Wednesday, December 31, 2008
2009 Happy Pakistan Series – Get Out of Self-deception
Columnist Irfan Husain writes exclusively for Pakistan Paindabad.
[Text by Irfan Husain; picture by Azlan H]
When you hit rock bottom, you have no place to go but up. The year 2008 has been a turbulent one for Pakistan, starting with the riots that shook the country after Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, to the economic meltdown that had Asif Zardari’s government asking for a bailout from the IMF. But the high spot of the year was Pervez Musharraf’s exit and the induction of an elected government.
While the Mumbai attack was a tragedy for India and a disaster for Pakistan, it also provides an opportunity for the latter’s leadership. Hopefully, the horrifying incident has opened the eyes of Pakistan’s establishment to the dangers our home-grown terrorists pose, not just to India, but to ourselves.
Having pushed the two nuclear powers to the brink of armed confrontation, the bloody terrorist assault might yet focus minds in Islamabad.
My hope for 2009 is that there will be a firm consensus about battling the menace of extremist terrorism, and that the civilian government will form a durable partnership with the army high command to eradicate this domestic and regional threat.
Rather than live in a permanent state of denial, I hope more Pakistanis will emerge from the self-deception they live in, and face facts.