Monday, September 22, 2008

MILITARY RULE IN PAKISTAN?????????

The news from Pakistan this evening is not very encouraging on two counts. Firstly, the Americans sent in helicopter gunships into the Waziristan area in Pakistan to hunt down the terrorists. These were fired upon by the Pakistani troops. The President, the PM and the Chief of Army staff have all made announcements to the effect that they would defend the territorial integrity of Pakistan. This is probably the fifth US incursion in the month of September. This is worrying.
The second count, even more worrying, is the demand from a certain section of Pakistani society for ending the chaos in Pakistan by bringing in the Army. This is a very delicate scenario. The civilian government's future looks very uncertain. Military has ruled Pakistan successively for many years with brief interludes of civilian rule. The last army rule ended with General Musharraf hanging up his uniform after over eight years in office. Military rule has ensured that Pakistan has no viable civilian institutions that can govern the country. The coalition of the PPP and the PML(N) suffered a blow with the Presidential election announcement and thus the civilian government lacks legitimacy in the eyes of the people themselves. The people of Pakistan have only seen the corrupt face of the politicians. They seem to trust the military more than they trust their politicians. In this scenario, it is quite possible that the military may make a comeback with a new General incharge.
This would not be a healthy situation for Pakistan, and for India too. Pakistan and India both need a stable Pakistan, governed by a democratically elected government. Army rule may seem to be the most expedient at this juncture but would not bode well for Pakistan and India in the long term. Hope the situation resolves soon, before the people lose faith once again although I have my doubts that it would do. Hoping and praying that it does, for the sake of humanity on both sides of the border, and the world at large.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

THE PEOPLE OF INDIA AND TERRORISM

After the depressing post about the bombing in Pakistan yesterday, I was looking for something good to talk about and this came to me this morning in the form of an article written by M J Akbar in the Times of India. The paragraph that really verbalised my own thoughts is, and I am going to quote it verbatim as I could not have expressed it as well as Mr Akbar. "Terror is testing the resilience of the Indian government and the sagacity of the Indian people. The first is in shambles, but the second is holding up. The will of the people has become the safety net protecting the Indian state from the wont (a slightly archaic English word for normal behaviour) of Manmohan Singh and Shivraj Patil". Very well said Mr Akbar.

The government of India has failed to protect the people of India not only from the sinister attacks of the terrorists but also in providing them with the basic law and order, which is the primary function of the Executive branch of government. What is our government waiting for? The next elections? With their track record, even that seems to be a very distant dream.

However, what stands out as a model to emulate is the wisdom of the people of India who have not taken the bait thrown by the terrorists to drive a wedge between the communities. Well done India - I love you.