Pakistan: Now or Never?
Perspectives on Pakistan
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has written a letter to the Supreme Court to review the hanging of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto — the country’s first popularly-elected prime minister — over three decades ago.
The reopening of Bhutto’s case was one of the long-running demands of the supporters of the charismatic leader but critics say the timing of Zardari’s move was intriguing.
Opponents say Zardari’s move seems to be a political stunt to divert people’s attention from more pressing problems like inflation, the growing energy crisis and deteriorating security situation. Zardari, who is accused of corruption by his opponents, has seen his popularity waning in recent years.
“At a more practical level, people ask why the president has suddenly acquired so keen interest in the case, especially since far more pressing matters remain unresolved,” the daily The News wrote in its editorial.”The suspicion that this is the first step in a political game of some kind makes the whole thing seem especially sinister. Who knows what is being planned, what plots are being hatched, and why.”
The 1971 war between Pakistan and India crops up so often in comments on this blog that I’d been thinking of creating a South Asian equivalent of Godwin’s law - that any discussion that goes on for long enough will eventually get back to what happened then. At the very least, it seemed like a good idea to set up a post into which all comments about 1971 could be channelled.
Khurram Hussain, a Pakistani writing in India’s Outlook magazine, has started the discussion by arguing that the way to understand Pakistan is not through the lens of partition in 1947, but through the war in 1971 which led to the division of the country and the creation of Bangladesh, then East Pakistan. Here are some excerpts, but do please read the full article: