ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Letter to India: In Manto's Spirit

 

On the lines of Sadat Hasan Manto's facetious letters to Uncle Sam written at the height of the cold war when Pakistan was being wooed by the US as an ally to fight communism, this letter was written in 2002 to the then Prime Minister Vajpayee by historian Ayesha Jalal. Written as a spirited assessment of the standoff between India and Pakistan, the letter is peppered with rare insights that have always been Manto's hallmark.

Musharraf's 'Silent Revolution'

Pakistan's local/district government system is being seriously undermined by the provincial governments, casting doubts on the prospects of success for Musharraf's devolution plan. The tussle indicates a systematic problem preventing the coexistence of these systems of government, and also shows that the survival of the devolution plan is in peril unless it is brought into the mainstream of democratic politics.

Foreign Policy Options

Events in the past year, while making Pakistan a frontline ally in the 'War against Terror' have had a dramatic impact on its foreign policy. The changing situation in Afghanistan has had repercussions on the domestic political set-up, with hardline Islamic elements increasingly critical of Musharraf's seeming capitulation on the Afghan as well as Kashmir issues. While the army remains a predominant force in the nation's polity, the unfolding domestic balance of power will very likely have a key impact in redefining Pakistani foreign policy.

Pakistan: Elections: Continuity Rather Than Change

The military donning some civilian clothes and Pervez Musharraf gaining further support to his authoritarian regime are two obvious outcomes of the elections.

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