Thursday, January 27, 2011



In response to my article on this subject, I have been in receipt of the following comments from a well-informed reader:

"Regarding your note 'Can Tunisia happen in Pakistan', I don't think you are right in saying that 'only' East Pakistan has a tradition of mass street protests. Are you forgetting the 4 months of protests in 77, following the elections, which first forced Bhutto to declare martial law and then, eventually, brought him down?

"When you say Pakistan has never had strong student movements, are you forgetting the protests that brought down Ayub in 69?

"Things may have changed since then and terrorism and fundamentalism have become dominant but this is very much part of Pakistan's history." (28-1-11"


gagan said...

Street protests need an efficient organizer.
There are only two in Pakistan today:
1. Mian Nawaz Sharif
2. Ahmed Shuja Pasha

Both have organized potentially mega street protests, and I suspect it might be one of the possible routes chosen to get rid of Zardari - to show that he went away because of the people's anger.

It appears that the street protests in Tunisia were thought to be impossible until just a year or so back, but here we have a pro US PM gaining the reigns of power.

Incidentally Iran also had street protests after the general elections there. Again the nations of the western hemisphere expressed unusual sympathy to that cause.

Leads one to believe that the new policy seems to favour a democratic coup via street protests etc, rather than a military coup.

Esoteric said...

What protests can achieve and their magnitude is determined by whether the protest is a 'moment' or 'momentum'.In Pakistan,protests are momentary.However,there is no reason why that couldnt change.One thing common between Pakistan and Tunisia is that both countries armed forces might be vary cagey to fire on protestors,though for different reasons.