Qureshi Uses U.S. Open Platform to Call For Understanding

By Matt Majendie for Reuters

Pakistan’s Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi used the platform of the U.S. Open to deliver a message of peace on the eve of the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington.

Qureshi lost in Friday’s men’s doubles final alongside India’s Rohan Bopanna, the other half of a unique partnership nicknamed the “Indo-Pak Express.”

In his on-court after-match speech, Qureshi said: “I feel there’s a very wrong perception of Pakistan as a terrorist country.

“We are a very peace-loving country and we want peace as much as you.”

Peace has very much been the message of Bopanna and Qureshi since their doubles partnership began with them sporting “Stop War, Start Tennis” sweatshirts in a bid to improve relations between their two countries.

Qureshi delved further into the message he was trying to get across at Arthur Ashe Stadium after the 7-6 7-6 defeat to Americans Bob and Mike Bryan.

“Since September 11, every time I come to the States or Western countries, I feel people have the wrong impression about Pakistan as a terrorist nation,” he said.

“There are extremists I think in every religion but, just because of them, you can’t judge the whole country as a terrorist nation.

“I just want to get this message across as a Pakistani.”

Qureshi said he vividly recalled the moment of the 2001 attacks in New York, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people.

An up-and-coming tennis player at the time, he had been at a training camp in Holland when he saw events unfold at the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan.

“It was strange but I was going through the channels and I actually thought it was a movie or something,” he recalled. “I switched the channel again and then felt like it was the same movie on a different channel.

“I was kind of confused. Everything was mostly in Dutch so I couldn’t really understand. Then I actually realized what had happened. It was a very shocking moment.”

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    • neel123
    • September 10th, 2010

    Well, what would you call a country that is owned by its military, provides safe heavens to terrorist outfits and has a policy of using them as instruments of foreign policy ……. ??

    • Well you cerainly wouldnt call every single Pakistani in the world a terrorist becasue of the actions of a few or because of the people in its government. That is one crazy logic Neel!

    • neel123
    • September 11th, 2010

    No one would call the likes of Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi a terrorist, but that does not take away the fact that people like him are a minuscule minority in Pakistan.

    My point is, Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi is giving a wrong picture of Pakistan as he is in no position to speak for the large majority of the Pakistanis.

    • Neel, the majority of Pakistanis are not violent. I grant you, there are many daily acts of violence, but proportinately more than 175 million people a day are not being violent there.

      Please stop misinterpreting your stereotypes and or hate for all things Pakistan just because you are an Indian with hate in his heart and anger rather than peace and love like so many other Indians who support our peaceful, non-confrontational, and solutions based approach to the India-Pakistan Conflict.

      I suggest you propose solutions and answers to the stalemate between the two neighbors. I know that hurling hate and anger is easier, but it would be so constructive to come to a peace group’s website and give positive vibes rather than alwatys being negative. There are plenty of hate sites that are Pakistanti, you can visit them and give your anti-Pakistan remarks there, we are actucally a pro peace site and we are NEVER anti India. Look thru ALL our archives. So, baffles me that u always chose to come here and only say negative things. Its getting old and is not constructive. Thanks for listening to my rant~

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