“Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary to receive Harvard Law School Medal of Freedom”:http://pakistaniat.com/2007/11/13/chief-justice-iftikhar-chaudhary-to-receive-harvard-law-school-medal-of-freedom/. In the meantime, the military junta keeps trying to stuff the country inside a banana.
Banana Republic sounds like a nice word, throwing up images of a nice, cheerful place in shades of bright yellow. Like many western governments, the title is behind the times – Pakistan is no longer on it’s way to a “bad place”:http://www.newsweek.com/id/57485/output/print – it reached there last Saturday when the govt. declared that the current courts are useless and henceforth anyone can be tried in a secret military court. It seems the pesky requirements of finding evidence, hiring lawyers and wasting time in courts forced this streamlining. Now human rights activists, lawyers, judges, students and the press can finally be stopped from harassing those fine young strapping men wandering around the country wearing suicide vests and brandishing AK-47s.
Pakistan is now a bona fide Banana Republic, with all the trappings which come with it – a military dictator, a muzzled press, cronies of the dictator busy hunting partridges, and lots more besides. Oh, and lots of private armies wandering around, as in a truly free country like Pakistan a private army is increasingly a must.
The only thing we’re missing is the United Fruit Company, but their are rumours that the Pakistan army is considering changing it’s name to avoid confusion. They do not want Wikipedia editors to get confused and keep removing Pakistan from the Banana republic entry.
“Wikipedia defines the banana republic”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana_republic as:
bq. Banana republic is a pejorative term for a small, often Latin American, Caribbean or African country that is politically unstable, dependent on limited agriculture, and ruled by a small, self-elected, wealthy and corrupt clique. In most cases they have kept the government structures that were modeled after the colonial Spanish ruling clique, with a small, largely leisure class on the top and a large, poorly educated and poorly paid working class of peons. […] Frequently the subject of mockery and humour, and usually presided over by a dictatorial military junta that exaggerates its own power and importance—”the epaulettes of a banana republic generalissimo” are proverbially of considerable size, usually portrayed in satire with a pair of mops—a banana republic also typically has large wealth and income inequities, poor infrastructure, poor schools, a backward economy, low capital spending, a reliance on foreign capital and money printing, budget deficits, and a weakening currency. Banana Republics are typically also highly prone to revolutions and coups.
From the same Wikipedia article, the current definition of a banana republic:
bq. In modern usage the term has come to be used to describe a generally unstable or “backward” dictatorial regime, especially one where elections are often fraudulent and corruption is rife. By extension, the word is occasionally applied to governments where a strong leader hands out appointments and advantages to friends and supporters, without much consideration for the law. A banana republic can also be used to describe a country where a large part of its economy and politics are controlled by foreign powers or even corporations.
The article was out dated, so I updated it by adding Pakistan.