Imran Khan

Ten years after the “Islamic Attack” on 9/11, some of the saner Americans have overcome the trauma to reflect on the reality that is Islam’s historic legacy. I had the privilege of viewing many pieces of art from various muslim countries made of the period of centuries at the Metropolitan museum in New York. The pain taken in exquisitely presenting these incredible pieces is worth every praise.  The curators took the time and effort to dig into the history of each and every piece and present it to the visitor in both written and aural form. The respect shown to the work of muslim artists is in sharp contrast to the negative narrative still in mainstream media. But healthy signs are now manifesting them in different forms where some of the americans are having the guts to standing up to the mainstream media.

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Imran Khan

One of OPEN’s goals has all along been to support businesses in Pakistan in a manner consistent with our core principles of staying “Hungry and Foolish” with respect to entrepreneurism. OPEN chapters have historically gone out of their way to assist Pakistani businesses efforts to gain traction in the US and global markets.  We started off by assisting those Pakistani businessmen visiting the US, as we were busy establishing ourselves. We, then with the assistance of MIT Enterprise Forum, started the MITEFP-OPEN Business Acceleration Plan competition in Karachi Pakistan. This allowed us to gain traction with the young and budding entrepreneurs their. There were some hesitancy within OPEN about opening a chapter in Pakistan as some other similar organizations did not do as well due to lack of right kind of leadership needed. The winners of BAP competition showed us that there is a new breed of Pakistani businessmen who have the credentials and zest who could be worked with. Read more

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Salman Ahmad

In the history of nations, there comes a time, when the chasm between what its people deserve and what they are getting is so huge, that revolutionary changes are needed to restore the balance. I believe that time is now for the people of Pakistan. It does not take much to look around at statistics and news from nearly any perspective to see that the State and the existing mind set amongst the Pakistanis has moved astray from the vision of the founding fathers. I have received countless e-mails, calls and tweets from concerned Pakistanis who all want to see a fundamental change in the dangerous trajectory that Pakistan is on. Read more

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Imran H. Khan
When you put God’s creation of flowers and plants in the hands of some of the world’s most accomplished floral artists, you get amazing works of art. The World Association of Flower Arrangers (WAFA) held their World Show in Boston last week. The show was titled “This Glorious Earth” and was held at the World Trade Center on the water front.  WAFA has over 150,000 members from over thirty countries.  WAFA is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of international floral art societies. It recently celebrated its 29th year as the global authority on floral design and aesthetics, acting as a governing body by coordinating floral art events and standards for member countries. Through its worldwide scope, WAFA enhances the diversity of the floral art form by transcending international cultural barriers and bringing together fresh ideas. Pakistan had been scheduled to host the last show, but it was canceled due to security concerns. Pakistani members made it a point to show their prowess in Flower Arrangement by sending over 40 members to this show and winning twenty awards.

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Imran H. Khan

The recent US mission to get Osama without the knowledge of Pakistan Air Force was a success because of PAF’s lack of investment in sensors that can detect low flying aircraft in undulating and hilly terrain. This is not the first time that PAF has been caught in this embarrassing situation. Indian Air Force was able to penetrate deep into Pakistani territory in 1971, knowing that PAF did not have low level radar coverage in many areas.  At that time PAF depended on mobile observer units (MOUs) for human visual and aural detection of planes.  This man power intensive brute force effort only worked in limited areas and only during war. Despite investing in limited low altitude radars and airborne radars it is obvious that there are gaping holes in the air defense system as exemplified by the unscathed operation of multiple large rotor helicopters for hours in Pakistani airspace deep into its territory.

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Imran H. Khan

I was recently invited to a dinner by a doctor friend where I had the opportunity to meet Ethan Casey and Todd Shea. Ethan has written a book called “Alive and Well in Pakistan” which captures his interactions with Pakistanis  in his stay there. Most of the people there were doctors of Pakistani descent living around the Boston area. They had organized a fund raiser a day earlier and the dinner was to get to meet these two gentlemen up close. I had met Todd Shea earlier a couple of years ago and was familiar with his work and admired how he had been able to connect with the people of Kashmir and had decided to settle amongst them. As we got talking it struck me that we in the US of Pakistani descent shared a lot in common the two guests. Todd mentioned that he deliberately travels in T shirt and western clothes without carrying any weapons and the people in Pakistan greatly appreciate it. A lady guest at the dinner,who works in a large retail store,  commented that ever since 9/11 she makes it a point to let people know that she is a Pakistani Muslim and that vast majority of people that she interacts with appreciate it. Ethan and Todd in their efforts are trying to convey to the Americans that Pakistanis are like regular people that have been wrongfully demonized in the US press to suit the narrative concocted by the US policy makers to further their goals of hegemony and power projection. Read more

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by Imran H. Khan

On a drizzly cold night in Dec of 1965 I found myself traveling  with my father to see the Tienanmen Square from our Sinchou hotel located close to the old city. I had just arrived from Pakistan via Canton on an ex-PIA Viscount turbo-prop of CAAC, the Chinese airline, and it seemed that I had landed on an alien planet. Everything was different here. The bread was white (steamed bread), music was string percussion, no one spoke English and bicycles were everywhere. Traveling on a two piece electric bus that silently carried the huddled Chinese in their quilt coats was a novelty for an eleven year old. I had seen photos of the Tienamen Square, but experiencing it at night for the first time with well light anchor buildings was a sensory overload. This was my introduction to the Pre-Cultural Revolution China, where my sense of novelty was only matched by the curiosity Chinese around me. I later on got to realized that I was only a handful of foreigners in the city and country where  PIA’s Boeing 707 was the only jet servicing the whole country. Here was a dark kid with a pointy nose in a mass of not so dark and not so pointy nosed people. Read more

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by Farhana Azim

The Floral Art Society of Pakistan (FASP) organized a national event this year in Islamabad to raise funds for the flood effected people. It consisted of floral exhibits displayed by the members of the  four chapters and demonstrations done by members of the FASP Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. The theme of the demo was “Unity and peace through The Language of Flowers”.

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by Imran H. Khan

Today is the ninth anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan by US troops. It is time to reflect on the manner in which US got involved. It is also a good time to look at responsible ways to get out of the Afghan quagmire while ensuring peace for all the nations involved.  To re-phrase the line from the movie “Gladiator”, “Countries should know when the war has been lost”. This comment is not a reflection on the proud soldiers serving there, and has more to do with the policy. I had stated in a publicly broadcast show that the war in Afghanistan had been lost early last year.  Everything since then has gone downhill,  as was easily predictable to those who have the slightest sense of the region. It is already the longest war that US has ever fought. Churchill once said that “America will always do the right thing, but only after exhausting all other options.” It is now time to do the right thing as all the options have been exhausted.

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by Fakhr Alam

To all you Pakistanis all over the world, our country is unquestionably faced with the worst crisis of all times. I cannot express the grief and the sorrow that I am witnessing. I want you all to understand that this is worst then the 2005 earthquake.  Do not use the death toll to quantify the scale of the disaster. Believe me the misery and the pain is much much more. The aftermath of the floods will be far more devastating then the floods themselves. Today official figures claim 20 million displaced affected people, but this figure can take a severe climb. As I write this secondary flood warnings are flashing on all local news channels.

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