DemocracY or something LikE it?

In an interview here this week, “President Pervez Musharraf said the country lies at the nexus of five world concerns: terrorism, democracy, human rights, narcotics, and nuclear nonproliferation.” as seen in the Boston Globe
” A Pakistani journalist told us the local joke is that Islamabad is half the size of Arlington National Cemetery and twice as dead.”

Muslim identity has profound meaning for Pakistanis. The actual name of the country is the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which has 148 million Muslims, 97 percent of the population.
The muezzin’s call to prayer is heard five times a day; the direction of Mecca is carved into the hotel room wall.
Interesting version of democracy eh?

The per capita income isless than $800 and the literacy rate is roughly 50 percent.
That’s right: 50 percent are illiterate.And some are expecting educated dialogue and enlightened responses to political events?..Hmmm…Well.. You do the math on that one.

Musharraf is a military general who seized power in 1999. After the Sept. 11 attacks, he decided to back the US war against the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan. Foreign investment from the United States followed, but despite all the American dollars-the partnership with America is still unpopular in much of the country. Hmmmmm.
This typical lack of gratitude underscores the wide gulf between “us and them”..The relationship is tenuous at best.

Musharraf rails against the United States, condemning January’s US drone attacks in the borderland area of Bajaur as a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty, and calling the Danish cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed ”sad and pathetic.”
Geography lesson yet again…um..Denmark is Denmark.Israel is Israel. The U.S. is the U.S. is the U.S.

Pakistan is experiencing a new political system. Clearly the roles of religion, civil society, the military, and local governments are still being worked out.
But despite that religious fervor, and fury is still on the rise.

Musharraf claims he is slowly restoring the institutions of democracy and yet he still wears a uniform.

Members of the press and opposition parties, however, remain skeptical of the free press,vigorous civil society,and increasingly vocal Parliament he lays claim to.

If Government officials and opposition party leaders continue to overlook terrorism, and violence, while continuing to complain of rampant Islamophobia…And if the ahem..’cartoons’ are still used to justify further calls to death -I would be hard pressed to believe that
the rift between the U.S. and any Muzlim country for that matter-
isn’t in danger of becoming permanently – permanent.

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Great animation worth seeing at Michelles

for consequence of appeasement at Flopping Aces

For more on Iran and Israel see The Flombog

6 Responses to “DemocracY or something LikE it?”

  1. LomaAlta says:

    Nice summary of Pakistan, our relationship, and the possible future. Thanks.

  2. Karl m says:

    the time to Pack it in has come to Pakistan..our continued physiology of betting the over and the under in foreign affairs has proven disasterous. We need to put all our resources behind our friends..the thought that our aid falls into the hands of Flag burners is tad upsetting…as joni mitchell’s song says….”paved pakistan (sic)and put up a parking lot”!!!!!!

  3. K T Cat says:

    Don’t be so hard on the Pakis. Musharraf is right. Pakistan is at the center of a whole lot of bad things. Heroin, terrorism, border disputes, the list is pretty long. Pakistan has to play both sides in many ways to survive because it isn’t powerful enough to control the forces that buffet it.

    While the Paki troops have been uneven, many of them have done very good things for us and have acted quite bravely at times.

    They’re tough people in a bad spot.

  4. WomanHonorThyself says:

    ok KT what do u make of this then?
    A Pakistani cleric announced Friday a $1 million bounty for killing a cartoonist who drew Prophet Muhammad, as thousands joined street protests and Denmark temporarily closed its embassy and advised its citizens to leave the country.

  5. Mike's America says:

    Pretty depressing when you think about all the ignorance and willful stupidity in the Muslim world.

    And yet these nations have access to our society, free to spread their madness.

    We need to do something about that.

  6. Always On Watch says:

    The actual name of the country is the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which has 148 million Muslims, 97 percent of the population.

    Many Westerners don’t seem to know those facts.

    When Musharraf leaves office–alive or otherwise–I think that Pakistan will become militantly Islamist. Just my opinion.