Friday, November 16, 2007

Pakistan: past and future

The Newsweek of November 19 is a must-read for students of the sub-continent's politics.

One, there are two good articles on Pakistan. In the lead piece, "Pakistan's Pinstrip Revolution", Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria speaks of the nation's struggle to break free of the military's stranglehold. "Pakistani reality is awash in grays. The task for the US and other friends of Pakistan is to guide it on a path that keeps the country stable and the jihadis at bay, pushes the political system towards greater legitimacy and openness and keeps the key forces within the society working together," Zakaria says.

The other article, 'Trapped on the Razor's Edge', is by Sumit Ganguly, Director of Research at Indiana University's Centre on American and Global Security. In a previous post, I had wondered why India and Pakistan have gone the way they have, though they got freedom within hours of each other from the same Britain.

Ganguly, coincidentally, suggests various reasons to explain why in India politics and democracy call the shots, while in Pakistan it is the military. "Top priority should include curbing military spending, limiting the scope of military intervention in government matters and ensuring the independence of the judiciary. Without such changes, you can expect Pakistan to keep repeating its history for many years to come," Ganguly concludes.

Two, a special report on 1968: the Year that Changed Everything. A highly readable retrospective of how the 1968-ers of the US and Europe viewed the world.

1 comment:

  1. It is a strange land, a clash of ideas, religion and common sense,perched now on a defining moment. Will it turn out to be a washed out state? or will it recover? i dont know. A strange sense of foreboding tells me that they will waste their opportunity in favour of religion..