Is Pakistan About To Fall Off A Cliff?

Is Pakistan About To Fall Off A Cliff?
Pakistan is going through the worst political and economic crisis. It is about to end up on the dust heap of history. Fortunately, the country’s GDP is fairly stable, trade is flourishing but the energy crisis, corruption and political instability are infesting foundations of the country. There is a continuous clash between parliamentary parties, and political instability is one of the major reasons for weakness of the state.

Pakistan appeared on the map of the world under the dynamic leadership of Mohammed Ali Jinnah on August 14, 1947. Today Pakistan is the first and only Muslim country in possession of nuclear weapons and a population of 220 million people making it the sixth largest country in the world.

The country has faced many natural and manmade calamities during the last 75 years, including political and constitutional crises. It was the failure or ineptness of the political elite to frame a constitution nine years after independence in 1956, and then to have it abrogated by a military dictator just two years later in 1958.

The unsuccessful war with India in 1965 was the beginning of the end for the dictatorial rule of Ayub Khan. His successor General Yahya Khan failed to address genuine grievances of the people of East Pakistan. The ethnic differences in the country’s eastern wing turned into a full blown revolt that India exploited to carve out a new state of Bangladesh in 1971.

The next ruler Zulfikar Ali Bhutto came in with a large mandate from the people of Pakistan, and tried to pick up the pieces and rebuild Pakistan on the basis of a welfare programme based on socialism and Islam. He managed to improve foreign and security policies along with initiating the nuclear weapons project. He was hanged after a controversial trial by dictator Ziaul Haq in 1979.

General Ziaul Haq prolonged his rule to almost 11 years by cleverly using religion. He declared Pakistan an ‘Islamic state’, and used the religion as a political gambit. The country became a staunch ally of the US during the Russian occupation of Afghanistan in 1980s. He promoted Islamic extremism and introduced the curse of violence and drugs in our society.

Zia met his end mysteriously in an air crash in August 1988.

Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif each had a term twice as prime ministers of Pakistan and the country continued to survive in a state of political turbulence for a full decade in spite of being a nuclear power. Sharif’s second term in office was ended by a fourth military coup in the country, engineered by General Pervez Musharraf, who became the blue-eyed boy of the Americans after the 9/11 incident and start of the American global war on terror.
According to social scientists, states fail when basic infrastructure starts to deteriorate or is destroyed, such as roads, highways and railway tracks, trade, health and education services, like in Somalia, Afghanistan, South Sudan and North Korea.

It was in 2008 that the valley of Swat was handed over to religious extremists like Maulvi Fazalullah. The Taliban took control of FATA. Pakistan was subjected to massive suicide attacks, bloodshed chaos and mayhem all over the country. Islamic militants were hell bent on imposing their writ, turning Pakistan into a theocracy. By the end of 2014, it appeared as if the government had no control, till the army launched Operation Zarb-e-Azb and managed to establish writ of the state in the Taliban-controlled areas.

However, energy crisis, religious extremism, Islamic militancy, political instability, corruption and politicised bureaucracy continue to haunt and weaken foundations of the country.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad had predicted in 1946 that Pakistan would divide the strength of the Indian Muslims and eventually fail as a state due to geographical complications. East Pakistan will secede and West Pakistan will suffer religious extremism and security problems.

Liam Fox, in his book, titled Rising Tides, fears Pakistan will potentially become the world’s first failed nuclear state.

So far, Maulana Azad’s predictions have proved chillingly accurate and God forbid that the assessment of Liam Fox should ever prove correct.

According to social scientists, states fail when basic infrastructure starts to deteriorate or is destroyed, such as roads, highways and railway tracks, trade, health and education services, like in Somalia, Afghanistan, South Sudan and North Korea.

We have witnessed the USSR fail, followed by Yugoslavia, East Germany, and Czechoslovakia. Political scientists, such as Chomsky and Newman, agree that a notable sign of a failed state is an atmosphere for terror organisations to thrive in.

Such countries not only harbour terrorists and let terrorism flourish but export terrorism to the world and become a global security threat. Take Somalia, Nigeria, and Afghanistan. Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al-Shabaab in Somalia and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan prove that terror organisations flourish when the state fails.

Violence is the essential feature of failed states. Pakistan has not only been the victim of violent attacks by religious extremist and Islamic militant groups but also the madrassa mafia has terrorised the nation repeatedly. In addition the government has been by and large unable to control human rights violations e.g. the forced conversions of Hindu girls and violence against women. The government has also failed to prevent bomb attacks on churches, persecution of religious minorities including Shia genocide and the violent reign of terror unleashed on the Ahmedi community and the involvement of intelligence agencies in kidnapping and murder of political activists and journalists.

States collapse, when they fail to provide the basic human security to its citizens, e.g., protection of human rights, freedom from violence and fear of persecution. Somalia, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Syria, and Iraq are states that failed to provide human security to their citizens.