News

Pakistanis Praise Obama Cairo Speech But Await Specifics  

Multimedia

Audio

A group of Pakistanis who watched President Barack Obama's Cairo speech to Muslims are praising the American leader for his skill as a public speaker.  But after seeing the speech on television at VOA's Islamabad bureau, they say it lacked specific policy details that they consider crucial to improving U.S. relations with Pakistan.  

For Sajid Mahmoood Qazi, a student of law and international relations who works for the Pakistani government, there is no doubt that Obama's speech in Cairo was impressive.

"It was a beautiful discourse on the evolution of American society and the role Islam played, and the role of Muslims, whether they are cabbies in New York or have made fabulous riches," he said.   "It is wonderful to listen [to] from the highest level of American leadership."

But he says, as a student of law, President Obama's description of the Iraq war as a "war of choice" struck him as hypocritical.

"Well, I'm sorry Mr. President.  It was much more beyond that.  As a start, he [Obama] should have expressed the regrets, if not the apologies, for the invasion of Iraq," he added.

Muhammad Arif Muqueem, a university student in Islamabad, also praised Mr. Obama's speech.  But Muqueem said it did not propose solutions to specific policy issues that he believes must be addressed.

"His speech was good but just for listening.  Not for understanding," Muqueen said.  "I think this is impossible until you solve the Israel and Palestinian dispute, Pakistan and Afghanistan dispute and the Iraq dispute."

Asad Farooq, is a student at Bahria University in Islamabad. He also says the speech was a brilliant effort. However, Farooq wonders whether Mr. Obama would acknowledge that U.S. missile attacks - commonly referred to as drone attacks - on suspected terrorist bases in Pakistan make it difficult to trust his intentions.

"What is extremism?  Now come the drone attacks which happen in Pakistan.  Now there's a reason for extremism. They usually kill children and women in tribal areas.  They don't kill the terrorists," Farooq said.   "Drone attacks are not going to help; use of force is not going to help. I often say a statement that 'terror is an idea and you don't fight ideas with conventional armies'."

Overall, these Pakistanis say it will take much more than just a very well-delivered speech to alter Pakistani Muslims' attitudes about the United States.  They say it will take concrete change to decades of American policy in Pakistan.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs