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« Nasty politics disguised as Holy War | Main | India and the Temple of Treasure (Sujatha) »

July 04, 2011

Comments

The news item makes too much of a connection between this act and Bhatti's assassination. The ministry itself (like most "minor" ministries in Islamabad; such would include sports, culture, tourism, education, health) was little more than a place to find a job for your friends to make money. Bhatti himself was a very brave man and his efforts to help minority communities were stellar, but the impact was in the media, not in the ministry (which is mostly staffed by the same corrupt small time crooks as any other "unimportant" ministry..and where Bhatti may not even have had the power to transfer a reasonably well-connected clerk).
Devolution is actually a very important and positive step, for which very progressive legislators (some do exist) like Raza Rabbani have worked very very hard. Overly centralized government is one of Pakistan's biggest problems. Devolving this particular ministry may not do much good, but it is not the equivalent of killing Bhatti again...

I agree with Omar that the closing of a minor bureaucratic institution (which probably wasn't doing anything useful anyway) in the south Asian political arena is probably as insignificant as the US govt. changing the color scheme for terror alerts. We should be much more worried about news like this. (Some of us had learnt of it when it happened but the NYT reported it only yesterday.) Given this kind of mentality among the public as well as the ruling elite, minorities in Pakistan are not about to see their human rights protected any time soon.


Omar and Ruchira: Thanks for the perspective. As you can see, there is much anxiety over this matter.

they're screwed. religious minorities in most muslim countries* are screwed in the near term. it is what it is.

* most of the exceptions are in sub-saharan african and the former C.I.S.

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