Friday, December 28, 2007

The situation in Pakistan shows how complex South Asia really is

Whether it is Bangladesh, India, Pakistan or Afghanistan, understanding history and culture is critical to being able to foresee possible outcomes. The assassination of Benazir Bhutto was always a foreseeable possibility, yet it seems to have caught most by surprise. Did leaders, diplomats and journalists simply not want to believe it because of the potential catastrophic consequences? Why is Pakistan, with such superficially similar roots to India taking such a different path? Did the character of Jinnah, so different and yet so similar to Nehru result in such different results? How did Subhas Chandra Bose impact Bengal, even to this day? What is the history of Afghans and Western invaders?

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