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An American Perspective from Pakistan

With Pakistan in such turmoil, what is it like to be in the country right now? Newschannel 3's Douglas Clark spoke with an American there, who gave him a first-hand account. Bob Yuna is working with young journalists in Pakistan. He says the news of Benazir Bhutto's death has had a different impact in each region of the country. The violence and protests that have erupted following Benazir Bhutto's assassination across Pakistan are not affecting the entire country. Journalist Robert Yuna is in Lahore, a city of nine million people in the Punjab province. "All things considered, things are more or less under control. There were a few buses burned last night and unconfirmed reports of 2-5 people killed," says Yuna. "The streets are clear. People today by and large are off the streets, in fact, it was kind of eerie." Yuna says the reaction to Bhutto's death has been mixed amongst the journalists he teaches. He says some are scared, and some are concerned about the image of their country. While the culture there is slowly becoming Americanized, the political climate is far from democratic. "Unfortunately, politics is often a blood sport here," says Yuna. "The political parties here play things very rough." Yuna adds that there is a strong distrust of the government, which gives rise to conspiracy theories about what is really going on. Still, he describes Pakistanis as some of the most hospitable and gracious people he's ever met. "They want what people in your hometown want. They want a better life for their kids." Yuna went on to say that the Pakistanis are not anti-western. In fact, many of the middle and upper class send their kids to college in Canada and the US. Benezir Bhutto herself studied at Harvard.

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