A student sought to educate students on relations with Pakistan.
At the last teach-in of the semester, Temple Students for Justice in Palestine member Najam Us Saqib lead a discussion on the histories of Pakistan and Afghanistan within the last 10 years.
The teach-in, a weekly discussion event led professor Ralph Young, was held Friday, Nov. 18.
Saqib aimed to inform university students on Pakistan’s point of view of its relationship with the United State while combating terrorism within Afghanistan and it’s own borders.
“[The United States and Pakistan] should be working and dealing on equal levels,” Saqib said. “They need to understand our sovereignty… we are there, you are not there. Your forces are there, but while our country is there.”
To understand the tumultuous predicament the two countries find themselves in today, Saqib said, one has to look at the Soviet-Afghan War.
In 1979 the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, at which point the United States came to the side of the Afghans for fear of Russian control over trade in the region, Salib said.
The United States organized and trained mujahideens, or the Taliban, who eventually drove out the USSR from Afghanistan. However, Saqib said Americans quickly evacuated the nation without helping to revamp it after the destruction from the war.
Saqib said this explains the anger from the extremist groups responsible for acts of terrorism, most notably the attacks on the Word Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
Now the United States is once again in Afghanistan, and has been working together with the Pakistani government to combat terrorism, albeit uncooperatively, she said.
Saqib said the United States is damaging its rapport with Pakistan through its military action inside the latter’s boarders.
Two of the biggest controversies of such actions have been President Obama’s commissioning of Seal Team 6 to kill Osama Bin Laden, and the military’s current use of drones—unmanned aircrafts controlled by pilots stationed in the United States—with 32 percent of its casualties having been Pakistani civilians, Saqib Said.
Saqib shared contention with an audience member who called the Pakistani government “a failure.” He claimed that the military achievements of the nation, such as creating the six largest army and atomic weaponry had only exacerbated its disdain and fear of India.
To counter the man’s argument’s, Saqib said Pakistan had taken those steps in order to protect itself, because a defense is needed before it can rise from its third world standing.
And Pakistan does have the ability to do so—they did create their own country in 1947. It is because of their capabilities, Saqib said, that the nation yearns for their just respect.
“They don’t want money, they don’t want the creation of roads, they know they can do it themselves,” Saqib said. “If a country can create an atom bomb and eat nothing but grass, they can create their own nation. All they want is the respect, and they haven’t been getting it so far.”
The teach-ins will resume at the beginning of the Spring 2012 semester.
Payne Schroeder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.