Your story on the republican primaries and the consequent anti-pakistan rhetoric was very timely and very informative. For a Pakistani American, I am appalled by the tactics and strategies utilized by presidential hopefuls and while I feel that such rhetoric is unfair, I am also convinced that it will not go a long way. It has become a practice to issue harsh soundbytes to gain approval and votes but the reality is that very little is acted upon once the hopeful enters the Oval Office. Such rhetoric makes for good rally- ing and it must be remembered that much of what is said is a result of uninformed policies, baseless knowledge and self-projection. While the issue is certainly disturbing and has led many to question what a Republican leadership may pursue, I think Us-pakistan relations need not worry about such distractions, since such a scenario is highly unlikely. Republicans face a tough candidate in President Obama and right when things are heading towards normalization in the ever-rocky bilateral relations, Pakistan and the U.S must continue with their policies and pay little heed to sideline players. Murtaza Naqvi
2. Your story on Republican rhetoric and how it impacts Pakistan was beautifully presented and highlighted a balanced viewpoint providing both sides of the argument. As a Pakistani, I am disturbed by the publicity stunt carried out by a group that remains highly influential in the Congress and is once again looking to occupy the White House. Whether they constitute a majority or whether they will ever make it to the most sought after job in the United States, rhetoric such as this issues warning signs to the very sensitive USPakistan relationship. While it has been argued in some articles in your magazine, that this is nothing but rhetoric and should not be taken seriously, the fact of the matter remains that PAK-US relations rely heavily on misunderstandings, unfortunately triggered by misinformed and rash soundbytes. This could once again be the case. Pakistanis take deep offence to an “ally” that criticizes them so frequently when the country and its people have made innumerable sacrifices to fighting America’s war. While the Republican viewpoint may find only limited success in the US, it is infuriating to see Republicans act in such a carefree manner. For now, it is fortunate that Pakistanis view the situation with a cool head. Only time will tell, how long this will last.
Ahmed Mustafa Islamabad, Pakistan