If you didn’t get a chance to watch U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s rather refreshing testimony before Congress last week, here is the clip:
Ultimately, Clinton recognizes the U.S. role in funding the Pakistani mujahideen, the fighters sent to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets in the 1980s. She asserted,
Let’s remember that the people we are fighting today, we funded 20 years ago. And we did it because we were locked in this struggle with the Soviet Union…and we went to work.
Obviously, we cannot change the past – but an acknowledgment from Washington about the part they played in the problem is still pretty cathartic. What do you think?
In related news, the CS Monitor reported that hundreds of protesters marched to Lahore’s General Post Office today, armed with posters and letters urging the government to step up its fight against militancy. The letter, circulated via email and over Facebook, read, “Mr. President, we too must fight the Taliban, who have chosen to fight against the state and who routinely terrorize and kill innocent Pakistanis. It is incumbent upon you to mobilize the nation against the scourge of the Taliban before it is too late.”
Although the rally was relatively small in size, especially in comparison to the country’s Long March last month, it nevertheless shows how the public conscience has begun to sway collectively against the Taliban. And it’s not just secular Pakistanis. Dawn also reported today that top leaders of the Tablighi Jamaat, a missionary Islamic movement, spoke out against the enforcement of Sharia at gunpoint, religious extremism, and terrorism, calling instead for peace, interfaith harmony, and human rights. One leader told a congregation, “Muslims should preach peace, brotherhood and tolerance across the world, including Israel. They must avoid imposing their creed or faith by force because Islam is a religion of peace and promotes tranquility.”