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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

State of Emergency A personal history of Pakistan on the brink Moni Mohsin

Moni is Jugnu's sister, Najam's sis-in-law. The more interesting thing in this essay by Monis in the Boston Review is the comment by Prof C M Naim ~~t

Professor Emeritus, Univ. of Chicago
The essay says nothing new about the present state of affairs in Pakistan -- much better analyses have appeared here by Ahmed Rashid and William Dalrymple. As a personal statement too it leaves much unsaid, putting into doubt its purpose. Mohsin twice mentions her brother-in-law, Najam Sethi, and his two arrests, but does not mention that Sethi’s paper, The Daily Times, is owned by Salman Taseer, the present governor of Punjab and Zardari's hatchet man. To give the paper some credit, it has a few columnists critical of what the government—or Zardari's dictat—has wrought in the country. Moni Mohsin, however, takes the Peoples Party of Pakistan, its found Z. A. Bhutto, and the latter''s daughter and son-in-law completely off the hook.

Note how in the essay one paragraph ends with the breakup of Pakistan and the next begins with a denunciation of Ziaul Haq. As if the interim seven years didn't matter, or Papa Bhutto's role in forcing a breakup of Pakistan required no comment. Much worse, Mohsin hides the fact that the Islamization of Pakistani polity was started by the same Bhutto—a self-declared Socialist, no less—when he, to save his own skin, had the Pakistani parliament declare Ahmadi Muslims to be out of Islam.

In the same manner there is no mention of the fact that Both Benazir and then Zardari returned to Pakistan recently only after making sure that the pending criminal cases against them were withdrawn. In Zardari’s case that was urgently done, for the Swiss authorities were about to re-open their case against him. Now they legally can’t, because the originating Pakistani case is no more. That Zardari then went on to produce a ‘last testament’ in his own favor, and ruthlessly manipulated his way to the Presidential mansion also find no mention here. Putting the blame on others requires that one also give a full and honest account of one’s own failures and shortcomings. That, alas, is not common among the new chatteratis in Pakistan.


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