Wednesday, November 7

On Pakistan

There has been a lot of criticism of Musharraf’s recent imposition of emergency. Or as I prefer a self-coup following in the tracks of men like Napoleon and Alberto Fujimori. Many have raised concerns over the increased activity in Pakistan’s eastern province, the possibility of increased terrorist activity through Pakistan affecting the war on terror, and a fear of instability in a nuclear-weapon state with a poor non-proliferation record. We have had columnists writing about Musharraf’s defiance of the US, and Bush’s inability to control him. They talked of looking at the reality of Pakistan and reviewing the arms aid ascending since 9/11.

C. Raja Mohan also asked India to take the opportunity to help Pakistan and improve relations. Though he makes a sound argument and I agree that it would be a prudent think to do, I do have some doubts. I am skeptical of the maturity of our relations. What happened with Indira Gandhi’s offer then could happen now. We might want to help, but is Pakistan ready to take it? Will they interpret it as help, or unnecessary interference with intentions of destabilizing or capturing Pakistan? In an ideal world our help would result in better relations with Pakistan, but there is nothing ideal when it comes to Indo-Pak relations. As much as I would love things to improve, I doubt if this is the right time and the right man to do it.

On a different note, T. R. Andhyarujina talks of how this coup is to check the courts. I agree with him. So how do we interpret this; a possibility of democracy in Pakistan due to an activist judiciary? Or another coup, only this time by the judiciary?

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