Pakistan Suffers from Terrorism

By Azmeh Talha

Transcript Reporter

Arts and Entertainment Editor

Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) Pakistani Alumna returned for the Sagan National Colloquium to talk about the United States attempts to cut Pakistan’s resources off to decrease the number of militant groups in the country.

Sahar Khan (’06) discussed the bilateral relationship between The United States and Pakistan. She began her lecture by talking about President Donald Trump’s tweet about Pakistan in 2018: “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”

The Pakistani government responded by saying that the Trump administration was undermining all the things Pakistan has done for the U.S. and Afghanistan.

During her time at OWU, Sahar Khan (’06) was a student of Sean Kay, the director of the international studies program. In his introduction, Kay said Khan majored in international studies, politics and government and economics.

After graduation, Khan got her master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago. From there, she got her Ph.D. from The University of California Irvine. During this time, she was an associate editor of Washington Quarterly, a policy journal. Currently, Khan is working at the CATO Institute as an adjunct scholar.

“It is Pakistan who suffers from terrorism and the U.S. tends to overlook all of those safe havens that exist in Afghanistan that attack Pakistani citizens themselves,” Khan said.

In her lecture, Khan talked about Pakistan’s current Prime Minister, Imran Khan. They are not related. The Prime Minister Khan of Pakistan openly said that militant groups do not belong in Pakistan and in fact, Pakistan has gone after militant groups through various campaigns they have been waging since 2009.

Khan also discussed the war between the U.S. and Afghanistan. In 2015, Trump said he wanted to end this war and ensure that the U.S. does not get involved in any other unnecessary wars.

The United States, under the Trump administration has reduced the security aid to Pakistan which has reduced military financing. Foreign military financing (FMF), a grant that the U.S. gives to countries so that they can buy U.S. arms. Pakistan is no longer receiving this grant. It is now too expensive for Pakistan to buy U.S. arms.

The second major security aid cut is the Coalition Support Funds (CSF). This is a large program in which the U.S reimburses certain countries for using their military bases. In Pakistan’s case, due to U.S involvement in Afghanistan, the U.S has been using Pakistani air bases in the North Western Province. For use of this area, the U.S has been reimbursing Pakistan. However, this security aid has been cut in the past.

“Even under the Obama administration the CSF was reduced; even under George W. Bush it was reduced,” Khan said. “But under Trump it has been sort of the largest reduction in these months.”

The United States also has tried to get Pakistan on the Financial Action Taskforce (FATF), an intergovernmental agency. This agency is responsible for combatting money laundering and terrorist financing. The United States and FATF had concerns that leaders of prominent militant groups roam freely in Pakistan.

Out of these militant groups, some leaders run non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The FATF raised concerns about Pakistan not being able to control these militant-run NGOs.

The Trump administration also reduced military-to-military engagement. This occurs when there is combat between two forces in which each side has been either assigned or perceived a mission. Khan said this was considered to be a hallmark between the U.S. and Pakistan.

“This was something that was almost benign,” Khan said.

Last year the Trump administration suspended 66 Pakistani officials from the International Military Education and Training Program. This program has not been renewed, Khan said.

Khan said that one main thing that the Trump administration is hoping to do by sanctioning Pakistan and limiting security and military aid to stop sponsorship of militant groups.

Khan further questioned why Pakistan sponsors these military groups. She answered by saying the problem is the civil-military imbalance.

“The military is strong; the civilians’ side is weak. If the civilians side was strong somehow Pakistan would no longer sponsor the militant groups.” Khan said.

Like many developing countries, Pakistan has a civil-military imbalance. Pakistan has been independent for 71 years. It spent half its life under military rule through four coups. These coups led to the Pakistani military evolving into a unique organization. The Pakistani army, along with protecting the nation, also controls businesses in the country such as farms, fisheries and pharmaceutical companies.

“The Pakistani army makes cereal and cheese,” Khan said. “It’s delicious.”

The Pakistani navy owns large business conglomerates such as The Shaheen Foundation, which has an interest in real estate. It also owns the Bahria Foundation which has similar interests.

The other reason for the civil military imbalance is the United States. The root cause of this problem dates to the Cold War, Khan said.

In 1979 when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, the United States and Saudi Arabia created anti-Soviet forces. These forces were militant groups called the mujahideen. Their main goal was to fight the Soviets.

“The U.S. funded the mujahideen and they used the Pakistani army to do so and the Pakistani army essentially trained these mujahideen,” Khan said.

After the cold war ended, Pakistan and Afghanistan found themselves with well trained and well-armed unemployed militants. This led to the militant groups Pakistan has today.

“Sahar is always special for me because she was also my research assistant and helped me with books that I did,” Sean Kay said.

Kay and Khan co-authored an article on how to win the war in Afghanistan in 2006. They were the first people to write about NATO and counterinsurgency, he said.

“I loved this lecture because it took years of controversy, simplified it, and used years of research to take you from knowing minimal to excited to know more,” sophomore Maddy Miller said. “You could feel the passion that Sahar has for her research and it’s so prominent that you can’t help but get excited with her.”

Social Advocacy Met Sewing At OWU

By Maddie Matos

Arts and Entertainment Editor

Advocacy and art combined and took new form at the most recent installation on campus.

The Social Justice Sewing Academy debuted its gallery inside Beeghly Library at Ohio Wesleyan University on Saturday, Sept. 8.

Open to the Ohio Wesleyan and Delaware communities, the gallery consisted of a presentation and workshop for participants.

The exhibit is part of the university’s 2018-2019 Sagan National Colloquium (SNC). The focus for this year’s SNC programing is how art can impact the world.

The Social Justice Sewing Academy was founded in 2017 by Sara Trail. Trail wanted a creative way for students to portray their ideas about social justice and what it means to them.

The academy teaches children to sew and use those skills to create a block of fabric that will later be incorporated into a quilt. The blocks can be about any issue that the artist cares about.

“It gives youth the forefront in issues,” Trail said in a video message to the audience. Due to a cancelation in her flight, Trail could not make it to the program, which had an audience of over 15 people.

The program started as a post collegiate endeavor, but the idea for it has always been in Trails’ mind.

“My dream is to open a non-profit to teach people to sew,” Trail said.

Social advocacy was a huge factor for Trail when creating the program. She has hosted workshops in underprivileged areas across the United States, such as Chicago and Berkeley. These areas allow Trail to reach out to students to educate them.

“I want to give young people the tools…to understand,” Trail said.

The work the academy has done has been featured across social media and news outlets. Trail herself was already well known in the sewing community for her previous collaborations with Simplicity, a well-known fabric and sewing company. Throughout her career, Trail felt that sewing could do more for people than they realize.

“Sewing is more than a hobby,” Trail said.

The presentation was well received, with over half of the audience staying for the workshop. The experience allowed people to learn new skills and see what an impact their art and voice has in the community.

“Workshops like this make it look possible and doable,”  junior, Miah Gruber, said.

Snowden talks national security at OWU

By Courtney Dunne, Editor-in-Chief and Areena Arora, Managing Editor

Wednesday, Sept. 28 was not a typical day at OWU. Edward Snowden joined the OWU community for a video conversation.

Snowden, former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, appeared before an audience of OWU students, faculty, staff and Delaware residents from an unconfirmed location in Moscow, Russia via Google Hangouts in University Hall’s Gray Chapel.

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

In 2013, Snowden came under light for leaking classified NSA documents to journalists that brought forth the NSA’s detailed plans of citizen surveillance and metadata collection. The U.S. government indicted Snowden on charges of theft and under the Espionage Act of 1917. He is currently in asylum in Russia.

He talked about the process of gaining special privilege security access and problems with mass citizen surveillance. He said the process heightened post 9/11 as part of NSA’s efforts to locate sleeper cells in the country.

Snowden was invited to speak at OWU as part of this year’s Sagan National Colloquium Series “Data in our Lives.” Craig Jackson and Sean McCulloch, associate professors of math and computer science, contacted Snowden through an anonymous agency. The idea to get Snowden was Jackson’s.

McCulloch said, “The fact that we invited him should not [be] construed as we’re agreeing with him or endorsing him.”

Jackson said, “[The agency doesn’t] advertise that they represent Edward Snowden, so I cannot share their information.”

The agents, according to Jackson,  are a U.S. based speakers bureau. He said, “I don’t know that I want to be too specific … there is not a well documented way to [contact Snowden] … It’s kind of an open secret. If you read about [Snowden], the legal process, who is representing him both in the U.S. and abroad, it becomes pretty clear who you should talk to … Even if you don’t talk to the right people in the beginning, you can get there.”

Just like other speakers in the series, Snowden was paid. The amount was undisclosed, as part of the contract with the agency. However, according to Jackson, the total budget for the entire Sagan series is $30,000.

McCulloch said, “It’s legal to pay him … We’re also not writing a check to him directly.”

Jackson added, “You work through the agent and agent pays the speaker, of course they take a bit off the top … And we are paying Snowden’s agents.”

Jackson said they learned on Sept. 23 that the administration had decided not to do any publicity for this event. He said, “They had done publicity for our other events … they had decided not to do press releases for this event.”

Jackson said, “Sean [McCulloch] and I had a conversation with University Communications about this and we compromised a little bit … because of that conversation, they did end up sending out a press release.”  He added, “Word did get out, it just didn’t get out as soon as I would’ve liked it to.”

A press release, was sent out by Cole Hatcher, director of media and public relations on Sept. 26. The press release was shared with about 40 contacts, including, but not limited to, The Associated Press, Delaware Gazette and The Columbus Dispatch, according to Hatcher.

McCulloch said, “It’s not prominent on the website as we think it ought to be … This could’ve been a much bigger deal.”

Jackson said they appreciate the help they got from the Communications Office. “It’s just on this one event we didn’t get as much help as we wanted,” he said.

He said, “This is a controversial speaker. Many people believe he is a villain, a traitor … there’s nothing illegal about what we are doing … but [they] disagree with our choice to invite him and because of that they were vocal about it … The word that came to us, was that it included at least some of the trustees of the university.”

Snowden was the best source of information about data and national security because people currently employed by NSA are not at liberty to discuss their work in detail, while Snowden is very open about how metadata is used for private citizen surveillance, according to Jackson.

President Rock Jones said, “I have heard from individuals who are quite pleased that Edward Snowden is participating in the Sagan National Colloquium and from individuals who are concerned about his participation. As always, I believe it is important for the campus to engage in thoughtful conversation on topics of importance and with individuals who represent a variety of perspectives.”

Board of Trustees member Gregory Moore ‘76 said, “I’m not aware of any trustee being aware or unhappy with it. I’d be surprised if that’s the case … I have not received any communication about it nor did I expect to … [Trustees are] not generally notified of such events on a vibrant college campus.”

He also said he believes in bringing in a variety of viewpoints to OWU and said with Snowden being in the news lately, timing could not have been better.

While the two-hour talk was streamed live on OWU’s website, it was not archived, per the conditions of the contract with the agency.

A Q&A session followed the talk. Several audience members asked questions about private companies’ data collection, the first amendment and actions private citizens can take, among others.

Snowden remains engaged in conversations around government and mass surveillance, where he currently serves on the board of directors for the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

Sagan series is talking trash


Ross Hickenbottom, Sports Editor

The 2016 Sagan National Colloquium speaker series kicked off on Jan. 27 with Ohio Wesleyan geography department’s John Krygier introducing Sarah Moore who presented “Tracking trans-national hazardous waste trading: methodological problems and partial solutions.”

Moore is an assistant professor of geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the co-author of “Environment and Society: A Critical Introduction.”

She earned funding from the National Science Foundation to work with other primary investigators to analyze created data tracking hazardous substances swapped for disposal and recycling among the North American countries: Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

“(We) have some suspicions where maybe an organization like the EPA that might not be doing their jobs,” she said, citing the Flint Michigan pollution epidemic as an example.

The shakiness of reliability reveals itself when “the EPA is writing to me asking how they’re doing regulating hazardous waste,” Moore added.

This particular speech is one of a series of five talks all reviewing separate environmental issues in the western perspective that has been backed by a $50,000 Exploration Grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to collaborate with multiple universities in places like Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.

All universities involved study eastern as well as western concepts of waste and how countries in the western hemisphere, particularly Asia, work to reduce waste.

Junior environmental studies major Carter Rae, who enjoyed the informational speech by Moore said, “Most people think that when you throw something away, it goes to the local landfill. But in reality, there is a global and complex economy built around that ‘waste.’ The image of waste is not as garbage but as a commodity.”

Rae also believes more people should become educated on issues such as this, since it impacts the world on such a large scale.

President Rock Jones attended the speech as well and thought “it was fascinating to learn more about how hazardous waste moves in and out of the country and how it’s concentrated in certain regions of our country.”

“I think (Moore) did a wonderful job addressing these issues, which are so detrimental to the world today,” President Jones added.

The remaining Sagan National Colloquium speeches will be taking place on Feb. 4 and 22 as well as April 11 and 18 in either the third floor of Merrick Hall or in Benes Room B in the Hamilton-Williams Campus Center.