 10 sentence story-’drone kills 18 taliban fighters’- 5 of the sentences will be standard lines that go in every drone story, and the other 5 will be really boring. a claim of civilian deaths, that might get an additional sentence, but the sentence looks shifty look and u know its lying. there are no pictures, there is no impact, its surrounded by other news that is newer and newsier. americans got upset over the war in vietnam cuz we saw pictures of people screaming. but no pictures for these wars. just a few sentences in a sea of other stuff.

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  • A Proud Pakistani
    Aug 16, 2011 - 3:42PM

    An eye opening article. Dont miss it! I hope it gets published.

    http://www.pakalertpress.com/2011/05/09/video-a-final-word-on-the-bin-laden-hoax/

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  • billo
    Aug 16, 2011 - 3:58PM

    not all are agents..some are contractors

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  • mind control
    Aug 16, 2011 - 4:22PM

    @Michael Kugleman

    I think you are on a sticky wicket here. In the Paklistani narrative all US citizens are CIA agents and if they happen to be Christians then they are doubly damned as part of the Troika of Evil Yahood/Hanood/ Nasra and Mossad/RAW/CIA.
    But you need to realise that this finality and this lack of nuance is not applicable to the outsiders alone. The same ‘principles’ are equally applicable to the insiders, for example all muslims are peaceful and therefore all suicide bombers must be non-muslims. Only muslims are good and as such Dr Mohammad Abdus Salam is no good, but Dr Q is goodness personified.And so on, I am sure you get my drift.

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  • Omair Shakil
    Aug 16, 2011 - 5:15PM

    How can the USA expect its nefarious actions to not have some reactions, especially when it itself reacted to 9/11 by spreading an unjustified and uncorroborated wave of death and destruction over much of the world that continues to this day? Your CIA agents have been implicated in atrocious anti-state activities ranging from conniving with the TTP (Hon. Raymond Davis) to enacting a fake vaccine drive to fish for Ladens’ DNA samples. Pray tell, then how and why should we not take all that the USA claims to do for us with a pinch of salt? And I’m doing you a favour here, by not bringing up the innocent Pakistanis that you kill with your drones everyday! Expect for yourself what you do unto others.

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  • Nadir
    Aug 16, 2011 - 5:16PM

    I’m ashamed at my fellow countrymen’s behavior and am proud to say I don’t share their sentiments. This is all utterly disgraceful and unbelievably cruel and insulting. I hope this episode doesn’t turn out to be another ‘Daniel Pearl.’ Thank you for this reality check.
    (I’ve shared this on facebook, highlighting all the key points.)

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  • Anjum
    Aug 16, 2011 - 6:26PM

    @Meekal Ahmed:
    Don’t be so naive. Of course we all had hoped this was the case, many of like America. But facts remain and you better accept the hard facts about the big powers’ dirty secret games on behalf of their companies’. until proven otherwise most Americans in Pak and the region are connected to bad behaviour and intent. So goes with other forreigners. One day this may change, inshallah.

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  • Michael Kugelman
    Aug 16, 2011 - 6:44PM

    @1stResponder
    Your question points to what I had said earlier–in these cases, clear information is nowhere to be found. The “JE Warner” moniker was simply a botched attempt to identify Weinstein based on the limited information the media could find at the time. “JE” constitutes part of his employer’s name, while “Warner” sounds like, but is not, his first name.
    Also–someone here said that the CIA vaccination campaign in Abbottabad got no media attention in the USA. I disagree completely. It was a big story, and a lot of people were very upset about it. The Washington Post, in fact, ran an op-ed about it that lamented the ugly impact the campaign could have on well-intentioned vaccination campaigns around the world.
    I would also echo those who highlight the civil tone in these comments — which I think is very encouraging indeed.

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  • MariamH
    Aug 16, 2011 - 6:48PM

    Sadly, we all suffer from the same problem: it’s easier to stereotype people because then they become so much easier to understand. The way many Pakistanis accept the fallacy of “all Americans in Pakistan must be CIA”, the west also falls for the “All Muslims are terrorists”. It’s harder to think of why Weinstein was here, what made him abandon easy living in DC and come here, live alone, and that too in a place where he knew how dangerous it was….I guess the thing we find hard to comprehend is, Pakistanis themselves don’t feel safe in this country, how does an unguarded American assume that he’s safe? (Unless of course he moonlights as a ninja assassin for the CIA). Hollywood’s sadly a bit to blame too….We tend to expect a white man to have a glamorous history of having served at the Pentagon or Fort Bragg.

    It is humbling though to see some of the comments even here which support this ideology. I think Pakistan has become a country where voicing the more popular assumption becomes more important rather than thinking for oneself. You voice ideas, just because you feel like it, not because you’ve really thought about them. It’s called the Sheep Mentality. Jesus did not come around Pakistan, but had he, he would have found so many of us to lead.

    I hope the guy makes it back safely. He’s in a lot of prayers.

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  • Billoo Bhaya
    Aug 16, 2011 - 7:18PM

    I would like to see this published in the NYT and FT.

    SEE HOW FAR THEY WILL BE RECEPTIVE????

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  • Khan
    Aug 16, 2011 - 7:28PM

    @Geoffrey Quartermaine Bastin:
    Almost every one here if not all, do sympathize with Mr Weinstein and consider his kidnapping a heinous crime. Not a single one has appreciated his kidnapping but we are just saying not every one considers charity workers or every American as CIA’s agent. Btw “Born Again Pakistani” was being sarcastic in his first comments. I hope & pray Mr Weinstein is safely released withing days.

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  • Anjum
    Aug 16, 2011 - 8:22PM

    @kizzaro:
    Agree

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  • Anjum
    Aug 16, 2011 - 8:33PM

    @1stResponder:
    Well said. The fact remain, all the forreign agencies are involved, directly or indirectly through covert operations in bombing and terror and other stuff to instigate division among the Pak. CIA has a long record in doing so. But doing it to Pak, its ally? That is treason. We have never had this level of terror bombings since US and other agencies got access. Our own establishment has really not been clever here.

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  • Anjum
    Aug 16, 2011 - 8:40PM

    @Michael Kugelman:
    People are dying in Pak, and your countrys agency and its allies are involved. You know it, and we all know it. For what? For your companies wellbeings. But you will not succeed! It was a wrong move to target islam and muslims as the next enemy after communism.

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  • Adnan
    Aug 16, 2011 - 8:44PM

    Thanks Micheal for bringing all these crazies out of the woodwork. I am going to buy a Glock; maybe Raymond Davis will teach me how to use it.

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  • Anjum
    Aug 16, 2011 - 8:47PM

    @naeem Khan:
    Not even the american government. Their agency with the independant and covert operations for their “strategic interest”, i.e secure their companies pole position everywhere they can. Many ordinary and civilian “patriotic” americans are on their payroles. Its a fact. Cannot blame them, that is their interest, no matter the cost in other countries.

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  • Anjum
    Aug 16, 2011 - 8:58PM

    @1stResponder:
    Well said. True.

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  • Anjum
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:03PM

    @faraz:
    Good. Ordinary Pakistanis don’t want money. Do you comprehend this? But IMF and US wants to give them to corrupt leaders. To enslave the whole nation. Textbook how to control a forreign country. Everyone knows know only US and European oedinary people don’t want to know. Let the corrupt personally also pay back any loan.Recommend

  • Anjum
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:07PM

    @Born Again Pakistani:
    Yes, 100%

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  • Anjum
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:17PM

    @Geoffrey Quartermaine Bastin:
    Sir, are you from MI6? no one is defending the kidnapping, are you not reading the comments? The billions has been paper money which has been used to buy YOUR weapons, keeping your companies in business. Some of the money has been sent the curropt buyers own pocket in acconts in your own country. So pls, save it, will you? Instead say thanks.

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  • Anjum
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:21PM

    @RP:
    Yes, common sense. Facts.

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  • Born Again Pakistani
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:23PM

    Dear Mr. Kugelman, all the contributors including me on this forum are from middle class Pakistan. We are the CHILDREN OF ZIA UL HAQ. Indoctrinated with the muddled ideology…. What US really needs is to cut aid to Pakistan so that these bunch of loons actually realize no one in the world lives in isolation. We are interconnected. You go to a village and ask a villager I can bet a million you will not get these statements. Reckon in North Wazirstan also you wont get such opposition to drone as you find here… So if Obama really cares then the first thing he will do is to bleed this corrupt system and make sure this generation of middle class which is high on aid money gets a reality check. They are like Lindsey Lohan whom no one can fix….

    CIA or no CIA… Ask Obama to cut aid of all sort…. let them live in their delusional lives and the world will watch them as they go down just to call for help. Dont help if they dont want it. DONT…

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  • Mir Agha
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:53PM

    Yeah well neither Kashmiri Human Rights activists are ISI agents. Yet no one in the US batted an eye at the concocted and conspiratorial charges. And who the hell are you to decide who is and who isn’t narrow-minded? Last time I checked the mainstream media in the US was the force behind the invasion of Iraq and countless other misinformation. Pretending to be holier-than-thou isn’t going to get you anywhere.

    This doesn’t take away from the fact that Mr. Weinstein might be innocent and he should be freed. There are a lot of Americans who do good work around the world and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts. The fault lies with the CIA in using innocent covers to spy on nations. Just like the fault of the horrid condition of Muslims all over the world lies with Muslim reactionaries. Unfortunately kidnap for hopeful monetary gains are common in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Faisel
    Aug 16, 2011 - 10:22PM

    To all of you Pakistanis who dislike Americans and find them insulting and all the rest…why do you keep taking their money????

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  • Meekal Ahmed
    Aug 16, 2011 - 11:28PM

    @Anjum:
    Madam, I am not naive, but I am probably older and better educated than you and have lived a more fuller life than you have looking back over the past 40 years of my life in different countries. I have passed the stage of being naive, gullible and absurd a long time ago.

    I hate no one and no nation and certainly don’t share the anti-American hysteria displayed by some here. America has many faults but it has some sterling qualities as well which I admire. The one thing they do have is the rule of law.

    If this was America, this poor fellow who dared to come and work in the most dangerous place on earth would have been found by now and the perpetrators of this crime caught and flung into jail and denied bail. They would have been offered public defenders at no cost, would have lost the case and would spend the next 25 years at a maximum-security prison.

    Unless the gentleman turns up dead in which case the charge is first-degree murder — punishable in some states by execution. Recommend

  • XX
    Aug 16, 2011 - 11:42PM

    @XX: I saw an AP report listing
    Weinstein’s age as 70. As always in
    these cases, clear information is one
    of the first casualties…

    @Michael Kugelman:
    Of course it is Mr. Kugelman, I understand, and thanks for responding as always. Three questions however:
    1) Do you care to provide a link to that AP report?
    2) If the AP report listed Mr. Weinstein’s age as 70, then he would be a septuagenarian. So why did you call him a ‘near-septuagenarian’?
    3) Does the Woodrow Wilson Center usually hire associates that have the habit of providing petty misinformation?
    Other than that, numerous other inconsistencies, and overall an utter failure to feign impartiality – wasn’t too bad of an article I suppose. Nice to have some foreigners gracing us in our papers these days.

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  • Sajida
    Aug 17, 2011 - 12:57AM

    Maybe this is a kidnapping for extortion?

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  • pakpinoy
    Aug 17, 2011 - 1:09AM

    @Anjum:

    Yes, you are right, the tribal areas are crawling with Indians, Jews & Americans who are fluent in Pashto, Urdu & Punjabi recruiting young boys, women and others to blow up otherwise innocent Pakistanis all over the nation.

    In fact, these aren’t even really Pakistanis blowing themselves up, because a Muslim would never do such a hideous thing! They are imported orphans and young kids abducted via the international human trafficking market from all over the world. If they can’t find little brown people, then they simply paint their skin and teach them local languages so they can blend in before they detonate themselves.

    Hakeemullah Mehsud is really a Jew by the way, albeit you would never know it by his command of Waziri Pashto! Amazing those Mossad agents!

    Please stop embarrassing yourself with your pathetic and disgraceful views and total lack of intellectual honesty. You mock all those terrorized and maimed throughout Pakistan by the killers crawling all over your cities and villages!

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  • rehmat
    Aug 17, 2011 - 1:31AM

    @K:
    “Still, on balance, the article could have certainly used some parallels from the US media’s and citizens’ unjustified labeling of every Pakistani as a Taliban agent. Most Pakistanis, even those who agree with your opinion, would also argue that the problem is far more pervasive in the States then it is here in Pakistan”.

    The difference is that ordinary Pakistanis in US are not kidnapped and accused of being Taliban. And if an ordinary Pakistani in US is kidnapped, the justification is not provided that ‘ater all he is a Taliban, so what if he was kidnapped’. I am an indian but there I have several Pakistani colleagues. I do not think anyone treats them any different or accuses them of terrorism.

    Let me give yuo an example that is exactly the opposite: soon after 9/11 an American kiled 1 Indian and 1 Pakistani as some sort of blanket revenge. That American was tried and convicted to death. This incidence happened in Texas where majority are conservative Republicans.

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  • Michael Kugelman
    Aug 17, 2011 - 2:09AM

    @XX: Here’s a link, from an AP report that appeared in the Chicago Tribune:
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-as-pakistan-american-abducted,0,6058582.story
    Also consult this article from AFP that appeared in Dawn:
    http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/16/health-concerns-over-american-abducted-in-pakistan.html
    The first reports I heard about him, as I was writing the piece, pegged him in his early 60s. So near-septuagenarian was not too far off the mark.
    Feel free to list the “numerous other inconsistencies” you came across. As for impartiality, your point is well-taken about not acknowledging stereotypes among Americans about Pakistanis. But I was very careful to highlight the fact that CIA agents are a considerable force in Pakistan — even when Washington sometimes initially denies their existence.

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  • MS - Mariya
    Aug 17, 2011 - 2:44AM

    @Meekal: its because of ‘educated’ people like you that this country is in a mess. You are ‘educated’ and lived a fuller life abroad…great so what did you do for your country? You choose not to sacrifices your ‘fuller life’ yet jump to blame the 70% illiterate people for not doing enough. How coward of you to put blame on others.

    The America you are talking about was built by educated men who choose to stay in their country and work. They choose to stay when there was civil war and when mafia was strong. America is a just society with more jobs because its men sacrificed to build it. Indeed America is lucky to have given birth to such men.

    Read you letter to the editor too: trust me this country is ashamed of you more than you are ashamed of your nationality.

    Most of the comments here talk about CIA actions in the past which have caused them to suspect American intensions. Sad that we don’t have more educated men like Akbar Ahmad in America..real men who are proud of their nationality…real men who talk sense and try to bridge the differences unlike you.

    Hope 1 million Akbar Ahmad are born for every Meekal Ahmad. God bless Pakistan

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  • Baggarh-Billa
    Aug 17, 2011 - 5:37AM

    The US government/CIA has sown it; somebody has to reap it on their behalf… There was a case of an SUV intercepted in pehsawar and the american guys inside denied to get down. Here crimes happens in any part of the world; there US starts to speculate and implicate pakistan in investigations and apply even tighter visa/security restrictions on pakistani citizens living in or travelling to US. I have never seen an article from any american like you citing these issues facing Pakistanis abroad. You know why because you consider it a state security measure for the safety of american people which is far more important to you guys than human rights of the non-american. Now please stop blowing the trumpet of your sentimental orguments to befool the people as the reality has been unleashed and everyone knows that US is the biggest hurdle in Pakistan’s stability and peace. You have to let us live on our own.

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  • pakpinoy
    Aug 17, 2011 - 9:05AM

    @rehmat:

    Well done. You summarized the differences in mindset and values. Some posters want to drag others down to their level of misery and disgrace. However, one can’t “pretend” to have values by simple wishful thinking or empty slogans and words.

    All those who are both informed and honest know the difference. As the saying goes…”the proof is in the pudding…”

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  • Meekal Ahmed
    Aug 17, 2011 - 9:49AM

    @MS – Mariya:

    Obviously you know nothing about me.

    I gave the best years of my life to Pakistan and am happy I did. I felt privileged to hold many senior positions in government. I spent three decades in government service. I only came here to the US, also on government service, in 1989. I retired early in 2006.

    I travel to Pakistan frequently, lecture to students, appear on TV and radio talk shows and write for several newspapers and magazines and I hope to finish a book on Pakistan.

    At the same time, I hope to teach at either LUMS, Beaconhouse, the LSE or the new college being set up by Husain Dawood in Karachi. I’m waiting for an offer I cannot refuse.

    I am here at this moment in time for personal family reasons. Obviously I do not have to discuss that on a public form. It is private and personal and no one’s concern except mine.

    Have a nice day.

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  • Born Again Pakistani
    Aug 17, 2011 - 9:51AM

    Pakistan is best described in this song

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VSESualQbg

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  • shady
    Aug 17, 2011 - 10:49AM

    @Nadia
    Lay down, be apologetic, be ashamed of your fellow Pakistanis. Thats the new way of lot of us to show we are “ENLIGHTENED”.. get a grip .
    The guy might be innocent but he is paying for what his govt has done.
    Ever heard of “collateral damage” , (drone strikes and all)??? well thats what it is.
    Wish Mr.Weinstin gets back to his family safe…

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  • Khalid Rahim
    Aug 17, 2011 - 10:52AM

    Michael, When the news first broke out by this paper, I wrote in the comment section that the same group that had kidnapped Pearl for being a Jew, could have seen Weinstien in the
    same boat. But the moderator did not entertain it? Somehow I have a feeling that his last name has caused a rumble in the freckled minds, which caused his abduction and he is now being held on charges of double jeopardy. mossad-cia operative. Frankly the fault lies in both the corridors of Islamabad and WashingtonDC where self-centered officials pass their negative views about the other side, And the media exploits it for their ratings! We hope sanity prevails amongst the kiddnappers and he is released.

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  • Shahrukh Kazmi
    Aug 17, 2011 - 12:22PM

    Sir there is this word in dictionary which is called Retaliation.
    and try writing an writing article next time titled
    All Pakistanis are not terrorists

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  • Ali
    Aug 17, 2011 - 1:16PM

    And we’re not ALL terrorists!

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  • Neha Khan
    Aug 17, 2011 - 1:35PM

    @ Haider Husssain

    Exactly!!! Just like every Pakistani/Muslim is a terrorist to Americans they are all CIA agents to us. Neither of it is true but it is good to know that you feel the pinch when the shoe is on the other foot :)

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  • pak aid worker
    Aug 17, 2011 - 4:45PM

    @XX:
    Correction…Mr. Weinstein turned 70 years of age in July 2011. His DOB on his passport reads as 3 July 1941.

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  • MS - Mariya
    Aug 17, 2011 - 6:00PM

    Yes Mr Ahmad, you are right…its personal because its all about ME ME ME! Me being privileged to hold senior positions, me hoping to lecture in the best institutes…Me on Radio TV..Me Me Me.

    Mr Ahmad I repeat again, what did you do for your country? What did you do for your country while in senior positions? I can share names and stories of many people who managed to change their community/countries without ever holding a position but here is one from US.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/17/us/17land.html

    You can serve your country thousands of miles away by just respecting it. I guess this much your country deserves.

    Regarding teaching in institutes, why are you not considering teaching in schools/institutes like Care, Danish or Aabroo schools? These schools have kids from poor backgrounds who need education plus a mentor like you. A mentor who shares his international experience to inspire our future? I am not native, I know we all need to pay our bills but few hours a week will make a lot of difference.

    I wish you well and hope you inspire us all like Akbar and Hamid.

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  • ahmed
    Aug 17, 2011 - 9:19PM

    what about ramond davis and his other associates who ran over a pedestrian driving down the wrong side of a one way road… were they CIA or not?

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  • 1stResponder
    Aug 17, 2011 - 11:33PM

    @Anjum:
    no argument from me. i have nothing but contempt for the cia. i think the usa has so many spy agencies now, that they probably spend much of their time investigating each other. well, there will always be spying and maybe some is necessary, but it has gotten out of hand. everything has become a national secret. long live wikileaks.

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  • 1stResponder
    Aug 18, 2011 - 1:07AM

    @Michael Kugelman:
    i looked back at the usa news about the vaccine. there were a smattering of articles scattered over a ~2 week period. some opinion pieces expressed shock, but the news articles were generally pretty equivocal and even positive. for americans who read about it [and i doubt it made it into local news which most people read.] the news articles offered a mixed but fairly positive attitude about the vaccine ploy. for americans who read it, it is mostly shrug and forget it because it was presented in a mostly uncritical way. but it had a deservedly large and negative impact on pakistanis and it certainly did nothing to help cooperative efforts in the war on terror or public health programs that save thousands of lives. the vaccine ploy was a failure and had only a negative impact, adding to huge [and i think very deserved] suspicions about the usa, particularly about the cia which always seems to be up to deception and trickery. [why cant they just gather and report intelligence rather than try to underhandedly control the world?]
    if i were pakistani, i would probably be very skeptical about americans working in pak. but surely not everyone is a spy. i think there’s a good likelihood that weinstein was a good guy/not a spy. i say was cuz i think there’s a strong possibility that he’s dead. i dont know what the reaction of people in america will be. a lot of people in the usa hate him cuz he was a jew, others will say it served him right for going to pakistan, and LOTS will use it as yet another excuse to stir up hatred and accusations against all muslims. the world is in a sorry state. i dont like the america that i see today. [little story form the usa: a guy saved a 6 year old girl from being kidnapped by a pedophile. the hero who chased down the criminal is being treated to a lot of hatred because he is mexican!]

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  • Mirza
    Aug 18, 2011 - 7:24AM

    @pakpinoy:
    Pretty sarcastic and funny response to Anjum! Keep it up.
    Thanks and regards,
    Mirza

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  • A Proud Pakistani
    Aug 18, 2011 - 12:31PM

    I want all the Pakistanis to read this superb article and hope this answers Michael Kugelman’s question.

    http://www.thefrontierpost.com/?p=45620

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  • Ibne Khaldun
    Aug 18, 2011 - 10:30PM

    I am a pakistani engineer stuck in america. I can tell you my 25 years experience. There is a systematic discrimination against muslim engineers in academia and industry. Most bosses are jews and they are bigots. They will give bad and unfruitful research projects to muslims in academia, and lesser resources. Or in Industry, testing and non-design jobs as well as prevent continuing education as well as lesser pay to muslims. Muslims are being systematically ground down in the USA. There is definitely a group and informal groups sponsored by FBI or CIA to disrupt the possibilities of muslims starting industries. Only as doctors, accountants, and MBAs, muslims are doing somewhat better. I can guarantee, that CIA,Mossad,Raw are quite active in pakistan with Judo like tactics, it not Karate. If USA was really a friend, it would tell those companies which it led to go to china and set up manufacturing plants to come in Pakistan. I hope my tale gives you a perspective that anti-muslim plays a big role in the dynamics of how our progress is being impeded. The jews are in the forefront of scanning old books without any regard to copyright and setting up repositories, especially russian jews in United Kingdom. We must setup repositories of ebooks, from Pakistan and openly ignore any copyright law.Recommend

  • Michael
    Aug 21, 2011 - 6:18AM

    Good comments so far.

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  • Razi
    Aug 21, 2011 - 9:32PM

    Warren Weinstein “he is very humble, polite, kindheart, loving, caring and peace loving person” Allah Almighty Keeps him in the Glory of Peace and love. i personally met that person and well versed about the behaviour of that person. he dont even like to abuse any Pakistani. so why you people do this.

    please pray for his safe release. AAMIN

    Razi

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  • Sameer Qadir
    Aug 23, 2011 - 3:14AM

    We have to blame the Americans.First they train a corrupt leadership to lead our country into total chaos.Then they support the regime with a massive AID package. Corruption and nepotism of the regime do not faze them. Then their own economy falters for no fault of ours.Now they expect more from our corrupt,incompetent leadership which lacks the resolve to get positive results. The agenda has always been different for this US supported regime. Then it stops AID seeking promises no one can deliver on. So all those good people from America, Europe or otherwise get to become targets( siiting ducks) because the money train no longer exists.Whose fault is it, anyway.
    It would not be a falacy that there would be more Pakistanis on American Pay roll, then Americans in Pakistan. And the number may be ever increasing. So lets not single out a few Americans doing good work against those who are busy cutting the very foundation the country stands on..

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  • A Rehman
    Sep 9, 2011 - 3:21PM

    Unfortunately the US govt’s criminally irresponsible policies and actions (way too long to list here!) has tarnished the image of its citizens as well, regardless of their age, occupation etc.

    We in Pakistan would do well to remember American policies cannot be blamed on American citizens…oh, wait, they’re a democracy so they voted these thugs into power…wait a minute if Pakistani citizens have to suffer (drone attacks from above, bomb attacks from every side in the war on terror) for the ineptitude of its feudal, intellectually and morally bankrupt UNELECTED puppet leaders (given the impossibility of fair elections here until land reform is instituted) then why are Americans so huffy about being painted with the same brush? At least they elected their thuggish leaders!

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  • Sameer Qadir
    Sep 10, 2011 - 4:06PM

    I feel sadness for the abducted American Warren Weinstein from Lahore, Pakistan.He must have done befitting work as many Pakistani’s speak highly of him. However, he is an American, an American! And what is an American?
    An American thinks he is Christopher Columbus. An American thinks he is Julius Ceasar. An American thinks he is Albert Einstein. An American thinks he is the direct disciple of Jesus here to save the world. And what is the world? According to an American, full of ignorant natives. So what does the American do.He befriends the natives to win their hearts, then slowly makes them dependent on him, only to enslave their minds and literally make beggars out of them. And then he lifts up a few and makes them into something like himself. These he calls DRONES. They do his dirty work.So the natives get divided and that strengthens the American dream further.
    And what is the American dream.
    It is to establish the American way of life and remove anything coming in harms way. So one day a peaceful American happens to come along to educate the natives and give them a better life. The natives are suspicious of him from the very first day.They watch and learn from him but stay clear due to suspicions built up over time.Some do adapt to his way of life but others fearful of a change take harsher measures, they abduct him. It is at this point that the Americans in general wonder why they are being targeted when they are only trying to improve somebody’s life.Unfortunately, for the natives all Americans are alike.

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