The British Commonwealth has suspended Pakistan. Whether this is a good idea or not is debatable. World affairs are rarely of right or wrong, but lesser and greater evils. And such moves could assist in Islamic fundamentalism gaining power in the country.
This would be a bad day. Let us not forget that Pakistan has nuclear weapons. The upsetting of the stand-off with India could be catastrophic, and do we really want a State capable of passing such weapons to terrorists?
A Wasted Resource
This said, the decision doesn’t mean much because the Commonwealth is such a weak institution. As such, the suspension can be seen as no more than a protest vote. But what kind of world could we have if the Commonwealth had real teeth?
Maybe it could have played a stronger role in steering the military dictatorship more to the democratic process. If suspension really hurt, just imagine if the Iraq War would have happened if Britain had been threatened with suspension?
A Global Thread
The British Commonwealth contains 53 countries, encompassing nearly every religion and race on the planet. It contains major industrialized states in every region, and takes in first, developing and third world.
Its political power could be immense, countering everything from the EU, UN and other power blocs. Encompassing a third of the world’s population, a fifth of it land area and a fifth of the global economy, as a global forum it could be magnificent.
Fostering trade between Commonwealth countries could offer another chance at an eco-friendly system, and take away the power of the multi-nationals, and end up a truly global power for good.
Maybe it is time to look again at this British Commonwealth. At present it is such a wasted resource.
© Anthony North, November 2007
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