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A mentally challenged 12-year-old Christian girl is in jail in Pakistan on charges of blasphemy, punishable with death ("Pakistani Christians flee after girl accused of blasphemy," Tribune, Aug. 21). One cannot raise a voice against the injustice, for that is counted as blasphemy, too!

Being an American of Pakistani origin, my head hangs in shame. But I also cannot disregard the callous attitude of my adopted country, which showers billions of dollars on Pakistan that indirectly support such evils.

I understand the need to purchase military assistance from Pakistan, but the United States must realize that without also bringing about social change, there will be no end to our battles. Our American government must influence Pakistan to reform its legal framework to, at the minimum, allow freedom of speech.

Unless the rational people have liberty to speak their minds without fear of prosecution, the few barbaric mullahs will continue to hold the country hostage, and I am afraid those weeds will ultimately engulf the dwindling healthy plantation that is Pakistan.

Nazia Junejo

Salt Lake City

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