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The politics of Petitions: White House archives petition seeking to declare Pakistan a 'terror sponsor'

By       Message Abdus-Sattar Ghazali       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

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The White House Monday (Oct 3) stopped accepting signatures for a petition of the Indian-Americans that sought to designate Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism, saying it has been archived as it did not meet the "signature requirements".

The announcement by the White House comes days after the petition gained a record half a million signatures, five times the number needed to get a response from the Obama Administration.

The petition was created on September 21 by a person who identified himself by initials RG and the petition needed 1,00,000 signatures in 30 days to get a response from the White House.

The benchmark was reached in less than a week, and in less than two weeks, the petition crossed half a million signatures.

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An initiative of the US President Barack Obama, "We the People" online petition at the White House website provides a window to American citizens to campaign before the administration on a particular issue.

Meanwhile, another petition saying that India is "involved in spreading terrorism in it's adjoining countries" has been submitted on the White House website.

Pakistani-Americans are now campaigning for a signature campaign to support the anti-India petition on the White House website.

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"India is involved in spreading terrorism and in bloody proxy wars against it's adjoining countries particularly Islamic Republic of Pakistan," the petition said.

The petition which was created by an individual who identified himself with initials SS has received nearly 64,000 signatures. It needs another 36,000 signatures to become eligible to get a response from the Obama Administration.

Anti-Pakistan bill in US congress

Interestingly, the anti-Pakistan petition came a day after Congressman Ted Poe, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, along with Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, introduced H R 6069, the Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act in the House of Representatives.

The bill has been sent to House Foreign Affairs Committee for necessary action. Simultaneously the US-India Political Action Committee has launched a nationwide effort to canvass Indian Americans to get their local legislators' support to H R 6069.

"It is time we stop paying Pakistan for its betrayal and designate it for what it is, a state sponsor of terrorism," Congressman Ted Poe said after introducing the bill in the US House of Representatives.

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"Not only is Pakistan an untrustworthy ally, Islamabad has also aided and abetted enemies of the United States for years. From harboring Osama bin Laden to its cozy relationship with the Haqqani network, there is more than enough evidence to determine whose side Pakistan is on in the War on Terror. And it's not America's," Poe claimed.

If passed, the bill will require the US President to issue a report within 90 days of passage detailing whether or not Pakistan has provided support for 'international terrorism.'

Thirty days after that, the Secretary of State must issue a follow up report containing either a determination that Pakistan is state sponsor of terrorism or a detailed justification as to why Pakistan does not meet the legal criteria for designation.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
 

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