OSC: Pakistani Editorialists Respond to Obama

The USG Open Source Center translates Pakistani editorials from the Urdu press reacting to President Obama’s address in Cairo to the Muslim world.

Pakistan: Urdu Press Roundup on Address of US President at Cairo University
The following is a roundup of excerpts from editorials on the address of US President Barack Obama at a university in Cairo in which he said that the United States wants new relationship with the Islamic world and that it was not in a state of war with Islam but against extremism, published in the 6 June editions of 10 Urdu dailies.
Pakistan — OSC Summary
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Document Type: OSC Summary

Maintaining that President Obama will have to come forward to solve the problems faced by the Islamic world for better relations with it, the editorial states: “If President Obama really wants to change the black and bloody face of the United States and intends to abandon current US behavior of enmity toward Muslims, he will have to take practical steps instead of giving advices and admonitions. He should not take Muslims as so simple and foolish that he can impress them with a single speech and they start considering the United States an Islam-friendly country and Obama their well-wisher. He should announce withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan first for the improvement of relationship between the United States and Muslims.”

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Ummat Editorial Says Followers of All Faiths Want Peace

Stressing the need of peaceful coexistence as enshrined in teachings of all religions, the editorial states: “The people of the Islamic world as well as Americans will have no difference with the ideas of President Obama because all religions of the world want to live in peace and tranquility. There is a small group ofpeople in power, which pits them against each other. No religion approves of hatred among human beings, hostility, and bloodshed. If all people follow the real teachings of their religions, this earth can become a cradle of peace, love, and prosperity.”

Jasarat Editorial Terms Address as Jugglery of Words

Finding nothing special in the address of the US President, which was declared as an address to the Islamic world, the editorial comments: “Addressing Muslims across the world from a university in Cairo, President Barack Obama gave a message that the United States and Islam are not against each other and that he wants to open a new era of relationship with Muslims. To prove the sincerity of his intention and desire for reviving relationship between the United States and Muslims, he proposed a two-state solution of the Palestine problem. But he advised Israel and threatened Palestinians and HAMAS. There was nothing in therest of his address except jugglery of words.”

Express Editorial Advises Obama To Act on His Words

Urging the US President to translate into action what he claimed in his address, the editorial says: “If we keep in mind the seeds of hatred sown by former US President Bush during his rule of eight years, we can say that President Obama‚Äôs speech was good, beyond any doubt. We believe that you (Obama) have trust in God and the holy Koran, and we acknowledge that you want to open, in all sincerity, a new era of relationship between the United States and the Islamic world. We also respect your desire that an independent and sovereign Palestinian state should be established. But for this, you will have to take the first step, i.e., to initiate implementing your beautiful and impressive words.”

Mashriq Editorial Links End of Extremism With Resolution of Disputes

Emphasizing that extremism in the Islamic world cannot be exterminated, as President Obama has desired, until the major issues are resolved, the editorial says: “It will not be unjust to expect that President Obama’s address can be made foundation for dialogue with Muslims across the world. The Islamic countries should join heads together to make preparations in this regard and draw up ajoint strategy under which they may lay the foundation of their relationship with Washington without compromising their Islamic and national dignity. There is a need to highlight the need that until the issues of Palestine, Kashmir, and Iraq are resolved, elimination of the tendency of extremism and militancy is impossible.”

Jinnah Editorial Deplores Omission of Kashmir in Obama’s Address

Lamenting that there was no mention of the important issue of Kashmir that has been threatening peace in this part of the world, the editorial says: “During his visit to Egypt, the US President made great attempt to create a soft corner for him and his country among Muslims. But how should we take the policy thatthe United States has been pursuing. He excluded the Kashmir issue from his entire address with great beauty. The obvious reason for this appears to be that he didn’t want to run the risk of making India angry.”

Aaj Kal Editorial Says Speech Message of Democracy

Dismissing the suggestions by detractors about the selection of venue for addressing Muslims, the editorial writes: “Objections were raised on the speech even before it was delivered. It was said that why he selected such a country where dilapidated dictator is thrusting him on his nation through fake referendum in which he gets some 90 percent votes. Since Obama was to make this speech income Arab country, what country should he have selected if tested on the touchstone of democracy? Why the critics don’t say that what can be better than going to the heart of a society struggling for democracy and human rights togive a message of democracy.”

Ausaf Editorial Demands Obama To Deliver Speech in Pakistan, Afghanistan

Stating that President Obama should visit Islamabad and Kabul to answer questions boggling the local minds, the editorial says: “Obama should deliver an address at Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad following his speech in Cairo University and give an assurance to the people fighting against the United States that his country does not believe in killing and bloodshed and that he wants to put an end toit. He should also deliver a speech at Kabul University and extend a hand of goodwill to the Pashtuns of Afghanistan. Obama will have to work hard to bridge the gulf of trust; otherwise the current wave of terrorism will sweep more areas.”

Jang Editorial Claims Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Finding the sentiments expressed by the US President in his speech as encouraging, the editorial states: “The speech of President Obama is certainly appreciable because an acknowledgement has been made by the most powerful figure of the United States that the country is not up against Islam and Muslims and that it is only against extremism, in whatever manifestation it is. However, no sensible person will deny that impressive words cannot yield desired results until backed by will and power to act on them in letter and spirit. Therefore, until the United States takes concrete and positive steps to translate its sentiments and aspirations about Muslims and Islam into reality, chances of bridging the gap with the Islamic community will remain slim.”

Khabrain Editorial Asks US To Abandon Unjust Policies

Claiming that the United States has an eye on the world’s mineral and energy resources, the editorial says: “We have already pointed out in these lines that President Obama is coming to take something from the Arabs and not to give something to them. Anyhow, the words of the US President are welcoming. If only! He acted upon them. If the United States wants peace in the world, it will have to abandon its expansionist designs, lust for mineral and energy resources, and the religious prejudice.”

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