Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Islam and Politics
04 Oct 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com
Talk to, Not at, Pakistan

By Asif Ali Zardari

Democracy always favors dialogue over confrontation. So, too, in Pakistan, where the terrorists who threaten both our country and the United States have gained the most from the recent verbal assaults some in America have made against Pakistan. This strategy is damaging the relationship between Pakistan and the United States and compromising common goals in defeating terrorism, extremism and fanaticism. It is time for the rhetoric to cool and for serious dialogue between allies to resume. Our motives are simple. We have a huge population of young people who have few choices in life. Our task is to turn this demographic challenge into a dividend for democracy and pluralism, where the embrace of tolerance elbows out the lure of extremism, where jobs turn desolation into opportunity and empowerment, where plowshares take the place of guns, where women and minorities have a meaningful place in society. But when we don’t strategize together, and when an ally is informed instead of consulted, we both suffer. The sooner we stop shooting verbal arrows at each other and coordinate our resources against the advancing flag of fanaticism, the sooner we can restore stability to the land for which so much of humanity continues to sacrifice.-- Asif Ali Zardari


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