It’s deja vu once again for Pakistan. What started out as a planned peaceful march has snowballed into a major political crisis, with the already weakened civilian government (they rarely have civilian governments) under further strain. And now, General Ashfaq Kayani, the Army chief, who had long resisted the temptation of indulging in political matters, has started brandishing his tongue. Soon he might as well brandish his gun too, and become the dictator ‘His Excellency’ of Pakistan. It’s become so common that the average Pakistani is probably used to it.
So what do we here in India think about all this? When I brought up the topic while talking to my roommate, he was quite livid and animated. Like it was all a plan, hatched by the ISI, the Pak Army, and Asif Zardari himself, to take the focus away from Mumbai, 26-11. But then, he always has the more radical of viewpoints. Analyzing this from a neutral perspective (that’s hard to do if you’re an Indian and it’s Pakistan, so you should appreciate my effort), it is after all very sad to see democracy crumble time and again in our neighbour. They vote for someone to be prime minister, then someone else becomes president and becomes the Big Chief. And suddenly things start falling apart and the Army chief starts smacking his lips on the prospect of doing a Musharraf. Or a Zia, I don’t know.
You can’t be sure what to expect from yet another period of military rule in Pakistan. Towards the end of his regime Musharraf was probably better off in his relations with India than many previous Premiers of his country, atleast from the eyes of the general public. Remember, the intrusions in Kargil happened during the rule of Nawaz Sharif, atleast during his official rule. But then that’s no good a reason to expect General Kayani to be as benevolent as Musharraf. He might ensure more stability and less terrorism. Or he might launch another proxy war, who knows. You see Indians have this inability to judge military rulers, because they’ve never seen one in their own country. Pity.
On the issue of the freedom of franchise of the people of Pakistan, yes, we do sympathise with them, even though most of them are alien to that feeling anyway. However, sometimes, a Pakistani with freedom of opinion can be quite annoyingly and obscurely hilarious, as I found out on a blog here (caution: due to too much traffic and comments, the author of the aforementioned blog might delete the post). After reading this post, I wonder what kind of fantasy land the people of Pakistan live in. Maybe they’re told that all the terrorism in the world is caused by Hindu terrorists, and that there are a million people dying everyday due to Hindu terrorism in Pakistan, and that the Kargil war never happened in Kargil, and was actually an incident of incursion by the Indian Army in Gilgit. The Gilgit war.
I know I’m not being politially correct in this post, but then that was not my intention anyway. I’m awed by Pakistan, I must admit. Pakistan is a dramatic nation. And the script has been so well-written that you can never guess what’s there in the next act. Who wrote (or writes) that script is open to speculation.