Talking about networks, Londonstani had the pleasure of coming across two initiatives recently, both seeking to tap into the concern and goodwill of British Pakistanis to help Pakistan develop into a stable and prosperous country.
The British Pakistan Foundation seeks to harness the funds British Pakistanis send to family and friends to spur economic development. While the Samosa blog is a forum for debate and a foundation for action.
Both organisations draw on the resources, contacts and knowledge of British Pakistan - a potentially very powerful force for positive change in Pakistan.
Samosa director Anwar Akhtar has an article in the Royal Society of Arts magazine laying out the relationship between Britain, Pakistan and the community of British Pakistanis that, along with a shared history, tie the two countries together. In the article, Anwar makes a point that encapsulates the "potential" part of Londonstani's earlier comment.
"What, if any, are the responsibilities of diaspora communities such as the one to which I belong? Many British Pakistanis have expressed their disgust at the treatment of minority communities, and the misogyny and sectarianism of far-right organisations that use religion to spread hate and prejudice in Pakistan. There was despair at the inability of the Pakistani military to see beyond a cold-war obsession with India, an addiction, of course, that their peers in Delhi share."
Helping Pakistan involves engaging with issues at its ideological core. This is not something that can be accomplished with aid money alone.