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American Journal: Day Eight

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By Shoukat Zardari, AWAZ-TV Anchor from Karachi, Pakistan

Life is going on and days are passing so fast and no matter where ever you live in the world, whatever you do, either happy or sad, there are three words to define life and they are "life goes on."  Chattanooga has become familiar to me and I am still trying to map up ways to go where I want to go, even though I keep forgetting technology is always with me here.

My Wednesday started with the usual early morning meeting, but today I didn't go out for reporting. I was working on a story in which assets of three Taliban supporters were frozen by the U.S. Treasury Department.

In short, I can say as a journalist that we should not link terrorists with countries because countries have suffered and are still suffering from this mindset. It is better to understand now that if they can operate from a country with the best security system like the U.S., than they can operate from anywhere in the world.

Today I also got a chance to speak  regarding this step taken by the U.S. government. I had only three minutes to analyze how things happened and what can be done more in this regard. Pakistan has suffered a lot from this cancer and Pakistani people are living a scaring life there but people living outside always blame Pakistan as being a safe heaven for terrorists.

As I said in my TV interview, to get over with this situation we need to be very open from all sides and we should stop blaming each other and need to be focus on the mission named War On Terror for the U.S. and war of terror for Pakistan.

I know my blog today might make you angry but I do not hide what is true.

Lets go back to the late '80s. The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and the U.S. told Pakistan to send Mujahideen's to defend the interests of the U.S. there. Two superpowers were fighting and a country with crippled economy was helping and supporting.

Finally the war ended and the Soviet Union lost it completely. When the mission was accomplished, however, no one cared at that time and the U.S. left the area but forgot to take her weapons home. Even in the joy of winning that war they left the entire world at stake by leaving weapons and a force now known as Taliban.

I don't support Taliban, but if we will not learn from history we can never secure our future.

Just a decade after the Russian war we saw a terrible incident in the U.S. and it took the entire world into shock.  Here was our mistake which responded back and again today the U.S. is in Afghanistan and fighting its own mistakes.

Let me clear few things here: there was only one incident in the U.S. but my country has seen many 9/11's since this war has begun. We are paying the price of what we didn't do but just supported the U.S.'s cause for the peace of the world. I will not say that we have not made mistakes, yes we have. But we may have made mistakes because we thought it was right just the as U.S. thinks it the same way.

Now Pakistan is suffering from both the Taliban and from the drones. We don't say that striking against Taliban is not good, but striking alone is causing more casualties of innocent people and here we forget the human rights. If the U.S. does not trust Pakistan then it should be straight forward and talk about facts. If Pakistan is not doing well then they should rethink and re plan their priorities, but we can't keep going like this always. We have lost a former Prime minister and now our young Malala is attacked. How can we tolerate all this?

Friends, this is all created by governments. Neither Muslims are enemies of you, nor are Christians enemies of Muslims. These all are mindsets. Innocent people who love peace are just being killed. Mothers have lost sons, daughters have lost fathers, wives are crying for their husbands and sisters still miss their brothers. But after all this, everyone only wants this fight to go on and on. If we need to fight then we should go with a strategy, not with statements. w

We have suffered from all means, our economy is crippled, our people died, our schools got attacked, and still we are blamed of not being fair. We have lost almost everything except hope so try to understand and try to rethink. As you want this war to end we too want if the same way but ask from your heart is it going to end like this? I think no.

Taliban want to fight till Islamic laws are implemented in the country and we will fight until we hunt them all. But in between this we may lose everything we have. And we don't want to lose many Malala's. We have no more Benazir Bhutto to lose.

Just think again and again.

Editor's Note: Shoukat Zardari is visiting WRCB for the month of October to learn about U.S. media coverage. He is part of a foreign journalist visitor program supported by the U.S. State Department. WRCB is one of 14 American media organizations hosting a Pakistani journalist. Click here to learn more about Mr. Zardari's visit.

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