Thursday, July 05, 2007

My thoughts on Pakistan

News about developing countries gives one appreciation for the stability exhibited in an industrialized liberal democracy like Canada. Take, for instance, Pakistan where students want to impose Sharia law on the rest of the country.

Unfortunately, the strongest opposition to Islamic fundamentalism in Pakistan is that of Musharraf’s illegitimate government, which refuses to resort back to liberal democracy.

I say “illegitimate” because Musharraf’s government power doesn’t derive from the people’s consent, i.e. democratic process. He came to power through a coup, a bloodless coup but an anti-constitutional act nonetheless.

One wonders if democratization would result in a secular and tolerant Pakistan, or would it just descend into a Islamist illiberal democracy. While Islamic fundamentalism dominates northern Pakistan, liberalization in the cities makes me optimistic enough to say Pakistan would head into a more liberal direction if the government was democratized.

On another note, flooding has left 1.3 million Pakistanis homeless. I suspect there will be some grievances over the little aid getting to those affected, though floods have hit Pakistan on a large scale before.

Those are my loosely connected thoughts on Pakistan.

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