Policy Paper 5 (January 2008) – How Pakistan Works

The title for this essay comes from the fact that contrary to the general Western perception, Pakistan does actually work as a country, not as well as many, but better than some; and that it is in no immediate danger of collapse, except as a result of misguided and reckless US policies. Pakistan is in many ways surprisingly tough as a state and political society. The loss of Bangladesh in 1971 does not set a precedent for present-day Pakistan. The Pakistan of 1947-71, two regions with very different histories and cultures, separated by a thousand miles and a hostile India, could not possibly have lasted – no state so constructed could have lasted long. The provinces of West Pakistan however form much more of a unity.


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