Thursday, January 12, 2012

My discussion with a commenter to a NY Times Article 1/12/12

    • Nick
    • Rockville, MD

    The fact remains that the "elected" leaders of Pakistan have failed the country miserably. The real cause of the rise of extremism in Pakistan is the manner in which the country's economy has been ruined and the resources looted by the politicians. These politicians dont represent the people but the feudal exploiters.

    In Asia, no country has developed through democracy. It has been through military backed governments (or single party rule strongman rule) that have transitioned to democracy once the society developed enough to support democratic institutions. This was true in Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Malaysia, etc... Maybe the army in Pakistan will find a leader who will lead Pakistan out of this morass by being steadfastly dedicated enabling economic growth and the strengthening of insitutions like the anti-corruption body, State Bank etc.

    And American should perhaps not forget that it was Pakistan which remained a loyal friend throughout the cold war - and the sacrifices of Pakistan and its people to a large extent helped win the Cold War.

      • HMP
      • USA

      In saying that "In Asia, no country has developed through democracy" you seem to have forgotten the second most populous country in the world. India is in Asia, is a democracy, and is generally regarded as developing.

      • Chetan Patel
      • King of Prussia, PA

      It's funny how you fail to mention the largest democracy in the world which exists in that same neighborhood. Was this just an oversight? You say that America should not forget who helped it win the cold war. Really? Living not too far from the heart of American politics, you should know that in diplomacy it's really more like, "What have you done for me lately?" And what Pakistan did was to harbor and abet the guy who masterminded an attack on American soil. You are pretty naive if you think the US owes Pakistan anything. The question really should be "what do Pakistanis' owe themselves?" Maybe they should look not to far across the border and see how a little investment in free speech or education might help their country.

      India is far from perfect, but most Indians know this. The trajectory of their country's history was set forth on the higher ideals of her citizens right to think for themselves and worship as they please. Pakistan was formed violently by Jinnah with the notion that Muslims would not find a welcome home in India and needed a muslim state. I wonder today how many "opressed" Indian Muslim's would like to trade states and move to Pakistan. Maybe some in Kashmir - and they have legitimate gripes against both India and Pakistan - but not many.

      By the way... a sacrifice is so only when there is nothing expected in return. The Pakistanis played their cards in the regional game of poker, and the world is calling their bluff.

      • Nick
      • Rockville, MD

      Even well-wishers of India will agree that one cannot compare India to developed countries of Asia like S.Korea, Singapore et al. In fact the Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen recently pointed out that India has done poorly in human developmental indicators in comparison to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, let alone those other Asian countries. What we should all fear that Pakistan is too big to fail and the only way forward is stable rule by those who are dedicated to the country's future and not their bank accounts.

      • Chetan Patel
      • King of Prussia, PA
      NYT Pick

      Who is doing the comparing? I was pointing out a glaring ommission in your discussion. So India's shortcomings somehow make Pakistan look better? Is that now your argument? If you are proposing that Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are more developed economies than India's and in general their populations are better off than I think you will find few takers. There are poor and malnourished everywhere. The question is what each nation does for itself to change it's history for the better. Pakistan has demonstarted since it's formation that it is more interested in inflicting pain on India than in developing it's own economy and public institutions. And no entity is "too big to fail". There many examples of failure in history. Germany and Japan come to mind. They had to fail because of the rot of their former ideology. But they have recovered mightily after their "failure". I would wish the same success for Pakistan, in hopes of a better neighborhood for India and a better world for all of us. All that remains to be seen is whether Pakistan collapses on it's own or whether the failure is imposed from the outside. In either case the fallout will have to be contained by it's neighbors and the world at large.

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