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The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Pakistani Lawmakers Decry U.S. Airport Profiling

In January, after the Department of Homeland Security announced that citizens of 14 (mostly Muslim) terror-prone countries would face extra security screening

Camilo Wood
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Mar 10, 2010

In January, after the Department of Homeland Security announced that citizens of 14 (mostly Muslim) “terror-prone” countries would face extra security screening at U.S. airports, I wrote a piece predicting a backlash. The U.S. was trying to convince Pakistan, for instance, that it was looking out for Pakistani interests — right as Pakistanis themselves were facing full-body screening. Kalsoom Lakhani, a Pakistani citizen who directs a Pakistan-based philanthropic organization, told me the new rules make her “nervous to travel.”

Sure enough, last week, the State Department brought a group of Pakistani legislators to the U.S. on a goodwill tour. It ended in what The New York Times calls a “public relations fiasco” after — of course — the dignitaries were told they’d be pulled out of a security line at a New Orleans airport and frisked. Instead, they refused to board their plane. Now, back home, they’re heroes. And we’re villains. One of them told a radio host: “Going through a body scan makes you naked, and in making you naked, they make the whole country naked.”

Imagine you’re a Pakistani official. You make a risky decision to start arresting your former proxies in the Afghan Taliban after years of American pressure. And this is how your legislators are treated by the Americans? How would you respond?

Camilo Wood | Every day, to make a conscious decision to do something, say something, or act in a way that will improve my work experience. I assist organisations in disrupting the status quo of transition. I teach them how to turn their community from enduring change to evolving through change using a realistic and repeatable structure.


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