Pakistan Won't Follow Egypt

by Patrick Appel

Sumit Ganguly believes that the Tunisian tsunami will skip the country:

Why has Pakistan not seen, and is unlikely to see, street demonstrations of the order that have swept aside the regime in Tunisia and now threatens the one in Egypt? The reasons are complex. Despite the elements that Pakistan has in common with both those states, there are important differences. Pakistanis have enjoyed, for varying lengths of time, the advantages of democratic, civilian rule even though they have yet to vote an elected government out of power. The all-powerful military apparatus has frequently stepped in when it has deemed that the civilian regime has either proved to be unstable or breached some invisible but nevertheless real boundaries. Despite the tenuousness of democratic regimes, they are not unknown in Pakistan, as they are in Tunisia and Egypt.

(Photo: Anti-government protestors hold candles as they walk in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011. Protesters appear to have settled in for a long standoff, turning Tahrir Square into a makeshift village with tens of thousands coming every day, with some sleeping in tents made of blankets and plastic sheeting. By Emilio Morenatti/AP)