Understanding Pakistan Project Team October 7th, 2007
Guest Post: By Ayaz Amir
Published in Dawn.com (October 5, 2007)
“Be patient now, my soul; thou hast endured much worse than this.” –– Odysseus
UNTIL now I never truly grasped the meaning of the Lawrence College motto, ‘Never give in’. When the sky is bright and the heavens are smiling these words mean nothing. They mean something when one is down and out, flattened by circumstances, the last shreds of hope leaving one’s heart.
Then to be able to hold up one’s head and look into the distance with firm eyes is the true test of manliness (or womanliness for that matter). Our circumstances are not promising. Indeed, the entire nation seems depressed. Abandoned to fools and knaves, sold to the United States and therefore not our own masters.
But other countries have undergone much worse. If Vietnam be too distant a memory, there are countries in Africa which have suffered genocide. Afghanistan next door has been destroyed by decades of strife and war. In Iraq hundreds of thousands have died since the American invasion. Millions have been uprooted from their homes. Truly, few hells are worse than those paved with American good intentions.
The Yanks mean well by us too. God help us. About the next army chief, Gen Kiani, it is being said that the Yanks are quite happy to work with him. What a certificate of commendation. Our problem, or at least one of our problems, is the Yank connection. And here we are putting new buckles on it and giving it a fresh coat of paint.
Anyway, what if the high hopes of this just-gone-by summer of discontent appear to have been dashed to the ground? What if the corridors of power remain packed with the same self-serving circus performers? What if the changes armchair revolutionists dreamed of have not come to pass? Progress has still been made and anyone who says we are where we were has not got the measure of things.
The citadels of power stand shaken by the events of this spring and summer. The army has felt the heat too, some of its confidence ebbing away. Is the chastening of authority, never before challenged in this manner, a small achievement?