Eminent Pakistani scientist and social activist Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy has said that though Faisal Shehzad failed to detonate a bomb in New York’s Times Square, many Faisal Shehzads were in line in Pakistan and one of them might be successful. He made the observation while delivering a keynote lecture at the three-day American-Pakistan Physicians Association (APPNA) where some 4,000 physicians assembled in a 5-star hotel in Dallas, Texas.

“There was a state of denial” when the news broke about the failed Times Square adventure, said Hoodbhoy. It was speculated that it was a grand CIA programme to defame Pakistan but now it has been admitted by Shehzad himself in a court of law that he got training from a Taliban group and “believed that there is a war between Islam and the US”.

Hoodbhoy pointed out that Shehzad was not somebody who was unsuccessful in society.

Hoodbhoy admitted that the US has been “unkind” and demonstrated brutality in Vietnam, Iraq and other places. “The US had no business in Iraq,” he remarked. He said the “conflict is universal” and pointed out that in Pakistan, the Army was engaged in military action in Balochistan and the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (Fata).
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He said drones could see even the numberplates of a moving car and the damage was not comparable to highly destructive bombers used by the US in Vietnam but despite immense sufferings, Vietnam didn’t send suicide bombers to the US.

Hoodbhoy went on to say that every mosque in Pakistan was guarded by people with machine guns yet they had not been successful to preventing suicide bombing. He said now the minority Shia community and Barelvis were so scared that they had completely changed their religious routines.

“Another 9/11 is unimaginable,” Hoodbhoy cautioned.

He argued that the present war was not a war between Islam and the West. “We have to stop the poison that is pouring out of our Masajid and Madrassas,” he said. If you will be teaching what was being taught in Pakistan, there would be hundreds of Faisal Shahzads.

Another speaker Imam Zia Sheikh said as Muslims we were at the crossroads, particularly after 9/11. They (the terrorists) take gullible people and brainwash them, he pointed out.

“It’s important to counter this; to teach our children correct Islam,” he said. The issue has become very complex, particularly due to suicide bombing phenomenon, he said. He claimed that 99.9 per cent of our scholars condemned suicide bombing. “Sectarian violence is also a huge issue in Pakistan,” he said. “This is completely against Sunnah,” he observed. Talking to The News the other day when it was pointed out that citing an American think tank the prestigious American newspaper Los Angeles Times wrote recently that the “Long War” would continue for 70 to 80 years and was all about energy, Hoodbhoy preferred to remain silent. (The News)