Got a comment from Hasan Jafri, the journalist friend of mine based in Singapore (remember him?), about the recent entry about a meeting between the leaders of Pakistan's two major parties. Here's what he has to say:
Not surprised at all by [the] BB/NS [Benazir Bhutto/Nawaz Sharif] meeting. I hate to say it, but events in Pakistan are troubling. Small-time politicians such as Bugti don't take on the army without some sort of "help/nudging" from the establishment. The entire western border is now a military zone with two operations underway - one against the jihadis in FATA and the other against so-called Baluch nationalists in Balochistan. Mushi has bungled both.
Whatever one may think of BB and NS, I think the meeting is a good sign. Musharraf must go and he must be replaced with a real political leadership. I know many will disagree with me (and will probably send me hate mail), but as a democrat I believe power rests with the people and the people elect their leadership - no matter how incompetent or imperfect the leadership may be. It is also encouraging that BB/NS are meeting (and hopefully, for the sake of the country, resolving their very parochial personal differences), because mainstream political parties are the only way Pakistan can hope to counter the rising fundamentalism in the country.