PADF Pakistan Day Meet Supports Policy Study
A Pakistan Link Report

Newark, CA: The Pakistan American Democratic Forum (PADF) held a “meeting of the minds” of sorts in Newark, California on Sunday, March 27, 2005 to help rejuvenate local activism and to highlight the need for people of Pakistani origin in the United States to counter current anti-Pakistan media and thinktank reports via serious academic rebuttal.
Around 25 individuals representing either themselves or three other organizations, namely the Strategic Research Foundation (SEF), American Institute of International Studies (AIIS), and the local Pakistan Association of San Francisco spent over three hours exchanging views on a number of issues. The discussion was led by meeting convener Dr. Agha Saeed of the PADF.


Participants in the PADF Meeting


The overall picture drawn was one of confusion. At the point in history when the American Administration is finally re-supporting the delivery of F-16 fighter planes to Pakistan (while also offering a Strategic Partnership to India) and while General Musharraf is making a (much too generous?) peace offering to New Delhi on Kashmir, the negative vibes simultaneously being generated regarding Pakistan’s future remain irksome.
As an example the topic focused on was: “By year 2015” reads a recent NIC/CIA report, “Pakistan would be a failed state, ripe with civil war, bloodshed, inter-provincial rivalries, and a struggle for control of its nuclear weapons and complete Talibanization.” The question can be asked; “Which Pakistan are they talking about?”
The PADF has recently commissioned a study of major think tank reports about Pakistan. The study will include a compendium of all major reports, systematic analysis of the policy implications of each, and a set of recommendations for Pakistani-American activist community. The PADF plans to release the results of this study by late May or early June. Those seeking to support this project can send their contributions to PADF: 39675 Cedar Blvd., Suite 220-E, Newark, CA 94560. For further information call (510) 299 - 9313 or visit http://www.padfonline.org/ .
Most of the discussion was devoted to finding ways to revive independent Pakistani-American activism with a focus on a democratically defined set of major goals, since many organizations now agree on “unity of purpose and division of labor”. Several new activists have joined this effort, many of whom have become involved with Pakistan-related activities for the first time.
There was a mixed response to a number of issues including whether General Musharraf should give up his uniform in compliance with the Pakistan Constitution. PADF supports such a move. A summary of individual comments and insights closed the meet.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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