The Future of Pakistan
Pakistan has become a state in crisis, while its actions have created crises for other states. A short list of Pakistan’s new, crisis-defined identity would include the following:
—It has become a violent state, with attacks on its core institutions, notably the police, the army, and the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, and assassinations of Benazir Bhutto, its most important politician; Salmaan Taseer, a serving governor; and Shahbaz Bhatti, the only Christian minister in the Cabinet. Moreover, Pakistan has the dubious distinction of being the most unsafe country in the world for journalists and diplomats.
—It is a nuclear weapons state with a very bad record of proliferation and lingering questions about the security of its growing nuclear arsenal.
—Pakistan has, as a matter of state policy, actively supported jihadis and militants in Afghanistan and India.
—Its policies hamper international attempts to stabilize Afghanistan and have contributed to several crises—some of them with nuclear overtones — with India.
—Pakistan’s tolerance of or inability to control home-grown terrorists and those who come to Pakistan for terrorist training has worsened its relations with China and several European states, even as Pakistan continues to cooperate in identifying these groups.
—The demographic indicators look bad, and they are worsened by a poor economy—long gone are the days when Pakistan was knocking on the door of middle-income status.