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Asia Pacific Focus -

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Hello and welcome to Asia

Pacific Focus. I'm Jim

Middleton. Coming up - India's

view of the conflict in

Afghanistan and Asian

stereotypes. Australians smashing the

stereotypes. Jennifer Wong is

part of a breakaway generation

of Australians from Asian

backgrounds. They're being

judged in their own right as

performers. I've always just

kind of put my head down and

thought what's the best joke I

can write. The problem with racists is they don't get

enough festivals.

Australian multiculturalism,

a work in progress, later in

the program. The sopranos of

Afghanistan, that's what the

'New York Times' has dubbed the

Haqqani Network, the affiliate

of the in the heart of Kabul. 3

weeks ago the US embassy in the

capital came under fire. One

week later Kabul's chief

week later Kabul's chief

negotiatingor with the Taliban

was associate killed. The US

has accused Pakistan of

directly helping the Haqqani

Network in the embassy attack.

Washington's top military man,

Admiral Mike Mullen described

the group as a vair tabl arm of Pakistan's intelligence, a

description which has provoked

anger in Islamabad.

anger in Islamabad. Former

Afghan President and head of

the High Piece Council

Burhanuddin Rabbani is being

carried to his graif and being

buried along with him is the

most recent attempt at patching

together a peace deal. No-one

has claimed responsibility but

suspicion has fall on the

Haqqani Network and its

backers, Pakistan's

agency known as the interservice intelligence

agency known as the ISI. "I am

telling this to Pakistan's ISI

that with such threats, such

actions and such crimes you

cannot weaken the determination

and resolve of Afghans."

According to the United

States the Haqqani insurgent

as the network has replaced Al-Qaeda

as the main threat in Pakistan

and ask and - Afghanistan and

has been blamed for a string of

attacks in the region. Among

them was a sustained assault on

the US Embassy in Kabul. The

information available to us is

that these attack ers, like

those who carried out the

bombing in Wardak, are part of

the Haqqani Network. They

the Haqqani Network. They enjoy

safe haven in North Waziristan.

So it's tough when you're

trying to fight an insurgency

that has a lot of support

outside of your own national

borders. The ambassador's

judgment was backed by the

outgoing head of the US

military in unusually direct

language. The Haqqani Network

for one acts as a veritable arm

of Pakistan's

of Pakistan's internal services

intelligence agency. With ISI

support Haqqani operative s

planned and conducted that

truck bomb attack as well as

the assault on our embassy. We

also have credible intelligence

that they were behind the June

28 attack on the

interconinnocental hotel in

Kabul and a host of other

smaller but effective

operations. The attack on the

intercontinental in June was

intercontinental in June was particularly brazen. Afghanistan's intelligence

service, the NDS, released mobile telephone intersebls

they claim were from the gunmen

inside the hotel. The patriarch of the network

is Haak Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani now thought to

Haqqani now thought to be

around 70 years old. But he

hasn't always been the number

one bogeyman for the United

States. For almost a decade the US Central Intelligence Agency

ran a secret war against the

Soviets in Afghanistan. They

pumped billions of dollars into

insurgent leaders a-among them

was Haqqani.

was Haqqani.But after September

11 and the US invasion of

Afghanistan, everything flipped

upside down. And now another US

law maker has the Haqqani

Network in his sights

determined to cut off its

funding sources. The reason why

the Haqqani Network has become

so powerful and so strong is

because it is protected by the

Government of Pakistan itself.

A claimed ally of the United

States that receives

States that receives substantial assistance provided

by this Congress. The US Senate

has just voted to put strict

new conditions on the billions

of dollars that it provides for

the Pakistan military. In

short, what the Senate did was

to remove nearly all of the

guarantees of assistance

funding to the Pakistani

Government based on new

information and statements made

information and statements made

by senior US Government

officials on the Pakistani

Government and its intelligence

service called the ISI's

support for an organisation

called the Haqqani Network.

One of the most controversial

of the new strings attached to

the funding is a guaranteed

right for US special forces to

pursue and attack Haqqani

members inside Pakistan itself.

A proposal that has already

incensed the Pakistani A proposal that has already

military. No, of course the

Pakistan nation and we will not

allow the boots on our ground.

handling these terrorists and Our forces are quite capable of

the world has witnessed the way

our army had taken action in

Malakand an skapt swat. Rehman Malik

denied there was any involvement on the US embassy

involvement on the US embassy

in Kabul. If you say that it is

ISI invol veed in that attack

I deny it. We have no any such

policy to attack or to aid

attack through Pakistani forces

or through any Pakistani

assistance. So please, I assure

you that is not there. It's not

going to be there in

going to be there in future.

But what is important, the

impression which is being

created that has to go. But as

the US Government attempts to

deal with its own growing

financial woes, it's becoming increasingly difficult to

justify the billions of

borrowed dollars it provides to

Pakistan and the double game

that the Pakistan military

appears to be playing. We need

to understand that senior

Pakistani officials of their

intelligence service foreign ministry, of their

intelligence service and of

their Defence Department have

directly lied to American

officials and only by action

and cutting off the Haqqani

Network that we can make sure

at least the US taxpayer is not

supporting this terrorism. The Haqqani Network continues to

have powerful friends in the

Gulf States and especially in

Saudi Arabia where it's long been able

been able to quietly raise

funds. Something that

Pakistan's Prime Minister was

keen to remind the United

States. Several countries have

maintained direct contacts with

Haqqani singling out Pakistan

is not fair nor can Pakistan be

held responsible for the

security of US, NATO and ISAF

forces in Afghanistan.

forces in Afghanistan. But for

Admiral Mike Mullen, the outgoing head of the US

military, it's the continuing

use of a wide range of proxy

forces by Pakistan that's the

larger problem with no

resolution in sight. I

actually believe that the ISI's

got a fundamentally shift its

strategic focus. They are the

ones who implement as I would argue as

argue as part of government

policy the support of

extremists, it's not just

Haqqani because we've also had

our challenges with LET which

is an organisation they put in

place. So in many ways it's the

proxy piece here, the support

of terrorism is part of their

national strategy to protect

their own vital interests

because of where they live and

that's got to fundamentally shift. I also believe

shift. I also believe there has

to be enough patience on both

sides that they will probably

be the last ones to shift and

how quickly that can be done

certainly is an open question.

Thom Cooks reporting. Not

surprisingly Pakistan's links

to the Haqqani Network are a

matter of deep concern to

India. Shashi Tharoor is an

Indian Government MP, former

minister and diplomat. Shashi Tharoor, thanks very

Tharoor, thanks very much for

your time. Thank you, good to

be with you, Jim. Let's start

with Afghanistan, India has a

clear strategic interest in

that nation. What do you think

though the recent attacks in

Kabul suggest that Pakistan is

up to given the clear links

between the Haqqani Network and

Pakistan's intelligence establishment? Well, I

establishment? Well, I will say

somewhat ruefully it's a shame it's only being noticed now.

The Pakistani ISI and the

Haqqani Network combined to

attack the Indian embassy in

twice in 2008 and 2009 and we

are about the only one who paid

any serious attention about

doing something bt about it. It

is a terrible situation. Our

interests in Afghanistan, as

you say, is strategic but in

fact all our aid programs, it's our

our largest aid program, we've

spent US $1.2 billion of Indian taxpayers' money doing things

like renovating maternal and

child health hospitals,

repairing and running girls'

schools, constructing roads and

electricity line that's getting

Kabul 24 hours and 7 days of

electricity every week. I mean

all of that is being done in

the hope that we can help the

Afghan people stand on their

own feet and it's going to be

disrupted if we allow these

disrupted if we allow these

evil elements an opportunity to

destroy normal life in Kabul.

So when the attacks have been

more directly targeting Western

interests we're glad the West

is waking up and noticing but

this has not been new. They've

been at it for some years and

we do think the time has come

for the kind of tough talking

we've seen from Washington in

the last couple of days. Do you

think it is about Pakistan or sections of its

sections of its establishment

anyway, fearing a strong

neighbour to its east and an

unstable and unsympathetic or

pro Indian regime in

Afghanistan to its west, is

that the problem? Well only

partly and in fact if they're

worried about an unstable neighbour they shouldn't be

adding to the instability by

setting off bombs in that poor country's capital.

country's capital. I think the

problem is this notion

entertained by some elements of

the Pakistani military

establishment of what's called

strategic depth, the notion

that somehow if Afghanistan

were a vessel state to Pakistan

that they would give Pakistan

depth in its perpetual

antagonism in India. You talked

a moment ago about Washington's

tough talk this the threat of

tough talk this the threat of

unilateral action unless they

cease to assist the Haqqani

Network, but isn't there a

danger that as with Vietnam and

Cambodia, far from settling the

conflict in Afghanistan it

actually becomes a war in two

unstable States? To begin with

it already is a war in one

State that has many ways

spilled over into the next. We

know about the drone attacks in

Pakistan, the capture and killing

killing of Osama bin Laden and

his people in Pakistan. It's

not as if Pakistan has been

removed from the theatre of

war. The fact still is the

Haqqani Network has all its

bases on the Pakistani side of

the border and they're going in

and out with impunity either

because there are people in the

ISI who are co - conooifing as

to what the Haqqanis are doing

and perhaps financing

and perhaps financing it, or at

the very least other parts are

codoning what's goin - going

on and there's not a deal of

difference to choose between. You're directing a

conference titled India, the

reluctant superpower. I think

there are quite a few people

around the world who would

suggest India's not that

reluctant really? No, I don't

think India's not that superpower yet. We're

superpower yet. We're still

super poor in many ways. We

have a lot of internal

challenges to overcome and I'm

not one of those who thinks the superpower term is something

we're ready for. What we need

to do is to be a responsible

contributor to world affairs

which I believe we are

increasing l. We've been

demonstrating that during our

current innings of the Security

Council of the UN but we've

also been for decades a major

contributor to UN peacekeeping operations, we

operations, we have maintained

at home a flourishing flawless

democracy which we hope sets a

good example to other countries, an alternative to

the kinds of fanaticism you and

I have been talking about and

at the same time we have a huge

developmental challenge in our

own country. We have a couple

of hundred million living below

poverty line which has been

drawn just this side of the

- On that question of both

- On that question of both

poverty and corruption, looking

to your north to China do you

think there are lessons to be

learned at least from China in

what it has demonstrated over

the past 20 years and its

ability to lift large sections

of its population out of

poverty? I admire China's

accomplishment but it will only

work in China. We are a

democracy, we couldn't possibly

use Chinese methods. If you want to

want to do that kind of

developmental growth at that

kind of break neck speed you

will break a lot of necks. You

can't do that in a democracy.

The Chinese have done so and I

won't have anything negative to

say about what they feel is

right for them and their people

but in India where every

political act, every policy

decision, every executive act

is subject to repeated ref ren

da, as it were, with elections first of all

first of all national elections

but then elections in each of

our 28 states and 5 union

territories, you're going to

find that lit raly every 6 months there's an election somewhere in India and no

government feels it can get

away with trampling on people's

rights. Let's finish by getting

a bit geopolitical again if I

can put it that way. You do

appear to be very suspicious of

China's motives in reviewing

Henry Kissinger's recent

Henry Kissinger's recent book

on China you write alarmingly of his notion of the US and

China running the world in the

21st century as what some in

Washington call a G 2 condominium saying it doesn't

leave much room for the rest of

us. Do you think this is a real

prospect or do you think China

would really like to replace the United States at the

the United States at the top of

the tree? Well you see China

can't really replace the US at

the top of the tree without a

major conflict and I think

there's simply too much

interpenetration between the US

and China for either of them to

be able to consider or

contemplate a conflict in that

sense. This is not the US

Soviet stand off during the

Cold War. They had nothing to

do with each other. These two

economies are deeply implicated

in each other. So I don't think that's going to happen. I

that's going to happen. I think

it's a question of what kind of coexistence the two of them are

going to work out. And also

where does India fit into this

as a rising power? Again

there's no example of one

superpower sharing the world

stage without it eventually

leading to conflict let alone

3. Well, we're thinking in

terms more of a multipolo world where

where every country will have

different spheres of influence,

some of which will overlap. But

in this 21st century globalised

world of ours, Jim, we're

looking at relationships that

are much more networked rather

than Mon litic. It's not going

to be in my view the Cold War

all over again. That's history. We're not going to live in a world where there are various

kinds of connections. When I

was I used to joke we should

think to multialignment. We're going

going to have various kinds of

relationships with different

countries an different

configure rations for different purposes. India will thrive in

the United Nations and in the non-align movement. We'll be

part of the G 77 bloc of developing countries but also

in the community of democracies

because democracy is our own

experience and nothing for us

to be embarrassed about. We

belong to the south Asian

association of countries in our neighbourhood but we also

neighbourhood but we also

belong to special

configurations like the BRICS,

Brazil, China and now South

Africa. IPSA and so on so there

are various configurations in

which each country will pursue

its interest. I don't expect

India to stride the global

stage except through the United

Nations or such global

organisations. The G20, by the

way, is another one I should

have mentioned. But at the same

time I don't expect the US

time I don't expect the US and

China to create a G 2 and

dictate to the rest of us. We

won't stand for it. Shashi

Tharoor, it's been a pleasure

talking to you. Thank you.

Australia seas 's Asian

population has grown rapidly

especially in the last decade

or so. But for many a kind of

bamboo ceiling blocked

bamboo ceiling blocked their

aspirations. Now, however, the

break throughs are coming thick

and fast. Deborah Richards


Under the September harvest

moon 20,000 people took part in

the spectacular lantern

festival in Adelaide. It's part

of the OZ Asia festival, a celebration

celebration of Australia

connecting with Asia. We've

come a long way in a short

time. We sort of grew up in an

era of assimilation, that was

sort of the favourite sort of

government policy. So you were

exit expected to fit in. You

were expected to be the new Australian and learn to be

Australian, learn to be

Westernised and fit in. Annette

in. Annette Shun Wah was one

of the '80s generation who

broke the mould. She samed for

Asian Australians to be

accepted in the mainstream. And

just started with a music show

which was, you know, a very

sort of in those days very

non-Asian kind of thing to do.

It was a rock and roll show.

But the idea was to sort a

break a lot of those

stereotypes and show people

that we could do all different kinds of things. And

kinds of things. And I don't

know how many attitudes I

changed but I do know, because

I've had a lot of feedback over

the years, that it encouraged a

lot of other people of Asian

background to pursue their

dreams. And they are. Jennifer

Wong is part of a breakaway

generation of Australians from

Asian backgrounds who grew up in multicultural Australia.

They're being judged in their

own right as performers. When I

first started stand up I would

tell my folks that I was -

because I didn't want to say I

was going out to a pun, that's

not something that I would have

done. I didn't want them to

worry so I would say I'm just

going out to do a little bit of

public speaking. Wong was

recently named one of the top

10 emerging talents in stand up

performer s. This is her first solo

solo show. I've always just

kind of put my head down and

thought what's the best joke I

can write , what's the best

performance I can give on a

night. The idea of cultural

diversity in multiculturalism

came along a bit later and I

think it's in that sort of area

that Jennifer and people in her

- of her generation have grown

up. So the idea of being able

to celebrate or embrace your cultural diversity is just

cultural diversity is just

normal, you know, there's

nothing remarkable about it and

so there's no need to make a

big political song and dance

about being Asian. The memory

of a less tolerant Australia is

seared into the Asian

Australian consciousness. They

have their own culture and

religion, form ghettos and do

not assimilate. It's material

for humour as this

for humour as this generation

deals with racism from the

context of being inciders who

belong in the country. She said

you should smile when you give

me back your change because you

people stole our jobs. And I

said you're 45 years old why

would you want my job? I went

to a high school where there

were people who spoke in total 112

112 different languages and

that was in the early '90s, so

it's not - I guess I've never

grown up in an area where it's

been completely one culture or

another and in different

pockets of Australia you find

that the mix varies but, you

know, we're a big country. Just

know, we're a big country. Just

as Jennifer Wong was entering

high school, the need for

closer cultural understanding

was being recognised. In 1993

the first Asian Australian

theatre festival was initiated.

This followed research showing

only 2% of acting roles in

commercial drama were given to

Australian actors who came from

Asian backgrounds.

Asian backgrounds. As Australia

became more multiracial the

research argued that

inclusiveness is crucial for

social cohesion. It's very

important for people to see

others who look like them and

have similar experiences to

them in their mainstream media

because then they feel like

that's their culture. If you

never see yourself reflected in your culture you don't feel

like you belong. You feel

like you belong. You feel

excluded and that's very

serious. Auditions for the

sci-fi blockbuster the matrix

rr showed what is possible. The

producers were colour blind

about who played the roles.

Chinese Australian actor

Anthony Brandon Wong was cast

as Ghost. It changed my life,

it changed my career, it opened up

up America to me. The Matrix

was a role model production in

terms of multicultural casting.

He said let's cast people from

every background in every type

of role and let's not type it

as an Asian role. Now based in

LA Anthony comes back to

Australia to teach aspiring

actors. He's excited that a new

generation of Australian actors

is emerging but says Australian

is emerging but says Australian

producers still mainly recruit

Asian actors for stereotyped

roles. They need to get colour

blind like Hollywood. It's not

uncommon for me to go in for

roles in Los Angeles where I'll

go into the audition room,

there will be a Latino actor,

there will be an African

American actor, a Cuban actor,

an Italian and Irish actor all going for the same role and

it's wonderful because then you

feel like an actor first and

feel like an actor first and foremost and a race card

second. Wherever Jennifer

Wong's career takes her it's

hard not to look at this fresh

generation and see Australia as

showing a new face to the

world. A lot of old barriers

have been broken and this new

set of performers will take us

even further. The problem with

racists is that they don't get

enough festivals. Deborah Richards reporting

Richards reporting and that's

the program. If you'd like to

look back on today's stories

you can find them on the

Australia Network News YouTube

channel. I'll be back at the

same time next week with

another edition of Asia Pacific

Focus. I'm Jim Middleton,

thanks for watching bye for

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