Right of Reply: Balwant Kapoor
The president of the Indian Overseas Congress (UK) replies to an article by the new Pakistan High Commissioner, in which he defended the military regime in Pakistan
Wednesday 22 December 1999
Which countries' democratic record is he questioning in criticising the Commonwealth's resolution to suspend Pakistan from its membership? How many stateshave a worse record than Pakistan in terms of military rule?
Yes, it is a fact that democracy has never quite taken root in Pakistan. But even the quasi-democracy permitted a liberty of sorts. A forcible overthrow of an elected government, no matter how feeble the electoral process, is never acceptable. If the people of Pakistan had grievances, they would have an opportunity to express these at the ballot box. In any civilised society a government is returned for a certain term. It has a right to rule for this period.
While General Pervaiz Musharraf's charges against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif are ridiculous, the latter is, arguably, no saint. But it was for a normal Pakistani court (not one conveniently instituted by the armed forces) to pass judgement on this. The judicial structure in Pakistan may leave a lot to be desired, but there is no quick fix.
Then, quite out of context, Mr Ahmed could not help ventilate a peculiar obsession - Kashmir. In the 10 years that Pakistani forces have joined hands with anti-Indian militants in Kashmir, every disaffected group in Indian-controlled Kashmir has enjoyed the privilege of participating in free and fair elections in the state.
In case Mr Ahmed is unaware, the fact that no Kashmiri party inimical to India has taken part in elections - and has not done so because the emptiness of its claim of mass support would then be exposed - defines the militants as terrorists, not freedom fighters.
Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigourfilm
Bannatyne leaves Dragon's DenTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
- 3 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 4 Britney Spears sings 'Alien' without Auto-Tune in embarrassing leaked audio clip
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories