Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by PartTimePongo, Mar 19, 2007.
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Musharraf is toast. There have been multiple assassination attempts on him and it's only a matter of time before one succeeds. He has spent years trying to walk the very fine line between appeasing the USA and losing the last vestiges of his support in Pakistan; amongst the people and his own senior officers.
The more pressure the USA put on him to toe the line the worse he appears to his domestic audience and his recent dismissal of Pakistan's Chief Judge and the ensuing riots may be the tipping point.
Musharraf has been caught for a long time between a rock and a hard place. A fairly canny leader at times and certainly better than some of those he succeeded he has tried to walk a tightrope between his own vociferous religious extremists and the USA.
I find it interesting to compare India and Pakistan. When studying history I was forcibly struck by the waste of resources that the Kashmir conflict and the internal cessesionist groups within both counties represented. I used to think of course that Britain was largely to blame for botching our withdrawal. Having operated in the region for so long it seemed a terrible indictment of colonial rule that we cared so little as to do it so badly.
Great thing of course hindsight but the size of the countries concerned is perhaps one reason for the lawlessness of both India and Pakistan in spite of a veneer of development in India. Creating about 4 countries in the region was considered at one time and is in my opinion an interesting proposition. Playing counterfactuals with history is great, another one I like is to consider the different balance of power if the State of Israel hadn't been created: how would the return of Jews and other persecuted peoples to their homes have affected Europe? Would it have been forced to confront its racism rather than just to blame Germany and sweep the problem under the carpet? Would the reintegration of displace peoples have provided an impulse for the great powers to work together rather than the waste of resources represented by the cold war arms race and the pressure cooker effect of the ethnic repression which accompanied it whose consequences have been sadly so evident since the wall came down?
Anyway I digress ... it has to be said though that demonstrations and effigy burning are not perhaps as significant as in some other countries, one day the president, the next day the coach of the national cricket team ... seems like both topics raise the populist temperature. Pity we can't solve all our problems on the cricket field, mind you wouldn't put money on England regaining the Empire were that to be the case
CRICKET IS THE OBVIOUS ANSWER RIVET:
And at a hushed cricket ground in Rawalpindi the Pakistani Captain Pervez Musharaff is in the crease. His team mates seem to be heading off for cha in the tastefully decorated, reinforced concrete, neo-colonial club-house well behind the blast shields. There is a murmur in the crowd as the Al-Qaida spin-bowler Abdullah bin Ali Burton lines up at the pavillion end.
All eyes are on the bowler who is known for his suicidal tendencies and many of the crowd must be remembering the previous Pakistani Captain Zia ul-Haq who was bowled out on his maiden over by a very high ball just a few years ago.................
Was that the sound of leather on willow????
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