India's immediate neighborhood comprises of countries that are becoming increasingly politically unstable. While the problems of Pakistan and Afghanistan make it to the headlines of newspapers worldwide, these two countries are not the only ones witnessing serious internal turmoil.
The emancipation of women is often linked to the progress of a society in transformation from a feudal society to a modern state. The story of women in the country that became Pakistan can indeed be told in such terms: as part of a struggle for advancement with education at its centre, and linked at critical moments to wider goals of national emancipation and social reform.
India's government says it has "overwhelming evidence" that "official agencies" of Pakistan were involved in attacks on Mumbai that left 165 people dead. Home Minister P. Chidambaram also accused Pakistan in a TV interview to be aired Sunday of doing nothing to dismantle "the infrastructure of terrorism" on its soil amid heightened tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
Wajiha Ahmed recently wrote a refreshing post on Pakistan on Sepia Mutiny. Here are the two key points for me:
democracy is not an event, it is a process.
a structural reality: prolonged military rule (for more, read Ayesha Siddiqa’s Military Inc or Ayesha Jalal’s Democracy and Authoritarianism).
The visit this week to New Delhi of Leon Panetta, the Obama administration’s new CIA Director, marks a significant uptick in cooperation between US and India aimed at containing a collapsing Pakistan, with its dangerous mix of exporting terrorism and nuclear proliferation, according to sources.
In order to forge an Afghan force that would wage this war, the United States needed camps in Pakistan. Pakistan was ruled by General Zia al-Huq, who had proclaimed two transcendent goals: imposing a "true Islamic order" in his country and building a nuclear bomb. He had also just hanged the elected leader he deposed, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. This was the man the United States would have to embrace if it wanted Pakistan to support the anti-Soviet rebellion it hoped to foment in Afghanistan. It eagerly did so.