September 14, 2007Foreign Affairs

The Three Begum solution

The best of Bihar and the best of Bangladesh—now in Pakistan

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

Bangladesh began to look more and more like Pakistan, after the military seized power earlier this year.

And now, in a bizarre turn of events, it might turn out that Pakistan will begin to look a lot like Bangladesh. After Nawaz Sharif was deported to Saudi Arabia, his wife, Kulsoom Nawaz announced her intention to return to Pakistan to carry on the struggle. That’ll make her the second Begum in the fray, after Benazir Bhutto.

Two Begums–one a daughter, the other the wife of previous leaders—makes the scene look a lot like Bangladesh. But there’s more. Thanks to some creative solutioning by US deputy secretary of state John Negroponte, we are told, a third Begum could enter the scene. Sehba Musharraf, the general’s wife, is being positioned as a covering candidate’ for her husband! [Update: Chidanand Rajghatta has details in TOI]

When you think about it, this amounts to adding Laloo’s Bihar model to the two-Begum Bangladesh model, and hoping for stability or democracy or both. Well, so it goes.

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