Why Pakistan failed as a state? – UPSC GS2

Present crisis in Pakistan:
  • Failing Economy.
  • Political instability which leads to weak coalition governments
  • Social conflicts like caste and religion
  • External pressure to bring domestic changes.
Why Pakistan failed as a state?
Various decisions made by Pakistan governments in past has backfired:
  • Cross border terrorism: With the end of the Cold War, Pakistan chose to opt for cross border terrorism to bring instability to Kashmir and turn Afghanistan into a protectorate.
  • Economic modernization: Pakistan has done little to bring reforms to its economy. As a result, its economy in 2021 (GDP at $280 bn) is well behind that of Bangladesh ($350 bn). The Indian economy at $3.1 trillion is also more than 10 times larger than that of Pakistan.
  • Foreign policy: In the past, Pakistan played a large role in the Middle East and more broadly the Muslim world. But today, it has no respect in West. It does not get a call from Joe Biden since he has been elected as USA president.
  • Backfire of policies: Pakistan’s support for violent religious extremism has also started to backfire. Militant groups which were once seen as valuable instruments for Pakistan have now turned against the state. Also, severe financial penalties have been imposed on Pakistan by the international system for supporting terrorist activities.
  • Troubled relations: After USA intervention in Afghanistan, Pakistan had a chance to change its course. Instead, it has chosen to bring them back to power. This may lead to the wrath of the USA. And Taliban on the other hand is signalling it is not a proxy of China.
  • India has also changed its tactics of engagement with Islamabad. Now, India is not shy of using military power in response to terror attacks.