Jan 2, 2008

A National Quandary.

By this time everyone in and outside Pakistan knows about the assassinated leader. Enthusiasts have memorized her degrees, her date of birth, her favorite slogans, her reign as two-time PM, first-woman-leader of the Muslim world and everyone is asking the same question: what will happen to Pakistan.

In retrospect Pakistan has spent a very tough year. With suicide bombings, strikes, riots, judiciary controversies, political chaos, army vs. military suitings, and even with Mother Nature pitching in to make it a memorable year when rain destroyed everything it possibly could, Pakistan continued to face challenges much bigger than its size. The bad news is - none of it managed to give Pakistan what it needed. A hope for the future.

Benazir's assassination proved to be the final nail in the coffin as it turned out to be the grand finale of what was truly an abysmal year. Rumors and analyses are rife regarding a certain 'redemarcation of boundaries' in South East Asia in the next ten years. Other options include descending into civil war or a very bitter (even more so than '71) parting of ways. The four provinces, with their neo-separatist loyalties significantly pose threat to the nationalist vision of Pakistan. In the light of these dilemmas, one can only wonder if we are actually the 'failed state' of 1947.

I have nothing to add to these theories except more speculation and brooding which of course is of no use. I can only plead - to anyone who hears my voice and understands the word 'freedom' - to do whatever you can to keep this country from falling apart. If something happens to it, Allah forbid, we have no friends who can take us, no sympathies from neighbors (we've seen to that), we have basically nowhere to go except this land which we take no pride in, which we forsake a little everyday. Keep praying, everyone. Because from what I hear - Uncle Sam is right at the door for another Apocalypse.

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