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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Hard To Believe New Dawn in Pakistan?

Mian Nawaz Sharif comes back as the new Prime Minister of Pakistan once again.So what is new one is tempted to ask?
 
Pakistan is a strange country.Formed on religious lines one would have thought that a muslim majority nation would be at peace with its citizens and progress rapidly given the hardworking,resilient character of its people combined with a plethora of natural resources,bauxite and ore mines in Sindh,fertile delta in Punjab,zince.lead quarries in Baluchistan.Natural deep water port in Karachi et all.
 
The reality has been vastly different with Sunnis fighting Shias,Sunnis and Shias murdering the Hindu and Hazara minorities,the Taliban desirous of taking everyone back to the medieval Caliphate times and a general sense of anarchy.
 
My grandparents who had seen the partition of 1947 first hand told stories of the best part of Punjab falling to Pakistan,a land of brimming rivers,green fields of unimaginable riches.Pakistan has not lived up to its legacy.
 
If Nations had psyches we would say that Pakistan was born manic depressive.Lies,deception and a belief of its politico-military class to live in an alternate reality led to 1971 war and the birth of Bangladesh.The 1965 war which almost finished them until Prime Minister Nehru and the United Nations saved their bacon.
 
It is difficult to separate Nawaz Sharif from Kargil.All the polite noises he has made in his campaign of holding discussions with the Indian leadership is nothing new.Pervez Musharraf had the Agra summit and then what?If Indian foreign service officials start taking all the words as positive,I for one would feel apprehensive as the new PM has to take care of the Taliban and all the other sundry militias that proliferate in the back alleys of Karachi,Rawalpindi and Lahore.
 
Can the civilian leadership take strength from its youth and translate it into anything meaningful.Nothing mirrors the dichotomy more than a person like Imran Khan,jetsetting cricket married once to a jewish heiress.Modern,progress one may think!Yet he supported the conservative,religious fundamentalists.easy to dismiss as vote bank politics,but just shows the exigencies that even so called moder faces of Pakistan and the freudian bargains they need to make.
 
Beware.