Tag Archives: Dr. Majjida Ahmed

True democracy in Pakistan can prevent extremism

Dr. Majjida Ahmed, a founding member of Americans for Democracy & Justice in Pakistan, has an op-ed in today’s Daily Caller that examines the relationship between cementing a strong democratic process in Pakistan, and the prevention of extremist violence.

What turns middle-class young people from Pakistan, like Faisal Shahzad, toward militant extremism? It’s important to note that Shahzad spent his youth in Pakistan during the military rule of hard-line General Zia al-Huq, who instituted a school curriculum that taught intolerance towards religions other than Islam and promoted militancy. And it isn’t just military dictatorships that have bred intolerance. According to Sherry Rehman, the former Information Minister, rampant conspiracy theories and unchecked hate speech against Americans in the Pakistan media may also be playing a part in radicalizing some of the country’s youth.

Pakistan’s military has been historically reluctant to act against militant groups like Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (“TTP”), which originally claimed responsibility for the attempt, until a civilian government came to power. Since President Asif Ali Zardari took power, the public and the government have been able to press the military into successful operations against these groups. That is why it is so critical for the United States to focus not just on aiding Pakistan’s military but on strengthening Pakistan’s democratic institutions by encouraging responsible participation by all constituents, including the media, opposition and judiciary. That is what the elected government of President Asif Ali Zardari has been trying to achieve, despite severe and irresponsible pressure against such moves by its opponents in those same groups—pressure which arguably supports extremism.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2010/05/11/true-democracy-in-pakistan-can-prevent-extremism/

Bipartisan Letter from Democratic Rep. Jackson-Lee and Republican Rep. Burton Supporting Democratic Government in Pakistan

Letter Cites Op-Eds Warning of ‘Judicial Coup’ and Other Politically-Motivated Efforts to Destabilize Pakistan Government

The bipartisan Co-Chairs of the Congressional Pakistan Caucus circulated a letter Monday to their colleagues in the House of Representatives raising concerns about pressures on the democratically elected government and the role and recent actions of the judiciary in Pakistan, adding to those political pressures.

Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX, 18th Dist.) and Representative Dan Burton (R-IN, 5th Dist.), the two signatories, stated, “Pakistan is a critical partner of the United States on the frontlines of the war on terrorist extremists. Only with a strong and stable democratic government and civilian authority can Pakistan remain so.”

The letter cited two recent articles, “Judicial Coup in Pakistan,” published in the Asia and European editions of the Wall Street Journal on February 15, 2010, and “Our Security Depends on Aiding Pakistan,” published in The Hill newspaper on February 2, 2010. The articles examine recent actions taken by the Supreme Court of Pakistan that could threaten the separation of powers and create political instability in that country.

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