The Ayub regime in Pakistan was the beginning of the Punjabi-Pukhtun alliance in our politics which prospered during the Afghan war, continued even later and is still going strong. It is interesting to note that in the recent past, even Taliban had Punjabi Governors and Deputy Governors in the provinces under their control. But, then, Punjabis are adept at alliances with other people; they were also the only linguistic group which converted to Christianity during the British Raj and have had long and continuous ties with the Christianity in the West besides having active feelings and fraternal relations with the Sikhs and Hindus of their own race in the British India. The ideology of Greater Punjab envisages the land-locked Punjabi heartland of the West (Pakistani Punjab) to join us with the East (Indian Punjab) and Kashmir, all together to form a strong nucleus of Pakistan. But Pakistans own economic situation is dire at present; more than half the budget is funded with loans from abroad and this has been going on for decades. That is because since decades, Pakistans productivity does not meet requirements of the state and its population. Falling behind on development as a result, Pakistan is increasingly losing its ability to invest in its human skills and other capacities to generate resources to sustain itself. On the international front, the current world economic crisis has put an end (or near end) to the Afghan war. But the problems in the region have remained unresolved. The West also does not appear to be interested in resolving them and it might even initiate still more wars to kick-start the economic circle of activity at home. If that happens, just when the things would enter their decisive phase, Pakistan would be found much unorganized and much divided. In fact, not just Pakistan but the entire region lacks the cohesion and unity to meet the intra-regional and international problems that a war, that could even be a world war, might throw up. I fear great human loss and change in the existing borders. -MALIK MUZAFFAR QADIR THAHEEM, Multan, March 3.