I do understand that Pakistan has to survive in a tough neighbourhood and it needs a capable military. And I do not expect any Pakistani government, military or civilian, to act in anything but Pakistan’s own best interest.
But — and alas, there is a but — I don’t believe it’s in Pakistan’s best interest to be the country whose military consumes the largest percentage of national resources (both GDP and annual budget) of any military in the world. I don’t believe it’s in Pakistan’s best interest to adopt a policy of seeking “strategic depth” by destabilising its neighbours.
I don’t believe it’s in Pakistan’s best interest to try to wrest Kashmir from India by financing or arming violent militancy. I don’t believe it’s in Pakistan’s best interest to be the cradle and crucible of militant Islamist terrorism. I don’t believe it’s in Pakistan’s best interest to be a country where no elected civilian government has ever served a full term. And I do believe that any Pakistani liberal worth the name (take a bow, Marvi Sirmed) should have no difficulty in agreeing with any of these propositions.
Even if they come from an Indian. Ay, there’s the rub...
Saturday, August 6, 2011
One more from Tharoor