Sunday, August 12, 2007

Pakistan: not a circle but a spiral

M Ilyas Khan 's commentary Pakistan's circular history is clear, concise and useful. But it omits at least one key factor. While Pakistani politics may have in some senses been going round in a circle, demographic, economic and environmental factors have not. So, for example, the population of what is now Pakistan (and in 1947 was Western Pakistan) has grown from about 30 to 35 million at independence to about 165 to 170 million today. Mobile phone use has exploded in the last five years or so. Such changes have the potential to rupture an apparently circular cycle of behaviour.

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