Monday, August 02, 2004

South Asians for Kerry

This letter and response to it was published in DT, Aug 2, 2004

Khalid Hasan in his report from Washington, “Pakistani moneybags raise funds for Kerry”, (Daily Times, July 26), has not only misstated certain facts but also carelessly (and incorrectly) implied a connection of the event with politics in Pakistan.

It’s true that there was a fund-raiser for Kerry in New York early this month in which many Pakistani-Americans participated, but it was organised by a group known as South Asians for Kerry. As the name suggests, the group includes American citizens of Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi origin.

It is also true that the “Pakistanis” did raise a significant amount at the fund-raiser, but it was not done at the behest of anyone in Pakistan. In fact, it had nothing to do with politics in Pakistan, but everything to do with politics in America. Pakistani-Americans have begun to realise that if they want to have a say in American society and have any influence on American politics they better integrate. And that they will have a bigger say and greater influence if they act as a part of much larger South Asian group rather than marginalising themselves. And, again, many Pakistani-Americans along with many other South Asian-Americans have decided that their interests would be better served if there was a Democrat in the White House in 2005. That was the whole idea of creating the South Asians group for Kerry group.

It is also true that many of the participants in the fund-raiser belonged to different investing banks in New York but the presence of Citibank, as mentioned by Khalid Hasan, was hardly noticeable. And lastly, there is no bank in New York with the name of Stanley Morgan as mentioned in Mr Hasan’s report. There is one Morgan Stanley, though.
AZIZ AKHMAD
New York

Khalid Hasan adds: I am happy to know that those who gathered in New York to raise money for Senator Kerry did so on their own. It is also good news that more and more Pakistanis, unlike in the past, now realise that Bush should be voted out. That I typed out Stanley Morgan instead of Morgan Stanley, Mr Aziz Ahmad should attribute not so much to my ignorance (of which I have plenty when it comes to money and moneybags) as my deadline, Pakistan being 10 hours ahead of Washington from where I file my reports.

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