As Pakistan has slided into different crises, national and international analysts have foreseen fate of the country with different approaches and narratives. By analyzing the socio-political as well as economic conditions of the country, most of the writers term it as ‘rogue State,’ ‘failed state’, ‘troubled state’, ‘failing state’, ‘fragile state’, ‘hard country’, ‘resilient state’ and many more. These terms have been reverberating for last few decades around the world especially in the national and international academia. Every analyst tries to build one’s own narrative with logical consistency in the premises of the conclusion. Thus, they manipulated the whole scenario by misunderstanding divergent dynamics of the country.

The element of lack of deep-insight can be traced easily in their arguments that lead to enunciate the fate of the country on the brink of destruction and implosion. Overgeneralization, vagueness in predictions contrary to ground realities, and misjudging people of the land can be found in the narratives and premises which have been developed by many critics working on Pakistan’s social political discourses.

Stephen Cohen in his study ‘The Idea of Pakistan’ predicted about a severe and crippled situation of law and order in the country by examining the knotty challenges entrenched in the partition and post-partition eras. He suggested to take stern precautionary measures with major transformative reforms in social, political and economic spheres to thwart the “troubled country” from sliding and trapping in the quagmire of various crises. Many research centers and analysts remained busy in drawing pessimistic predictions about the future of Pakistan.

No doubt, they extensively relied on the harsh realities of the country, but it seems that they always try to maneuver and analyzed these realities in a narrow spectrum in order to corroborate the desire to prove the country ‘troubled’, ‘fragile’, ‘crippled’, ‘spoiled’, ‘failed’, and ‘Rogue’ by hook or by crook. Such pieces of writings not only exaggerate the overall situation of the country in the eyes of international community but also disturb the plans and administrative capacity of the state to address the issues under the international pressure. The option of conspiracy theory can never be put away at all in which the real face of the country is showed as draconian to build an over-generalized narrative against the country for the cause of third party to gain illegitimate interests.

Many writers and analysts endeavored to draw a crisis-ridden image of Pakistan in the eyes of the world community who avoid visit and investment in the country. Let us take another highly exaggerated example of the report ‘Whither Pakistan’ by the Delhi-based Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses. The report held out the possibilities of ‘Lebanonization,’ and destruction and sudden collapse of Pakistan. Similarly, Bruce Riedel-Islamabad-based former US analyst opined that Pakistan, in future, could be victim of religious extremism and converted into an Islamic Emirate.

Bulky literature has been produced sharply containing the negative injunctions despite having ignorance of the real factors behind few social and political issues which have been faced by Pakistan since its emergence. Many writings propagate about the roots of political instability and support to the militant groups.

Robert Looney expresses his understanding of the socio-political and economic dynamics of Pakistan with special reference to the long-ridden wave of terrorism in his work ‘Pakistan’s failed economic take-off’. He enunciates institutional rigidities and poor governance as stifling economic growth. This has created an environment in which large segments of the population have become weary and frustrated, and Pakistan has emerged as a classic example of a ‘terrorist breeding ground’.

It is reality that the country achieved less in economic and political development that fuelled militancy. However, to term the country a ‘failed state’ and ‘predict implosion of the country’ will be deviation from reality. It is beyond the question that why analysts prefer to ignore the role of international powers in spoiling the social, political and economic conditions of Pakistan. While shedding light on terrorism in the country and terming Pakistan as ‘terrorism breeding state’, writers ought not to set aside the American intervention into Afghanistan to intensify the situation to build its own monopoly not only in region but also in the world scenario. ‘Why America is less blamed’ is the question that has not been discussed by these writers.

On the other side, certain writers have produced scholarly books and articles on the socio-political condition of the country. ‘Pakistan A Hard Country’ written by Anatol Lieven is also a book in which the writer briefly defines the crippling and deplorable economic, social and political conditions of the country accepting the reality that the country is not “failed state’, and the state institutions of Pakistan are functioning and becoming effective as time passes. He opines that the army is the well-disciplined institution of the country with other better performing institutions that is the sign of hope therefore the country will overcome its challenges. ‘Pakistan A New History’ written by Ian Talbot also depicts the hope of improvement in overall situation of Pakistan in future because of devolution of power, democratization, public awareness and rising civilian supremacy take roots in the society. Thus, realities are not to be ignored for a minor cause by intellectuals and researchers. They must examine things beyond hate, emotional investigation, and personal biases to build a new narrative not to degrade a country or narrative but to provide rational grounds for further human development by sweeping away the existing issues. Intellectuals must be intellectuals rather than proving pseudo-intellectuals through their illogical findings.


Lahore, August 28.