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The Trials of Pakistan - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A new chapter has just begun in Pakistan, which continues to plunge headlong into the abyss. Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency, which severely aggravated the situation as tensions continue to escalate. Pakistan has entered into a pitch black tunnel.

This recent development takes place in a state that still continues to self-destruct. Pakistan had adopted an unstable western political system, and moreover; it has accepted a military dictator’s illegal accession to power; [General Muhammed] Zia ul Haq rose to power through radical extremism.

But Pakistan still continued to fall into the abyss when it established a tribal system that has become more important than the civil state. Pakistan has transformed to resemble an American Indian entity in which citizens hysterically fight one another and contend over who is the most superior tribal authority.

Pakistan committed a gross error when it did not set up a civilian system like its neighbor India, which has been witnessing stability and economic prosperity for many decades. Contrastingly, Pakistan continues to suffer disruption and divisions in an unprecedented and alarming manner until that corruption leaked its way through to all the state bodies. Tribal racism became the foundation of governance among people and the state became equipped and ready to breed and assist terrorists.

As such, whosoever governs Pakistan today has either been a military school graduate or a product of the rampant civil corruption. Today, Pakistan has a huge population, over 170 million people, it also has nuclear weapons and a military estimated at 3 million personnel (if all sectors are considered).

Thus, Pakistan is a time bomb and its internal conflicts raise fears and concerns among its neighbors. Undoubtedly, the political explosion in Pakistan will be a resounding and bloody one in the literal sense, and the ensuing fragments will inevitably harm an unlimited number of neighboring countries and other states following up on its affairs.

In fact, there is no solution to Pakistan but to return to reason and organize the division of power through a political system that protects the law, penalizes those who generate corruption and prevents the military from reaching the seat of power.

If that remains unachieved, Pakistan will continue to breed extremism and terrorism and will not budge from its position as a haven for corruption and sabotage.

If Pakistan had spent its entire budget on an international public relations campaign to improve its image, it still would not have made any progress or achieved any positive accomplishments. However, it would surprise and impress the world if it were capable of changing some of its systems and practices through another democratic practice that is serious and capable of establishing a real division of power.

This present absurdity is something many parties will soon pay the price for.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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