Pakistan must seize the opportunity to promote long lasting hegemony. The time of independence is time for a new beginning. By Rob Terpstra


In traversing a 60-year history, amid the flag-raising ceremonies held across the republic celebrating the independence day of Pakistan, it is especially important in understanding how this country, on the first full day of Yom-e-Istiqlal, is positioned in its current state.
2008 will mark a pivotal year in the mind’s eye of many of Pakistan’s inhabitants, administrators and government officials. In a year marred with several failures on the public relations front that mitigated the effectiveness of the Musharraf government, the upcoming fall elections and its outcome will unabashedly raise doubts about future foreign policy and a relationship with the United States in its war against terrorism.
All the keys to short term victory against extremism inevitably seem to point to the Khyber and somewhere deep inside Tora Bora. It is within Pakistan’s jurisdiction to seize this fortuitous opportunity, in front of the world’s opinion makers, intelligentsia and six plus billion people, to record a seismic diplomatic achievement and truly make itself physically immune to longstanding critics by acting under its own proprieties and independence.
Will the current strategic initiatives imposed by the West and aggressively promulgated by Pakistan prove successful? This is unknown. However, what does remain, and herein may lie the answer - the current struggles that this state currently finds itself deeply entrenched translate unquestionably into the most pressure ever issued upon Pakistan in a truly original contextual obligation. Therefore, it is imperative for the country to quell any internal differences to prevent another, in history’s long list of preceding coups from occurring. Smooth, free-flowing talks from within are integral in maintaining the state and allowing domestic diplomacy to run its due course.
It is also necessary to prevent external stressors from influencing the government. Most notably, petitions from Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif and exiled leaders, more than five years in gestation, are undoubtedly, from a rationalist’s perspective, intent upon prying apart a delicately assembled nation. Bhutto, Sharif and others, bear devious and fracturing thoughts, ones forcibly posited, germinated in the public and madrassas, so damaging that eventually upon fruition their intention has by far exceeded their original purpose.
This is a remarkable era, one that in the past was never foreseen and may never again be duplicated. It is a ‘clash of civilizations’ that may last several generations. The front in which Pakistan presents itself will be a determinant factor in how the world negotiates with a united territory in the future. The way a country, which has shown quasi-successfulness in struggles in the recent past, must definitively, in 2008, make its mark on the world, declare its sovereignty and once again bask in the unabated prestige of a truly ‘independent’ Pakistan.
It is with this drive and determination that will aid this country, in its domestic and foreign diplomacy, its outward appearance to its growingly frustrated and exhausted electorate and its sagging approval ratings among it most staunch allies both at home and abroad. The time is now for Pakistan, free from restraints, to be emboldened in its fight for survival and promote puritanical hegemony. It is the start of a new beginning, the start of a new independence.

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