Posts tagged ‘sherry rehman’

ICapp Exclusive: Sherry Rehman Slams Punjab’s “Total Insanity”

By , 19 June, 2010, 4 Comments

In the wee hours of the morning, I got word that Pakistani politician Sherry Rehman was circulating an op-ed statement against the Government of Punjab, Pakistan’s largest and wealthiest province. Think of it as the Midwest (farms, mills, and traditional values) meets New England (history and culture and more tradition). It’s where the army recruits from, where the most federal funds go, and where the tourists want to visit. In other words, it’s the establishment.

Rehman was outraged because Punjab has just decided to give some of those federal budgetary funds to Jamaat-ud-Dawa, an Islamic charity considered to be the political arm of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a militant organization focused primarily on the ‘liberation’ of Kashmir and its establishment as an Islamic state. Unlike the militant groups in the Western part of Pakistan (who focus on destabilizing Pakistan itself) or those militants exiled in Pakistan due to the US/NATO operations in Afghanistan (who focus on fighting Western forces), L-e-T targets Pakistan’s major rival, and as such, has historically received support from Pakistan’s military elite, and a blind eye from its government.But, says Rehman, direct financial support from civilian leaders is a new step, and a bridge too far. “It’s total insanity,” she shouts, when she speaks to me from her home in Karachi.

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Live with Talat

By , 25 November, 2009, 4 Comments

As I’ve written previously, one of the joys of being an American abroad is the experience of encountering fellow expats: overwhelmed by our minority status, we tend to band together and overcome geographic or class barriers that divide us at home. There’s a similar experience I’m having as a journalist abroad in a country that is notoriously unsafe for journalists. At home, different publications compete for scoops; here, I’ve had correspondents from rival American papers and local media fall over themselves to hand over their sources and their leads. In no instance has that humbled me more than in the case of Talat Hussain, a local TV host whose program I’ve been watching on our home satellite subscription in New York for ages. In addition to giving me advice on my stories, he generously allowed me to sit in on a taping of his show. Here’s the episode I saw: