Tag Archives: International studies

Pakistan is undergoing very interesting times

pak_usby Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia, USA
The writer can be reached at khashmani@hotmail.com
Those of you who live within the commuting distance of Washington DC are urged to attend an important discussion on Federalism and Democracy in Pakistan on Friday, March 20 at 12 PM at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
Pakistan is undergoing very interesting times with developments that are both encouraging and alarming at the same time. The good news is that the present Government listened to the overdue demand of people to restore justices that were illegally fired by General Musharraf. The bad news is that some are declaring PPP and President Asif Zardari as villains and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his party PML-N as heroes in the crisis that just ended. The fact is that PPP and President Zardari did display admirable flexibility by announcing restoration of justices. As more and more news of what happened in the last few days trickles, it appears that PML-N had chosen the part of confrontation and wanted to instigate inter-provincial fighting in order to put pressure on the Pakistan military to over-throw the present government.
This seminar is an opportunity to probe into questions such as what motivated Punjab and federal security forces to refuse maintain the writ of duly elected federal government in Punjab, where as the security forces become ruthless in other provinces? Were any anti-Sindh slogans raised during the long march demonstrations? Why are anti-Sindhi slogans raised in at least some of the gatherings organized by PML-N, Jamait-i-Islami and Tahrik-e-Insaf. These are important questions, particularly for the people of small provinces of Pakistan.
I have also noticed that some Pakistani academician and Think-tank people continue to feed wrong information to the US policy advisors. I am also alarmed that in the last couple of Washington DC seminars, the same people are proposing creation of 16 provinces/divisions .
It is imperative that overseas Sindhis should show renewed energy and participate vigorously in advocacy activities to ensure that the same forces who ensured that the writ of elected government is ignored in Punjab do not succeed in securing US support for the proposal to create 16 provinces in Pakistan.