Imran Khan

In the name of God the Compassionate, the Merciful

There are certain events in the destiny of a nation which turn out to be a defining moments.  I believe the massacre at Newtown Ct. is one of them.  It is a defining moment not only because of the ghastly nature of the crime but also its causes.  The current narrative starting from the President downwards is that the widespread availability of the guns is to be blamed. On the other end of the spectrum the NRA is making the strange proposal of making every school teacher be armed. Under normal circumstances it would have been darkly amusing. Sure guns have something to do with it, but they are manifestation of the root cause. Lance Armstrong’s inspirational book titled ‘It’s Not About the Bike’ looks beyond what is obvious and takes the reader deeper into what really matters. What happened in Newtown can happen in any town in the USA, because the environment has been primed by the policies formed by the US government at the end of the Vietnam war. The image of children running away in the My Lai massacre changed the opinion of Americans against the Vietnam war.  It eroded the blind trust that Americans had put in their governments and things have never been quite the same.  The bitter lesson learned by the policy makers from this experience was to end the draft and not to allow journalists into the battlefield or document the returning body bags. This freed them from having to send their kids to the battlefields and to control the narrative of the events for American consumption. Anyone who stood in the way was either dehumanized or branded as unpatriotic.  The net result has been the steady growth of callouses of lack of empathy and compassion in the collective and individual behaviors.

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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

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 M. Salahuddin Khan

We’ve just passed the 9th anniversary of 9/11 and in lockstep with each passing year’s remembrance of that awful, tragic day, we’re reminded less than a month later of another anniversary, that of the start of America’s longest war—the war in Afghanistan.  Read more

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by Imran H. Khan

Salman Ahmed is a well known musician out of Pakistan and South Asia. He is the founder of one of the most famous rock bands out of that region by the name of Junoon. He has recently written a book by the name of “Rock and Roll Jihad“. When I first heard about the book and the title it struck me as something odd. Rock and Roll and Jihad had until now not been said in the same sentence. Jihad in Arabic language means to strive. In the Islamic religious sense it means  “striving in the cause of God”. Jihad has been classified either as al-jihād al-akbar (the greater jihad), the struggle against one’s soul (nafs), or al-jihād al-asghar (the lesser jihad), the external, physical effort, often implying fighting.  Having had seen Salman grow from a cute little child to what he is now, it does not take much to understand how he has used his musical skills to achieve social activism in fighting injustices, bigotry, national animosities, disease, religious misunderstandings, religious radicalism and the list goes on.

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by Imran H. Khan

timeWe in the Pakistani American community have been deeply troubled by the attempt by one of its new member to bomb the Time Square. Pakistani American community is a well to do community; as was this perpetrator. Faisal does not fit the typical profile of these kinds of criminals. Before we start talking about putting out the correct responses within our society to stop this in future; we need to learn more about what made Faisal undertake such a mission. Read more

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An informal off-the-record expose by Air Marshal (R) Inam H. Khan

F-6-ChinaPakistan was the first Muslim country to recognize China in 1950 and the third non communist state. Pakistan then voted for a bill concerning the restoration of China’s legitimate rights in the UN. PIA became the first non-communist airline to fly into China in 1964.

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by Imran H. Khan

blastLittle did I know when I first posted this that there would be a number of drone strikes and suicide explosions immediately after wards. I know of no nation in the world that willfully allows another nation to attack and kill its citizens, specially when it has the resources to stop it. The current civil and military leadership of Pakistan needs to be held accountable for allowing Pakistani citizens to be killed, on a nearly daily basis, by its people. I had recorded  a talk show on US policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan in April 2009. It discussed the anticipated change in the US policy brought about by the new Obama administration.   Read more

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by Air Cdre M Kaiser Tufail (Retd) F-6

The US embargo on military sales to Pakistan at the outbreak of 1965 Indo-Pak War was received with dismay and disbelief by the PAF, whose combat and training aircraft were totally of US origin. Already starting to get outclassed by more modern aircraft, the F-86Fs, F-104s and B-57s were now plagued by spares support problems that rendered them virtually worthless in the PAF. The C-in-C of the PAF, Air Marshal Nur Khan who had cannily led the force during the war, sensed the criticality of the situation and started an immediate search for suitable aircraft from new sources. Read more

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by Izaz Haque

natickmallWith so much to talk about these days, a lot of good opinions get left out there unheard. So lets get them out…right here on Imran’s blog.

I can start with a few leaders…

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