Pakistan: Now or Never?
Perspectives on Pakistan
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.”
The story is told as part of an argument about why the Pakistan Army has never been particularly successful at running the country.
“All Pakistan’s army coups have been bloodless, successful and popular – but popular only for a while,” writes Cloughley. “The trouble is that military people are usually quite good at running large organisations, even civilian ones, but generally fail to understand politics and government, and the give-and-take so necessary in that esoteric world.”
That idea is very much in vogue in Pakistan. Former president Pervez Musharraf has been forced to resign by a new civilian government, and Pakistan Army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, has pledged to keep the military out of politics.
Is U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama going to heed calls from Pakistani-Americans to tone down his statements on hunting militants inside Pakistan ?
Democrat Obama and Republican candidate John McCain face off in a final debate in New York state on Wednesday night.