The Zeitgeist Politics

Global Politics with a focus on The Middle East

The Kerry-Lugar bill hysteria continues

with 3 comments

Senators Kerry and Lugar: Who knew they'd be this famous in Pakistan? (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Senators Kerry and Lugar: Who knew they'd be this famous in Pakistan? (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

I know, I know. Its hard to think of anything else while the ‘WTF!?’ feeling of Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize win settles in. But try we must.

There’s always this sense of doom I associate with Fridays. Perhaps it started with that horrific blast at a mosque on I.I.Chundrigar Road in Karachi in 2004, an incident that caused people to think twice before they knelt in prayer, wondering if they would live to sit up. But as I sat at work this morning thinking of how it had been a quiet Friday, word filtered in of the horrific bomb blast in Peshawar which killed 49 people.

And then I thought of all the time spent on debating the Kerry-Lugar bill: the war of words, the protests, the statements, the furious fist shaking and nose thumbing. From the army to the opposition to everyone and their uncle, the opposition to the bill seems to be mounting. But here’s a thought:  will the reaction to the bomb blast be as anger-laden as the reaction to this piece of legislation? Could the Pakistani government and the political parties not have spent this time and effort focusing their energy on working towards strengthening the security situation? Could the MNAs and MPAs busy issuing statement after statement not have spent this time working for the interests of their constituency? I’m all for a healthy national debate. But given the problems Pakistan does have (not the ones that appear to be collective hallucinations – ‘They’re out to GET US!‘ seems to be the mood in the air), isn’t it laughable that politicians are so misdirected and paranoid?

From the IRI survey on Pakistan

From the IRI Pakistani public opinion survey

Seriously, can we not forget about the paranoia, and focus on Pakistanis instead?

That does seem like too much to ask for.


Written by Saba Imtiaz

October 10, 2009 at 4:36 am

Posted in Pakistan, US

Tagged with , , , ,

3 Responses

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  1. […] a comment » Really, the point I made in my previous post has been proved right. Spend all this time arguing over the Kerry-Lugar/Berman bill and militants […]

  2. Out of six op-eds in The News today five are about the Kerry-Lugar bill and the sixth references it. Hysteria doesn’t even begin to describe it.

    Nadir Hassan

    October 10, 2009 at 6:42 pm

  3. yeah i noticed that in my feed as well, its bizarre that such a (comparatively) simple piece of legislation is causing so much stir. i don’t get it.


    October 11, 2009 at 1:51 am

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