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    Harsh and Hasty

    The following excerts are taken from the editorial comments of The Times of London:

    " Yesterday's suspension of Pakistan from the commonwealth was both harsh and hasty. The reason given was that the 54 nation organisation's principle, laid down in 1991, is respect for democracy. By swapping and elected leader for a military one last week Pakistan was judged to have disqualified itself from this post colonial association of democratically governed countries. Instant suspension was the toughest possible response. The commonwealth could also have given Pakistan a time limit for the return of democracy, after which it would discuss suspension, or ruled that the situation was unusual enough for a rethink. Pakistan's situaion is genuinely unusual. General Musharraf, its military leader now, took power illegally; yet the previously elected leader had spent two years systematically undermining every instituion of democracy and condoning corruption that brought Pakistan close to bankruptcy. Mr. Musharraf's first steps - a crackdown on corruption, an easing of military tensions with India, and attempts to reassure the world he can bring in democracy by the backdoor - are encouraging. While it makes sense to push him to set a time table for calling elections it might serve democracy to give him room for manouvre within that time table. Washington's response - disappointment at the lack of a timetable so far, but hope at the profession of renewed democracy - is sophisticated and may bring unusal results. The commonwealth chose instead to echo tougher and less imaginative ethical foreign policy of Robin Cook, taking its lead from Britain's suspension last week of all development aid to Pakistan. The speed and severity with which Britain and commonwealth have turned on Pakistan are startling."

    The question is that should Pakistan quit Commonwealth as it has failed to take into account the feelings of the Pakistani people and at best it is a useless organisation. By quitting we would be serving notice to Britain, commonwealth and other so called champions of democracy that while we might be open to friendly persuasion, we will not be dictated to. Any views?

    #2
    Commonwealth is not very useful. But quitting it in protest will do no good to Musharraf. With whatever popularity he has, his regime is illegal. If he quits commonwealth, when popularity will go down, he will be accused of keeping his ego above interests of country. It will not be easy to come back once you quit, relations with Britain will take a blow. Though Britain is a third-rate power now, it still has influence on washington. If nothing else, Pak can shout of Kashmir in commonwealth. It does not do any good to lose voice at an international forum.

    unlike previous coups, this coup has not come with blessings of US. But Musharraf will have to work to get US approval. Let us see how he does it.

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      #3
      ZZ....>>unlike previous coups, this coup has not come with blessings of US. But Musharraf will have to work to get US approval. Let us see how he does it.<<

      opinion polls in Pak clearly show that people in Pakistan welcome the military intervention, but Washington and London are more worried about the death of rotten democracy in Pak. Afterall it was the same Western Masters who do business as usual with Hosni Mubarik of Egypt, or Kings of Saudia or Kuwait, or our own ex gen Zia ul Haq?? Because it serves their purposes. I think what we need to realise and capitalise upon is not pleasing these oppertunists, but bringing back the looted wealth.


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