Friday, December 28, 2007

Pakistan's upheaval

I spoke to a friend last night who is understandably devastated by what is taking place in his former homeland, Pakistan.

He and his family grew up near Karachi, where a major upheaval is currently taking place. He is worried about his extended family that still live in the area. His immediate family all live in the US.

More than anything he is mourning the death of Bhutto.

I suppose it is hard for us to understand exactly what Bhutto meant to her fellow Pakistanis. When I asked my friend what she meant to Pakistan, he told me that she gave the common people hope. Hope for a democratically elected government. Hope for stability.

He told me that Pakistan was always under the threat of violence all the time. His father was like a mayor of a small town, and even as a child he would worry about violence against his father and his family. His father sent his sons to America about 15 years ago to start a new life. The rest of the family shortly followed suit. His father died last year as an American citizen.

He told me now the Bhutto is gone, the people of his former homeland have lost hope.

He believed that even if Musharaff manages to stop the current violence with military force that the people will be in their homes with "hatred in their hearts" and it was only a matter of time. That was a direct quote from him.

As Americans, we need to remember as we watch everything that is taking place in Pakistan that this country is full of nuclear weapons.

The violence and chaos that is taking place, puts those nuclear arms at risk of falling into the hands of the terrorists or a terrorist government.

For a little background of what Pakistan has survived over the last 60 years, check out this article from the Wall Street Journal today.

For most of its 60 years of independence, Pakistan has been run by the military, which hasn't helped resolve the question of religion and state, and in many ways planted the seeds for today's instability. Pakistan's military rulers suppressed political dissent in the 1980s and 1990s. At the same time, they provided succor to militants who fought the Soviets in Afghanistan and India in the disputed territory of Kashmir.

No comments: