Certainly, if we believe in democracy and democratic systems, when [Benazir Bhutto] failed to pass any legislation, really, at all in her first two years in government during her first term and in fact had a tenure that was marked not only by gross corruption but by human rights abuses, that should have been a time for people to say, "Well, OK, we've given you an opportunity and you haven't bettered the institutions, you haven't strengthened the democratic cause - we may not vote you back."
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I think that our reliance on dynasty is part of the problem here, because dynasty is inherently undemocratic. It's a very entitled thing to suggest that only one member of one family can save a country of 180 million people. It has to be about people who live in constituencies coming forward to represent them, not the sort of parachuted, elite class that comes in, wins elections and then leaves.
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My Country I don't have any caps left made back home Nor any shoes that trod your roads I've worn out your last shirt quite long ago It was of Sile cloth Now you only remain in the whiteness of my hair Intact in my heart Now you only remain in the whiteness of my hair In the lines of my forehead My country -Nazim Hikmet
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However, I think we have to go back to the American bogeyman - we have to understand that this is a country which currently allows American drones to fly over our skies and bomb our people on an almost weekly basis, this is a country that survives on American aid in the billions. Today's headline in the newspapers is about America stepping up arms supplies to Pakistan.
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Well, I do write on political and social issues and the idea that one shouldn't - or the idea that we should censor ourselves - doesn't really work for me because it would be doing the government's job for them. And I'm not interested in doing that. I think what we need very much in Pakistan is to be able to discuss the corruption and the violence that really colours most of our life here.
There are two things. There was the moral responsibility, and that, first, is creating an atmosphere where the security forces can kill with impunity, where they can turn up at a place, shoot seven people - really at point-blank fashions - and then get away with it and be, in fact, promoted. And then there is the actual responsibility, the governmental responsibility. My aunt's government forbade us, initially, from filing a police report - which is every Pakistani citizen's right under the law.
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Pakistan is, I always feel, hopeful. You know, our system of government is not, and the system of foreign policy whereby we do whatever is asked of us as long as the price is right only proves to fundamentalist outfits and to militant groups that when we talk of things like democracy, when we talk of things like foreign policy, what we're really talking about is being pro-American.
In fact, if you look at people within our government, they seem to be quite enthusiastically fighting the war against their own people at the behest of the United States. So it doesn't seem to me that the strong way to oppose this is by joining politics at all, but just to keep speaking and to keep talking about it.