Foreign Policy Blogs

Pakistan's Failure

The strangely bizarre and comical launch of Musharraf’s so called Muslim League (or whatever name he is using) forced me to examine Pakistan. And, believe me, this time; I really looked hard not only at today’s Pakistan but also at its short, but awfully tumultuous history. And, it is extremely distressing to realize that nothing, and by nothing I really meaning NOTHING has worked so for or in Pakistan since its creation in 1947. The only good thing that I can report about Pakistan is that despite tremendous financial, social and religious gaps within the society, once upon a time, Pakistan was indeed a peaceful place where people did live in peace, and harmony.

However, nothing could be more tragic than today’s Pakistan

Let us be clear about Pakistan and judging from the evidence, it seems unlikely that the country will ever be a success story. Everything about Pakistan suggests failure, misery and more failure and misery. No question, people will continue to believe that ‘things will improve’, but I hate to be the guy to break this to the believers – not going to happen, sorry.

What I have come to believe is that Pakistan is a textbook example of classical failure as a state. Right from the start when Pakistan came into being, the country was shaky, poor, and unprepared. To make matters worse, it has always been one problem after another and with each passing day, month, year or a decade, the overall situation has continued to deteriorate through out the country.

Yes, it is true that the love of Pakistan will continue to prevent people within the country to deny that the country has not been a success story. For varying reasons, people will maintain that ‘if only this changes or that power leaves us alone’, Pakistan will be fine. Different ethnic, religious and political groups divided along ideological and territorial lines will advance strong, but naïve reasons for defending Pakistan in spite of daily suicide bombings, beheadings, stoning, growing poverty, frightening population explosion, and so on so forth. And, those who question Pakistan’s overall physiological, political, and economical health would still be considered ‘traitors, foreign agents and enemies of Pakistan’ but this bullying by the misguided must not stop those who argue for a different course.

Nations (Pakistanis still have to forge a national bond to become a nation) don’t succeed or fail in a day or two. It takes generations to become successful and it takes miraculous harmony and exceptional commitment to keep the progress alive and the society to thrive, something that has not happened in Pakistan.  Unless people in Pakistan from all walks of life fully understand that emotional rants, hyper charged rhetoric, insane conspiracy theories, and the desire to ‘conquer’ everything and everyone else is not the way to make Pakistan a success story, things are not change or improve, period.  

For Pakistanis, the first goal must be to become realistic and accept ground realities, even if it makes them question everything they have been told about Pakistan’s history and its future. Loyalty to Pakistan does not, and it should not mean accepting the narrative put forward by the judiciary, jihadists, and judges and yes, even generals. On the contrary, country’s love makes it a patriotic duty to not be conned by shady judges, crooked journalists, and dishonest politicians.  Nope, people of Pakistan will have to decide, independently, about what is good for them and what is good for their country.



Bilal Qureshi

Bilal Qureshi is a resident of Washington, DC, so it is only natural that he is tremendously interested in politics. He is also fascinated by the relationship between Pakistan, the country of his birth, and the United States of America, his adopted homeland. Therefore, he makes every effort to read major newspapers in Pakistan and what is being said about Washington, while staying fully alert to the analysis and the news being reported in the American press about Pakistan. After finishing graduate school, he started using his free time to write to various papers in Pakistan in an effort to clarify whatever misconceptions he noticed in the press, especially about the United States. This pastime became a passion after his letters were published in Vanity Fair and The New Yorker and his writing became more frequent and longer. Now, he is here, writing a blog about Pakistan managed by Foreign Policy Association.

Areas of Focus:
Taliban; US-Pakistan Relations; Culture and Society