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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Social stress in Pakistan 

I've stumbled across an interesting English-language blog from Pakistan called The Glasshouse. Check out this post ("burning our house down") from last week, which explains the "cartoon riots" there in domestic political terms.
Using the pretext of anti-cartoon agitation the political parties from the religious right are attempting to harness public support and galvanize opinion against Musharraf and his military regime.

Their primary goal: 3 March 2006, the expected date of George W. Bush's planned visit to Pakistan....

And don't forget the value of rioting Islamists, every dictator's favorite reason to reject reform:
In recent years the military regime has often and quietly spurred on our ‘bearded’ elements to demonstrate and vent their rage in the streets. The idea behind this design is to demonstrate to the West that without the presence of Musharraf and his Khakis the country would rapidly descend to a state of mouth-frothing fundamentalism.

In all likelihood, Syria let the riots go on for exactly the same reason.

And, finally, class envy might also be a cause of the riots.
Our so-called post-9/11 economic turnaround has come at a tremendous cost to the lower income groups. While the GDP has improved, the Consumer price Index has soared, making many basic essentials frustratingly expensive for increasing millions. While the money-making Elites have made fortunes in the property and the share market, many more millions of Pakistanis have sunk below the absolute poverty line.

While the rich party (and immunize their guilty consciences by giving trifles to Eidi and other charities), the people are hurting. Forgetting the unfortunate unemployed for a moment, even many of the urban employed can no longer afford to feed their families adequately. Alarm bells should be ringing in Islamabad - but they aren't.

The Glasshouse is going up on my blogroll.

CWCID: Rezwan.

2 Comments:

By Blogger sirius_sir, at Tue Feb 28, 05:20:00 PM:

Some Class A thinking going on over there.  

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