A Strategy for a Lasting Peace: A Pakistani American Response

On behalf of Pakistani Americans, the undersigned Pakistani American organizations unequivocally condemn the murderous attacks in Mumbai. We offer our deepest condolences to the families and victims of this malicious mayhem in India.
We share the pain and the suffering of our Indian brothers and sisters. Not too long ago the bomb blast in the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad and last year the gruesome assassination of Benazir Bhutto has deeply hurt Pakistan as well. While Pakistanis have faced the severe repercussions of the US-led war on terror, they have also demonstrated relentless resilience to recover from losses and heal their wounds. We have no doubt that India with its enormous potential as a multicultural democratic nation will be able to do the same.
 In this hour of sorrow and suffering we call on all Americans, especially of South Asian origin, to unite against violence as a misguided ideological tool, hatred as a social agenda and war as a solution to political conflicts. Pakistani and Indian communities have developed lasting friendships, business partnerships and professional networks to lead a responsible and resourceful living in North America. We believe that responsible leadership from these communities can be instrumental in resolving the present situation to secure a peaceful and prosperous future for the nations of their origin.
This is a moment of historic proportions. Together South Asians can endeavor to adopt peaceful means for resolving their differences and building the prospects of sustainable peace. Either we use this calamity and turn it into an opportunity to turn back the wheel of suspicion and intrigue, or we ferment the status quo to further push our countries of origin to a deadly game of deception and destruction.
As the global economic prowess of both Pakistan and India grows, our place in the global community has and will always be interconnected. One’s success is contingent upon the stability and security of the other. The war on terror has been brought to the front door of both of our nations. The time has come for resolve. We must coordinate efforts to solve these security threats and do more than just attempt to prevent attacks. We, the South Asians and all Americans must use our political, social, and financial capital to instrument fundamental change, cooperation, and partnership that will lead us through these times of fundamentalist extremism on both sides of the border.
We are fortunate that we live in a country that practices rule of law, equal opportunities, freedom of religion and an environment of harmony and peace for its diverse citizenry.  This American confidence in the essence of humanity should allow us to transplant our harmony to the areas inflicted with conflict and pain.
India has tremendously benefited from American generosity of corporate outsourcing. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been invested in Indian infrastructure by the US and Indian American investors. It has bought prestige and influence for India inside the Capital Beltway.  Pakistani Americans hope that this influence and recognition will be used in a creative manner for the betterment of South Asia and for peace and harmony in South Asia.
The American interests are best served by stabilizing the entire South Asian region; from Dhaka to Colombo, from Colombo to Delhi, from Delhi to Islamabad, and finally from Islamabad to Kabul and beyond. Stability is an outcome of inclusivity and open communication. Alienation of our key non-NATO ally will be like shooting ourselves in the foot and intensifying our vulnerabilities. The choice is clear.

The Pakistani American Leadership Center (PAL-C)
Pakistani American Public Affairs Committee PAKPAC
Pakistani American Association of Connecticut PAACT
Association of Pakistani Professionals AOPP
Pakistani American Community of Atlanta: PAK Atlanta




Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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