Tuesday, February 16, 1982-
The Michigan Daily
A different perspective on Pakistan
Pakistan. What most Americans know
about this country in southern Asia you could
balance on the hump of a baby camel, our
chief sources of information being either The
New York Times or 30-second squibs on the
network news. But that's okay-we like our
international news in pre-chewed, easy-to-
economic aid to this dictator Zia (really bad).
THAT'S IT. That's everything the media
tells us about Pakistan-which is all we really
want to know, anyway. Just enough infor-
mation to allow us to make yet another snap
judgment about a complex world issue.
But just as the cut-and-dried revolution in
El Salvador grows a bit murkier when you ac-
tually talk with a Salvadoran, just as the sim-
ple conflict in Northern Ireland gets a lot
more confusing when you hear from a
resident of Belfast, so too does Pakistan
become more enigmatic when you listen to a
Pakistani. In the interest of disturbing a few
preconceived notions about both Pakistan and
the Third World in general, I introduce Man-
Durrani, 37, is several years into a PhD
program in pharmacy at the University. He
first came to the United States from Pakistan
in 1964, has been a resident for the last ten
years, and just became an American citizen
three months ago.
I MET HIM last week at a forum on the
proposed federal cutbacks in college financial
aid-he was introduced to me as a man who
would be hurt by them. Which was an under-
Durrani has been trying to support a wife
and three small children on $450 a month, $300
of which must go for rent. He works 40 hour-,
a week in two research jobs just to pay his
tuition and has been using a $2000 National
Direct Student Loan to pay for food. President
Reagan wants to gut the NDSL program next
"To take money from education," Durrani
says, "to take $2000 from me as a student and
put it into a 155-millimeter shell-my brain is
less than a bloody 155-millimeter shell? $2000
helps me survive for a whole year!"
He refuses to take food stamps or welfare;
he doesn't want something-for nothing. All he
wants is a fair chance to complete his
BUT THIS IS, however, another story. As
Durrani says, "I will starve and survive. I
will survive. Let Mr. Reagan take my loans,
I will survive. I want to get educated."
I want you to hear from, Manzer Durrani,
the eloquent and insightful Pakistani native.
"Nobody has bothered to learn about me,
what I am, what my religion is. Every time
you see the TV or the news or anything we are
the Islamic fanatics. Muslims, Christians,
and Jews have been living together for cen-
turies-you can have fanatics on any side.
For God's sake, don't condemn one billion
people to a label.
". ..A country like mine has tried to get
democracy for the last 30 years. Although the
people themselves are very much
democratically inclined, the international
situation around us is such that whenever
there is some thread of freedom, of
democracy, somebody pulls the rug from un-
der us and causes so much chaos that there is
a danger of the country falling apart.
"LOOK WHAT happens. Democracy means
freedom and freedom of speech. It means
that you hear the worst things and the best
things at the same time. But because the
political structure is so weak, the subversive
elements of the right or the left-the people
who want to undermine the government-are
just waiting for some freedom of the press to
bring the whole country down.-
"The people are so afraid to lose the coun-
try as an entity that they want a very strong,
maybe even a dictatorial, government just to
survive as a nation.
"So we walk a very tight rope. We keep a
strong government, a very strong political
leader or a military leader ruling us just for
the sake of our own survival. President Zia is
not hated, but neither is he loved. He is a
"Where there is abject poverty, disease,
malnutrition, and unhygienic conditions, to
remove those you have to have a strong
leader. People become democratic as soon as
they have their stomachs filled and as soon as
they have clean clothes.
"LOOK AT CHINA-there are one billion
people there. But they are fed people. You
don't hear of starving in China. And they have
clean clothes. And slowly you see com-
munism sort of easing up, there is some sem-
blance of peoples' voices being heard.
"You see, you emerged as a democracy,
because 200 years ago, your forefathers had
the imagination, the brilliance, to leave you
this wonderful heritage of a democratic
system after suffering under a monarchy.
"Our nations of the Third World were just
born 30 years ago. Our history has yet to go a
hundred years for us to evolve strong in-
stitutions. So don't ask too much from us too
fast. You must let us understand ourselves,
what we want to be."
Durrani has a lot more to say-about
American perceptions of his native country,
about why many Third World countries hate
the United States, about prejudice and
selfishness and hatred. I hope you'll pick up
this page tomorrow to read it.
Part Two of this interview appears
tomorrow. Witt's column normally ap-
pears on Tuesdays.
Its warm-water ports are threatened by the
Soviets in neighboring Afghanistan (that's
bad) so Pakistan is aligned with the United
States (that's good). It's governed by an
authoritarian military dictator, General
Mohammad Zia ul-Haq (bad) who is accused
of human rights violations (bad), refuses to
sign the Nuclear non-Proliferation
Agreement (bad), and may be developing
nuclear weapons (bad). Finally, President
Reagan wants to increase military and
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCII, No. 113 420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Reporting on human rights
By Robert Lence
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HE REAGAN administration, with
its first evaluation of international
'human .rights conditions, had a
alpable opportunity to take a firm
stand against all human rights
violations. Instead, the ad-
ministration's report to Congress last
week offered the disappointing
message that U.S. human rights
judgments tend to fall heavier on our
foes than our friends.
Officials professed that last week's
report, covering 158 countries, was an
evenhanded examination. On certain
accounts, the report fulfilled this
promise-while communist-bloc coun-
tries predictably were condemned for
their human rights violations; coun-
tries closely linked to the United
States, such as Taiwan and South
Africa, were chastised'for their poor
The report, however, failed to carry
out its admirable intentions toward
several Central and South American
countries. The Reagan administration,,
eager to renew ties to Chile and Argen-
tina, neglected to delve into these
regimes' notoriously repressive ac-
tivities. Both Chile and Argentina con-
sistently have been cited in previous
reports for imprisoning political op-
ponents. And while condemning Cen-
tral America as a whole for its
declining performance, the report
tread lightly on El Salvador, praising
its attempts to institute humanitarian
The report thus reneged on its
proclaimed readiness to. offend old
friends in pointing out violations. The
Reagan administration is further tur-
ning a blind eye toward these
violations with its human rights
testimony to Congress-testimony
necessary for increasing foreign aid.
As an example, the president has
already certified that free political
conditions in El Salvador are im-
proving. Officials even hint that
similar certifications for Chile and
Argentina are forthcoming.
Such actions by the Reagan ad-
ministration show a willingness to use
human rights as just another political
tool. The report's message to foreign
leaders is clear-it is easier to receive
a clean slate on human rights when one
is a longstanding friend of the United
States. The administration's
premature certifications also make
clear that foreign aid currently relies
on passing political, not humanitarian,
It is ironic that the report's introduc-
tion proudly states that the United
States has now "taken the lead in op-
posing . . . the double standards ap-
plied to human rights violations."
Through its biased evaluations, the
Reagan administration may only help
create a human rights double standard
all its very own.
et ting the students involved
Redirection. Vice President for Academic
Affairs Billy Frye's unveiling of the five-year
plan for the reallocation of funds within the
University holds serious consequences for the
entire University community. This is the first
time in the University's history that a plan of
this magnitude to restructure has been in-
troduced. All academic units are being
scrutinized-$20 million must be reallocated.
This means extensive cuts or even
elimination of some units to improve and
bolster others. The decisions made today will
result in a radically different educational
community in the future. It is crucial that dif-
ferent perspectives are involved in deter-
mining how this shall be accomplished. Full
student participation is therefore essential.
Frye's plan calls for two types of cuts in
academic units (centers, institutes, schools
and colleges) to reach this $20 million goal.
The first type involves cutting selected
academic units by ten percent or completely
eliminating them. A preliminary list will be
determined by a small committee: three
Budget Priority Committee members, Frye,
and his staff. This list will then be made
public and full reviews established to deter-
mine the feasibility of these cuts. The second
type of cut will be the variable across-the-
board cuts of less than 10 percent within a
given unit. These reductions will be decided
internally by each unit with guidance from
THE FIVE-YEAR redirection plan is a
precedent for policy making at the Univer-
sity. It also creates precedent on another
matter-direct student representation in
decision-making. For the first time, students
will be directly involved in every stage of the
Through a series of discussions with Frye,
student leaders gained substantive roles for
students in each step of the process. The most
By Jonathan Feiger, Jamie
important aspect of this participation is
placement of a student member on the initial
committee that draws up the list of major
cuts. This marks the first time that students
have been directly involved in the initial stage
of the decision-making process. In the past,
students have been involved only indirectly
and in insignificant ways, such as public
hearings. The second direct role for students
will be on each review committee. Any unit
which will be cut more than 10 percent will be
reviewed by a sub-committee of BPC. Each of
these will include students. This is in sharp
contrast to the geography elimination case
where students were systematically excluded
from the review committee. Students now will
be actually participating in academic
reviews. These roles are much more than
symbolic-they provide students, for the first
time, with the ability to influence the future of
the University and their own education.
There must be full participation from the
University community in all aspects of the
redirection policy. The areas identified as
priorities for new funding must be discussed
and debated in public forums. Such discussion
should be augmented by independent com-
mittees charged with determining the nature
of each reallocation.
THE PRESENT situation is far from ideal.
Students have gained a role in the initial for-
mation of plans and on review committees.
Now, student participation in the equally im-
portant internal academic decision-making
and reviews within each unit must be insured.
Our participation is in no way an approval
of the University's redirection plan. We are
concerned about the future of the University
under "smaller and better." Our first concern
lies in the shift to "vocational" education. The
five-year plan will place increased emphasis
on the schools of engineering and business
administration, which will necessarily result
in relative starvation for the social sciences
and the humanities. As this trend continues
under the five-year plan, our position as a
diverse, yet excellent, university will be
Our second concern lies in the area of
minority students and staff. Current goals
call for 10 percent minority hiring and
enrollment, yet the latest statistics indicate
that the University is far from meeting even
this meager goal. The University must make
this a high priority in its redirection plan.
Third, we are concerned with studentg
enrollment. As most of us know, many classes
are presently overcrowded. As faculty
positions are cut within a unit, and no
corresponding -reductions in enrollment
follow, overcrowding will become even more
widespread. Obviously the quality of
education at the University will diminish.
We question the entire "smaller butbetter"
redirection program, yet believe it essential
that students take a substantive role in the
process. Only in this way can students effec-
tively influence thefuture of the University.
Such participation does not signify endor-
sement of the administration's policy. Our
participation within the structure cannot
preclude our participation outside the struc-
ture. We must continue to provide alternative
solutions and priorities in order to influence
the future of our University.
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