Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Tariq Ali on the state of Pakistan as it turns sixty.

Several years after the split with Bangladesh in 1971 I wrote a book called Can Pakistan Survive? for Penguin. It was publicly denounced and banned by the dictator of the day, General Zia-ul-Haq, but pirated in many editions. I had argued that if the state carried on in the same old way, some of the minority provinces left behind might also defect, leaving the Punjab alone, strutting like a cock on a dunghill. Many of those who denounced me as a traitor and a renegade are now asking the same question. It’s too late for regrets, I tell them. The country is here to stay. And it’s not religion or the mystical ‘ideology of Pakistan’ that guarantees its survival, but its nuclear capacity and Washington.

[via Blogadoon]

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