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Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. It's lovely to see all of you here today in the festive call of the University Club. Thank you for braving the stormy weather to to be with us today to hear about this most interesting subject. You may have noticed our speaker here at the head table writing - not on his cloth napkin, but on a piece of scratch paper, rewriting his speech because things change literally every 30 seconds in Pakistan. So I am sure we are getting up to the minute account. I am Maria Wulff, President of World Affairs Council. In fact Ethan has decided to not speak as long as he originally plan which is about half an hour, and to cut it little shorter because anticipating a lot of questions that you can be thinking about those well about the talks that this just go out. Yes, is that okay? Technologically challenged as always. Okay Ethan Casey has covered South East Asia and the Subcontinents since 1993 he is being based in Bangkok, London and most recently Seattle. He was a founding Faculty member of the School of Media and Communication at Beaconhouse National University in Lahore in 2003-2004, and traveled throughout Pakistan, India and Kashmir State between 1994 and 1999. He has compiled his experiences in a book 'Alive and Well in Pakistan: A Human Journey in a Dangerous Time', which mostly Hammed had praised as 'the insights of a singular clear eyed and humane traveler and intelligent and compelling book'. This is what it looks like and by coincidence we have it first sale outside and Ethan to be happy to write his name in it or what ever you would like after his lecture today Ethan is a graduate of University of Wisconsin, and has written for many distinguished newspapers in putting the financial times, the Boston Globe, The Hong Kong South China Morning Post. He is currently working on a documentary film called 'Musharraf: Man of crisis' indeed. Ethan has also addressed all kinds of audiences at you know to ideal in schools of various sorts but perhaps more interestingly The Royal Geographical Society and The Pakistan High Commission to UK. I think that this is really unique man on the street perspective of what is going on today is something that's - that's a special opportunity for us. So please join me in welcoming Ethan Casey Thank you Maria for the very gracious introduction and thank all of you for for the interest. I have a glass a glass of water that I needed to put on a horizontal surface and its not safe, so I its always very interesting to me to be speaking to a group like this because where I really belong is on the street, and and and I I feel and especially on the street in in Asia and that's where I intend to be again soon. People have been asking me lately why aren't you there now, which I don't really have a good answer for that but I think the documentary film will get me there sometime next next year. I am going to read something first and then make a few remarks about about the context in which I I am speaking and reporting about Pakistan these days and then tell you little bit about the background of my own exposure to Pakistan over the past almost 15 years now and then as Maria as said I think I will keep my remarks relatively informal and short, because I anticipate as as as happened in few recent talks I have given that there is - people have many questions and also also views to share and I hope we can do that today as much as you like to do I am just going to read something very short that somebody wrote about a decade ago. Well, I just gave it away. I am going to read some thing short. 'Some ugly specters are hunting Pakistan these days, the specter of an ugly and to the current government, violence and certain chaos even perhaps in Islamic revolution. Recent events have let many to wonder if a major up evil is growing in Pakistan'. Well yes surely something along those lines is indeed on the cards that I am ashamed to say that I wrote those words in 1996, and they were published as a- as an unsigned leader editorial in the Bangkok Post Newspaper on the day that Benazir Bhutto second elected government fell when the day of Benazir Bhutto fell from power as Prime Minister for second time in November 1996. Those words have been proven wrong. That - and in today's context, I I am not going to predict how unstable the current situation is today in Pakistan but I I will caution everyone who is paying attention to the situation there. That often things that seem more unstable and dangerous than they turn out to be, and sometimes that's by sheer luck, it is constant as as one author put it comic opera. The comic opera of Pakistani politics is is a great and I think the very telling phrase, nothing is ever quiet as it seems there are all sorts of vested interests there is a lot of grand standing, there is a plenty of hypocrisy to go around on all sides, no one is entirely in the right. And so that's that's a big cheviot that I would offer about the current situation in Pakistan The other thing I would say is that it's not about the War on terror. There was a time as many of us - most of us hopefully remember when there was no War on terror. When I first went to Pakistan in 1995, that's wasn't the phrase and it wasn't the framing, it wasn't the defining frame of the Pakistan story. In fact people wont really paying attention to Pakistan much of the time. And when I went there I was a young guy just went there on my own reconnaissance on the ground and and to my good fortune and perhaps to my credit, I I learned about Pakistan in it's own terms at the ground level before it became one of the vehicles for for some very fought propaganda wars. A friend of mine, Anthony Davis is a very distinguished and very experienced journalist with a lot of experience in Afghanistan, similarly very telling story, he was in Kabul when the President was hanged in September '96 when the when the Taliban took over Kabul, and and Anthony at the time was writing for Asia Week Magazine which no longer exists, but it was at the time a major news weekly based in Hong Kong, further further region for Asia and he had to do battle with his own editors just to get the story of the of the Taliban taking Kabul into Asia Week Magazine. He had he really had to do battle with his own editors and and he was very disgusted by that. And you know, time has vindicated him, but that doesn't really help you at the time if you are a working journalist trying to make a living as free lancer So, on a similar way I would say that I would tell you that I was speaking to a Pakistani contact in San Francisco last night in the car on the way down here, and we were talking about the documentary film that I am I am beginning to work on. And he he said something that I hear a lot of Pakistani say and I speak to many Pakistani groups these days. He said you know, he get so frustrated when he is as a Pakistani living in America, which I think he has lived here for 15 years or something, he is always having to represent the country and he has I think represented in the terms of this War on terror dialogue or or frame. He said the currently he said the current situation is a domestic story it's not about the War on terror. And I think I would agree with him about that. So I have a challenge when I speak these days I speak to a lot of Pakistani groups as well as American groups like this one World Affairs Council and another groups and I find as I said to Maria earlier you know, sometimes within days I would speak to a Pakistani audience and then I turn around as I did to know about ten days ago and two days later I speak to American audience, its disorienting for me because the the mental universe of the two different kinds of audience is are so different and perhaps that something that we can say about - talk about as well. I think you might be interested in I have always wanted to tell the story of Pakistan in its own terms going back to, when I first went to Jammu and Kashmir in 1994 and then through that I became interested in Pakistan in its own right. I wanted I didn't I was fortunate enough to be in under the radar and under before the the topic got forth as as it has been. And I have always wanted to write about it with sympathy and with an ethic of listening to the people and make meet on the ground. That's something that I have always tried to make in formal on my reporting, and that's that's the tone that I tried to take in the book and that that we are going to have with the documentary film as well which of course is not that you cant talk about the War on terror, the context of the War on terror in which Pakistan fits. And it's also not to say that Pakistan is a perfect country. It certainly its not it's a highly flowed country. Its one of the most dysfunctional countries in the world, and yet I would turn around and say it also has it has a bit of steel at the core of it and not only is that is that the army, but that's the I think very admirable patriotism that Pakistanis have the the loyalty that they have to their own country, and is much as they feud among themselves. There is there is a unity of purpose there that I think is admirable and its patriotic and that helps the country hold together despite all its great loss So tell you just a little bit about my own background covering Pakistan. I in 1993 I have really whimsically went off to Asia to make my fortune as a as a journalist, I was naive enough to think that I can make a living doing that. We landed a job as a Copy Editor at the Bangkok Post, which is the major English language newspaper in South East Asia. And quickly within a few months got very bored because there is all sorts of really interesting stuff happening in Cambodia and Burma at the time you know, one hour flight away from Bangkok and I was stuck in an air conditioned office editing wire copy. So I quit and I went off to India. Two things led me to India. One was that I was enamored of V S Naipaul, the problematic yet fascinating Caribbean/Indian/British Writer who won the Noble Prize a few years ago. His - Naipaul's first book about India 'An area of darkness' is I think a master piece published in 1964 covering events during nonfiction books, covering events while he was living in India in 1962 having gone there for there for the first time at age 29. In the middle section of that detects the summer that he spend in Srinagar and Jammu and Kashmir and it's very evocative, its - I think some some of the best writing that Naipaul has ever done and certainly some of the best travel writing at the last half century that particular section of 'An area of darkness', and so I was young and callow and naive and ambitious. And I wanted to meet the people that Naipaul had met, the actual people. And the second thing that was happening was that various of siege, the Indian army was besieging a Mosque called Hasrat Bal Mosque in Srinagar. And this was a major event at that time in in the history of the Kashmir dispute and the Kashmir uprising that had had erupted in few years earlier. And so I wanted to see that for myself. So I went off to India and I went to Kashmir and I spent a total of two months on the ground there in 1994 and '95 meeting lots of people on the ground learning about the Kashmir dispute from the ground. And then - and also talking to people in India about it, and as well as traveling else where in India, and then it dawned on me in '95 that at the time I was ambitious to write a book about Kashmir. A lot of time I am going to write a book about Kashmir, I need to go to Pakistan and as a matter of fairness and also just to see the situation from that perspective to see it I think many in many journalists covering the subcontinent suffered from being based in Delhi. And there may be flight to Islamabad or to Lahore to do a story then they go back to Delhi where they live and most of their friendships and their connections and their contacts really are India based. So their perspective is skewed, understandably but I think regrettably by the effect that they are based in India. I always wanted to resist that. I think it has something to do with growing up in Wisconsin and a resenting the fact that Chicago is so much bigger and more important than Milwaukee. So I went off to Pakistan and saw it for myself. And then of course became much more interested in Pakistan and its own right. I have the good fortune then I have to spend several months in Pakistan in 1999 which is - was a very problematic and it tends - politically tenth year in Pakistan. There is a cargo that many war between Pakistan and India in May to July to summer. That was really a crisis moment of one of many, early in the year when I was there in January and February, Nawaz Sheriff who is the Prime Minister at the time was I think - I will content and perhaps some of you might disagree with me and I hope it will if you do. He was digging his own grave. He was he was taking on and every other political institution in the country and with the press the National Assembly he was sending - he send his own armed goons to physically intermediate the supreme court. He his people have ducted important journalists and then for the second time in twelve months he dismissed the Army Chief, which he was constitutionally entitled to do but I think if you know anything about the history of Pakistan you might agree with me that's not such a good idea even if you are allowed to do at the constitution. In the second time he did it, the Army Chief that he dismissed was was Musharraf. And the army wasn't going to stand for that and that's when the coup of October 12th 1999 happened, harrowing yet bloodless coup. So I wasn't there for the coup but I was there not a quite bit earlier that year, and when the coup happened I considered myself fortunate to been there only a few months previous. And then I went back to London where I was living at the time and went on about my business, you cant keep up sustained attention on any one country if you are free lanced journalist and if there isn't a crisis in that country. You have to go where the crisis are. But then in 2003 the Beaconhouse National University was launched, and I got an email from a Pakistani friend saying that there is this new university that's been started by this elite very very interesting elite public school - elite private school system in Pakistan, and they are starting a university and do you know anybody who might like to teach there. And I said oh yeah. And I signed up and I got you know, paid modestly but they paid my way there and and it was a great opportunity to spend a sustained period there on the ground five months, I was there from September 2003 to February 2004. And that experience was valuable to me for a couple of reasons, one that all my previous experience of Pakistan had been what we now refer to as before before 9/11. I was able to live and work in Pakistan after 9/11 and to see what it changed and what had not changed and that I think that for me was a fascinating and valuable experience. And it also allowed me to close really kind of close this circle. I I felt that you know, at that point that was about a decade of my life that I have given to to paying attention to Pakistan, and I was able to you know, not to put the final force stopped the experience certainly, but similar call by referring back to my own earlier experiences and then renewing it and refreshing it by by living there and developing friendships and connections, and and getting to know the country in I think in a deeper way than I known it before. And of course that that the expression of that was my book. And again just the post script to that is that my hope is to go again next year for the purpose of this documentary film. I am going to say one thing about my ethic of of journalism and then I think it would be great if we can have a discussion about anything that interests any of you. I never have worked as an institutional journalist I have never been I have never been a staff reporter for any newspaper the only newspaper staff that I have never been on was the Bangkok Post. I have never worked in worked for an American Newspaper except as a freelance stringer based in Asia. I think that's again to my benefit as as a practitioner because even though there was not much money in the way I have done it, its you develop a sense of intellectual and moral honesty based on on the kind of, based on giving you reporting, infusing your reporting with which you actually experience on the ground. And a little bit of a pugnacious attitude to towards the institutions of of journalism, which I think is benefits journalism. I consider journalism to be a personal vocation, its not it's it's an vocation like the pre starter or like the law on the dentistry it's not just something you do for money, which is good because I have never made much money doing it. In in Asia you cannot say people are puzzled if you tell them you have no religion. So when people would ask me - Asian people would ask me what's your religion I started saying my religion is journalism. The journalism is my way of trying to understand and learn about the world as one of my mentors and role model, James Fellows says "Journalism is a way to get paid to learn" and I think that's a wonderful way to put it and that's really is the privilege of journalist. And another of my role models is great now Late British journalist named Gavin Young, very fine international reporter for the Observer back when that newspaper was was a great paper said that he fell into journalism the way that a drunken man falls into a pond, and he found that after decades after having falling into that pond he he realized that really was a street calling and as as bitter and and annoyed as I have been by the frustrations of my work over the years I have no regrets about that. And I and and I believe that people should be out there doing the kind of reporting, getting the stories out in the world and bringing them back in whatever form that is whether its news articles, blogs, books, films and that's what I tried to do and sort of what I try to do about Pakistan. So thank you very much and and please that's all I have to say in terms of prepared remarks, so please please say what you have got to say and I can repeat questions since I have microphone and you don't and I can repeat them for the audience yeah.