Is the world’s largest democracy ready for prime time, or forever a B-list player on the global stage? BY SUMIT GANGULY “India Will Be the World’s Next Great Power.” Not so fast. The dramatic opening of India’s hidebound economy, substantial improvements in India-U.S. relations, and rapid, sustained economic growth for well over a decade have led most analysts and policymakers to conclude that India will easily emerge as one of the world’s great powers in the 21st century. In 2010 while visiting India, U.S. President Barack Obama said, “India is not just a rising power; India has already risen.” And just a few weeks ago, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called India a “linchpin” in the U.S. “pivot” to Asia, while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described the U.S.-India tie as a “critical bilateral relationship.”
By Mahesh Bhatt The Famous Film maker and Human Rights activist Mahesh Bhatt fasts daily (roza) during Ramdan. He explains why. On the 14th day of Ramdan, as I drove back home to break my daily fast (Roza), a beep on my cell phone alerted me to an incoming message. This is what the message said: Hello, Mr. Bhatt, I understand through your utterances and writings that you are not a religious man and you do not believe in the efficacy of prayer. But I have now learned that you maintain Roza in the month of Ramdan. Your actions, Mr. Bhatt, bewilder the Hindus and shock the Muslims as well. May I ask why you keep Roza?
Asif Ezdi If Pakistan’s dysfunctional government occasionally springs into action, it is usually to save Zardari’s fabulous wealth in foreign countries or prolong his hold on the presidency and pave the way for the eventual succession of Bilawal. The frenetic legislative activity seen last week was also aimed at these noble goals. In pursuit of these objectives, the government blatantly abused the majority it enjoys in parliament to bypass the usual rules of debate and tried to rush two important bills without allowing even the semblance of a rational discussion.
Humayun Gauhar We have proved the adage, “Give a small man power and he will show you how small he is.” Small men with soiled halos hovering above their dyed heads infest every state institution. All suffer from public perceptions of impropriety and transgression. All engender distrust. They defy description. They challenge belief. Is this what we made Pakistan for, to hand it over to small, soiled men of questionable integrity while we wallow in misery? No, we did not. It’s about time we did something about it. If we can win liberty and change the course of history by making a country, we can certainly put it right.
By M K Bhadrakumar The building blocks of the historic visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Pakistan in September have begun arriving in Islamabad. It is a poignant moment in the region’s history and politics. This will be the first time a Russian president visits Pakistan since its birth in 1947.