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Saturday, November 03, 2007

An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

Ali Ettefagh, an Iranian, writes at Post Global that it may be it's time to dissolve the unnatural Land of Pure. And adding insult to injury, he says LoP should not have been formed in the first place. I don't agree with the latter (more on that someday) but I do with the first suggestion. It happened before - in 1971. May be it's time to break up the country into more homogeneous parts so that some parts can move on with development and be normal nations, for example Baloch and Sindh regions, while other parts, like NWFP, FATA, and may be even part of Punjab, with the help of LoP military, of course, can continue their march towards seventh century. And allow PoK to rejoin J&K and make Kashmiris happy and peaceful people again.

Pakistan was a phrase coined for an idealistic confederation of five Muslim provinces within the old British-controlled India (Punjab, Northwest Frontier Province or Afghania, Kashmir, Sindh and Baluchistan). However, these are tribal lands with distinct traditions and have very little in common. These provinces were all knocked together, on presumption of a common religion, and a “dominion” was fabricated within the Commonwealth with self-governance authority akin to independence after World War II. It was all part of the post-war fire sale of territorial control of Britain. The ill-conceived plan even set up a separate territory of East Bengal as East Pakistan, a subcontinent away, with the rough-and-ready argument of common religious beliefs and a majority Muslim population. East Pakistan eventually became independent and renamed itself Bangladesh.

For as long as I remember, Iran’s eastern border with Pakistan has always been a hub of instability, smuggling and violent crime. Pakistan is the main transit route for opium and heroin from Afghanistan, where more than 90% of the world’s opium supply is produced. In turn, that cash flow encourages money laundering, armed banditry, murder, violence and corruption. Therefore, several conflicting layers of official structure naturally form, each operating as lawless gangs or states within a state. Drug-infested territories have a poor record of development. Power and corruption leads to uneven, Byzantine relations between groups and to opaque alliances. Meanwhile, the masses remain in poverty: according to the World Bank, that’s about a third of all Pakistanis...

There are other issues to ponder, namely a nuclear arsenal, missiles, a brisk small-arms export business (about $250 million a year) and the schizophrenic dual-tracked “friendship” with the U.S., al-Qaeda and Wahhabi extremists. Pakistan’s aimless Kashmir policies are perfect examples of circular political indecision. U.N. peacekeepers have remained stationed in Kashmir for more than three decades. [Why Not Dissolve Pakistan, Too? - Post Global]

An utterly sane idea!