by Raza Rumi
Much has been elaborated on the binding constraints faced by Pakistani democracy. Conventional wisdom suggests that the civil-military imbalance has left little space for democratic institutions to grow and flourish. There can hardly be any disagreement with this point of view. In fact, decades of centralised martial rule have resulted in the militarisation of the society to such an extent that one can hardly discuss anything pertaining to Pakistan without a mention of the Pakistan Army and its role in the country.
There is also a predominant counter narrative in the mainstream discourse. This view holds the impatient and elitist Pakistani politicians responsible for the systemic crash each decade. It stresses that the politicians are adept at undermining the democratic order and it is because of their petty differences and thirst for power that they enter into alliances with the powerful establishment. Continue reading
This article by Thomas Friedman caught my eye. This article is not about Pakistan. Pakistan is not mentioned even once in the article. This is not about South Asia, or militant Islam, or the war on terror. It is about none of the ideological war between the religious right wing ideologies and the secular ideals that we espouse at PTH.
A cursory glance and we realize why United States is the biggest economic and scientific power in the world. Let me say that I have selective admiration of the United States. I am critical of United States’ opportunistic foreign policies. I however realize that world has seen an enormous scientific and economic development under the vastly expanding global democratic capitalistic society that is led by the United States. We are living in the most fruitful scientific evolutionary times in all of the human history where the scope of technology is increasing at an exponential rate in a matter of decades. We are also living in one of the wealthiest times of human history, where the world GDP per capita almost tripled between 1900 and the year 2000. To give you some comparison, the yearly growth rate of GDP per single person was close to zero up to the year 1700 from the earliest human times.