Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Perils of (Pauline) Pakistan

Decades ago, when I was young, one of the first "English films"--movies in the English language that is, American or British--I watched was "Perils of Pauline."

No, I am not that old!

It just so happened that I lived in a small town in India, and the English language movies we watched were often ten or fifteen years old, sometimes even older!

Watching movies was, of course, not the real reason why I went to the outdoor "Park Club"--it was, after all, the teenage years and I had a huge girl problem!

Anyway, where was I?  Yes, The Perils of Pauline.

The perils of Pakistan began right from birth, with independence in 1947. War with India. Military takeover. War with India. More military. War with India. Even more military. Hanging of a former prime minister. Almost war with India. Post 9/11 and the Taliban.  Gruesome assassination of a former prime minister, who was the daughter of the former prime minister who was hanged.

In between, thrown in earthquakes, rains, floods.

In case Pakistanis thought that they could turn to their beloved game of cricket to escape from everything, well, the situation is so awful there that no country wants to sends its team to play matches in Pakistan.

Any good news at all from Paulinistan?

How did things go so wrong? :(


Ramesh said...

Oh - its not so bad as that. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Pakistan. A huge experience for an Indian. More than ever, I believe firmly that if the two countries threw open the borders and encouraged traveling, the India Pakistan problem would be solved !

Pakistan is very much like India, but perhaps 10-20 years behind. There is a lot of wealth being created indeed - jobs are more, more people, at least in cities can find employment, much more economic activity, etc. They have also largely eradicated famine. The educated urban Pakistani is no different from an Indian. Even the violence is "restricted" - there are pockets of violence whereas in the rest of the city or district, life goes on pretty much normally - I was reminded very much of Bihar of some 20 years ago which was in the same situation.

The urban vs rural divide in Pakistan is even more sharper than India. Karachi is no different from an Indian city. The economic boom hat Indian villages have seen, hasn't been that marked in Pakistan.

If they can somehow diffuse religious fundamentalism, Pakistan will prosper.

Sriram Khé said...

" its not so bad as that"????? boy are your glasses tinted with dark shade of rose!!!!!!

A few years ago? Ahem, all one needs is a year and Pakistan becomes unrecognizable ... Remember the transformation, for the worse, it went through in a year under Zia? and that was 35 years ago! that was merely one such transfomation ...

I shall stick to my bottom-line here: it will be a long, long time before international cricket matches are consistently hosted there ... there is no better barometer of the chaos in Pakistan.

It is an awful shame that Pakistan is in such shambles ... the rest of what you write I agree with--all the Pakistanis I have met, interacted with, had coffee with, had home-cooked food with, were no different from you and me and the billion Indians ... In fact, I had to consciously remind myself that I was interacting with a Pakistani and not an Indian ...

Both the countries could have fared so much better ... what a wasted set of decades and lives :(

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