January 27, 2011

CAN TUNISIA HAPPEN IN PAKISTAN?


B.RAMAN

Many readers of my articles have asked me: Can Tunisia happen in Pakistan with all its problems and difficulties?I have posted my answers to this question in my Twitter site (ramanthink). For those, who haven't had an opportunity of seeing my Twitter postings, I am repeating them below as bullet points:


  • Only the then East Pakistan had a tradition of mass street protests---not present Pakistan.
  • Even angry Balochs haven't been able to organise mass street protests. Only sporadic insurgency.
  • So too Pashtuns, Mohajirs & Sindhis.
  • Pak never had strong students or trade union movements.
  • Even Islamic fundamentalists were not able to organise sustained street protests after the Lal Masjid raid.
  • When there is anger in Pakistan,it is expressed thro' terrorism & not street protests as happened after the Lal Masjid raid.
  • Hence chances of a Tunisia in Pakistan are low.
  • Lesson from Tunisia for Pakistanis: What a well-organised and well-led mass protest can achieve, terrorism cannot. (28-1-11)
( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com )


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