RealNews

Pakistan approaches boiling point

On the face of it, the post-September 11 era sees Pakistan re-established in the world community, nurturing friendly relations with India, and enjoying political stability in the shape of Appearances can be deceptive, though: Pakistan’s economic development is “asset inflation” which could burst like a bubble, while serious fissures exist on the socio-political front. A very powerful “Million March” in Karachi recently, organized by the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), a coalition of six religious-political parties that heads the opposition in the country, was the first punch, and yielded instant results. Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz abruptly caved in to a key MMA demand that a person’s religion be included in his or her passport. This had previously been the case – for instance, people were identified as Muslim, Christian, Jew or Qadyani – but new computer-readable passports dropped the religious tag, and Musharraf was adamant it would not be reinstated. The march made him change his mind. Full Story

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