Posted on January 14, 2011
Filed Under >Adil Najam, >Imran H. Khan, Foreign Relations, Travel
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19 responses to “Growing Up Pakistani in Peking, 1966-68 (Part 2)”

  1. Aamir Ali says:

    @Sakib Ahmed
    Actually its your explanation based on “unforseen forces” which is the oversimplication. Mao’s Cultural Revolution and Great Leap Forward resulted in murder of countless middle class and upper class educated and intellectuals, and famine that killed tens of millions. The lesson for Pakistan from China lies entirely in the polices of Deng Xiaoping, who moved China from Communism to Capitalism while keeping appearance of Communism, and to hard core Pragmatism and Economics.

    Pakistanis still talk about a big revolution in Pakistan where they kill “elites” and suddenly country will move to progress. Some cite China as an example, I believe they are wrong.

  2. Sakib Ahmad says:

    @Aamir Ali

    What you say is superficially true but it is an oversimplification. The tyrant Mao was simply a tool in the hands of unforeseen forces which bring about radical change in the world from time to time. The Cultural Revolution destroyed the corrupt and indolent middle and upper classes and allowed the Chinese to realise their dormant potential. I doubt if the post-Mao reforms would have worked without the destruction of the self-conscious, hidebound upper echelons of Chinese society. To understand that society, and the extent of Mao’s inhumanity to fellow Chinese, do read “Wild Swans”.

    The lesson for us in Pakistan is that we need to mend our craven ways and our perpetual sense of inferiority towards the west in general, and the USA in particular. I hope we can bring about that revolution peacefully. This is the subject of my latest blog post.

    You might also find the following link helpful (do read the comments as well): rnments-own-goal.html

  3. Aamir Ali says:

    Chinese and Irani societies have ability to organize peaceful protests to bring change ?!!! Like in Tiananmen Square or Tibet a few years ago or over Ahmedinejad’s illegal election some 18 months back ? What I remember is violent state suppression of protesters. The current Chinese regime is there because of Mao’s victory in civil war and Iranian regime is there because of violent overthrow of Shah in 1979. Pakistanis have far more freedoms and rights of democratic protest than Iranians or Chinese.

    South Korea certainly has peaceful protests for change but that has a lot to due with US presence and insistence on democratic frameworks.

    The only lesson Pakistanis should learn from China is that the Cultural Revolution and Great Leap Forward were gigantic attempts at shortcuts and huge failures, with large loss of life and famine. China today is because of Deng Xiaoping’s philosophies that began in 1979, not Mao’s crazy ways.

  4. Brian says:

    Imran. Nice post.
    Yes, there are many lessons that everyone in the world including Pakistan can learn from China. But what lessons. Hopefully not of repression for revolution.