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Bound by history: India, Pakistan and Afghanistan

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BILL STEWART

Understanding Your World

Posted: Friday, April 18, 2014 7:00 pm | Updated: 12:11 am, Sat Apr 19, 2014.

The world has been held hostage for more than a month by the story of the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, as well as the unfolding crisis in Ukraine. But momentous events have been taking place in India and Afghanistan as well. National elections have been held in both countries, with that in Afghanistan going astonishingly well.

We take for granted democratic elections in India, the biggest success story of the post-colonial world. India has not suffered from the political instability that has afflicted neighboring Pakistan, which got its independence at the same time as India in 1947, when the Indian sub-continent was split in two by the departing British. The military in India, despite its size as one of the biggest armed forces in the world, has never interfered in the nation’s political life, as the military has done so repeatedly in Pakistan.

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1 comment:

  • S Rassoul posted at 10:51 pm on Thu, Apr 24, 2014.

    S Rassoul Posts: 1

    While attempting to contrast the relative success of the recent elections in Afghanistan with what you phrase a 'bounded' history, use of terms such as "deprived. . . seemingly hopeless . . . near failed state" comes dangerously close to the rather patronizing (and incendiary) language utilized by Major General Elphinstone and his posse of civilizing Europeans in the 1840s. The civilizing mission was starkly more successful then, than the more recent US involvement - a morally compromised and exhausted western nation seeking to cover a failed policy of hubris and short sightedness by resorting to banal statements and platitudes.
    The mere fact of holding elections - an administrative formality at best - does not a free, democratic or prosperous civic body make. Quite the opposite can be argued in light of Diebold administered elections in Florida.
    Thank you for your work.

     

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