Anger in Pakistan, Afghanistan over Obama prize

Last Updated: Friday, December 11, 2009 - 00:26

Islamabad: "The Nobel prize is for those who
have made achievements, but Obama is a killer," Jabir Aftab,
an engineer living in the shadow of bomb attacks in Pakistan`s
city of Peshawar, said on Thursday.

As President Barack Obama conceded others "may be more
deserving" of the prize, there was anger in troubled parts of
Pakistan and Afghanistan where many blame the United States
for a surge in violence.

"He is the president of a country which has a history of
bloodshed and rises to a quarrel. How was he selected for this
prize?" said 27-year-old Aftab.

Since Obama took office, US drone strikes targeting
Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants in Pakistan`s northwest tribal
belt have increased, enraging locals who say the attacks kill
civilians and violate the nation`s sovereignty.

"Drone attacks are becoming routine. It creates anger
among local residents and produces more militancy," said
Aftab.

In Peshawar`s Gulberg neighbourhood, administrator
Mushtaq Mohmand agreed. "Obama may be good for his nation but
as an American president his reputation in this part of the
world is terrible," he said.

"Everybody knows the presence of the American army in
this region is the root cause of the problems. People are
dying in Afghanistan, Pakistan and in Iraq because of Obama
policies," he added.

Security in Pakistan has plummeted since Islamabad joined
the US-led "war on terror" after the September 11, 2001
attacks, prompting a backlash among the Muslim population as
extremists declared war on the government.

PTI



First Published: Friday, December 11, 2009 - 00:26

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