The Great Debate (India)

Pakistan in a maelstrom?

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udaybhaskar1( C. Uday Bhaskar is a New Delhi-based strategic analyst. The views expressed in the column are his own)

The Ides of March have been linked with deep political intrigue and pre-meditated violence and history notes that Caesar paid a very heavy price for not paying heed to the sage advice rendered unto him.

Pakistan is no Rome but the pattern of recent events that include the ‘conquest’ of the Swat valley by the Taliban, the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore and the blowing up of the shrine of the Sufi-saint Rehman Baba at the foothills of the Khyber Pass by Sunni extremists are cumulatively indicative of a socio-religious tsunami whose tectonic implications go well beyond the political contours of Pakistan.

Concurrently the country is poised on the cusp of an irreparable breakdown between the two major political parties – the PML(N) led by former PM Nawaz Sharif, and the PPP led by the Pakistan President, Asif Ali Zardari.

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