Kashmiris in the part controlled by India have, by all accounts, turned out in far higher numbers than expected to vote in elections to the state assembly this week.
Pakistan: Now or Never?
Of all the reports I have read recently about what the United States should do about Pakistan, none so forcefully puts it in the context of its relationship with India as this latest study by the Center for American Progress (see the full pdf document here).
Will Israel and India — the first the United States’ closest ally and the second fast becoming one of the closest — emerge as the trickiest adversaries in any attempt by the United States to seek a regional solution to Afghanistan?
If Pakistan is to dig itself out of its current crisis it needs two things to happen. It needs strong economic growth to tackle poverty and undercut the appeal of hardline Islamists; and it needs peace with India if it is to permanently cut its ties with militants it has traditionally seen as a reserve force to be used against its much bigger neighbour. Or so goes the prevailing view.
A U.S. raid into Pakistan’s tribal areas in September, which produced much furore, was not the only time U.S. forces had gone inside Pakistan in pursuit of al Qaeda, according to a report by The New York Times.
When the British left India in 1947, they bequeathed what was arguably a European notion of the nation state on a region for which the very concept was alien. I say “arguably” because anything one writes about Partition or the nation state is open to dispute. And until the financial crisis, I relegated this argument to the realm of historians — a subject that interested me personally, but did not seem relevant today.
In his new book about the Pakistan Army, “War, Coups and Terror”, Brian Cloughley recounts how the British general, the Duke of Wellington, responded to democracy in his first cabinet meeting as prime minister: “An extraordinary affair. I gave them their orders and they wanted to stay and discuss them.”