Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Could you write a country's history in 50 words?

As India and Pakistan celebrate 60 years of freedom, reams are being written on their past, present and future. Of all that I have read, this one by M Ilyas Khan on the BBC stands out. In two paragraphs (49 words) he sums up succinctly Pakistan's history:

"The story of Pakistan is one of remorseless tug and pull between the civilian and military rulers on the one hand, and the liberal and religious forces on the other.

In the process, the country has failed to become either a democracy, a theocracy or a permanent military dictatorship."

It also makes a very intresting observation: the US has always
selectively used its financial and military support against democratic governments in Pakistan. In other words, the biggest aid from America came for the dictators there and not for the leaders its people elected to power. It still holds good now with Musharraf in power.


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