Saturday, March 15, 2008

Dalrymple on the new setup in Pakistan

The New York Review of Books has an article by William Dalrymple titled A New Deal in Pakistan.

Finally someone in the mainstream Western press is talking about the good stuff happening in Pakistan. Some snippets:

The Vagina Monologues was recently performed on stage in Pakistan to standing ovations.


Almost 50 percent of Pakistan's population now lives in urban areas...


There is a clear lesson for US policymakers here. The parties of political Islam are like any other democratic parties: they will succeed or fail on what they deliver. The best way of dealing with democratic Islamists, if Pakistan's experience is anything to go by, is to let them be voted into power and then reveal their own incompetence—mullah-fatigue will no doubt quickly set in. Besieging Islamist parties that have come to power through a democratic vote, as the US has done with Hamas, or allowing local proxies to rig the vote so as to deprive them of power, as happened in Egypt, only strengthens their hand and increases their popularity.


...the countryside I passed through was no less peaceful and prosperous than that on the other side of the Indian border; indeed its road networks are far more developed.


The only criticism of this article I'd have is that Mr. Dalrymple does not give any credit to Musharraf for all the good stuff that seems to have started under his regime.

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