Monday, September 25, 2006

Talking in America

Gen. Musharraf has announced a six point strategy to tackle extremism. Apart from the cynicism that announcing a domestic policy while on a trip to the United States will generate, let's examine the general's strategy:

The strategy provides (i) reforms in education with changes in curricula (ii) elimination of use of religious places for extremism (iii) stoppage of publication of hate material (iv) dissemination of knowledge (v) reduction of poverty and (vi) effective check on the activities of disgruntled elements.

Reforms in education - anyone recently hear of news on the government's plan to register madressahs? No, apparently not. Dissemination of knowledge - more like dissembling; read Dawn's editorial on education in Pakistan. Reduction of poverty - when the government isn't fudging numbers, it's strategy to reduce poverty is being knocked by international organisations. As for the disgruntled elements - appeasement of the Taliban in Waziristan and crushing the Baluch will only effectively ensure more problems down the road.

Musharraf also referred to the most urgent matter for citizens, inflation:

Musharraf acknowledged that the prices of essential commodities have increased in the recent months. “This is because of the demand and supply situation where the former has increased due to the overall development of the country,” he added. “The government is working on a mechanism to tackle the spiraling prices.”

Curiously when talking about supply and demand, he made more mention of the former. Undoubtedly referring to supply issues would have raised awkward questions regarding the
sugar scam.

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