Pakistan is not a failed State | By Dr Muhammad Khan

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Pakistan is not a failed State 

IN the wake of on-going economic crises, political instability and ensuing uncertainty, there is a growing debate among various circles whether Pakistan is heading towards a fiasco where it can be called as a failed state. This debate has two dimensions; a) a deliberately initiated discussion with the motive to create a state of chaos and confusion among the wider Pakistani society so that people lose trust over the state of Pakistan and its institutions and b) a casual and unintentional debate, influenced by on-going economic crises, social intolerance and political polarization. In either form, such debates create an element of despair, dejection, misperceptions and distrust about the state and its institutions.

Besides, persistence of such views and debates ultimately form a public opinion which in either case create pessimism, anger and revulsion. In its extreme phase, people revolt against the government which is responded by the later through use the use of force, creating a fence if not battle ground between government and the masses. Here enters the external forces (spying networks of rival states), already waiting for an opportunity to exploit the masses against the state and institutions of the state.

They invest in all vulnerable areas and exploit the annoyed elements among the wider society (groups with social, political, ethnic and religious tags) for their own vested interests. These elements are subsequently used for the strategic and national interests of the rival forces in their own way. The state and society of Pakistan have passed through many such unfortunate intervals of its history which were deliberately created by both; domestic and external factors but defeated by the strong ideological and nationalistic sentiments of its resilient masses.

A failed state is defined from three salient aspects; a) where government has become incapable of its functioning and discharging its responsibilities as per the constitution of the state, b) the state has failed militarily in defending the territorial frontiers of the state, and c) the government has failed to maintained law and order, provision of justice, education and basic facilities to its masses.

Nothing of the above-mentioned factors can be truly applied over Pakistan which means, Pakistan is not a failing or failed state. It is just a part of the deliberate propaganda campaign against Pakistan. No doubt, owing to political imprudence, an extremely poor economic management and political intolerance, the state and society of Pakistan are facing lot of challenges today.

The rival forces are all set to declare Pakistan as a failing state and political leadership seems clueless regarding counter measures in the era of social media and war of narratives. Indeed, a proportionate response with tangible measures and clarity about the future planning are essentially required by the incumbent Government on urgent basis. Pakistan is not a failed state nor it is heading towards any debacle, however, the current state of affairs is a consequence of repeated events of bad governance, demonstrated by successive governments. The aspects of the bad governance must be substituted with good governance rather conspiring to declare Pakistan as a failed state. Indeed, the ruling elites of Pakistan have failed in their forms of governance and economic management of the state rather the state of Pakistan.

Indeed, this is the reality and the correct perspective about Pakistani state which should be known to masses especially the youth of Pakistan.The abovementioned aspects of the state, statehood and masses need a perspective of the state from international law and United Nations. From the perspective of international law, the state is defined as an entity with a defined territory having permanent population with a government in-placed and having the capacity to enter into international relations with other states. All these aspects of the statehood are applicable to the state of Pakistan and Pakistan qualifies to be a modern state, fulfilling all its obligations. It is in its international relationship through the instrument of its foreign policy with almost all states and recognized by United Nations.

There is yet another angle, the UN dimension of the state which says; Statehood” is an element of membership in the United Nations. Pakistan became the member of this world body from the very first day of its inception as an independent state on August 14, 1947. It very much adheres to all treaties and international obligations as an independent state under the laid-down internationally recognized norms

. There are some of the basic qualifications for a state to be called as the legal entity of international system as “state” which Pakistan fulfilled in its over seventy-five years of history. Covering the operational aspects of an independent and sovereign state; right from its inception in 1947, the state of Pakistan has emerged as the most successful state of the world. Despite confronting a military campaign from its eastern neighbor over Kashmir, immediately after independence, Pakistan proved its existence and potentials from all aspects; political, economic, social and strategic. The economic and military assets of British India which were supposed to be proportionately divided among Pakistan and India were not done and Pakistan did not receive its share.

Nevertheless, it maintained its steady growth and remained economically affluent and militarily strong throughout. In the process, it attained the capability of a nuclear state after exploding its nuclear weapons in 1998. Today, Pakistan is a nuclear power with a clear deterrence having created nuclear parity in South Asia against Indian brinkmanship. It brought strategic stability in the region where India has been trying to undermine the sovereignty of other South Asian states. The on-going economic crisis and political polarization is a temporary phase, likely to be over in matter of few months.

Pakistan is the most viable state on the map of the world. Indeed, its geopolitical location makes it as the most significant state, its economic potentials makes it as the promising economies of the world, its professional military makes its frontiers as impregnable and its resilient masses make it as the most responsible work force in the world.
— The writer is Professor of Politics and IR at International Islamic University, Islamabad.