Return of the khaki

Pakistan's military coup truncated a democratic process that would have thrown out Nawaz Sharif as decisively as Benazir Bhutto was rejected in the last election.

The late Eqbal Ahmad once wrote, "It has all been said before. Yet those who should, do not listen. And, as in talking to the deaf, one is compelled to repeat in louder, more agitated tones: The army may bring temporary relief. But the problem is eminently political; it shall not yield to military solution." There is little more that needs to be said about the situation in Pakistan after the 12 October coup by Gen Pervez Musharraf. But, unfortunately, more will have to be said, loudly for too many people, memories have become short, and the needs of the moment have silenced the warnings of conscience, history and political sense.

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Himal Southasian