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The long Star Trek to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Too Much 9/11?

Peter van Dyk | 17:52 UK time, Friday, 8 September 2006

Today we discussed security on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, asked you if you think there's been too much coverage of the 9/11 anniversary (and it's still three days away...) and heared from Star Trek fans on the 40th anniversary of the first show.

As always, you can post your comment here and read emails and text messages from other listeners as well.

Sayed joined us from Kabul - he said Pakistan is not honest about securing the border.

Shams is Pakistan - he says Pakistan has the best interests of the Afghans at heart. Sayed didn't think Pakistan had given up its attempts to have strategic influence over Afghanistan.

Haroon, a Pakistani in the UK, said he wasn't sure what the military leadership in Pakistan was doing. Pakistan should leave Afghanistan to the Americans and concentrate on fixing its own problems.

John is in the Netherlands - his son is serving with the Nato force in Afghanistan. He said that the Afghan issue is complex but Pakistan, like other countries, should take full responsibility for people taking advantage of international borders.

Haroon argued that the situation in Afghanistan was first and foremost America's problem. They should rebuild things not just blow them up. Talking about Pakistan being the problem is using a scapegoat. Pakistan should not have gone into Waziristan in the first place - they have no place attacking their own people on America's say so.

Kenny in Virginia sent an email:

The basic problem with our governments is that everyone find it easy to point fingers however one country can not change the entire world, every country had to contribute their part and help rebuilt the countries where terrorist regimes once had they influence over The US can not alone fund the rebuilding of the entire Middle East.

Vijay in Latvia called in to say Pakistan didn't try hard enough to find Osama bin Laden - their presence in the tribal areas was just cosmetic.

Farooq in Pakistan didn't agree - he said Pakistan had helped the Afghan people for years. Vijay said that the Pakistani intelligence services had fed the Taliban for years and would not turn on them just because America says so. Farooq argued that the Taliban were just the people who fought the Soviets - its creation had nothing to do with Pakistan.

A couple of texts to the programme:

Abdallah in Washington

The Pakistani government is lying to the USA and to the Pakistani people.

Anon in Singapore

Musharraf is doing Bush's bidding only because, having come into & hanging on to power by undemocratic means, he has no wish of becoming Bush's second Saddam.

And an email from Justin:
This “Peace deal” signed by Pakistan, and the Taliban shows that the standards that America hold Pakistan to are a joke…

Shazadi emailed to disagree with one of our callers - Vijay

He keeps saying that Pakistan nurtured the idea of Taliban and support them and provide them with ammunition.
Well for his information they were created by America when the Soviet invaded the Afghanistan. They were not created by Pakistan but by America and they were praised till they were fighting the Soviet. But now that America does not need them they have become Terrorists and Pakistan has inherited the blame.

Ahmir from Jakarta

If you recall, the Taliban were never accused of being part of 9-11 they were targeted by the US for not handing over Osama Bin Laden. It is interesting how they are now being blamed for every ill under the sun. I do not defend the policies of the Taliban but I do object to Pakistan being pulled into the blame for these so called problems.

Too much on 9/11?

Jason in New York witnessed the collapse of the Twin Towers with his own eyes - he thinks commemorations will not let the world forget because regardless of your political views or location in this world, 9/11 changed all of our lives.

Chris in New York knew people who died on that day. He said we are humans and if you are New Yorker it matters - I know media goes over the top but if you are an American this is still a major event

Simon in Italy said he felt like it was being forced down his throat, and what got to him was that it was being used as a political tool by Washington.

Chris from Montreal

I think it is a shame that Americans have been defining who they are in the light of 9/11. If the tragedy of the Twin Towers being hit was such an important event, and not just a political tool, the new buildings would be much farther along.

Neetu said it had been five years and the families should be allowed to grieve on their own.

Sara in Switzerland

That British gentleman was so lucid, he hit the nail on the head. People die all over the world, and the American was so arrogant to assume that we should all commemorate just one event.

Ed in Greece

Please also remember people being massacred by French and European policies in Africa. Stop bashing President Bush all the time.

40 years of Star Trek

We heard from George in Boston, USA, Ruth in Israel, Kia in Kirkland, USA, Ana in Brazil and Nick in the UK all of whom love Star Trek. They told us why they loved the series and why it's been such a huge global success.

George said

My dad would sit me on his lap and we'd watch it together. I love Voyager for the female captain but my favourite is TNG (The Next Generation) . I think the optimism of the show is what makes it so globally appealing. Boundaries are pushed and ethics are explored.

KIA said

I think Star Trek appeals to so many people because it appeals to our ideals. For me TNG is the best one because the cast works so well together.

Ana in Brazil liked

The characters and their relationships. It's amazing how different how it was from anything else on TV. I like TNG out of the new shows. It's appeal is in it's difference. It has intricate plots, searching science, and friendships.

Ruth in Israel thought

It's the world that people would like to be in, one big happy family. TNG is my favourite because it's so varied. They have morals. All the characters were new and I just loved it.

Nick in the UK

I reckon it's so popular because of the sheer optimism in the show, and the amazing characters. I love TNG and DS9, and have all the DVD's and can't get enough of them.

We had an email from Steve in Dammeron Valley, Utah, USA. He wrote

One of my favorite things in the universe of Star Trek are the parodies. For instance, I loved how Mel Brooks lampooned The Original Series in his movie Space Balls in 1987. I liked it when a female character said something to the effect that, "Snotty beamed me up several times last night. It was wonderful!"

C. White from Poland also emailed us, he said

A titbit of trivia: William Shatner - aka Captain Kirk - revealed recently in a press interview that he turned down Richard Branson's offer of a free seat on the maiden flight of the billionaire's Space Ship One, citing what I'll refer to here as "zero-gravity digestive concerns" ...


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