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The Future of Pakistan

Recent history in Pakistan seems to bear a similarity to events in Iran during the rule of the Shah. The recent leadership of Pakistan has been similar in several ways to that of the Shah. In both countries the leaders were strongly backed by the United States. Both were involved in repressing or attacking their own people. In Iran, this led the revolution of 1979 which created an Islamic Republic. Could something similar happen in Pakistan?

In 1953, the democratically elected leader of Iran, Mohammed Mosaddeq, was replaced by the Shah in a US and British led coup. The US and their CIA provided funding and support to the Shah during his resign, and helped to establish the dreaded SAVAK secret police force. SAVAK tortured and executed thousands during the Shah's rule, and imprisoned many more.

1n Pakistan, the democratically elected leader, Nawaz Sharif was deposed in a military coup in 1999 by General Musharraf. While the US was not involved in this coup, the Bush administration strongly supported Musharraf after 9/11 and provided him with significant funding. Musharraf was pressured to resign in 2008 and Pakistan did elect a new leader, Asif Ali Zardari, though he has maintained close ties to the US and has continued similar policies. Under the Obama administration, the US has remained a strong backer of Zardari and is continuing to provide aid to his government.

After 9/11 Musharraf was threatened by the US to side with them against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Under pressure from the US, and worried about closer ties between India and the US, Musharraf agreed and provided the US with the use of three airbases, as well as other support. In the following years, the Pakistan army took an active role in the war, with forces operating at the Afghan border and well as pursuing domestic al-qaeda and Taliban militants.

In recent years, Pakistan has supported and permitted (though sometimes reluctantly) the United States use of unmanned drones to bomb suspected militant sites within Pakistani territory. This bombing has escalated considerably in the past couple years. For nationalistic reasons, and concern over civilian casualties, the Pakistani public has been very critical of these attacks and many consider them attacks on Pakistani sovereignty or even acts of terror. In a recent visit to Pakistan, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was sharply questioned over these attacks.

Earlier this year, the Pakistani military began a major escalation in their fight against the Taliban with an assault on the Swat Valley region. This resulted in the displacement of over 2 million people, and many casualties among militants, army and civilians. More recently, there is an offensive underway in South Waziristan, which has triggered large bombings and civilian casualties. All schools across the nation have been closed for an indefinite period of time.

A recent poll by Gallup Pakistan was undertaken to gauge public sentiment. The results should not be too surprising given the above. Only 9 percent of Pakistanis support the drone attacks, while 67 percent oppose. More people support dialogue with the Taliban than military action (43 percent to 41). President Zardari has the support of only 11 percent of the population (with his party having only 20 percent support). Perhaps more telling, only 11 percent consider the Taliban the greatest threat to Pakistan, while 59 percent consider the United States the largest threat. Clearly, the US is deeply unpopular in Pakistan, and the vast majority of people do not support their government's alliance with the US.

Another issue is that of US aid. The US congress has passed an aid package for Pakistan, which imposes several conditions, including one which critics suggest results in US oversight of the Pakistani military. Pakistanis have responded with street protests and claim this is a violation of Pakistani sovereignty. It is possible the US will modify the bill to improve the language, but the damage is already done. Pakistanis are distrustful of any aid from the US. Another large complaint is that US contractors are operating with impunity within Pakistan, and that they are carrying weapons illegally.

There are many differences between Iran and Pakistan, of course, and one situation can never parallel another completely. Also, even when there are similar situations, the outcome can sometimes be different. Still, there are lessons to be learned from history. A government supported by a foreign power most citizens do not like or identify with, that represses and kills its own people, is not in a stable situation. There are many examples in history of such situations others than Iran, and many of them have had similar outcomes.

Pakistan's alignment with the US and US interests appears to be the largest factor causing instability within that country. The majority of Pakistanis do not support this role nor any domestic government that follows it. I will predict that unless there is an election in Pakistan of a government that follows the will of its people more closely, the likelihood of a revolution, coup, or breakup will increase over time. Eventually the situation will become untenable, and one of these outcomes will come to pass.


Common Hindu said…

Before the grand lanch function of "Bharat Swabhiman Mission"
Baba Ramdev seems to be genueinly interested
in the betterment of desh, dharam, rajniti
and i used to watch him on Aastha channel regularly

But right from the lanch function of "Bharat Swabhiman Mission"
where Babaji had invited a Shia Muslim maulaavi
and introduced him as his darling brother
speeches of Babaji has lost its sharpness
for the protection of desh, dharam, rajniti

Maybe its the price one has to pay
to garner support of all residing in india
and whether they are muslim
it does not matter

As a common hindu
what more could i have done but
only stopped actively watching Babaji
from that lanch function
though i still regard Babaji
as a great yoga master
and for his oratory skills

But, now in the present controvercy
of Devband fatva against Vande Mataram
attended by Babaji and home minister
hindus should protest and show their displeasure
to both Babaji and home minister
for agreeing to be a part of function
working against the spirit of Bharat
and consolidating/ fanning the Jihadi movement

As politicians support Jihadis
for capturing muslim vote bank
is Babaji trying to capture
muslim and sickular followers
by agreeing to attend Jihadi function
and not speacking out against
the fatva then and there
not even 2 days after that

all this when Babaji is
the most outspoken hindu guru
who is more than ready to
give sound bytes on each and every
topic including yoga
and never take any nonsense
laying down from any celebrited reporters/ editors

is it that like all other leaders
whether they are politicians or not
they are always supporting Jihadis
at the cost of hindus
and like them Babaji too
wants to capture muslim and sickular followers
and / or
even Babaji fears from Jihadis

O Hindus come out of your hibrenation
how long you want to wait
for things to get worse
before trying for their recovery

its easy to get charged up against Jihadis
but path to recovery goes first
by winning over the sickular hindus

O Hindus, this is the time
to lanch campainge against
all sickular hindus
in the form of Babaji
and dont wait for RSS/ BJP/ VHP
dont look forward for their orders
listen to your heart/ mind

Babaji has a reputation
of coming out sucessfully
from every controvery in the past
which where lanched by sickulars
but this time
if common hindus campainge
against his sickular tendencies
at least he has to say sorry
for his moments of weakness

i appeal all PRO-HINDU bloggers
to write-up on this topic from their heart
so that greater clearity and publicity to
hindu's view emerage in media

also remember that
blogging alone cannot provide
answers to worldly problems.


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