Saturday, November 10, 2007

Hoagland on Pakistan

Here is another view of the situation in Pakistan by a long-time foreign relations columnist in The Washington Post. Jim Hoagland thinks Pakistan is a unique case, and one where democracy has little or no chance of success anytime soon. He quotes a Pakistani diplomat as saying there has only ever been one free and fair election and that was thirty-seven years ago in 1970. Perhaps his most insightful comment is the following:

An Islamic state carved out of the imperial British version of India, Pakistan -- like other religious states -- tends to see its national destiny as a matter of divine will rather than personal responsibility.

It has proven nearly impossible to reason with people who believe they are instruments of God's will.