Democracy has its own way of taking revenge, as it happened after the Emergency in India and now in Pakistan where the PPP and PML(N) have trounced the PML(Q). The two winners should look to India where coalition politics is now well-entrenched. With the advent of democracy after eight years, terrorism, bereft of its dictatorial roots, may wither away. Our Election Commission should emulate the way Pakistan has been able to declare election results within 24 hours.
If Pakistani politicians work sincerely towards democracy, there is no reason why the likes of Musharraf should continue at the helm. The bitter truth is that Pakistani politicians suffer from a feudal mindset and have no faith in democracy. Whatever their claims to the contrary, most of them are unable to see an alternative to army rule. If all the parties unite after the elections, Musharraf will have to go. But will they?
Contain the Naxals
The report Six jawans, 13 Naxals killed (February 19) has exposed the weakness of the state police and the total failure of the intelligence machinery. The fact that the Naxals carried out their mayhem for about two hours in a planned manner raises suspicions about the collusion of local accomplices. The central and state governments should focus on fast track implementation of development projects in the poverty-stricken districts of Orissa that are the breeding grounds for Naxalites. The recent events should serve as a wake-up call for the government.
Congress in disarray
Pankaj Vohra in Losing ground, fast (February 18) rightly concludes that unless the Congress party takes timely action to set its house in order, the BJP and others will exploit the situation to their advantage. The party must heed good counsel and address the problems of the common people on a priority basis to win back the confidence of the electorate.
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