Post-Musharraf Pakistan


Will Pakistan be better or worse off after Musharraf?

Posted by Lauren Keane on August 22, 2008 10:10 AM

Readers’ Responses to Our Question (38)

singh :

BOBL-VA:

I was referring to his comments concerning Indian immigrants in his country, not his opinions of India/Kashmir conflict. I suggest you re-read what I wrote. Just because his people were historic victims do not excuse his spiteful rhetoric. Again, I shall repeat myself one last time: I was taking issue to his attacks on PEOPLE OF INDIAN DESCENT LIVING IN THE U.S.A. not the Indian Government.

What I wrote before: "Through his history of posting MikeB has CONSISTENTLY MADE THE POINT THAT PEOPLE OF INDIAN DESCENT LIVING IN HIS COUNTRY AND UNTRUSTWORTHY AND A SECURITY RISK. These claims are based on people of a certain race, not government."

BobL-VA :

Singh,

Go back and reread MikeB's posts. He doesn't like India. He doesn't have many kind things to say about China either. So what? He has expressed legitimate concerns over the policies of India and specifically Kashmir. If you want to argue his facts and his conclusions have at it. That doesn't make him a racist. He has expressed serious concerns over China as well and I'm not seeing Chinese and/or Chinese Americans calling him a racist for questioning policies and practices in China.

There is a huge difference between not liking someone's culture, government and international actions and being a racist. Frankly, I'm pretty sick of people using the word racist every time they are losing an argument. I'm not talking about you in particular, I'm talking generically.

What has been so ironic about this particular stream of posts is we have people calling an American Indian a racist. Think about it. A group of people almost wiped out to the point of extinction by a racist culture now have one of their own being called a racist? If MikeB was a racist it wouldn't be directed at India. He would save his remarks for the system that committed genocide against his ancestors. While the African-American community in the US certainly was subjected to slavery and then legal discrimination for another 150 years on an historical scale they were treated better then the American Indians. The US killed as many American Indians as they could and the ones they didn't kill they rounded up and regulated to some of the worst land in this country. The government broke treaty after treaty with them and did about everything they could to either starve them to death or let them die of disease and inadequate health care. It's only been in the last 40-50 years things have started to change. The same can be said about the Civil Rights movement in America. Hence, when you accuse someone of being a racist it behoves you to consider the source. Calling an American Indian a racist isn't going to win you many friends.

singh :

BOBL-VA:

Through his history of posting MikeB has consistently made the point that people of Indian descent living in his country are untrustworthy and a security risk. These claims are based on people of a certain race, not government.

BobL-VA :

I've been to India and I can state I wouldn't want to live there. I didn't think much of the country from the little I saw of it. I have no return visits planned and have no desire to go back. Does that me a racist?

I don't like the fact the US has had policies in place for years that encourage foreign workers to immigrate into this country and displace citizens because they are willing to work cheaper. Does that also make me a racist?

I don't like American businesses outsourcing manufacturing and services to 3rd world economies countries strictly to enhance their bottom line with little to no thought of how it effects our citizens. Does that me a racist?

I don't like the fact as the US economy slips more and more foreign interests are buying up assets in the US. These assets are being handled in a way that benefit the foreign interest first and if they benefit Americans it is coincidental. Does this also make me racist?

Did anyone else read Boswell's articles in the WP on the Olympics in China? Was he a racist? He certainly had nothing nice to say about the Chinese government.

Speaking of goverments. Has anyone been listening to Democratic National Convention. There wasn't very many friendly words spoken about the current US government. Is it possible for one large group of Americans to act in a racist manner towards another group simply based on political ideology?

Not liking another country by definition can not make you a racist. Not liking an ethnic group can. If we keep throwing around words like racism and bigotry at the drop of a hat they will begin to lose their meaning. MikeB is guilty of not liking the country of Indian. Ok, so what. I don't like them much either. He is also guilty of not liking Indians coming to the US to displace American workers. OK, so what? I don't like it much either. No where have I ever heard MikeB say or infer Indians are a race of people to be avoided simply becuase they are Indian.

Zoltan :

MikeB, you had been called "racist" and "full of hatred" here on PostGlobal by other people before.

You keep on repeating "India" went out of it's way to "steel" the B2 stealth bomber's plans (why the hell India would want to reproduce that expensive failure is beyond my knowledge), and that indian engineers accept engineering jobs for less salary than their US counterparts (tough !). I don't know if that makes a "racist" of you, but you sure are full of hatred for Indians (from India, of course). Since it's specifically and recurrently aimed against Indians, I cannot help but feel that "racist" is an appropriate label.

mohammad allam :

I am really sorry to say that what i am seeing posting on post golbal is not worthy of future intellectuals.we are here to discuss the matter and reach on conclusion.we are not here to discuss in such a manner.if educated like us will behave then what we can expect from other.we all come on point of discussion,for which question has been posted.

MikeB :

Fareed Zakaria, Dabid - Please excuse this sideline to the discussion of issue, but the annoymous bigit here needs to be corrected.

First off, Bozo, neither I nor any member of my famuly has ever received welfare, never taken one dime of BIA money, never had anything given to us. We have worked and worked hard all our lives. I am an engineer and a computer programmer. In my youth, I dug ditches, worked on a farm and ranch, laid irrigation pipes, cooked in a restaraunt, guided rich white folks on hunting and fishing trips, and fought for my country! Most Native American's do not live on reservations, most of us do not have problems with alcohol, and most of us who do simply dont drink! I just got back from a family reunion where I renewed ties with more than 200 relatives. There wasn't a drunk in sight, there wasn't a welfare case, everyone either had a job or was looking for one, having been laid off due to your idiot President and those fools at Fox and their blind willingness to allow for the outsourcing of millions of jobs to our "friends" in India and China. We believe in this country, believe in hard work and honesty, unlike some lazy stupid drunken white hillbilly's that immediately come to mind. Have you ever served this country? Have you ever done anything to make this country better? Have you ever done anything other than sit back and, in your ignorance, toss off dishonest insults and pass off gross ignorance as fact.

Anonymous :

I'm unpatriotic? LOL. Go back to drinking your fire water and gambling your government welfare check away, Tonto.

MikeB :

Ah, a Fox news fan and another McCain voter. I have always figured that all of you were ignorant bigots and dumb as rocks, but now we know you are treasonous, unpatriotic snakes, too.

Anonymous :

Whatever dude. Brown on brown violence always makes me lulz.

MikeB :

ANONYMOUS - The difference is, on one side you have foreigners and on the other, a very proud American who has two sons who have served in Iraq. The younger has served four tours, was wounded, and may end up going again. We are a family of warriors, but more importantly, but are a family that genuinely believes in defending this country, standing by it and putting it and it's people first. The Indian readers, for all of their protestations of friendship, are taking advantage of companies outsourcing jobs, of our government's using our jobs as bribes to gain support for their Byzantine foreign policies initiatives. Any "friendship", is, at best, a temporary arrangement that is to the advantage of the India. Once that ends, and it will, that "friendship" will end rather quickly. If you cannot see that, then I feel very sorry for you.

Anju Chandel :

Scene One:

St. Paul’s, Minnesota. Barack Obama, the main protagonist in "American History is Being Made", like a Knight in shining armor, proudly proclaims to have clinched the Democratic "dream ticket"!

America too is feeling proud as they have finally selected an African-American - a black - to run for presidency; also, because they had almost selected a "fairer sex" - a woman - for the top job: Hillary Clinton. In either case, "American History" would have been made.

The date: 3rd June 2008; calendar indicated we were in the 21st century.

Scene Two:

India: country’s present president is a Hindu woman whose predecessor was a Muslim; the prime minister is from a minority religious community, Sikh; the president of the largest political party is a woman - an Italian by birth and a Christian by faith; and, the chief minister of the largest state is a woman from Dalit community – "the untouchables".

The date: cannot be "fixed" as none of the aforementioned "incidents" is unprecedented; India’s past is studded with numerous such instances.

Conclusion-at-Climax: Who wins this "drama" contest? -- in a thinking-shrinking world with super computers, internet, phones, blogs, YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, etc. etc.

The United States of America, world’s oldest democracy, which respects humans and their equal rights to "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness" and prides itself on being a cultural "melting pot" - and The Dream Destination – where trivialities like color of skin and composition of chromosome – XX or XY – are still considered as "matters of history"?

Or, India: still struggling to set itself free from shackles of being a "developing country", though having started to get acknowledged as a future economic giant?

Do we need to toss a coin?! …

………..

No country is perfect – in its past, present or will ever be in its future. Therefore, instead of fighting over issues based on biases and notions, it would be better if we educated people could judiciously utilize this forum – PG – to suggest solutions for problems plaguing humanity across the globe.

Anonymous :

Tonight on PG:

Indian Grudge Match: Dots vs. Feathers: First Blood

Place your bets.

MikeB :

singh - Mr. Singh, you do not have answer for any of the challenge put before you, any of the facts laid out. You only resort to calling me a "racist" and "hateful" when I made that case. This is an old and intellectually bankrupt approach to flee when you are overwhelmed in a debate. India, and I'll say it again and again, tell it to as many people as I can, is an awful country that treats is CHristian, Muslim and other minorities with the sort of barbarism we have seen from histories worst examples. It is estimated, by the U.N. - no less, that some 70,000 Muslim **CIVILIANS** have been murdered in Kashmir by Indian police and troops. Peaceful protests have been broken up and the leaders ruthlessly shot dead or arrested. Radiucal Hindhu mobs have stop trains carrying Muslim civilians and butchered them. The Indian government has prevented Muslim farmers from selling, even transporting, their produce, has prevented theme from visiting family or other relatives in Pakistan and, recently, even in other parts of India! Kashmir has become a virtual prison camp. Those are the facts. That is what is reported and is on film. Anyone with eyes can read about on the BBC, CNN, the Post, Der Spiegal, MSNBC, the New York Times. You are defending a lost cause, a bankrupt and immoral and soon to be extinct, manner of treating your fellow human beings. If it were not so trite, I would accuse YOU of racism. But you are too blind and too much a part of the problem of Indian culture to attract such a light weight label. A better one, one used by my people when speaking of the Buffalo Soldiers that wiped out our villages after the Civil War is more appropriate -- BARBARIAN, not human, just a mindless barbarinan.

singh :

MikeB:

There are those on PG that are better suited to challenge those views than me. I spend time to reply to defend the dignity of my people and myself against your spiteful rhetoric.

You dismiss my accusations of racism but you never challenge them. I have said it before, if it was only a criticism of government policies or cultural norms we would not be having this discussion. There are many things I disagree with as well, but India is too diverse in beliefs and opinions that gross oversimplifications do no justice. However, I have seen you in the past show the same indignation towards ethnic Hindus in your country. From there I come to the "racist" conclusion.

Here is what I see. You formed your opinion of the Hindu people the moment you adopted your Wahabi Pakistani friend's ethnic animosity as your own. You found evidence to buttress that opinion from biased sources. And then you nurse your hatred on these pages. You, MikeB, are an unapologetic racist.

Paragraph after paragraph you slander and vilify my people. You HATE us, you DO have something against my race, it is written in your words. I wish you would openly admit it. The only person in this page showing so much open hostility is... you. So tell me who is peaceful and who is not?

MikeB :

singh - Please, just leave me out of your "prayers". Instead, work to better your country and culture. It is sorely in need of a conscience, a sense of humanity, of fundimental decency. At the same time, instead of playing the truly stupid games you play with your posts, caling anyone critical of your country, a "racist", I suggest you spend a bit of time reading non-Indian sources about the history of India since WWII. Look, your view of India is at odds with that of the rest of the world. SOmehow, I think you are wrong.

singh :

MikeB:

I used to feel some anger when reading your posts, now I only feel sadness. Racism is the correct nomeclature for your tone and attitude towards the Indian race. Bitter, angry racism. When you hate the land, the culture and the traditions of a people, YOU ARE HATING THE PEOPLE. Those criteria defines the soul of a people.

What you are expressing is hate. Pure, bitter hate. But I don't hate you, MikeB.

I pity you.

I pity you because I can see how much hate has blackened your soul. I pity your Wahabi Pakistani friends for poisoning your heart with hate. Your hate has blinded you to empathy, to reason. You fail to realize the tragedy of the post-partition era did not come from India or Pakistan or Kashmir, it came from hate. Hate that birthed this tragic cycle of violence. Hate that has claimed you.

I follow the philosophy of Gandhi, I follow the path of peace and justice. I know that human empathy will ultimately conquer human intolerance, it is stronger. Hate is for the weak-willed, it is easier to hate and fear someone than to understand them. I pray for the day when Hindus, Muslims, and Christians can live in peace. I pray for you too MikeB, so that you can find the cure to your ailment.

MikeB :

singh - I am Native American, American Indian, Blackfoot on my mother's side and Shoshone on my father's side. As for the "racist" charge...how trite and intellectually bankrupt. I have nothing at all against people of any race. I have friends who are "ethnically" black, English, Scottish, Arabic, Vietnamese, Chinese, just about any race you can name. I lived in Sweden for several years and my dearest friends there, whom I still keep in contract with, are Kurdish and Pakistani (some, Wahabi yet!). The Pakistani friends pointed out the inconsistancy of the American view of India, that Hinduism isn't this quaint little religion featuring odd "holy men" preying on doped up rock stars. All of this led me to read about the various Pakistani-Indian conflicts, the actual history of the Plebicite that never happened, the Pastoon tribesmen that "invaded" Kashmir coming to the rescue of their family members being slaughtered by Indian troops, and quite a lot more. I have spent every opporunity I have to point out that India initiated this conflict, that out of that conflict we see the emergence of Al Qaida and virtually every other radical Islamic group, and all of it, every single stinking bit, is traceable directly to India and it's treatment of the native people of Kashmir, it's underhanded dealing with Muslims and, especially, it's treatment of Pakistan. (And, in that regard, the awful, horrendous mess that is Bangledesh is directly traceable to India's using money and spies to prop up a puppet government so as to split East and West Pakistan, creating Bangledesh. Now, with that state failing, with millins of people starving, but with you ruthless political calulation accomplished, you simply walk away....) All of this, in turn, led to additional investigations of other territorial grabs by India, it;'s treatment of all minorities. Your's is a barbaric, ruthless, and agressive culture. India just doesn't mistreat it's minoprities, it attempt to exterminate them. It has artifically created this goofy caste system and has used that as an excuse for wholesale barbarism against those unfortunate enough to be born into a lower caste or non-caste family. No, I do not hate "Indians", but it DO hate your country AND your culture for what it has done, for the harm it has wrecked upon humanity, and for the spread of the disease of hatred and violence that started as a direct result of that to MY country.

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singh :

MikeB:

I believe you are the racist in this situation. If you were only speaking against certain policies of the current Indian administration, or aspects of Hindu culture, I would not take issue. But your attacks are directed at the Indian people, and your history of posts show equal disdain for Indian students and immigrants in your country. You have far crossed the line from being outspoken about human rights to a virulent anti-Hindu racist. Anger on your level towards an entire race of people takes a lot of emotional investment, a lot more than a casual South Asian geopolitical observer. Which leads me to ask:

MikeB: what race/ethnicity/nationality are you? Pakistani? Kashmiri Muslim?

I personally have no quarrel with the people of Pakistan or muslims in general. I merely wish to know your motivation for disparaging an entire race so strongly.

Lalit Ambardar :

Subject : Kashmir is no issue in absence of the ‘gun’& pan Islamic fervor

This latest terror attack in Jammu today is a grim reminder of the menace of the Islamic terrorism emanating from Pakistan that is now widely known as the epicenter of the world terrorism today. The infiltration of jihadis under the cover of Pakistani Rangers is continuing unabated in spite of the so called Indo - Pak ‘Joint anti terror mechanism’.
Kashmir ceases to be an issue in absence of guns, mercenaries & the pan Islamic fervour.
The compulsive peaceniks & media savvy double speak Kashmiri pan Islamists & their known sympathisers may have wanted the world to believe otherwise but the fact remains that the on going strife in Kashmir that saw ethnic cleansing of Hindu Pandits from the valley 18 years ago, is an extension of the pan Islamic agenda to annex Muslim majority Kashmir valley from secular India & the common masses are being used as cannon fodder to suit the vested interests. Coming soon after the brazen exhibition of intolerance over Amarnath land transfer that was followed by amassing of Islamists in the streets of Srinagar, repeated attempts to push in mercenaries now appear to be part of a bigger plan to create mayhem in Jammu & destabilise India. On the one hand ordinary Kashmiris are being instigated in the name of religion & on the other pressure is being build up along the LOC. India needs to be on the guard. And the world at large cannot afford to remain a mute spectator too. If only the global civil society had taken cognizance of the suicide bombing by the Birmingham born Bilal Ahmed in Srinagar on the eve of X-mas in 2000 ,possibly 9/11; London tube bombings; Madrid train blasts & scores of terror attacks that followed in India itself could have been averted.

Anonymous :

ANJU CHANDEL - In addition to everything you say being false, completely opposite of what has been reported by every media outlet in the world outside of India, you miss one other tiny little point.... Kashmir was supposed to hold a plebicite! The Muslim majority of that entire region WANTS to be a part of Pakistan. Indian troops INVADED Kashmir. That election, where the Kashmiru people get to choose if they are a part of Pakistan or India or are independent, has never been held. That, in spite of international agreements and law. So, the Muslim's in Kashmir does really need to pack it up and leave. India needs to pack up and leave Kashmir.

Anju Chandel :

To get the "Idea of India", please read:

"If America is a melting pot, then to me India is a thali -- a collection of sumptuous dishes in different bowls. Each may not mix with the next, but they combine on your palate to produce a satisfying repast." -- Shashi Tharoor in his book "Nehru: The Invention of India".

This beautiful description of India’s core character by Shashi Tharoor is the most appropriate definition of a contemporary India - where pluralist society and polity have co-existed and evolved and stayed in practice, and, where unity has thrived amidst diversities since the "Idea of India" came into existence.

"India is an Idea," said Rabindranath Tagore famously which inspired Jawaharlal Nehru to fondly describe his – our nation – in his "Discovery of India" as, "[She] is a myth and an idea, a dream and a vision, and yet very real and present and pervasive." …

India’s multi-culturalism and pluralism are in fact entirely different from what we witness in America. In America, like in a "melting pot", all cultures, ethnicities, traditions, etc. mix together well, acquiring altogether a new identity – a homogenous identity - integrating completely into the "American way of life" and, in the process, however, losing their inherent qualities.

On the other hand, Indian mosaic is in complete contrast with the American social order. Like in a "thali", in India too, every ingredient of its society – people, culture, costume, custom, cuisine, religion, region, language, etc. – remains distinct but together they make the picture complete, without overstepping upon others identity and place in the "Indian way of life".

"The only possible idea of India is that of a nation greater than the sum of its parts. Our heterogeneity is definitional," says Shashi Tharoor.

It is no exaggeration that India is the most beautiful expression - experiment - of "Unity in Diversity" on this earth!

Anju Chandel :

India may not be a "great democracy" but it is certainly not "that bad" as is being projected here by some with absolutely incorrect and biased knowledge about conflicts in Kashmir and elsewhere in India.

It is the Kashmiri muslims who butchered Hindu minority - in that state - and snatched away their land, home and drove them out of their native place. This happened in collusion with terrorists - both Pakistan honed and home grown. Also, it was Hindus minority who were barred from having education and jobs etc in Kashmir and not the other way round.

There have been a few instances of Human Rights violation but dealing with terrorism is never easy for any country. There is bound to be collateral damages.

The 'info' about recent economic blockade against Kashmiri muslims is false which was propagated by them to gain sympathy of their brethen from across the border.

Indians in rest parts of the country now feel that India should stop spending billions of dollars on Kashmiri muslims who eat from India's plate and sing songs of Pakistan. Our country should scrap Article 370 and spend money and energy only on protecting Kashmir's territorial integrity and not do further charity for those bunch of meanest population on this earth.

And, if Kashmiri muslims really love Pakistan so much, they are most welcome to march across the LOC and spare us. Then they will understand the difference between heaven and hell. In fact, we now want to get rid of all such people who are traitors. Period.

Kashmiri muslims are after all muslims and an extended part of the same mindset in Islamic society seen across the world which places its identity and loyality on their faith solely. Beyond that they are blind. This is the core of the problem witnessed globally. India too is suffering from it but we will deal with it firmly.

In Orissa, too, the recent flare up in communal riots was initiated by a handful of goon Christians who killed one of the Hindu leaders who was there to prevent forceful conversion of simple-minded Hindu tribals into following Christianity. The latter's supporters didn't run around burning churches and people on their own. However, whatever is happening is unfortunate and the same should stop as soon as possible.

India is a democratic country with sovereignty and secularism as its hallmarks. It is One and will remain One, come what may.

I request people of the world to get their facts right before writing fictional stories here about - and against - India.


MikeB :

SINGH - I wish it were otherwise, but the policies of a series of Indian governments has made your area of the world a less safe place. Until quite recently, the Muslim majority of Kashmir couldn't hold government jobs, their children couldn't attend public schools, they couldn't even vote! Kashmir has a long history of Indian police and soldiers shooting dead Muslim protesters, MOST of those protests starting out at least as peaceful. Hindu mobs have stopped trains and butchered Muslim's, while soldiers and policemen looked on. Recently, India cut off the ability of those Muslim's to sell their produce! In the news today, Hindu mobs, anything but peaceful, rioted and murdered Christian's, burned churches, and desecrated Christian holy sites.No, India is not a "great democracy". It is a racist culture that treats it's minorities with the sort of barbarism this country left behind with it's civil war and slavery. Worse, in many ways, is the runaway capitalism we see in India where rich people sit on warehouses of food while people literally starve to death outside, where untouchables are sent down into the sewer pipes in wealthy neighbors, there to crawl and clean clogs, where desperately impoverished people sell their organs to feed their families, where religious cults advertise to pay people to become human sacrifices! Denying this, posting utter rubbish about the peacefulness of India, merely furthers the mess. India needs to grow up, come into the 21st Century, and start treating ALL of the people there with dignity, own up to the territorial grab that took place in Kashmir, and start making restitution, putting the mess they have made right!

singh :

MikeB:

Your anti-Indian bias is unwarranted and unjustified. India is the world's biggest democracy and America's strongest ally in South Asia. Indian men and women contribute greatly to world science and philosophy. Gandhi could be considered a "Hindu nationalist", yet his name is synonymous with peace and justice. A liberal like you should know better than to verbally assault such a noble and peaceful people.

MikeB :

"Russia formally recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in a challenge to the West..." Told ya' so!

Now, watch for Pakistan to simply come apart. Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari (widower of Benazir Bhutto) have publicly announced that they hate each other's guts. The are vying with each other for support and the tie breakers are the religious conservatives who want a more stident stance against India for it's military takeover of Kshmir. A lot of them want to assist militant actions against the Indian government and, especially, against the Hindhu nationalists there. For their part, the Hindhu nationals are merely thugs and I expect the whole thing fly apart in some sort of military confrontation between Pakistan and India -- precisely, I might add, what the radicals on either side want. The Taliban, Al Qaida, much of radical Islam got it's start in this region, as a result of India's unhanded and illegal occupation of Kashmir. Make no mistake about it, we are about to experience a new round of violence and radicalism hat will spiral out of control and spread HERE if we even appear to take sides. The problem is all of those nuclear weapons and I think the clodhoppers and fanatics in our own government to not be able to resist the temptation to be used by one side or other with some sort of vague promise that they will "keep control" of them. All that will result is perpetuating their being spread to one or another radical group. God help us all, but the NeoCon's - Bush, Cheney, McCain, Limbaugh, Fox Noise and the incompetent armchair patriots at the Pentagon - not content with wrecking our economy, are going to sieze upon this as a politcial lever in the White House run and will, instead, run us all off a cliff.

Yousuf Hashmi :

Musharraf left Pakistan with its fault lines more exposed, more volatile and more active. The rest will be the business as usual.

Since 1950 Pakistan Civil Society had a distinct devide . One part was in the Capitalist camp and the other was socialist. By default feudals, religious parties and elite enjoyed the support of USA due to on going cold war.

The poets, artists labour and lower middle class were living in the dreams of equal participation of wealth.

1971 provided an opportunity to the socialists to gain power when in eastern wing Mujib and western wing Bhutto gained the power. Both were having socialist ideas. but soon both of them killed and with the down fall of Russia socialists re structure hemselves as liberals and human rights watchers.

Since 9/11 Pakistan is in a complex situation. The freinds became enemies, which some minds fail to understand.

Now just one week of departure of Mr Musharraf PPP, MQM, ANP join hands where as PML and religious parties will be on another side. The socialists are having new label of liberals and supported by west. where as the conservatives will be on opposition.

Both parties now run by feudals and elite class and depend on the support of US.

For the US it is win win situation .

For the poor Pakistanis there will be more promises, more seminars and more workshops, but nothing serious. Democracy will be debated but not practiced as done by Musharraf era.

Anju Chandel :

There are three dimensions - strings - of Pakistan: Allah, Army and America, not necessarily in the same order! With two of the dimensions damaged - America and Army - lets see how long Allah will be able to take care of this 6 decades old country. (Musharraf or Sharif or Zardari or anybody else, they are all same and incapable of pulling out Pakistan from its persistent precarious position.)

mohammad allam :

The Exit of musharraf is putting pakistan in trouble some affairs.His resignation put pakistan out of trouble of institution struggle.Musharraf exit is both pros and cons for pakistan .The biggest pros of Musharraf exit is the saving of breaking of pakistan into pieces.The Musharraf blind polic of pro west in pakistan led the rise of tribalpeople in pakistan.The killing of each other is loss of strategic assest of paksitan and west.This was the tribal people who made victorious to pakistan army and west in Afghanistan.the Musharraf code of declaring the past jehadi/ghazi to terrosit is complex policy. the people of pakistan cannot accept this policy of America and Pakistan army that in past they trained the youth of pakistan and made them ghazi and now both killing them without giving them any chance of reconcilation.
on national front the sidelining the civil politician whic are backbone of political system is anoth drawback of musharraf.he could not run pakistan by posting military on every crucialpost in the name of claening the society.A democartic country needs matured political leaders not matured militay dictator.
the resignation of musharraf will discourage other military leaders to be next head of state and the attacking the civilinstituion.Musharraf work on judiciary cannot be approved in a civil society.
In term of economic development,pakistan was propering under musharraf but we have also to see the role of american dollar and economic aid and western deliberate effort to put pakistan with side against the war on terrorism.in democartic set up the people voice will hamper the American onsalught on tribal belt.vacsue if this reason with people of pakistan once side with Taliban American cannot control this.This Georgian episode putting NATO in isolation in that region.the threat of Russian to limit the support in Afghanistan putting NATO Allies in danger.After Musharraf the increasing violence showing the interest of west in danger.May be the Russian menance will put the pakistani and western allies to think a new relation with Taliban.
In pakistan the suppoter for kashmir willincrease the threat of confrontation between india and pakistan.may be this proved fatal for this region when American also decide to interfere in more aggraesive way in tribal belt and there is wiping out of Pakistan nuclear weapon status.we have not also forget about the Afghanistan intention and Afghani leader statment regarding pkistan.
musharraf resign at a time when he put pakistan and this region in dangerous cyclon of chance of instability just to show his importance.
Lethope better for the people of this region.And a palce to live like brother.India being the country of peacefull will play great role in post pakistan era both in term of economic development and stability.

Tom Wonacott :

Daniel

Thanks for the tip on the article by Fukuyama. The excellent article was applicable to many of our discussions over the past year. Fukuyama is a neoconservative although he was against the invasion of Iraq.

I read one of his books awhile back ("America at the Crossroads"). He is an interesting person and I would put him on the shortlist of authors to read - particularly on short articles such as the one you pointed out.

daniel :

To Tom Wonacott from Daniel. Good posts as of late Tom. Nice to hear a reasonable person taking an effort. I wish I could contribute more but my health is bad these days (too much mental strain. My nerves are not the best). But I have been doing some reading. Did you see the Fukuyama article in the sundays Wash post? I just finished reading it and it is a very good article. You will find it in the outlook section. It pertains to Russia, China, Pakistan, etc. I think you would enjoy it.

Tom Wonacott :

PG

Pakistan is the front line of the Global Response Against Islamic Terrorism (GRAIT). Pakistan is host to Bin Laden and his training camps which relocated from Afghanistan after the US invasion. The Taliban operate in the tribal territories which border Afghanistan. Bin Laden and the Taliban, for the most part, have not been challenged by the Pakistan government, and, in fact, may be supported by the government

Pakistan probably was better off under Musharraf than the civilian government that replaced him, but for the US, I’m not sure it makes any difference - at least until Pakistan makes an effort to clean up their corrupt government. Under Musharraf, Pakistan was able to bring home (extort?) billions of US dollars - for basically nothing in return. In addition, Musharraf oversaw a good period of growth in Pakistan. Can the elected government be that productive?

It is a good sign that elections have resumed in Pakistan (after a hiatus under Musharraf), but the election of party leaders Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the Pakistan system since both leaders are, themselves, corrupt. Indeed, Musharraf threw Sharif out of the country when Sharif was President and assumed power with the backing of the military. Their most credible leader, Bhutto, is now dead.

India and Afghanistan intelligence accused the ISI of the attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul in July of this year. American intelligence agencies also concluded that the ISI helped plan the attack on the Indian embassy which killed 41 people. The ISI has long supported insurgents (Taliban) and terrorist organizations operating in Afghanistan and India. One of the problems with foreign aid is that we cannot control how every dollar is spent, thus, some of the aid goes toward killing innocent people in India and, ironically, fueling the insurgency in Afghanistan - against ourselves. Indeed, the Taliban are also killing people in Pakistan at an alarming rate.

The ISI is completely out of control, but what Pakistani leader will challenge this powerful agency? The Pakistan military - led by General Kiyani - oversees the ISI. Under Musharraf, Pakistan received billions in aid from the US to fight the Taliban (but actually did very little), and turned a blind eye to the ISI funding of the Taliban (and terrorist organizations). The ISI is also, in my mind, a leading suspect of the Bhutto assassination.

Pakistan is a mess because for Pakistan, this is business as usual. Contradictions are the norm. The ISI operates independently from the rest of the government. The Pakistani leadership understands what the ISI is doing, but does not intervene. The Pakistan government is dysfunctional (yet functional) in this respect. Musharraf played on both sides of the fence and quite successfully bilked the US out of billions in aid.

More economic and military aid to Pakistan will do little good unless the ISI is purged, and the government makes a serious attempt to restore the rule of law along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Counter-insurgency operations should be a joint venture between the Pakistan army and NATO. Aid should be contingent upon that condition.

Jaydev,India :

^MikeB have indeed tried to understand Indo-Pak relations and Kashmir problems quite well ;-)
Well, to educate a little bit about the region, I would first start by saying that the new wave of Kashmiri Islamic Protests are not specifically Pakisthan induced,although they do generally have intelligence assets with Hurriyat Conference(a political front-end for terrorist groups) which have hijacked Islamist protests in Kashmir. This new wave of Kashmiri protests stems from economic blockade "threat" from Jammu protesters spearheaded by a conglomerate of 42 parties called SASS(Sri Amarnath Sangarsh Samithi) which is "not" a Hindu extremist party. I did not know about Hindus murdering Muslims in Kashmir, because its a Muslim majority area and all terrorists group are Islamic ;armed with sophisticated weapons like AK-47+UBGL,IEDs,plastique(POF issued),Night Vision,GPS Navigation devices(to infitrate into Kashmir from Pak occupied Kashmir) and are highly motivated with special forces training in jungle warfare,suicide attacks,suicide bombings etc.Most of them are Pakistani citizens. Main terror groups are Lashker-e-Toiba(fully controlled by PakISI),Jaish-e-Mohemmed(very closedly tied with Al-Queda..pioneers of suicide bombings),Hizbul Mujahadeen(most cadres are indigenous Kashmiris trained in Pak, this group don't do suicide attacks).

ma276zda :

c554t

MikeB :

Too soon to say, but probably worse off. One thing Musharraf's exit has done is fan the flames of the separatist movement in Kashmir. I've tried to understand why, it was explained to me, but it has something to do with Musharraf's and the military keeping a lid on this stuff for fear of clashing with India. In any event, there were about half a million Muslim protestors on the streets Srinagar (occupied Indian Kashmir's largest city), being egged on by the new crop of Pakistani polician's. So far the protests have been peaceful, but Hindhu militants and the Indian military have a history of murdering Muslim protestors there, so don't count on that continuing. This is a an explosion, just waiting to happen, and it could create quite the mess, maybe even a clash ebtween India and Pakistan.

BobL-VA :

While I'm sure a great many optimists will say good ridance to the old and hope for the best with the new I'm also sure a number of people will feel the opposite. Hope, as well as despair, springs eternal.

From my perspective all I see is more of the same with few to no meaningful changes.

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