Pakistan: Wages of confrontation

Editorial from the Daily Times (of Pakistan):

R197369_752489_2What happened on Saturday was foreseen by many actors on the Pakistani political stage, especially Daily Times. We sounded many warnings to those who seemed bent upon confrontation, but these were either ignored or criticised. There was a division between those who sought a “revolutionary” change in favour of democracy and those who thought a “transition” would be less painful as well as more realistic, given the challenge of terrorism in the country. Daily Times was of the opinion that confrontation, if taken too far, would actually delay the date with democracy in January 2008 by when General Musharraf would have taken off his uniform and new general elections would have returned the peoples verdict. Indeed, we had argued against forcing a repetition of negative historical patterns in the country.

There were many who agreed with this “transitionist” view, but there was an opinion split across the board in the country which prevented realism from prevailing. The national economy, based on the “realism of opportunity”, silently supported transition, simply because it had done well during the period of political stability since 1999. The up and down movements of the stock exchange clearly signalled that any “revolutionary” fervour behind the desire to correct the “civil-military” relationship overnight in the country would be harmful.

More here.  [Thanks to Husain Naqvi.]