For all the bad news that is reported, it is nice when I find an article in foreign media that takes a hopeful view of Pakistan. Such an article was published yesterday in the American newspaper, The Philadelphia Inquirer.
When it comes to fighting Islamist terrorists, our biggest security headache is still inside Pakistan, where al-Qaeda and hard-line Taliban hide along the Afghan border. The double agent who just blew up a CIA base in Khost got help from those Taliban. They threaten U.S. troops in Afghanistan and endanger Pakistan.
But let me offer a bit of good news. There are signs, far from conclusive but promising, that key elements of the Pakistani army now recognize the danger. And there are even hopeful glimmers on the often-depressing Pakistani political front.
There are definitely some glimmers of hope on the political front. As my colleague has written today, the PPP and MQM have called a truce and are putting people before politics in Karachi. This is one glimmer that the journalist Trudy Rubin did not catch. This is perhaps another positive sign from the trend that the Miss Rubin noticed.
Moreover, Zardari seems to have finally realized that he needs to act like a leader and rally his own people. Unlike his late wife, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, he had refused to travel the country, or visit war zones, or address a Pakistani public bewildered by economic crisis and a wave of grisly suicide bombings. However, in recent weeks, Zardari has finally begun barnstorming, talking of the dangers to democracy.
Zardari’s travel to Karachi to visit victims of the attack on Ashura procession was a positive sign that the President is getting out of the seat of power and visiting the people. This also comes after Nawaz has said that political parties must respect each other and the democratic process.
Pakistan is turning a corner from the past decades of difficulty and violence, and what we are seeing now is not just the glimmers of hope on the horizon, but a glimmer of the shining future of our country.