Emad's Blog (Under Renovation)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Abyss and The Swamp

Two rather disturbing events being covered by the media really have me bugged.

Firstly, if any of you have been following up on recent India-Pakistan relations, you might know that things have been improving somewhat. In fact a bit over a week ago, an alleged spy who had been held captive for 30+ years in Pakistan on a death penalty was pardoned by Musharraf. Amidst a frenzy of media coverage in both countries, Kashmir Singh walked across the border celebrating and relieved, his family not believing their good fortunes. He then gave an interview talking about his service to the country and that he was, for all intents and purposes, in fact a spy.

The news that has been in the headlines today all over the country talks of a Pakistani prisoner coming back from India. Except the mood was slightly different owing to the fact that instead of walking across on his feet, he was in a casket. His family was mourning and crying and rest assured the cameras were there to cover every bit of it. Apparently, he died due to extensive torture inflicted on him in an Indian prison. According to his family, he had gone to watch a cricket match between India and Pakistan on a cricket visa as part of the peace-building measures between the embassies (The Irony!). He had lost his passport there and was arrested and detained and that was the last of him.

Now the man could have been a spy, who knows. I'm sure that once in a while there are similar stories that spark ill feeling for Pakistan on the other side, but this sort of thing really doesn't help. Exactly a decade ago, we were at each others throats and testing nukes to show our fighting ability. Since then, it has been 10 years of diplomacy, exchange of people, culture, arts and sports and increasing trade. Now, such incidents things do not help!

My closest school friend is an Indian. I've been to the country myself several times. I worked for an organization that was started as a result of an Indian peace initiative. I consider myself fairly well educated about issues around the two countries as well as a big fan of the people there. Yet, I know that most people are not that way.. Most have never met an Indian and their only interaction comes from a history of bitterness, and Bollywood! It kills me to see my grandmother, who was a migrant from Amritsar, talk about how nothing ever changes and how 'they' hate 'us'. None of this helps. (Adding to the irony, this news came in the same bulletin that was covering an AIESEC Pak conference!)

Anyway, the other piece of news is more 'local' in nature. So, we're still not sure who's going to be Prime Minister of Pakistan.. But most recent developments are not looking too great. A very respected leader of PPP, Amin Faheem, had been seen as the best candidate. The man has a clean and credible political record, he'd managed and held the party together while Benazir was in self-exile for the largest part of the last two decades. He was her right hand man and was even with her as she was taking her dying breaths.

Unfortunately, he is being undermined by Zardari (current co-chairman of PPP and Benny's husband, aka 'Mr 10 Percent' due to his massive corruption in the Benazir Era) since election results came out. Now it's looking like Zardari himself might be gearing up for top spot or at the very least finding a subservient PM that can let Zardari be the kingpin. To the surprise of none, his corruption cases have been withdrawn since his party won! Our resident moron, Mr Nawaz Sharif is also dreaming big imagining that Zardari as PM would result in goodbye Mushoo and he could be made President. Fool!

It's quite sad if things turn continue to tread this path. To be honest, I'm pretty sure PPP wouldn't have gotten even half the votes it did if people knew that Zardari was going to potentially be PM. Mannn, this sucks!

I just wish things would start moving in the positive direction and that idiot that hit my stationary car from behind and fled from the scene while I watched helplessly will one day become a better person!

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