The Myth of 9/11


One of the depressing take-aways from Global Leadership Forum in Washington that struck me was my interaction with some Pakistani Fellows. I was confounded to see the level of anti-Americanism these people’s minds were filled with. Even many educated Pakistanis do not thankfully take the Fellowship as a wonderful opportunity offered by the US Department of State to learn new things and start a better chapter in their life.

With 19 fellows, Pakistan is currently the largest recipient of Hubert Humphrey Fellowship but our ambassador, Hussain Haqqani, still did not show up for a reception held at the State Department. Countries which had even one Fellow were either represented by their ambassadors or diplomatic staff.

I think our ambassador thinks like many other fellows I encountered during the GLF who’d say: ” So what?”,or ” Do you think Americans are doing us a favor?”
For me, yes. They have done me a great favor, at least.

As a person from a poor family in a Pak-Iran bordering town, my biggest regret in life will always remain that I could not go to Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad to do a Masters Degree because I could not afford it in my own country. Today, I am enrolled in one of the best journalism schools in the world.

I met a lot of Pakistani Humphrey Fellows who believe the Americans are offering us this fellowship to ‘brainwash’  and Americanize us to undermine Islam. It was funny when I saw a Muslim participant (who was luckily not from Pakistan) carrying a laptop in the hotel lobby and showing something to a Pakistani fellow.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“Come, come, See,” he said impatiently while showing me a video being played on his laptop.

” Watch this. You know actually Americans masterminded 9/11 to malign Islam,” he remarked.

I am abso-fucking-lutely sick of meeting these people who insist that 9/11 was a myth.

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