Envoy to UN asks US to ‘lay off our Prophet’

Published: September 23, 2012

Haroon expressed his anger at what he considerd a 'punitive relationship' where Pakistan 'is still scapegoated'.

When thousands went on a rampage across Pakistan, the country’s UN Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon told CBS News that if the US wants to stop the attacks against American embassies, “just lay off our Prophet. Is that too much to ask?”

“Is what happened in Pakistan a manifestation of the people of Pakistan? Yes. Of the government of Pakistan? No,” Haroon said.

“If the government of Pakistan was acquiescent of what is happening in Pakistan (the violence), they wouldn’t be firing teargas and bullets at the protesters,” he said.

Haroon expressed his anger at what he considerd a “punitive relationship,” where Pakistan “is still scapegoated.”

“We don’t need your money, we don’t need your aid.” Rather, he said, the Pakistani government needs preferential trade, as the US has given Jordan and Egypt.”

“Let’s be honest about it,” Haroon said. “It’s a punitive relationship, where if we do the ‘right’ thing, we get rewarded; and, the moment we try to think for ourselves, we get banged over the head with a brick or a stone or a stick. I don’t think that is an equitable relationship.”

The Pakistani diplomat, outraged at the souring relationship between Pakistan and the US, said there was a great deal of hostility by the Pakistani people to American policy because of the drone attacks against civilians; the removal of Osama bin Laden without Pakistani consent; and the belief that the US has supported governments in the world that did not distribute wealth to its people.

“The Muslim world has been entirely very friendly to America and the West. The Muslim world had a strong people-to-people belief at one moment and then the people-to-people belief moved away and became more of a government-to-government belief and then, oppressive governments were given what people would view as a license by the West or America, which then started creating the problem.

“They would ask: Why am I poor? Because the Americans don’t treat me right. Why don’t I have medicine for a dying child? Because the Americans have squeezed the money out of us. It is not the truth, necessarily, but it was the perception. And, nobody tried to reach out. You had some great institutions that used to reach out at one time in the ‘50s and ‘60s, but they are not there today,” Haroon said.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2012. 

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Reader Comments (50)

  • Deepwater
    Sep 23, 2012 - 9:52AM

    Has the Muslim world acquiesced some sort of a leadership role to Pakistan? If not, why does Pakistan consider itself the spokesman of the Muslim world? The Ambassador is using his few minutes of fame to pretend that he speaks for all Muslims when, in fact, his country is falling apart at every seam possible and unable to protect even its Muslim sectarian minorities. No Islamic country valuing its internal harmony can ever consider Pakistan as its role model.

    As far as Americans having “squeezed” Pakistanis – what a fantastically outlandish claim!!! Have you ever told your fellow citizens, Mr. Ambassador, to have fewer children or at least as many as they can afford to educate and feed? Why is a country on the other side of the world responsible for their well being when you can’t even collect a reasonable amount of taxes from your upper income citizens? Asking for favorable trade terms is the same as begging.

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  • Haris
    Sep 23, 2012 - 9:57AM

    Well said Sir, thanks for raising our point of view so clearly.

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  • Cautious
    Sep 23, 2012 - 10:14AM

    “It’s a punitive relationship, where
    if we do the ‘right’ thing, we get
    rewarded; and, the moment we try to
    think for ourselves, we get banged
    over the head with a brick or a stone
    or a stick

    At least your acknowledge that you get rewarded for doing the “right thing”. As far as the “think for ourselves” bit the things that come to mind are 1) hiding OBL 2) attempted fraud for bogus charges 3) misuse of aid 4) providing sanctuary to terrorist 5) cutting off NATO supply line and then trying to extort exorbitant charges etc. etc. Maybe you should do less “think for ourselves” or put people in charge who are better suited at “thinking”.

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  • S!D
    Sep 23, 2012 - 10:20AM

    After a long time I have heard a Pakistani speaking in such manner. Hats off to you sir. At least we have someone to speak for the Pakistanis.

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  • Sep 23, 2012 - 10:29AM

    ” there was a great deal of hostility by the Pakistani people to American policy because of the drone attacks against civilians; the removal of Osama bin Laden without Pakistani consent; and the belief that the US has supported governments in the world that did not distribute wealth to its people.”
    if the army /ISI leaks the information given bu US intelligence to the terrorists( which has been proved right ) naturally there shall be lack of trust in the most sensitive information.. And yes, USA has supported the governments that did not distribute wealth to their people and Pakistan is one of them.

    If a Muslim has the perception that the reason of his poverty is American(which you agreed to be untrue) then how come this perception came? The answer is well known that this is what have been fed to them over the years to save own skin as blaming is quite easy.

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  • Siddique Malik
    Sep 23, 2012 - 10:30AM

    “Is what happened in Pakistan a manifestation of the people of Pakistan? Yes. Of the government of Pakistan? No,” Haroon said.

    Is the disgusting video that appeared on the internet the work of an individual who happened to be in America? Yes. Was it created by the American government? No.
    So lay off my country — the United States of America, “Mr. Ambassador.”

    If an ambassador who lives in America does not understand the inability of the American government to interfere with what people do or say on the Internet, how can one expect the country he represents to understand it?

    By the way, does the ambassador have any thought on the Rimsha case, recent burning of a church in Mardan, frequent church-burnings in Pakistan in which copies of the Bible burn, attacks on Christian homes, attacks on Ahmedi places of worship that killed 90 innocent people and caused many copies of the Quran to burn and other attacks on Ahemedis, the police in Pakistan desecrating a mosque by removing its minarets, forced conversions of Hindu girls, attacks on temples, etc.?

    Siddique Malik, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

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  • Pakboy
    Sep 23, 2012 - 10:34AM

    Respect for Ambassador Haroon. One of the top diplomats of PakistanRecommend

  • Pakboy
    Sep 23, 2012 - 10:38AM

    Respect for Ambassador Haroon. One of top genius diplomat of PakistanRecommend

  • Gen Pasha Ret.
    Sep 23, 2012 - 10:40AM

    The usual crap – blame America for all our problems. The truth is we have only ourselves, our leaders and our mullahs that WE have supported since our creation to blame.
    Why is India a economic superpower which may soon get a seat on the UN security council , why is india a country that has bought foreign companies such as Jaguar Land Rover , Tetley and many more, why has india got companies such as Infosys, Tata , and Reliance industries which have grown into global brands and employ tens of thousand of westerners?, why is the west lining up at India’s front door to pour investment into their country? – these are the questions we should be asking ourselves

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  • Conspiracy theorist
    Sep 23, 2012 - 10:42AM

    Great speech. Love the courage he speaks with.

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  • spyder
    Sep 23, 2012 - 11:07AM

    I expected better from a respectable figure like HH- how can he not understand that the US government had nothing to do with the production and release of the film? Alot of the violence we see is probably due to economic frustrations. I can assure you that if people had a decent home and food on their plates that trashing their own country would be the last thing on their minds

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  • Zalim Singh
    Sep 23, 2012 - 11:12AM

    what?

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  • Zaid Hamid
    Sep 23, 2012 - 11:17AM

    In the meantime we command our American friends to ignore our US flag burning on every occasion and our giving support to non.state actors indulging in terrorist activities. Now that is not too much of an ask.

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  • abc
    Sep 23, 2012 - 11:18AM

    Almost agreed.

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  • Prakash
    Sep 23, 2012 - 11:21AM

    Just lay off aiding and abetting terrorism. Is that too much to ask?

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  • Sep 23, 2012 - 11:22AM

    Taking into account the Interviews and statements issued by Mr. Abdullah Haroon i believe he is the best ever we had in the UN to represent us.

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  • mkz
    Sep 23, 2012 - 11:49AM

    Brave words! Im impressedRecommend

  • Qasim
    Sep 23, 2012 - 12:08PM

    Bravo, well said Mr. Haroon. Unfortunately it will fall on deaf ears.

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  • AFGHAN
    Sep 23, 2012 - 12:22PM

    Finally, Pakistan decided to break the chains of slavery to the US. As a Muslim, I personally thank the Pakistani ambassador for his strong message to the US about the sacrilegious acts of the American citizens.

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  • Syed AHSAN Ahmad
    Sep 23, 2012 - 12:29PM

    It is possible to have an equitable relations between Goat and Tiger?
    It is possible to create a equal relations after getting money from someone and then expecting a respectable or equal relations? In which world these guys lives in? Who appoint them state representative? I advise them go back to their country, tie their lips until they get capability to negotiate terms! Prisoner have no capacity to negotiations! In your case they are beyond Prisoner…”Beggars”

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  • arcane
    Sep 23, 2012 - 12:31PM

    In other news Daughter of a Cleric was paraded naked in Pakistan.

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  • Baba Ji
    Sep 23, 2012 - 12:32PM

    Somehow I like this guy …

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  • Mahtab Rasheed
    Sep 23, 2012 - 12:34PM

    I really appreciate for speaking the truth.

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  • Buttler
    Sep 23, 2012 - 12:40PM

    Great to mention…but u know sir (UN) United NATO is sleeping…

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  • jism
    Sep 23, 2012 - 12:45PM

    just lay off our Prophet. Is that too much to ask?”
    just lay off our Kashmir, is that too much too ask?

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  • jism
    Sep 23, 2012 - 12:46PM

    just lay off our Prophet. Is that too much to ask?”
    just lay off our Ahmadis , Christians, Hindus and other minorities. Is that too much to ask?”

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  • Sep 23, 2012 - 1:00PM

    And India is Next in presenting itself into the Hands of USA / Israel Relationship where after 50 years they will have nothing in their hands and only paying of debts to the World Bank and IMF… Learn from Pakistan and Europe…

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  • Agnostic Guy
    Sep 23, 2012 - 1:17PM

    “Is what happened in US(anti Islam film) a manifestation of a sick crazy guy? Yes. Of the government of USA? No!”

    If the government of USA was acquiescent of making of anti-Islam film, they wouldn’t be spending 70k$ on ads condemning the anti-Islam film,”

    Would Govt of Pak or Pakis see the difference ..NO!

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  • siddiqui
    Sep 23, 2012 - 1:51PM

    very great comment and expression of realities daringly to the members of UN, who always have been reluctant to resolve the concerns of muslims countries. why the UN has such a discriminative behavior with muslims contries. If the UN does not change its stance, one day it will loose its power.

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  • Mr. Honest
    Sep 23, 2012 - 1:51PM

    @ jism your comments are ‘out of context’ and relevancy to this article.

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  • munna
    Sep 23, 2012 - 2:01PM

    How is the USA responsible for the movie? Just because one citizen does something it does not back the entire nation’s view on the matter? Maybe we should start saying that Osama was representing in the proper way.

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  • Zafar
    Sep 23, 2012 - 2:09PM

    @jism….look who’s talking. When was Kashmir yours (its not Pakistan’s as well)
    ….it belongs to Kashmiris and its their right to choose their destiny. You sound like minorities in India are anyway better..i doubt

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  • Poleturtle
    Sep 23, 2012 - 2:20PM

    Good job for a change someone speaks the truth !

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  • AK
    Sep 23, 2012 - 2:46PM

    @Zafar: yes minorities in India are way much better.They dont have to declare themselves as “non-hindu” before applying for passport, have equal rights and not so skewed representation.Ask any Indian Muslim, they will introduce themselves as Indian first and Muslims later

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  • Sep 23, 2012 - 3:03PM

    Ambassadar Mr. Abdullah Hussain Haroon is Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations. He said bravely but we need to do some action and add some laws about our Prophet in UN.

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  • Acorn Guts
    Sep 23, 2012 - 3:12PM

    @jism: Ask Kashmiris and they’d reflect the exact sentiments, we’d love to let you have ‘your’ Kashmir but as reality have it; they don’t want to

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  • Humayun
    Sep 23, 2012 - 3:14PM

    @Jism, At least these questions cannot be taken in retrospective by a country like US who bomb us on daily basis.

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  • Ahl e Tasheeh
    Sep 23, 2012 - 3:56PM

    The UN should comply with the request…but it should also reciprocate by demanding religious freedom for all in Pakistan and quashing of the blasphemy laws

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  • Misbah
    Sep 23, 2012 - 4:41PM

    thank you Sir for atleast speaking up at the right place

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  • G. Din
    Sep 23, 2012 - 5:21PM

    The world has discovered the “pinch” nerve and will keep pinching it!
    This “sacrilege of the prophet” will stop only when followers of Islam turn human and stop their pogroms of non-Muslims and Muslim sub-sects, when they learn to get along with the world at large!

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  • Sep 23, 2012 - 5:48PM

    Finally he has awoken from his slumber. But what is the need for this kind of speech? Lay of our Prophet (pbuh)? The Prophet (pbuh) belongs to whole humanity not just to Pakistan

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  • Umer
    Sep 23, 2012 - 8:32PM

    This statement is only to appease people back home that something was said on the matter otherwise no one in the world gives two hoots to any threats from the beggar state.

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  • Siddique Malik
    Sep 23, 2012 - 9:10PM

    “Is what happened in Pakistan a manifestation of the people of Pakistan? Yes. Of the government of Pakistan? No,” Haroon said.

    Is the disgusting video that appeared on the internet the work of an individual who happened to be in America? Yes. Was it created by the American government? No.

    So lay off my country — the United States of America, “Mr. Ambassador.”

    If an ambassador who lives in America does not understand the inability of the American government to interfere with what people do or say on the Internet, how can one expect the country he represents to understand it?

    By the way, does the ambassador have any thought on the Rimsha case, recent burning of a church in Mardan, frequent church-burnings in Pakistan in which copies of the Bible burn, attacks on Christian homes, attacks on Ahmedi places of worship that killed 90 innocent people and caused many copies of the Quran to burn and other attacks on Ahemedis, the police in Pakistan desecrating a mosque by removing its minarets, forced conversions of Hindu girls, attacks on temples, etc.?

    Siddique Malik, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.Recommend

  • Faraz
    Sep 23, 2012 - 9:52PM

    @Alishba:
    AmbassadAr sounds like a cool title. It is something that we got from the Mughals?

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  • Tony Singh
    Sep 24, 2012 - 8:28AM

    Does Pakistan own the Prophet? He is prophet of everyone who believes in Islam. Pakistanis stop being the owners of Islam. You do not own copyright to it.

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  • Sorath
    Sep 24, 2012 - 10:51AM

    If I belong to any religion I OWN IT, like the country I live in, I OWN it.

    Well said Ambassador.

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  • Tony Singh
    Sep 24, 2012 - 1:13PM

    @Sorath:
    Not OWN, You share it. The day you will understand this difference you will be at peace with yourself and the world.

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  • zainab
    Sep 24, 2012 - 3:56PM

    well said i admire the straightfarward behavior

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  • zainab
    Sep 24, 2012 - 4:10PM

    well said

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  • R2D2
    Sep 25, 2012 - 1:58AM

    does this guy has any clue how offensive it is for the Americans for him to tell them that they need to change their constitution because people like him are offended by what one individual has done in the US. Even if there are other reasons for the Muslims to be offended for , let me ask you one thing, do you think you Muslims dont offend anyone else?

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