Spring Cal­cu­lus

Southasia - - Editor's mail -

Much of the world has been en­thralled, con­cerned and con­fused by what has been hap­pen­ing in the Arab world. The Arabs have been demon­strat­ing and ral­ly­ing on the streets in what we to­day call the Arab Spring, suc­cess­fully bring­ing down two au­thor­i­ta­tive regimes and hold­ing many oth­ers re­spon­si­ble across the re­gion. Judged from a neu­tral stance, the griev­ances that these Arabs have ex­pressed are more com­mon than most of us would like to ad­mit: high un­em­ploy­ment, loss of hope, crush­ing po­lit­i­cal and cul­tural op­pres- sion, mas­sive cor­rup­tion, law­less­ness, the pow­er­ful in­flu­ence of con­nec­tions, poor lead­er­ship that has done lit­tle for the com­mon per­son, in­creas­ingly cav­ernous dif­fer­ences be­tween the haves and have-nots, de­clin­ing liv­ing stan­dards for many, and bank­rupt ed­u­ca­tional sys­tems, amongst many other prob­lems both per­ceived and real.

So while some of us feel sym­pa­thy for the brave Arabs, there are many who are con­cerned be­cause of the ef­fects these up­ris­ings and rev­o­lu­tions could have on oil, gas, and other mar­kets. Still oth­ers are con­cerned about what this might mean for the strate­gic cal­cu­lus of the re­gion and the world. The Mid­dle East and North Africa are vi­tal ar­eas for trade and re­sources, but also for cul­tural, po­lit­i­cal, and now rev­o­lu­tion­ary forces. In many ways, this area is the cen­ter of the Mus­lim world. It is also a place that has un­count­able and pow­er­ful con­nec­tions with Cen­tral Asia, South Asia, Europe, Africa and more. Amidst all these strate­gic anal­y­sis, what we need to­day is to help the Arabs achieve the main pur­pose be­hind the Arab Spring i.e. to in­tro­duce democ­racy in its truest def­i­ni­tion and main­tain­ing jus­tice in the Arab so­ci­ety.

Mahira Khan, Karachi, Pak­istan

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