Did we all just breathe a sigh of relief that Scotland did not set a strong precedent for secession?  While Altaf Bhai inspired by the politics of his home country made suggestions for a million provinces to be created, the nationalist in everyone balks at the idea of devolution, or God forbid, secession.  While the MQM would like Karachi, ports and Hyderabad to be their own province because of blatantly obvious political designs, do we live in a post-nationalist world order now? Though the Scottish population has voted "No" to independence, (because really, why would you want to fix something that isn’t really broken), there are similar cases abound. Texas and Vermont in the US have strong secession movements, avidly hoping for Scotland to create precedent. If a movement in Texas can be tolerated, why not in Balochistan? But we might be comparing apples and monkeys here. Even in developing countries colonial borders have hardly held. From the extreme case of Iraq currently imploding, to new countries forming hard and fast in war torn Africa, from little Eritrea to South Sudan, there are cases upon cases. In our own front yard, Kashmir has been our biggest problem since 1947.

The situation of Scotland resembles Jinnah’s Cabinet Mission plan to have three legislatures to work in the Indian union, with a choice of parting ways by a referendum. Nehru was against this and the plan failed. Scotland's Parliament opened in 1999 and holds some powers devolved from Westminster to set policy in certain areas of domestic policy, such as health and education. But for many voters, this was not enough; self-rule became a matter of pride. Questions of what the new currency would be, if Scotland was joining the EU, if Scotland would join NATO, and a whole mix of practical considerations were up in the air. Had the vote been to separate, the decision was being called Scotland’s velvet revolution. Nobody was called a traitor, no shots were fired, no rigging was attempted or alleged, and the parliament in London has agreed to further devolution of powers anyway. Seems like everybody accepts this. What must be taken away from this, for countries like ours, is not that the Scots voted 'No' on the matter, but that they voted. That people were voting in unprecedented numbers, that politicians accepted the results peacefully even though the numbers were close; that a referendum was allowed and the final say was left to the people.