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Dialogue of Cultures
by Suzanne Klebe
Mr. LaRouche, At Podium, Addresses Pakistani-Americans
Economist, statesman, and Presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche was the honored guest and keynote speaker during the annual fundraiser of the Pakistani-American Tameer-e-Millat (National Building) educational foundation in New York City June 28, 2003. The audience of approximately 350 included the leadership of the Pakistani community in the New York-New Jersey area, as well as representatives from Pakistan and elsewhere. Posters for the conference declared that the literacy rate in Pakistan lingers at 40.9%, "Pakistan ranks 138 compared to a rank of 90 for Sri Lanka and 98 for China; 35% of children do not have access to education; and 81% of the primary graduates cannot write even a simple letter."
The July 4 , 2003 issue of "Muslims" ran an article on the event, featuring a prominent photo of LaRouche standing at the podium with New York Society of International Help (SIH) president Shafqat Chaudhary. The article reported that LaRouche, "a U.S. Presidential candidate for 2004, was the chief guest of the SIH's annual fundraiser," and that "the fundraising [was] to support 280 non-formal community schools and 22 formal schools, including a school of excellence, and teachers; training schools in Pakistan."
In introducing LaRouche, the moderator, Dr. Mohammad Amjad, Director of SIH, said: "Mr. LaRouche, as you are an economist, I am sure you know that an economy, that Pakistan is suffering, and you also know who is responsible for that.... We started this school and we are at the very beginning stage, but the vision is to give these students the top-notch education, but at the same time to give them the character-building, and the patriotism and make them a good citizen of Pakistan." With that, the moderator, went on, "I will not keep you waiting for too long. I know that you all want to hear our honorable guest. When I was looking to introduce Mr. LaRouche and I found that everybody in the Pakistani community knew him, and I was happy and impressed, and Mr. LaRouche is a very known economist, and we all know him for his views and ideas, and he is a real American; he wants America to live in peace, and he wants the other world to also flourish and live with peace in this universe."
Crisis and Opportunity
LaRouche began: "As you look around the world today you have two pictures: One, a fearful one. The spread of war the threat of war Terror. On the other hand, in Asia in particular, Eurasia in general, there is a new movement, new cooperation among the nations of Asia, steps toward cooperation, Pakistan, India, China; Southeast Asia, Iran, nations of Central Asia, Russia, moving toward Europe. The world is in a great crisis. Great economic crisis. The financial system is in danger of collapsing and will collapsebut we can fix that. Governments have the power to fix those kinds of problems. Life will go on. The problem is, above all, the mind of the people of the world. And in the case of Pakistan, as you have emphasized with your program, the support of education....
"How are we going to save Pakistan from the things that frighten it? It is largely poverty. Since the spinoff of Bangladesh, Pakistan has been a poor country. Lacking independent resources, of the type it had before, the people become poor, they become poorer....
"...So the problem we face is giving the poor, who are many in Asia, giving them a sense of economic opportunity; a sense of peace because they have something to fight for; peace to have the opportunity to lead different lives; not to waste their lives in war, in conflicts of that nature. Without this, without education, they can't do it. They cannot participate. You would leave the poor of the world still poor....
"...The function of education is both to provide the individual the ability to participate officially in society, but also to realize their potential as a human being."
"The other aspect of it, as I see it around the world today, is pessimism. In the United States, there is great pessimism, an affliction of pessimism in politics.... Corruption in politicsand it is corruptionis a fruit of pessimism.... You can't solve the problems, you've got to learn to live with the problems. Pessimism. Pessimism leads to corruption. And around the world the same problem, pessimism. Pessimism in Africa, especially in black Africa, pessimism in Europe, pessimism in Eastern Europe. Less so in China, China is more confident. But fear. In Korea, fear of what might happen, fear in Japan. So the most important thing in my view, in my experience, in leadership, is optimism. Not arbitrary optimism, not false optimism, but knowledgeable optimism. The knowledge that we can, that we will, do the things that have to be done. And optimism sometimes comes as the result of education. When the child relives some of the great inventions and discoveries of the past, or learns more about the world, the child becomes optimistic, in the sense that people who came before him or her were able to do something. They get a sense that 'I know that I can do something.' ...
"...But when I look at the poor countries, such as Pakistan and India, which have many poor even though many are not poorI think what will happen to the effort to build peace in these parts of the world, if we leave the mass of the population, ignorant and poor and [with] a sense of hopelessness that will become a disease and destroy all our wonderful aspirations?
"I am confident that the United States can change. It can change quickly. What we are doing now is wrong. But it can change. It doesn't have to go on like this. I am determined to bring that change about. Being an older man, I have nothing to fear. And therefore, I can do it.... I know what goes on in the United States. I know the persecution of so-called minority groups, I know the persecution of Islamic populations, from Islamic families. This is a melting-pot country. We have everybody in this country ... they're all here, this is a melting-pot country; the richness of the country is the fact that we are a melting-pot country, we live together, and by living together, cultures and different backgrounds, we have an understanding of what peace means. It means we are united by a common purpose to create a society and a world that works in a certain way. And this we can do. I think we can change this, I am determined to change it. I think we can succeed. What you are doing in this cause for youth, young people in Pakistan, is just one more of those things, those good things that is done, which makes the world a better place to live. Thank you."
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