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Forcing Democracy on Pakistan

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By K.N. Pandita

Pakistan is very much in the news these days. Musharraf’s vendetta against the Chief Justice boomeranged. It did not weaken him institutionally. But some may take relief in having found a weak point in him albeit not exploitable.

1. The tantrum of “restoring” democracy in Pakistan is making rounds. There never was one; hence restore what? Each so-called democratic spell, of course ephemeral and at random, ended up in corruption, authoritarianism and sordid politicking of mundane order. Masses demonstrated either relief or benign no-concern on the liquidation of a democratic spell as they did with the liquidation of spells of military rule. That leads one to the structure and psyche of Pakistani civil society where the crisis lies.

2. The psyche is made receptive to hyper Islamism, first as a result of half a century of sustained anti-Hindu obsession in pre-independence period. Then with independence, Pak mentality got soaked in anti-India tirade via Kashmir issue et al. The disease has struck roots. Extremist Islamic organizations of various hues and colours are the sprouts of the disease. Pakistani regimes, civil or military, both left no stone unturned to nurture the disease and let it sprout. Islamabad is now face to face with the Frankenstein of its own making. The point is not that Pakistan is paying a heavy toll for its intransigence; the point is how long will the paying of the toll continue, surly at least another six decades if not more.   Continue Reading…