America — still land of plenty?

Published: September 10, 2012

The writer is a defence analyst who retired as an air vice-marshal in the Pakistan Air Force

My love for  ‘Texan’ and ‘Harvard’ was almost predestined. To the informed, both have a distinct identity. For me though, at the ripe old age of 18, the choice was to explore both through a single entity, a 550 HP behemoth called the Texan T-6G Harvard. They don’t ever come as all-encompassing as that beast of a basic trainer. It surely was the ‘Harvard’ of the flying training which generations of air warriors, of WW II and the Korean War, as those that followed subsequently, have sampled as the ultimate test of flying ability. They said if you pass the ‘Harvard’ test, you can pass anything. How prescient and true in either worlds of  ‘Harvard’ and ‘Texans’. I owe an ode to the beast, but another time. The manifestation for me though of any such premonition had ‘Harvard’ divorced from the ‘Texan’ when I first made to the land.

I first arrived in the US in 1985 on my maiden trip abroad to Texas where everything confounds proportion. That was when I first heard and saw the term “God’s own country” written on huge billboards and windscreen stickers. As I sampled America, I began to understand why America was — and seemed to itself — ‘chosen’ and ‘special’. It was an appropriate and prescient emblem of America’s greatness.

Since then, I have travelled to America frequently, almost all trips being work related, except for the last two, which have been purely private in nature, and some Track II. And I see a different America; an America that is not so sure of itself and is losing the certainty of thinking that it is ‘special’ and ‘chosen’. It seems like an America that knows it will struggle to retain a spot at the head of the race. I see a lot more Chinese influence with their increased presence and how America tends to open up to them almost in reverence. The two languages in which signpost directions are most frequently spotted in airports of some major cities are English and Chinese. Indians, who study and live in America in great numbers, they don’t need another language to communicate. Governors of two states are of Indian-origin, and both are Republican. Indian influence on American policymaking is unmistakable with the process clothed in words that may seem to have been coined in Delhi’s South Block — not that they are, but they are strikingly similar, and on crucial issues I might add. They say every third person in the State Department is of Indian origin; perhaps an exaggeration, but you get the drift.

Pakistanis exist in reasonable numbers, though nowhere close to the Indians, but get subsumed in a larger Asian denomination. Most exist at the low rungs of the work ladder as labour and shopkeepers. Doctors are the only exception who keep some hope alive with their dignified presence but are too disappointed in the direction their country has taken in the last some years to pursue any coherent interests as a unified group. Pakistan’s major textiles export to the US is cotton and cotton products, but given the current trends where most of what Pakistan produced is now India-made, it is quite evident Pakistan is now a has-been in America.

For this and other reasons, America in spots seems Asiatic or Hispanic. The overwhelming white predominance that ruled when I first began to travel here has almost retreated to some hidden spaces in the countryside. The professional is bound to be for most part an Asian, and religion of all hues is now much more visible. Racism has receded somewhat, except in specific white pockets. A recent spate of attacks on some Sikh and Muslim holy places is considered an expression of indigenous frustration with how the society seems to have changed composition than stereotypical racism. The politics, too, has tended to reflect the trend in its newer manifestation. At Republican Party Convention one had to strain to pick up a face that wasn’t white; the division is so complete. The composite other, the Democratic Party, thus seems set to benefit from a more wholesome representation.

In such an America, Afghanistan and Pakistan remain a specific interest of those dealing with it in the administration. The books and the stories that come out on our region are leaked by the same principals who work the policy and are thus guided by the effects that policy wonks need. There is a clear indication of insufficient interaction between the US and Pakistan at a senior enough level in the governments to harmonise policies and create a consensus roadmap to resolve Afghanistan. The Americans seek such a resource which could help them start negotiations with the Taliban. They also seem to be struggling with the blueprint on bringing peace to Afghanistan, though I was assured that one is under work. Their major concern is the time available before December 2014 which they count in months, 26, before which peace has to be brought to Afghanistan, in direct contravention of the belief in Pakistan that the current administration is unlikely to do anything till January 2013 because of its lame duck status. To these principals, time is of immense essence and a solution to Afghanistan a bipartisan American objective.

America’s need for Pakistan to bring closure on Afghanistan is pretty obvious and is explicitly stated, though they will continue to fear extremism in a nuclear country with tenuous stability. If Pakistan were to continue to peddle only a one-sided military to military relationship, without attention to the politics of peace, we will find ourselves hopelessly behind the time and event curve in finding peace in Afghanistan and stability in Pakistan. This strange element of disinterest and laissez faire that we dwell in beats me. There is space to help America create a blueprint of peace and a framework for agreement between various players of a likely peace process, including regional stakeholders. There is critical space we can fill which otherwise may simply go to someone else. Nature abhors a vacuum. Else, our worst fears of holding the baby, the bathtub and whatever else goes with it, may just become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 11th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (48)

  • Raw is War
    Sep 10, 2012 - 9:44PM

    great article sir.

    Recommend

  • Sinclair
    Sep 10, 2012 - 10:01PM

    Why do you think there are so many Indian-Americans in US Government agencies?

    They may be well qualified, but its not just that. NRI’s own the country with its judeo-christian roots and work for it. Its not just that there is no conflict between being a Indian and American, NRI’s create convergences – they adapt. Organized religion may call this weakness – even apostasy, which is what holds other ethnicities back. Quoting Aakar Patel, this is because of the Brahmin-Baniya conspiracy.

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  • Vikas
    Sep 10, 2012 - 10:05PM

    We(Indian) will dominate Indian Ocean Region. Learn to live with that. The earlier the better.

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  • Falcon
    Sep 10, 2012 - 10:08PM

    Good article. Pakistan and America can build much better bridges through civilian interactions (just like with India). Military to military interaction is all we have seen in the last 65 years and it has certainly not worked well for Pakistan.

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  • observer
    Sep 10, 2012 - 10:09PM

    This strange element of disinterest and laissez faire that we dwell in beats me.

    What else can an enervated political class do?

    Who ceded NWA to Taliban? Not the Politicians.

    Who sheltered those inimical to Afghan peace? Not the Politicians.

    Who shut down the Land Route? Not the usual suspects again.

    So what can they do, if not be disinterested?

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  • John B
    Sep 10, 2012 - 10:24PM

    Yes, it is and it always will be for time to come, since all the technological innovations mankind has known in 20 and 21 century civilization came from America. Just look around, when you write on the pencil, use a fountain pen or ball point pen, post a sticky note, use a thumb tag, paper clip, safety razor, deodorant, tooth paste, sewing machine, plastic, non stick cookware, induction stove, electricity, Power tools, zip tie, dish washer, washing machine, microwave oven, mouthless foot ball or bastet ball, the stiching pattern used in baseball or cricket, inflatable tires and tubeless tires and the list goes on in every day things we take it for granted. Leave alone the other techonoligical revolutions in flight, communication, breaking atoms, semiconductors, light and medicine.

    Even if America disappears today, the mankind will pay tribute to America for eons to come every day when they use these objects and technologies.

    The sign boards in public places are in Spanish, Japanese and even Korean in some places where the ethnic group of tourists and immigrants predominate and translators are available for almost all languages in hospitals and courts. The principle objective of sign board is communication. The rules or directions are meaningless if the visitors cannot read where the exit or toilet is.

    Breaking the mould is the American way, and that includes the notion of the author that america is made of whites. The author should hang out in college campuses on his next visit to understand America.

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  • Ejaaz
    Sep 10, 2012 - 10:25PM

    @Vikas:
    Only the insecure and weak talk about dominating. At the moment the Indians are not even secure enough to screen the movie “The midnight’s children”. So much for the freedom of speech or free to think.

    As far our position goes, the headlines says it all pretty much. The killers of the rangers at Lal Masjid are free because the Judiciary is terrified. The Anti-Ahmedi openly call for suppression of the minorities and there is no one to even peep a protest. In the global village our leaders are hoping that we will get some crumbs because we are planning on clinging to the Chinese train. Let us hope the Chinese don’t mind.

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  • Zalmai
    Sep 10, 2012 - 10:33PM

    “They also seem to be struggling with the blueprint on bringing peace to Afghanistan, though I was assured that one is under work.”

    The blueprint at work is signaling the end of Pakistani interference in Afghanistan and of course, the parties concerned are none too happy about this eventual outcome.

    Afghans actively promote pluralism and cosmopolitan inclusiveness but certain jihadi elements and their patrons still want to retain their fiefdoms by dividing people along provincial, ethnic, linguistic and sectarian lines.

    Afghans from all walks of life know all to well that competing interests for access to the new Silk Road/Route has made Afghanistan the proverbial pie that everyone wants to slice and dice for a piece.

    Bringing peace to Afghanistan is easy, interest groups from the neighborhood need to withdraw their ponies from the race and the winner will be an Afghan stallion.

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  • Mccoy
    Sep 10, 2012 - 10:35PM

    It is not just US politics that Indian Americans are starting to influence. They dominate many other fields. The top universities are filled with Indian American scientists. The hotel industry is dominated by them. Every other person at NASA is Indian. One in three tech companies in silicon valley is Indian owned or founded or confounded by Indians.

    Indians are culturally very flexible. And for all it’s 5000 years of history, India was never authoritarian about anything. Hinduism has no fixed set of beliefs even allowing atheism in its fold. Islam brought authoritarianism to the subcontinent but india changed Islam to a more inclusive Sufi version of islam that we in Pakistan no longer appreciate. India never had a single language. Any imposition of language is bound to fail (as was recently tried with imposing Hindi on the south which was quickly sidelined as it is fundamentally against the Indian ethos).

    India historically contributed 30 to 40 percent of world GDP for thousands of years as historical economists tell us. Don’t be surpirsed if that happens again.

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  • unbeliever
    Sep 10, 2012 - 10:42PM

    @Vikas:
    that was not very illuminating…..

    and, with the various faults that we have like casteism, dishonesty, laziness
    i would rather have us learn some humility from others, before dominating them.

    very uncalled for comment….patriotism is good, but parochialism is insane.Recommend

  • Zalmai
    Sep 10, 2012 - 10:53PM

    @Indians

    Piyush Jindal aka Bobby Jindal fabricated an elaborate tale about his childhood, his name and his conversion from Hinduism to Christianity in order to make it as a politician in America. He renounced his given Hindu name and religion to purse his political ambitions and the same goes for Nikki Haley.

    I can understand renouncing your religion because America is a Christian country but to give up your name in this day and age, when a man called Barack Hussein Obama is the president, is just spineless.

    You no longer have to be Tom, Dick or Harry in the USA to be taken seriously. Zalmay Khalilzad did not change his name and yet he was appointed ambassador to Iraq, Afghanistan and the United Nations and he held the distinction of being the highest ranking Muslim government official in George Bush’s administration.

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  • Sinclair
    Sep 10, 2012 - 11:02PM

    @Zalmai

    Bobby is an absurd name to change to, but I dont know his specific case in detail. Changing names is quite alright – what you associate it with some sort of honor or something now? People need more things to ridicule (or worse kill) other people for. Just look up Obama administration’s appointees and you will find plenty of Indian sounding names – though it makes zero difference to any of us. They are Americans. We know that.Recommend

  • bingo
    Sep 10, 2012 - 11:32PM

    @Zalmai … uninformed much, mate?? Piyush Jindal never changed his name… he called himself “bobby” as a child and that name just caught on… His official first name still remains Piyush.. his wife Supriya also didn’t change name.. check Louisiana governor official website for clarification..

    Nikki Haley didn’t change her name either… South Carolina governor’s official website bio says, Namrata “Nikki” R. Haley – R stands for Randhawa..

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  • unbeliever
    Sep 10, 2012 - 11:43PM

    @Zalmai:

    when did we start speaking for hindus?
    it were for the indians we were speaking, hindu, muslim, christian or parsi.

    so, whether they change their religion, or name or caste, i do not think of any problem.

    and, yes, do not always equate india with hindus…..240 million indians are not hindus…..

    but maybe for pakistanis, muslim first pakistani later on.

    and, yes the example does not end at BOBBY, or NIKKI.
    their are lot many of them, who are owrking in obama administration without name changing, or religious conversion, and they too ouucpy top positions.
    you can look it for yourselves. and, as someone said above, they are americans, and not indians per se, so we can spare them. and let them live as they please to.

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  • Cautious
    Sep 10, 2012 - 11:46PM

    One of the ongoing myths in Pakistan is that you actually have influence to bring peace to Afghanistan — the USA used to believe that mantra but now knows that all that talk was just Pakistani bluster. Your leverage on the militants is limited and much of that evaporated when the American’s stopped relying on you for targeting information on drone attacks. The decision on when/how to leave Afghanistan was made without your participation – trying to interject Pakistan as a major player late in the game may appease your ego but it’s not going to happen.,

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  • FU
    Sep 11, 2012 - 12:21AM

    Well easy to say Indian Americans who migrated should come back and serve their country.But i can’t blame them, since most of the Indian Americans are Engineers,Scientists,Doctors and in other highly qualified fields it is best they remain in America where they get world class research facilities and high salary. India can offer only so much with its limited resources. Good to know we are doing better than other minority groups. If India becomes business friendly which it will in 2014 with new government in power,i am sure some people will come back and start their own companies.

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  • gp65
    Sep 11, 2012 - 12:45AM

    “At Republican Party Convention one had to strain to pick up a face that wasn’t white; the division is so complete.”
    You did not look very hard did you? The Republican party had the following convention speakers. They were not WASPs
    – Marc Rubio, republican senator from Florida – a Hispanic of Cuban origin
    – Nikki Haley, governor of SOuth carolina – she is of Indian origin
    – Condolezza Rice – the first woman servretary of state – also an African American?

    YEs US is a melting pot and is becoming increasingly coloured. I do not think that shooting at the Sikh gurudwara or the attack on the mosque in Missouri were a representation of mass resentment towards ‘foreigners’. It was an individual terror act. There was ZERO support in media, civil society or amongst politicians for his act. He was in fact shot dead by the police.Michele Obama personally went and met the families of those impacted. A little different from how Salman Taseer was treated for meeting with Aafia Bibi in jail and how Qadri and Maliq Ishaq are treated in PAkistan – eh?
    With regards to the mosque that was destroyed in Missouri, the local community raised 3 times the amount to rebuild it.

    Individual bigots can exist in any country. USA, India or Pakistan. It is how the civil society, media, judiciary , police and politicians react to individual acts of bogotry that defines whether the society is tolerant or not.

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  • gp65
    Sep 11, 2012 - 12:55AM

    @Vikas: I can see that you love India. I do too. But do you think you are serving India well with the poke them in the eyes approach that I have seen in many of your posts?

    I suspect that your goal for being on this forum is no different from me or many of the other Indians i.e.
    1) understand the thought process that has driven the hatred that led to 4 unprooked wars a and ongoing support for jihadis to attack India. Revise own opinion in case something the other side is saying has merit.
    2) Where appropriate provide a different set of data/logic/information to provoke open minded people on the other sides to reconsider their positions.

    Tell me are you meeting your goal with your current approach? If not do you want to consider changing your approach?

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  • gp65
    Sep 11, 2012 - 1:14AM

    @FU: “Well easy to say Indian Americans who migrated should come back and serve their country”

    Unsure who is saying that?

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  • babla
    Sep 11, 2012 - 1:20AM

    I am no fan of Jindal or Nikki, but to be fair to them they didn’t change religion for political gains. Bobby became a Catholic by choice while in school. He is not an evengelical Christian who dominate the Republican Party. Nikki married a Christian and practices both religions.
    Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhits go to each others temples without any hesitation. Many Hindus visit shrines of different faiths. Hindus are generally tolerant and easily adapt to different religious groups without giving up their own religion. For them all paths lead to same God, as rivers to the ocean.

    Let’s not change the subject and make it an India-Pak issue.

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  • gp65
    Sep 11, 2012 - 1:29AM

    The url you provided related to Muslims in USA not Pakistanis in USA though you claimed it related to Pakistanis in USA. You surely know that there are Muslims from many other places in USA – ot just Pakistan? Apart from PAkistani Muslims, I personally have across many Muslims from
    – India
    – Bangladesh
    – Iran
    – Egypt
    – Lebaon
    – Somalia
    Not all of them have the same goals or outlook even though they share a religion.

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  • Student
    Sep 11, 2012 - 2:13AM

    @gp65:

    Your approach isn’t too different from Vikas’s approach.You are quite fond of chest beating about India and her greatness as well.I agree that India is a great country but not with the “shove it in their faces’ strategy that you adopt.
    BTW , I am an Indian and have used your strategy of changing monikers.

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  • Mirza
    Sep 11, 2012 - 3:18AM

    About 30 years ago both Pakistanis and Indians were about the same status in the USA and ordinary people did not differentiate between the two groups. However, gradually the gap between these two groups has increased to the extent that per capita income of Indians became twice that of Pakistanis and same goes for the higher education.
    Indians serve the country of immigrants we do not do that whole heartedly. There is a need for assimilation in this melting pot. We are Muslim first, Pakistani second and American third and that is the real problem. We do not compete in higher education and even the kids of our doctors are not as successful as their parent. In the US hard work and education is rewarded and that is why Indians and Taiwanese are the highest income groups in the US.

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  • SomeoneFromSomewhere
    Sep 11, 2012 - 3:27AM

    When you say “The two languages in which signpost directions are most frequently spotted in airports of some major cities are English and Chinese”…I am not sure what you are talking about. I don’t see anything other than English and Spanish. Never ever saw anything in Chinese.

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  • SomeoneFromSomewhere
    Sep 11, 2012 - 3:34AM

    Also other than 2 governors that you mentioned…..few others:
    Pepsi CEO: Indira Nooyi
    MasterCard CEO: Ajay Banga
    Adobe CEO: Shantanu Narayen
    Intel Founder: Vinod Dham
    And many more……

    Also in USA, Indians have median income of ~85000/year. Which is highest among all other countries.

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  • nomi
    Sep 11, 2012 - 4:05AM

    @ vikas

    Ha!

    First establish the writ of the indian constitution in east and south east India and then talk of dominating the Indian ocean.

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  • nomi
    Sep 11, 2012 - 4:13AM

    @ cautious

    Militancy is not the only leverage Pakistan uses. Geographical proximity and common religion are another two. Pakistan considers afghanistan a hideout. The US knows all this and hence any solution that does not include Pakistan will not be a solution but a beginning of some other problem unless, the US was to snatch away the pashtun areas from pakistan and merge them into afghanistan.

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  • Kumail
    Sep 11, 2012 - 5:44AM

    India’s best and brightest have all made their way to the U.S which is why they dominate. Even as India’s economy grows at a good rate why do their best and brightest still leave India whearas country’s like China, Japan, Korea and Russia retain their best talent for them selves??. Alot of Pakistani PhD students have flocked recently to Oz and NZ because fair enough they cannot support them selves in Pakistan but will still return after finishing their studies, I wonder why Indians have such “long term” plans whenever they travel to the western world??.

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  • Anjaan
    Sep 11, 2012 - 5:49AM

    I am not a fan of the US.
    But no one can dispute the fact that the world has never seen such a phenomenon as the USA. And no country, in the entire recorded history of mankind, will ever equal America’s achievements ….. simply because the US, for generations, have attracted the top brains from all across the globe, like no other country ever did, or will ever do …… !Recommend

  • a_writer
    Sep 11, 2012 - 6:34AM

    “I see a lot more Chinese influence with their increased presence and how America tends to open up to them almost in reverence. The two languages in which signpost directions are most frequently spotted in airports of some major cities are English and Chinese”
    Please enlighten us as to where in the US did you see the Chinese being ‘revered’ in the US – because I have lived in the US for over 35 years and have done my fair share of travelling. I am yet to come across this unique experience.
    As for Chinese signposts – yes, I am sure you might have seen them in Chinatown of San Francisco or New York.

    I wish the author would stop making this outlandish observations after being the US, probably for a total of few months and been to couple of McDonald’s !Recommend

  • antony
    Sep 11, 2012 - 7:06AM

    @gp65, You have beautifully written what i as an indian wanted to find jumping into all pakistani news site after mumbai blast ..I hope good pakistanis see this through our comments what other’s point of view and make up their own mind about terrorism ,kashmir ,hindus etc.

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  • varuag
    Sep 11, 2012 - 7:31AM

    @Vikas:
    I second what gp65 has stated. Jingoistic chest-thumping is so not in line with Indian ethos. It adds to the hatred and further incites people. If educated, bandwidth-equipped people from both sides cannot talk without passion running high, it bodes ill for the larger population.

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  • mr. righty rightist
    Sep 11, 2012 - 7:55AM

    @Vikas who writes “We(Indian) will dominate Indian Ocean Region. Learn to live with that. The earlier the better.”

    Maybe YOU want to dominate. But you are no Sonia Gandhi. Just a commenter here.

    Indians don’t and in fact, won’t allow anyone to dominate any region. Any progress should be based on mutual co-operation and understanding even with the weakest of countries. Not dominating them.

    You might be one of those software frogs living in the IT well, get out of your cubicle and look at India. India is just sub-saharan africa + 1.Recommend

  • Vikas
    Sep 11, 2012 - 9:50AM

    @mr. righty rightist:
    I smell something burning.

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  • Sajida
    Sep 11, 2012 - 11:46AM

    Interesting . You were struck by the demographic change. Yes major earthquake underway. 2011 was a historic year-first year white babies were a minority in history.. Is America still land of plenty? less so than before and even less so in future. Why? Future majority cannot graduate high school in majority, let alone go on to college.The BLS predicts most jobs in two sectors which do not provide middle class income. Yo get the drift. Meanwhile white population expects government handouts as they have not save any money for their retirement. For those who invested in homes the market value has sunk and is still sinking. Houses are no longer assets like they used to be. They may not be ever again given the demographics.

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  • wonderer
    Sep 11, 2012 - 12:10PM

    @mr. righty rightist:

    “Any progress should be based on mutual co-operation and understanding …….”

    What do you mean?

    Co-operation? India refuses to send 10 two-legged brainwashed animals with AK47s to Karachi.

    Understanding? Indians refuse to get down to your levels of bigotry.

    Progress? You will get only what you deserve. Nothing more.

    Anything else?

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  • Polpot
    Sep 11, 2012 - 12:26PM

    America — still land of plenty?”"
    +++++++++++++++++++++++
    Pakistan — still land of plenty!
    (Pls note the replacement of the question mark with the exclamation)

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  • Indian Wisdom
    Sep 11, 2012 - 1:01PM

    America is still a land of Plenty—— “Plenty of options and plenty of opportunities”.
    My brother after completing his Fellowship in Life sciences from Germany has still no other option to go to pursue his PDF but to go to America. America still remains the best place for the field of Knowledge and science & technology. And these are the factors (Knowledge based industries) which will determine which country will provide most options and opportunities in the 21st century. It is still America and no one else not even China and just forget about Europe or India.

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  • Faaltu mein khwam kha
    Sep 11, 2012 - 1:58PM

    @Kumail
    are you telling us that Pakistan has reached the pinnacle of development and prosperity today by retaning all the cream of their talent?

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  • David Smith
    Sep 11, 2012 - 4:49PM

    @Vikas,
    ET and other Pakistani newspapers have been gracious in allowing comments from Indians. Most are directed towards what one side feels are misconceptions on the other. Many national issues are strongly felt – on both sides. If you wish to contribute you must have credibility. I will continue to look forward to your comments.

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  • KT
    Sep 11, 2012 - 5:12PM

    A wise man once said, “There is no such thing as a superiority complex, it is always an extreme case of insecurity and inferiority complex that manifests itself as bravado commonly associated with superiority complex”. Goes for both Indians and Pakistanis commenting here.

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  • Ashvinn
    Sep 11, 2012 - 7:16PM

    @Ejaaz:
    Well said mate, vikas let us first secure of country, then we can automatically secure the Indian ocean

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  • G. Din
    Sep 11, 2012 - 7:18PM

    @Zalmai: to Indians
    “He renounced his given Hindu name and religion to purse his political ambitions and the same goes for Nikki Haley. “
    He did not renounce his given Hindu name. He is still Piyush.
    Here, I am reminded of a story of an Indian who immigrated to US in mid-fifties. He is a South Indian. Although things have changed in India since then but South Indian names used to be pretty tongue-twisting and long in those days. An individual could have as many as four initials. To be sure, there was a sound logical basis to those names. But, it made it very difficult even for North Indians to pronounce those names.
    When he joined a company in the US, he was asked his name by his colleagues. When he gave his name there was an awkward silence for a few moments as most recognized there was going to be a problem saying his name. (Everyone in America, from the boss to the subordinate, is addressed by his first name with no salutations such as Mr. or Ms. or Dr.) Finally, the supervisor broke the silence:” We will call you “Bud”.” And “Bud”, he was from that point onwards. Even his Indian colleagues called him by that name. His business card proudly had “Bud” in parenthesis after his real first name.
    Now, according to your thinking, he should have stuck to his guns and insisted that he be called by his real name, but he didn’t. Because he is an Indian. We, Indians, tend to be laid-back, relaxed, less uptight than Muslims generally. “Bud” rose in that organization in a few years to head its engineering department. No wonder there! Not only because, Indians routinely do that but also Americans are relaxed enough not to feel threatened. There is a certain congruence between Indians and Americans!

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  • Mirza
    Sep 11, 2012 - 9:18PM

    “America still the land of plenty”
    Thanks for disclosing an open secret to the world in an Op Ed from Pakistan! The civilized world would be indebted to you for long. How about an open and honest discussion about the “land of pure”? Americans have experts to represent their country, let us worry about our own country and ethnic cleansing going on.

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  • Nand
    Sep 11, 2012 - 11:12PM

    @Mirza: “let us worry about our own country and ethnic cleansing going on.”
    That is a no go area for AVM.

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  • G. Din
    Sep 11, 2012 - 11:26PM

    @Sajida:
    Do not ever underestimate Americans. They are more resilient than any other in the world. Remember, America fought a world war, equipped its allies to fight that war and then, singlehandedly lifted the economies of a devastated Europe and Japan. It did what no other nation has so far been able to duplicate; put the Man on the Moon and bring him back safe. Where would China be if America had not stepped in with capital investment, manufacturing know-how and its thirsty market? Where would China be if America decides to bring all its jobs home?
    America is still the fount of innovations that no other nation has been or will be able to match. Even though American prosperity was largely based on the intellectual resources of European immigrants, even Europe has not been able to compete with America. There is no country in the world which has what differentiates it from Europe.
    It is true what you write about the housing market but that was a uniquely American phenomenon. You bought a home, lived in it all your life and then sold it at a profit. That was possible because the population was highly mobile. Since there is no such mobility anywhere else in the world, such a phenomenon does not exist elsewhere. Not even, in the next door Canada or Mexico.
    It has given, given and given to both the gracious and the not-so-gracious, to those who wished her well and to those who just cannot wait to bring it down. No wonder it is considered God’s Chosen Country!
    Only fools will bet against America!

    @Vikas:
    “@mr. righty rightist:
    I smell something burning.”

    And, the smell is so acrid!

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  • bball
    Sep 13, 2012 - 8:07PM

    @John B: wow, what an ignorent statement. Like most americans, you also appear to be illuded by the imagination and are deceiving yourself. Perhaps to don’t teach any different in those run-down public schools anymore? Coming to the point now, given that U.S. has been more than half of the truly developed world for the greater part of the past 2 centuries, it is natural that it would have, or in fact, it’s business and capitalistic structure would give rise to many technological breakthrows. However, even in the past couple of decades, not to mention the great number of advancements from europe in the 19th century that further fueled the industrial revolution, the advancement in smart phone technology has largely occured outside of the u.s., breakthroughs such as Walkman, laser disks, smart phones, LCD/LED technologies, all either took place outside of U.S. entirely or were largely outside driven. Taking your logic forward, the world can also blame america then for increasing obecity from the widespread use of junk food, culture of crime and violence as depicted in its films and cities, increasing divorce rates etc. It is a global village right now where everyone benefits from everyone else. Although you are doing a good job throwing in comments in every article here – on a opposition softening campaign??

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  • observer
    Sep 13, 2012 - 9:19PM

    @bball:

    wow, what an ignorent statement. Like most americans, you also appear to be illuded by the imagination and are deceiving yourself. Perhaps to don’t teach any different in those run-down public schools anymore?

    Give me a ‘run down public school’ over a shining madarassa any day.

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