A AThe review of Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmed’s book titled ‘Pakistan: The Garrison State’ forced me to buy the copy and read it. You carried a comprehensive and wellwritten analysis of an equally well-written book. However, I do not agree with the reviewer on one point. He writes, “Dr Ishtiaq realistically conveyed that nothing will change unless the garrison state paves the way for a secular and democratic state.”I take exception to the word ‘realistically’. This can be termed wishful thinking at best. Pardon me for being a pessimistic, but do we really see Pakistan going into that direction? Democracy we may achieve to some extent but secularism is a very distant dream. Just utter this word among a group of people and see their reaction.
We are a nation that is baying for the blood of an army general who promoted moderation while protecting a convicted murderer who confessed before a court of law of murdering the very man he was supposed to protect. We may succeed in punishing Gen. Musharraf but can we punish Salmaan Taseer’s murderer? In the presence of such men we would be fooling ourselves by nurturing notions such as secularism.