For years, many people in Pakistan hated the policies of US President George W. Bush.Â Most Pakistanis believed that the policies of Mr. Bush to fight terrorism were failed policies. Yes that is right! Because almost every step taken by him had ironically empowered the fundamental forces like the Taliban and spread the hatred against USA. Many innocent youngsters have joined Taliban just to take revenge of the murders of their innocent loved ones, who died as a collateral damage in this war against terrorism. In short, instead of bringing harmony and peace between Muslims and the West, President Bush has actually increased the hatred between the two. And probably this is the reason why not only Pakistanis but also the citizens of USA wanted a change and they have succeeded on November 4th.
With the victory of Barack Obama, the US president elect, many Pakistanis believe that Americans have taken their revenge by exercising their democratic power. Before the elections the blogosphere was divided on Obama's views about Pakistan. He once suggested that if he is elected he will unilaterally attack inside the Pakistani territory to hunt down the terrorists. Although some stood by Obama, many Pakistanis had reservations about him because of this. The other candidate John McCain was not popular among Pakistanis, so many decided not to support either of them at this stage.
But Obama was able to regain some Pakistani support when he cleared the confusion regarding his statement on Pakistan in a debate with McCain:
Video uploaded to YouTube by Townhalldebate08
Another reason for Pakistanis supporting Obama is that the people believe that he is the person who understands Muslims better than John McCain. And of course, the hope is there that Obama can play a positive role in building bridges between Muslims and the West.
Let us have a look at the recent posts of Pakistani blogosphere on this issue.
Teeth Maestro Explains the reasons why he is supporting Barak Obama:
The conclusion I have achieved is most definitely debatable, I choose to look beyond mere words and see a possible solution for the mess in Pakistan. For me Obama represents a fresh change in the White House, it is my understanding that they both propose â€˜approximatelyâ€™ the same line of action for Pakistan. Obama wishes to quickly clean up the terrorism threat in Pakistan, while McCain proposes a slow but extensively drawn out plan of action, which I feel actually means a long term American presence in Pakistan. If they are both generally coming with the same mindset then I feel I would carefully put my eggs into Obamaâ€™s basket.
Will the US ever be the same again?
Since life is all about flux, we continuously change, therefore any questions of change can be rhetorical in nature.
Yes, caution is advised and one must never underestimate the shenanigans of theÂ neconzix, but the looming victory of Barack Hussein Obama (according toÂ these punditsÂ andÂ this studyÂ of polls by Nat Silver) to come (on) November 4, 2008 will be a global watershed event.
Where elseÂ an immigrant family can rise to such richesâ€¦ A true personification of â€œAmerican Dreamâ€. As I watched the speech, I was trying to find similarities and differences between Pakistan and America.
The way Obama interacted with the crowd reminded me ofÂ Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.Â Only one leader in known history of Pakistan had such a charismaâ€¦ Also I do see some sparks of such charisma in Lawyers Movement.Â
Adil Najam at Pakistaniat shares his concerns:
Without losing sight of the fact that Americans will, and should, elect the President they think is best for America, not for PakistanÂ – and not withstandingÂ my own expressed view that Pakistani-Americans will also be voting this time on theirÂ ownÂ domestic policy concerns and not on Pakistanâ€™s foreign policy preferencesÂ – one does wonder how a new administration in Washington (now that there is already a new administration in Islamabad) might impact Pakistan.
M. Junaid Khan at Pro-Pakistan hopes:
With an Democrat sitting in White House, I am sure less focus will be placed on wars and more focus will be on the economic betterment of America and its allies.
Lets hope the 44th American President proves himself a good choice for the large number of Muslims in America as well as outside who voted for him.Â
I personally appreciate the power of democracy in America and I would like to end with the following words of Obama:
If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.
* This post also appears in Global Voices Online.