In the NYT today is Pakistan's Silent Majority Is Not to Be Feared, an op-ed by the author Mohsin Hamid on Musharraf and the rising tide of discontent with his dictatorial ways. He begins by admitting that he was an early supporter of Musharraf and cites some of the economic booms during the last 7 years. However, in sympathy to the growing unrest against Musharraf, he has rethought his position:
This Devil's bargain has been a consistent part of the popular psyche that has supported dictatorial rule in Pakistan since the 1950s. My parent's generation praised Ayub for bringing industrialization and development and Zia for trying to harmonize Islam in Pakistan. And in 1999, I heard the same appeasements coming from the intellectuals - Musharraf will bring democracy or will train us to appreciate democracy. I consider this line of argument entirely specious:
But now, this blunder by The General has swung the momentum towards that populist challenge. Until now Musharraf had been coasting on US/World Bank support, good economic news and a shrugging acceptance of status quo - that has now ended. There is no way for him to de-escalate without giving in on several key issues: uniform, Presidency, participation of all political parties in the election. This particular agitation by the lawyers follows closely the pattern after student unrest on campuses across the nation, gave birth to the MRD [Movement for Restoration of Democracy] during Zia, which, in turn, resulted in the elections of 1985.
Question is, will the United States support The General or back the calls for democracy? Will the President support the Black Revolution sweeping Pakistan?
In that I join Mohsin Hamid's concluding paragraph: "An exaggerated fear of Pakistan's people must not prevent America from realizing that Pakistanis are turning away from General Musharraf. By prolonging his rule, the general risks taking Pakistan backward and undermining much of the considerable good that he has been able to achieve. The time has come for him to begin thinking of a transition, and for Americans to realize that, scare stories notwithstanding, a more democratic Pakistan might be better not just for Pakistanis but for Americans as well."
More moth smokescreen? Pray, explain 'Black Revolution' - is it the same as Obamaism?
I'm not sure how America would handle a Pakistani leader who's strings it could not puppeteer.
Or maybe 'black' as in the Hafsa madresah revolt of Islamabad -- now that's a true revolution! They looked awfully similar to the KKK -- grand marshall(ess) et all...
Witness to surrender--actually is a title of the book as well by one of the Pakistani Brigadiers about surrender of East Pakistan--however, there is plenty to watch in Islamabad these days. Sometime, I say to myself ---get outta here--but you don't want to leave when the show is on as you miss a lot. O Boy! I wish I could translate these inspirations arising from the current crisis http://zubaan.blogspot.com