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THE INDEX — July 10, 2009


David A. Andelman: Pakistan on the Brink?

World Policy Journal hosted a group of top CEOs from leading Pakistani companies, as well as American companies with large Pakistani subsidiaries, and several members of the United States embassy in Islamabad, including the dynamic new ambassador, Anne W. Patterson. The goal of the delegation was to persuade American investors and the media they read, that there is a continuing story of progress in Pakistan beyond the daily unrest that seems to make that country, the world’s sixth most-populous nation, a somewhat questionable destination for major investment initiatives. Their case was a persuasive one. A representative of Proctor & Gamble described a $100 million investment that was being made there, in part to develop a factory to produce disposal diapers—for a nation that is adding some 11 million new babies a year and promises to continue doing so for the next century or more. Another noted a project to build new gas-fired power generating facilities, then there was a furniture manufacturer (Pearl Furniture based in Peshawar, the heart of the Northwest Frontier Province) and several conglomerates, each with their own compelling story.

Sharmeen Gangat: Crime and (the Lack of) Punishment in Pakistan

The night of May 10, 2007, was violently nightmarish for us. My husband and I were on a yearly trip from our home in New York to visit family and friends in Pakistan. We arrived in Karachi on the night of May 10, 2007. My family met us at the airport and in just 20 minutes of landing, our car, carrying my sister, brother, and myself, rolled up to the front of my parents' house. Another car, carrying my husband and father, had left the airport bit sooner. We expected to see them removing the luggage as we pulled up. Instead, I saw my father and husband standing outside their car, encircled by four, young, clean-shaven boys brandishing AK-47 assault rifles. Before I could comprehend the situation, there was a burst of rifle shots. In utter confusion, my brother threw the car into reverse. The armed men began spraying bullets at us, and we crashed into a lamppost. Wielding their rifles, they surrounded our car, smashing the windows with their guns and forcing us out into the street. I was convinced that I would not see my loved ones again. My brother was pulled out of the car and beaten up before my eyes, while my husband and father looked on at gunpoint. Meanwhile, another vehicle pulled alongside our car, yelled something at the armed boys, and they all zoomed off, taking only our luggage. We thanked our stars that it had not been worse.



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