Courtesy and Thanks: Wichaar.com
People have been predicting a Punjab centered political awakening for years and it hasnt happened, but this time may be different. Is the Punjabi elite going to recover from its one-unit hangover and get with the program? Why not trust the people and use their pent up energies? A democratic Pakistan suits Punjab more than anyone else, but direct links with the army and bureaucracy have long channelled Punjabi energies into self-defeating authoritarianism and its problem child, religious fundamentalism. Will that finally change?
This particular article, by the way, takes Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s name almost in vain. he starts the topic and then moves on to making snide remarks about Salman Taseer. – Omar.
Punjab and the study of Ranjit Singh
Friday, January 16, 2009
by Ayaz Amir
At this juncture, when the seven tribal agencies along the Afghan frontier are lost to any form of government control, and Swat–once paradise on earth, now very much a picture of hell–is returning to the Middle Ages, and most of Balochistan is stricken with discontent, and the army no longer commands the moral authority it once did, does Punjab, elder brother in Pakistan’s besieged federation, understand its historic responsibility?
It is no manifestation of Punjabi chauvinism, and no disrespect to the other provinces, to say that Punjab is the pivot around which Pakistan revolves. This is a simple statement of fact based on geography, population and economic clout. For too long Punjab’s greater weight relative to the other provinces got translated into an argument for political domination which did Pakistan no good. In fact, Punjabi domination was one of the curses leading to East Pakistani alienation and the breakup of Pakistan.